Modern History Sourcebook:
Alfred Lord Tennyson:
[Tappan Introduction] In the Middle Ages, Montenegro was under the control of
Serbia; but when the battle of Kossovo laid Serbia at the mercy of the Turks, in 1389,
Montenegro became independent; and independent it has remained. It is a country of
warriors, who were well prepared to play their part in the late Balkan War.
THEY rose to where their sovereign eagle sails,
They kept their faith, their freedom, on the height,
Chaste, frugal, savage, arm'd by day and night
Against the Turk; whose inroad nowhere scales
Their headlong passes, but his footstep fails,
And red with blood the Crescent reels from fight
Before their dauntless hundreds, in prone flight
By thousands down the crags and thro' the vales.
O smallest among peoples! rough rock-throne
Of Freedom! warriors beating back the swarm
Of Turkish Islam for five hundred years,
Great Tsernogora! never since thine own
Black ridges drew the cloud and brake the storm
Has breathed a race of mightier mountaineers.
From: Eva March Tappan, ed., The World's Story: A History of the World in Story,
Song and Art, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1914), Vol. VI: Russia, Austria-Hungary,
The Balkan States, and Turkey, p. 420.
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text has been modernized by
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© Paul Halsall, November 1998