Nicholas Oberting

A hero of ancient mold is Nicholas Oberting, of Hardentown, Indiana, who, a few days ago, in saving three boys from being gored to death by his infuriated bull, performed a feat of daring comparable only with the valorous deeds of Roman gladiators. . . .
SING! O Voice of Valor, sing! —
Sing of Nicholas Oberting!
Giant of the strength of ten,
Yet the gentlest of all men.

He it was that loved the air,
And the green fields everywhere —
Loved the meadow slopes and rills,
And the cattle on the hills —
Loved all out-o'-doors, and took
Off his hat, with reverent look,
As the balmy winds of Spring
Waved the peach-bough, blossoming
At the orchard edge, where he
Paused to mark the minstrelsy
Of the daring first redbreast,
Whose lilt, at its loveliest,
Was not lovelier to hear
Than the laughter, ringing near,
Of child-voices — Truants, — three
Little stragglers, he could see,
Crossing the near pasture-land
Loiteringly, hand in hand,
Laughing as they came. . . . Until —
Sudden ran a sickening chill
Through the strong man's heart! . . . He heard
Scarce his own voice, afterward,
For the maddened, bellowing roar
Of the monster beast that bore
Down upon the lads. . . . Out rang
His quick warning. — Then he sprang
Forth to meet them, crying, " Run! —
Straight for me! — Come on! — Well done! " —
Praised them — cheered them. — " Good! Hooray!
Now, Red-top, you throw away
That cap! but don't " — And breathless hung
The sentence; — for a root had flung
The youngster — stunned — prone on the ground . . .
Then — midst a trampling, thund'rous sound,
The bellowing beast, with his big bent head,
And great horns, white as his eyes were red! —
Charged for the lad, as he helpless lay . . .
There was a leap then; and — they say
(For but one boy had swooned away)
There was the leap and the laugh of a Man . . .
And the bravest war of the world began:
Pinned by the horns in the Hercules grip
Of his master — the slavering jaws adrip,
The foaming, steaming, sweltering, hot-
Mouthed monster raged and charged and fought, —
But ever the great strong hands were set
At their horny leverage, bloody-wet;
And ever steadier pressed the hold,
And ever the wild eyes wilder rolled
As the thick neck turned, and the great hulk grew
Like an o'er-fed engine, shuddering through —
Yet the thick neck turned — and turned — and turned —
Till the raw tongue shot from the throat and burned
The live air foul; and the beast lurched dead
. . . And the youngster said
That the big man just lay there and cried —
He was so sorry and satisfied!
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