TO CERTAIN DEATH.
Written for THE FIREMAN’S JOURNAL by A. LICHFIELD.
“Stand back !” the Fireman cried—”stand back!”
The scorching breath
From forked and lurid tongues forbade more speech.
Gasping, begrimed, beyond his friendly reach
Darted a form, the Fireman knew,
To certain death.
Through walls of flame, that seared him as he flew, The brave man sped.
Knowing no pain nor fear, battling a foe
Which laid its writhing, wretched victims low ;
A gasp, a struggle, shriek—their conquerer, DeathPoor charred dead 1
Amidst the fearful cries that rent the air He heard but one.
The lady of his love, his idol—all
He held most dear on earth—he knew her call;
Too weak again to guide, for afterward The voice was dumb.
Not for the fraction of a second’s time Did he delay;
And, though the flames were leaping to his face,
He groped in agony his love to trace.
His life for such a life—ah ! what were that To give away !
And now, as darkness seized his scorched eyes,
‘Twixt gasps for breath
He called, and called again her cherished name ;
But from that charred house no answer came
To the doomed one whose love unselfish lead To certain death.