On arriving at the fatal spot, he sat down as ordered, on a bench, with his back to the soldiers. The multitude recollected that in some affecting lines, written by the conspirator in prison, be had said that it would be useless to seek to kill him by shooting his body,—that his heart must be pierced ere it would cease its throbbings. At the last moment, just as the soldiers were about to fire, he rose up and gazed for an instant around and above him: on the beautiful capital of his native land and its sail-flecked bay, on the dense crowds about him, the blue mountains in the distance, and the sky glorious with summer sunshine. ‘Adios, mundo!’ (Farewell, world!) he said calmly, and sat down. The word was given, and five balls entered his body. Then it was that, amidst the groans and murmurs of the horror-stricken spectators, he rose up once more, and turned his head to the shuddering soldiers, his face wearing an expression of superhuman
From Thee alone their life and power deriving,
Sink and are lost in vast eternity!
Yet doth the void obey Thee; since from naught
This marvellous being by Thy hand was wrought.
O merciful God! I cannot shun Thy presence,
For through its veil of flesh Thy piercing eye
Looketh upon my spirit's unsoiled essence,
As through the pure transparence of the sky;
Let not the oppressor clap his bloody hands,
As o'er my prostrate innocence he stands!
But if, alas, it seemeth good to Thee
That I should perish as the guilty dies,
And that in death my foes should gaze on me
With hateful malice and exulting eyes,
Speak Thou the word, and bid them shed my blood,
Fully in me Thy will be done, O God!
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