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Full text of "Tales and historic scenes in verse"



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THE LIBRARY 

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THE UNIVERSITY 

OF CALIFORNIA 

LOS ANGELES 



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TALES, 



AND 



HISTORIC SCENES, 



IN VERSE. 



BY FELICIA HEMANS, 

AUTHOR OP THE RESTORATION OF THIS WORKS OF ART TO ITALY, 
MODERN GREECE, &C. &C. 



LONDON: 

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE-STREET. 

1819. 



LONDON: 

rRINTKD BY THOMAS BAVISON, WHIXEFBIARS. 



CONTENTS. 






Page 
THE WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS 1 

Part II. ..... 21 

Notes . . . . . . 41 

THEABENCERRAGE . . . .51 

Canto II. ..... 83 

Canto HI. ..... 109 

Notes . . . . .143 

THE LAST BANQUET OF ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA 157 

Notes ...... 169 

ALARIC IN ITALY . . 171 

Notes . . . . . . . 187 

THE WIFE OF ASDRUBAL . 189 

HELIODORUS IN THE TEMPLE . . 197 

NIGHT SCENE IN GENOA ... 307 

THE TROUBADOUR, AND RICHARD COJIUR DE LION 223 

Notes ...... 235 

THE DEATH OF CONRADIN . . .237 

Notes ...... 253 



8G6873 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 



" L'orage peut briser en un moment Ies fleurs qui tiennent 
encore la tete levee." 

Mad. de Staei,. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



In the reign of Otho III., Emperor of Germany, 
the Romans, excited by their Consul, Cres- 
centius, who ardently desired to restore the 
ancient glory of the republic, made a bold at- 
tempt to shake off the Saxon yoke, and the 
authority of the Popes, whose vices rendered 
them objects of universal contempt. The Con- 
sul was besieged by Otho in the Mole of Ha- 
drian, which, long afterwards, continued to be 
called the Tower of Crescentius. Otho, after 
many unavailing attacks upon this fortress, at 
last entered into negotiations ; and pledging 
his imperial word to respect the life of Cres- 
centius, and the rights of the Roman citizens, 
the unfortunate leader was betrayed into his 
power, and immediately beheaded with many 

b2 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

of his partisans. Stephania, his widow, con- 
cealing her affliction and her resentment for the 
insults to which she had been exposed, secretly- 
resolved to revenge her husband and herself. 
On the return of Otho from a pilgrimage to 
Mount Gargano, which, perhaps, a feeling of 
remorse had induced him to undertake, she 
found means to be introduced to him, and to 
gain his confidence, and a poison administered 
by her was soon afterwards the cause of his 
painful death." See Sismondi, History of the 
Italian Republics, vol. i. 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 



MIDST Tivoli's luxuriant glades, 
Bright-foaming falls, and olive shades, 
Where dwelt, in days departed long, 
The sons of battle and of song, 
No tree, no shrub its foliage rears, 
But o'er the wrecks of other years, 
Temples and domes, which long have been 
The soil of that enchanted scene. 

There the wild fig-tree and the vine 
O'er Hadrian's mouldering villa twine 5 l 
The cypress, in funereal grace, 
Usurps the vanish'd column's place ; 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

O'er fallen shrine, and ruin'd frieze, 
The wall-flower rustles in the breeze ', 
Acanthus-leaves the marble hide, 
They once adorn" d, in sculptured pride, 
And nature hath resumed her throne 
O'er the vast works of ages flown. 

Was it for this that many a pile, 
Pride of Ilissus and of Nile, 
To Anio's banks the image lent 
Of each imperial monument ? 2 
Now Athens weeps her shatter'd fanes, 
Thy temples, Egypt, strew thy plains ; 
And the proud fabrics Hadrian rear'd, 
From Tibur's vale have disappear'd. 
We need no prescient sybil there 
The doom of grandeur to declare ; 
Each stone, where weeds and ivy climb, 
Reveals some oracle of Time ; 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

Each relic utters Fate's decree, 
The future as the past shall be. 

Halls of the dead ! in Tibur's vale, 
Who now shall tell your lofty tale ? 
Who trace the high patrician's dome, 
The bard's retreat, the hero's home ! 
When moss-clad wrecks alone record 
There dwelt the world's departed lord ! 
In scenes where verdure's rich array 
Still sheds young beauty o'er decay, 
And sunshine on each glowing hill, 
Midst ruins finds a dwelling still. 

Sunk is thy palace, but thy tomb, 
Hadrian ! hath shared a prouder doom, 3 
Though vanish'd with the days of old 
Its pillars of Corinthian mould ; 
And the fair forms by sculpture wrought, 
Each bodying some immortal thought, 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

Which o'er that temple of the dead, 
Serene, but solemn beauty shed, 
Have found, like glory's self, a grave 
In time's abyss, or Tiber's wave : 4 
Yet dreams more lofty, and more fair, 
Than art's bold hand hath imaged e'er, 
High thoughts of many a mighty mind, 
Expanding when all else declined, 
In twilight years, when only they 
Recalled the radiance passed away, 
Have made that ancient pile their home, 
Fortress of freedom and of Rome. 

There he, who strove in evil days, 
Again to kindle glory's rays, 
Whose spirit sought a path of light, 
For those dim ages far too bright, 
Crescentius, long maintain'd the strife, 
Which closed but with its martyr's life, 



WIDOW OF CltESCENTIUS. 

And left th' imperial tomb a name, 

A heritage of holier fame. 

There closed De Brescia's mission high, 

From thence the patriot came to die ; b 

And thou, whose Roman soul the last, 

Spoke with the voice of ages past, 6 

Whose thoughts so long from earth had fled, 

To mingle with the glorious dead, 

That midst the world's degenerate race 

They vainly sought a dwelling-place, 

Within that house of death didst brood 

O'er visions to thy ruin woo'd. 

Yet, worthy of a brighter lot, 

Rienzi ! be thy faults forgot ! 

For thou, when all around thee lay 

Chain'd in the slumbers of decay j 

So sunk each heart, that mortal eye 

Had scarce a tear for liberty ; 

Alone, amidst the darkness there, 

Couldst gaze on Rome yet not despair ! 7 



10 WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

'Tis morn, and Nature's richest dyes 
Are floating o'er Italian skies ; 
Tints of transparent lustre shine 
Along the snow-clad Apennine ; 
The clouds have left Soracte's height, 
And yellow Tiber winds in light, 
Where tombs and fallen fanes have strew'd 
The wide Campagna's solitude. 
'Tis sad amidst that scene to trace 
Those relics of a vanish'd race ; 
Yet o'er the ravaged path of time, 
Such glory sheds that brilliant clime, 
Where nature still, though empires fall, 
Holds her triumphant festival j 
E'en Desolation wears a smile, 
Where skies and sunbeams laugh the while ; 
And Heaven's own light, Earth's richest bloom, 
Array the ruin and the tomb. 



WIDOW OF CltESCENTIUS. 11 

But she., who from yon convent tower 

Breathes the pure freshness of the hour ; 

She, whose rich flow of raven hair 

Streams wildly on the morning air ; 

Heeds not how fair the scene below, 

Robed in Italia' s brightest glow. 

Though throned midst Latium's classic plains, 

Th' Eternal City's towers and fanes, 

And they, the Pleiades of earth, 

The seven proud hills of Empire's birth, 

Lie spread beneath : not now her glance 

Roves o'er that vast sublime expanse ; 

Inspired, and bright with hope, 'tis thrown 

On Adrian's massy tomb alone ; 

There, from the storm, when Freedom fled, 

His faithful few Crescentius led ; 

While she, his anxious bride, who now 

Bends o'er the scene her youthful brow, 

Sought refuge in the hallow'd fane, 

Which then could shelter, not in vain. 



12 WIDOW OF CilESCENTIUS. 

But now the lofty strife is o'er, 
And Liberty shall weep no more. 
At length imperial Otho's voice 
Bids her devoted sons rejoice ; 
And he, who battled to restore 
The glories and the rights of yore, 
Whose accents, like the clarion's sound, 
Could burst the dead repose around, 
Again his native Rome shall see, 
The sceptred city of the free ! 
And young Stephania waits the hour 
When leaves her lord his fortress-tower, 
Her ardent heart with joy elate, 
That seems beyond the reach of fate ; 
Her mien, like creature from above, 
All vivified with hope and love. 

Fair is her form, and in her eye 
Lives all the soul of Italy ! 



WIDOW OF CRESCENT1US. 13 

A meaning lofty and inspired, 

As by her native day-star fired ; 

Such wild and high expression, fraught 

With glances of impassion'd thought, 

As fancy sheds in visions bright, 

O'er priestess of the God of Light ! 

And the dark locks that lend her face 

A youthful and luxuriant grace, 

Wave o'er a cheek, whose kindling dyes 

Seem from the fire within to rise ; 

But deepen'd by the burning heaven 

To her own land of sunbeams given. 

Italian art that fervid glow 

Would o'er ideal beauty throw, 

And with such ardent life express 

Her high- wrought dreams of loveliness ; 

Dreams which, surviving Empire's fall, 

The shade of glory still recal. 



14 WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

But see, the banner of the brave 
O'er Adrian's tomb hath ceased to wave. 
Tis lower' d and now Stephania's eye 
Can well the martial train descry, 
Who, issuing from that ancient dome, 
Pour through the crowded streets of Rome. 
Now from her watch-tower On the height, 
With step as fabled wood-nymph's light, 
She flies and swift her way pursues, 
Through the lone convent's avenues. 
Dark cypress groves, and fields o'erspread 
With records of the conquering dead, 
And paths which track a glowing waste, 
She traverses in breathless haste ; 
And by the tombs where dust is shrined, 
Once tenanted by loftiest mind, 
Still passing on, hath reach'd the gate 
Of Rome, the proud, the desolate ! 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 15 

Throng' d are the streets, and, still renew' d, 
Rush on the gathering multitude. 

Is it their high-soul'd chief to greet 
That thus the Roman thousands meet ? 
With names that bid their thoughts ascend, 
Crescentius, thine in song to blend ; 
And of triumphal days gone by 
Recall th' inspiring pageantry i 
There is an air of breathless dread, 
An eager glance, a hurrying tread ; 
And now a fearful silence round, 
And now a fitful murmuring sound, 
Midst the pale crowds, that almost seem 
Phantoms of some tumultuous dream. 
Quick is each step, and wild each mien, 
Portentous of some awful scene. 
Bride of Crescentius ! as the throng 
Bore thee with whelming force along, 



16 WIDOW OF CRESCENT1US. 

How did thine anxious heart beat high, 
Till rose suspense to agony! 
Too brief suspense, that soon shall close, 
And leave thy heart to deeper woes. 

Who midst yon guarded precinct stands, 
With fearless mien, but fetter'd hands i 
The ministers of death are nigh, 
Yet a calm grandeur lights his eye ; 
And in his glance there lives a mind, 
Which was not form'd for chains to bind, 
But cast in such heroic mould 
As theirs, th' ascendant ones of old. 
Crescentius ! freedom's daring son, 
Is this the guerdon thou hast won ? 
O worthy to have lived and died 
In the bright days of Latium's pride ! 
Thus must the beam of glory close 
O'er the seven hills again that rose, 



Widow of crescentius. 17 

When at thy voice, to burst the yoke, 

The soul of Rome indignant woke ? 

Vain dream ! the sacred shields are gone, 8 

Sunk is the crowning city's throne : 9 

Th' illusions, that around her cast 

Their guardian spells, have long been past . 1o 

Thy life hath been a shot-star's ray. 

Shed o'er her midnight of decay ; 

Thy death at freedom's ruin'd shrirte 

Must rivet every chain but thine. 

Calm is his aspect, and his eye 
Now fix'd upon the deep-blue sky, 
Now on those wrecks of ages fled, 
Around in desolation spread ; 
Arch, temple, column, worn and grey, 
Recording triumphs pass'd away j 
Works of the mighty and the free, 
Whose steps on earth no more shall be, 

c 



18 WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

Though their bright course hath left a trace 
Nor years nor sorrows can efface. 

Why changes now the patriot's mien, 

Erewhile so loftily serene ? 

Thus can approaching death control 

The might of that commanding soul ? 

No ! Heard ye not that thrilling cry 

Which told of bitterest agony ? 

He heard it, and, at once subdued, 

Hath sunk the hero's fortitude. 

He heard it, and his heart too well 

Whence rose that voice of woe can tell ; 

And midst the gazing throngs around 

One well-known form his glance hath found ; 

One fondly loving and beloved, 

In grief, in peril, faithful proved. 

Yes, in the wildness of despair, 

She, his devoted bride, is there. 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 19 

Pale, breathless, through the crowd she flies, 
The light of frenzy in her eyes : 
But ere her arms can clasp the form, 
Which life ere long must cease to warm 5 
Ere on his agonizing breast 
Her heart can heave, her head can rest ; 
Check'd in her course by ruthless hands, 
Mute, motionless, at once she stands ; 
With bloodless cheek and vacant glance, 
Frozen and fix'd in horror's trance ; 
Spell-bound, as every sense were fled, 
And thought o'erwhelm'd, and feeling dead. 
And the light waving of her hair, 
And veil, far floating on the air, 
Alone, in that dread moment, show 
She is no sculptured form of woe. 

The scene of grief and death is o'er, 
The patriot's heart shall throb no more : 



c2 



20 WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

But hers so vainly form'd to prove 
The pure devotedness of love, 
And draw from fond affection's eye 
All thought sublime, all feeling high ; 
When consciousness again shall wake, 
Hath now no refuge but to break. 
The spirit long inured to pain 
May smile at fate in calm disdain ; 
Survive its darkest hour, and rise 
In more majestic energies. 
But in the glow of vernal pride, 
If each warm hope at once hath died, 
Then sinks the mind, a blighted flower, 
Dead to the sunbeam and the shower ; 
A broken gem, whose inborn light 
Is scatter'd ne'er to re-unite. 



t\ 



PART II. 



Hast thou a scene that is not spread 

With records of thy glory fled ? 

A monument that doth not tell 

The tale of liberty's farewell ? 

Italia ! thou art but a grave 

Where flowers luxuriate o'er the brave, 

And nature gives her treasures birth 

O'er all that hath been great on earth. 

Yet smile thy heavens as once they smiled, 

When thou wert freedom's favour'd child : 

Tho' fane and tomb alike are low, 

Time hath not dimm'd thy sunbeam's glow ; 

And robed in that exulting ray, 

Thou seem'st to triumph o'er decay ; 



22 WIDOW OF CRESCENT1US. 

O yet, though by thy sorrows bent, 

In nature's pomp magnificent; 

What marvel if, when all was lost, 

Still on thy bright, enchanted coast, 

Though many an omen warn'd him then'ce, 

Linger'd the lord of eloquence ? H 

Still gazing on the lovely sky, 

Whose radiance woo'd him but to die : 

Like him xvho would not linger there, 

Where heaven, earth, ocean, all are fair ? 

Who midst thy glowing scenes could dwell, 

Nor bid awhile his griefs farewell ? 

Hath not thy pure and genial air 

Balm for all sadness but despair ? la 

No ! there are pangs, whose deep-worn trace 

Not all thy magic can efface ! 

Hearts, by unkindness wrung, may learn 

The world and all its gifts to spurn ; 

Time may steal on with silent tread, 

And dry the tear that mourns the dead ;' 



WIDOW OF CKESCENTIUS. *33 

May change fond love, subdue regret, 

And teach e'en vengeance to forget: 

But thou, Remorse ! there is no charm, 

Thy sting, avenger, to disarm ! 

Vain are bright suns and laughing skies. 

To sooth thy victim's agonies : 

The heart once made thy burning throne, 

Still, while it beats, is thine alone. 

In vain for Otho's joyless eye 

Smile the fair scenes of Italy, 

As through her landscapes' rich array 

Th' imperial pilgrim bends his way. 

Thy form, Crescentius, on his sight 

Rises when nature laughs in light, 

Glides round him at the midnight hour, 

Is present in his festal bower, 

With awful voice and frowning mien, 

By all but him unheard, unseen. 

Oh ! thus to shadows of the grave 

Be every tyrant still a slave ! 



24 WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

Where through Gargano's woody dells, 

O'er bending oaks the north-wind swells, l3 

A sainted hermit's lowly tomb 

Is bosom'd in umbrageous gloom, 

In shades that saw him live and die 

Beneath their waving canopy. 

'Twas his, as legends tell, to share 

The converse of immortals there ) 

Around that dweller of the wild 

There " bright appearances" have smiled, u 

And angel-wings, at eve, have been 

Gleaming the shadowy boughs between. 

And oft from that secluded bower 

Hath breathed, at midnight's calmer hour, 

A swell of viewless harps, a sound 

Of warbled anthems pealing round. 

Oh, none but voices of the sky 

Might wake that thrilling harmony, 

Whose tones, whose very echos made 

An Eden of the lonely shade ! 



WIDOW OF CRESCENT1US. 25 

Years have gone by ; the hermit sleeps 
Amidst Gargano's woods and steeps ; 
Ivy and flowers have half o'ergrown, 
And veil'd his low, sepulchral stone : 
Yet still the spot is holy, still 
Celestial footsteps haunt the hill ; 
And oft the awe-struck mountaineer 
Aerial vesper-hymns may hear, 
Around those forest-precincts float, 
Soft, solemn, clear, but still remote. 
Oft will Affliction breathe her plaint 
To that rude shrine's departed saint, 
And deem that spirits of the blest 
There shed sweet influence o'er her breast. 

And thither Otho now repairs, 

To sooth his soul with vows and prayers ; 

And if for him, on holy ground, 

The lost-one, Peace, may yet be found, 



20 WIDOW OF CRESCNTIUS. 

Midst rocks and forests, by the bed, 
Where calmly sleep the sainted dead, 
She dwells, remote from heedless eye, 
With Nature's lonely majesty. 

Vain, vain the search his troubled breast 

Nor vow nor penance lulls to rest j 

The weary pilgrimage is o'er, 

The hopes that cheer'd it are no more. 

Then sinks his soul, and day by day, 

Youth's buoyant energies decay. 

The light of health his eye hath flown, 

The glow that tinged his cheek is gone. 

Joyless as one on whom is laid 

Some baleful spell that bids him fade, 

Extending its mysterious power 

O'er every scene, o'er every hour ; 

E'en thus he withers ; and to him, 

Italia's brilliant skies are dim. 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 27 



<T 



He withers in that glorious clime 
Where Nature laughs in scorn of Time ; 
And suns, that shed on all below 
Their full and vivifying glow, 
From him alone their power withhold, 
And leave his heart in darkness cold. 
Earth blooms around him, heaven is fair, 
He only seems to perish there. 

Yet sometimes will a transient smile 
Play o'er his faded cheek awhile, 
When breathes his minstrel-boy a strain 
Of power to lull all earthly pain ; 
So wildly sweet, its notes might seem 
Th' ethereal music of a dream, 
A spirit's voice from worlds unknown, 
Deep thrilling power in every tone ! 
Sweet is that lay, and yet its flow 
Hath language only given to woe ; 



28 WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

And if at times its wakening swell 

Some tale of glory seems to tell, 

Soon the proud notes of triumph die, 

Lost in a dirge's harmony : 

Oh ! many a pang the heart hath proved, 

Hath deeply suffer' d, fondly loved, 

Ere the sad strain could catch from thence 

Such deep impassion'd eloquence !-^- 

Yes ! gaze on him, that minstrel boy 

He is no child of hope and joy ; 

Though few his years, yet have they been 

Such as leave traces on the mien, 

And o'er the roses of our prime 

Breathe other blights than those of time. 

Yet, seems his spirit wild and proud, 
By grief unsoften'd and unbow'd. 
Oh ! there are sorrows which impart 
A sternness foreign to the heart, 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 29 

And rushing with an earthquake's power, 
That makes a desert in an hour ; 
Rouse the dread passions in their course, 
As tempests wake the billows' force ! 
Tis sad, on youthful Guido's face, 
The stamp of woes like these to trace. 
Oh ! where can ruins awe mankind, 
Dark as the ruins of the mind ? 

His mien is lofty, but his gaze 
Too well a wandering soul betrays : 
His full dark eye at times is bright 
With strange and momentary light, 
Whose quick uncertain flashes throw 
O'er his pale cheek a hectic glow : 
And oft his features and his air 
A shade of troubled mystery wear, 
A glance of hurried wildness, fraught 
With some unfathomable thought. 



30 WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 

Whate'er that thought, still, unexpress'd, 

Dwells the sad secret in his breast ; 

The pride his haughty brow reveals, 

All other passion well conceals. 

He breathes each wounded feeling's tone, 

In music's eloquence alone ; 

His soul's deep voice is only pour'd 

Through his full song and swelling chord. 

He seeks no friend, but shuns the train 
Of courtiers with a proud disdain ; 
And, save when Otho bids his lay 
Its half unearthly power essay, 
In hall or bower the heart to thrill, 
His haunts are wild and lonely still. 
Far distant from the heedless throng, 
He roves old Tiber's banks along, 
Where Empire's desolate remains 
Lie scatter'd o'er the silent plains : 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 31 

Or, lingering midst each ruin'd shrine 
That strews the desert Palatine, 
With mournful, yet commanding mien, 
Like the sad genius of the scene, 
Entranced in awful thought appears 
To commune with departed years. 
Or at the dead of night, when Rome 
Seems of heroic shades the home ; 
When Tiber's murmuring voice recalls 
The mighty to their ancient halls ; 
When hush'd is every meaner sound, 
And the deep moonlight-calm around 
Leaves to the solemn scene alone 
The majesty of ages flown ; 
A pilgrim to each hero's tomb, 
He wanders through the sacred gloom ; 
And, midst those dwellings of decay, 
At times will breathe so sad a lay, 
So wild a grandeur in each tone, 
'Tis like a dirge for empires gone ! 



32 WiDOAV OF CRESCENTIUSf. 

Awake thy pealing harp again, 
But breathe a more exulting strain, 
Young Guido ! for awhile forgot 
Be the dark secrets of thy lot, 
And rouse th' inspiring soul of song 
To speed the banquet's hour along ! 
The feast is spread ; and music's call 
Is echoing through the royal hall, 
And banners wave, and trophies shine, 
O'er stately guests in glittering line ; 
And Otho seeks awhile to chase 
The thoughts he never can erase, 
And bid the voice, whose murmurs deep 
Rise like a spirit on his sleep, 
The still small voice of conscience die, 
Lost in the din of revelry. 

On his pale brow dejection lowers, 
But that shall yield to festal hours : 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 33 

A gloom is in his faded eye, 

But that from music's power shall fly : 

His wasted cheek is wan with care, 

But mirth shall spread fresh crimson there. 

Wake, Guido ! wake thy numbers high, 

Strike the bold chord exultingly ! 

And pour upon th' enraptured ear 

Such strains as warriors love to hear ! 

Let the rich mantling goblet flow, 

And banish all resembling woe ; 

And, if a thought intrude, of power 

To mar the bright convivial hour, 

Still must its influence lurk unseen, 

And cloud the heart but not the mien ! 

Away, vain dream ! on Otho's brow, 
Still darker lower the shadows now -, 
Changed are his features, now o'erspread 
With the cold paleness of the dead ; 

D 



24 WIDOW OF CUESCENTIUS. 

Now crimson'd with a hectic dye, 

The burning flush of agony ! 

His lip is quivering, and his breast 

Heaves with convulsive pangs oppress'd ; 

Now his dim eye seems fix'd and glazed, 

And now to heaven in anguish raised ; 

And as, with unavailing aid, 

Around him throng his guests dismay'd, 

He sinks while scarce his struggling breath 

Hath power to falter " This is death !" 

Then rush'd that haughty child of song, 

Dark Guido, through the awe-struck throng ; 

Fill'd with a strange delirious light, 

His kindling eye shone wildly bright, 

And on the sufferer's mien awhile 

Gazing with stern vindictive smile, 

A feverish glow of triumph dyed 

His burning cheek, while thus he cried : 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 35 

" Yes ! these are death-pangs on thy brow 
Is set the seal of vengeance now ! 
Oh ! well was mix'd the deadly draught, 
And long and deeply hast thou quaffd ; 
And bitter as thy pangs may be, 
They are but guerdons meet from me ! 
Yet, these are but a moment's throes, 
Howe'er intense, they soon shall close. 
Soon shalt thou yield thy fleeting breath, 
My life hath been a lingering death ; 
Since one dark hour of woe and crime, 
A blood-spot on the page of time ! 

" Deem'st thou my mind of reason void ? 

It is not phrensied, but destroy'd ! 

Aye ! view the wreck with shuddering thought, 

That work of ruin thou hast wrought ! 

" The secret of thy doom to tell, 
My name alone suffices well ! 

o c 2 



36 WIDOW OF CRESCEKTIUS. 

Stephania ! once a hero's bride ! 
Otho ! thou know'st the rest he died. 
Yes ! trusting to a monarch's word, 
The Roman fell, untried, unheard ! 
And thou, whose every pledge was vain, 
How couldst thou trust in aught again } 

" He died, and I was changed my soul, 
A lonely wanderer, spurn'd control. 
From peace, and light, and glory hurl'd, 
The outcast of a purer world, 
I saw each brighter hope o'erthrown, 
And lived for one dread task alone. 
The task is closed fulnll'd the vow, 
The hand of death is on thee now. 
Betrayer ! in thy turn betray'd, 
The debt of blood shall soon be paid ! 
Thine hour is come the time hath been 
My heart had shrunk from such a scene ; 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 37 

That feeling long is past my fate 
Hath made me stern as desolate. 

" Ye that around me shuddering stand, 
Ye chiefs and princes of the land ! 
Mourn ye a guilty monarch's doom ? 
Ye wept not o'er the patriot's tomb ! 
He sleeps unhonour'd yet be mine 
To share his low, neglected shrine. 
His soul with freedom finds a home, 
His grave is that of glory Rome ! 
Are not the great of old with her, 
That city of the sepulchre J 
Lead me to death ! and let me share 
The slumbers of the mighty there!" 

The day departs that fearful day 
Fades in calm loveliness away : 
From purple heavens its lingering beam 
Seems melting into Tiber's stream, 



38 WIDOW OF CRESCENTIU3. 

And softly tints each Roman hill 
With glowing light, as clear and still, 
As if, unstain'd by crime or woe, 
Its hours had pass'd in silent flow. 
The day sets calmly it hath been 
Mark'd with a strange and awful scene : 
One guilty bosom throbs no more, 
And Otho's pangs and life are o'er. 
And thou, ere yet another sun 
His burning race hath brightly run, 
Released from anguish by thy foes, 
Daughter of Rome ! shalt find repose. 
Yes ! on thy country's lovely sky 
Fix yet once more thy parting eye ! 
A few short hours and all shall be 
The silent and the past for thee. 

Oh ! thus with tempests of a day 
We struggle, and we pass away, 



WIDOW OF CRESCENTIUS. 39 



Like the wild billows as they sweep, 
Leaving no vestige on the deep ! 
And o'er thy dark and lowly bed 
The sons of future days shall tread, 
The pangs, the conflicts, of thy lot, 
By them unknown, by thee forgot. 






NOTES. 



Note 1, page 5, line 10. 
O'er Hadrian's mouldering villa twine. 
" J'etais alle passer quelques jours seuls a. Tivoli. Je parcourus 
les environs, et surtout celles de la Villa Adriana. Surpris par la 
pluie au milieu de ma course, je me refugiai dans les Salles des 
Thermes voisins du Pe'cile (monumens de la villa), sous un figuier 
qui avait renverse le pau d'un mur en s'elevant. Dans un petit 
salon octogone, ouvert devant moi, une vigne vierge avait perce la 
voute de l'edifice, et son gros cep lisse, rouge, et tortueux, montait 
le long du mur comme un serpent. Autour de moi, a travers les 
arcades des mines, s'ouvraient des points de vue sur la Campagne 
Romaine. Des buissons de sureau remplissaient les salles desertes 
oil venaient se refugier quelques merles solitaires. Les fragmens 
de maconnerie 6taient tapissees de feuilles de scolopendre, dont 
la verdure satinee se dessinait comme un travail en mosa'ique sur 
la blancheur des marbres : ca et la de hauts cypres remplaj aient 
les colonnes torn bees dans ces palais de la Mort; l'acanthe 
sauvage rampait a leurs pieds, sur des debris, comme si la nature 



42 KOTES. 

s'etait plu ^ reproduire sur ces chefs d'oeuvre mutiles d'architecture, 
l'oruement de leur beaute passee." Chateaubriand, Souvenirs 
d'ltalie. 

Note 2, page 6, line 10. 

Of each imperial monument t 

The gardens and buildings of Hadrian's villa were copies of the 

most celebrated scenes and edifices in his dominions; the Lycaeum, 

the Academia, the Prytaneum of Athens, the Temple of Serapis at 

Alexandria, the Vale of Tempe, &c. 

Note 3, page 7, lines 13 and 14. 
Sunk is thy palace, but thy tomb, 
Hadrian ! hath shared a prouder doom. 
The mausoleum of Hadrian, uow the castle of St. Angelo, was 
first converted into a citadel by Belisarius, in his successful defence 
of Rome against the Goths. " The lover of the arts," says Gibbon, 
" must read with a sigh that the works of Praxiteles and Lysippus 
were torn from their lofty pedestals, and hurled into the ditch on 
the heads of the besiegers." He adds, in a note, that the cele- 
brated sleeping Faun of the Barberini palace was found, in a 
mutilated state, when the ditch of St. Angelo was cleansed under 
Urban VIII. In the middle ages, the moles Hadriani was made 
a permanent fortress by the Roman government, and bastions, 
outworks, &c. were added to the original edifice, which had been 



NOTES. 43 

stripped of its marble covering, its Corinthian pillars, and the 
brazen cone which crowned its summit. 

Note 4, page 8, lines 3 and 4. 

Have found, like glory's self, a grave 
In time's abyss, or Tiber's wave. 
" Les plus beaux monumens des arts, les plus admirables statues 
ont etes jetees dans le Tibre, et sont cachees sous ses flots. Qui 
sait si, pour les chercher, on ne le detournera pas un jour de son lit ? 
Mais quand on songe que les chef d'ceuvres du geuie humain sont 
peut-etre la devant nous, et qu'un ceil plus pedant les verrait a 
travers les ondes, l'on eprouve je ne sais quelle emotion qui renait 
a Rome sans cesse sous diverses formes, et fait trouver une societe 
pour la pensee dans les objets physiques, muets partout ailleurs." 
Mad. de Stael. 

Note 5, page 9, lines 3 and 4. 

There closed De Brescia's mission high; 

From thence the patriot came to die. 

Arnold de Brescia, the undaunted and eloquent champion of 

Roman liberty, after unremitting efforts to restore the ancient 

constitution of the republic, was put to death in the year 1155 by 

Adrian IV. This event is thus described by Sismondi, Histoire 

des Republiques ltaliennes, Vol. II. pages 68 and 69. " Le 

prefect demeura dans le chateau Saint Ange avec son prisonnier ; 

il le fit transporter un matin sur la place destinee aux executions, 



44 NOTES. 

devant la porte du peuple. Arnaud de Brescia, eleve sur un 
bucher, fut attache a un poteau, en face du Corso. II pouvoit 
mesurer des yeux les trois longues rues qui aboutissoient devant 
son echafaud ; elles font presqu* une moitie de Rome. C'est la 
qu'habitoient les hommes qu'il avoit si souvent appeles a la liberte. 
Us reposoient encore en paix, ignorant le danger de leur legis- 
lateur. Le tumulte de l'execution et la flamme du bucher reveil- 
lerent les Romains; ils s'armerent, ils accoururent, mais trop 
tard; et les cohortes du pape repousserent, avec leurs lances, 
ceux qui, n'ayant pu sauver Arnaud, vouloient du moins recueillir 
ses cendres comme de precieuses reliques." 

Note 6, page 9, line 6. 
Spoke with the voice of ages past. 
" Posterity will compare the virtues and failings of this extra- 
ordinary man ; but in a long period of anarchy and servitude, 
the name of Rienzi has often been celebrated as the deliverer of his 
country, and the last of the Roman patriots." Gibbon's Decline 
and Fall, <fc. vol. xii. page 362. 

Note 7, page 9, line 20. 

Couldstgaze on Rome yet not despair! 

u Le consul Terentius Varron avoit fui honteusement jusqu'a 

Venouse : cet homme de la plus basse naissance, n'avoit ete eleve 

au consulat que pour mortifier la noblesse : mais le se'nat ne voulut 

pas jouir de ce malheureux triomphe ; il vit combien il etoit 



NOTES. 45 

necessaire qu'il s'attirat dans cette occasion la confiance du pcuple, 
il alia au-devant Varron, et le remercia de Ce qu'il n'avoit pas 
dise$p6r de la republique." Montesquieu's Grandeur et Decadence 
des Romains. 

Note 8, page 17, line 3. 
Vain dream / the sacred shields are gone. 
Of the sacred bucklers, or ancilia ofyRome, which were kept in 
the temple of Mars, Plutarch gives the following account. " In 
the eighth year of Numa's reign a pestilence prevailed in Italy ; 
Rome also felt its ravages. While the people were greatly de- 
jected, we are told that a brazen buckler fell from heaven into the 
hands of Numa. Of this he gave a very wonderful account, 
received from Egeria and the Muses : that the buckler was sent 
down for the preservation of the city, and should be kept with great 
care : that eleven others should be made as like it as possible in 
size and fashion, in order that if any person were disposed to steal 
it, he might not be able to distinguish that which fell from heaven 
from the rest. He further declared, that the place, and the 
meadows about it, where he frequently conversed with the Muses, 
should be consecrated to those divinities ; and that the spring 
which watered the ground should be sacred to the use of the Vestal 
Virgins, daily to sprinkle and purify their temple. The im- 
mediate cessation of the pestilence is said to have confirmed the 
truth of this account." Life of Numa. 



46 



Note 9, page 1 7, line 4. 
Sunk is the crowning city's throne. 
" Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, 
whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable 
of the earth ?" Isaiah, chap. 23. 

Note 10, page 17, line 6. 
Their guardian, spells, have long been past. 
" Un melange bizarre de grandeur d'ame, et de foiblesse 
entroit des cette epoque, (1' onzieme siecle) dans le caractere des 
Romains. Un mouvement genereux vers les grandes choses 
faisoit place tout-a-coup a l'abattement; ils passoient de la li- 
berte la plus orageuse, a la servitude la plus avilissante. On 
auroit dit que les ruines et les portiques deserts de la ca- 
pitale du monde, entretenoient ses habitans dans le sentiment 
de leur impuissance; au milieu de ces monumens de leur do- 
mination passee, les citoyens eprouvoient d'une maniere trop 
dccourageante leur propre nullite. Le nom des Romains qu'ils 
portoient ranimoit frequemment leur enthousiasme, comme il le 
ranime encore aujourd'hui ; mais bientot la vue de Rome, du 
forum desert, des sept collines de nouveau rendues au paturage 
des troupeaux, des temples d^soles, des monumens tombant en 
mine, les rameuoit a sentir qu'ils n'etoient plus les Romains 
d'autrefois." Sismondi, Histoire des liipubliques ltaliennes, vol. 1 . 
p. 172. 

Note 11, page 22, line 6. 
Linger 'd the lord of eloquence f 
" As for Cicero, he was carried to Astyra, where, finding a 



47 



vessel, he immediately went on board, and coasted along to 
Circffium with a favourable wind. The pilots were preparing 
immediately to sail from thence, but whether it was that he feared 
the sea, or had not yet given up all his hopes in Caesar, he dis- 
embarked, and travelled a hundred furlongs on foot, as if Rome 
had been the place of his destination. Repenting, however, 
afterwards, he left that road, and made again for the sea. He 
passed the night in the most perplexing and horrid thoughts; in- 
somuch, that he was sometimes inclined to go privately into 
Caesar's house and stab himself upon the altar of his domestic 
gods, to bring the divine vengeance upon his betrayer. But he 
was deterred from this by the fear of torture. Other alternatives, 
equally distressful, presented themselves. At last, he put him- 
self in the hands of his servants, and ordered them to carry him 
by sea to Cajeta, where he had a delightful retreat in the summer, 
when the Etesian winds set in. There was a temple of Apollo on 
that coast, from which a flight of crows came with great noise 
towards Cicero's vessel as it was making land. They perched on 
both sides the sail-yard, where some sat croaking, and others 
pecking the ends of the ropes. All looked upon this as an ill 
omen; yet Cicero went on shore, and, entering his house, lay 
down to repose himself. In the mean time a number of the 
crows settled in the chamber-window, and croaked in the 
most doleful manner. One of them even entered it, and alighting 
on the bed, attempted, with its beak, to draw off the clothes with 
which he had covered - his face. On sight of this, the servants 
began to reproach themselves. ' Shall we,' said they, ' remain 



48 NOTES. 



to be spectators of our master's murder ? Shall we not protect 
liim, so innocent and so great a sufferer as he is, when the brute 
creatures give him marks of their care and attention?' Then 
partly by entreaty, partly by force, they got him into his litter, 
and carried him towards the sea." Plutarch. Life of Cicero, 

Note 1 2, page 22, line 14. 
Balm for all sadness but despair? 
" Now purer air 
Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires 
Vernal delight and joy, able to drive 
All sadness but despair." Milton. 

Note 13, page 24, line 2. 
O'er bending oaks the north-wind swells. 
Mount Gargano. " This ridge of mountains forms a very large 
promontory advancing into the Adriatic, and separated from the 
Apennines on the west by the plains of Lucera and San Severo. 
We took a ride into the heart of the mountains through shady 
dells and noble woods, which brought to our minds the venerable 
groves, that in ancient times bent with the loud winds sweeping 
along the rugged sides of Garganus. 

' Aquilonibus 
Querceta Gargani laborant 
Et foliis viduantur orni.' Horace. 

" There is still a respectable forest of evergreen and common 



NOTES. 49 



oak, pine, hornbeam, chesnut, and manna-ish. The sheltered 
valleys are industriously cultivated, and seem to be blest with 
luxuriant vegetation." Swinburne's Travels. 

Note 14, page 24, line 10. 
There " bright appearances" have smiled. 
" In yonder nether world where shall I seek 
His bright appearances, or footstep trace?" Milton. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 



Le Maure ne se venge pas parce que sa colere dure encore, mais 
parce que la vengeance seule peut ecarter de sa tete le poids 
d'infamie dont il est accable. II se venge, parce qu'a ses yeux 
il n'y a qu'une ame basse qui puisse pardonner les affronts, ct 
il nourrit sa rancune, parce que s'il la sentoit s'eteindre, il 
croiroit avec elle, avoir perdu une vertu. 

SlSMONDI. 



E 1 



The- events with which the following tale is inter- 
woven, are related in the " Historia de las 
Guerras civiles de Granada." They occurred 
in the reign of Abo Abdeli or Abdali, the last 
Moorish king of that city, called by the Spaniards 
El Rey Chico. The conquest of Granada, by 
Ferdinand and Isabella, is said, by some histo- 
rians, to have been greatly facilitated by the 
Abencerrages, whose defection was the result 
of the repeated injuries they had received from 
the king, at the instigation of the Zegris. One 
of the most beautiful halls of the Alhambra is 
pointed out as the scene where so many of the 
former celebrated tribe were massacred ; and it 
still retains their name, being called the " Sala 
de los Abencerrages." Many of the most inter- 
esting old Spanish ballads relate to the events 
of this chivalrous and romantic period. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 



LONELY and still are now thy marble halls, 
Thou fair Alhambra ! there the feast is o'er ; 

And with the murmur of thy fountain-falls, 
Blend the wild tones of minstrelsy no more. 

Hush'd are the voices, that in years gone by, 

Have mourn' d, exulted, menaced, through thy 
towers ; 

Within thy pillar'd courts the grass waves high, 
And all uncultured bloom thy fairy bowers. 

Unheeded there the flowering myrtle blows, 
Through tall arcades unmark'd the sunbeam smiles, 

And many a tint of soften' d brilliance throws 
O'er fretted walls, and shining peristyles. 



56 ' THE ABENCERRAGE. 

And well might Fancy deem thy fabrics lone, 

So vast, so silent, and so wildly fair, 
Some charm'd abode of Beings all unknown, 

Powerful and viewless, children of the air. 

For there no footstep treads th' enchanted ground, 
There not a sound the deep repose pervades, 

Save winds and founts, diffusing freshness round, 
Through the light domes and graceful colonnades. 

Far other tones have swell'd those courts along, 
In days romance yet fondly loves to trace 5 

The clash of arms, the voice of choral song, 
The revels, combats, of a vanish'd race. 

And yet awhile, at Fancy's potent call, 

Shall rise that race, the chivalrous, the bold ! 

Peopling once more each fair, forsaken hall, 

With stately forms, the knights and chiefs of old. 



THE ABENCEKRAGE. 5/ 

The sun declines upon Nevada's height, 
There dwells a mellow'd flush of rosy light ; 
Each soaring pinnacle of mountain snow, 
Smiles in the richness of that parting glow, 
And Darro's wave reflects each passing dye, 
That melts and mingles in th' empurpled sky. 
Fragrance, exhaled from rose and citron bower, 
Blends with the dewy freshness of the hour : 
Hush'd are the winds, and Nature seems to sleep 
In light and stillness ; wood, and tower, and steep, 
Are dyed with tints of glory, only given 
To the rich evening of a southern heaven ; 
Tints of the sun, whose bright farewell is fraught 
With all that art hath dreamt, but never caught. 
Yes, Nature sleeps ; but not with her at rest 
The fiery passions of the human breast. 
Hark! from th' Alhambra's towers what stormy 

sound, 
Each moment deepening, wildly swells around ? 



58 THE ABENCEKRAGE. 

Those are no tumults of a festal throng, 
Not the light zambra, ' nor the choral song : 
The combat rages 'tis the shout of war, 
'Tis the loud clash of shield and scymitar. 
Within the hall of Lions, 2 where the rays 
Of eve, yet lingering, on the fountain blaze ; 
There, girt and guarded by his Zegri bands, 
And stern in wrath, the Moorish monarch stands ; 
There the strife centres swords around him wave ; 
There bleed the fallen, there contend the brave, 
While echoing domes return the battle-cry, 
" Revenge and freedom ! let the tyrant die !" 
And onward rushing, and prevailing still, 
Court, hall, and tower, the fierce avengers fill. 

But first and bravest of that gallant train, 
Where foes are mightiest, charging ne'er in vain ; 
In his red hand the sabre glancing bright, 
His dark eye flashing with a fiercer light, 



THE ABENCEURAGE. 59 

Ardent, untired, scarce conscious that he bleeds, 
His Aben-Zurrahs 3 there young Hamet leads j 
Wliile swells his voice that wild acclaim on high, 
" Revenge and freedom ! let the tyrant die I" 

Yes, trace the footsteps of the warrior's wrath, 

By helm and corslet shatter'd in his path ; 

And by the thickest harvest of the slain, 

And by the marble's deepest crimson stain : 

Search through the serried fight, where loudest cries 

From triumph, anguish, or despair arise j 

And brightest where the shivering, falchions glare, 

And where the ground is reddest he is there. 

Yes, that young arm, amidst the Zegri host, 

Hath well avenged a sire, a brother, lost. 

They perish' d not as heroes should have died, 

On the red field, in victory's hour of pride, 

In all the glow and sunshine of their fame, 

And proudly smiling as the death-pang came : 



60 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

Oh ! had they thus expired, a warrior's tear 
Had flow'd, almost in triumph, o'er their bier. 
For thus alone the brave should weep for those, 
Who brightly pass in glory to repose. 
Not such their fate a tyrant's stern command, 
Doom'd them to fall by some ignoble hand, 
As, with the flower of all their high-born race, 
Summon' d, Abdallah's royal feast to grace, 
Fearless in heart, no dream of danger nigh, 
They sought the banquet's gilded hall to die. 
Betray'd, unarm'd, they fell the fountain wave 
Flow'd crimson with the life-blood of the brave, 
Till far the fearful tidings of their fate 
Through the wide city rung from gate to gate, 
And of that lineage each surviving son, 
Rush'd to the scene where vengeance might be won. 

For this young Hamet mingles in the strife. 
Leader of battle, prodigal of life, 



THE ABENCEHRAGE. 61 

Urging his followers, till their foes beset 
Stand faint and breathless, but undaunted yet. 
Brave Aben-Zurrahs, on ! one effort more, 
Yours is the triumph, and the conflict o'er. 

But lo ! descending o'er the darken'd hall, 
The twilight-shadows fast and deeply fall, 
Nor yet the strife hath ceased though scarce they 

know, 
Through that thick gloom, the brother from the foe j 
Till the moon rises with her cloudless ray, 
The peaceful moon, and gives them light to slay. 

Where lurks Abdallah ? 'midst his yielding train, 
They seek the guilty monarch, but in vain. 
He lies not number'd with the valiant dead, 
His champions round him have not vainly bled ; 
But when the twilight spread her shadowy veil, 
And his last warriors found each effort fail, 



62 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

In wild despair he fled a trusted few, 
Kindred in crime, are still in danger true ; 
And o'er the scene of many a martial deed, 
The Vega's 4 green expanse, his flying footsteps lead. 
He passed th' Alhambra's calm and lovely bowers, 
Where slept the glistening leaves and folded flowers 
In dew and starlight there from grot and cave, 
Gush'd, in wild music, many a sparkling wave ; 
There, on each breeze, the breath of fragrance rose, 
And all was freshness, beauty, and repose. 

But thou, dark monarch ! in thy bosom reign 
Storms that, once roused, shall never sleep again. 
Oh ! vainly bright is Nature in the course 
Of him who flies from terror or remorse ! 
A spell is round him which obscures her bloom, 
And dims her skies with shadows of the tomb ; 
There smiles no Paradise on earth so fair, 
But guilt will raise avenging phantoms there. 



THE ABENCERRACE. 63 

Abdallah heeds not, though the light gale roves 

Fraught with rich odour, stolen from orange-groves, 

Hears not the sounds from wood and brook that rise, 

Wild notes of Nature's vesper-melodies ; 

Marks not, how lovely, on the mountain's head, 

Moonlight and snow their mingling lustre spread ; 

But urges onward, till his weary band, 

Worn with their toil, a moment's pause demand. 

He stops, and turning, on Granada's fanes 

In silence gazing, fix'd awhile remains ; 

In stern, deep silence o'er his feverish brow, 

And burning cheek, pure breezes freshly blow, 

But waft, in fitful murmurs, from afar, 

Sounds, indistinctly fearful, as of war. 

What meteor bursts, with sudden blaze, on high, 

O'er the blue clearness of the starry sky ? 

Awful it rises, like some Genie-form, 

Seen 'midst the redness of the desert storm,* 

Magnificently dread above, below, 

Spreads the wild splendour of its deepening glow. 



64 THE ABENCERRAOE. 

Lo ! from th' Alhambra's towers the vivid glare 
Streams through the still transparence of the air, 
Avenging crowds have lit the mighty pyre, 
Which feeds that waving pyramid of fire j 
And dome and minaret, river, wood, and height, 
From dim perspective start to ruddy light. 

Oh heaven ! the anguish of Abdallah's soul, 

The rage, though fruitless, yet beyond control ! 

Yet must he cease to gaze, and raving fly, 

For life such life as makes it bliss to die ! 

On yon green height, the mosque, but half reveal'd 

Through cypress-groves, a safe retreat may yield. 

Thither his steps are bent yet oft he turns, 

Watching that fearful beacon as it burns. 

But paler grow the sinking flames at last, 

Flickering they fade, their crimson light is past, 

And spiry vapours, rising o'er the scene, 

Mark where the terrors of their wrath have been. 



THE AISENCERRAGE. 65 

And now his feet have reach'd that lonely pile, 
Where grief and terror may repose awhile ; 
Embower'd it stands, 'midst wood and cliff on high, 
Through the gray rocks a torrent sparkling nigh ; 
He hails the scene where every care should cease, 
And all except the heart he brings is peace. 

There is deep stillness in those halls of state, 
Where the loud cries of conflict rung so late ; 
Stillness like that, when fierce the Kamsin's blast 
Hath o'er tlJe dwellings of the desert pass'd. 6 
Fearful the calm nor voice, nor step, nor breath, 
Disturbs that scene of beauty and of death : 
Those vaulted roofs re-echo not a sound, 
Save the wild gush of waters murmuring round, 
In ceaseless melodies of plaintive tone, 
Through chambers peopled by the dead alone. 
O'er the mosaic floors, with carnage red, 
Breastplate, and shield, and cloven helm are spread 



66 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

In mingled fragments glittering to the light 
Of yon still moon, whose rays, yet softly bright, 
Their streaming lustre tremulously shed, 
And smile, in placid beauty, o'er the dead : 
O'er features, where the fiery spirit's trace, 
E'en death itself is powerless to efface, 
O'er those, who flush'd with ardent youth, awoke, 
When glowing morn in bloom and radiance broke, 
Nor dreamt how near the dark and frozen sleep, 
Which hears not Glory call, nor Anguish weep, 
In the low silent house, the narrow spot, 
Home of forgetfulness and soon forgot. 

But slowly fade the stars the night is o'er 
Morn beams on those who hail her light no more ; 
Slumberers who ne'er shall wake on earth again, 
Mourners, who call the loved, the lost, in vain. 
Yet smiles the day oh ! not for mortal tear 
Doth nature deviate from her calm career, 



THF. ABENCERRAGE. Cf 

Nor is the earth less laughing or less fair, 
Though breaking hearts her gladness may not share. 
O'er the cold urn the beam of summer glows, 
O'er fields of blood the zephyr freshly blows ; 
Bright shines the sun, though all be dark below, 
And skies arch cloudless o'er a world of woe, 
And flowers renew'd in spring's green pathway bloom, 
Alike to grace the banquet and the tomb. 

Within Granada's walls the funeral-rite 
Attends that day of loveliness and light ; 
And many a chief, with dirges and with tears, 
Is gathered to the brave of other years : 
And Hamet, as beneath the cypress-shade 
His martyr'd "brother and his sire are laid, 
Feels every deep resolve, and burning thought 
Of ampler vengeance, e'en to passion wrought ; 
Yet is the hour afar and he must brood 
O'er those dark dreams awhile in solitude. 



v2 



68 THE ABENCKRRAGE. 

Tumult and rage are hush'd another day 
In still solemnity hath pass'd away, 
In that deep slumber of exhausted wrath, 
The calm that follows in the tempest's path. 

And now Abdallah leaves yon peaceful fane, 
His ravaged city traversing again. 
No sound of gladness his approach precedes, 
No splendid pageant the procession leads, 
Where'er he moves the silent streets along, P 
Broods a stern quiet o'er the sullen throng ; 
No voice is heard but in each alter'd eye, 
Once brightly beaming when his steps were nigh, 
And in each look of those, whose love hath fled 
From all on earth to slumber with the dead, 
Those, by his guilt made desolate, and thrown 
On the bleak wilderness of life alone. 
In youth's quick glance of scarce-dissembled rage, 
And the pale mien of calmly-mournful age, 



THE ABKNCEKRAGF.. 69 

May well be read a dark and fearful tale 
Of thought that ill th' indignant heart can veil, 
And passion, like the hush'd volcano's power, 
That waits in stillness its appointed hour. 

No more the clarion, from Granada's walls, 

Heard o'er the Vega, to the tourney calls ; 

No more her graceful daughters, throned on high, 

Bend o'er the lists the darkly-radiant eye ; 

Silence and gloom her palaces o'erspread, 

And song is hush'd, and pageantry is fled. 

Weep, fated city ! o'er thy heroes weep 

Low in the dust the sons of glory sleep ! 

Furl'd are their banners in the lonely hall, 

Their trophied shields hang mouldering on the wall, 

Wildly their chargers range the pastures o'er, 

Their voice in battle shall be heard no more ; 

And they, who still thy tyrant's wrath survive, 

Whom he hath wrong'd too deeply to forgive, 



70 THE ABENCEnRAGE. 

That race, of lineage high, of worth approved, 
The chivalrous, the princely, the beloved $ 
Thine Aben-Zurrahs they no more shall wield 
In thy proud cause the conquering lance and shield : 
Condemned to bid the cherish'd scenes farewell 
Where the loved ashes of their fathers dwell, 
And far o'er foreign plains, as exiles roam, 
Their land the desert, and the grave their home. 
Yet there is one shall see that race depart, 
In deep, though silent, agony of heart j 
One whose dark fate must be to mourn alone, 
Unseen her sorrows, and their cause unknown, 
And veil her heart, and teach her cheek to wear 
That smile, in which the spirit hath no share ; 
Like the bright beams that shed their fruitless glow 
O'er the cold solitude of Alpine snow. 

Soft, fresh, and silent, is the midnight hour, 
And the young Zayda seeks her lortely bower ; 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 71 

That Zegri maid, within whose gentle mind, 
One name is deeply, secretly enshrined. 
That name in vain stern Reason would efface, 
Hamet ! 'tis thine, thou foe to all her race ! 

And yet not hers in bitterness to prove 

The sleepless pangs of unrequited love ; 

Pangs, which the rose of wasted youth consume, 

And make the heart of all delight the tomb, 

Check the free spirit in its eagle-flight, 

And the spring-morn of early genius blight ; 

Not such her grief though now she wakes to weep, 

While tearless eyes enjoy the honey-dews of sleep. 7 

A step treads lightly through the citron-shade, 
Lightly, but by the rustling leaves betray'd 
Doth her young hero seek that well-known spot, 
Scene of past hours that ne'er may be forgot ? 
'Tis he but changed that eye, whose glance of fire 
Could, like a sunbeam, hope and joy inspire, 



72 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

As, luminous with youth, with ardor fraught, 

It spoke of glory to the inmost thought ; 

Thence the bright spirit's eloquence hath fled, 

And in its wild expression may be read 

Stern thoughts and fierce resolves now veil'd in 

shade, 
And now in characters of fire pourtray'd. 
Changed e'en his voice as thus its mournful tone 
Wakes in her heart each feeling of his own. 

" Zayda, my doom is fix'd another day, 

And the wrong'd exile shall be far away ; 

Far from the scenes where still his heart must be, 

His home of youth, and, more than all from thee. 

Oh ! what a cloud hath gather'd o'er my lot, 

Since last we met on this fair tranquil spot ! 

Lovely as then, the soft and silent hour, 

And not a rose hath faded from thy bower ; 

But I my hopes the tempest hath o'erthrown, 

And changed my heart, to all but thee alone. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 73 

Farewell, high thoughts ! inspiring hopes of praise, 

Heroic visions of my early days ! 

In me the glories of my race must end, 

The exile hath no country to defend ! 

E'en in life's morn, my dreams of pride are o'er, 

Youth's buoyant spirit wakes for me no more, 

And one wild feeling in my alter'd breast 

Broods darkly o'er the ruins of the rest. 

Yet fear not thou to thee, in good or ill, 

The heart, so sternly tried, is faithful still ! 

But when my steps are distant, and my name 

Thou hear'st no longer in the song of fame, 

"When Time steals on, in silence to efface 

Of early love each pure and sacred trace, 

Causing our sorrows and our hopes to seem 

But as the moonlight pictures of a dream, 

Still shall thy soul be with me, in the truth 

And all the fervor of affection's youth ? 

If such thy love, one beam of heaven shall play 

In lonely beauty, o'er thy wanderer's way." 



74 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

" Ask not, if such my love ! oh ! trust the mind 
To grief so long, so silently resign'd ! 
Let the light spirit, ne'er by sorrow taught 
The pure and lofty constancy of thought, 
Its fleeting trials eager to forget, 
Rise with elastic power o'er each regret ! 
Foster'd in tears, our young affection grew, 
And I have learn' d to suffer and be true. 
Deem not my love a frail, ephemeral flower, 
Nursed by soft sunshine and the balmy shower ; 
No ! 'tis the child of tempests, and defies, 
And meets unchanged, the anger of the skies ! 
Too well I feel, with grief's prophetic heart, 
That, ne'er to meet in happier days, we part. 
We part ! and e'en this agonizing hour, 
When love first feels his own o'erwhelming power, 
Shall soon to Memory's fix'd and tearful eye 
Seem almost happiness for thou wert nigh ! 
Yes ! when this heart in solitude shall bleed, 
As days to days all wearily succeed, 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 75 

When doom'd to weep in loneliness, 'twill be 
Almost like rapture to have wept with thee. 

" But thou, my Hamet, thou can'st yet bestow 
All that of joy my blighted lot can know. 
Oh ! be thou still the high-soul'd and the brave, 
To whom my first and fondest vows I gave, 
In thy proud fame's untarnish'd beauty still 
The lofty visions o/ my youth fulfil, 
So shall it soothe me, 'midst my heart's despair, 
To hold undimm'd one glorious image there !" 

" Zayda, my best-beloved ! my words too well, 
Too soon, thy bright illusions must dispel ; 
Yet must my soul to thee unveil'd be shown, 
And all its dreams and all its passions known. 
Thou shalt not be deceived for pure as heaven 
Is thy young love, in faith and fervor given. 
I said my heart was changed and would thy thought 
Explore the ruin by thy kindred wrought, 



76 THE ABENCEttUACE. 

In fancy trace the land whose towers and fanes, 
Crush'd by the earthquake, strew its ravaged plains, 
And such that heart where desolation's hand 
Hath blighted all that once was fair or grand ! 
But Vengeance, fix'd upon her burning throne, 
Sits 'midst the wreck in silence and alone, 
And I, in stern devotion at her shrine, 
Each softer feeling, but my love, resign. 
Yes ! they whose spirits all my thoughts control, 
Who hold dread converse with my thrilling soul ; 
They, the betray'd, the sacrificed, the brave, 
Who fill a blood-stain'd and untimely grave, . 
Must be avenged ! and pity and remorse, 
In that stern cause, are banish'd from my course. 
Zayda, thou tremblest and thy gentle breast 
Shrinks from the passions that destroy my rest ; 
Yet shall thy form, in many a stormy hour, 
Pass brightly o'er my soul with softening power, 
And oft recall' d, thy voice beguile my lot, 
Like some sweet lay, once heard, and ne'er forgot. 



THE AEEKCERRAGE. 77 

" But the night wanes the hours too swiftly fly, 
The bitter moment of farewell draws nigh, 
Yet, loved one ! weep not thus in joy or pain, 
Oh ! trust thy Hamet, we shall meet again ! 
Yes, we shall meet ! and haply smile at last 
On all the clouds and conflicts of the past. 
On that fair vision teach thy thoughts to dwell, 
Nor deem these mingling tears our last farewell !" 

Is the voice hush'd, whose loved, expressive tone 
Thrill'd to her heart, and doth she weep alone I 
Alone she weeps that hour of parting o'er 
When shall the pang it leaves be felt no more ? 
The gale breathes light, and fans her bosom fair, 
Showering the dewy rose-leaves o'er her hair 5 
But ne'er for her shall dwell reviving power, 
In balmy dew, soft breeze, or fragrant flower, 
To wake once more that calm, serene delight, 
The soul's young bloom, which passion's breath 
could blight ; 



78 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

The smiling stillness of life's morning hour, 
Ere yet the day-star burns in all his power. 

Meanwhile, through groves of deep luxuriant shade, 
In the rich foliage of the South array'd, 
Hamet, ere dawns the earliest blush of day, 
Bends to the vale of tombs his pensive way. 
Fair is that scene where palm and cypress wave 
On high o'er many an Aben-Zurrah's grave, 
Lonely and fair its fresh and glittering leaves, 
With the young myrtle there the laurel weaves, 
To canopy the dead nor wanting there 
Flowers to the turf, nor fragrance to the air, 
Nor wood-bird's note, nor fall of plaintive stream, 
Wild music, soothing to the mourners dream. 
There sleep the chiefs of old their combats o'er, 
The voice of glory thrills their hearts no more ; 
Unheard by them th' awakening clarion blows ; 
The sons of war at length in peace repose. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 79 

No martial note is in the gale that sighs, 

Where proud their trophied sepulchres arise, 

'Mid founts, and shades, and flowers of brightest 

bloom, 
As in his native vale some shepherd's tomb. 

There, where the trees their thickest foliage spread 
Dark o'er that silent valley of the dead, 
Where two fair pillars rise, embower'd and lone, 
Not yet with ivy clad, with moss o'ergrown, 
Young Hamet kneels while thus his vows are 

pour'd, 
The fearful vows that consecrate his sword. 
" Spirit of him, who first within my mind 
Each loftier aim, each nobler thought enshrined, 
And taught my steps the line of light to trace 
Left by the glorious fathers of my race, 
Hear thou my voice for thine is with me still, 
In every dream its tones my bosom thrill, 



80 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

In the deep calm of midnight they are near, 
'Midst busy throngs they vibrate on my ear, 
Still murmuring ' vengeance !' nor in vain the call. 
Few, few shall triumph in a hero's fall ! 
Cold as thine own to glory and to fame, 
Within my heart there lives one only aim, 
There, till th' oppressor for thy fate atone, 
Concentring every thought, it reigns alone. 
I will not weep revenge, not grief, must be, 
And blood, not tears, an offering meet for thee, 
But the dark hour of stern delight will come, 
And thou shalt triumph, warrior ! in thy tomb. 

" Thou, too, my brother ! thou art pass'd away, 
Without thy fame, in life's fair dawning day. 
Son of the brave ! of thee no trace will shine 
In the proud annals of thy lofty line, 
Nor shall thy deeds be deathless in the lays 
That hold communion with the after-days. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 81 

Yet by the wreaths thou might' st have nobly won, 
Had'st thou but lived till rose thy noontide sun, 
By glory lost, I swear, by hope betray'd, 
Thy fate shall amply, dearly, be repaid ; 
War with thy foes I deem a holy strife, 
And to avenge thy death, devote my life. 

" Hear ye my vows, O spirits of the slain ! 
Hear, and be with me on the battle-plain j 
At noon, at midnight, still around me bide, 
Rise on my dreams, and tell me how ye died !" 



END OF THE FIRST CANTO. 



G 



CANTO II. 



Oh ! ben provide il Cielo 



Ch' Uom per delitti mai lieto non sia. 

Alfieri. 



Fair land ! of chivalry the old domain, 
Land of the vine and olive, lovely Spain ! 
Though not for thee with classic shores to vie 
In charms that fix th' enthusiast's pensive eye ; 
Yet hast thou scenes of beauty, richly fraught 
With all that wakes the glow of lofty thought ; 
Fountains, and vales, and rocks, whose ancient name 
High deeds have raised to mingle with their fame. 
Those scenes are peaceful now : the citron blows, 
Wild spreads the myrtle, where the brave repose. 

g 2 



84 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

No sound of battle swells on Douro's shore, 
And banners wave on Ebro's banks no more. 
But who, unmoved, unawed, shall coldly tread 
Thy fields that sepulchre the mighty dead ? 
Blest be that soil ! where England's heroes share 
The grave of chiefs, for ages slumbering there ; 
Whose names are glorious in romantic lays, 
The wild, sweet chronicles of elder days, 
By goatherd lone, and rude serrano sung, 
Thy cypress dells, and vine-clad rocks among. 
How oft those rocks have echo'd to the tale 
Of knights who fell in Roncesvalles* vale; 
Of him, renown' d in old heroic lore, 
First of the brave, the gallant Campeador ; 
Of those, the famed in song, who proudly died, 
When * Rio Verde" roll'd a crimson tide ; 
Or that high name, by Garcilaso's might, 
On the green Vega won in single fight. 8 

Round fair Granada, deepening from afar, 
O'er that green Vega rose the din of war. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 85 

At morn or eve no more the sunbeams shone 
O'er a calm scene, in pastoral beauty lone ; 
On helm and corslet tremulous they glanced, 
On shield and spear in quivering lustre danced. 
Far as the sight by clear Xenil could rove, 
Tents rose around, and banners waved above, 
And steeds in gorgeous trappings, armour bright 
With gold, reflecting every tint of light, 
And many a floating plume, and blazon'd shield, 
Diffused romantic splendor o'er the field. 

There swell those sounds that bid the life-blood start 

Swift to the mantling cheek, and beating heart. 

The clang of echoing steel, the charger's neigh, 

The measured tread of hosts in war's array ; 

And oh ! that music, whose exulting breath 

Speaks but of glory on the road to death ; 

In whose wild voice there dwells inspiring power 

To wake the stormy joy of danger's hour 5 

To nerve the arm, the spirit to sustain, 

Rouse from despondence, and support in pain -, 



8<J THE ABENCERRAGE. 

And midst the deepening tumults of the strife, 
Teach every pulse to thrill with more than life. 

High o'er the camp, in many a broider'd fold, 
Floats to the wind a standard rich with gold : 
There, imaged on the cross, his form appears, 
Who drank for man the bitter cup of tears. 9 
His form, whose word recall'd the spirit fled, 
Now borne by hosts to guide them o'er the dead ! 
O'er yon fair walls to plant that cross on high, 
Spain hath sent forth her flower of chivalry. 
Fired with that ardor, which, in days of yore, 
To Syrian plains the bold crusaders bore j 
Elate with lofty hope, with martial zeal, 
They come, the gallant children of Castile ; 
The proud, the calmly dignified : and there 
Ebro's dark sons with haughty mien repair, 
And those who guide the fiery steed of war 
From yon rich province of the western star. l0 



THE ABENCERRAOE. 87 

But thou, conspicuous midst the glittering scene, 
Stern grandeur stamp'd upon thy princely mien ; 
Known by the foreign garb, the silvery vest, 
The snow-white charger, and the azure crest, ' ' 
Young Aben-Zurrah ! midst that host of foes, 
Why shines thy helm, thy Moorish lance ? Disclose ! 
Why rise the tents, where dwell thy kindred train, 
O son of Afric, midst the sons of Spain ? 
Hast thou with these thy nation's fall conspired, 
Apostate chief ! by hope of vengeance fired ? 
How art thou changed ! Still first in every fight, 
Hamet, the Moor ! Castile's devoted knight \ 
There dwells a fiery lustre in thine eye, 
But not the fight that shone in days gone by ; 
There is wild ardor in thy look and tone, 
But not the soul's expression once thine own, 
Nor aught like peace within. Yet who shall say 
What secret thoughts thine inmost heart may sway ? 
No eye but heaven's may pierce that curtain'd breast, 
Whose joys and griefs alike are unexprest. 



83 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

There hath been combat on the tented plain ; 
The Vega's turf is red with many a stain, 
And rent and trampled, banner, crest, and shield, 
Tell of a fierce and well-contested field ; 
But all is peaceful now the west is bright 
With the rich splendor of departing fight j 
Mulhacen's peak, half lost amidst the sky, 
Glows like a purple evening-cloud on high, 
And tints that mock the pencil's art o'erspread 
Th' eternal snow that crowns Veleta's head, la 
While the warm sunset o'er the landscape throws 
A solemn beauty, and a deep repose. 
Closed are the toils and tumults of the day, 
And Hamet wanders from the camp away, 
In silent musings rapt : the slaughter' d brave 
Lie thickly strewn by Darro's rippling wave. 
Soft fall the dews but other drops have dyed 
The scented shrubs that fringe the river side, 
Beneath whose shade, as ebbing life retired, 
The wounded sought a shelter, and expired. l3 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 89 

Lonely, and lost in thoughts of other days, 

By the bright windings of the stream he strays, 

Till more remote from battle's ravaged scene, 

All is repose, and solitude serene. 

There, 'neath an olive's ancient shade reclined, 

Whose rustling foliage waves in evening's wind, 

The harass'd warrior, yielding to the power, 

The mild sweet influence of the tranquil hour, 

Feels by degrees a long forgotten calm 

Shed o'er his troubled soul unwonted balm ; 

His wrongs, his woes, his dark and dubious lot, 

The past, the future, are awhile forgot ; 

And Hope, scarce own'd, yet stealing o'er his breast, 

Half dares to whisper, " Thou shalt yet be blest !" 

Such his vague musings but a plaintive sound 
Breaks on the deep and solemn stillness round j 
A low, half-stifled moan, that seems to rise 
From life and death's contending agonies. 



90 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

He turns : Who shares with him that lonely shade ? 

A youthful warrior on his death-bed laid. 

All rent and stain'd his broider'd Moorish vest, 

The corslet shatter'd on his bleeding breast ; 

In his cold hand the broken falchion strain'd, 

With life's last force convulsively retain'd ; 

His plumage soil'd with dust, with crimson dyed, 

And the red lance in fragments by his side ; 

He lies forsaken pillow' d on his shield, 

His helmet raised, his lineaments reveal'd. 

Pale is that quivering lip, and vanish'd now 

The light once throned on that commanding brow ; 

And o'er that fading eye, still upward cast, 

The shades of death are gathering dark and fast. 

Yet as yon rising moon her light serene 

Sheds the pale olive's waving boughs between, 

Too well can Hamet's conscious heart retrace, 

Though changed thus fearfully, that pallid face, 

Whose every feature to his soul conveys 

Some bitter thought of long departed days. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 91 

u Oh ! is it thus/' he cries, " we meet at last ? 
Friend of my soul, in years for ever past ! 
Hath fate but led me hither, to behold 
The last dread struggle, ere that heart is cold, 
Receive thy latest agonizing breath, 
And with vain pity soothe the pangs of death ? 
Yet let me bear thee hence while life remains, 
E'en though thus feebly circling through thy veins, 
Some healing balm thy sense may still revive, 
Hope is not lost, and Osmyn yet may live ! 
And blest were he, whose timely care should save 
A heart so noble, e'en from glory's grave." 

Roused by those accents, from his lowly bed, 

The dying warrior faintly lifts his head ; 

O'er Hamet's mien, with vague, uncertain gaze, 

His doubtful glance awhile bewilder' d strays j 

Till, by degrees, a smile of proud disdain 

Lights up those features late convulsed with pain; 



92 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

A quivering radiance flashes from his eye, 
That seems too pure, too full of soul, to die ; 
And the mind's grandeur, in its parting hour, 
Looks from that brow with more than wonted power. 

" Away!" he cries, in accents of command, 

And proudly waves his cold and trembling hand, 

" Apostate, hence ! my soul shall soon be free, 

E'en now it soars, disdaining aid from thee : 

'Tis not for thee to close the fading eyes 

Of him who faithful to his country dies ; 

Not for thy hand to raise the drooping head 

Of him who sinks to rest on glory's bed. 

Soon shall these pangs be closed, this conflict o'er, 

And worlds be mine where thou canst never soar : 

Be thine existence with a blighted name, 

Mine the bright death which seals a warrior's fame !" 

The glow hath vanish'd from his cheek his eye 
Hath lost that beam of parting energy ; 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 93 

Frozen and fix'd it seems his brow is chill ;' 
One struggle more, that noble heart is still. 
Departed warrior ! were thy mortal throes, 
Were thy last pangs, ere Nature found repose, 
More keen, more bitter, than th' envenomed dart, 
Thy dying words have left in Hamet's heart ? 
Thy pangs were transient j his shall sleep no more 
Till life's delirious dream itself is o'er ; 
But thou shalt rest in glory, and thy grave 
Be the pure altar of the patriot brave. 

Oh, what a change that little hour hath wrought 
In the high spirit, and unbending thought ! 
Yet, from himself each keen regret to hide, 
Still Hamet struggles with indignant pride ; 
While his soul rises, gathering all its force, 
To meet the fearful conflict with remorse. 

To thee, at length, whose artless love hath been 
His own, unchanged, through many a stormy scene ; 



94 THE AUENCERRAGE. 

Zayda ! to thee his heart for refuge flies ; 
Thou still art faithful to affection's ties. 
Yes ! let the world upbraid, let foes contemn, 
Thy gentle breast the tide will firmly stem ; 
And soon thy smile, and soft consoling voice, 
Shall bid his troubled soul again rejoice. 

Within Granada's walls are hearts and hands, 

Whose aid in secret Hamet yet commands ; 

Nor hard the task, at some propitious hour, 

To win his silent way to Zayda's bower, 

When night and peace are brooding o'er the world, 

When mute the clarions, and the banners furl'd. 

That hour is come and o'er the arms he bears 

A wandering fakir's garb the chieftain wears : 

Disguise that ill from piercing eye could hide 

The lofty port, and glance of martial pride ; 

But night befriends through paths obscure he pass'd, 

And hail'd the lone and lovely scene at last ; 



THE ABENCEURAOE. 95 

Young Zayda's chosen haunt, the fair alcove, 
The sparkling fountain, and the orange grove ; 
Calm in the moonlight smiles the still retreat, 
As form'd alone for happy hearts to meet. 
For happy hearts ? not such is hers, who there 
Bends o'er her lute, with dark, unbraided hair ; 
That maid of Zegri race, whose eye, whose mien, 
Tell that despair her bosom's guest hath been. 
So lost in thought she seems, the warrior's feet 
Unheard approach her solitary seat, 
Till his known accents every sense restore 
.*' My own loved Zayda ! do we meet once more ?" 

She starts, she turns-r-the lightning of surprise, 

Of sudden rapture, flashes from her eyes j 

But that is fleeting it is past and now 

Far other meaning darkens o'er her brow j 

Changed is her aspect, and her tone severe, 

" Hence, Aben-Zurrah ! death surrounds thee here !" 



96 THE ABENCERRACE. 

" Zayda ! what means that glance, unhke thine own ? 
What mean those words, and that unwonted tone ? 
I will not deem thee changed but in thy face, 
It is not joy, it is not love, I trace ! 
It was not thus in other days we met : 
Hath time, hath absence, taught thee to forget ? 
Oh ! speak once more these rising doubts dispel ; 
One smile of tenderness, and all is well !" 

" Not thus we met in other days ! oh no ! 
Thou wert not, warrior, then thy country's foe ! 
Those days are past we ne'er shall meet again 
With hearts all warmth, all confidence, as then. 
But thy dark soul no gentler feelings sway, 
Leader of hostile bands ! away, away ! 
On in thy path of triumph and of power, 
Nor pause to raise from earth a blighted flower." 

" And thou too changed ! thine early vow forgot ! 
This, this alone was wanting to my lot ! 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 97 

Exiled and scorn'd, of every tie bereft, 

Thy love, the desert's lonely fount, was left ; 

And thou, my soul's last hope, its lingering beam, 

Thou, the good angel of each brighter dream, 

Wert all the barrenness of life possest, 

To wake one soft affection in my breast ! 

That vision ended fate hath nought in store 

Of joy or sorrow e'er to touch me more. 

Go, Zegri maid ! to scenes of sunshine fly, 

From the stern pupil of adversity ! 

And now to hope, to confidence, adieu ! 

If thou art faithless, who shall e'er be true ? " 

" Hamet ! oh, wrong me not ! I too could speak 
Of sorrows trace them on my faded cheek, 
In the sunk eye, and in the wasted form, 
That tell the heart hath nursed a canker-worm ! 
But words were idle read my sufferings there, 
Where grief is stamp'd on all that once was fair. 

H 



98 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

Oh ! wert thou still what once I fondly deem'd, 
All that thy mien express'd, thy spirit seem'd, 
My love had been devotion till in death 
Thy name had trembled on my latest breath. 
But not the chief who leads a lawless band, 
To crush the altars of his native land ; 
Th' apostate son of heroes, whose disgrace 
Hath stain'd the trophies of a glorious race ; 
Not him I loved but one whose youthful name 
Was pure and radiant in unsullied fame. 
Hadst thou but died, ere yet dishonour's cloud 
O'er that young name had gather'd as a shroud, 
I then had mourn'd thee proudly and my grief 
In its own loftiness had found relief ; 
A noble sorrow, cherish'd to the last, 
When every meaner woe had long been past. 
Yes ! let Affection weep no common tear 
She sheds, when bending o'er a hero's bier. 
Let Nature mourn the dead a grief like this, 
To pangs that rend my bosom, had been bliss !" 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 99 

" High-minded maid ! the time admits not now 
To plead my cause, to vindicate my vow. 
That vow, too dread, too solemn to recall, 
Hath urged me onward, haply to my fall. 
Yet this believe no meaner aim inspires 
My soul, no dream of poor ambition fires. 
No ! every hope of power, of triumph, fled, 
Behold me but th' avenger of the dead ! 
One whose changed heart no tie, no kindred knows, 
And in thy love alone hath sought repose. 
Zayda ! wilt thou his stern accuser be ? 
False to his country, he is true to thee ! 
Oh, hear me yet ! if Hamet e'er was dear, 
By our first vows, our young affection, hear ! 
Soon must this fair and royal city fall, 
Soon shall the cross be planted on her wall ; 
Then who can tell what tides of blood may flow, 
While her fanes echo to the shrieks of woe ? 
Fly, fly with me, and let me bear thee far 
From horrors thronging in the path of war : 

h2 



100 THE ABENCERRA0E. 

Fly ! and repose in safety till the blast 
Hath made a desert in its course and past !" 

" Thou that wilt triumph when the hour is come, 
Hasten'd by thee, to seal thy country's doom, 
With thee from scenes of death shall Zayda fly 
To peace and safety ? Woman too can die ! 
And die exulting, though unknown to fame, 
In all the stainless beauty of her name ! 
Be mine unmurmuring, undismay'd, to share 
The fate my kindred and my sire must bear. 
And deem thou not my feeble heart shall fail, 
When the clouds gather, and the blasts assail ; 
Thou hast but known me ere the trying hour 
Call'd into life my spirit's latent power > 
But I have energies that idly slept, 
While withering o'er my silent woes I wept, 
And now, when hope and happiness are fled, 
My soul is firm for what remains to dread ? 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 101 

Who shall have power to suffer and to bear, 
If strength and courage dwell not with Despair ? 

" Hamet, farewell ! retrace thy path again, 
To join thy brethren on the tented plain. 
There wave and wood in mingling murmurs tell, 
How, in far other cause, thy fathers fell ! 
Yes ! on that soil hath Glory's footstep been, 
Names unforgotten consecrate the scene ! 
Dwell not the souls of heroes round thee there, 
Whose voices call thee in the whispering air ? 
Unheard, in vain, they call their fallen son 
Hath stain'd the name those mighty spirits won, 
And to the hatred of the brave and free 
Bequeath'd his own, through ages yet to be !" 

Still as she spoke, th' enthusiast's kindling eye 
Was lighted up with inborn majesty, 
While her fair form and youthful features caught 
All the proud grandeur of heroic thought, 



102 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

Severely beauteous 14 : awe-struck and amazed, 

In silent trance awhile the warrior gazed 

As on some lofty vision for she seem'd 

One all inspired each look with glory beam'd, 

While brightly bursting through its cloud of woes, 

Her soul at once in all its light arose. 

Oh ! ne'er had Hamet deem'd there dwelt enshrined 

In form so fragile that unconquer'd mind, 

And fix'd, as by some high enchantment, there, 

He stood till wonder yielded to despair. 

" The dream is vanish'd daughter of my foes ! 
Heft of each hope the lonely wanderer goes. 
Thy words have pierced his soul yet deem thou not 
Thou could' st be once adored, and e'er forgot ! 
O form'd for happier love ! heroic maid ! 
In grief sublime, in danger undismay'd, 
Farewell, and be thou blest ! all words were vain 
From him who ne'er may view that form again ; 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 103 

Him, whose sole thought, resembling bliss, must be, 
He hath been loved, once fondly loved, by thee !" 

And is the warrior gone ? doth Zayda hear 

His parting footstep, and without a tear ? 

Thou weep'st not, lofty maid ! yet who can tell 

What secret pangs within thy heart may dwell ? 

They feel not least, the firm, the high in soul, 

Who best each feeling's agony control. 

Yes ! we may judge the measure of the grief 

Which finds in Misery's eloquence relief ; 

But who shall pierce those depths of silent woe, 

Whence breathes no language, whence no tears may 

flow? 
The pangs that many a noble breast hath proved, 
Scorning itself that thus it could be moved ? 
He, He alone, the inmost heart who knows, 
Views all its weakness, pities all its throes, 
He who hath mercy when mankind contemn, 
Beholding anguish all unknown to them. 



104 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

Fair city ! thou, that 'midst thy stately fanes 
And gilded minarets, towering o'er the plains, 
In eastern grandeur proudly dost arise 
Beneath thy canopy of deep-blue skies, 
While streams that bear thee treasures in their wave,' b 
Thy citron-groves and myrtle-gardens lave ; 
Mourn ! for thy doom is fix'd the days of fear, 
Of chains, of wrath, of bitterness, are near ! 
Within, around thee, are the trophied graves 
Of kings and chiefs their children shall be slaves. 
Fair are thy halls, thy domes majestic swell, 
But there a race who rear'd them not shall dwell ; 
For 'midst thy councils Discord still presides, 
Degenerate fear thy wavering monarch guides, 
Last of a line whose regal spirit flown 
Hath to their offspring but bequeath'd a throne, 
Without one generous thought, or feeling high, 
To teach his soul how kings should live and die. 

A voice resounds within Granada's wall, 
The hearts of warriors echo to its call. 16 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 105 

Whose are those tones with power electric fraught, 
To reach the source of pure exalted thought ? 

See on a fortress -to wer, with beckoning hand, 

A form, majestic as a prophet, stand ! 

His mien is all impassion' d and his eye 

Fill'd with a light whose fountain is on high ; 

Wild on the gale his silvery tresses flow, 

And inspiration beams upon his brow, 

While thronging round him breathless thousands 

gaze, . 

As on some mighty seer of elder days. 

" Saw ye the banners of Castile display' d, 
The helmets glittering and the line array'd ? 
Heard ye the march of steel-clad hosts ?" he cries, 
** Children of conquerors ! in your strength arise ! 
O high-born tribes ! O names unstain'd by fear ! 
Azarques, Zegris, Almoradis, hear ! 17 



106 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

Be every feud forgotten, and your hands 
Dyed with no blood but that of hostile bands. l9 
Wake, princes of the land ! the hour is come, 
And the red sabre must decide your doom. 
Where is that spirit which prevail'd of yore, 
When Tarik's bands o'erspread the western shore i 19 
When the long combat raged on Xeres' plain, 20 
And Afric's tecbir swell'd through yielding Spain? 21 
Is the lance broken, is the shield decay'd, 
The warrior's arm unstrung, his heart dismay'd ? 
Shall no high spirit of ascendant worth 
Arise to lead the sons of Islam forth ? 
To guard the regions where our fathers' blood 
Hath bathed each plain, and mingled with each flood, 
Where long their dust hath blended with the soil, 
Won by their swords, made fertile by their toil ? 

u O ye Sierras of eternal snow ! 

Ye streams that by the tombs of heroes flow, 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 107 

Woods, fountains, rocks, of Spain ! ye saw their 

might 
In many a fierce and unforgotten fight ! 
Shall ye behold their lost, degenerate race, 
Dwell 'midst your scenes in fetters and disgrace ? 
With each memorial of the past around, 
Each mighty monument of days renown' d ? 
May this indignant heart ere then be cold, 
This frame be gather'd to its kindred mould \ 
And the last life-drop circling through my veins 
Have tinged a soil untainted yet by chains ! 

" And yet one struggle ere our doom is seal'd, 
One mighty effort, one deciding field ! 
If vain each hope, we still have choice to be, 
In life the fetter'd, or in death the free !" 

Still while he speaks, each gallant heart beats high, 
And ardor flashes from each kindling eye ; 
Youth, manhood, age, as if inspired, have caught 
The glow of lofty hope and daring thought, 



108 THE ABLNCERRAGE. 

And all is hush'd around as every sense 
Dwelt on the tones of that wild eloquence. 

But when his voice hath ceased, th' impetuous cry 

Of eager thousands bursts at once on high ; 

Rampart, and rock, and fortress, ring around, 

And fair Alhambra's inmost halls resound. 

" Lead us, O chieftain ! lead us to the strife, 

To fame in death, or liberty in life !" 

O zeal of noble hearts ! in vain display 'd ! 

High feeling wasted ! generous hope betray 'd ! 

Now, while the burning spirit of the brave 

Is roused to energies that yet might save, 

E'en now, enthusiasts ! while ye rush to claim 

Your glorious trial on the field of fame, 

Your king hath yielded ! Valour's dream is o'er ; 

Power, wealth, and.freedom, are your own no more ; 

And for your children's portion, but remains 

That bitter heritage the stranger's chains. 

END OF THE SECOND CANTO. 



CANTO III. 



Fermossi al fin il cor che balzb tanto. 

HlPPOLITO PlNDEMONTB. 



Heroes of elder days ! untaught to yield, 
Who bled for Spain on many an ancient field, 
Ye, that around the oaken cross of yore 2a 
Stood firm and fearless on Asturia's shore, 
And with your spirit, ne'er to be subdued, 
Hallow'd the wild Cantabrian solitude ; 
Rejoice amidst your dwellings of repose, 
In the last chastening of your Moslem foes ! 
Rejoice ! for Spain, arising in her strength, 
Hath burst the remnant of their yoke at length ; 



110 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

And they in turn the cup of woe must drain, 
And bathe their fetters with their tears in vain. 

And thou, the warrior born in happy hour, 95 
Valencia's lord, whose name alone was power, 
Theme of a thousand songs in days gone by, 
Conqueror of kings ! exult, O Cid ! on high. 
For still 'twas thine to guard thy country's weal, 
In life, in death, the watcher for Castile ! 

Thou, in that hour when Mauritania's bands 
Rush'd from their palmy groves and burning lands, 
E'en in the realm of spirits didst retain 
A patriot's vigilance, remembering Spain ! 34 
Then, at deep midnight, rose the mighty sound, 
By Leon heard, in shuddering awe profound, 
As through her echoing streets, in dread array, 
Beings, once mortal, held their viewless way ; 
Voices, from worlds we know not and the tread 
Of marching hosts, the armies of the dead, 



THE ABENCEItRAGE. Ill 

Thou and thy buried chieftains from the grave 

Then did thy summons rouse a king to save, 

And join thy warriors with unearthly might 

To aid the rescue in Tolosa's fight. 

Those days are past the crescent on thy shore, 

O realm of evening ! sets, to rise no more. 24 

What banner streams from high Comares' tower ? * 

The cross, bright ensign of Iberia's power ! 

What the glad shout of each exulting voice ? 

Castile and Arragon ! rejoice, rejoice ! 

Yielding free entrance to victorious foes, 

The Moorish city sees her gates unclose, 

And Spain's proud host, with pennon, shield, and 

lance, 
Through her long streets in knightly garb advance. 

Oh ! ne'er in lofty dreams hath Fancy's eye 
Dwelt on a scene of statelier pageantry, 
At joust or tourney, theme of poet's lore, 
High masque, or solemn festival of yore. 



112 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

The gilded cupolas, that proudly rise 
O'erarch'd by cloudless and cerulean skies, 
Tall minarets, shining mosques, barbaric towers, 
Fountains and palaces, and cypress bowers j 
And they, the splendid and triumphant throng, 
With helmets glittering as they move along, 
With broider'd scarf, and gem-bestudded mail, 
And graceful plumage streaming on the gale j 
Shields, gold-emboss'd, and pennons floating far, 
And all the gorgeous blazonry of war, 
All brighten'd by the rich transparent hues 
That southern suns o'er heaven and earth diffuse j 
Blend in one scene of glory, form'd to throw 
O'er memory's page a never-fading glow. 
And there too, foremost 'midst the conquering brave, 
Your azure plumes, O Aben-Zurrahs ! wave. 
There Hamet moves ; the chief whose lofty port 
Seems nor reproach to shun, nor praise to court, 
Calm, stern, collected yet within his breast 
Is there no pang, no struggle unconfest ? 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 113 

If such there be, it still must dwell unseen, 
Nor cloud a triumph with a sufferer's mien. 

Hearst thou the solemn, yet exulting sound, 
Of the deep anthem floating far around ? 
The choral voices, to the skies that raise 
The full majestic harmony of praise ? 
Lo ! where, surrounded by their princely train, 
They come, the sovereigns of rejoicing Spain, 
Borne on their trophied car lo ! bursting thence 
A blaze of chivalrous magnificence ! 

Onward their slow and stately course they bend 
To where th' Alhambra's ancient towers ascend, 
Rear'd and adorn'd by Moorish kings of yore, 
Whose lost descendants there shall dwell no more. 

They reach those towers irregularly vast 
And rude they seem, in mould barbaric cast : 2r 

i 



114 THE ABENCF.RRAGE. 



They enter to their wondering sight is given 

A Genii palace an Arabian heaven ! 28 

A scene by magic raised, so strange, so fair, 

Its forms and colours seem alike of air. 

Here, by sweet orange-boughs, half shaded o'er, 

The deep clear bath reveals its marble floor, 

Its margin fringed with flowers, whose glowing hues 

The calm transparence of its wave suffuse. 

There, round the court where Moorish arches bend, 

Aerial columns, richly deck'd, ascend ; 

Unlike the models of each classic race, 

Of Doric grandeur, or Corinthian grace, 

But answering well each vision that portrays 

Arabian splendor to the poet's gaze : 

Wild, wondrous, brilliant, all a mingling glow 

Of rainbow-tints, above, around, below ; 

Bright-streaming from the many-tinctured veins 

Of precious marble and the vivid stains 

Of rich mosaics o'er the light arcade, 

In gay festoons and fairy knots display 'd. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 115 

On through th' enchanted realm, that only seems 
Meet for the radiant creatures of our dreams, 
The royal conquerors pass while still their sight 
On some new wonder dwells with fresh delight. 
Here the eye roves through slender colonnades, 
O'er bowery terraces and myrtle shades, 
Dark olive-woods beyond, and far on high 
The vast Sierra, mingling with the sky. 
There, scattering far around their diamond spray, 
Clear streams from founts of alabaster play, 
Through pillar'd halls, where exquisitely wrought 
Rich arabesques, with glittering foliage fraught, 
Surmount each fretted arch, and lend the scene 
A wild, romantic, oriental mien : 
While many a verse, from eastern bards of old, 
Borders the walls in characters of gold. " 
Here Moslem-luxury, in her own domain, 
Hath held for ages her voluptuous reign 
'Midst gorgeous domes, where soon shall silence brood, 
And all be lone a splendid solitude. 

i 2 



116 THE ABENCERRAGF. 

Now wake their echos to a thousand songs, 
From mingling voices of exulting throngs ; 
Tambour, and flute, and atabal, are there, so 
And joyous clarions pealing on the air, 
While every hall resounds, " Granada won ! 
Granada ! for Castile and Arragon !" 31 

Tis night from dome and tower, in dazzling maze, 

The festal lamps innumerably blaze ; 32 

Through long arcades their quivering lustre gleams, 

From every lattice tremulously streams, 

'Midst orange-gardens plays on fount and rill, 

And gilds the waves of Darro and Xenil ; 

Red flame the torches on each minaret's height, 

And shines each street an avenue of light ; 

And midnight feasts are held, and music's voice 

Through the long night still summons to rejoice. 

Yet there, while all would seem to heedless eye 
One blaze of pomp, one burst of revelry, 



THE ABENCERRAOE. 117 

Are hearts, unsooth'd by those delusive hours, 
Gall'd by the chain, though deck'd awhile with flowers; 
Stern passions working in th' indignant breast, 
Deep pangs untold, high feelings unexprest, 
Heroic spirits, unsubmitting yet, 
Vengeance, and keen remorse, and vain regret. 

From yon proud height, whose olive-shaded brow 
Commands the wide, luxuriant plains below, 
Who lingering gazes o'er the lovely scene, 
Anguish and shame contending in his mien ? 
He, who, of heroes and of kings the son, 
Hath lived to lose whate'er his fathers won, 
Whose doubts and fears his people's fate have seal'd. 
Wavering alike in council and in field ; 
Weak, timid ruler of the wise and brave, 
Still a fierce tyrant or a yielding slave. 

Far from these vine-clad hills, and azure skies, 
To Afric's wilds the royal exile flies, 33 



118 THE ABENCERRAOE. 

Yet pauses on his way, to weep in vain, 

O'er all he never must behold again. 

Fair spreads the scene around for him too fair, 

Each glowing charm but deepens his despair. 

The Vega's meads, the city's glittering spires, 

The old majestic palace of his sires, 

The gay pavilions, and retired alcoves, 

Bosom'd in citron and pomegranate groves j 

Tower-crested rocks, and streams that wind in light, 

All in one moment bursting on his sight, 

Speak to his soul of glory's vanish'd years, 

And wake the source of unavailing tears. 

Weep'st thou, Abdallah ? Thou dost well to weep, 

O feeble heart ! o'er all thou couldst not keep ! 

Well do a woman's tears befit the eye 

Of him who knew not, as a man, to die. 34 

The gale sighs mournfully through Zayda's bower, 
The hand is gone that nursed each infant flower. 
No voice, no step, is in her father's halls, 
Mute are the echoes of their marble walls ; 



THE ABENCEUKAGE. 11.9 

No stranger enters at the chieftain's gate, 
But all is hush'd, and void, and desolate. 


There, through each tower and solitary shade, 
In vain doth Hamet seek the Zegri maid j 
Her grove is silent, her pavilion lone, 
Her lute forsaken, and her doom unknown j 
And through the scene she loved, unheeded flows 
The stream whose music lull'd her to repose. 

But oh ! to him, whose self-accusing thought 
Whispers, 'twas he that desolation wrought ; 
He, who his country and his faith betray'd, 
And lent Castile revengeful, powerful aid ; 
A voice of sorrow swells in every gale, 
Each wave, low rippling, tells a mournful tale ; 
And as the shrubs, untended, unconfined, 
In wild exuberance rustle to the wind ; 
Each leaf hath language to his startled sense, 
And seems to murmur " Thou hast driven her 
hence !" 



120 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

And well he feels to trace her flight were vain, 
Where hath lost love been once recall'd again ? 
In her pure breast, so long by anguish torn, 
His name can rouse no feeling now but scorn. 
O bitter hour ! when first the shuddering heart 
Wakes to behold the void within and start ! 
To feel its own abandonment, and brood 
O'er the chill'd bosom's depth of solitude. 
The stormy passions that in Hamet's breast 
Have sway'd so long, so fiercely, are at rest j 
Th' avenger's task is closed : 3 * he finds too late, 
It hath not changed his feelings, but his fate. 
His was a lofty spirit, turn'd aside 
From its bright path by woes, and wrongs, and pride j 
And onward in its new tumultuous course 
Borne with too rapid and intense a force 
To pause one moment in the dread career, 
And ask if such could be its native sphere ? 
Now are those days of wild delirium o'er, 
Their fears and hopes excite his soul no more ; 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 121 

The feverish energies of passion close, 

And his heart sinks in desolate repose, 

Turns sickening from the world, yet shrinks not less 

From its own deep and utter loneliness. 

There is a sound of voices on the air, 
A flash of armour to the sunbeam's glare, 
Midst the wild Alpuxarras ; 36 there on high, 
Where mountain-snows are mingling with the sky, 
A few brave tribes, with spirit yet unbroke, 
Have fled indignant from the Spaniard's yoke. 

O ye dread scenes, where Nature dwells alone, 
Severely glorious on her craggy throne ; 
Ye citadels of rock, gigantic forms, 
Veil'd by the mists, and girdled by the storms, 
Ravines, and glens, and deep-resounding caves, 
That hold communion with the torrent- waves ; 
And ye, th' unstain'd and everlasting snows, 
That dwell above in bright and still repose ; 



122 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

To you, in every clime, in every age, \ 

Far from the tyrant's or the conqueror's rage, 

Hath Freedom led her sons : untired to keep 

Her fearless vigils on the barren steep. ' 

She, like the mountain eagle, still delights 

To gaze exulting from unconquer'd heights, 

And build her eyrie in defiance proud, 

To dare the wind and mingle with the cloud. . 

Now her deep voice, the soul's awakener, swells, 
Wild Alpuxarras, through your inmost dells. 
There, the dark glens and lonely rocks among, 
As at the clarion's call, her children throng. 
She with enduring strength hath nerved each frame, 
And made each heart the temple of her flame, 
Her own resisting spirit, which shall glow 
Unquenchably, surviving all below. 

There high-bom maids, that moved upon the earth, 
More like bright creatures of aerial birth, 



THE AEENCERKAGE. 123 

Nurslings of palaces, have fled to share 

The fate of brothers and of sires ; to bear, 

All undismay'd, privation and distress, 

And smile, the roses of the wilderness. 

And mothers with their infants, there to dwell 

In the deep forest or the cavern cell, 

And rear their offspring 1 midst the rocks, to be, 

If now no more the mighty, still the free. 

And midst that band are veterans, o'er whose head 

Sorrows and years their mingled snow have shed : 

They saw thy glory, they have wept thy fall, 

O royal city ! and the wreck of all 

They loved and hallow'd most : doth aught remain 

For these to prove of happiness or pain ? 

Life's cup is drain' d earth fades before their eye, 

Their task is closing they have but to die. 

Ask ye, why fled they hither ? that their doom 

Might be, to sink unfetter'd to the tomb. 

And youth, in all its pride of strength, is there j 

And buoyancy of spirit, form'd to dare 



124 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

And suffer all things, fall'n on evil days, 
Yet darting o'er the world an ardent gaze, 
As on th' arena, where its powers may find 
Full scope to strive for glory with mankind. 

Such are the tenants of the mountain-hold, 

The high in heart, unconquer'd, uncontroll'd ; 

By day, the huntsmen of the wild by night, 

Unwearied guardians of the watch-fire's light. 

They from their bleak majestic home have caught 

A sterner tone of unsubmitting thought, 

While all around them bids the soul arise, 

To blend with Nature's dread sublimities. 

- But these are lofty dreams, and must not be 

Where tyranny is near : the bended knee, 

The eye, whose glance no inborn grandeur fires, 

And the tamed heart, are tributes she requires ; 

Nor must the dwellers of the rock look down 

On regal conquerors, and defy their frown. 

What warrior-band is toiling to explore 

The mountain-pass, with pine-wood shadowd o'er ? 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 125 

Startling with martial sounds each rude recess, 

Where the deep echo slept in loneliness. 

These are the sons of Spain ! Your foes are near : 

O, exiles of the wild Sierra ! hear ! 

Hear ! wake ! arise ! and from your inmost caves 

Pour like the torrent in its might of waves ! 

Who leads th' invaders on ? his features bear 

The deep-worn traces of a calm despair j 

Yet his dark brow is haughty and his eye 

Speaks of a soul that asks not sympathy. 

'Tis he ! 'tis he again ! th' apostate chief ; 

He comes in all the sternness of his grief. 

He comes, but changed in heart, no more to wield 

Falchion for proud Castile in battle-field, 

Against his country's children though he leads 

Castilian bands again to hostile deeds : 

His hope is but from ceaseless pangs to fly, 

To rush upon the Moslem spears, and die. 

So shall remorse and love the heart release, 

Which dares not dream of joy, but sighs for peace. 



126 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

The mountain echos are awake a sound 
Of strife is ringing through the rocks around. 
Within the steep defile that winds between 
Cliffs piled on cliffs, a dark, terrific scene, 
There Moorish exile and Castilian knight 
Are wildly mingling in the serried fight. 
Red flows the foaming streamlet of the glen, 
Whose bright transparence ne'er was stain'd till then ; 
\Miile swell the war-note, and the clash of spears, 
To the bleak dwellings of the mountaineers, 
Where thy sad daughters, lost Granada ! wait, 
In dread suspense, the tidings of their fate. 

But he, whose spirit, panting for its rest, 
Would fain each sword concentrate in his breast 
Who, where a spear is pointed, or a lance 
Aim'd at another's breast, would still advance 
Courts death in vain ; each weapon glances by, 
As if for him 'twere bliss too great to die. 
Yes, Aben-Zurrah ! there are deeper woes 
Reserved for thee ere Nature's last repose ; 



the abencerhage; 1*27 

Thou know'st not yet what vengeance fate can wreak, 
Nor all the heart can suffer ere it break. 
Doubtful and long the strife, and bravely fell 
The sons of battle in that narrow dell ; 
Youth in its light of beauty there hath past, 
And age, the weary, found repose at last ; 
Till few and faint the Moslem tribes recoil, 
Borne down by numbers, and o'erpower'd by toil. 
Dispersed, dishearten'd, through the pass they fly, 
Pierce the deep wood, or mount the cliff on high ; 
While Hamet's band in wonder gaze, nor dare 
Track o'er their dizzy path the footsteps of despair. 

Yet he, to whom each danger hath become 
A dark delight, and every wild a home, 
Still urges onward undismay'd to tread, 
Where life's fond lovers would recoil with dread ; 
But fear is for the happy they may shrink 
From the steep precipice, or torrent's brink ; 
They to whom earth is paradise their doom 
Lends no stern courage to approach the tomb : 



128 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

Not such his lot, who, school'd by Fate severe, 
Were but too blest if aught remain'd to fear.s' 
Up the rude crags, whose giant-masses throw 
Eternal shadows o'er the glen below ; 
And by the fall, whose many tinctured spray 
Half in a mist of radiance veils its way, 
He holds his venturous track : supported now 
By some o'erhanging pine or ilex bough j 
Now by some jutting stone, that seems to dwell 
Half in mid-air, as balanced by a spell : 
Now hath his footstep gain'd the summit's head, 
A level span, with emerald verdure spread, 
A fairy circle there the heath-flowers rise, 
And the rock-rose unnoticed blooms and dies ; 
And brightly plays the stream, ere yet its tide 
In foam and thunder cleave the mountain side ; 
But all is wild beyond and Hamet's eye 
Roves o'er a world of rude sublimity. 
That dell beneath, where e'en at noon of day 
Earth's charter'd guest, the sunbeam, scarce can 
strayj 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 129 

Around, untrodden woods ; and far above,, 
Where mortal footstep ne'er may hope to rove, 
Bare granite cliffs, whose fix'd, inherent dyes 
Rival the tints that float o'er summer skies ; 38 
And the pure glittering snow-realm, yet more high, 
That seems a part of Heaven's eternity. 

There is no track of man where Hamet stands, 
Pathless the scene as Lybia's desert sands ; 
Yet on the calm, still air, a sound is heard 
Of distant voices, and the gathering- word 
Of Islam's tribes, now faint and fainter grown, 
Now but the lingering echo of a tone. 

That sound, whose cadence dies upon his ear, 
He follows, reckless if his bands are near. 
On by the rushing stream his way he bends, 
And through the mountain's forest zone ascends ; 
Piercing the still and solitary shades 
Of ancient pine, and dark, luxuriant glades, 

K 



130 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

Eternal twilight's reign : those mazes past, 
The glowing sunbeams meet his eyes at last, 
And the lone wanderer now hath reach'd the source 
Whence the wave gushes, i'oaming on its course. 
But there he pauses for the lonely scene 
Towers in such dread magnificence of mien, 
And, mingled oft with some wild eagle's cry, 
From rock-built eyrie rushing to the sky, 
So deep the solemn and majestic sound 
Of forests, and of waters murmuring round, 
That, rapt in wondering awe, his heart forgets 
Its fleeting struggles, and its vain regrets. 
What earthly feeling, unabash'd, can dwell 
In Nature's mighty presence ? midst the swell 
Of everlasting hills, the roar of floods, 
And frown of rocks, and pomp of waving woods ? 
These their own grandeur on the soul impress, 
And bid each passion feel its nothingness. 

Midst the vast marble cliffs, a lofty cave 
Rears its broad arch beside the rushing wave j 



THE ABENCERRAOE. 131 

Shadow'd by giant oaks, and rude, and lone, 
It seems the temple of some power unknown, 
Where earthly being may not dare intrude 
To pierce the secrets of the solitude. 

Yet thence at intervals a voice of wail 

Is rising, wild and solemn, on the gale. 

Did thy heart thrill, O Hamet, at the tone ? 

Came it not o'er thee as a spirit's moan ? 

As some loved sound, that long from earth had fled, 

The unforgotten accents of the dead ? 

E'en thus it rose and springing from his trance 

His eager footsteps to the sound advance. 

He mounts the cliffs, he gains the cavern floor, 

Its dark green moss with blood is sprinkled o'er : 

He rushes on and lo ! where Zayda rends 

Her locks, as o'er her slaughter'd sire she bends, 

Lost in despair ; yet as a step draws nigh, 

Disturbing sorrow's lonely sanctity ; 

k 2 



13'2 THE ABENCEKRAGF.. 

She lifts her head, and all subdued by grief, 
Views, with a wild, sad smile, the once loved chiefs 
While rove her thoughts, unconscious of the past, 
And every woe forgetting but the last. 

" Com'st thou to weep with me ? for I am left 
Alone on earth, of every tie bereft. 
Low lies the warrior on his blood-stain'd bier > 
His child may call, but he no more shall hear ! 
He sleeps but never shall those eyes unclose ; 
'Twas not my voice that lull'd him to repose, 
Nor can it break his slumbers. Dost thou mourn ? 
And is thy heart, like mine, with anguish torn ? 
Weep, and my soul a joy in grief shall know, 
That o'er his grave my tears with Hamet's flow!" 

But scarce her voice had breathed that well-known 

name, 
When, swiftly rushing o'er her spirit, came 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 1SS 

Each dark remembrance ; by affliction's power . 

Awhile effaced in that o'erwhelming hour, 

To wake with tenfold strength ; 'twas then her eye 

Resumed its light, her mien its majesty, 

And o'er iier wasted cheek a burning glow 

Spreads, while her lips' indignant accents flow. 

" Away ! I dream oh, how hath sorrow's might 
Bow'd down my soul, and quench'd its native light, 
That I should thus forget ! and bid thy tear 
With mine be mingled o'er a father's bier ! 
Did he not perish, haply by thy hand, 
In the last combat with thy ruthless band ? 
The morn beheld that conflict of despair: 
'Twas then he fell he fell! and thou wert there! 
Thou ! who thy country's children hast pursued 
To their last refuge midst these mountains rude. 
Was it for this I loved thee ? Thou hast taught 
My soul all grief, all bitterness of thought ! 
'Twill soon be past I bow to Heaven's decree, 
Which bade each pang be minister "d oy thee." 



134 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

" I had not deeiu'd that aught remain'd below 

For me to prove of yet untasted woe ; 

But thus to meet thee, Zayda ! can impart 

One more, one keener agony of heart. 

Oh, hear me yet ! I would have died to save 

My foe, but still thy father, from the grave ; 

But in the fierce confusion of the strife, 

In my own stern despair, and scorn of life, 

Borne wildly on, I saw not, knew not aught, 

Save that to perish there in vain I sought. 

And let me share thy sorrows hadst thou known 

All I have felt in silence and alone, 

E'en thou mightst then relent, and deem at last 

A grief like mine might expiate all the past. 

But oh ! for thee, the loved and precious flower, 
So fondly rear'd in luxury's guarded bower, 
From every danger, every storm secured, 
How hast thou suffer'd ! what hast thou endured ! 
Daughter of palaces ! and can it be 
That this bleak desert is a home for thee ! 



THE AHENCERRAGE. 135 

These rocks thi/ dwelling ! thou, who ahouldst have 

known 
Of life the sunbeam and the smile alone ! 
Oh, yet forgive ! be all my guilt forgot, 
Nor bid me leave thee to so rude a lot !" 

" That lot is fix'd ; 'twere fruitless to repine, 
Still must a gulf divide my fate from thine. 
I may forgive but not at will the heart 
Can bid its dark remembrances depart. 
No, Hamet, no ! too deeply these are traced, 
Yet the hour comes when all shall be effaced ! 
Not long on earth, not long shall Zayda keep 
Her lonely vigils o'er the grave to weep : 
E'en now, prophetic of my early doom, 
Speaks to my soul a presage of the tomb ; 
And ne'er in vain did hopeless mourner feel 
That deep foreboding o'er the bosom steal ! 
Soon shall I slumber calmly by the side 
Of him for whom I lived, and would have died ; 



136 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

'1111 then, one thought shall soothe my orphan lot, 
In pain and peril I forsook him not. 

And now, farewell ! behold the summer-day 

Is passing, like the dreams of life, away. 

Soon will the tribe of him who sleeps, draw nigh, 

With the last rites his bier to sanctify. 

Oh, yet in time, away ! 'twere not my prayer 

Could move their hearts a foe like thee to spare ! 

This hour they come and dost thou scorn to fly ? 

Save me that one last pang to see thee die !" 

E'en while she speaks is heard their echoing tread, 
Onward they move, the kindred of the dead. 
They reach the cave they enter slow their pace, 
And calm, deep sadness marks each mourner's face, 
And all is hush'd till he who seems to wait 
In silent, stern devotedness, his fate, 
Hath met their glance then grief to fury turns ; 
Each mien is changed, each eye indignant burns, 



THE ABENCERKAGE. 137 

And voices rise, and swords have left their sheath : 
Blood must atone for blood, and death for death ! 
They close around him : lofty still his mien, 
His cheek unalter'd, and his brow serene. 
Unheard, or heard in vain, is Zayda's cry; 
Fruitless her prayer, unmark'd her agony. 
But as his foremost foes their weapons bend 
Against the life he seeks not to defend, 
Wildly she darts between each feeling past, 
Save strong affection, which prevails at last. 
Oh ! not in vain its daring for the blow 
Aim'd at his heart hath bade her life-blood flow ; 
And she hath sunk a martyr on the breast, 
Where, in that hour, her head may calmly rest, 
For he is saved : behold the Zegri band, 
Pale with dismay and grief, around her stand ; 
While, every thought of hate and vengeance o'er, 
They weep for her who soon shall weep no more. 
She, she alone is calm : a fading smile, 
Like sunset, passes o'er her cheek the while ; 



13S THE ABENCEURAOE. 

And in her eye, ere yet it closes, dwell 

Those last faint rays, the parting soul's farewell. 

" Now is the conflict past, and I have proved 
How well, how deeply thou hast been beloved ! 
Yes ! in an hour like this 'twere vain to hide 
The heart so long and so severely tried : 
Still to thy name that heart hath fondly thrill'd, 
But sterner duties call'd and were fulfill'd : 
And I am blest ! To every holier tie 
My life was faithful, and for thee I die ! 
Nor shall the love so purified be vain, 
Sever'd on earth, we yet shall meet again. 
Farewell! And ye, at Zayda's dying prayer, 
Spare him, my kindred-tribe ! forgive and spare ! 
Oh ! be his guilt forgotten in his woes, 
While I, beside my sire, in peace repose." 

Now fades her cheek, her voice hath sunk, and death 
Sits in her eye, and struggles in her breath. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 139 

One pang 'tis past her task on earth is done, 
And the pure spirit to its rest hath flown. 
But he for whom she died Oh ! who may paint 
The grief, to which all other woes were faint > 
There is no power in language to impart 
The deeper pangs, the ordeals of the heart, 
By the dread Searcher of the soul survey'd ; 
These have no words nor are by words portray'd. 

A dirge is rising on the mountain-air, 
Whose fitful swells its plaintive murmurs bear 
Far o'er the Alpuxarras ; wild its tone, 
And rocks and caverns echo " Thou art gone !" 

Daughter of heroes ! thou art gone 

To share his tomb who gave thee birth ; 

Peace to the lovely spirit flown ! 
It was not form'd for earth. 

Thou wert a sunbeam in thy race, 

Which brightly past, and left no trace. 



140 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

But calmly sleep ! for thou art free, 

And hands unchain'd thy tomb shall raise. 

Sleep ! they are closed at length for thee. 
Life's few and evil days ! 

Nor shalt thou watch, with tearful eye, 

The lingering death of liberty. 

Flower of the desert ! thou thy bloom 
Didst early to the storm resign : 

We bear it still and dark their doom 
Who cannot weep for thine ! 

For us, whose every hope is fled, 

The time is past to mourn the dead. 

The days have been, when o'er thy bier 
Far other strains than these had flow'd ; 

Now, as a home from grief and fear, 
We hail thy dark abode ! 

We who but linger to bequeath 

Our sons the choice of chains or death. 



THE ABENCERRAGE. 141 

Thou art with those, the free, the brave, 

The mighty of departed years ; 
And for the slumberers of the grave 

Our fate hath left no tears. 
Though loved and lost, to weep were vain 
For thee, who ne'er shalt weep again. 

Have we not seen, despoil'd by foes, 
The land our fathers won of yore ? 

And is there yet a pang for those 
Who gaze on this no more ? 

Oh, that like them 'twere ours to rest ! 

Daughter of heroes ! thou art blest ! 

A few short years, and in the lonely cave 
Where sleeps the Zegri maid, is Hamet's grave. 
Sever'd in life, united in the tomb 
Such, of the hearts that loved so well, the doom ! 
Their dirge, of woods and waves th' eternal moan, 
Their sepulchre, the pine-clad rocks alone. 



142 THE ABENCERRAGE. 

And oft beside the midnight watch-fire's blaze, 
Amidst those rocks, in long departed days, 
(When Freedom fled, to hold, sequester'd there, 
The stern and lofty councils of despair j) 
Some exiled Moor, a warrior of the wild, 
Who the lone hours with mournful strains beguiled, 
Hath taught his mountain-home the tale of those 
Who thus have suffer'd, and who thus repose. 



NOTES. 



Note 1 , page 58, line 2. 
Not the light zambra. 
Zarubra, a Moorish dance. 

Note 2, page 58, line 5. 

Within the hall of Lions. 
The hall of Lions was the principal one of the Alhambra, and 
was so called from twelve sculptured lions which supported an 
alabaster basin in the centre. 

Note 3, page 59, line 2. 
His Aben-Zurrahs there young Hornet leads. 
Aben-Zurrahs; the name thus written is taken from the trans- 
lation of an Arabic MS. given in the 3d volume of Bourgoanne's 
Travels through Spain. 

Note 4, page C2, line 4. 
The Vega's green expanse. 
The Vega, the plain surrounding Granada, the scene of fre- 
quent actions between the Moors and Christians. 



144 NOTES. 



Note 5, page 63, line 18. 
Seen 'midst the rednets of the desert storm. 
An extreme redness in the sky is the presage of the Simoom. 
See Brace's Travels. 

Note 6, page 65, lines 9 and 10. 

Stillness like that, when fierce the Kamsin's blast 
Hath o'er the dwellings of the desert pass'd. 
Of the Kamsin, a hot south wind, common in Egypt, we have 
the following account in Volney's Travels. " These winds are 
known in Egypt by the general name of winds of fifty days, 
because they prevail more frequently in the fifty days preceding 
and following the equinox. They are mentioned by travellers 
under the name of the poisonous winds, or hot winds of the desert: 
their heat is so excessive, that it is difficult to form any idea of its 
violence without having experienced it. When they begin to 
blow, the sky, at other times so clear in this climate, becomes 
dark and heavy ; the sun loses his splendor, and appears of a 
violet colour; the air is not cloudy, but grey and thick, and is 
filled with a subtle dust, which penetrates every where : respira- 
tion becomes short and difficult, the skin parched and dry, the 
lungs are contracted and painful, and the body consumed with 
internal heat. In vain is coolness sought for; marble, iron, water, 
though the sun no longer appears, are hot: the streets are 
deserted, and a dead silence appears every where. The natives 
of towns and villages shut themselves up in their houses, and 



NOTES. 145 

those of the desert in tents, or holes dug in the ea T\h, where they 
wait the termination of this heat, which generally lasts three days. 
Woe to the traveller whom it surprises remote from shelter: he 
must suffer all its dreadful effects, which are sometimes mortal." 

Note 7, page 71, line 18. 
While tearless eyes enjoy the honey dews of sleep. 
" Enjoy the honey-heavy-dew of slumber." Sliahpearc. 

Note 8, page 84, line 18. 
On the green Vega won in single fight. 
Garcilaso de la Vega derived his surname from a single combat 
(in which he was the victor), with a Moor, on the Vega of Granada. 

Note 9, page 86, line 6. 
Who drank for man the bitter cup of tears. 
" El Rey D. Fernando bolvi6 a la Vega, y puso su Real a la 
vista de Huecar, a veyute y seys dias del mes de Abril, adonde 
fue fortificado de todo lo necessario ; poniendo el Christiano toda 
su gente en esquadron, con todas sus vanderas tendidas, y su 
Real Estandarte, el qual llevava por divisa un Christo crucifi- 
cado. ''Historia de las giierras civiles de Granada. 

Note 10, page 86, line last. 
From yon rich province of the western star. 
Andalusia signifies, in Arabic, the region of the evening of the 



146 XOTFS. 



west; in a word, the Helped i of the Greeks See Cusiri. Bihliot. 
Arabico Hispana, and Gibbon's Decline and Fall, i$ r. 

Note 11, page 87, line 4. 
The mow-white charger, and the auire etttt, 
" Los Abencerrages salieron con su acostumbrada librea azul 
y blanca, todos llenos de ricos texidos de plata, las plumas de la 
misma color; en sus adargas, su acostumbrada divisa, salvages 
que desquixalavan leones, y otros un mundo que lo deshazia on 
selvage con un baston." Guerrat civiles de Granada. 

Note 12, page 88, line 10, 
TV eternal snow that crowns Veleta?* heud. 
The loftiest heights of the Sierra Nevada are those called Mul- 
liacen and Picacho de Veleta. 

Note 13, page 88, line last. 

The wounded sought a shelter, and expired. 

It is known to be a frequent circHmstance in battle, that the 

dying and the wounded drag themselves, as it were mechanically, 

to the shelter which may be afforded by any bush or thicket on 

the field. 

Note 14, page 102, line 1. 
Severely beauteous. 
" Severe in youthful beauty." Milton. 



NOTES. 14* 



Note 15, page 104, line 5. 
While streams that bear thee treasures in their wave. 

Granada stands upon two hills separated by the Darro. The 
Genii runs under the walls. The Darro is said to carry with its 
stream small particles of gold, and the Genii, of silver. When 
Charles V. came to. Granada with the Empress Isabella, the city 
presented him with a crown made of gold, which had been col- 
lected from the Darro. See Bourgoanne's and other Travels. 

Note 16, page 104, line last. 
The hearts of warriors echo to its call. 

" At this period, while the inhabitants of Granada were sunk in 
indolence, one of those men, whose natural and impassioned elo- 
quence has sometimes aroused a people to deeds of heroism, raised 
his voice, in the midst of the city, and awakened the inhabitants 
from their lethargy. Twenty thousand enthusiasts, ranged under his 
banners, were prepared to sally forth, with the fury of despera- 
tion, to attack the besiegers, when Abo Abdeli, more afraid of his 
subjects than of the enemy, resolved immediately to capitulate, 
and made terms with the Christians, by which it was agreed that 
the Moors should be allowed the free exercise of their religion 
and laws; should be permitted, if they thought proper, to depart 
unmolested with their effects to Africa ; and that he himself, it he 
remained in Spain, should retain an extensive estate, with houses 
and slaves, or be granted an equivalent-in money if he preferred 
retiring to Barbary." See Jacob's Travels in Spain. 

l2 



148 NOTES. 

Note 17, page 105, line last. 
Atarques, Zegris, Almoia&is, hear ! 

Azarques, Zegris, Almoradis, different tribe* of the Moors of 
Granada, all of high distinction. 

Note 18, page 106, line 2. 
Dyed with no blood but that of hostile bands. 

The conquest of Granada was greatly facilitated by the civil 
dissensions which, at this period, prevailed in the city. Several 
of the Moorish tribes, influenced by private feuds, were fully pre- 
pared for submission to the Spaniards ; others had embraced the 
cause of Muley el Zagal, the uncle and competitor for the throne 
of Abdallah, (or Abo Abdeli) and all was jealousy and animosity. 

Note 19, page 106, line 6. 
When Tank's bands o'erspread the western shore. 

Tarik, the first leader of the Arabs and Moors into Spain. 
' The Saracens landed at the pillar or point of Europe : the corrupt 
and familiar appellation of Gibraltar, (Gebei al Tarik) describes 
the mountain of Tarik, and the entrenchments of his camp were the 
first outline of those fortifications, which, in the hands of our coun- 
trymen, have resisted the art and power of the House of Bourbon. 
The adjacent governors informed the court of Toledo of the de- 
scent and progress of the Arabs j and the defeat of his lieutenant 
Edeco, who had been commanded to seize and bind the presump- 
tuous strangers, first admonished Roderic of the magnitude of the 



Norts. 149 

danger. At the royal summons, the dukes and counts, the bishops 
and nobles of the Gothic monarchy, assembled at the head of t\"~' r 
followers, and the title of king of the Romans, which is employed 
by an Arabic historian, may be excused by the close affinity of lan- 
guage, religion, and manners, between the nations of Spain." 
Gibbon's Decline and Fall, #c. Vol. 9, p. 472, 473. 

Note 20, page 106, line 7. 
When the long combat raged on Xeres' plain. 

" In the neighbourhood of Cadiz, the town of Xeres has been 
illustrated by the encounter which determined the fiite of the 
kingdom; the stream of the Guadalete, which falls iuto the bay, 
divided the two camps, and marked the advancing aud retreating 
skirmishes of three successive days. On the fourth day, the two 
armies joined a more serious and decisive issue. Notwithstand- 
ing the valour of the Saracens, they fainted under the weight of 
multitudes, and the plain of Xeres was overspread with sixteen 
thousand of their dead bodies. "My brethren," said Tarik to his 
surviving companions, " the enemy is before you, the sea is be- 
hind ; whither would ye fly ? Follow your general; I am resolved 
cither to lose my life, or to trample on the prostrate king of the 
Romans." Besides the resource of despair, he confided in the 
secret correspondence and nocturnal interviews of Count Julian 
with the sons and the brother of Wit'ua. The two princes, and 
the archbishop of Toledo, occupied the most important post: their 
well-timed defection broke the ranks of the Christians; each war- 
rior was prompted by fear or suspicion to consult his personal 



150 NOTES. 

safety ; and the remains of the Gothic army were scattered or 
destroyed in the flight and pursuit of the three following days." 
Gibbon's Decline and Fall, #c. Vol. 9, p. 473, 474. 

Note 21, page 106, line 8. 
And Afric's tecbir swell'd through yielding Spain. 

The tecbir, the shout of onset used by the Saracens in battle. 

Note 22, page 109, line 3. 
Ye, that around the oaken cross of yore. 

The oaken cross, carried by Pelagius in battle. 

Note 23, page 110, line 3. 
And thou, the warrior born in happy hour. 

See Southey's Chronicle of the Cid, in which that warrior is 
frequently styled, " he who was born in happy hour." 

Note 24, page 110, lines 11 and 12. 
E'en in the realm of spirits didst retain 
A patriot's vigilance, remembering Spain ! 

" Moreover, when the Miramamolin brought over from Africa 
against King Don Alfonso, the eighth of that name, the mightiest 
power of the misbelievers that had ever been brought against 
Spain, since the destruction of the kings of the Goths, the Cid 
C'ampeador remembered his country in that great danger; for the 
night before the battle was fought at the Navas de Tolosa, in the 
dead of the night, a mighty sound was heard in the whole city of 
Leon, as if it were the tramp of a great army passing through; and 



NOTES. 151 

it passed on to the royal monastery of St. lsidro, and there was a 
great knocking at the gate thereof, and they called to a priest who 
was keeping vigils in the church, and told him, that the captains 
of the array whom he heard were the Cid Ruydiez, and Count 
Ferran Gonzalez, and that they came there to call up King Don 
Ferrando the Great, who lay buried in that church, that he might 
go widi them to deliver Spain. And on the morrow that great 
battle of the Navas de Tolosa was fought, wherein sixty thousand 
of the misbelierers were slain, which was one of the greatest and 
noblest battles ever won over the Moors." Southey's Chronicle of 
the Cid. 

Note 25, page 111, line 6. 
realm of evening! 

The name of Andalusia, the region of evening or of the west, was 
applied by the Arabs not only to the province so called, but to the 
whole peninsula. 

Note 26, page 111, line 7. 
What banner streams from high Comares' tower f 
The tower of Comares is the highest and most magnificent in 
the Alhambra. 

Note 27, page 1 13, lines 15 and 16. 
TJie y reach those towers irregularly vast 
And rude they seem, in mould barbaric cast. 

Swinburne, after describing the noble palace built by Charles V. 
in the precincts of the Alhambra, thus proceeds: " Adjoining (to 



152 NOTES. 

the north) stands a huge heap of as ugly buildings as can well be 
seen, all huddled together, seemingly without the least intentiou 
of forming one habitation out of them. The walls are entirely un- 
ornamented, all gravel and pebbles, daubed over with plaster by a 
very coarse hand; yet this is the palace of the Moorish kings of 
Granada, indisputably the most curious place within, that exists 
in Spain, perhaps in Europe. In many countries you may see 
excellent modern as well as ancient architecture, both entire and 
in ruins ; but nothing to be met with any where else can convey 
an idea of this edifice, except you take it from the decorations of 
an opera, or the tales of the Genii." Svrinburne's Travels through 
Spain. 

Note 28, page 114, line 2. 
A Genii palace an Arabian heaven. 

" Passing round the corner of the emperor's palace, you are 
admitted at a plain unornaraented door, in a corner. On my first 
visit, I confess, I was struck with amazement as I stept over the 
threshold, to find myself on a sudden transported into a species of 
fairy land. The first place you come to is the court called the 
Communa, or del Mesucar, that is, the common baths: an oblong 
square, with a deep bason of clear water in the middle ; two flights 
of marble steps leading down to the bottom ; on each side a par- 
terre of flowers, and a row of orange-trees. Hound the court runs 
a peristyle paved with marble ; the arches bear upon very slight 
pillars, in proportions and style different from all the regularordcrs 
of architecture. The ceilings and walls are incrustated with fret- 



NOTES. 153 

work in stucco, so minute and intricate, that the most patient 
draughtsman would find it difficult to follow it, unless he made 
himself master of the general plan." Swinburne's Travels in Spain. 

Note 29, page 115, line 16. 
Borders the walls in characters of gold. 

The walls and cornices of the Alhambra are covered with in- 
scriptions in Arabic characters. " In examining this abode of 
magnificence," says Bourgoanne, " the observer is every moment 
astonished at the new and interesting mixture of architecture and 
poetry. The palace of the Alhambra may be called a collection 
of fugitive pieces j and whatever duration these may have, time, 
with which every thing passes awa\', has too much contributed to 
confirm to them that title." See Bourgoanne's Travels in Spain. 

Note 30, page 116, line 3. 
Tambour, and flute, and atabal, are there- 

Atabal, a kind of Moorish drum. 

Note 31, page 116, line 6. 
Granada! for Castile and Arragnn! 
" Y ansi entraron en la ciudad, y subieron al Alhambra, y en- 
cima de la torre de Comares tan famosa se levantb la serial de la 
Sauta Cruz, y luego el real estandarte de los dos Christianos 
reyes. Y al punto los reyes de armas, a grandes bozes dizieron, 
' Granada, Granada, por su magestad, y por la reyna su muger.' 
La serenissima reyua D. Isabel, que vio la sciial de la Santa 



154 



Cruz sobre la hcrmosa torre de Comares, y el su estandartc 
real con ella, se hincd de Rodillas, y did infinitas gracias a Dios 
por la victoria que le avia dado contra aquella gran ciudad. La 
musica real de la capilla del rey luego a canto de organo canto 
Te Deum laudaraus. Fue tan grande el plazer que todos Uoravan. 
Luego del Alhambra sonaron mil instrumentos de musica de 
belicas trompetas. Los Moros amigos del rey, que querian ser 
Christianos, cuya cabeza era el valeroso Muca, tomaron mil 
dulzaynas y anafiles, sonando grande ruydo de atambores por toda 
la Ciudad." Historia de las guerras civiles de Granada. 

Note 32, page 1 1 6, line 8. 
The festal lamps innumerably Hate. 

'* Los cavalleros Moros que avemos dicho, aquella noclie 
jngaron galanamente alcancias y cafias. Andava Granada aquella 
noclie con tanta alegria, y con tantas luminarias, que parecia que 
se ardia la terra.*' Historia de las Guerras chiles ae Granada. 

Swinburne, in his Travels through Spain in the years 1775 and 
1 77n, mentions, that the anniversary of the surrender of Granada 
to Ferdinand and Isabella was still observed in the city as a great 
festival and day of rejoicing; and that the populace on that 
occasion paid an annual visit to the Moorish palace. 

Note 33, page 1 1 7, line last. 
7b Ajric't wilds the royal exile Jlies. 
" Los Gomeles (odos se passaron en Africa, y el IUy Chko 



NOTES. 155 

con ulloi, que no quito estar en Espaiia, y en Africa le mataron 
los Moros de aquellas partes, porque perdio & Granada." Guerras 
civites de Granada. 

Note 34, page 118, line 16. 
Of him who knew not, as a man, to die. 
Abo Abdeli, upon leaving Granada, after its conquest by Fer- 
dinand and Isabella, stopped on the hill of Padul to take a last 
look of his city and palace. Overcome by the sight, he burst 
into tears, and was thus reproached by his mother, the Sultaness 
Ayia: " Thou dost well to weep, like a woman, over the loss of 
that kingdom which thou knewest not how to defend and die for, 
like a man.'' 

Note 35, page 120, line 11. 
TK avenger's task is closed. 
u El Rey mando, que si quedavan Zegris, que no viviessen en 
Granada, por la maldad que hizieron contra los Abencerrages. 
Guerras civile* de Granada. 

Note 36, page 191, line 7. 

Midst the wild Alpuxarras. 

" The Alpuxarras are so lofty, that the coast of Barbary, and 

the cities of Tangier and Ceuta, are discovered from their summits; 

they are about seventeen leagues in length, from Veles Malaga to 

Almeria, and eleven in breadth, and abound with fruit-trees of 



] 56 NOTES. 

great beauty and prodigious size. In these mountains the wretched 
remains of the Moors took refuge." Bourgoanne's Travels in Spain, 

Note 37, page 128, line 9. 

Were but too blest if aught remain' d to fear. 

" Plut a Dieu que je craignisse !" Andromaque. 

Note 38, page 129, line 4, 
Iliad the tints that Jloat o'er summer skies. 
Mrs. Radcliffe, in her journey along the banks of the Rhine, 
thus describes the colours of granite rocks in the mountains of 
the Bergstrasse. " The nearer we approached these mountains, 
the more we had occasion to admire the various tints of their 
granites. Sometimes the precipices were of a faint pink, then of 
a deep red, a dull purple, or a blush approaching to lilac, and 
sometimes gleams of a pale yellow mingled with the low shrubs 
that grew upon their sides. The day was cloudless and bright, 
and we were too near these heights to be deceived by the illu- 
sions of aerial colouring ; the real hues of their features were as 
beautiful as their magnitude was sublime." 



THE LAST BANQUET 



ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. 



Antony, concluding that he could not die more 
honourably than in battle, determined to attack 
Caesar at the same time both by sea and land. 
The night preceding the execution of this de- 
sign, he ordered his servants at supper to ren- 
der him their best services that evening, and 
fill the wine round plentifully, for the day fol- 
lowing they might belong to another master, 
whilst he lay extended on the ground, no longer 
of consequence either to them or to himself. 
His friends were affected, and wept to hear him 
talk thus; which, when he perceived/he en- 
couraged them by assurances that his expecta- 
tions of a glorious victory were at least equal 
to those of an honourable death. At the dead 
of night, when universal silence reigned through 
the city, a silence that was deepened by the 
awful thought of the ensuing day, on a sudden 



was heard the sound of musical instruments, 
and a noise which resembled the exclamations 
of Bacchanals. This tumultuous procession 
seemed to pass through the whole city, and to 
go out at the gate which led to the enemy's 
camp. Those who reflected on this prodigy 
concluded that Bacchus, the god whom Antony 
affected to imitate, had then forsaken him." 
Langhornes Plutarch. 






THE LAST BANQUET 



ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. 



THY foes had girt thee with their dread array, 

O stately Alexandria ! yet the sound 
Of mirth and music, at the close of day, 

Swell'd from thy splendid fabrics, far around 
O'er camp and wave. Within the royal hall, 

In gay magnificence the feast was spread ; 
And, brightly streaming from the pictured wall, 

A thousand lamps their trembling lustre shed 
O'er many a column, rich with precious dyes, 
That tinge the marble's vein, 'neath Afric's burning 
skies. 



162 THE LAST BANQUET OF 

And soft and clear that wavering radiance play'd 

O'er sculptured forms, that round the pillar'd scene, 
Calm and majestic rose, by art array'd 

In godlike beauty, awfully serene. 
Oh ! how unlike the troubled guests, reclined 

Round that luxurious board ! in every face, 
Some shadow from the tempest of the mind, 

Rising by fits, the searching eye might trace, 
Though vainly mask'd in smiles which are not mirth, 
But the proud spirit's veil thrown o'er the woes of 
earth. 

Their brows are bound with wreaths, whose transient 
bloom 

May still survive the wearers and the rose 
Perchance may scarce be wither'd, when the tomb 

Receives the mighty to its dark repose ! 
The day must dawn on battle and may set 

In death but fill the mantling wine-cup high ! 
[Despair is fearless, and the Fates e'en yet 

Lend her one hour for parting revelry. 



ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. 163 

They who the empire of the world possess'd, 
Would taste its joys again, ere all exchanged for rest. 

Its joys ! oh ! mark yon proud triumvir's mien, 

And read their annals on that brow of care ! 
'Midst pleasure's lotus-bowers his steps have been j 

Earth's brightest pathway led him to despair. 
Trust not the glance that fain would yet inspire 

The buoyant energies of days gone by; 
There is delusion in its meteor-fire, 

And all within is shame, is agony ! 
Away ! the tear in bitterness may flow, 
But there are smiles which bear a stamp of deeper 
woe. 

Thy cheek is sunk, and faded as thy fame, 
O lost, devoted Roman ! yet thy brow 

To that ascendant and undying name, 

Pleads with stern loftiness thy right e'en now. 

Mi 



1 64 THE LAST BANQUET OF 

Thy glory is departed but hath left 
A lingering light around thee in decay 

Not less than kingly, though of all bereft, 
Thou seem' st as empire had not pass'd away. 

Supreme in ruin ! teaching hearts elate, 

A deep, prophetic dread of still mysterious fate ! 

But thou, enchantress-queen ! whose love hath made 

His desolation thou art by his side, 
In all thy sovereignty of charms array'd, 

To meet the storm with still unconquer'd pride. 
Imperial being ! e'en though many a stain 

Of error be upon thee, there is power 
In thy commanding nature, which shall reign 

O'er the stern genius of misfortune's hour ; 
And the dark beauty of thy troubled eye 
E'en now is all illumed with wild sublimity. 

Thine aspect, all impassion'd, wears a light 
Inspiring and inspired thy cheek a dye, 



ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. 165 

Which rises not from joy, but yet is bright 
With the deep glow of feverish energy. 

Proud siren of the Nile ! thy glance is fraught 
With an immortal fire in every beam 

It darts, there kindles some heroic thought, 
But wild and awful as a sybil's dream ; 

For thou with death hast communed, to attain 

Dread knowledge of the pangs that ransom from the 
chain. ' 

And the stern courage by such musings lent, 

Daughter of Afric ! o'er thy beauty throws 
The grandeur of a regal spirit, blent 

With all the majesty of mighty woes ! 
While he, so fondly, fatally adored, 

Thy fallen Roman, gazes on thee yet, 
Till scarce the soul, that once exulting soar'd, 

Can deem the day-star of its glory set ; 
Scarce his charm'd heart believes that power can be 
In sovereign fate, o'er him, thus fondly loved by thee. 



160 THE LAST BANQUET OF 

But there is sadness in the eyes around, 

Which mark that ruin'd leader, and survey 
His changeful mien, whence oft the gloom profound, 

Strange triumph chases haughtily away. 
'* Fill the bright goblet, warrior guests !" he cries, 

" Quaff, ere we part, the generous nectar deep ! 
Ere sunset gild once more the western skies, 

Your chief, in cold forgetfulness, may sleep, 
While sounds of revel float o'er shore and sea, 
And the red bowl again is crown'd but not for me. 

" Yet weep not thus the struggle is not o'er, 

O victors of Philippi ! many a field 
Hath yielded palms to us : one effort more, 

By one stern conflict must our doom be seal'd ! 
Forget not, Romans ! o'er a subject world 

How royally your eagle's wing hath spread, 
Though from his eyrie of dominion hurl'd, 

Now bursts the tempest on his crested head ! 



ANTONY AKD CLEOPATRA. 167 

Yet sovereign still, if banish'd from the sky, 
The sun's indignant bird, he must not droop but 
die." 

The feast is o'er. 'Tis night, the dead of night 

Unbroken stillness broods o'er earth and deep ; 
From Egypt's heaven of soft and starry light 

The moon looks cloudless o'er a world of sleep : 
For those who wait the morn's awakening beams, 

The battle signal to decide their doom, 
Have sunk to feverish rest and troubled dreams ; 

Rest, that shall soon be calmer in the tomb, 
Dreams, dark and ominous, but there to cease, 
When sleep the lords of war in solitude and* peace. 

Wake, slumberers, wake ! Hark ! heard ye not a 
sound 

Of gathering tumult ? Near and nearer still 
Its murmur swells. Above, below, around, 

Bursts a strange chorus forth, confused and shrill. 



168 THE LAST BANQUET OF, %c. 

Wake, Alexandria ! through thy streets the tread 
Of steps unseen is hurrying, and the note 

Of pipe, and lyre, and trumpet, wild and dread, 
Is heard upon the midnight air to float ; 

And voices, clamorous as in frenzied mirth, 

Mingle their thousand tones, which are not of the 
earth. 

These are no mortal sounds their thrilling strain 

Hath more mysterious power, and birth more high ; 
And the deep horror chilling every vein 

Owns them of stern, terrific augury. 
Beings of worlds unknown ! ye pass away, 

O ye invisible and awful throng ! 
Your echoing footsteps and resounding lay 

To Caesar's camp exulting move along. 
Thy gods forsake thee, Antony ! the sky 
By that dread sign reveals thy doom " Despair 
and die !" 2 



NOTES. 



Note 1, page 165, line 8. 
Dread knowledge of the pangs that ransomfrom the chain. 
Cleopatra made a collection of poisonous drugs, and being 
desirous to know which was least painful in the operation, she 
tried them on the capital convicts. Such poisons as were quick 
in their operation, she found to be attended with violent pain and 
convulsions ; such as were milder were slow in their effect : she 
therefore applied herself to the examination of venomous creatures; 
and at length she found that the bite of the asp was the most 
eligible kind of death; for it brought on a gradual kind of 
lethargy. See Plutarch. 

Note 2, page 1 68, line last. 
Despair and die I 
" To-morrow in the battle think on me, 
And fall thy edgeless sword ; despair and die !" 

Richard 111. 



ALARIC IN ITALY. 



After describing the conquest of Greece and Italy 
by the German and Scythian hordes, united 
under the command of Alaric, the historian of 
" The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," 
thus proceeds : " Whether fame, or conquest, 
or riches, were the object of Alaric, he pursued 
that object with an indefatigable ardour, which 
could neither be quelled by adversity, nor sa- 
tiated by success. No sooner had he reached 
the extreme land of Italy than he was attracted 
by the neighbouring prospect of a fair and 
peaceful island. Yet even the possession of 
Sicily he considered only as an intermediate 
step to the important expedition which he 
already meditated against the continent of Africa. 
The straits of Rhegium and Messina are twelve 
miles in length, and, in the narrowest passage, 
about one mile and a half broad ; and the fa- 



bulous monsters of the deep, the rocks of Scylla, 
and the whirlpool of Charybdis, could terrify 
none but the most timid and unskilful mariners : 
yet, as soon as the first division of the Goths 
had embarked, a sudden tempest arose, which 
s\mk or scattered many of the transports : their 
courage was daunted by the terrors of a new 
element j and the whole design was defeated 
by the premature death of Alaric, which fixed, 
after a short illness, the fatal term of his con- 
quests. The ferocious character of the barba- 
rians was displayed in the funeral of a hero, 
whose valour and fortune they celebrated with 
mournful applause. By the labour of a captive 
multitude they forcibly diverted the course of 
the Busentinus, a small river that washes the 
walls of Consentia. The royal sepulchre, 
adorned with the splendid spoils and trophies 
of Rome, was constructed in the vacant bed ; 
the waters were then restored to their natural 



channel, and the secret spot, where the remains 
of Alaric had been deposited, was for ever con- 
cealed by the inhuman massacre of the prisoners 
who had been employed to execute the work." 
See the Decline and Fall of the Roman Em- 
pire, Vol. 5, page 329. 



ALARIC IN ITALY. 



HEARD ye the Gothic trumpet's blast ? 
The march of hosts, as Alaric pass'd ? 
His steps have track'd that glorious clime, 
The birth-place of heroic time ; 
But he, in northern deserts bred, 
Spared not the living for the dead, ' 
Nor heard the voice, whose pleading cries 
From temple and from tomb arise. 
He pass'd the light of burning fanes 
Hath been his torch o'er Grecian plains } 
And woke they not the brave, the free, 
To guard their own Thermopylae ? 
And left they not their silent dwelling, 
AYhen Scythia's note of war was swelling ? 

N 



178 ALARIC IN ITALY. 

No ! where the bold Three Hundred slept, 
Sad freedom battled not but wept ! 
For nerveless then the Spartan's hand, 
And Thebes could rouse no Sacred Band ; 
Nor one high soul from slumber broke, 
When Athens own'd the northern yoke. 

But was there none for thee to dare 
The conflict, scorning to despair ? 
O city of the seven proud hills ! 
Whose name e'en yet the spirit thrills, 
As doth a clarion's battle-call, 
Didst thou too, ancient empress, fall ? 
Did no Camillus from the chain 
Ransom thy Capitol again ? 
Oh ! who shall tell the days to be, 
No patriot rose to bleed for thee ? 

Heard ye the Gothic trumpet's blast ? 
The march of hosts, as Alaric pass'd ? 



ALARTC IN ITALY. 179 

That fearful sound, at midnight deep, 8 

Burst on th' eternal city's sleep : 

How woke the mighty ? She, whose will 

So long had bid the world be still, 

Her sword a sceptre, and her eye 

Th' ascendant star of destiny ! 

She woke to view the dread array 

Of Scythians rushing to their prey, 

To hear her streets resound the cries 

Pour'd from a thousand agonies ! 

While the strange light of flames, that gave 

A ruddy glow to Tyber's wave, 

Bursting in that terrific hour 

From fane and palace, dome and tower, 

Reveal'd the throngs, for aid divine 

Clinging to many a worshipp'd shrine ; 

Fierce fitful radiance wildly shed 

O'er spear and sword, with carnage red, 

Shone o'er the suppliant and the flying, 

And kindled pyres for Romans dying. 

n 2 



180 ALARIC IN ITALT. 

Weep, Italy ! alas ! that e'er 
Should tears alone thy wrongs declare ! 
The time hath been when thy distress 
Had roused up empires for redress ! 
Now, her long race of glory run, 
Without a combat Rome is won, 
And from her plunder'd temples forth 
Rush the fierce children of the north, 
To share beneath more genial skies 
Each joy their own rude clime denies. 

Ye who on bright Campania's shore 
Bade your fair villas rise of yore, 
With all their graceful colonnades, 
And crystal baths, and myrtle shades, 
Along the blue Hesperian deep, 
Whose glassy waves in sunshine sleep ; 
Beneath your olive and your vine 
Far other inmates now recline, 
And the tall plane, whose roots ye fed 
With rich libations duly shed, 3 



ALAKIC IN ITALY. 181 

O'er guests, unlike your vanish'd friends, 
Its bowery canopy extends : 
For them the southern heaven is glowing, 
The bright Falernian nectar flowing j 
For them the marble halls unfold, 
Where nobler beings dwelt of old, 
Whose children for barbarian lords 
Touch the sweet lyre's resounding chords, 
Or wreaths of Paestan roses twine, 
To crown the sons of Elbe and Rhine. 

Yet though luxurious they repose 
Beneath Corinthian porticoes, 
While round them into being start, 
The marvels of triumphant art ; 
Oh ! not for them hath genius given 
To Parian stone the fire of heaven, 
Enshrining in the forms he wrought 
A bright eternity of thought. 
In vain the natives of the skies 
In breathing marble round them rise. 



182 ALARIC IN ITALY. 

And sculptured nymphs, of fount or glade, 
People the dark -green laurel shade j 
Cold are the conqueror's heart and eye 
To visions of divinity ; 
And rude his hand which dares deface 
The models of immortal grace. 

Arouse ye from your soft delights ! 
Chieftains ! the war-note's call invites ; 
And other lands must yet be won, 
And other deeds of havock done. 
Warriors ! your flowery bondage break, 
Sons of the stormy north, awake ! 

The barks are launching from the steep, 
Soon shall the Isle of Ceres weep, * 
And Afric's burning winds afar 
Waft the shrill sounds of Alaric's war. 
Where shall his race of victory close ? 
When shall the ravaged earth repose ? 



ALARIC IN ITALY. 183 

But hark ! what wildly mingling cries 
From Scythia's camp tumultuous rise ? 
Why swells dread Alaric's name on air ? 
A sterner conqueror hath been there ! 
A conqueror yet his paths are peace, 
He comes to bring the world's release ; 
He of the sword that knows no sheath, 
Th' avenger, the deliverer Death ! 

Is then that daring spirit fled ? 

Doth Alaric slumber with the dead ? 

t 

Tamed are the warrior's pride and strength, 
And he and earth are calm at length. 
The land where heaven unclouded shines, 
Where sleep the sunbeams on the vines ; 
The land by conquest made his own, 
Can yield him now a grave alone. 
But his her lord from Alp to sea 
No common sepulchre shall be ! 
Oh, make his tomb where mortal eye 
Its buried wealth may ne'er descry ! 



184 ALARIC IN ITALY. 

Where mortal foot may never tread 
Above a victor-monarch's bed. 
Let not his royal dust be hid 
'Neath star-aspiring pyramid 5 
Nor bid the gather'd mound arise, 
To bear his memory to the skies. 
Years roll away oblivion claims 
Her triumph o'er heroic names j 
And hands profane disturb the clay 
That once was fired with glory's ray ; 
And Avarice, from their secret gloom, 
Drags e'en the treasures of the tomb. 
But thou, O leader of the free ! 
That general doom awaits not thee ! 
Thou, where no step may e'er intrude, 
Shalt rest in regal solitude, 
Till, bursting on thy sleep profound, 
Tli* Awakener's final trumpet sound. 

Turn ye the waters from their course, 
Bid Nature ) ield to human force, 



AXAR1C IN ITALY. 185 

And hollow in the torrent's bed 
A chamber for the mighty dead. 
The work is done the captive's hand 
Hath well obey'd his lord's command. 
Within that royal tomb are cast 
The richest trophies of the past, 
The wealth of many a stately dome, 
The gold and gems of plunder'd Rome ; 
And when the midnight stars are beaming, 
And ocean-waves in stillness gleaming, 
Stern in their grief, his warriors bear 
The Chastener of the Nations there ; 
To rest, at length, from victory's toil, 
Alone, with all an empire's spoil ! 

Then the freed current's rushing wave, 
Rolls o'er the secret of the grave ; 
Then streams the martyr'd captives' blood 
To crimson that sepulchral flood, 
Whose conscious tide alone shall keep 
The mystery in its bosom deep. 



186 ALAKIC IN ITALY. 

Time hath past on since then and swept 
From earth the urns where heroes slept ; 
Temples of gods, and domes of kings, 
Are mouldering with forgotten things j 
Yet shall not ages e'er molest 
The viewless home of Alaric's rest : 
Still rolls, like them, th' unfailing river, 
The guardian of his dust for ever. 



NOTES. 



Note 1, page 177, line 6. 
Spared not the living for the dead. 

After the taking of Athens by Sjlla, " though such numbers 
were put to the sword, there were as many who laid violent hands 
upon themselves in grief for their sinking country. What reduced 
the best men among them to this despair of finding any mercy or 
moderate terms for Athens, was the well-known cruelty of Sylla; 
yet partly by the intercession of Midias and Calliphon, and the 
exiles who threw themselves at his feet, partly by the entreaties 
of the senators who attended him in that expedition, and being 
himself satiated with blood besides, he was at last prevailed upon 
to stop his hand, and in compliment to the ancient Athenians, he 
said, " he forgave the many for the sake of the few, the living for 
the dead." Plutarch. 

Note 2, page 179, line I. 
That fearful sound, at midnight deep. 

" At the hour of midnight, the Salarian gate was silently opened, 
and the inhabitants were awakened by the tremendous sound of 



188 NOTES. 

the Gothic trumpet. Eh'ven hundred and sixty-three years after 
the foundation of Rome, the imperial city, which had subdued 
and civilised so considerable a portion of mankind, was delivered 
to the licentious fury of the tribes of Germany and Scythia." 
Decline and Fall of' the Roman Empire, Vol- b, p. 311. 

Note 3, page 180, line last. 

With rich libutions duly shed. 
The plane-tree was much cultivated among the Romans, on 
account of its extraordinary shade; and they used to nourish it 
with wine instead of water, believing (as Sir W. Temple observes) 
that " this tree loved that liquor as well as those who used to 
drink under its shale." See the notes to Melmoth's Pliny. 

Note 4, page 182, line 14. 
Soon shall the Isle of Ceres weep- 
Sicily was anciently considered as the favoured and peculiar 
dominion of Ceres. 



THE 

WIFE OF ASDRUBAL. 



"This governor, who had braved death when it was 
at a distance, and protested that the sun should 
never see him survive Carthage, this fierce 
Asdrubal, was so mean-spirited, as to come 
alone, and privately throw himself at the con- 
queror's feet. The general, pleased to see his 
proud rival humbled, granted his life, and 
kept him to grace his triumph. The Cartha- 
ginians in the citadel no sooner understood 
that their commander had abandoned the place, 
than they threw open the gates, and put the 
proconsul in possession of Byrsa. The Romans 
had now no enemy to contend with but the 
nine hundred deserters, who, being reduced to 
despair, retired into the temple of Esculapius, 

(which was a second citadel within the first : 
there the proconsul attacked them; and these 
unhappy wretches, finding there was no way to 



escape, set fire to the temple. As the flames 
spread, they retreated from one part to another, 
till they got to the roof of the building : there 
Asdrubal's wife appeared in her best apparel, 
as if the day of her death had been a day of 
triumph; and after having uttered the most 
bitter imprecations against her husband, whom 
she saw standing below with Emilianus, * Base 
coward !' said she, ' the mean things thou hast 
done to save thy life shall not avail thee 3 thou 
shalt die this instant, at least in thy two children.* 
Having thus spoken, she drew out a dagger, 
stabbed them both, and while they were yet 
struggling for life, threw them from the top of 
the temple, and leaped down after them into 
the flames." Ancient Universal History. 



WIFE OF ASDRUBAL. 



THE sun sets brightly but a ruddier glow 

O'er Afric's heaven the flames of Carthage throw ; 

Her walls have sunk, and pyramids of fire 

In lurid splendor from her domes aspire j 

Sway'd by the wind, they wave while glares the sky 

As when the desert's red Simoom is nigh j 

The sculptured altar, and the pillar'd hall, 

Shine out in dreadful brightness ere they fall ; 

Far o'er the seas the light of ruin streams, 

Rock, wave, and isle, are crimson'd by its beams ; 

While captive thousands, bound in Roman chains, 

Gaze in mute horror on their burning fanes ; 

And shouts of triumph, echoing far around, 

Swell from the victor's tents with ivy crown'd.* 

* It was a Roman custom to adorn the tents of victors with 
ivy. 



194 THE WIFE OF ASDRUBAL. 

-But mark ! from yon fair temple's loftiest height 
What towering form bursts wildly on the sight, 
All regal in magnificent attire, 
And sternly beauteous in terrific ire ? 
She might be deem'd a Pythia in the hour 
Of dread communion and delirious power j 
A being more than earthly, in whose eye 
There dwells a strange and fierce ascendancy. 
The flames are gathering round intensely bright, 
Full on her features glares their meteor-light, 
But a wild courage sits triumphant there, 
The stormy grandeur of a proud despair ; 
A daring spirit, in its woes elate, 
Mightier than death, untameable by fate. 
The dark profusion of her locks unbound, 
Waves like a warrior's floating plumage round ; 
Flush'd is her cheek, inspired her haughty mien, 
She seems th' avenging goddess of the scene. 

Are those her infants, that with suppliant-cry 
Cling round her, shrinking as the flame draws nigh, 



THE WIFE OF ASDRUBAL. 195 

Clasp with their feeble hands her gorgeous vest, 
And fain would rush for shelter to her breast ? 
Is that a mother's glance, where stern disdain, 
And passion awfully vindictive, reign } 

Fix'd is her eye on Asdrubal, who stands, 
Ignobly safe, amidst the conquering bands j 
On him, who left her to that burning tomb, 
Alone to share her children's martyrdom ; 
Who when his country perish'd, fled the strife, 
And knelt to win the worthless boon of life. 
"Live, traitor, live !" she cries, " since dear to thee, 
E'en in thy fetters, can existence be ! 
Scorn'd and dishonour' d, live ! with blasted name, 
The Roman's triumph not to grace, but shame. 
O slave in spirit ! bitter be thy chain 
With tenfold anguish to avenge my pain ! 
Still may the man&s of thy children rise 
To chase calm slumber from thy wearied eyes \ 

o2 



196 THE WIFE OF ASDRUBAL. 

Still may their voices on the haunted air 

In fearful whispers tell thee to despair, 

Till vain remorse thy wither' d heart consume, 

Scourged by relentless shadows of the tomb ! 

E'en now my sons shall die and thou, their sire, 

In bondage safe, shalt yet in them expire. 

Think' st thou I love them not ? 'Twas thine to fly 

'Tis mine with these to suffer and to die. 

Behold their fate ! the arms that cannot save 

Have been their cradle, and shall be their grave." 

Bright in her hand the lifted dagger gleams, 
Swift from her children's hearts the life-blood 

streams j 
With frantic laugh she clasps them to the breast 
Whose woes and passions soon shall be at rest ; 
Lifts one appealing, frenzied glance on high, 
Then deep midst rolling flames is lost to mortal eye. 



HELIODORUS IN THE TEMPLE. 



From Maccabees, book 2, chapter 3. 21. " Then it 
would have pitied a man to see the falling down 
of the multitude of all sorts, and the fear of the 
high priest, being in such an agony. 22. They 
then called upon the Almighty Lord to keep the 
things committed of trust safe and sure, for 
those that had committed them. 23. Never- 
theless Heliodorus executed that which was de- 
creed. 24. Now as he was there present himself 
with his guard about the treasury, the Lord of 
Spirits, and the Prince of all Power, caused a 
great apparition, so that all that presumed to 
come in with him were astonished at the power 
of God, and fainted, and were sore afraid. 25. 
For there appeared unto them an horse with a 
terrible rider upon him, and adorned with a very 
fair covering, and he ran fiercely, and smote at 
Heliodorus with his forefeet, and it seemed 



that he that sat upon the horse had complete 
harness of gold. 26. Moreover, two other young 
men appeared before him, notable in strength, 
excellent in beauty, and comely in apparel, who 
stood by him on either side, and scourged him 
continually, and gave him many sore stripes. 
27. And Heliodorus fell suddenly to the ground, 
and was compassed with great darkness ; but 
they that were with him took him up, and put 
him into a litter. 28. Thus him that lately 
came with great train, and with all his guard 
into the said treasury, they carried out, being 
unable to help himself with his weapons, and 
manifestly they acknowledged the power of 
God. 29. For he by the hand of God was cast 
down, and lay speechless, without all hope of 
life." 



HELIODORUS IN THE TEMPLE. 



A SOUND of woe in Salem ! mournful cries 
Rose from her dwellings youthful cheeks were 
pale, 

Tears flowing fast from dim and aged eyes, 
And voices mingling in tumultuous wail ; 

Hands raised to heaven in agony of prayer, 

And powerless wrath, and terror, and despair. 

Thy daughters, Judah ! weeping, laid aside 
The regal splendor of their fair array, 

With the rude sackcloth girt their beauty's pride, 
And throng'd the streets in hurrying, wild dismay; 

While knelt thy priests before his awful shrine, 

Who made, of old, renown and empire thine. 



202 HELI0D0RUS IN THE TEMPLE. 

But on the spoiler moves the temple's gate, 
The bright, the beautiful, his guards unfold, 

And all the scene reveals its solemn state, 

Its courts and pillars, rich with sculptured gold ; 

And man, with eye unhallow'd, views th' abode, 

The sever'd spot, the dwelling-place of God. 

Where art thou, Mighty Presence ! that of yore 
Wert wont between the cherubim to rest, 

Veil'd in a cloud of glory, shadowing o'er 
Thy sanctuary the chosen and the blest ? 

Thou ! that didst make fair Sion's ark thy throne, 

And call the oracle's recess thine own ! 

Angel of God ! that through th' Assyrian host, 
Clothed with the darkness of the midnight -hour, 

To tame the proud, to hush th' invader's boast, 
Didst pass triumphant in avenging power, 

Till burst the dayspring on the silent scene, 

And death alone reveal'd where thou hadst been. 



HELIODORUS IN THE TEMPLE. 203 

Wilt thou not wake, O Chastener ! in thy might, 
To guard thine ancient and majestic hill, 

Where oft from heaven the full Shechinah's light 
Hath stream'd the house of holiness to fill ? 

Oh ! yet once more defend thy loved domain, 

Eternal one ! Deliverer ! rise again ! 

Fearless of thee, the plunderer, undismay'd, 
Hastes on, the sacred chambers to explore 

Where the bright treasures of the fane are laid, 
The orphan's portion, and the widow's store ; 

What recks his heart though age unsuccour'd die, 

And want consume the cheek of infancy I 

Away, intruders ! hark ! a mighty sound ! 

Behold, a burst of light ! away, away ! 
A fearful glory fills the temple round, 

A vision bright in terrible array ! 
And lo ! a steed of no terrestrial frame, 
His path a whirlwind, and his breath a flame ! 



204 HELIOD0RUS IN THE TEMPLE. 

His neck is clothed with thunder * and his mane 
Seems waving fire the kindling of his eye 

Is as a meteor ardent with disdain 

His glance his gesture, fierce in majesty ! 

Instinct with light he seems, and form'd to bear 

Some dread archangel through the fields of air. 

But who is he, in panoply of gold, 

Throned on that burning charger? bright his 
form, 
Yet in its brightness awful to behold, 

And girt with all the terrors of the storm ! 
Lightning is on his helmet's crest and fear 
Shrinks from the splendor of his brow severe. 

And by his side two radiant warriors stand 
All-arm' d, and kingly in commanding grace 



* " Hast thou given the horse strength ? Hast thou clothed his 
neck with thunder?" Job, chapter 39, verse 19. 



HELIODORUS IN THE TEMPLE. 205' 

Oh ! more than kingly, godlike ! sternly grand 

Their port indignant, and each dazzling face 
Beams with the beauty to immortals given, 
Magnificent in all the wrath of heaven. 

Then sinks each gazer's heart each knee is bow'd 
In trembling awe but, as to fields of fight, 

Th' unearthly war-steed, rushing through the 
crowd, 
Bursts on their leader in terrific might j 

And the stern angels of that dread abode 

Pursue its plunderer with the scourge of God. 

Darkness thick darkness !-^-low on earth he lies, 
Rash Heliodorus motionless and pale 

Bloodless his cheek, and o'er his shrouded eyes 
Mists, as of death, suspend their shadowy veil ; 

And thus th* oppressor, by his fear-struck train, 

Is borne from that inviolable fane. 



206 HELIODORUS IN THE TEMPLE. 

The light returns the warriors of the sky 

Have pass'd, with all their dreadful pomp, away ; 

Then wakes the timbrel, swells the song on high 
Triumphant, as in Judah's elder day ; 

Rejoice, O city of the sacred hill ! 

Salem, exult ! thy God is with thee still. 



NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 



FROM SISMONDl's " REPUBLIQUES ITALIENXES." 

En meme temps que les Genois poursuivoient 
avec ardeur la guerre contre Pise, ils etoient 
dechires eux-memes par une discorde civile. 
Les consuls de l'annee 1169, pour retablir la 
paix dans leur patrie, au milieu des factions 
sourdes a leur voix et plus puissantes qu'eux, 
furent obliges d'ourdir en quelque sorte une 
conspiration. Ils commencerent par s'assurer 
secretement des dispositions pacifiques de plu- 
sieurs des citoyens, qui cependant etoient en- 
traines dans les emeutes par leur parente avec 
les chefs de faction ; puis, se concertant avec le 
venerable vieillard, Hugues, leur archeveque, ils 
firent, long-temps avant le lever du soleil, ap- 
peler au son des cloches les citoyens au parle- 
ment ; ils se flattoient que la surprise et l'alarme 
de cette convocation inattendue, au milieu de 

p 



l'obscurite de la nuit, rendroit l'assemblee et 
plus complete et plus docile. Les citoyens, en 
accourant au parlement general, virent, au 
milieu de la place publique, le vieil archeveque, 
entoure de son clerge en habit de c6remonies, 
et portant des torches allumees, tandis que les 
reliques de Saint Jean Baptiste, le protecteur le 
Genes, etoient exposees devant lui, et que les 
citoyens les plus respectables portoient a leurs 
mains des croix suppliantes. Des que l'as- 
semblee fut formee, le vieillard se leva, et de 
sa voix cassee il conjura les chefs de parti, au 
nom du Dieu de paix, au nom du salut de leurs 
ames, au nom de leur patrie et de la liberte, 
dont leurs discordes entraineroient la mine, de 
jurer sur l'evangile l'oubli de leurs querelles, et 
la paix a venir. 
" Les herauts, des qu'il eut fini de parler, s'avan- 
cerent aussitot vers Roland Avogado, le chef 
de l'une des factions, qui ctoit present a l'as- 



semblee, et, secondes par les acclamations de 
tout le peuple, et par les prieres de ses parens 
eux-memes, ils le sommerent de se conformer 
au vceu des consuls et de la nation. 

" Roland, a leur approche, dechira ses habits, et, 
s'asseyant par terre en versant des larmes, il 
appela a haute voix les morts qu'il avoit jure 
de venger, et qui ne lui permettoient pas de 
pardonner leurs vieilles offenses. Comme on 
ne pouvoit le determiner a s'avancer, les consuls 
eux-memes, l'archeveque et le clerge, s'appro- 
cherent de lui, et, renouvelant leurs prieres, 
ils l'entrainerent enfin, et lui firent jurer sur 
l'evangile l'oubli de ses inimities passees. 

" Les chefs du parti contraire, Foulques de Castro, 
et Ingo de Volta, n'etoient pas presens a l'as- 
semblee, mais le peuple et le clerge se porterent 
en foule a leurs maisons ; ils les trouverent deja 
ebranles par ce qu'ils venoient d'apprendre, et, 
profitant de leur emotion, ils leur firent jurer 

p2 



une reconciliation sincere, et donner le baiser 
de paix aux chefs de la faction opposee. Alors 
les cloches de la ville sonnerent en temoignage 
d'allegresse, et V archeveque de retour sur la 
place publique entonna un Te Deum avec tout 
le peuple, en honneur du Dieu de paix qui avoit 
sauve leur patrie." Histoire des Republiques 
Italiennes, vol. II. page 149 50. 



NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 



IN Genoa, when the sunset gave 
Its last warm purple to the wave, 
No sound of war, no voice of fear, 
Was heard, announcing danger near : 
Though deadliest foes were there, whose hate 
But slumber' d till its hour of fate, 
Yet calmly, at the twilight's close, 
Sunk the wide city to repose. 

But when deep midnight reign' d around, 
All sudden woke the alarm-bell's sound, 
Full swelling, while the hollow breeze 
Bore its dread summons o'er the seas. 



214 NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 

Then, Genoa, from their slumber started 
Thy sons, the free, the fearless hearted j 
Then mingled with th' awakening peal 
Voices, and steps, and clash of steel. 
Arm, warriors, arm ! for danger calls, 
Arise to guard your native walls ! 
With breathless haste the gathering throng 
Hurry the echoing streets along ; 
Through darkness rushing to the scene 
Where their bold councils still convene. 
But there a blaze of torches bright 
Pours its red radiance on the night, 
O'er fane, and dome, and column playing, 
With every fitful night-wind swaying, 
Now floating o'er each tall arcade, 
Around the pillar'd scene display'd, 
In light relieved by depth of shade ; 
And now, with ruddy meteor-glare, 
Full streaming on the silvery hair 
And the bright cross of him who stands, 
Rearing that sign with suppliant hands, 



NIGHTSCENE IN GENOA. 215 

Girt with his consecrated train, 
The hallow'd servants of the fane. 

Of life's past woes, the fading trace 

Hath given that aged patriarch's face 

Expression holy, deep, resign'd, 

The calm sublimity of mind. 

Years o'er his snowy head have pass'd, 

And left him of his race the last 3 

Alone on earth yet still his mien 

Is bright with majesty serene j 

And those high hopes, whose guiding-star 

Shines from th' eternal worlds afar, 

Have with that light illumed his eye, 

Whose fount is immortality, 

And o'er his features pour'd a ray 

Of glory, not to pass away. 

He seems a being who hath known 

Communion with his God alone, 

On earth by nought but pity's tie 

Detain'd a moment from on high ! 



216 NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 

One to sublimer worlds allied, 
One, from all passion purified, 
E'en now half mingled with the sky, 
And all prepared oh ! not to die- 
But, like the prophet, to aspire, 
In heaven's triumphal car of fire. 

He speaks and from the throngs around 
Is heard not e'en a whisper'd sound ; 
Awe-struck each heart, and fix'd each glance, 
They stand as in a spell-bound trance : 
He speaks oh ! who can hear nor own 
The might of each prevailing tone ? 

" Chieftains and warriors ! ye, so long 
Aroused to strife by mutual wrong, 
Whose fierce and far-transmitted hate 
Hath made your country desolate j 
Now by the love ye bear her name, 
By that pure spark of holy flame 



NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 217 

On freedom's altar brightly burning, 
But, once extinguish'd ne'er returning ; 
By all your hopes of bliss to come 
When burst the bondage of the tomb ; 
By Him, the God who bade us live 
To aid each other, and forgive ; 
I call upon ye to resign 
Your discords at your country's shrine, 
Each ancient feud in peace atone, 
Wield your keen swords for her alone, 
And swear upon the cross, to cast 
Oblivion's mantle o'er the past." 

No voice replies the holy bands 
Advance to where yon chieftain stands, 
With folded arms and brow of gloom, 
O'ershadow'd by his floating plume. 
To him they lift the cross in vain 
He turns oh ! say not with disdain, 
But with a mien of haughty grief, 
That seeks not, e'en from heaven, relief: 



218 NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 

He rends his robes he sternly speaks 
Yet tears are on the warrior's cheeks. 

" Father ! not thus the wounds may close 

Inflicted by eternal foes. 

Deem'st thou thy mandate can efface 

The dread volcano's burning trace ? 

Or bid the earthquake's ravaged scene 

Be, smiling, as it once hath been ? 

No ! for the deeds the sword hath done 

Forgiveness is not lightly won ; 

The words, by hatred spoke, may not 

Be, as a summer breeze, forgot ! 

'Tis vain we deem the war-feud's rage 

A portion of our heritage. 

Leaders, now slumbering with their fame, 

Bequeath'd us that undying flame ; 

Hearts that have long been still and cold 

Yet rule us from their silent mould, 

And voices, heard on earth no more, 

Speak to our spirits as of yore. 



NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 219 

Talk not of mercy blood alone 
The stain of bloodshed may atone ; 
Nought else can pay that mighty debt, 
The dead forbid us to forget." 

He pauses from the patriarch's brow 
There beams more lofty grandeur now ; 
His reverend form, his aged hand, 
Assume a gesture of command, 
His voice is awful, and his eye 
Fill'd with prophetic majesty. 

" The dead ! and deem'st thou they retain 

Aught of terrestrial passion's stain ? 

Of guilt incurr'd in days gone by, 

Aught but the fearful penalty ? 

And say'st thou, mortal ! blood alone 

For deeds of slaughter may atone ? 

There hath been blood by HIM 'twas shed 

To expiate every crime who bled ; 



120 NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 

TV absolving God who died to save, 

And rose in victory from the grave ! 

And by that stainless offering given 

Alike for all on earth to heaven ; 

By that inevitable hour 

When death shall vanquish pride and power, 

And each departing passion's force 

Concentrate all in late remorse ; 

And by the day when doom shall be 

Pass'd on earth's millions, and on thee, 

The doom that shall not -be repeal'd, 

Once utter'd, and for ever seal'd ; 

I summon thee, O child of clay ! 

To cast thy darker thoughts away, 

And meet thy foes in peace and love, 

As thou would' st join the blest above." 

Still as he speaks, unwonted feeling 
Is o'er the chieftain's bosom stealing ; 
Oh ! not in vain the pleading cries 
Of anxious thousands round him rise, 



i 



NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 221 

He yields devotion's mingled sense 
Of faith, and fear, and penitence, 
Pervading all his soul, he bows 
To offer on the cross his vows, 
And that best incense to the skies, 
Each evil passion's sacrifice. 

Then tears from warriors' eyes were flowing, 
High hearts with soft emotions glowing, 
Stern foes as long-loved brothers greeting, 
And ardent throngs in transport meeting, 
And eager footsteps forward pressing, 
And accents loud in joyous blessing ; 
And when their first wild tumults cease, 
A thousand voices echo "Peace!" 

Twilight's dim mist hath roll'd away, 
And the rich Orient burns with day ; 
Then, as to greet the sunbeam's birth, 
Rises the choral hymn of earth j 



222 NIGHT-SCENE IN GENOA. 

Th' exulting strain through Genoa swelling, 

Of peace and holy rapture telling. 

Far float the sounds o'er vale and steep, 

The seaman hears them on the deep, 

So mellow'd by the gale, they seem 

As the wild music of a dream j 

But not on mortal ear alone 

Peals the triumphant anthem's tone, 

For beings of a purer sphere 

Bend with celestial joy, to hear. 



THE TROUBADOUR, 



AND 



RICHARD CCEUR DE LION. 



Not only the place of Richard's confinement," 
(when thrown into prison by the Duke of Aus- 
tria) " if we believe the literary history of the 
times, but even the circumstance of his captivity, 
was carefully concealed by his vindictive ene- 
mies : and both might have remained unknown 
but for the grateful attachment of a Provencal 
bard, or minstrel, named Blondel, who had 
shared that prince's friendship, and tasted his 
bounty. Having travelled over all the European 
continent to learn the destiny of his beloved 
patron, Blondel accidentally got intelligence of 
a certain castle in Germany, where a prisoner 
of distinction was confined, and guarded with 
great vigilance* Persuaded by a secret impulse 
that this prisoner was the King of England, the 
minstrel repaired to the place j but the gates of 
the castle were shut against him, and he could 

Q 



obtain no information relative to the name or 
quality of the unhappy person it secured. In 
this extremity, he bethought himself of an ex- 
pedient for making the desired discovery. He 
chanted, with a loud voice, some verses of a 
song which had been composed partly by him- 
self, partly by Richard ; and to his unspeakable 
joy, on making a pause, he heard it re-echoed 
and continued by the royal captive. (Hist. 
Troubadours.) To this discovery the English 
monarch is said to have eventually owed his 
release." See Russell's Modern Europe, vol. 1, 
p. 369. 



THE TROUBADOUR, 

AND 

RICHARD CCEUR DE LION. 



THE Troubadour o'er many a plain 

Hath roam'd unwearied, but in vain. 

O'er many a rugged mountain-scene, 

And forest-wild, his track hath been ; 

Beneath Calabria's glowing sky 

He hath sung the songs of chivalry, 

His voice hath swell'd on the Alpine breeze. 

And rung through the snowy Pyrenees ; 

From Ebro's banks to Danube's wave, 

He hath sought his prince, the loved, the brave, 

And yet, if still on earth thou art, 

O monarch of the lion-heart ! 

o2 



228 THE TROUBADOUR, AND 

The faithful spirit, which distress 
But heightens to devotedness, 
By toil and trial vanquish'd not, 
Shall guide thy minstrel to the spot. 

He hath reach'd a mountain hung with vine, 
And woods that wave o'er the lovely Rhine ; 
The feudal towers that crest its height 
Frown in unconquerable might ; 
Dark is their aspect of sullen state, 
No helmet hangs o'er the massy gate l 
To bid the wearied pilgrim rest, 
At the chieftain's board a welcome guest ; 
Vainly rich evening's parting smile 
Would chase the gloom of the haughty pile, 
That midst bright sunshine lowers on high, 
Like a thunder-cloud in a summer -sky. 

Not these the halls where a child of song 
Awhile may speed the hours along ; 



RICHARD CfEUR DE HON. 229 

Their echos should repeat alone 
The tyrant's mandate, the prisoner's moan, 
Or the wild huntsman's bugle-blast. 
When his phantom-train are hurrying past. 2 

The weary minstrel paused his eye 
Roved o'er the scene despondingly : 
Within the lengthening shadow, cast 
By the fortress-towers and ramparts vast, 
Lingering he gazed the rocks around 
Sublime in savage grandeur frown'd ; 
Proud guardians of the regal flood, 
In giant strength the mountains stood ; 
By torrents cleft, by tempests riven, 
Yet mingling still with the calm blue heaven. 
Their peaks were bright with a sunny glow, 
But the Rhine all shadowy roll'd below j 
In purple tints the vineyards smiled, 
But the woods beyond waved dark and wild; 
Nor pastoral pipe, nor convent's bell, 
Was heard on the sighing breeze to swell, 



230 THE TROUBADOUR, AND 

But all was lonely, silent, rude, 
A stern, yet glorious solitude. 

But hark ! that solemn stillness breaking, 
The Troubadour's wild song is waking. 
Full oft that song, in days gone by, 
Hath cheer'd the sons of chivalry j 
It hath swell'd o'er Judah's mountains lone, 
Hermon ! thy echos have learn'd its tone j 
On the Great Plain 3 its notes have rung, 
The leagued Crusaders tents among j 
Twas loved by the Lion-heart, who won 
The palm in the field of Ascalon ; 
And now afar o'er the rocks of Rhine 
Peals the bold strain of Palestine. 

THE TROUBADOUR'S SONG. 

** Thine hour is come, and the stake is set," 
The Soldan cried to the captive knight, 

" And the sons of the Prophet in throngs are met 
To gaze on the fearful sight. 



RICHARD CCEUR DE LION. 231 

" But be our faith by thy lips profess'd, 

The faith of Mecca's shrine, 
Cast down the red-cross that marks thy vest, 

And life shall yet be thine:" 

" I have seen the flow of my bosom's blood, 

And gazed with undaunted eye j 
I have borne the bright cross through fire and flood, 

And think'st thou I fear to die ? 

" I have stood where thousands, by Salem's towers, 

Have fall'n for the name divine j 
And the faith that cheer'd their closing hours 

Shall be the light of mine." 

" Thus wilt thou die in the pride of health, 
And the glow of youth's fresh bloom ? 

Thou art offer'd life, and pomp, and wealth, 
Or torture and the tomb." 



232 THE TROUBADOUR, AND 

" I have been where the crown of thorns was twined 

For a dying Saviour's brow ; 
He spurn'd the treasures that lure mankind, 

And I reject them now!" 

" Art thou the son of a noble line 

In a land that is fair and blest ? 
And doth not thy spirit, proud captive ! pine, 

Again on its shores to rest ? 

" Thine own is the choice to hail once more 

The soil of thy fathers' birth, 
Or to sleep, when thy lingering pangs are o'er, 

Forgotten in foreign earth." 

" Oh ! fair are the vine-clad hills that rise 

In the country of my love j 
But yet, though cloudless my native skies, 

There's a brighter clime above !" 



RICHARD CCEUR DE LION. 233 

The bard hath paused for another tone 
Blends with the music of his own ; 
And his heart beats high with hope again, 
As a well-known voice prolongs the strain. 

" Are there none within thy father's hall, 

Far o'er the wide blue main, 
Young Christian ! left to deplore thy fall, 

With sorrow deep and vain ?" 

" There are hearts that still, through all the past, 

Unchanging have loved me well ; 
There are eyes whose tears were streaming fast 

When I bade my home farewell. 

* Better they wept o'er the warrior's bier 

Than th' apostate's living stain ; 
There's a land where those who loved, when here, 

Shall meet to love again." 



234 THE TROUBADOUR, &c. 

Tis he ! thy prince long sought, long lost, 
The leader of the red-cross host ! 
'Tis he ! to none thy joy betray, 
Young Troubadour ! away, away ! 
Away to the island of the brave, 
The gem on the bosom of the wave, 4 
Arouse the sons of the noble soil, 
To win their lion from the toil ; 
And free the wassail-cup shall flow, 
Bright in each hall the hearth shall glow j 
The festal board shall be richly crown'd, 
While knights and chieftains revel round, 
And a thousand harps with joy shall ring, 
When merry England hails her king. 



NOTES. 



Note 1, page 228, line 10. 
No helmet hangs o'er the massy gate. 

It was a custom in feudal times to hang out a helmet on a castle, 
as a token that strangers were invited to enter, and partake of hos- 
pitality. So in the romance of ' Perceforest, " ils fasoient mettre 
au plus hault de leur hostel un heaulme, en signe que tous les 
gentils hommes et gentilles femmes entrassent hardiment en leur 
hostel comme en leur propre." 

Note 2, page 229, lines 3 and 4.] 
Or the wild huntsman's bugle-blast, 
When his phantom-train are hurrying past. 

Popular tradition has made several mountains in Germany the 
haunt of the wild Jager, or supernatural huntsman the super- 
stitious tales relating to the Unterburg are recorded in Eustace's 
Classical Tour; and it is still believed in the romantic district < f 
the Odenwald, that the knight of Rodenstein, issuing from his 
ruined castle, announces the approach of war by traversing tie 
air with a noisy armament to the opposite castle of Schnellerts. 
See the " Manuel pour les Voyageurs sur le Rhin," and " Autumn on 
the Rhine." 



236 



NOTES. 



Note 3, page 230, line 9. 
On the Great Plain Us notes have rung. 
The Plain of Esdraelon, called by way of eminence the ** Great 
Plain;" in Scripture, and elsewhere, the " field ofMegiddo," the 
Galilaean Plain." This plain, the most fertile part of all the 
land of Canaan, has been the scene of many a memorable contest 
in the first ages of Jewish history, as well as during the Roman 
empire, the Crusades, and even in later times. It has been a 
chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in this 
country, from the days of Nabuchodonosor, king of the Assyrians, 
until the disastrous march of Bonaparte from Egypt into Syria. 
Warriors out of " every nation which is under heaven" have 
pitched their tents upon the Plain of Esdraelon, and have beheld 
the various banners of their nations wet with the dews of Hermon 
and Thabor. Br. Clarke's Travels. 

Note 4, page 234, line 6. 
The gem on the bosom of the wave. 
" This precious stone set in the silver sea." 

Shakespeare's Richard II. 



THE 



DEATH OF CONRADIN. 



k 



FROM SISMONDI S " REPUBLIQUES ITALIENNES. 

** La defaite de Conradin ne devoit mettre une terme 
ni a sea malheurs, ni aux vengeances du roi 
(Charles d'Anjou). L'amour du peuple pour 
l'heritier legitime du trone, avoit eclate d'une 
maniere eflfrayante ; il pouvoit causer de nouvelles 
revolutions, si Conradin demeuroit en vie 5 et 
Charles, revetant sa defiance et sa cruaut6 des 
formes de la justice, resolut de faire perir sur 
l'echafaud le dernier rejeton de la Maison de 
Souabe, Tunique esperance de son parti. Un 
seul juge provengal et sujet de Charles, dont les 
historiens n'ont pas voulu conserver le nom, 
osa voter pour la mort, d'autres se renfermerent 
dans un timide et coupable silence 5 et Charles, 
sur l'autorite de ce seul juge, fit prononcer, 
par Robert de Bari, protonotaire du royaume, 
la sentence de mort contre Conradin et tous ses 



compagnons. Cette sentence fut communiquee 
a 1 Conradin, comme il jouoit aux echecs ; on lui 
laissa peu de temps pour se preparer a son 
execution, et le 26 d'Octobre, il fut conduit, 
avec tous ses amis, sur la Place du Marche de 
Naples, le long du rivage de la mer. Charles 
etoit present, avec toute sa cour, et une foule 
immense entouroit le roi vainqueur et le roi 
condamne. Conradin etoit entre les mains des 
bourreaux j il detacha lui-meme son manteau, 
et s'ctant mis a genoux pour prier, il se releva 
en s'ecriant : ' Oh, ma mere, quelle profonde 
douleur te causera la nouvelle qu'on va te porter 
de moi !' Puis il tourna les yeux sur la foule qui 
l'entouroit; il vit les larmes, il entendit les 
sanglots de son peuplej alors, detachant son 
gant, il jeta au milieu de ses sujets ce gage 
d'un combat de vengeance, et rendit sa tte au 
bourreau. Apres lui, sur le meme echafaud, 
Charles fit trancher la tete au Due d'Autriche, 



aux Comtes Gualferano et Bartolommeo Lancia. 
et aux Comtes Gerard et Galvano Donoratico 
de Pise. Par un refinement de cruante, Charles 
voulut que le premier, fils du second, precedat 
son pere, et mourut entre ses bras. Les ca- 
davres, d'apres ses ordres, furent exclus d'une 
terre sainte, et inhumes sans pompe sur le 
rivage de la mer. Charles II., cependant fit 
dans la suite, batir sur le meme lieu, une 
eglise de Carmehtes, comme pour appaiser ces 
ombres irritees." 



THE 

DEATH OF CONRADIN. 



NO cloud to dim the splendor of the day 
Which breaks o'er Naples and her lovely bay, 
And lights that brilliant sea and magic shore 
With every tint that charm'd the great of yore j 
Th' imperial ones of earth who proudly bade 
Their marble domes e'en Ocean's realm invade. 

That race is gone but glorious Nature here 
Maintains unchanged her own sublime career, 
And bids these regions of the sun display 
Bright hues, surviving empires past away. 

The beam of Heaven expands its kindling smile 
Reveals each charm of many a fairy isle, 

r2 



244 THE DEATH OF CONRADIN. 

Whose image floats, in softer colouring drest, 
With all its rocks and vines, on Ocean's breast. 
Misenum's cape hath caught the vivid ray, 
On Roman streamers there no more to play} 
Still as of old, unalterably bright, 
Lovely it sleeps on Posilippo's height, 
With all Italia's sunshine to illume 
The ilex canopy of Virgil's tomb. 
Campania's plains rejoice in light, and spread 
Their gay luxuriance o'er the mighty dead j 
Fair glittering to thine own transparent skies, 
Thy palaces, exulting Naples ! rise -, 
While, far on high, Vesuvius rears his peak, 
Furrow'd and dark with many a lava streak. 

O ye bright shores of Circe and the Muse ! 
Rich with all Nature's and all fiction's hues j 
Who shall explore your regions, and declare 
The poet err'd to paint Elysium there ? 
Call up his spirit, wanderer ! bid him guide 
Thy steps, those syren-haunted seas beside, 



THE DEATH OF CONRADIN. 345 

And all the scene a lovelier light shall wear, 
And spells more potent shall pervade the air. 
What though his dust be scatter'd, and his urn 
Long from its sanctuary of slumber torn, l 
Still dwell the beings of his verse around, 
Hovering in beauty o'er th' enchanted ground ; 
His lays are murmur'd in each breeze that roves 
Soft o'er the sunny waves and orange-groves. 
His memory's charm is spread o'er shore and sea, 
The soul, the genius of Parthenope j 
Shedding o'er myrtle-shade and vine-clad hill 
The purple radiance of Elysium still. 

Yet that fair soil and calm resplendent sky 
Have witness'd many a dark reality. 
Oft o'er those bright blue seas the gale hath borne 
The sighs of exiles, never to return. 2 
There with the whisper of Campania's gale 
Hath mingled oft affection's funeral-wail, 
Mourning for buried heroes while to her 
That glowing land was but their sepulchre. 5 



246 THE DEATH OF CONRAPIN. 

And there of old, the dread, mysterious moan 
Swell'd from strange voices of no mortal tone ; 
And that wild trumpet, whose unearthly note 
Was heard, at midnight, o'er the hills to float 
Around the spot where Agrippina died, 
Denouncing vengeance on the matricide. 

Fast are those ages yet another crime, 
Another woe, must stain th' Elysian clime. 
There stands a scaffold on the sunny shore 
It must be crimson'd ere the day is o'er ! 
There is a throne in regal pomp array'd, 
A scene of death from thence must be survey 'd. 
Mark'd ye the rushing throngs ? each mien is pale, 
Each hurried glance reveals a fearful tale j 
But the deep workings of th' indignant breast, 
Wrath, hatred, pity, must be all suppress'd ; 
The burning tear awhile must check its course, 
Th' avenging thought concentrate all its force, 
For tyranny is near and will not brook 
Aught but submission in each guarded look. 



THE DEATH OF CONRADIN. 247 

Girt with his fierce Provencals, and with mien 
Austere in triumph, gazing on the scene, 5 
And in his eye a keen suspicious glance 
Of jealous pride and restless vigilance, 
Behold the conqueror ! vainly in his face, 
Of gentler feeling hope would seek a trace ; 
Cold, proud, severe, the spirit which hath lent 
Its haughty stamp to each dark lineament ; 
And pleading mercy, in the sternness there, 
May read at once her sentence to despair ! 

But thou, fair boy ! the beautiful, the brave, 
Thus passing from the dungeon to the grave, 
While all is yet around thee which can give 
A charm to earth, and make it bliss to live ; 
Thou on whose form hath dwelt a mother's eye, 
Till the deep love that not with thee shall die 
Hath grown too full for utterance can it be ? 
And is this pomp of death prepared for thee ? 
Young, royal Conradin ! who should'st have known 
Of life as yet the sunny smile alone ! 



248 THE DEATH OF CONRADIN. 

Oh ! who can view thee, in the pride and bloom 
Of youth, array'd thus richly for the tomb, 
Nor feel, deep-swelling in his inmost soul, 
Emotions tyranny may ne'er control ? 
Bright victim ! to ambition's altar led, 
Crown'd with allflowers that heaven on earth can shed, 
Who, from th' oppressor towering in his pride, 
May hope for mercy if to thee denied ? 

There is dead silence on the breathless throng, 

Dead silence all the peopled shore along, 

As on the captive moves the only sound, 

To break that calm so fearfully profound, 

The low, sweet murmur of the rippling wave, 

Soft as it glides, the smiling shore to lave ; 

While on that shore, his own fair heritage, 

The youthful martyr to a tyrant's rage 

Is passing to his fate the eyes are dim 

Which gaze, through tears that dare not flow, on him : 

He mounts the scaffold doth his footstep fail ? 

Doth his lip quiver? doth his cheek turn pale? 



THE DEATH OF CONRADIN. 249 

Oh ! it may be forgiven him, if a thought 
Cling to that world, for him with beauty fraught, 
To all the hopes that promised Glory's meed, 
And all th' affections that with him shall bleed ! 
If, in his life's young day-spring, while the rose 
Of boyhood on his cheek yet freshly glows, 
One human fear convulse his parting breath, 
And shrink from all the bitterness of death ! 

But no ! the spirit of his royal race 

Sits brightly on his brow that youthful face 

Beams with heroic beauty and his eye 

Is eloquent with injured majesty. 

He kneels but not to man his heart shall own 

Such deep submission to his God alone ! 

And who can tell with what sustaining power 

That God may visit him in fate's dread hour \ 

How the still voice, which answers every moan, 

May speak of hope, when hope on earth is gone I 



250 THE DEATH OF CONRADIK. 

That solemn pause is o'er the youth hath given 

One glance of parting love to earth and heaven j 

The sun rejoices in th' unclouded sky, 

Life all around him glows and he must die ! 

Yet 'midst his people, undismay'd, he throws 

The gage of vengeance for a thousand woes j 

Vengeance, that like their own volcano's fire, 

May sleep suppress'd awhile but not expire. 

One softer image rises o'er his breast, 

One fond regret, and all shall be at rest ! 

n Alas, for thee, my mother ! who shall bear 

To thy sad heart the tidings of despair, 

When thy lost child is gone?" that thought can thrill 

His soul with pangs one moment more shall still. 

The lifted axe is glittering in the sun 

It falls the race of Conradin is run ! 

Yet from the blood which flows that shore to stain, 

A voice shall cry to heaven and not in vain ! 

Gaze thou, triumphant from thy gorgeous throne, 

In proud supremacy of guilt alone, 



THE DEATH OF CONRADIN. 251 

Charles of Anjou ! but that dread voice shall be 
A fearful summoner e'en yet to thee ! 

The scene of death is closed the throngs depart, 
A deep stern lesson graved on every heart. 
No pomp, no funeral rites, no streaming eyes, 
High-minded boy ! may grace thine obsequies. 
O vainly royal and beloved ! thy grave, 
Unsanctified, is bath'd by ocean's wave, 
Mark'd by no stone, a rude, neglected spot, 
Unhonour'd, unadorn'd but unforgot; 
For thy deep wrongs in tameless hearts shall live, 
Now mutely suffering never to forgive ! 

The sunset fades from purple heavens away, 
A bark hath anchor'd in th' unruffled bay ; 
Thence on the beach descends a female form, 6 
Her mien with hope and tearful transport warm ; 
But life hath left sad traces on her cheek, 
And her soft eyes a chasten'd heart bespeak, 



252 THE DEATH OF CONRADIN. 

Inured to woes yet what were all the past ! 

She sunk not feebly 'neath affliction's blast, 

While one bright hope remain'd who now shall tell 

Th' uncrown'd, the widow'd, how her loved-one fell ? 

To clasp her child, to ransom and to save, 

The mother came and she hath found his grave '. 

And by that grave, transfix' d in speechless grief, 

Whose death-like trance denies a tear's relief, 

Awhile she kneels till roused at length to know, 

To feel the might, the fulness of her woe, 

On the still air a voice of anguish wild, 

A mother's cry, is heard " My Conradin ! my child ! " 



NOTES. 



Note 1 , page 245, line 4. 
Long from its sanctuary of slumber torn. 

The urn, supposed to have contained the ashes of Virgil, has 
long since been lost. 

Note 2, page 245, line 16. 
The sighs of exiles, never to return. 

Many Romans of exalted rank were formerly banished to some 
of the small islands in the Mediterranean, on the coast of Italy. 
Julia, the daughter of Augustus, was confined mauy years in the 
isle of Pandataria, and her daughter, Agrippina, the widow of 
Germanicus, afterwards died in exile on the same desolate spot. 

Note 3, page 245, line last. 
That glowing land was but their sepulchre. 

" Quelques souvenirs du cceur, quelques noms de femmes, re- 
clament aussi vos pleurs. C'est a Misene, dans le lieu meme oil 
nous sommes, que la veuve de Pompee, Cornelie, conserva jusqu'a 
la mort son noble deuil; Agrippine pleura long-temps Germanicus 
sur ces bords. Un jour, le meme assassin qui lui ravit son epoux 



BY THE SAME AUTHOR. 

1. THE RESTORATION OF THE WOHKS OF ART TO ITALY. 

2. MODERN GREECE. 

3. TRANSLATIONS FROM CAMOENS AND OTHER POETS. 



LONDON: 

PRINTED BY THOMAS DAVISON, WHITEFRIAKS. 



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