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Full text of "Translations from Camoens"

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TRANSLATIONS 



FROM 



CAMOENS, 

AND OTHER POETS, 



WITH 



ORIGINAL POETRY, 



BY THE 



AUTHOR OF MODERN GREECE," AND THE RESTORATION 
OF THE WORKS OF ART TO ITALY." 



Siamo nati veramente in un secolo in cui gl'ingegni e gli studj degli 

uomnn sono rivolti all' utilia L'Agricoltura, le Art, il Commercio acql 

> tutto di novi lurni dalle ricercbe de' Saggi - e il voler farsi un nome 

* v>aspira con piu giustizia +? 

SAVIOLI. 



OXFORD: 

PRINTED BY S. AND J. COLLINGWOOD ; 

For J. MURRAY, London ; and J. PARKER, Oxford. 

1818. 



O I T A J <5 ft .A H T 









1 J A tt I O I H ( 



TRANSLATIONS 

FROM 

CAMOENS 

AND OTHER POETS, 



CAMOENS. 

SONNET 70. 
Na metade do Ceo subido ardia. 

.HIGH in the glowing heavens, with cloudless beam, 
The sun had reached the zenith of his reign, 
And for the living fount, the gelid stream, 
Each flock forsook the herbage of the plain : 

Midst the dark foliage of the forest-shade, 
The birds had sheltered from the scorching ray ; 
Hushed were their melodies and grove and glade 
Resounded but the shrill cicada's lay : 

When, through the grassy vale, a love-lorn swain, 
To seek the maid who but despised his pain, 
Breathing vain sighs of fruitless passion roved : 
" Why pine for her/' the slighted wanderer cried, 
" By whom thou art not loved ?" and thus replied 
An echo's murmuring voice " Thou art not loved!" 



B2 



CAMOENS. 

SONNET 282. 

From Psalm CXXXVII. 

Na ribeira do Euprates assentado. 

WRAPT in sad musings, by Euphrates' stream 
I sat, retracing days for ever flown, 
While rose thine image on the exile's dream, 
O much-loved Salem ! and thy glories gone. 

When they, who caused the ceaseless tears I shed, 
Thus to their captive spoke, " Why sleep thy lays ? 
" Sing of thy treasures lost, thy splendor fled, 
"And all thy triumphs in departed days ! 

" Know'st thou not, Harmony's resistless charm 
" Can soothe each passion, and each grief disarm ? 
ff Sing then, and tears will vanish from thine eye." 
With sighs I answered, When the cup of woe 
Is filled, till misery's bitter draught o'erflow, 
The mourner's cure is not to sing, but die. 



CAMOENS. 

PART OF ECLOGUE 15. 

Se la no assento da maior alteza. 

IF in thy glorious home above 

Thou still recallest earthly love, 

If yet retained a thought may be 

Of him, whose heart hath bled for thee ; 

Remember still how deeply shrined. 
Thine image in his joyless mind, 
Each well-known scene, each former care, 
Forgotten thou alone art there ! 

Remember that thine eye-beams light 
Hath fled for ever from his sight, 
And, with that vanished sunshine lost, 
Is every hope he cherished most. 

Think that his life, from thee apart, 
Is all but weariness of heart, 
Each stream^ whose music once was dear, 
Now murmurs discord to his ear. 

B3 



Through thee, the morn, whose cloudless rays 
Woke him to joy in other days, 
Now, in the light of beauty drest, 
Brings but new sorrows to his breast. 

Through thee, the heavens are dark to him, 
The sun's meridian blaze is dim ; 
And harsh were e'en the bird of eve, 
But that her song still loves to grieve. 

All it hath been, his heart forgets, 
So altered by its long regrets ; 
Each wish is changed, each hope is o'er, 
And joy's light spirit wakes no more. 



CAMOENS. 

SONNET 271. 
A formosura desta fresca serra. 

J. HIS mountain-scene, with sylvan grandeur crowned ; 
These chestnut-woods, in summer verdure bright ; 
These founts and rivulets, whose mingling sound 
Lulls every bosom to serene delight; 

Soft on these hills the sun's declining ray; 
This clime, where all is new ; these murmuring seas ; 
Flocks, to the fold that bend their lingering way; 
Light clouds, contending with the genial breeze ; 

And all that Nature's lavish hands dispense, 
In gay luxuriance, charming every sense, 
Ne'er, in thy absence, can delight my breast ; 
Nought, without thee, my weary soul beguiles ; 
And joy may beam, yet, midst her brightest smiles, 
A secret grief is mine, that will not rest. 



B4 



8 



CAMOENS. 

SONNET 186. 
Os olhos onde o casto Amor ardia. 

JL HOSE eyes, whence Love diffused his purest light, 
Proud in such beaming orbs his reign to show ; 
That face, with tints of mingling lustre bright, 
Where the rose mantled o'er the living snow ; 

The rich redundance of that golden hair, 
Brighter than sunbeams of meridian day ; 
That form so graceful, and that hand so fair, 
Where now those treasures ? mouldering into clay ! 

Thus, like some blossom prematurely torn> 
Hath young Perfection withered in its morn, 
Touched by the hand that gathers but to blight ! 
Oh ! how could Love survive his bitter tears ? 
Shed, not for her, who mounts to happier spheres, 
But for his own sad fate, thus wrapt in starless night ! 



CAMOENS. 

SONNET 108. 
Brandas aguas do Tejo que passando. 

* AIR Tajo ! thou, whose calmly-flowing tide 

Bathes the fresh verdure of these lovely plains. 

Enlivening all where'er thy waves may glide, 

Flowers, herbage, flocks, and sylvan nymphs, and swains : 

Sweet stream ! I know not when my steps again 
Shall tread thy shores ; and while to part I mourn, 
I have no hope to meliorate my pain, 
No dream that whispers I may yet return ! 

My frowning destiny, whose watchful care 
Forbids me blessings, and ordains despair, 
Commands me thus to leave thee, and repine : 
And I must vainly mourn the scenes I fly, 
And breathe on other gales my plaintive sigh, 
And blend my tears with other waves than thine ! 



10 
, CAMOENS. 

SONNET 23. 
TO A LADY, WHO DIED AT SEA. 

Chara minha inimiga, em cuja mao. 

JL HOU, to whose power my hopes, my joys, I give, 
O fondly loved ! my bosom's dearest care ! 
Earth, which denied to lend thy form a grave, 
Yields not one spell to soothe my deep despair ! 

Yes ! the wild seas entomb those charms divine, 
Dark o'er thy head th' eternal billows roll ; 
But while one ray of life or thought is mine, 
Still shalt thou live, the inmate of my soul. 

And if the tones of my uncultured song 

Have power the sad remembrance to prolong, 

Of love so ardent, and of faith so pure ; 

Still shall my verse thine epitaph remain, 

Still shall thy charms be deathless in my strain, 

While Time, and Love, and Memory, shall endure. 



11 

CAMOENS. 

SONNET 19. 

Alma minha gentil, que te partiste. 

OPIRIT beloved ! whose wing so soon hath flown 
The joyless precincts of this earthly sphere, 
How is yon Heaven eternally thine own, 
Whilst I deplore thy loss, a captive here. 

Oh ! if allowed in thy divine abode 
Of aught on earth an image to retain, 
Remember still the fervent love which glowed 
In my fond bosom, pure from every stain. 

And if thou deem that all my faithful grief, 
Caused by thy loss, and hopeless of relief, 
Can merit thee, sweet native of the skies ! 
Oh ! ask of Heaven, which called thee soon away, 
That I may join thee in those realms of day, 
Swiftly, as thou hast vanished from mine eyes. 



12 
CAMOENS. 

Que estranho caso de amor ! 

JtdoW strange a fate in love is mine ! 
How dearly prized the pains I feel ! 
Pangs, that to rend my soul combine, 
With avarice I conceal : 
For did the world the tale divine, 

My lot would then be deeper woe, 

? 
And mine is grief, that none must know. 

To mortal ears I may not dare 
Unfold the cause, the pain I prove; 
'Twould plunge in ruin and despair 
Or me, or her I love. 
My soul delights alone to bear 
Her silent, unsuspected woe, 
And none shall pity, none shall know. 

Thus buried in my bosom's urn, 
Thus in my inmost heart concealed, 



13 

Let me alone the secret mourn, 
In pangs unsoothed and unrevealed. 
For whether happiness or woe, 
Or life or death its power bestow, 
It is what none on earth must know. 



14 

CAMOENS. 

SONNET 58, 
Se as penas com que Amor tao mal me trata. 

OHOULD Love, the tyrant of my suffering heart. 
Yet long enough protract his votary's days, 
To see the lustre from those eyes depart, 
The lode-stars now *, that fascinate my gaze ; 

To see rude Time the living roses blight, 
That o'er thy cheek their loveliness unfold, 
And all unpitying, change thy tresses bright, 
To silvery whiteness, from their native gold ; 

Oh ! then thy heart an equal change will prove, 
And mourn the coldness that repelled my love, 
When tears and penitence will all be vain ; 
And I shall see thee weep for days gone by, 
And in thy deep regret and fruitless sigh, 
Find amplest vengeance for my former pain. 

* " Your eyes are lode-stars." 

SHAKSPEARE. 



15 
CAMOENS. 

SONNET 178. 
Ja cantei, ja chorei a dura guerra. 

OFT have I sung and mourned the bitter woes, 
Which Love for years hath mingled with my fate, 
While he the tale forbade me to disclose, 
That taught his votaries their deluded state. 

Nymphs ! who dispense Castalia's living stream, 
Ye, who from Death oblivion's mantle steal, 
Grant me a strain in powerful tone supreme, 
Each grief by love inflicted to reveal : 

That those, whose ardent hearts adore his sway, 
May hear experience breathe a warning lay, 
How false his smiles, his promises how vain ! 
Then, if ye deign this effort to inspire, 
When the sad task is o'er, my plaintive lyre, 
For ever hushed, shall slumber in your fane. 



16 
CAMOENS. 

SONNET 80. 
Como quando do mar tempestuoso. 

OAVED from the perils of the stormy wave, 
And faint with toil, the wanderer of the main. 
But just escaped from shipwreck's billowy grave, 
Trembles to hear its horrors named again. 

How warm his vow, that Ocean's fairest mien 
No more shall lure him from the smiles of home ! 
Yet soon, forgetting each terrific scene, 
Once more he turns, o'er boundless deeps to roam. 

Lady ! thus I, who vainly oft in flight 

Seek refuge from the dangers of thy sight, 

Make the firm vow, to shun thee and be free : 

But my fond heart, devoted to its chain, 

Still draws me back where countless perils reign, 

And grief and ruin spread their snares for me. 



CAMOENS. 

SONNET 239. 

From Psalm CXXXVII. 

Em Babylonia sobre os rios, quando. 

-DESJDE the streams of Babylon, in tears 
Of vain desire, we sat; remembering thee, 
O hallowed Sion ! and the vanished years, 
When Israel's chosen sons were blest and free : 

Our harps, neglected and untuned, we hung 
Mute on the willows of the stranger's land ; 
When songs, like those that in thy fanes we sung, 
Our foes demanded from their captive-band. 

How shall our voices, on a foreign shore, 

(We answer'd those whose chains the exile wore,) 

The songs of God, our sacred songs, renew? 

If I forget, midst grief and wasting toil, 

Thee, O Jerusalem ! my native soil ! 

May my right-hand forget its cunning too! 



18 
CAMOENS. 

SONNET 128. 
Huma admiravel herva se conhece. 

JL HERE blooms a plant, whose gaze, from hour to hour. 
Still to the sun with fond devotion turns, 
Wakes, when Creation hails his dawning power, 
And most expands, when most her idol burns : 

But when he seeks the bosom of the deep, 
i 

His faithful plant's reflected charms decay; 

Then fade her flowers, her leaves discoloured weep, 

Still fondly pining for the vanished ray. 

Thou whom I love, the daystar of my sight ! 
When thy dear presence wakes me to delight, 
Joy in my soul unfolds her fairest flower : 
But in thy heaven of smiles alone it blooms, 
And, of their light deprived, in grief consumes, 
Born but to live within thine eye-beam's power. 



19 

CAMOENS. 

Polo men apartamento. 

AMIDST the bitter tears that fell 

In anguish at my last farewell, 

Oh ! who would dream that joy could dwell, 

To make that moment bright ? 
Yet be my judge, each heart ! and say, 
Which then could most my bosom sway. 

Affliction, or delight ? 

It was, when Hope, opprest with woes, 
Seemed her dim eyes in death to close, 
That Rapture's brightest beam arose 

In sorrow's darkest night. 
Thus, if my soul survive that hour, 
'Tis that my fate o'ercame the power 

Of anguish with delight. 

For oh ! her love, so long unknown, 
She then confest, was all my own, 
And in that parting hour alone 
Revealed it to my sight. 
c 2 



20 

And now what pangs will rend my soul, 
Should fortune still, with stern control, 
Forbid me this delight. 

I know not if my bliss were vain, 
For all the force of parting pain 
Forbade suspicious doubts to reign, 

When exiled from her sight : 
Yet now what double wo for me, 
Just at the close of eve, to see 

The dayspring of delight. 



21 
CAMOENS. 

SONNET 205. 
Quern diz que Amor he falso, o enganoso. 

AlE who proclaims that Love is light and vain, 
Capricious, cruel, false in all his ways ; 
Ah ! sure too well hath merited his pain, 
Too justly finds him all he thus pourtrays ; 

For Love is pitying, Love is soft and kind; 
Believe not him who dares the tale oppose; 
Oh ! deem him one whom stormy passions blind, 
One to whom earth and heaven may well be foes. 

If Love bring evils, view them all in me ! 

Here let the world his utmost rigour see, 

His utmost power exerted to annoy : 

But all his ire is still the ire of Love ; 

And such delight in all his woes I prove, 

I would not change their pangs for aught of other joy ! 



c3 



22 
CAMOENS. 

SONNET 133. 
Doces, e claras aguas do Mondego. 

WAVES of Mondego ! brilliant and serene, 
Haunts of my thought, where memory fondly strays; 
Where hope allured me with perfidious mien, 
Witching my soul, in long-departed days; 

Yes ! I forsake your banks ; but still my heart 
Shall bid remembrance all your charms restore, 
And, suffering not one image to depart, 
Find lengthening distance but endear you more. 

Let fortune's will, through many a future day, 
To distant realms this mortal frame convey, 
Sport of each wind, and tost on every wave ! 
Yet my fond soul, to pensive memory true, 
On thought's light pinion still shall fly to you, 
And still, bright waters ! in your current lave. 



23 
CAMOENS. 

SONNET 181. 
Onde acharei lugar tao apartado. 

W HERE shall I find some desert-scene so rude, 
Where loneliness so undisturbed may reign, 
That not a step shall ever there intrude 
Of roving man, or nature's savage train ? 

Some tangled thicket, desolate and drear, 
Or deep wild forest, silent as the tomb, 
Boasting no verdure bright, no fountain clear, 
But darkly suited to my spirit's gloom ? 

That there, midst frowning rocks, alone with grief 
Entombed in life, and hopeless of relief, 
In lonely freedom I may breathe my woes 
For oh ! since nought my sorrows can allay, 
There shall my sadness cloud no festal day, 
And days of gloom shall soothe me to repose. 



c 4 



24 
CAMOENS. 

SONNET 278. 
Eu vivia de lagrimas isento. 



from every grief, 'twas mine to live 
In dreams so sweet, enchantments so divine, 
A thousand joys propitious Love can give, 
Were scarcely worth one rapturous pain of mine. 

Bound by soft spells, in dear illusions blest, 
I breathed no sigh for fortune or for power ; 
No care intruding to disturb my breast, 

I dwelt entranc'd in Love's Elysian bower : 

.< 

But Fate, such transports eager to destroy, 
Soon rudely woke me from the dream of joy, 
And bade the phantoms of delight begone ! 
Bade hope and happiness at once depart, 
And left but memory to distract my heart, 
Retracing every hour of bliss for ever flown. 



25 
CAMOENS. 

Mi nueve y dulce querella. 

JN O searching eye can pierce the veil 
That o'er my secret love is thrown ; 
No outward signs reveal its tale, 

But to my bosom known. 
Thus, like the spark, whose vivid light 
In the dark flint is hid from sight, 

It dwells within, alone. 



26 
METASTASIO. 

Dunque si sfoga, in pianto. 



AN tears, the heart opprest with grief 

Gives language to its woes; 
In tears, its fulness finds relief, 

When rapture's tide overflows ! 
Who then unclouded bliss would seek 

On this terrestrial sphere ; 
When e'en Delight can only speak, 

L/ike Sorrow in a tear ? 



27 
VINCENZO DA FILICAJA. 

Italia, Italia! O tu cui dife la sorte. 



ITALIA ! thou, by lavish Nature graced 
With ill-starr'd beauty, which to thee hath been 
A fatal dowry, whose effects are traced 
In the deep sorrows graven on thy mien ; 

Oh ! that more strength, or fewer charms were thine, 
That those might fear thee more, or love thee less, 
Who seem to worship at thy beauty's shrine, 
Then leave thee to the death-pang's bitterness ! 

Not then the herds of Gaul would drain the tide 
Of that Eridanus thy blood hath dyed; 
Nor from the Alps would legions, still renewed, 
Pour down; nor wouldst thou wield a foreign brand, 
Nor fight thy battles with the stranger's hand, 
Still doomed to serve, subduing or subdued ! 



28 
PASTORINI. 

Geneva mia, se con asciutto ciglio. 

XF thus thy fallen grandeur I behold, 
My native Genoa ! with a tearless eye, 
Think not thy son's ungrateful heart is cold, 
But know I deem rebellious every sigh ! 

Thy glorious ruins proudly I survey, 

Trophies of firm resolve, of patriot might i 

And in each trace of devastation's way, 

Thy worth, thy courage, meet my wandering sight. 

Triumphs far less than suffering virtue shine ! 

And on the spoilers high revenge is thine, 

While thy strong spirit unsubdued remains. 

And lo ! fair Liberty rejoicing flies, 

To kiss each noble relic, while she cries, 

" Hail! though in ruins, thou wert ne'er in chains!" 



29 
LOPE DE VEGA. 

Estese el cortesano. 

the vain courtier waste his days, 

Lured by the charms that wealth displays, 
The couch of down, the board of costly fare ; 

Be his to kiss th' ungrateful hand, 

That waves the sceptre of command, 
And rear full many a palace in the air ; 

Whilst I enjoy, all unconfined, 

The glowing sun, the genial wind, 
And tranquil hours, to rustic toil assigned ; 

And prize far more, in peace and health, 
Contented indigence, than joyless wealth. 

Not mine in Fortune's fane to bend, 

At Grandeur's altar to attend, 
Reflect his smile, and tremble at his frown ; 

Nor mine a fond aspiring thought, 

A wish, a sigh, a vision, fraught 
With Fame's bright phantom, Glory's deathless crown ! 

Nectareous draughts and viands pure, 

Luxuriant nature will ensure ; 



30 



These the clear fount, and fertile field. 
Still to the wearied shepherd yield ; 
And when repose and visions reign, 
Then we are equals all, the monarch and the swain, 





31 
FRANCISCO MANUEL. 

ON ASCENDING A HILL LEADING TO A CONVENT. 

No baxes temeroso, o peregrine. 

JL AUSE not with lingering foot, O pilgrim, here ; 
Pierce the deep shadows of the mountain- side ; 
Firm be thy step, thy heart unknown to fear, 
To brighter worlds this thorny path will guide. 

Soon shall thy feet approach the calm abode, 
So near the mansions of supreme delight ; 
Pause not but tread this consecrated road, - 
"Tis the dark basis of the heavenly height. 

Behold, to cheer thee on the toilsome way, 
How many a fountain glitters down the hill ! 
Pure gales, inviting, softly round thee play, 
Bright sunshine guides and wilt thou linger still ? 
Oh ! enter there, where, freed from human strife, 
Hope is reality, and time is life. 



32 
DELLA CASA. 

VENICE. 

Questi palazzi, e queste logge or colte. 



_L HESE marble domes, by wealth and genius graced, 
With sculptured forms, bright hues, and Paria*i stone, 
Were once rude cabins midst a lonely waste. 
Wild shores of solitude, and isles unknown. 

Pure from each vice, 'twas here a venturous train 
Fearless in fragile barks explored the sea ; 
Not theirs a wish to conquer or to reign, 
They sought these island-precincts to be free. 

Ne'er in their souls ambition 's flame arose, 
No dream of avarice broke their calm repose ; 
Fraud, more than death, abhorred each artless breast : 
Oh ! now, since Fortune gilds their brightening day, 
Let not those virtues languish and decay, 
O'erwhelmed by luxury, and by wealth opprest ! 



33 
IL MARCHESE CORNELIO BENTIVOGLIO. 

Uanima bella, che-dal vero Eliso. 

J. HE sainted spirit, which from bliss on high 
Descends like dayspring to my favoured sight, 
Shines in such noontide radiance of the sky, 
Scarce do I know that form, intensely bright ! 

But with the sweetness of her well-known smile, 
That smile of peace ! she bids my doubts depart, 
And takes my hand, and softly speaks the while, 
And heaven's full glory pictures to my heart. 

Beams of that heaven in her my eyes behold, 
And now, e'en now, in thought my wings unfold, 
To soar with her, and mingle with the blest ! 
But ah ! so swift her buoyant pinion flies, 
That I, in vain aspiring to the skies, 
Fall to my native sphere, by earthly bonds deprest. 



D 

\ 



34 
METASTASIO. 

Al furor d'avversa sorte. 



shall not dread Misfortune's angry mien, 
Nor feebly sink beneath her tempest rude, 
Whose soul hath learned, through many a trying scene, 
To smile at fate, and suffer unsubdued. 

In the rough school of billows, clouds, and storms, 
Nursed and matured, the pilot learns his art : 
Thus Fate's dread ire, by many a conflict, forms 
The lofty spirit and enduring heart ! 



35 
METASTASIO. 

Quella onda che ruina. 

J. HE torrent-wave, that breaks with force 
Impetuous down the Alpine height, 
Complains and struggles in its course, 
But sparkles, as the diamond bright* 

The stream in shadowy valley deep 
May slumber in its narrow bed ; 
But silent in unbroken sleep, 
Its lustre and its life are fled. 



36 

METASTASIO. 

Leggiadra rosa, le cui pure foglie. 

OWEET rose ! whose tender foliage to expand, 
Her fostering dews the morning lightly shed. 
Whilst gales of balmy breath thy blossoms fanned, 
And o'er thy leaves the soft suffusion spread ; 

That hand, whose care withdrew thee from the ground, 
To brighter worlds thy favoured charms hath borne ; 
Thy fairest buds, with grace perennial crowned, 
There breathe and bloom, released from every thorn. 

Thus, far removed, and now, transplanted flower ! 
Exposed no more to blast or tempest rude, 
Sheltered with tenderest care from frost or shower, 
And each rough season 's chill vicissitude, 
Now may thy form in bowers of peace assume 
Immortal fragrance, and un withering bloom. 



37 

METASTAS10. 

Che speri, instabil Dea, di sassi, e spine. 

r ORTUNE ! why thus, where'er my footsteps tread, 
Obstruct each path with rocks and thorns like these ? 
Think'st thou that / thy threatening mien shall dread, 
Or toil and pant thy waving locks to seize ? 

Reserve the frown severe, the menace rude, 
For vassal-spirits that confess thy sway ! 
My constant soul could triumph unsubdued, 
Were the wide universe destruction's prey. 

Am I to conflicts new, in toils untried ? 
No ! I have long thine utmost power defied, 
And drawn fresh energies from every fight. 
Thus from rude strokes of hammers and the wheel, 
With each successive shock the tempered steel 
More keenly piercing proves, more dazzling bright. 



D3 



38 

METASTASIO. 

Parlagli d' un perigiio, 

W OULDST thou to Love of danger speak ? 
Veiled are his eyes,, to perils blind ! 

Wouldst thou from Love a reason seek ? 

He is a child, of wayward mind 1 

But with a doubt, a jealous fear, 
Inspire him once the task is o'er; 
His mind is keen, his sight is clear, 
No more an infant, blind no more. 



39 
METASTASIO. 

Sprezza il furor del vento. 

UNBENDING midst the wintry skies, 
Rears the firm oak his vigorous form, 
And stern in rugged strength, defies 
The rushing of the storm ; 

Then severed from his native shore, 
O'er ocean-worlds the sail to bear, 
Still with those winds he braved before, 
He proudly struggles there. 



D 4 



40 
METASTASIO. 

Sol pub dir che sia contento. 



! those alone, whose severed hearts 
Have mourned through lingering years in vain, 
Can tell what bliss fond Love imparts, 
When Fate unites them once again : 

Sweet is the sigh$ and blest the tear, 
Whose language hails that moment bright, 
When past afflictions but endear 
The presence of delight ! 



41 
METASTASIO. 

Ah ! frenate le piante imbelle. 



! cease those fruitless tears restrain, 
I go misfortune to defy, 
To smile at fate with proud disdain, 
To triumph not to die ! 

I with fresh laurels go to crown 
My closing days at last, 
Securing all the bright renown 
Acquired in dangers past. 



42 

QUEVEDO. 

ROME BURIED IN HER OWN RUINS. 

Buscas en Roma a Roma, 6 peregrino ! 



-/A.MIDST these scenes, O pilgrim ! seek'st thou Rome? 

Vain is thy search the pomp of Rome is fled ; 

Her silent Aventine is glory's tomb ; 

Her walls, her shrines, but relics of the dead. 

That hill, where Caesars diwelt in other days, 
Forsaken mourns, where once it towered sublime ; 
Each mouldering medal now far less displays 
The triumphs won by Latium, than by Time. 

Tyber alone survives the passing wave, 
That bathed her towers, now murmurs by her grave, 
Wailing, with plaintive sound, her fallen fanes. 
Rome ! of thine ancient grandeur all is past, 
That seemed for years eternal framed to last, 
Nought but the wave, a fugitive remains. 



43 
EL CONDE JUAN DE TARS1S. 

Tu, que la dulce vida en tiernas anos. 

J. HOU, who hast fled from life's enchanted bowers, 
In youth's gay spring, in beauty's glowing morn, 
Leaving thy bright array, thy path of flowers, 
For the rude convent-garb, and couch of thorn ; 

Thou that, escaping from a world of cares, 
Hast found thy haven in devotion's fane, 
As to the port the fearful bark repairs, 
To shun the midnight-perils of the main ; 

Now the glad hymn, the strain of rapture pour, 
While on thy soul the beams of glory rise ! 
For if the pilot hail the welcome shore, 
With shouts of triumph swelling to the skies ; 
Oh ! how shouldst thou the exulting paean raise, 
Now heaven's bright harbour opens on thy gaze I 



44 
TORQUATO TASSO. 

Negli anni acerbi tuoi, purpurea rosa. 

J. HOU in thy morn wert like a glowing rose, 
To the mild sunshine only half displayed, 
That shunned its bashful graces to disclose, 
And in its veil of verdure sought a shade ; 

Or like Aurora did thy charms appear, 

(Since mortal form ne'er vied with aught so bright,] 

Aurora, smiling from her tranquil sphere, 

O'er vale and mountain shedding dew and light ; 

Now riper years have doomed no grace to fade, 
Nor youthful charms, in all their pride arrayed, 
Excel, or equal, thy neglected form. 
Thus, full expanded, lovelier is the flower, 
And the bright day star, in its noontide hour, 
More brilliant shines, in genial radiance warm. 



45 
BERNARDO TASSO. 

Quest' ombra die giammai non vide il sole. 

JL HIS green recess, where through the bowery gloom 
Ne'er e'en at noontide hours the sunbeam played. 
Where violet-beds in soft luxuriance bloom, 
Midst the cool freshness of the myrtle-shade; 

Where through the grass a sparkling fountain steals, 
Whose murmuring wave, transparent as it flows, 
No more its bed of yellow sand conceals, 
Than the pure crystal hides the glowing rose ; 

This bower of peace, thou soother of our care, 

God of soft slumbers, and of visions fair ! 

A lowly shepherd consecrates to thee ! 

Then breathe around some spell of deep repose, 

And charm his eyes in balmy dew to close. 

Those eyes, fatigued with grief, from tear-drops never free. 



46 
PETRARCH. 

Chi vuol vecler quantunque puo natufa, 

JL HOU that wouldst mark, in form of human birth, 
All heaven and nature's perfect skill combined, 
Come gaze on her, the daystar of the earth, 
Dazzling, not me alone, but all mankind: 

And haste ! for Death, who spares the guilty long, 
First calls the brightest and the best away ; 
And to her home, amidst the cherub-throng, 
The angelic mortal flies, and will not stay ! 

Haste ! and each outward charm, each mental grace, 

In one consummate form thine eye shall trace, 

Model of loveliness, for earth too fair ! 

Then thou shalt own, how faint my votive lays, 

My spirit dazzled by perfection's blaze 

But if thou still delay, for long regret prepare. 



47 
PETRARCH. 

Se lamentar augelli, o verdi fronde. 

IF to the sighing breeze of summer- hours 

Bend the green leaves ; if mourns a plaintive bird ; 

Or from some fount's cool margin, fringed with flowers, 

The soothing murmur of the wave is heard ; 

Her, whom the heavens reveal, the earth denies, 
I see and hear : though dwelling far above, 
Her spirit, still responsive to my sighs, 
Visits the lone retreat of pensive love. 

" Why thus in grief consume each fruitless day/' 

(Her gentle accents thus benignly say,) 

" While from thine eyes the tear unceasing flows ? 

" Weep not for me, who, hastening on my flight, 

" Died, to be deathless ; and on heavenly light 

" Whose eyes but opened, when they seemed to close!" 



48 

* 

VERSI SPAGNUOLI DI PIETRO BEMBO. 

O Muerte ! que sueles ser. 

JL HOU, the stern monarch of dismay, 
Whom nature trembles to survey. 
Oh Death ! to me, the child of grief, 
Thy welcome power would bring relief, 

Changing to peaceful slumber many a care. 
And though thy stroke may thrill with pain 
Each throbbing pulse, each quivering vein 5 
The pangs that bid existence close, 
Ah ! sure are far less keen than those, 

Which cloud its lingering moments with despair. 



49 
FRANCESCO LORENZINI. 

O Zefiretto, che raovendo vai. 

&YJLPH of the breeze ! whose dewy pinions light 
Wave gently round the tree I planted here, 
Sacred to her, whose soul hath winged its flight 
To the pure ether of her lofty sphere 5 

Be it thy care, soft spirit of the gale ! 
To fan its leaves in summer's noontide hour ; 
Be it thy care, that wintry tempests fail 
To rend its honours from the sylvan bowers. 

Then shall it spread, and rear th' aspiring form, 
Pride of the wood, secure from every storm, 
Graced with her name, a consecrated tree ! 
So may thy Lord, the monarch of the wind, 
Ne'er with rude chains thy tender pinions bind, 
But grant thee still to rove, a wanderer wild and free ! 






50 
GESNER. 

MORNING SONG. 

Willkommen, fruhe rnorgensonn. 

HAIL ! morning sun, thus early bright ; 
Welcome, sweet dawn ! thbu younger day ! 
Through the dark woods that fringe the height 
Beams forth, e'en now, thy ray. 

Bright on the dew, it sparkles clear, 
Bright on the water's glittering fall, 
And life, and joy, and health appear, 
Sweet morning ! at thy call. 

Now thy fresh breezes lightly spring 
From beds of fragrance, where they lay, 
And roving wild on dewy wing, 
Drive slumber far away. 

Fantastic dreams, in swift retreat, 
Now from each mind withdraw their spell, 
While the young loves delighted meet, 
On Rosa's cheek to dwell. 



51 

Speed, zephyr ! kiss each opening flower, 
Its fragrant spirit make thine own ; 
Then wing thy way to Rosa's bower, 
Ere her light sleep is flown. 

There, o'er her downy pillow, fly, 
Wake the sweet maid to life and day ; 
Breathe on her balmy lip a sigh, 
And o'er her bosom play ; 

And whisper, when her eyes unveil, 
That I, since morning's earliest call, 
Have sighed her name to every gale, 
By the lone waterfall. 






E 2 



52 
GERMAN SONG. 

Madchen, lernet Amor kennel). 

LlSTEN, fair maid, my song shall tell 
How Love may still be known full well, 

His looks the traitor prove : 
Dost thou not see that absent smile, 
That fiery glance replete with guile ? 

Oh ! doubt not then 'tis Love. 

When varying still the sly disguise, 
Child of caprice, he laughs and cries, 

Or with complaint would move ; 
To day is bold, to-morrow shy, 
Changing each hour, he knows not why, 

Oh ! doubt not then 'tis Love. 

There's magic in his every wile, 
His lips, well practised to beguile, 

Breathe roses when they move ; 
See, now with sudden rage he burns, 
Disdains, implores, commands, by turns; 

Oh ! doubt not then 'tis Love. 



53 



He comes, without the bow and dart, 
That spare not e'en the purest heart; 

His looks the traitor prove ; 
That glance is fire, that mien is guile, 
Deceit is lurking in that smile, 

Oh ! trust him not 'tis Love ! 



E 3 



54 
CHAULIEU. 

Grotte, d'ou sort ce clair ruisseau. 

X HOU grot, whence flows this limpid spring, 
Its margin fringed with moss and flowers, 
Still bid its voice of murmurs bring 
Peace to my musing hours. 

Sweet Fontenay ! where first for me 
The dayspring of existence rose, 
Soon shall my dust return to thee, 
And midst my sires repose. 

Muses, that watched my childhood's morn, 
Midst these wild haunts, with guardian eye, 
Fair trees, that here beheld me born, 
Soon shall ye see me die. 



55 
GARCILASO DE VEGA. 

Coyed de vuestra alegre primavera. 

.t<NJOY the sweets of life's luxuriant May, 

Ere envious Age is hastening on his way, 

With snowy wreathes to crown the beauteous brow : 

The rose will fade when storms assail the year, 

And Time, who changeth not his swift career, 

Constant in this, will change all else below ! 



E 4 



ORIGINAL POETRY. 



LINES 

WRITTEN IN A HERMITAGE ON THE SEA-SHORE. 

O WANDERER ! would thy heart forget 

Each earthly passion and regret, 

And would thy wearied spirit rise 

To commune with its native skies ; 

Pause for awhile, and deem it sweet 

To linger in this calm retreat; 
And give thy cares, thy griefs, a short suspense, 
Amidst wild scenes of lone magnificence. 

Unmixed with aught of meaner tone, 

Here nature's voice is heard alone : 

When the loud storm, in wrathful hour, 

Is rushing on its wing of power, 

And spirits of the deep awake, 

And surges foam, and billows break, 

And rocks and ocean-caves around, 

Reverberate each awful sound ; 
That mighty voice, with all its dread control, 
To loftiest thought shall wake thy thrilling soul. 

But when no more the sea-winds rave, 
When peace is brooding on the wave, 



60 

And from earth, air, and ocean rise 
No sounds but plaintive melodies ; 
Soothed by their softly mingling swell,, 
As daylight bids the world farewell, 
The rustling wood, the dying breeze, 
The faint, low rippling of the seas, 
A tender calm shall steal upon thy breast, 
A gleam reflected from the realms of rest. 

Is thine a heart the world hath stung, 
Friends have deceived, neglect hath wrung? 
Has thou some grief that none may know, 
Some lonely, secret, silent woe ? 
Or have thy fond affections fled 
From earth, to slumber with the dead ? 
Oh ! pause awhile the world disown, 
And dwell with nature's self alone ! 
And though no more she bids arise 
Thy soul's departed energies, 
And though thy joy of life is o'er, 
Beyond her magic to restore ; 
Yet shall her spells o'er every passion steal, 
And soothe the wounded heart they cannot heal, 



61 
DIRGE OF A CHILD. 

JN O bitter tears for thee be shed. 
Blossom of being ! seen and gone ! 
With flowers alone we strew thy bed, 

O blest departed One ! 
Whose all of life, a rosy ray, 
Blushed into dawn, and passed away. 

Yes ! thou art fled, ere guilt had power 
To stain thy cherub-soul and form, 
Closed is the soft ephemeral flower, 

That never felt a storm ! 
The sunbeam's smile, the zephyr's breath, 
All that it knew from birth to death. 

Thou wert so like a form of light, 

That Heaven benignly called thee hence, 

Ere yet the world could breathe one blight 

O'er thy sweet innocence : 
And thou, that brighter home to bless, 
Art passed, with all thy loveliness ! 



62 

Oh ! hadst thou still on earth remained, 

Vision of beauty ! fair, as brief ! 

How soon thy brightness had been stained 

With passion or with grief ! 
Now not a sullying breath can rise, 
To dim thy glory in the skies. 

We rear no marble o'er thy tomb. 

No sculptured image there shall mourn ; 

Ah ! fitter far the vernal bloom 

Such dwelling to adorn. 
Fragrance, and flowers, and dews, must be 
The only emblems meet for thee. 

Thy grave shall be a blessed shrine, 
Adorned with Nature's brightest wreath, 
Each glowing season shall combine 

Its incense there to breathe ; 
And oft, upon the midnight air, 
Shall viewless harps be murmuring there. 

And oh ! sometimes in visions blest, 
Sweet spirit ! visit our repose, 



63 

And bear from thine own world of rest, 

Some balm for human woes! 
What form more lovely could be given 
Than thine, to messenger of heaven ? 






64 
INVOCATION. 



HUSHED is the world in night and sleep, 
Earth, Sea, and Air, are still as death ; 
Too rude to break a calm so deep, 
Were music's faintest breath. 
Descend, bright Visions ! from aerial bowers, 
Descend to gild your own soft, silent hours. 

In hope or fear, in toil or pain, 
The weary day have mortals past, 
Now, dreams of bliss, be yours to reign, 
And all your spells around them cast; 
Steal from their hearts the pang, their eyes the tear, 
And lift the veil that hides a brighter sphere. 

Oh ! bear your softest balm to those. 
Who fondly, vainly, mourn the dead, 
To them that world of peace disclose, 

Where the bright soul is fled : 
Where Love, immortal in his native clime, 
Shall fear no pang from fate, no blight from time. 



65 

Or to his loved, his distant land, 

On your light wings the exile bear; 

To feel once more his heart expand, 

In his own genial mountain-air; 
Hear the wild echoes well-known strains repeat, 
And bless each note, as heaven's own music, sweet. 

But oh ! with Fancy's brightest ray, 
Blest dreams ! the bard's repose illume ; 
Bid forms of heaven around him play, 
And bowers of Eden bloom ! 

And waft his spirit to its native skies, 

Who finds no charm in life's realities. 

No voice is on the air of night, 
Through folded leaves no murmurs creep, 
Nor star nor moonbeam's trembling light 
Falls on the placid brow of sleep. 
Descend, bright visions, from your airy bower, 
Dark, silent, solemn, is your favourite hour. 



66 

TO THE MEMORY OF 

GENERAL SIR E D P K M. 



-DRAVE spirit ! mourned with fond regret, 
Lost in life's pride, in valour's noon, 
Oh ! who could deem thy star should set 
So darkly and so soon ? 

Fatal, though bright, the fire of mind, 
Which marked and closed thy brief career, 
And the fair wreath, by Hope entwined, 
Lies withered on thy bier. 

The soldier's death hath been thy doom, 
The soldier's tear thy meed shall be ; 
Yet, son of war ! a prouder tomb 

Might Fate have reared for thee. 

Thou shouldst have died, O high-souled chief! 
In those bright days o f glory fled, 
When triumph so prevailed o'er grief, 

We scarce could mourn the dead. 



67 

Noontide of fame ! each tear-drop then 
Was worthy of a warrior's grave 
When shall affection weep again 
So proudly o'er the brave ? 

There, on the battle-fields of Spain, 
Midst Roncesvalles' mountain-scene, 
Or on Vittoria's blood-red plain, 

Meet had thy death-bed been. 

We mourn not that a hero's life. 
Thus in its ardent prime should close; 
Hadst thou but fallen in nobler strife, 
But died midst conquered foes ! 

Yet hast thou still (though victory's flame 
In that last moment cheered thee not) 
Left Glory's isle another name, 
That ne'er may be forgot : 

And many a tale of triumph won 
Shall breathe that name in Memory's ear, 
And long may England mourn a son 
Without reproach or fear. 

2 



68 

TO THE MEMORY OF 

SIR H Y E LL S, 

WHO FELL IN THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO. 



Happy are they who die in youth, when their renown is around them." 

OSSIAN. 



VVEEP'ST thou for him, whose doom was sealed 
On England's proudest battle-field ? 
For him, the lion -heart, who died 
In victory's full, resistless tide ? 

Oh ! mourn him not ! 
By deeds like his that field was won, 
And Fate could yield to Valour's son 
No brighter lot. 

He heard his band's exulting cry, 
He saw the vanquished eagles fly ; 
And envied be his death of fame, 
It shed a sunbeam o'er his name, 

That nought shall dim 
No cloud obscured his glory's day, 
It saw no twilight of decay 

Weep not for him ! 



69 



And breathe no dirge's plaintive moan, 
A hero claims far loftier tone ! 
Oh ! proudly should the war-song swell, 
Recording how the mighty fell 

In that dread hour, 

When England, midst the battle-storm, 
Th' avenging angel reared her form 

In tenfold power. 

Yet, gallant heart ! to swell thy praise, 
Vain were the minstrel's noblest lays ; 
Since he, the soldier's guiding-star, 
The Victor-chief, the lord of war, 

Has owned thy fame : 
And oh ! like his approving word, 
What trophied marble could record 

A warrior's name ? 



F 3 



70 

GUERILLA SONG, 

Founded on the story related of the Spanish Patriot, Mina. 



! forget not the hour, when through forest and vale, 
We returned with our chief to his dear native halls ; 
Through the woody Sierra there sighed not a gale, 
And the moonbeam was bright on his battlement-walls; 
And nature lay sleeping, in calmness and light, 
Round the home of the valiant, that rose on our sight., 

We entered that home all was loneliness round, 

The stillness, the darkness, the peace of the grave; 

Not a voice, not a step, bade its echoes resound, 

Ah ! such was the welcome that waited the brave ! 

For the spoilers had passed, like the poison-wind's breath, 

And the loved of his bosom lay silent in death. 

Oh ! forget not that hour let its image be near, 
In the light of our mirth, in the dreams of our rest, 
Let its tale awake feelings too deep for a tear, 
And rouse into vengeance each arm and each breast, 
Till cloudless the dayspring of liberty shine 
O'er the plains of the olive, and hills of the vine. 



71 

THE AGED INDIAN. 

WARRIORS I my noon of life is past, 
The brightness of my spirit flown ; 
I crouch before the wintry blast, 
Amidst my tribe I dwell alone ; 
The heroes of my youth are fled, 
They rest among the warlike dead. 

Ye slumberers of the narrow cave ! 

My kindred-chiefs in days of yore, 

Ye fill an unremembered grave, 

Your fame, your deeds, are known no more. 

The records of your wars are gone, 

Your names forgot, by all but one. 

Soon shall that one depart from earth, 
To join the brethren of his prime ; 
Then will the memory of your birth 
Sleep with the hidden things of time ! 
With him, ye sons of former days ! 
Fades the last glimmering of your praise. 

F4 



72 

His eyes, that hailed your spirit's flame, 
Still kindling in the combat's shock, 
Have seen, since darkness veiled your fame, 
Sons of the desert and the rock ! 
Another, and another race, 
Rise to the battle and the chace. 

Descendants of the mighty dead ! 
Fearless of heart, and firm of hand ! 
Oh ! let me join their spirits fled, 
Oh ! send me to their shadowy land. 
Age hath not tamed Ontara's heart, 
He shrinks not from the friendly dart. 

These feet no more can chase the deer, 
The glory of this arm is flown 
Why should the feeble linger here, 
When all the pride of life is gone ? 
Warriors ! why still the stroke deny, 
Think ye Ontara fears to die ? 

He feared not in his flower of days, 
When strong to stem the torrent's force, 



73 

When through the desert's pathless maze, 
His way was as an eagle's course ! 
When war was sunshine to his sight. 
And the wild hurricane, delight ! 

Shall then the warrior tremble now? 
Now, when his envied strength is o'er ? 
Hung on the pine his idle bow, 
His pirogue useless on the shore ? 
When age hath dimmed his failing eye, 
Shall he, the joyless, fear to die? 

Sons of the brave ! delay no more, 
The spirits of my kindred call; 
J Tis but one pang, and all is o'er ! 
Oh ! bid the aged cedar fall ! 
To join the brethren of his prime, 
The mighty of departed time. 



74 

EVENING, AMONGST THE ALPS. 

OOFT skies of Italy ! how richly drest, 
Smile these wild scenes in your purpureal glow ! 
What glorious hues, reflected from the west, 
Float o'er the dwellings of eternal snow ! 

Yon torrent, foaming down the granite steep. 
Sparkles all brilliance in the setting beam ; 
Dark glens beneath in shadowy beauty sleep. 
Where pipes the goatherd by his mountain -stream. 

Now from yon peak departs the vivid ray, 

That still at eve its lofty temple knows ; 

From rock and torrent fade the tints away, 

And all is wrapt in twilight's deep repose : 

While through the pine-wood gleams the vesper-star, 

And roves the Alpine gale o'er solitudes afar. 



75 

DIRGE OF THE HIGHLAND CHIEF 
IN "WAVERLY." 



OON of the mighty and the free ! 
High-minded leader of the brave ! 
Was it for lofty chief like thee, 

To fill a nameless grave ? 
Oh ! if, amidst the valiant slain, 
The warrior's bier had been thy lot, 
E'en though on red Culloden's plain, 

We then had mourned thee not, 

But darkly closed thy dawn of fame, 
That dawn whose sunbeam rose so fair; 
Vengeance alone may breathe thy name, 

The watchword of Despair ! 
Yet oh! if gallant spirit's power 
Hath e'er ennobled death like thine, 
Then glory marked thy parting hour, 

Last of a mighty line ! 

O'er thy own towers the sunshine falls, 
But cannot chase their silent gloom ; 



76 

Those beams, that gild thy native walls, 

Are sleeping on thy tomb ! 
Spring on thy mountains laughs the while, 
Thy green woods wave in vernal air, 
But the loved scenes may vainly smile 
Not e'en thy dust is there. 

On thy blue hills no bugle- sound 
Is mingling with the torrent's roar, 
Unmarked the wild deer sport around 

Thou lead'st the chace no more ! 
Thy gates are closed, thy halls are still, 
Those halls where pealed the choral strain, 
They hear the wind's deep murmuring thrill- 

And all is hushed again. 

No banner from the lonely tower 
Shall wave its blazoned folds on high ; 
There the tall grass and summer flower, 

Unmarked shall spring and die. 
No more thy bard, for other ear, 
Shall wake the harp once loved by thine 
Hushed be the strain thou canst not hear, 

Last of a mighty line ! 



77 

THE CRUSADER'S WAR-SONG. 

CHIEFTAINS, lead on ! our hearts beat high, 

Lead on to Salem's towers ! 
Who would not deem it bliss to die, 

Slain in a cause like ours ? 
The brave, who sleep in soil of thine, 
Lie not entombed, but shrined, O Palestine ! 

Souls of the slain in holy war ! 

Look from your sainted rest ! 
T.ell us ye rose in Glory's car, 

To mingle with the blest ; 
Tell us how short the death-pang's power, 
How bright the joys of your immortal bower ! 

Strike the loud harp, ye minstrel train ! 

Pour forth your loftiest lays ; 
Each heart shall echo to the strain 

Breathed in the warrior's praise. 
Bid every string triumphant swell 
Th' inspiring sounds that heroes love so well. 



78 

Salem ! amidst the fiercest hour, 

The wildest rage of fight, 
Thy name shall lend our falchions power, 

And nerve our hearts with might. 
Envied be those for thee that fall, 
Who find their graves beneath thy sacred wall. 

For them no need that sculptured tomb 

Should chronicle their fame, 
Or pyramid record their doom, 

Or deathless verse their name ; 
It is enough that dust of thine 
Should shroud their forms, O blessed Palestine ! 

Chieftains, lead on ! our hearts beat high 

For combat's glorious hour ; 
Soon shall the red-cross banner fly 

On Salem's loftiest tower ! 
We burn to mingle in the strife, 
Where but to die ensures eternal life. 



THE DEATH OF CLANRONALD. 



It was in the battle of Shcriffmoor that young Clanronald fell, leading on 
the Highlanders of the right wing. His death dispirited the assailants, who 
began to waver. But Glengary, chief of a rival branch of the Clan Colla, 
started from the ranks, and, waving his bonnet round his head, cried out, 
" To-day for revenge, and to-morrow for mourning!" The Highlanders re- 
ceived a new impulse from his words, and, charging with redoubled fury, 
bore down ail before them. See the Quarterly Review, article of " Culloden 
" Papers." 



! ne'er be Clanronald the valiant forgot ! 
Still fearless and first in the combat, he fell ; 
But we paused not one tear-drop to shed o'er the spot, 
We spared not one moment to murmur ( Farewell/ 
We heard but the battle-word giv'n by the chief, 
" To-day for revenge, and to-morrow for grief!" 

And wildly, Clanronald ! we echoed the vow, 
With the tear on our cheek, and the sword in our hand; 
Young son of the brave ! we may weep for thee now, 
For well has thy death been avenged by thy band, 
When they joined, in wild chorus, the cry of the chief, 
" To-day for revenge, and to-morrow for grief!" 



80 

| 

Thy dirge in that hour was the bugle's wild call. 
The clash of the claymore, the shout of the brave ; 
But now thy own bard may lament for thy fall. 
And the soft voice of melody sigh o'er thy grave^ 
While Albyn remembers the words of the chief, 
*' To-day for revenge, and to-morrow for grief !" 

Thou art fallen, O fearless one ! flower of thy race ! 
Descendant of heroes ! thy glory is set ! 
But thy kindred, the sons of the battle and chace, 
Have proved that thy spirit is bright in them yet ! 
Nor vainly have echoed the words of the chief, 
" To-day for revenge, and to-morrow for grief!" 





81 

* 

TO THE EYE. 

JL HRONE of expression ! whence the spirit's ray 
Pours forth so oft the light of mental day, 
Where fancy's fire, affection's melting beam, 
Thought, genius, passion, reign in turn supreme, 
And many a feeling, words can ne'er impart. 
Finds its own language to pervade the heart; 
Thy power, bright orb, what bosom hath not felt, 
To thrill, to rouse, to fascinate, to melt ? 
And by some spell of undefined control, 
With magnet-influence touch the secret soul ! 

Light of the features ! in the morn of youth 

Thy glance is nature, and thy language, truth : 

And ere the world, with all-corrupting sway, 

Hath taught e'en thee to flatter and betray, 

Th' ingenuous heart forbids thee to reveal, 

Or speak one thought that interest would conceal ; 

While yet thou seem'st the cloudless mirror, given 

But to reflect the purity of heaven ; 

Oh ! then how lovely, there unveiled to trace 

Th' unsullied brightness of each mental grace ! 



82 

* 

When Genius lends thee all his living light, 
Where the full beams of intellect unite, 
When Love illumes thee with his varying ray, 
Where trembling Hope and tearful Rapture play ; 
Or Pity's melting cloud thy beam subdues, 
Tempering its lustre with a veil of dews; 
Still does thy power, whose all-commanding spell 
Can pierce the mazes of the soul so well; 
Bid some new feeling to existence start, 
From its deep slumbers in the inmost heart. 

And oh ! when thought, in ecstasy sublime, 

That soars triumphant o'er the bounds of time, 

Fires thy keen glance with inspiration's blaze, 

The light of heaven, the hope of nobler days, 

(As glorious dreams, for utterance far too high, 

Flash through the mist of dim mortality ;) 

Who does not own, that through thy lightning beams, 

A flame unquenchable, unearthly, streams ? 

That pure, though captive effluence of the sky, 

The vestal-ray, the spark that cannot die ! 



83 

| 

THE HERO'S DEATH 

A^IFE'S parting beams were in his eye, 
Life's closing accents on his tongue. 
When round him, pealing to the sky, 

The shout of victory rung ! 
Then, ere his gallant spirit fled, 
A smile so bright illumed his face 
Oh ! never, of the light it shed, 

Shall memory lose a trace ! 

His was a death, whose rapture high 
Transcended all that life could yield ; 
His warmest prayer was so to die, 

On the red battle-field ! 
And they may feel, who loved him most, 
A pride so holy and so pure 
Fate hath no power o'er those who boast 

A treasure thus secure ! 



G 2 



STANZAS 



ON 



THE LATE NATIONAL CALAMITY, 
THE DEATH OF THE PRINCESS CHARLOTTE. 



" H61as! nous composions son histoire de tout ce qu'on peut imaginer 

" de plus glorieux Le passe" et le present nous garantissoient 1'avenir 

(< Telle e'toitl'agre'able histoire que nous faisions; et pour achever ces nobles 
" projets, il n'y avoit que la dure'e de sa vie ; dont nous ne croyions pas de- 
" voir tre en peine, car, qui eut pu seulement penser, que les annes eus- 
" sent du manquer, a une jeunesse qui sembloit si vive?" BOSSUET. 



MARKED ye the mingling of the city's throng, 
Each mien, each glance, with expectation bright ? 
Prepare the pageant, and the choral song, 
The pealing chimes, the blaze of festal light ! 
And hark ! what rumor's gathering sound is nigh ? 
Is it the voice of joy, that murmur deep ? 
Away, be hushed ! ye sounds of revelry ! 
Back to your homes, ye multitudes, to weep ! 
Weep ! for the storm hath o'er us darkly past, 
And England's royal flower is broken by the blast ! 



85 



II. 

Was it a dream ? so sudden and so dread 
That awful fiat o'er our senses came ! 
So loved, so blest, is that young spirit fled, 
Whose early grandeur promised years of fame ? 
Oh ! when hath life possessed, or death destroyed 
More lovely hopes, more cloudlessly that smiled ? 
When hath the spoiler left so dark a void ? 
For all is lost the mother and her child ! 
Our morning-star hath vanished, and the tomb 
Throws its deep-lengthened shade o'er distant years to 
come. 

III. 

Angel of Death ! did no presaging sign 
Announce thy coming, and thy way prepare ? 
No warning voice, no harbinger was thine, 
Danger and fear seemed past but thou wert there ! 
Prophetic sounds along the earthquake's path 
Foretel the hour of nature's awful throes ; 
And the volcano, ere it burst in wratb, 
Sends forth some herald from its dread repose : 
But thou, dark Spirit ! swift and unforeseen, 
Cam'st like the lightning's flash, when heaven is all serene. 

G3 



86 

IV. 

And she is gone the royal and the young, 
In soul commanding, and in heart benign ; 
Who, from a race of Kings and Heroes sprung, 
Glowed with a spirit lofty as her line. 
Now may the voice she loved on earth so well, 
Breathe forth her name, unheeded and in vain; 
Nor can those eyes on which her own would dwell, 
Wake from that breast one sympathy again : 
The ardent heart, the towering mind are fled, 
Yet shall undying love still linger with the dead. 

V. 

Oh ! many a bright existence we have seen 
Quenched, in the glow and fulness of its prime; 
And many a cherished flower, ere now, hath been 
Cropt, ere its leaves were breathed upon by time. 
We have lost Heroes in their noon of pride, 
Whose fields of triumph gave them but a bier; 
And we have wept when soaring Genius died, 
Checked in the glory of his mid career ! 
But here our hopes were centered all is o'er, 
All thought in this absorbed she was and is no more 



87 

VI. 

We watched her childhood from its earliest hour, 

From every word and look blest omens caught ; 

While that young mind developed all its power, 

And rose to energies of loftiest thought. 

On her was fixed the Patriot's ardent eye. 

One hope still bloomed one vista still was fair; 

And when the tempest swept the troubled sky, 

She was our dayspring all was cloudless there; 

And oh ! how lovely broke on England's gaze, 

E'en through the mist and storm, the light of distant days. 

VII. 

Now hath one moment darkened future years, 
And changed the track of ages yet to be ! 
Yet, mortal ! midst the bitterness of tears, 
Kneel, and adore th' inscrutable decree ! 
Oh ! while the clear perspective smiled in light, 
Wisdom should then have tempered hope's excess, 
And, lost One ! when we saw thy lot so bright, 
We might have trembled at its loveliness : 
Joy is no earthly flower nor framed to bear, 
In its exotic bloom, life's cold, ungenial air. 

G4 



88 

VIII. 

All smiled around thee Youth, and Love, and Praise, 

Hearts all devotion and all truth were thine ! 

On thee was rivetted a nation's gaze, 

As on some radiant and unsullied shrine. 

Heiress of empires ! thou art passed away, 

Like some fair vision, that arose to throw, 

O'er one brief hour of life, a fleeting ray, 

Then leave the rest to solitude and wo ! 

Oh ! who shall dare to woo such dreams again ! 

Who hath not wept to know, that tears for thee were vain ? 

IX. 

Yet there is one who loved thee and whose soul 

With mild affections nature formed to melt ; 

His mind hath bowed beneath the stern control 

Of many a grief but this shall be unfelt ! 

Years have gone by and given his honoured head 

A diadem of snow his eye is dim 

Around him Heaven a solemn cloud hath spread, 

The past, the future, are a dream to him ! 

Yet, in the darkness of his fate, alone 

He dwells on earth, while thou, in life's full pride, art gone ! 



89 

X. 

The Chastener's hand is on us we may weep, 
But not repine for many a storm hath past, 
And, pillowed on her own majestic deep, 
Hath England slept, unshaken by the blast ! 
And War hath raged o'er many a distant plain, 
Trampling the vine and oliv 7 e in his path; 
While she, that regal daughter of the main, 
Smiled, in serene defiance of his wrath ! 
As some proud summit, mingling with the sky, 
Hears calmly far below the thunders roll and die. 

XL 

Her voice hath been tV awakener and her name, 

The gathering word of nations in her might, 

And all the awful beauty of her fame, 

Apart she dwelt, in solitary light. 

High on her cliffs, alone and firm she stood, 

Fixing the torch upon her beacon-tower ; 

That torch, whose flame, far streaming o'er the flood, 

Hath guided Europe through her darkest hour! 

Away, vain dreams of glory ! in the dust 

Be humbled, ocean-queen ! and own thy sentence just ! 



90 

XIL 

Hark ! 'twas the death-bell's note ! which, full and deep, 

Unmixed with aught of less majestic tone, 

While all the murmurs of existence sleep, 

Swells on the stillness of the air alone ! 

Silent the throngs that fill the darkened street, 

Silent the slumbering Thames, the lonely mart; 

And all is still, where countless thousands meet, 

Save the full throbbing of the awe- struck heart ! 

All deeply, strangely, fearfully serene, 

As in each ravaged home th' avenging one had been. 

XIII. 

The sun goes down in beauty his farewell, 
Unlike the world he leaves, is calmly bright ; 
And his last mellowed rays around us dwell, 
Lingering, as if on scenes of young delight. 
They smile and fade but, when the day is o'er, 
What slow procession moves, with measured tread ? 
Lo ! those who weep, with her who weeps no more, 
A solemn train the mourners and the dead ! 
While, throned on high, the moon's untroubled ray 
Looks down, as earthly hopes are passing thus away. 



91 



XIV. 

But other light is in that holy pile, 

Where, in the house of silence, kings repose; 

There, through the dim arcade, and pillared aisle, 

The funeral-torch its deep-red radiance throws. 

There pall, and canopy, and sacred strain, 

And all around the stamp of wo may bear; 

But Grief, to whose full heart those forms are vain, 

Grief unexpressed, unsoothed by them is there. 

No darker hour hath Fate for him who mourns, 

Than when the all he loved, as dust to dust returns. 

XV. 

We mourn but not thy fate, departed One ! 

We pity but the living, not the dead ; 

A cloud hangs o'er us a " the bright day is done," 

And with a father's hopes, a nation's fled. 

And he, the chosen of thy youthful breast, 

Whose soul with thine had mingled every thought; 

He, with thine early, fond affections blest, 

Lord of a mind with all things lovely fraught; 

a " The bright day is done, 
" And we are for the dark." 

SHAKSPEARE. 



92 



What but a desart to his eye, that earth, 

Which but retains of thee the memory of thy worth ? 

XVI, 

Oh ! there are griefs for nature too intense. 

Whose first rude shock but stupifies the soul ; 

Nor hath the fragile and o'erlaboured sense 

Strength e'en to feel, at once, their dread countrol. 

But when 'tis past, that still and speechless hour 

Of the sealed bosom, and the tearless eye, 

Then the roused mind awakes, with tenfold power, 

To grasp the fulness of its agony ! 

Its death-like torpor vanished and its doom ; 

To cast its own dark hues o'er life and nature's bloom. 

XVII. 

And such Ms lot, whom thou hast loved and left, 
Spirit ! thus early to thy home recalled ! 
So sinks the heart, of hope and thee bereft, 
A warrior's heart ! which danger ne'er appalled. 
Years may pass on and, as they roll along, 
Mellow r those pangs which now his bosom rend ; 
And he once more, with life's unheeding throng, 
May, though alone in soul, in seeming blend ; 



93 

Yet still, the guardian-angel of his mind, 

Shall thy loved image dwell, in Memory's temple shrined. 

XVIII. 

Yet must the days be long, ere time shall steal 
Aught from his grief, whose spirit dwells with thee ; 
Once deeply bruised, the heart at length may heal, 
But all it was oh ! never more shall be 
The flower, the leaf, o'er whelmed by winter- snow, 
Shall spring again, when beams and showers return ; 
The faded cheek again with health may glow, 
And the dim eye with life's warm radiance burn ; 
But the pure freshness of the mind's young bloom, 
Once lost, revives alone in worlds beyond the tomb. 

XIX. 

But thou thine hour of agony is o'er, 
And thy brief race in brilliance hath been run, 
While Faith, that bids fond nature grieve no more, 
Tells that thy crown though not on earth is won. 
Thou, of the world so early left, hast known 
Nought but the bloom and sunshine and for thee, 
Child of propitious stars ! for thee alone, 



94 

b The course of love ran smooth, and brightly free 

Not long such bliss to mortal could be given, 

It is enough for earth, to catch one glimpse of heaven. 

XX. 

What though, ere yet the noonday of thy fame 
Rose in its glory on thine England's eye, 
The grave's deep shadows o'er thy prospect came ? 
Ours is that loss and thou wert blest to die ! 
Thou mightst have lived to dark and evil years, 
To mourn thy people changed, thy skies o'ercast ; 
But thy spring-morn was all undimmed by tears, 
And thou wert loved and cherished to the last ! 
And thy young name, ne'er breathed in ruder tone, 
Thus dying, thou hast left to love and grief alone. 

XXI. 

Daughter of Kings ! from that high sphere look down, 
Where still in hope, affection's thoughts may rise ; 
Where dimly shines to thee that mortal crown, 
Which earth displayed to claim thee from the skies. 

b " The course of true love never did run smooth." SHAKSPEARE. 



Look down ! and if thy spirit yet retain 

Memory of aught that once was fondly dear, 

Soothe, though unseen, the hearts that mourn in vain, 

And, in their hours of loneliness be near ! 

Blest was thy lot e'en here and one faint sigh, 

Oh ! tell those hearts, hath made that bliss eternity ! 

Nov. 23, 1817. 






THE 

SIEGE OF VALENCIA; 

A DRAMATIC POEM. 

THE LAST CONSTANTINE: 



WITH 

OTHER POEMS. 



BY MRS. HEMANS. 



Hallo sola en Numancia todo quanto 

Debe con justo titulo cantarse, 

Y lo que puede dar materia al canto. 

Numancia Cervantes. 



LONDON: 
JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET. 

1823. 



LONDON: 

BV THOMAS DAVISON, WHITEFRIARS. 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

THE LAST CONSTANTINE 1 

ELYSIUM 69 

GREEK SONGS 

The Storm of Delphi 75 

The Bowl of Liberty 81 

The Voice of Scio 83 

The Spartan's March 86 

The Urn and Sword 89 

The Myrtle-bough 90 

THE SIEGE OF VALENCIA 91 

SONGS OF THE CID 

The Cid's Departure into Exile 249 

The Cid's Death-bed 252 

The Cid's Funeral Procession 256 

The Cid's Rising 262 



IV CONTENTS. 

PAGE 

Belshazzar's Feast 269 

The Chieftain's Son 277 

The Funeral Genius 280 

The Tombs of Plataea 283 

The View from Castri 286 

The Festal Hour 288 

Song of the Battle of Morgarten 294 

Chorus . 301 

England's Dead 308 

The Meeting of the Bards] 3 1 1 

The Voice of Spring 315 



THE LAST CONST ANTINE. 



Thou strivest nobly, 

When hearts of sterner stuff perhaps had sunk : 

And o'er thy fall, if it be so decreed, 

Good men will mourn, and brave men will shed tears. 

Fame I look not for, 

But to sustain, in Heaven's all seeing eye, 
Before my fellow men, in mine own sight, 
With graceful virtue and becoming pride, 
The dignity and honour of a man, 
Thus station 'd as I am, I will do all 
That man may do. 

Miss Baillie's Constantine Pal&ologvs. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 



I. 

THE fires grew pale on Rome's deserted shrines, 
In the dim grot the Pythia's voice had died ; 
Shout, for the City of the Constantines, 
The rising City of the billow-side, 
The City of the Cross ! great Ocean's bride, 
Crown'd from her birth she sprung! Long ages pass'd, 
And still she look'd in glory o^er the tide, 
Which at her feet barbaric riches cast, 
Poured by the burning East, all joyously and fast. 



4 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

II. 

Long ages pass'd ! they left her porphyry halls 
Still trod by kingly footsteps. Gems and gold 
Broider'd her mantle, and her castled walls 
Frown'd in their strength ; yet there were signs which told 
The days were full. The pure high faith of old 
Was changed ; and on her silken couch of sleep 
She lay, and murmur'd if a rose-leafs fold 
Disturbed her dreams ; and calPd her slaves to keep 
Their watch, that no rude sound might reach her o'er the 
deep. 

III. 

But there are sounds that from the regal dwelling 
Free hearts and fearless only may exclude; 
'Tis not alone the wind at midnight swelling, 
Breaks on the soft repose, by Luxury woo'd ! 
There are unbidden footsteps, which intrude 
Where the lamps glitter, and the wine-cup flows, 
And darker hues have stain'd the marble, strew'd 
With the fresh myrtle, and the short-lived rose, 
And Parian walls have rung to the dread march of foes. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 5 

IV. 

A voice of multitudes is on the breeze, 
Remote, yet solemn as the night-storm's roar, 
Through Ida's giant-pines ! Across the seas 
A murmur comes, like that the deep winds bore 
From Tempers haunted river to the shore 
Of the reed-crown'd Eurotas ; when, of old, 
Dark Asia sent her battle-myriads o'er 
Th' indignant wave which would not be controlled, 
But, past the Persian's chain, in boundless freedom roll'd. 



V. 

And it is thus again! Swift oars are dashing 
The parted waters, and a light is cast 
On their white foam-wreaths, from the sudden flashing 
Of Tartar spears, whose ranks are thickening fast. 
There swells a savage trumpet on the blast, 
A music of the deserts, wild and deep, 
Wakening strange echoes, as the shores are past 
Where low midst Ilion's dust her conquerors sleep, 
Overshadowing with high names each rude sepulchral heap. 



6 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

VI. 

War from the West ! the snows on Thracian hills 
Are loosed by Spring's warm breath ; yet o'er the lands 
Which Haemus girds, the chainless mountain rills 
Pour down less swiftly than the Moslem bands. 
War from the East ! midst Araby's lone sands, 
More lonely now the few bright founts may be, 
While Ismael's bow is bent in warrior-hands 
Against the Golden City of the sea l : 
Oh ! for a soul to fire thy dust, Thermopylae ! 



VII. 

Hear yet again, ye mighty ! Where are they, 
Who, with their green Olympic garlands crown'd, 
Leap'd up, in proudly beautiful array, 
As to a banquet gathering, at the sound 
Of Persia's clarion ? Far and joyous round, 
From the pine-forests, and the mountain-snows, 
And the low sylvan valleys, to the bound 
Of the bright waves, at Freedom's voice they rose ! 
Hath it no thrilling tone to break the tomb's repose? 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 7 

VIII. 

They slumber with their swords ! The olive-shades 
In vain are whispering their immortal tale ! 
In vain the spirit of the past pervades 
The soft winds, breathing through each Grecian vale. 
Yet must Thou wake, though all unarmed and pale, 
Devoted City ! Lo ! the Moslem's spear, 
Red from its vintage, at thy gates ; his sail 
Upon thy waves, his trumpet in thine ear ! 
Awake ! and summon those, who yet, perchance, may 
hear! 

IX. 

Be hushed, thou faint and feeble voice of weeping ! 
Lift ye the banner of the Cross on high, 
And call on chiefs, whose noble sires are sleeping 
In their proud graves of sainted chivalry, 
Beneath the palms and cedars, where they sigh 
To Syrian gales ! The sons of each brave line, 
From their baronial halls shall hear your cry, 
And seize the arms which flashed round Salem's shrine, 
And wield for you the swords once waved for Palestine ! 



8 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

X. 

All still, all voiceless ! and the billow's roar 
Alone replies ! Alike their soul is gone, 
Who shared the funeral-feast on ^Eta's shore, 
And theirs, that o'er the field of Ascalon 
SwelPd the crusader's hymn! Then gird thou on 
Thine armour, Eastern Queen ! and meet the hour 
Which waits thee ere the day's fierce work is done . 
With a strong heart ; so may thy helmet tower 
Unshiver'd through the storm, for generous hope is power! 



XL 

But linger not, array thy men of might 1 
The shores, the seas, are peopled with thy foes. 
Arms through thy cypress groves are gleaming bright, 
And the dark huntsmen of the wild, repose 
Beneath the shadowy marble porticoes 
Of thy proud villas. Nearer and more near, 
Around thy walls the sons of battle close ; 
Each hour, each moment, hath its sound of fear, 
Which the deep grave alone is chartered not to hear. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XII. 

Away ! bring wine, bring odours, to the shade 2 , 
Where the tall pine and poplar blend on high ! 
Bring roses, exquisite, but soon to fade ! 
Snatch every brief delight, since we must die ! 
Yet is the hour, degenerate Greeks ! gone by, 
For feast in vine- wreathed bower, or pillared hall ; 
Dim gleams the torch beneath yon fiery sky, 
And deep and hollow is the tambours call, 
And from the startled hand th' untasted cup will fall. 



XIII. 

The night, the glorious oriental night, 
Hath lost the silence of her purple heaven, 
With its clear stars ! The red artillery's light, 
Athwart her worlds of tranquil splendor driven, 
To the still firmament's expanse hath given 
Its own fierce glare, wherein each cliff and tower 
Starts wildly forth ; and now the air is riven 
With thunder-bursts, and now dull smoke-clouds low'r, 
Veiling the gentle moon, in her most hallow'd hour. 



10 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XIV. 

Sounds from the waters, sounds upon the earth, 

Sounds in the air, of battle ! Yet with these 

A voice is mingling, whose deep tones give birth 

To Faith and Courage ! From luxurious ease 

A gallant few have started ! O'er the seas, 

From the Seven Towers 3 , their banner waves its sign, 

. And Hope is whispering in the joyous breeze, 

Which plays amidst its folds. That voice was thine ; 

Thy soul was on that band, devoted Constantine. 



XV. 

Was Rome thy parent ? Didst thou catch from her 
The fire that lives in thine undaunted eye ? 
That city of the throne and sepulchre 
Hath given proud lessons how to reign and die ! 
Heir of the Ceesars ! did that lineage high, 
Which, as a triumph to the grave, hath pass'd 
With its long march of sceptred imagery 4 , 
Th' heroic mantle o'er thy spirit cast ? 
-Thou ! of an eagle-race the noblest and the last ! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 11 

XVI. 

Vain dreams ! upon that spirit hath descended 
Light from the living Fountain, whence each thought 
Springs pure and holy ! In that eye is blended 
A spark, with Earth's triumphal memories fraught, 
And, far within, a deeper meaning, caught 
From worlds unseen. A hope, a lofty trust, 
Whose resting place on buoyant wing is sought 
(Though through its veil, seen darkly from the dust,) 
In realms where Time no more hath power upon the just. 



XVII. 

Those were proud days, when on the battle plain, 
And in the sun's bright face, and midst th' array 
Of awe-struck hosts, and circled by the slain, 
The Roman cast his glittering mail away 5 , 
And, while a silence, as of midnight, lay 
O'er breathless thousands, at his voice who started, 
Called on the unseen, terrific powers that sway 
The heights, the depths, the shades; then, fearless- 
hearted, 
Girt on his robe of death, and for the grave departed. 



12 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XVIII. 

But then, around him as the javelins rushed, 
From earth to heaven swell'd up the loud acclaim ; 
And, ere his heart's last free libation gush'd, 
With a bright smile the warrior caught his name. 
Far-floating on the winds ! And Victory came, 
And made the hour of that immortal deed 
A life, in fiery feeling ! Valour's aim 
Had sought no loftier guerdon. Thus to bleed, 
Was to be Rome's high star! He died; and had his 
meed. 

XIX, 

But praise and dearer, holier praise, be theirs, 
Who, in the stillness and the solitude 
Of hearts pressed earthwards by a weight of cares, 
Uncheer'd by Fame's proud hope, th' ethereal food 
Of restless energies, and only view'd 
By Him whose eye, from his eternal throne, 
Is on the soul's dark places ; have subdued 
And vow'd themselves, with strength till then unknown, 
To some high martyr-task, in secret and alone. 



THE LAST CONST ANTINE. 13 

XX. 

Theirs be the bright and sacred names enshrined 
Far in the bosom ! for their deeds belong, 
Not to the gorgeous faith which charm'd mankind 
With its rich pomp of festival and song, 
Garland, and shrine, and incense-bearing throng ; 
But to that Spirit, hallowing, as it tries 
Man's hidden soul in whispers, yet more strong 
Than storm or earthquake's voice ; for thence arise 
All that mysterious world's unseen sublimities. 



XXI. 

Well might thy name, brave Constantine ! awake 
Such thought, such feeling ! But the scene again 
Bursts on my vision, as the day-beams break 
Thro 1 the red sulphurous mists : the camp, the plain, 
The terraced palaces, the dome-capt fane, 
With its bright cross fix'd high in crowning grace ; 
Spears on the ramparts, galleys on the main, 
And, circling all with arms, that turban'd race, 
The sun, the desert, stamped in each dark haughty face. 



14 TOE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XXII. 

Shout, ye seven hills ! Lo ! Christian pennons streaming 
Red o'er the waters 6 ! Hail, deliverers, hail ! 
Along your billowy wake the radiance gleaming, 
Is Hope's own smile ! They crowd the swelling sail, 
On, with the foam, the sunbeam, and the gale, 
Borne, as a victor's car ! The batteries pour 
Their clouds and thunders ; but the rolling veil 
Of smoke floats up th' exulting winds before ! 
And oh ! the glorious burst of that bright sea and 
shore ! 

XXIII. 

The rocks, waves, ramparts, Europe's, Asia's coast, 
All throng'd ! one theatre for kingly war ! 
A monarch girt with his Barbaric host, 
Points o'er the beach his flashing scymetar ! 
Dark tribes are tossing javelins from afar, 
Hands waving banners o'er each battlement, 
Decks, with their serried guns, array'd to bar 
The promis'd aid ; but hark ! a shout is sent 
Up from the noble barks ! the Moslem line is rent ! 



THE LAST CONSTAXTIXE. 15 

XXIV. 

On, on thro" 1 rushing flame, and arrowy shower, 
The welcome prows have cleft their rapid way, 
And, with the shadows of the vesper-hour, 
FurPd their white sails, and anchored in the bay. 
Then were the streets with song and torch-fire gay, 
Then the Greek wines flow'd mantling in the light 
Of festal halls ; and there was joy ! the ray 
Of dying eyes, a moment wildly bright, 
The sunset of the soul, ere lost to mortal sight ! 



XXV. 

For, vain that feeble succour ! Day by day 
Th' imperial towers are crumbling, and the sweep 
Of the vast engines, in their ceaseless play, 
Comes powerful, as when Heaven unbinds the deep ! 
Man's heart is mightier than the castled steep, 
Yet will it sink when earthly hope is fled ; 
Man's thoughts work darkly in such hours, and sleep 
Flies far ; and in their mien, the walls who tread, 
Things, by the brave untold, may fearfully be read ! 



16 THE LAST CONST ANTINE. 

XXVI. 

It was a sad and solemn task to hold 
Their midnight- watch on that beleaguered wall ! 
As the sea-wave beneath the bastions roll'd, 
A sound of fate was in its rise and fall ! 
The heavy clouds were as an empire's pall, 
The giant-shadows of each tower and fane 
Lay like the grave's ; a low mysterious call 
Breathed in the wind, and from the tented plain 
A voice of omens rose, with each wild martial strain. . 

XXVII. 

For they might catch the Arab charger's neighing, 
The Thracian drum, the Tartar's drowsy song ; 
Might almost hear the soldan's banner swaying, 
The watch-word mutter'd in some eastern tongue. 
Then flash'd the gun's terrific light along 
The marble streets, all stillness not repose ; 
And boding thoughts came o'er them, dark and strong ; 
For heaven, earth, air, speak auguries to those 
Who see their nurnber'd hours fast pressing to the close. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 1? 

XXVIII. 

But strength is from the mightiest ! There is one 
Still in the breach, and on the rampart seen, 
Whose cheek shows paler with each morning sun, 
And tells, in silence, how the night hath been, 
In kingly halls, a vigil : yet serene, 
The ray set deep within his thoughtful eye, 
And there is that in his collected mien, 
To which the hearts of noble men reply, 
With fires, partaking not this frame's mortality ! 



XXIX. 

Yes ! call it not of lofty minds the fate, 
To pass o'er earth in brightness, but alone ; 
High power was made their birthright, to create 
A thousand thoughts responsive to their own ! 
A thousand echoes of their spirit's tone 
Start into life, where'er their path may be, 
Still following fast ; as when the wind hath blown 
O'er Indian groves 7, a wanderer wild and free, 
Kindling and bearing flames afar from tree to tree ! 

c 



18 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XXX. 

And it is thus with thee ! thy lot is cast 
On evil days, thou Caesar ! yet the few 
That set their generous bosoms to the blast 
Which rocks thy throne the fearless and the true, 
Bear hearts wherein thy glance can still renew 
The free devotion of the years gone by, 
When from bright dreams th' ascendant Roman drew 
Enduring strength ! states vanish ages fly 
But leave one task unchanged to suffer and to die ! 



XXXI. 

These are our nature's heritage. But thou, 
The crown'd with empire ! thou wert call'd to share 
A cup more bitter. On thy fevered brow 
The semblance of that buoyant hope to wear, 
Which long had pass'd away; alone to bear 
The rush and pressure of dark thoughts, that came 
As a strong billow in their weight of care ; 
And, with all this, to smile ! for earth-born frame, 
These are stern conflicts, yet they pass, unknown to 
fame! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINO 19 

XXXII. 

Her glance is on the triumph, on the field, 
On the red scaffold ; and where'er, in sight 
Of human eyes, the human soul is steel'd 
To deeds that seem as of immortal might, 
Yet are proud nature's ! But her meteor-light 
Can pierce no depths, no clouds ; it falls not where, 
In silence, and in secret, and in night, 
The noble heart doth wrestle with despair, 
And rise more strong than death from its unwitnessed 
prayer. 

XXXIII. 

Men have been firm in battle : they have stood 
With a prevailing hope on ravaged plains, 
And won the birthright of their hearths with blood, 
And died rejoicing, midst their ancient fanes, 
That so their children, undefiled with chains, 
Might worship there in peace. But they that stand 
When not a beacon o'er the wave remains, 
Link'd but to perish with a ruin'd land, 
Where Freedom dies with them call these a martyr- 
band ! c 2 



20 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XXXIV. 

But the world heeds them not. Or if, perchance. 
Upon their strife it bend a careless eye, 
It is but as the Roman's stoic glance 
Fell on that stage where man's last agony 
Was made his sport, who, knowing one must die, 
Recked not which champion ; but prepared the strain, 
And bound the bloody wreath of victory, 
To greet the conqueror ; while, with calm disdain, 
The vanquished proudly met the doom he met in vain. 



XXXV. 

The hour of Fate comes on ! and it is fraught 
With this of Liberty, that now the need 
Is past to veil the brow of anxious thought, 
And clothe the heart, which still beneath must bleed, 
With Hope's fair-seeming drapery. We are freed 
From tasks like these by Misery; one alone 
Is left the brave, and rest shall be thy meed, 
Prince, watcher, wearied one ! when thou hast shown 
How brief the cloudy space which parts the grave and 
throne ! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 21 



XXXVI. 

The signs are full. They are not in the sky, 
Nor in the many voices of the air, 
Nor the swift clouds. No fiery hosts on high 
Toss their wild spears ; no meteor-banners glare, 
No comet fiercely shakes its blazing hair, 
And yet the signs are full : too truly seen 
In the thinn'd ramparts, in the pale despair 
Which lends one language to a people's mien, 
And in the ruin'd heaps where walls and towers have been 



XXXVII. 

It is a night of beauty ; such a night 
As, from the sparry grot or laurel-shade, 
Or wave in marbled cavern rippling bright, 
Might woo the nymphs of Grecian fount and glade 
To sport beneath its moonbeams, which pervade 
Their forest-haunts : a night, to rove alone, 
Where the young leaves by vernal winds are sway'd, 
And the reeds whisper, with a dreamy tone 
Of melody, that seems to breathe from worlds unknown. 



22 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XXXVIII. 

A night, to call from green ElysiunVs bowers 
The shades of elder bards ; a night, to hold 
Unseen communion with th' inspiring powers 
That made deep groves their dwelling-place of old ; 
A night, for mourners, o'er the hallowed mould, 
To strew sweet flowers ; for revellers to fill 
And wreath the cup ; for sorrows to be told, 
Which love hath cherished long ; vain thoughts ! be 

still ! 
- It is a night of fate, stamped with Almighty Will ! 

XXXIX. 

It should come sweeping in the storm, and rending 
The ancient summits in its dread career ! 
And with vast billows, w rathfully contending, 
And with dark clouds, overshadowing every sphere ! 
But He, whose footstep shakes the earth with fear, 
Passing to lay the sovereign cities low, 
Alike in His omnipotence is near, 
When the soft winds o'er springes green pathway blow, 
And when His thunders cleave the monarch-mountain's 
brow. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XL. 

The heavens in still magnificence look down 
On the huslVd Bosphorus, whose ocean-stream 
Sleeps, with its paler stars : the snowy crown 
Of far Olympus 8 , in the moonlight-gleam 
Towers radiantly, as when the Pagan's dream 
Thronged it with gods, and bent th 1 adoring knee 
But that is past and now the One Supreme 
Fills not alone those haunts ; but earth, air, sea, 
And Time, which presses on, to finish his decree. 



XLL 

Olympus, Ida, Delphi ! ye, the thrones 
And temples of a visionary might, 
Brooding in clouds above your forest-zones. 
And mantling thence the realms beneath with night 
Ye have looked down on battles ! Fear, and Flight, 
And arm'd Revenge, all hurrying past below ! 
But there is yet a more appalling sight 
For earth prepared, than ere, with tranquil brow, 
Ye gazed on from your world of solitude and snow ! 



4 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XLII. 

Last night a sound was in the Moslem camp, 
And Asia's hills re-echoed to a cry 
Of savage mirth ! Wild horn, and war-steeds' 1 tramp, 
Blent with the shout of barbarous revelry, 
The clash of desert-spears ! Last night the sky 
A hue of menace and of wrath put on, 
Caught from red watch-fires, blazing far and high, , 
And countless, as the flames, in ages gone, 
Streaming to heaven's bright queen from shadowy Le- 
banon ! 

XLIII. 

But all is stillness now. May this be sleep 
Which wraps those eastern thousands ? Yes, perchance 
Along yon moonlight shore and dark-blue deep, 
Bright are their visions with the Houri's glance, 
And they behold the sparkling fountains dance 
Beneath the bowers of paradise, that shed 
Rich odours o'er the faithful ; but the lance, 
The bow, the spear, now round the slumberers spread, 
Ere Fate fulfil such dreams, must rest beside the dead. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XLIV. 

May this be sleep, this hush ? A sleepless eye 
Doth hold its vigil midst that dusky race ! 
One that would scan th' abyss of destiny, 
E'en now is gazing on the skies, to trace, 
In those bright worlds, the burning isles of space, 
Fate's mystic pathway : they the while, serene, 
Walk in their beauty ; but Mohammed's face 
Kindles beneath their aspect 9 , and his mien, 
All fired with stormy joy, by that soft light is seen. 



XLV. 

Oh ! wild presumption of a conqueror's dream, 
To gaze on those pure altar-fires, enshrined 
In depths of blue infinitude, and deem 
They shine to guide the spoiler of mankind 
O'er fields of blood ! But with the restless mind 
It hath been ever thus ! and they that weep 
For worlds to conquer, o'er the bounds assign'd 
To human search, in daring pride would sweep, 
As o'er the trampled dust wherein they soon must sleep. 



20 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XLVI. 

But ye ! that beam'd on Fate's tremendous night, 
When the storm burst o'er golden Babylon, 
And ye, that sparkled with your wonted light 
O'er burning Salem, by the Roman won ; 
And ye, that calmly viewed the slaughter done 
In Rome's own streets, when Alaric's trumpet-blast 
Rung through the Capitol ; bright spheres ! roll on ! 
Still bright, though empires fall ; and bid man cast 
His humbled eyes to earth, and commune with the past. 



XLVII. 

For it hath mighty lessons ! from the tomb, 
And from the ruins of the tomb, and where, 
Midst the wreck'd cities in the desert's gloom, 
All tameless creatures make their savage lair, 
Thence comes its voice, that shakes the midnight air, 
And calls up clouds to dim the laughing day, 
And thrills the soul ; yet bids us not despair, 
But make one rock our shelter and our stay, 
Beneath whose shade all else is passing to decay ! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 27 

XLVIII. 

The hours move on. I see a wavering gleam 
O'er the hushed waters tremulously fall, 
Pour'd from the Caesars' palace : now the beam 
Of many lamps is brightening in the hall, 
And from its long arcades and pillars tall 
Soft graceful shadows undulating lie 
On the wave's heaving bosom, and recall 
A thought of Venice, with her moonlight sky, 
And festal seas and domes, and fairy pageantry. 



XLIX. 

But from that dwelling floats no mirthful sound ! 
The swell of flute and Grecian lyre no more, 
Wafting an atmosphere of music round, 
Tells the hush'd seaman, gliding past the shore, 
How monarchs revel there ! Its feasts are o'er 
Why gleam the lights along its colonnade ? 
I see a train of guests in silence pour 
Through its long avenues of terraced shade, 
Whose stately founts and bowers for joy alone were made! 



28 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 



L. 

In silence, and in arms ! With helm with sword- 
These are no marriage-garments ! Yet e'en now 
Thy nuptial feast should grace the regal board, 
Thy Georgian bride should wreath her lovely brow 
With an imperial diadem 10 ! but thou, 
O fated prince ! art calPd, and these with thee, 
To darker scenes ; and thou hast learned to bow 
Thine Eastern sceptre to the dread decree. 
And count it joy enough to perish being free ! 



LI. 

On through long vestibules, with solemn tread, 
As men, that in some time of fear and woe, 
Bear darkly to their rest the noble dead, 
O'er whom by day their sorrows may not flow, 
The warriors pass : their measured steps are slow, 
And hollow echoes fill the marble halls, 
Whose long-drawn vistas open as they go, 
In desolate pomp ; and from the pictured walls, 
Sad seems the light itself, which on their armour falls ! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

LII. 

And they have reached a gorgeous chamber, bright 
With all we dream of splendour ; yet a gloom 
Seems gathered o^er it to the boding sight, 
A shadow that anticipates the tomb ! 
Still from its fretted roof the lamps illume 
A purple canopy, a golden throne ; 
But it is empty ! Hath the stroke of doom 
FalPn there already ? Where is He, the One, 
Born that high seat to fill, supremely and alone ? 



LIII. 

Oh ! there are times whose pressure doth efface 
Earth's vain distinctions ! when the storm beats loud, 
When the strong towers are tottering to their base, 
And the streets rock, who mingle in the crowd ? 
Peasant and chief, the lowly and the proud, 
Are in that throng ! Yes, life hath many an hour 
Which makes us kindred, by one chastening bow'd, 
And feeling but, as from the storm we cower, 
What shrinking weakness feels before unbounded power ! 



30 THE LAST CONST ANTINE. 

LIV. 

Yet then that Power, whose dwelling is on high, 
Its loftiest marvels doth reveal, and speak, 
In the deep human heart more gloriously, 
Than in the bursting thunder ! Thence the weak, 
They that seemed forai'd, as flower-stems, but to break 
With the first wind, have risen to deeds, whose name 
Still calls up thoughts that mantle to the cheek, 
And thrill the pulse I Ay, strength no pangs could 

tame 
Hath look'd from woman's eye upon the sword and flame! 

LV. 

And this is of such hours! That throne is void, 
And its lord comes, uncrown'd. Behold him stand, 
With a calm brow, where woes have not destroyed 
The Greek's heroic beauty, midst his band, 
The gathered virtue of a sinking land, 
Alas ! how scanty ! Now is cast aside 
All form of princely state ; each noble hand 
Is prest by turns in his : for earthly pride 
There is no room in hearts where earthly hope hath died! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 31 

LVI. 

A moment's hush and then he speaks he speaks ! 
But not of hope I that dream hath long gone by : 
His words are full of memory as he seeks, 
By the strong names of Rome and Liberty, 
Which yet are living powers that fire the eye, 
And rouse the heart of manhood ; and by all 
The sad yet grand remembrances that lie 
Deep with earth's buried heroes ; to recall 
The soul of other years, if but to grace their fall ! 



LVII. 

His words are full of faith IAnd thoughts, more high 
Than Rome ere knew, now fill his glance with light ; 
Thoughts which give nobler lessons how to die 
Than e'er were drawn from Nature's haughty might ! 
And to that eye, with all the spirit bright, 
Have theirs replied in tears, which may not shame 
The bravest in such moments ! 'Tis a sight 
To make all earthly splendours cold and tame, 
-That generous burst of soul, with its electric flame! 



32 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

LVIII. 

They weep those champions of the Cross they weep, 
Yet vow themselves to death ! Aye, midst that train 
Are martyrs, privileged in tears to steep 
Their lofty sacrifice ! The pang is vain, 
And yet its gush of sorrow shall not stain 
A warrior's sword. Those men are strangers here 11 
The homes, they never may behold again, 
Lie far away, with all things blest and dear, 
On laughing shores, to which their barks no more shall 
steer ! 

LIX. 

12 Know'st thou the land where bloom the orange bowers? 
Where through dark foliage gleam the citron's dyes ? 
It is their own. They see their father's towers, 
Midst its Hesperian groves in sunlight rise : 
They meet in soul, the bright Italian eyes, 
Which long and vainly shall explore the main 
For their white sail's return : the melodies 
Of that sweet land are floating o'er their brain 
Oh ! what a crowded world one moment may contain ! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 33 



LX. 

Such moments come to thousands ! few may die 
Amidst their native shades. The young, the brave, 
The beautiful, whose gladdening voice and eye 
Made summer in a parent's heart, and gave 
Light to their peopled homes ; o'er land and wave 
Are scattered fast and far, as rose-leaves fall 
From the deserted stem. They find a grave 
Far from the shadow of th' ancestral hall, 
-A lonely bed is theirs, whose smiles were hope to all ! 



LXL 

But life flows on, and bears us with its tide, 
Nor may we, lingering, by the slumberers dwell, 
Though they were those once blooming at our side 
In youth's gay home ! Away ! what sound's deep swell 
Comes on the wind ? It is an empire's knell, 
Slow, sad, majestic, pealing through the night ! 
For the last time speaks forth the solemn bell, 
Which calls the Christians to their holiest rite, 
With a funereal voice of solitary might. 

D 



34 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

LXII. 

Again, and yet again ! A startling power 
In sounds like these lives ever ; for they bear, 
Full on remembrance, each eventful hour, 
Chequering life's crowded path. They fill the air 
When conquerors pass, and fearful cities wear 
A mien like joy's ; and when young brides are led 
From their paternal homes ; and when the glare 
Of burning streets, on midnight's cloud, waves red, 
And when the silent house receives its guest the dead 13 . 



LXIII. 

But to those tones what thrilling soul was given, 
On that last night of empire ! As a spell 
Whereby the life-blood to its source is driven, 
On the chilPd heart of multitudes they fell. 
Each cadence seem'd a prophecy, to tell 
Of sceptres passing from their line away, 
An angel-watcher's long and sad farewell, 
The requiem of a faith's departing sway, 
A throne's, a nation's dirge, a wail for earth's decay. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 35 

LXIV. 

Again, and yet again ! from yon high dome, 
Still the slow peal comes awfully; and they 
Who never more to rest in mortal home, 
Shall throw the breastplate off at fall of day, 
Th 1 imperial band, in close and arm'd array, 
As men that from the sword must part no more, 
Take through the midnight streets their silent way, 
Within their ancient temple to adore, 
Ere yet its thousand years of Christian pomp are o'er. 



LXV. 

It is the hour of sleep : yet few the eyes, 
O'er which forgetfulness her balm hath shed, 
In the beleaguered city. Stillness lies 
With moonlight, o'er the hills and waters spread, 
But not the less, with signs and sounds of dread, 
The time speeds on. No voice is raised to greet 
The last brave Constantine ; and yet the tread 
Of many steps is in the echoing street, 
And pressure of pale crowds, scarce conscious why they 
meet. 



36 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 



LXVI. 

Their homes are luxury's yet : why pour they thence 
With a dim terror in each restless eye ? 
Hath the dread car, which bears the pestilence, 
In darkness, with its heavy wheels, rolPd by, 
And rock'd their palaces, as if on high 
The whirlwind pass'd ? From couch and joyous board 
Hath the fierce phantom beckoned them to die ? 
No ! what are these ? for them a cup is pourM 14 
More dark with wrath; Man comes the spoiler and 
the sword* 

LXVII. 

Still, as the monarch and his chieftains pass 
Through those pale throngs, the streaming torchlight 

throws 

On some wild form, amidst the living mass, 
Hues, deeply red, like lava's, which disclose 
What countless shapes are worn by mortal woes ! 
Lips bloodless, quivering limbs, hands clasped in prayer, 
Starts, tremblings, hurryings, tears ; all outward shows 
Betokening inward agonies, were there : 
Greeks! Romans! all but such as image brave despair! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 37 



LXVIII. 

But high above that scene, in bright repose, 
And beauty borrowing from the torches' gleams 
A mien of life, yet where no life-blood flows, 
But all instinct with loftier being seems, 
Pale, grand, colossal ; lo ! th' embodied dreams 
Of yore ! Gods, heroes, bards, in marble wrought, 
Look down, as powers, upon the wild extremes 
Of mortal passion ! Yet 'twas man that caught, 
And in each glorious form enshrined immortal thought ! 



LX1X. 

Stood ye not thus amidst the streets of Rome ? 
That Rome which witness'd, in her sceptred days, 
So much of noble death ? When shrine and dome, 
Midst clouds of incense, rung with choral lays, 
As the long triumph pass'd, with all its blaze 
Of regal spoil, were ye not proudly borne, 
O sovereign forms ! concentering all the rays 
Of the soul's lightnings ? did ye not adorn 
The pomp which earth stood still to gaze on and to mourn ? 



38 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 



LXX. 

Hath it been thus ? Or did ye grace the halls, 
Once peopled by the mighty ? Haply there, 
In your still grandeur, from the pillar'd walls 
Serene ye smiled on banquets of despair, 
Where hopeless courage wrought itself to dare 
The stroke of its deliverance, midst the glow 
Of living wreaths, the sighs of perfumed air, 
The sound of lyres, the flower-crowned goblet's flow 15 : 
-Behold again ! high hearts make nobler offerings now ! 



LXXL 

The stately fane is reached and at its gate 
The warriors pause ; on life's tumultuous tide 
A stillness falls, while he, whom regal state 
Hath mark'd from all, to be more sternly tried 
By suffering, speaks : each ruder voice hath died, 
While his implores forgiveness ! " If there be 
One midst your throngs, my people ! whom in pride* 
Or passion, I have wrong'd ; such pardon, free 
As mortals hope from Heaven, accord that man to me !" 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 39 

LXXII. 

But all is silence ; and a gush of tears 
Alone replies ! He hath not been of those 
Who, fear'd by many, pine in secret fears 
Of all ; th 1 environed but by slaves and foes, 
To whom day brings not safety, night repose, 
For they have heard the voice cry " Sleep no more /" 
Of them he hath not been, nor such, as close 
Their hearts to misery, till the time is o'er, 
When it speaks low and kneels th 1 oppressor's throne 
before ! 

LXXIII. 

He hath been loved but who may trust the love 
Of a degenerate race ? in other mould 
Are cast the free and lofty hearts, that prove 
Their faith through fiery trials. Yet behold, 
And call him not forsaken ! Thoughts untold 
Have lent his aspect calmness, and his tread 
Moves firmly to the shrine. What pomps unfold 
Within its precincts ! Isles and seas have shed 
Their gorgeous treasures there, around th' imperial dead. 



40 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 



LXXIV. 

'Tis a proud vision that most regal pile 
Of ancient days ! The lamps are streaming bright 
From its rich altar, down each pillared aisle, 
Whose vista fades in dimness ; but the sight 
Is lost in splendours, as the wavering light 
Developes, on those walls, the thousand dyes 
Of the vein'd marbles, which array their height, 
And from yon dome 16 ,, the lode-star of all eyes. 
Pour such an iris-glow as emulates the skies. 



LXXV. 

But gaze thou not on these; though heaven's own hues, 
In their soft clouds and radiant tracery vie ; 
Though tints, of sun-born glory, may suffuse 
Arch, column, rich mosaic : pass thou by 
The stately tombs, where eastern Caesars lie, ^<. 

Beneath their trophies ; pause not here, for know, 
A deeper source of all sublimity 
Lives in man's bosom, than the world can show, 
In nature or in art, above, around, below. 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 41 

LXXVI. 

Turn thou to mark (tho' tears may dim thy gaze) 
The steel-clad group before yon altar-stone ; 
Heed not, tho' gems and gold around it blaze, 
Those heads unhelm'd, those kneeling forms alone, 
Thus bow'd, look glorious here. The light is thrown 
Full from the shrine on one, a nation's lord, 
A sufferer ! but his task shall soon be done 
E'en now, as Faith's mysterious cup is pour'd, 
See to that noble brow, peace, not of earth, restored ! 



LXXVII. 

The rite is o'er. The band of brethren part, 
Once and but once to meet on earth again ! 
Each, in the strength of a collected heart, 
To dare what man may dare and know 'tis vain ! 
*^The rite is o'er: and thou, majestic fane! 
The glory is departed from thy brow ! 
Be clothed with dust ! the Christian's farewell strain 
Hath died within thy walls ; thy Cross must bow ; 
Thy kingly tombs be spoiTd ; thy golden shrines laid low ! 



4<2 THE LAST CONST ANTINE. 

LXXVIII. 

The streets grow still and lonely and the star, 
The last bright lingerer in the path of morn, 
Gleams faint ; and in the very lap of war, 
As if young Hope with Twilight's ray were born, 
Awhile the city sleeps : her throngs, overworn 
With fears and watchings, to their homes retire ; 
Nor is the balmy air of dayspring torn 
With battle-sounds 1 7 ; the winds in sighs expire, 
And Quiet broods in mists, that veil the sunbeam's fire. 



LXXIX. 

The city sleeps ! aye ! on the combat's eve, 
And by the scaffold's brink, and midst the swell 
Of angry seas, hath Nature won reprieve 
Thus, from her cares. The brave have slumber'd well, 
And e'en the fearful, in their dungeon-cell, *$ 

Chain'd between Life and Death ! Such rest be thine, 
For conflicts wait thee still ! Yet who can tell 
In that brief hour, how much of Heaven may shine 
Full on thy spirit's dream ? Sleep, weary Constantine ! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 43 

LXXX. 

Doth the blast rise ? the clouded East is red, 
As if a storm were gathering ; and I hear 
What seems like heavy rain-drops, or the tread, 
The soft and smothered step, of those that fear 
Surprise from ambush'd foes. Hark ! yet more near 
It comes, a many-ton'd and mingled sound ; 
A rustling, as of winds where boughs are sear, 
A rolling, as of wheels that shake the ground 
From far ; a heavy rush, like seas that burst their bound ! 



LXXXI. 

Wake, wake ! They come from sea and shore ascending 
In hosts your ramparts ! Arm ye for the day ! 
Who now may sleep amidst the thunders rending, 
Thro 1 tower and wall, a path for their array ? 

^.Hark ! how the trumpet cheers them to the prey, 
With its wild voice, to which the seas reply ! 
And the earth rocks beneath their engine's sway, 
And the far hills repeat their battle-cry, 

Till that fierce tumult seems to shake the vaulted sky ! 



44 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

LXXXII. 

They fail not now, the generous band, that long 
Have rang'd their swords around a falling throne ; 
Still in those fearless men the walls are strong, 
Hearts, such as rescue empires, are their own ! 
Shall those high energies be vainly shown ? 
No ! from their towers th' invading tide is driven 
Back, like the Red-sea waves, when God had blown , 
With his strong winds 18 ! the dark-brow'd ranks are 

riven 
Shout, warriors of the cross ! for victory is of Heaven ! 

LXXXIII. 

Stand firm ! Again the crescent host is rushing, 
And the waves foam, as on the galleys sweep, 
With all their fires and darts, tho' blood is gushing 
Fast o'er their sides, as rivers to the deep. 
Stand firm ! there yet is hope th' ascent is steep, .. 
And from on high no shaft descends in vain ; 
But those that fall swell up the mangled heap, 
In the red moat, the dying and the slain, 
And o'er that fearful bridge th' assailants mount again ! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 45 



LXXXIV. 

Oh ! the dread mingling, in that awful hour, 
Of all terrific sounds ! the savage tone 
Of the wild horn, the cannon's peal, the shower 
Of hissing darts, the crash of walls o'erthrown, 
The deep dull tambour's beat ! man's voice alone 
Is there unheard ! Ye may not catch the cry 
Of trampled thousands prayer, and shriek, and moan, 
All drown'd, as that fierce hurricane sweeps by, 
But swell the unheeded sum earth pays for victory ! 



LXXXV. 

War-clouds have wrapt the city ! thro' their dun 
Overloaded canopy, at times a blaze, 
As of an angry storm-presaging sun, 
From the Greek fire shoots up 19 ; and lightning rays 
Flash, from the shock of sabres, thro' the haze, 
And glancing arrows cleave the dusky air ! 
Aye! this is in the compass of our gaze, 
But fearful things, unknown, untold, are there, 
Workings of Wrath and Death, and Anguish, and 
Despair ! 



46 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

LXXXVI. 

Woe, shame and woe ! A chief, a warrior flies, 
A red-cross champion, bleeding, wild, and pale ! 
Oh God ! that nature's passing agonies, 
Thus, o'er the spark which dies not, should prevail ! 
Yes ! rend the arrow from thy shattered mail, 
And stanch the blood-drops, Genoa's fallen son 20 ! 
Fly swifter yet ! the javelins pour as hail ! 
But there are tortures which thou canst not shun, 
The spirit is their prey ; thy pangs are but begun ! 



LXXXVIL 

Oh ! happy, in their homes, the noble dead ! 
The seal is set on their majestic fame; 
Earth has drunk deep the generous blood they shed, 
Fate has no power to dim their stainless name ! 
They may not, in one bitter moment, shame 
Long glorious years ; from many a lofty stem 
Fall graceful flowers, and eagle-hearts grow tame, 
And stars drop, fading, from the diadem ; 
But the bright past is theirs there is no change for them ! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 47 

LXXXVIH. 

Where art thou, Constantine? Where Death is reaping 
His sevenfold harvest ! Where the stormy light, 
Fast as th' artillery's thunderbolts are sweeping, 
Throws meteor-bursts o'er battle's noonday-night ? 
Where the towers rock and crumble from their height, 
As to the earthquake, and the engines ply 
Like red Vesuvio ; and where human might 
Confronts ah 1 this, and stih 1 brave hearts beat high, 
While scymetars ring loud on shivering panoply. 



LXXXIX. 

Where art thou, Constantine? Where Christian blood 
Hath bathed the walls in torrents, and in vain ! 
Where Faith and Valour perish in the flood, 
Whose billows, rising o'er their bosoms, gain 
Dark strength each moment : where the gallant slain 
Around the banner of the cross lie strew'd, 
Thick as the vine-leaves on the autumnal plain ; 
Where all, save one high spirit, is subdued, 
And through the breach press on th 7 o'erwhelming mul- 
titude. 



48 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XC. 

Now is he battling midst a host alone, 
As the last cedar stems awhile the sway 
Of mountain-storms, whose fury hath overthrown 
Its forest-brethren in their green array ! 
And he hath cast his purple robe away, 
With its imperial bearings ; that his sword 
An iron ransom from the chain may pay, 
And win, what haply Fate may yet accord, 
A soldier's death, the all now left an empire's lord ! 



XCL 

Search for him now, where bloodiest lie the files 
Which once were men, the faithful and the brave ! 
Search for him now, where loftiest rise the piles 
Of shattered helms and shields, which could not save ; 
And crests and banners, never more to wave 
In the free winds of heaven ! He is of those 
O'er whom the host may rush, the tempest rave, 
And the steeds trample, and the spearmen close, 
Yet wake them not ! so deep their long and last repose I 



THE LAST CONSTANTJNE. 49 

XCII. 

Woe to the vanquished ! thus it hath been still, 
Since Time's first march ! Hark, hark, a people's cry ! 
Aye ! now the conquerors in the streets fulfil 
Their task of wrath ! In vain the victims fly ; 
Hark ! now each piercing tone of agony 
Blends in the city's shriek ! The lot is cast. 
Slaves, 'twas your choice, thus, rather thus, to die, 
Than where the warrior's blood flows warm and fast, 
And rous'd and mighty hearts beat proudly to the last ! 



XCIII. 

Oh ! well doth Freedom battle ! Men have made, 
E'en midst their blazing roofs, a noble stand, 
And on the floors, where once their children play'd, 
And by the hearths, round which their household band 
At evening met; aye! struggling hand to hand, 
Within the very chambers of their sleep, 
There have they taught the spoilers of the land, 
In chainless hearts what fiery strength lies deep, 
To guard free homes ! but ye ! kneel, tremblers ! kneel, 
and weep ! 

E 



50 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XCIV. 

'Tis eve the storm hath died the valiant rest 
Low on their shields ; the day's fierce work is done, 
And blood-stain'd seas and burning towers attest 
Its fearful deeds. An empire's race is run ! 
Sad, midst his glory, looks the parting sun 
Upon the captive city. Hark ! a swell 
(Meet to proclaim barbaric war-fields won) 
Of fierce triumphal sounds, that wildly tell, 
The Soldan comes within the Caesars 1 halls to dwell ! 



xcv. 

Yes ! with the peal of cymbal and of gong, 
He comes,r the Moslem treads those ancient halls ! 
But all is stillness there, as Death had long 
Been lord alone within those gorgeous walls. 
And half that silence of the grave appals 
The conqueror's heart. Aye, 'thus with Triumph's hour, 
Still comes the boding whisper, which recalls 
A thought of those impervious clouds that low'r 
O'er Grandeur's path, a sense of some far mightier Power! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 5 

XCVL 

" The owl upon Afrasiab's towers hath sung 
Her watch-song, and around th' imperial throne 
The spider weaves his web 21 !" Still darkly hung 
That verse of omen, as a prophet's tone, 
O'er his flush'd spirit. Years on years have flown 
To prove its truth : kings pile their domes in air, 
That the coil'd snake may bask on sculptured stone, 
And nations clear the forest, to prepare 
For the wild fox and wolf more stately dwellings there ! 



XCVII. 

But thou ! that on thy ramparts proudly dying, 
As a crown'd leader in such hours should die, 
Upon thy pyre of shiver'd spears art lying, 
With the heavens o'er thee for a canopy, 
And banners for thy shroud ! No tear, no sigh, 
Shall mingle with thy dirge ; for thou art now 
Beyond vicissitude ! Lo ! reared on high, 
The Crescent blazes, while the Cross must bow ; 
But where no change can reach, there, Constantine, art 
thou ! 



52 THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

XCVIII. 

" After life's fitful fever thou sleep'st well !" 
We may not mourn thee ! Sceptred chiefs, from whom 
The earth received her destiny, and fell 
Before them trembling to a sterner doom 
Have oft been call'd. For them the dungeon's gloom, 
With its cold starless midnight, hath been made 
More fearful darkness, where, as in a tomb, 
Without a tomb's repose, the chain hath weighed 
Their very soul to dust, with each high power decay'd. 



XCIX. 

Or in the eye of thousands they have stood, 
To meet the stroke of Death but not like thee ! 
From bonds and scaffolds hath appeal'd their blood, 
But thou didst fall unfetter'd, arm'd, and free, 
And kingly, to the last ! And if it be, 
That, from the viewless world, whose marvels none 
Return to tell, a spirit's eye can see 
The things of earth ; still may'st thou hail the sun, 
Which o'er thy land shall dawn, when Freedom's fight 
is won ! 



THE LAST CONSTANTJNE. 53 

C. 

And the hour comes, in storm ! A light is glancing 
Far through the forest-god's Arcadian shades ! 
'Tis not the moonbeam, tremulously dancing, 
Where lone Alpheus bathes his haunted glades ; 
A murmur, gathering power, the air pervades, 
Kound dark Cithaeron, and by Delphi's steep ; 
'Tis not the song and lyre of Grecian maids, 
Nor pastoral reed that lulls the vales to sleep, 
Nor yet the rustling pines, nor yet the sounding deep ! 



CI. 

Arms glitter on the mountains, which, of old, 
Awoke to freedom's first heroic strain, 
And by the streams, once crimson as they rolPd 
The Persian helm and standard to the main ; 
And the blue waves of Salamis again 
Thrill to the trumpet ; and the tombs reply, 
With their ten thousand echoes, from each plain, 
Far as Plataea's, where the mighty lie, 
Who crown'd so proudly there the bowl of liberty 22 ! 



54 , THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 

CIL 

Bright land, with glory mantled o'er by song ! 
Land of the vision-peopled hills and streams, 
And fountains, whose deserted banks along, 
Still the soft air with inspiration teems ; 
Land of the graves, whose dwellers shall be themes 
To verse for ever ; and of ruin'd shrines, 
That scarce look desolate beneath such beams, 
As bathe in gold thine ancient rocks and pines ! 
When shall thy sons repose in peace beneath their vines? 



cm. 

Thou wert not made for bonds, nor shame, nor fear ! 
Do the hoar oaks and dark-green laurels wave 
O'er Mantinea's earth ? doth Pindus rear 
His snows, the sunbeam and the storm to brave ? 
And is there yet on Marathon a grave ? 
And doth Eurotas lead his silvery line 
By Sparta's ruins ? And shall man, a slave, 
Bow'd to the dust, amid such scenes repine ? 
-If e'er a soil was mark'd for Freedom's step 'tis thine ! 



THE LAST CONSTANTINE. 55 

CIV. 

Wash from that soil the stains, with battle-showers! 
Beneath Sophia's dome the Moslem prays, 
The crescent gleams amidst the olive-bowers. 
In the Comneni's 23 halls the Tartar sways: 
But not for long ! the spirit of those days, 
When the three hundred made their funeral pile 
Of Asia's dead, is kindling, like the rays 
Of thy rejoicing sun, when first his smile 
Warms the Parnassian rock, and gilds the Delian isle. 



CV. 

If then 'tis given thee to arise in might, 
Trampling the scourge, and dashing down the chain, 
Pure be thy triumphs, as thy name is bright ! 
The cross of victory should not know a stain ! 
So may that faith once more supremely reign, 
Through which we lift our spirits from the dust ! 
And deem not, e'en when virtue dies in vain, 
She dies forsaken ; but repose our trust 
On Him whose ways are dark, unsearchable but just. 



NOTES. 



Note 1 . 
While hmaeVs bow, fyc. 



THE army of Mahomet the Second, at the siege of Con- 
stantinople, was thronged with fanatics of all sects and 
nations, who were not enrolled amongst the regular troops. 
The sultan himself marched upon the city from Adrianople ; 
but his army must have been principally collected in the 
Asiatic provinces, which he had previously visited. 



Note 2. 
Bring wine, bring odours, fyc. 



Hue vina, et unguenta, et nimium brevis 
Flores amcenae ferre jube rosse. 

Hor. lib. ii. od. 3. 



58 NOTES. 

Note 3. 
From the Seven Towers, 8$c. 

The Castle of the Seven Towers is mentioned in the By- 
zantine history, as early as the sixth century of the Christian 
era, as an edifice which contributed materially to the de- 
fence of Constantinople ; and it was the principal bulwark 
of the town on the coast of the Propontis, in the later 
periods of the empire. For a description of this building, 
see Pouqueville's Travels. 

Note 4. 
With its long march of sceptred imagery. 

An allusion to the Roman custom of carrying in pro- 
cession, at the funerals of their great men, the images of 
their ancestors. 

NoteS. 
The Roman cast his glittering mail away. 

The following was the ceremony of consecration with 
which Decius devoted himself in battle. He was ordered 
by Valerius, the pontifex maximus, to quit his military 
habit, and put on the robe he wore in the senate. Valerius 
then covered his head with a veil ; commanded him to put 
forth his hand under his robe to his chin, and, standing 
with both feet upon a javelin, to repeat these words : " O 
Janus, Jupiter, Mars, Romulus, Bellona, and ye Lares and 
Novensiles ! All ye heroes who dwell in heaven, and all ye 



NOTES. 59 

gods who rule over us and our enemies, especially ye gods 
of hell ! I honour you, invoke you, and humbly entreat you 
to prosper the arms of the Romans, and to transfer all fear 
and terror from them to their enemies ; and I do, for the 
safety of the Roman people, and their legions, devote my- 
self, and with myself the army and auxiliaries of the enemy, 
to the infernal ' gods, and the goddess of the earth." De- 
cius then, girding his robe around him, mounted his horse, 
and rode full speed into the thickest of the enemy's bat- 
talions. The Latins were, for a while, thunderstruck at 
this spectacle $ but at length recovering themselves, they 
discharged a shower of darts, under which the consul fell. 



Note 6. 

See Gibbon's animated description of the arrival of five 
Christian ships, with men and provisions, for the succour of 
the besieged, not many days before the fall of Constan- 
tinople. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. xii. 
p. 215. 

Note 7. 

As when the wind hath blown 
O'er Indian groves, fyc. 

The summits of the lofty rocks in the Carnatic, particu- 
larly about the Ghauts, are sometimes covered with the 
bamboo tree, which grows in thick clumps, and is of such 
uncommon aridity, that in the sultry season of the year the 
friction occasioned by a strong dry wind will literally pro- 
duce sparks of fire, which frequently setting the woods in 



60 NOTES. 

a blaze, exhibit to the spectator stationed in a valley sur- 
rounded by rocks, a magnificent, though imperfect circle 
of fire. Notes to Kindersley's Specimens of Hindoo Litera- 
ture. 

Note 8. 

The snowy crown 



Of far Olympus, fyc. 

Those who steer their westward course through the 
middle of the Propontis may at once descry the high lands 
of Thrace and Bithynia, and never lose sight of the lofty 
summit of Mount Olympus, covered with eternal snows. 
Decline and Fall, Sfc. vol. iii. p. 8. 



Note 9. 



Mohammed's face 



Kindles beneath their aspect, fyc. 

Mahomet II. was greatly addicted to the study of astro- 
logy. His calculations in this science led him to fix upon 
the morning of the 29th of May as the fortunate hour for 
a general attack upon the city. 



Note 10. 
Thy Georgian bride, fyc. 

Constantine Palseologus was betrothed to a Georgian 
princess ; and the very spring which witnessed the fall of 



NOTES. 61 

Constantinople had been fixed upon as the time for con- 
veying the imperial bride to that city. 

Note 11. 
Those men are strangers here. 

Many of the adherents of Constantine, in his last noble 
stand for the liberties, or rather the honour, of a falling 
empire, were foreigners and chiefly Italians. 

Note 12. 
Know'st thou the land, fyc. 

This and the next line are an almost literal translation 
from a beautiful song of Goethe's : 

Kennst du das land, wo die zitronen bliihn, 
Mit dunkeln laub die gold orangen gliihn ? &c. 

Note 13. 

The idea expressed in this stanza is beautifully amplified 
in Schiller's poem " Das Lied der Glocke." 

Note 14. 
Hath the force phantom, fyc. 

It is said to be a Greek superstition that the plague is 
announced by the heavy rolling of an invisible chariot, heard 



62 NOTES. 

in the streets at midnight ; and also by the appearance of 
a gigantic spectre, who summons the devoted person by 
name. 

Note 15. 
Ye smiled on banquets of despair. 

Many instances of such banquets, given and shared by 
persons resolved upon death, might be adduced from an- 
cient history. That of Vibius Virius, at Capua, is amongst 
the most memorable. 

Note 16. 
Yon dome, the lode-star of all eyes. 

For a minute description of the marbles, jaspers, and por- 
phyries, employed in the construction of St. Sophia, see 
The Decline and Fall, &c., vol. vii. p. 120. 



Note 17. 

Nor is the balmy air of day spring torn 
With battle-sounds , fyc. 

The assault of the city took place at day-break, and the 
Turks were strictly enjoined to advance in silence, which 
had also been commanded, on pain of death, during the 
preceding night . This circumstance is finely alluded to by 
Miss Baillie, in her tragedy of Constantine Palaeologus: 



NOTES. 63 

" Silent shall be the march : nor drum, nor trump, 
Nor clash of arms, shall to the watchful foe 
Our near approach betray : silent and soft, 
As the pard's velvet foot on Lybia's sands, 
Slow stealing with crouch'd shoulders on her prey." 

Constantine Palceologus, Act iv. 

" The march and labour of thousands' 1 must, however, as 
Gibbon observes, " have inevitably produced a strange con- 
fusion of discordant clamours, which reached the ears of 
the watchmen on the towers." 



Note 18. 
x The dark-brow* d ranks are riven. 

" After a conflict of two hours, the Greeks still main- 
tained and preserved their advantage," says Gibbon. The 
strenuous exertions of the janizaries first turned the fortune 
of the day. 

Note 19. 
From the Greek fire shoots up, SfC. 

" A circumstance that distinguishes the siege of Con- 
stantinople is th$ re-union of the ancient and modern 
artillery. The bullet and the battering-ram were directed 
against the same wall ; nor had the discovery of gunpowder 
superseded the use of the liquid and unextinguishable fire." 
Decline and Fall, &c., vol. xii. p. 213. 



64 NOTES. 

Note 20. 
And stanch the blood-drops, Genoa s fallen son ! 

" The immediate loss of Constantinople may be ascribed 
to the bullet, or arrow,, which pierced the gauntlet of John 
Justiniani (a Genoese chief). The sight of his blood, and 
exquisite pain, appalled the courage of the chief, whose 
arms and counsels were the firmest rampart of the city." 
Decline and Fall, &c., vol. xii. p. 229. 

Note 21. 

The olvl upon Afrasiab's towers hath sung 
Her watch-song, fyc. 

Mahomet II., on entering, after his victory, the palace 
of the Byzantine emperors, was strongly impressed with 
the silence and desolation which reigned within its pre- 
cincts. " A melancholy reflection on the vicissitudes of 
human greatness forced itself on his mind, and he repeated 
an elegant distich of Persian poetry : ' The spider has wove 
his web in the imperial palace, and the owl hath sung 
her watch-song on the towers of Afrasiab."' Decline and 
Fall, &c., vol. xii. p. 240. 

Note 22. 
The Bowl of Liberty 

One of the ceremonies by which the battle of Plataea 
was annually commemorated was, to crown with wine a 



NOTES. 65 

cup called the Bowl of Liberty, which was afterwards 
poured forth in libation. 

Note 23. 
In the Comnenis halls 

The Comneni were amongst the most distinguished of 
the families who filled the Byzantine throne in the declining 
years of the eastern empire, 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



ELYSIUM. 



" In the Elysium of the ancients, we find none but heroes and persons 
who had either been fortunate or distinguished on earth ; the children, and 
apparently the slaves and lower classes, that is to say, Poverty, Misfortune, 
and Innocence, were banished to the infernal regions." 

CHATEAUBRIAND, Genie du Christianismc. 



FAIR wert thou, in the dreams 
Of elder time, thou land of glorious flowers, 
And summer-winds, and low-ton'd silvery streams, 
Dim with the shadows of thy laurel-bowers ! 

Where, as they pass'd, bright hours 
Left no faint sense of parting, such as clings 
To earthly love, and joy in loveliest things ! 



70 ELYSIUM. 

Fair wert thou, with the light 
On thy blue hills and sleepy waters cast. 
From purple skies ne'er deepening into night, 
Yet soft, as if each moment were their last 

Of glory, fading fast 

Along the mountains ! but thy golden day 
Was not as those that warn us of decay. 

And ever, through thy shades, 
A swell of deep Eolian sound went by, 
From fountain-voices in their secret glades, 
And low reed-whispers, making sweet reply 

To summer's breezy sigh ! 

And young leaves trembling to the wind's light breath, 
Which ne'er had touch'd them with a hue of death ! 

And the transparent sky 
Rung as a dome, all thrilling to the strain 
Of harps that, midst the woods, made harmony 
Solemn and sweet ; yet troubling not the brain 

With dreams and yearnings vain, 
And dim remembrances, that still draw birth 
From the bewildering music of the earth. 



ELYSIUM. ?i 

And who, with silent tread, 
Mov'd o'er the plains of waving Asphodel ? 
Who, of the hosts, the night-o'erpeopling dead, 
Amidst the shadowy amaranth-bowers might dwell, 

And listen to the swell 
Of those majestic hymn-notes, and inhale 
The spirit wandering in th' immortal gale ? 

They of the sword, whose praise, 
With the bright wine at nations' feasts, went round ! 
They of the lyre, whose unforgotten lays 
On the morn's wing had sent their mighty sound, 

And in all regions found 

Their echoes midst the mountains ! and become 
In man's deep heart, as voices of his home ! 

They of the daring thought ! 
Daring and powerful, yet to dust allied ; 
Whose flight thro' stars, and seas, and depths had sought 
The soul's far birth-place but without a guide ! 

Sages and seers, who died, 

And left the world their high mysterious dreams, 
Born midst the olive-woods, by Grecian streams. 



72 ELYSIUM. 

But they, of whose abode 

Midst her green valleys earth retained no trace, 
Save a flower springing from their burial-sod, 
A shade of sadness on some kindred face, 

A void and silent place 

In some sweet home ; thou hadst no wreaths for these, 
Thou sunny land ! with all thy deathless trees ! 

The peasant, at his door 

Might sink to die, when vintage-feasts were spread, 
And songs on every wind ! From tliy bright shore 
No lovelier vision floated round his head, 

Thou wert for nobler dead ! 

He heard the bounding steps which round him fell, 
And sigh'd to bid the festal sun farewell ! 

The slave, whose very tears 
Were a forbidden luxury, and whose breast 
Shut up the woes and burning thoughts of years, 
As in the ashes of an urn compressed ; 

He might not be thy guest ! 
No gentle breathings from thy distant sky 
Came o'er his path, and whisper'd u Liberty !" 



ELYSIUM 73 

Calm, on its leaf-strewn bier. 
Unlike a gift of nature to decay. 
Too rose-like still, too beautiful, too dear, 
The child at rest before its mother lay ; 

E'en so to pass away, 

With its bright smile ! Elysium ! what wert thou, 
To her, who wept o'er that young slumberer's brow ? 

Thou hadst no home, green land ! 
For the fair creature from her bosom gone, 
With life's first flowers just opening in her hand, 
And all the lovely thoughts and dreams unknown, 

Which in its clear eye shone 

Like the spring's wakening ! But that light was past 
Where went the dew-drop, swept before the blast ? 

Not where thy soft winds play'd, 

Not where thy waters lay in glassy sleep ! 

Fade, with thy bowers, thou land of visions, fade ! 
From thee no voice came o'er the gloomy deep, 

And bade man cease to weep ! 
Fade, with the amaranth-plain, the myrtle-grove, 
Which could not yield one hope to sorrowing love ! 



74 ELYSIUM. 

For the most Wd are they, 
Of whom Fame speaks not with her clarion- voice 
In regal halls ! the shades overhang their way, 
The vale, with its deep fountains, is their choice, 

And gentle hearts rejoice 
Around their steps ! till silently they die, 
As a stream shrinks from summer's burning eye. 

And the world knows not then, 
Not then, nor ever, what pure thoughts are fled ! 
Yet these are they, that on the souls of men 
Come back, when night her folding veil hath spread, 

The long-remembered dead ! 

But not with jhee might aught save Glory dwell 
Fade, fade away, thou shore of Asphodel ! 



GREEK SONGS. 



I. 

THE STORM OF DELPHI* 

FAR through the Delphian shades 

An Eastern trumpet rung ! 
And the startled eagle rush'd on high, 
With a sounding flight through the fiery sky, 
And banners, o'er the shadowy glades, 

To the sweeping winds were flung. 

Banners, with deep-red gold 

All waving, as a flame, 

And a fitful glance from the bright spear-head 
On the dim wood-paths of the mountain shed, 
And a peal of Asia's war-notes told 

That in arms the Persian came. 

* See the account cited from Herodotus, in Mitford's Greece. 



76 GREEK SONGS. 

i 

He came, with starry gems 

On his quiver and his crest ; 
With starry gems, at whose heart the day 
Of the cloudless orient burning lay, 
And they cast a gleam on the laurel-stems, 

As onward his thousands pressed. 

But a gloom fell o'er their way, 

And a heavy moan went by ! 
A moan, yet not like the wind's low swell, 
When its voice grows wild amidst cave and dell, 
But a mortal murmur of dismay, 

Or a warrior's dying sigh ! 

A gloom fell o'er their way ! 

'Twas not the shadow cast 

By the dark pine-boughs, as they crossed the blue 
Of the Grecian heavens with their solemn hue ; 
The air was fill'd with a mightier sway, 

But on the spearmen passed ! 

And hollow, to their tread, 
Came the echoes of the ground, 



STORM OF DELPHI. 77 

And banners droop'd, as with dews overborne, 
And the wailing blast of the battle-horn 
Had an altered cadence, dull and dead, 
Of strange foreboding sound. 

But they blew a louder strain, 

When the steep defiles were pass'd ! 
And afar the crown'd Parnassus rose, 
To shine thro' heaven with his radiant snows, 
And in golden light the Delphian fane 

Before them stood at last J 

In golden light it stood, 

Midst the laurels gleaming lone, 
For the Sun-God yet, with a lovely smile, 
O'er its graceful pillars look'd awhile, 
Tho' the stormy shade on cliff and wood 

Grew deep, round its mountain-throne. 

And the Persians gave a shout ! 

But the marble- walls replied, 
With a clash of steel, and a sullen roar 
Like heavy wheels on the ocean-shore, 



78 GREEK SONGS. 

And a savage trumpet's note peal'd out, 
Till their hearts for terror died ! 

On the armour of the God, 
Then a viewless hand was laid ; 
There were helm and spear, with a clanging din, 
And corslet brought from the shrine within, 
From the inmost shrine of the dread abode, 
And before its front array'd. 

And a sudden silence fell 

Thro 1 the dim and loaded air ! 
On the wild bird's wing, and the myrtle-spray, 
And the very founts, in their silvery way, 
With a weight of sleep came down the spell, 

Till man grew breathless there. 

But the pause was broken soon ! 

'Twas not by song or lyre ; 
For the Delphian maids had left their bowers, 
And the hearths were lone in the city's towers, 
But there burst a sound. thro' the misty noon, 

That battle-noon of fire ! 



STORM OF DELPHI. 79 

It burst from earth and heaven ! 

It roird from crag and cloud ! 
For a moment of the mountain-blast, 
With a thousand stormy voices passed, 
And the purple gloom of the sky was riven, 

When the thunder peal'd aloud. 

And the lightnings in their play 

Flashed forth, like javelins thrown ; 
Like sun-darts wing'd from the silver bow, 
They smote the spear and the turban'd brow, 
And the bright gems flew from the crests like spray, 

And the banners were struck down ! 

And the massy oak-boughs crash'd 

To the fire-bolts from on high, 
And the forest lent its billowy roar, 
While the glorious tempest onward bore, 
And lit the streams, as they foamed and dash'd, 

With the fierce rain sweeping by. 

Then rush'd the Delphian men 
On the pale and scattered host ; 



80 GREEK SONGS. 

Like the joyous burst of a flashing wave, 
They rushed from the dim Corycian cave, 
And the singing blast o'er wood and glen 
RolPd on, with the spears they tossM. 

There were cries of wild dismay, 
There were shouts of warrior-glee, 
There were savage sounds of the tempest's mirth, 
That shook the realm of their eagle-birth ; 
But the mount of song, when they died away, 
Still rose, with its temple, free ! 

And the Paean swelPd ere long, 

lo Paean ! from the fane ; 
lo Paean ! for the war-array, 
On the crownM Parnassus riven that day ! 
Thou shalt rise as free, thou mount of song ! 

With thy bounding streams again. 



THE BOWL OF LIBERTY. 81 



II. 



THE BOWL OF LIBERTY* 

BEFORE the fiery sun, 

The sun that looks on Greece with cloudless eye, 
In the free air, and on the war-field won, 
Our fathers crown'd the Bowl of Liberty. 

Amidst the tombs they stood, 
The tombs of heroes ! with the solemn skies, 
And the wide plain around, where patriot-blood 
Had steep'd the soil in hues of sacrifice. 

They call'd the glorious dead, 
In the strong faith which brings the viewless nigh, 
And pour'd rich odours o'er their battle-bed, 
And bade them to the rite of Liberty. 



* This and the following piece appeared originally in the New Monthly 
Magazine. 



82 GREEK SONGS. 

They calPd them from the shades, 
The golden fruited shades, where minstrels tell 
How softer light th 1 immortal clime pervades, 
And music floats o'er meads of Asphodel. 

Then fast the bright-red wine * 
Flowed to their names who taught the world to die, 
And made the land's green turf a living shrine, 
Meet for the wreath and Bowl of Liberty, 

So the rejoicing earth 

Took from her vines again the blood she gave, 
And richer flowers to deck the tomb drew birth 
From the free soil, thus hallowed to the brave. 

We have the battle-fields, 
The tombs, the names, the blue majestic sky, 
We have the founts the purple vintage yields ; 
When shall we crown the Bowl of Liberty ! 



* For an account of this ceremony, anciently performed in com- 
memoration of the battle of Plataea, see Potter's Antiquities of Greece, 
vol. i. p. 389. 



THE VOICE OF SCIO. 83 



III. 



THE VOICE OF SCIO. 

A VOICE from Scio's isle, 
A voice of song, a voice of old, 
Swept far as cloud or billow roird, 

And earth was hush'd the while. 

The souls of nations woke ! 
Where lies the land whose hills among, 
That voice of Victory hath not rung, 
As if a trumpet spoke ? 

To sky, and sea, and shore 
Of those whose blood, on Ilion's plain, 
Swept from the rivers to the main, 

A glorious tale it bore. 



84 GREEK SONGS. 

Still, by our sun-bright deep, 
With all the fame that fiery lay 
Threw round them, in its rushing way, 

The sons of battle sleep. 

And kings their turf have crowned ! 
And pilgrims o'er the foaming wave 
Brought garlands there : so rest the brave, 

Who thus their bard have found ! 

A voice from Scio's isle, 
A voice as deep hath risen again ! 
As far shall peal its thrilling strain, 

Where'er our sun may smile ! 

Let not its tones expire ! 
Such power to waken earth and heaven, 
And might and vengeance ne'er was given 

To mortal song or lyre ! 

Know ye not whence it comes ? 
From ruin'd hearths, from burning fanes, 
From kindred blood on yon red plains, j 



From desolated homes ! 



THE VOICE OF SCIO. 

"Tis with us through the night ! 
'Tis on our hills, 'tis in our sky 
Hear it, ye heavens ! when swords flash high, 

O'er the mid-waves of fight ! 



86 GREEK SONGS. 

IV. 
THE SPARTAN'S MARCH*. 



" The Spartans used not the trumpet in their march into battle, says 
Thucydides, because they wished not to excite the rage of their warriors. 
Their charging-step was made . to the ' Dorian mood of flutes and soft 
recorders.* The valour of a Spartan was too highly tempered to require 
a stunning or rousing impulse. His spirit was like a steed too proud 
for the spur." CAMPBELL on the Elegiac Poetry of the Greeks. 



'TWAS morn upon the Grecian hills, 
Where peasants dressed the vines. 

Sunlight was on Cithaeron's rills, 
Arcadia's rocks and pines. 

And brightly, through his reeds and flowers, 

Eurotas wander'd by, 
When a sound arose from Sparta's towers 

Of solemn harmony. 

<| 

* Originally published in the Edinburgh Magazine. 



THE SPARTAN'S MARCH. 87 

Was it the hunters' choral strain 

To the woodland-goddess pour'd ? 
Did virgin-hands in Pallas' fane 

Strike the full-sounding chord ? 

But helms were glancing on the stream, 

Spears ranged in close array. 
And shields flung back a glorious beam 

To the morn of a fearful day ! 

And the mountain-echoes of the land 
SwelPd through the deep-blue sky, 

While to soft strains moved forth a band 
Of men that moved to die. 

They march'd not with the trumpet's blast, 

Nor bade the horn peal out, 
And the laurel-groves, as on they passed, 

Rung with no battle-shout ! 

They ask'd no clarion's voice to fire 
Their souls with an impulse high ; 

But the Dorian reed and the Spartan lyre 
For the sons of liberty ! 



88 GREEK SONGS. 

And still sweet flutes, their path around, 

Sent forth Eolian breath ; 
They needed not a sterner sound 

To marshal them for death ! 

So moved they calmly to their field, 

Thence never to return, 
Save bearing back the Spartan shield, 

Or on it proudly borne ! 



THE URN AND SWORD. 89 

V. 
THE URN AND SWORD. 

THEY sought for treasures in the tomb. 
Where gentler hands were wont to spread 
Fresh boughs and flowers of purple bloom, 
And sunny ringlets, for the dead*. 

They scattered far the greensward-heap, 
Where once those hands the bright wine poured ; 
What found they in the home of sleep ? 
A mouldering urn, a shiver'd sword ! 

An urn, which held the dust of one 
Who died when hearths and shrines were free ; 
A sword, whose work was proudly done, 
Between our mountains and the sea, 

And these are treasures ! undismayed, 
Still for the suffering land we trust, 
Wherein the past its fame hath laid, 
With freedom's sword, and valour's dust. 

* See Potter's Grecian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 234. 



90 GREEK SONGS. 

VI. 
THE MYRTLE-BOUGH. 

STILL green, along our sunny shore 

The flowering myrtle waves, 
As when its fragrant boughs of yore 

Were offered on the graves ; 
The graves, wherein our mighty men 
Had rest, unviolated then. 

Still green it waves ! as when the hearth 

Was sacred through the land ; 
And fearless was the banquet's mirth. 

And free the minstrel's hand ; 
And guests, with shining myrtle crown'd, 
Sent the wreath'd lyre and wine-cup round. 

Still green ! as when on holy ground 

The tyrant's blood was pour'd : 
Forget ye not what garlands bound 

The young deliverer's sword ! 
Though earth may shrowd Harmodius now, 
We still have sword and myrtle-bough ! 



THE SIEGE OF VALENCIA: 



A DRAMATIC POEM. 



Jndicio ha dado esta no vista hazana 
Del valor que en los siglos venideros 
Tendran los Hijos de la fiierte Espana, 
Hijos de tal padres herederos. 

Hallo sola en Numancia todo quanto 

Debe con justo titulo cantarse, 

Y lo que puede dar materia al canto. 

Numancia de Cervantes. 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



THE history of Spain records two instances of the 
severe and self-devoting heroism, which forms the sub- 
ject of the following dramatic poem. The first of these 
occurred at the siege of Tarifa, which was defended in 
1294 for Sancho, King of Castile, during the rebellion 
of his brother, Don Juan, by Guzman, surnamed the 
Good *. The second is related of Alonso Lopez de 
Texeda, who, until his garrison had been utterly dis- 
abled by pestilence, maintained the city of Zamora for 
the children of Don Pedro the Cruel, against the forces 
of Henrique of Trastamara *f% 

Impressive as were the circumstances which distin- 
guished both these memorable sieges, it appeared to 

* See Quintana's ' Vidas de Espanoles celebres,' p. 53. 
f See the Preface to Southey's < Chronicle of the Cid.' 



94 ADVERTISEMENT. 

the author of the following pages that a deeper in- 
terest, as well as a stronger colour of nationality might 
be imparted to the scenes in which she has feebly at- 
tempted " to describe high passions and high actions ;" 
by connecting a religious feeling with the patriotism 
and high-minded loyalty which had thus been proved 
" faithful unto death," and by surrounding her ideal 
dramatis personae with recollections derived from the 
heroic legends of Spanish chivalry. She has, for this 
reason, employed the agency of imaginary characters, 
and fixed upon " Valencia del Cid" as the scene to 
give them 

" A local habitation and a name." 



DRAMATIS PERSONS. 

ALVAR GONZALEZ . . Governor of Valencia. 
ALPHONSO 



His Sons. 
CARLOS 

HERNANDEZ . . . . A Priest. 

A Moorish Prince, Chief of the 

Army besieging Valencia. 
GARCIAS A Spanish Knight. 



ABDULLAH . . . < 



ELMINA Wife to Gonzalez. 

XIMENA Her Daughter. 

THERESA . . . . An Attendant. 

Citizens, Soldiers, Attendants, fyc. 



THE SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



SCENE I. 

Room in a Palace of Valencia. 
XIMENA singing to a Lute. 

BALLAD. 

" THOU hast not been with a festal throng, 

At the pouring of the wine ; 
Men bear not from the Hall of Song, 
A mien so dark as thine ! 

There 's blood upon thy shield, 
There 's dust upon thy plume, 
Thou hast brought, from some disastrous field, 
That brow of wrath and gloom !" 

/ 

" And is there blood upon my shield ? 
Maiden ! it well may be ! 

H 



98 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

We have sent the streams from our battle-field, 
All darkened to the sea ! 

We have given the founts a stain, 
Midst their woods of ancient pine ; 

And the ground is wet but not with rain, 
Deep-dyed but not with wine ! 

" The ground is wet- but not with rain 

We have been in war array, 
And the noblest blood of Christian Spain 
Hath bathed her soil to-day. 
I have seen the strong man die, 
And the stripling meet his fate, 
Where the mountain-winds go sounding by, 
In the Roncesvalles' Strait. 

" In the gloomy Roncesvalles 1 Strait 

There are helms and lances cleft ; 
And they that moved at morn elate 
On a bed of heath are left ! 

There 's many a fair young face, 
Which the war steed hath gone o'er ; 
At many a board there is kept a place 
For those that come no more !" 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 99 

" Alas ! for love, for woman's breast, 

If woe like this must be ! 
Hast thou seen a youth with an eagle crest, 
And a white plume waving free ? 
With his proud quick flashing eye, 
And his mien of knightly state ? 
Doth he come from where the swords flash'd high, 
In the Roncesvalles' Strait ?" 

" In the gloomy Roncesvalles' Strait 

I saw and mark'd him well ; 
For nobly on his steed he sate, 
When the pride of manhood fell ! 
But it is not youth which turns 
From the field of spears again ; 
For the boy's high heart too wildly burns, 
Till it rests amidst the slain !" 

" Thou canst not say that he lies low, 

The lovely and the brave ! 
Oh ! none could look on his joyous brow, 
And think upon the grave ! 
Dark, dark perchance the day 
Hath been with valour's fate, 



100 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

But he is on his homeward way, 

From the Roncesvalles' Strait P 

" There is dust upon his joyous brow, 

And o^er his graceful head ; 
And the war-horse will not wake him now, 
Tho" it bruise his greensward bed ! 
I have seen the stripling die, 
And the strong man meet his fate. 
Where the mountain-winds go sounding by, 
In the Roncesvalles' Strait!" 



ELMINA enters. 

ELMINA. 

Your songs are not as those of other days, 
Mine own Ximena ! Where is now the young 
And buoyant spirit of the morn, which once 
Breath'd in your spring-like melodies, and woke 
Joy's echo from all hearts ? 

XIMENA. 

My mother, this 
Is not the free air of our mountain- wilds ; 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 101 

And these are not the halls, wherein my voice 
First pour'd those gladdening strains. 

ELMINA. 

Alas ! thy heart 

(I see it well) doth sicken for the pure 
Free-wandering breezes of the joyous hills, 
Where thy young brothers, o'er the rock and heath, 
Bound in glad boyhood, e'en as torrent-streams 
Leap brightly from the heights. Had we not been 
Within these walls thus suddenly begirt, 
Thou should st have track'd ere now, with step as light, 
Their wild wood-paths, 

XIMENA. 

I would not but have shared 
These hours of woe and peril, tho' the deep 
And solemn feelings wakening at their voice, 
Claim all the wrought-up spirit to themselves, 
And will not blend with mirth. The storm doth hush 
All floating whispery sounds, all bird-notes wild 
O' th' summer-forest, filling earth and heaven 
With its own awful music. And 'tis well ! 
Should not a hero's child be train'd to hear 
The trumpet's blast unstartled, and to look 
In the fix'd face of Death without dismay ? 



102 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

ELMINA. 

Woe ! woe ! that aught so gentle and so young 
Should thus be calPd to stand i' the tempest's path, 
And bear the token and the hue of death 
On a bright soul so soon ! I had not shrunk 
From mine own lot, but thou, my child, shouldst move 
As a light breeze of heaven, thro* summer-bowers, 
And not o'er foaming billows. We are fall'n 
On dark and evil days ! 

XIMENA. 

Aye, days, that wake 

All to their tasks ! Youth may not loiter now 
In the green walks of spring ; and womanhood 
Is summoned unto conflicts, heretofore 
The lot of warrior-souls. But we will take 
Our toils upon us nobly ! Strength is born 
In the deep silence of long-suffering hearts ; 
Not amidst joy. 

ELMINA. 

Hast thou some secret woe 
That thus thou speak'st ? 

XIMENA. 

What sorrow should be mine, 
Unknown to thee ? 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 103 

ELMINA. 

Alas ! the baleful air 

Wherewith the pestilence in darkness walks 
Thro' the devoted city, like a blight 
Amidst the rose-tints of thy cheek hath falFn, 
And wrought an early withering ! Thou hast crossed 
The paths of Death, and ministered to those 
O'er whom his shadow rested, till thine eye 
Hath changed its glancing sunbeam for a still, 
Deep, solemn radiance, and thy brow hath caught 
A wild and high expression, which at times 
Fades unto desolate calmness, most unlike 
What youth's bright mien should wear. My gentle child ! 
I look on thee in fear ! 

XIMENA. 

Thou hast no cause 

To fear for me. When the wild clash of steel, 
And the deep tambour, and the heavy step 
Of armed men, break on our morning dreams ; 
When, hour by hour, the noble and the brave 
Are falling round us, and we deem it much 
To give them funeral-rites, and call them blest 
If the good sword, in its own stormy hour, 
Hath done its work upon them, ere disease 



104 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Had chill'd their fiery blood ; it is no time 
For the light mien wherewith, in happier hours, 
We trod the woodland mazes, when young leaves 
Were whispering in the gale. My Father comes 
Oh ! speak of me no more. I would not shade 
His princely aspect with a thought less high 
Than his proud duties claim. 

GONZALEZ enters. 

ELMINA. 

My noble lord ! 

Welcome from this day's toil ! It is the hour 
Whose shadows, as they deepen, bring repose 
Unto all weary men ; and wilt not thou 
Free thy mail'd bosom from the corslet's weight, 
To rest at fall of eve? 

GONZALEZ. 

There may be rest 

For the tired peasant, when the vesper-bell 
Doth send him to his cabin, and beneath 
His vine and olive, he may sit at eve, 
Watching his children's sport : but unto him 
Who keeps the watch-place on the mountain-height, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 105 

When Heaven lets loose the storms that chasten realms 
Who speaks of rest ? 

XIMENA. 

My father, shall I fill 

The wine-cup for thy lips, or bring the lute 
Whose sounds thou lovest ? 

GONZALEZ. 

If there be strains of power 
To rouse a spirit, which in triumphant scorn 
May cast off nature's feebleness, and hold 
Its proud career unshackled, dashing down 
Tears and fond thoughts to earth ; give voice to those ! 
I have need of such, Ximena ! we must hear 
No melting music now. 

XIMENA. 

I know all high 

Heroic ditties of the elder time, 
Sung by the mountain-Christians *, in the holds 
Of th 1 everlasting hills, whose snows yet bear 
The print of Freedom's step ; and ah 1 wild strains 
Wherein the dark serranos * teach the rocks 
And the pine forests deeply to resound 

* " Serranos," mountaineers. 



106 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

The praise of later champions. Wouldst thou hear 
The war-song of thine ancestor, the Cid ? 

GONZALEZ. 

Aye, speak of him ; for in that name is power, 
Such as might rescue kingdoms ! Speak of him ! 
We are his children ! They that can look back 
F th' annals of their house on such a name, 
How should they take dishonour by the hand, 
And o^er the threshold of their father's halls 
First lead her as a guest ? 

ELMINA. 

Oh, why is this ? 
How my heart sinks ! 

GONZALEZ. 

It must not fail thee yet, 
Daughter of heroes ! thine inheritance 
Is strength to meet all conflicts. Thou canst number 
In thy long line of glorious ancestry 
Men, the bright offering of whose blood hath made 
The ground it bathed e'en as an altar, whence 
High thoughts shall rise for ever. Bore they not, 
Midst flame and sword, their witness of the Cross, 
With its victorious inspiration girt 
As with a conqueror s robe, till th 1 infidel 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 107 

O'erawed, shrank back before them ? Aye, the earth 
Doth call them martyrs, but their agonies 
Were of a moment, tortures whose brief aim 
Was to destroy, within whose powers and scope 
Lay nought but dust. And earth doth call them martyrs ! 
Why, Heaven but claim'd their blood, their lives, and not 
The things which grow as tendrils round their hearts ; 
No, not their children ! 

ELMINA. 

Mean'st thou ? know'st thou aught ? 
I cannot utter it My sons ! my sons ! 
Is it of them ? Oh ! wouldst thou speak of them ? 

GONZALEZ. 
A mother's heart divineth but too well ! 

ELMINA. 

Speak, I adjure thee ! I can bear it all. 
Where are my children ? 

GONZALEZ. 

In the Moorish camp 
Whose lines have girt the city. 
XIMENA. 

But they live ? 
All is not lost, my mother ! 

ELMINA. 

Say, they live. 



108 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

GONZALEZ. 

Elmina, still they live. 

ELMINA. 

But captives ! They 
Whom my fond heart had imaged to itself 
Bounding from cliff to cliff amidst the wilds 
Where the rock-eagle seemed not more secure 
In its rejoicing freedom ! And my boys 
Are captives with the Moor ! Oh ! how was this? 

GONZALEZ. 

Alas ! our brave Alphonso, in the pride 
Of boyish daring, left our mountain-halls, 
With his young brother, eager to behold 
The face of noble war. Thence on their way 
Were the rash wanderers captured. 
ELMINA. 

'Tis enough. 

And when shall they be ransom'd ? 
GONZALEZ. 

There is ask'd 
A ransom far too high. 

ELMINA. 

What ! have we wealth 

Which might redeem a monarch, and our sons 
The while wear fetters ? Take thou all for them. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 109 

And we will cast our worthless grandeur from us, 
As 'twere a cumbrous robe ! Why, ihou art one, 
To whose high nature pomp hath ever been 
But as the plumage to a warrior's helm, 
Worn or thrown off as lightly. And for me, 
Thou knowest not how serenely I could take 
The peasant's lot upon me, so my heart, 
Amidst its deep affections undisturb'd, 
May dwell in silence. 

XIMENA. 

Father! doubt thou not 
But we will bind ourselves to poverty, 
With glad devotedness, if this, but this, 
May win them back. Distrust us not, my father ! 
We can bear all things. 

GONZALEZ. 

Can ye bear disgrace ? 

XIMENA. 

We were not barn for this. 

GONZALEZ. 

No, thou sayst well ! 

Hold to that lofty faith. My wife, my child ! 
Hath earth no treasures richer than the gems 
Torn from her secret caverns ? If by them 



110 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Chains may be riven, then let the captive spring 
Rejoicing to the light ! But he, for whom 
Freedom and life may but be worn with shame, 
Hath nought to do, save fearlessly to fix 
His stedfast look on the majestic heavens, 
And proudly die ! 

L ELMINA. 

Gonzalez, who must die ? 
GONZALEZ (hurriedly). 
They on whose lives a fearful price is set, 
But to be paid by treason ! Is 't enough ? 
Or must I yet seek words ? 

ELMINA. 

That look saith more ! 
Thou canst not mean 

GONZALEZ. 

I do ! why dwells there not 
Power in a glance to speak it ? They must die ! 
They must their names be told Our sons must die 
Unless I yield the city ! 

XIMENA. 

Oh ! look up ! 

My mother, sink not thus ! Until the grave 
Shut from our sight its victims, there is hope. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. Ill 

ELMINA (in a low voice). 

Whose knell was in the breeze ? No, no, not theirs ! 
Whose was the blessed voice that spoke of hope ? 
And there is hope ! I will not be subdued 
I will not hear a whisper of despair ! 
For Nature is all-powerful, and her breath 
Moves like a quickening spirit o'er the depths 
Within a father's heart. Thou too, Gonzalez, 
Wilt teh 1 me there is hope ! 

GONZALEZ (solemnly). 

Hope but in Him 

Who bade the patriarch lay his fair young son 
Bound on the shrine of sacrifice, and when 
The bright steel quiver'd in the father's hand 
Just raised to strike, sent forth his awful voice 
Through the still clouds, and on the breathless air, 
Commanding to withhold ! Earth has no hope, 
It rests with Him. 

ELMINA. 

Thou canst not tell me this ! 
Thou father of my sons, within whose hands 
Doth lie thy children's fate. 

GONZALEZ. 

If there have been 



112 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Men in whose bosoms Nature's voice hath made 

Its accents as the solitary sound 

Of an overpowering torrent, silencing 

Th' austere and yet divine remonstrances 

Whisper'd by faith and honour, lift thy hands, 

And, to that Heaven, which arms the brave with strength, 

Pray, that the father of thy sons may ne'er 

Be thus found wanting ! 

ELMINA. 

Then their doom is seaTd ! 
Thou wilt not save thy children ? 

GONZALEZ. 

Hast thou cause, 

Wife of my youth ! to deem it lies within 
The bounds of possible things, that I should link 
My name to that word traitor /'-They that sleep 
On their proud battle-fields, thy sires and mine, 
Died not for this ! 

ELMINA. 

Oh, cold and hard of heart ! 
Thou shouldst be born for empire, since thy soul 
Thus lightly from all human bonds can free 
Its haughty flight ! Men ! men ! too much is yours 
Of vantage ; ye, that with a sound, a breath, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 1 13 

A shadow, thus can fill the desolate space 

Of rooted up affections, o'er whose void 

Our yearning hearts must wither ! So it is, 

Dominion must be won ! Nay, leave me not 

My heart is bursting, and I must be heard ! 

Heaven hath given power to mortal agony 

As to the elements in their hour of might 

And mastery o'er creation ! Who shall dare 

To mock that fearful strength ? I must be heard ! 

Give me my sons ! 

GONZALEZ. 

That they may live to hide 
With covering hands th' indignant flush of shame 

On their young brows, when men shall speak of him 

They call'd their father ! Was the oath, whereby, 

On th' altar of my faith, I bound myself, 

With an unswerving spirit to maintain 

This free and Christian city for my God, 

And for my king, a writing traced on sand ? 

That passionate tears should wash it from the earth, 

Or e'en the life-drops of a bleeding heart 

Efface it, as a billow sweeps away 

The last light vessel's wake ? Then never more 

Let man's deep vows be trusted ! though enforced 

i 



1 14 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

By all th' appeals of high remembrances. 

And silent claims o* th* sepulchres, wherein 

His fathers with their stainless glory sleep, 

On their good swords ! Thinkst thou / feel no pangs ? 

He that hath given me sons, doth know the heart 

Whose treasure she recalls. Of this no more. 

'Tis vain. I tell thee that th' inviolate cross 

Still, from our ancient temples, must look up 

Through the blue heavens of Spain, though at its foot 

I perish, with my race. Thou darest not ask 

That I, the son of warriors men who died 

To fix it on that proud supremacy 

Should tear the sign of our victorious faith, 

From its high place of sunbeams, for the Moor 

In impious joy to trample ! 

ELMINA. 

Scorn me not 

In mine extreme of misery ! Thou art strong 
Thy heart is not as mine. My brain grows wild ; 
I know not what I ask ! And yet 'twere but 
Anticipating fate since it must fall, 
That cross must fall at last ! There is no power, 
No hope within this city of the grave, 
To keep its place on high. Her sultry air 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 115 

Breathes heavily of death, her warriors sink 

Beneath their ancient banners, ere the Moor 

Hath bent his bow against them ; for the shaft 

Of pestilence flies more swiftly to its mark, 

Than the arrow of the desert. Ev'n the skies 

Overhang the desolate splendour of her domes 

With an ill omen's aspect, shaping forth, 

From the dull clouds, wild menacing forms and signs 

Foreboding ruin. Man might be withstood, 

But who shall cope with famine and disease, 

When leagued with armed foes ? Where now the aid, 

Where the long-promised lances of Castile ? 

We are forsaken, in our utmost need, 

By heaven and earth forsaken ! 

GONZALEZ. 

If this be, 

(And yet I will not deem it) we must fall 
As men that in severe devotedness 
Have chosen their part, and bound themselves to death, 
Through high conviction that their suffering land, 
By the free blood of martyrdom alone, 
Shall call deliverance down. 

ELMINA. 

Oh ! I have stood 



1 16 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Beside thee through the beating storms of life, 
With the true heart of unrepining love. 
As the poor peasant's mate doth cheerily, 
In the parch'd vineyard, or the harvest-field, 
Bearing her part, sustain with him the heat 
And burden of the day ; But now the hour, 
The heavy hour is come, when human strength 
Sinks down, a toil-worn pilgrim, in the dust, 
Owning that woe is mightier ! Spare me yet 
This bitter cup, my husband ! Let not her, 
The mother of the lovely, sit and mourn 
In her unpeopled home, a broken stem, 
O'er its fall'n roses dying ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Urge me not, 

Thou that through all sharp conflicts hast been found 
Worthy a brave man's love, oh ! urge me not 
To guilt, which through the midst of blinding tears, 
In its own hues thou seest not! Death may scarce 
Bring aught like this ! 

ELMINA. 

All, ah 1 thy gentle race, 

The beautiful beings that around thee grew, 
Creatures of sunshine ! Wilt thou doom them all ? 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 1 17 

She too, thy daughter doth her smile unmarked 
Pass from thee, with its radiance, day by day? 
Shadows are gathering round her seest thou not ? 
The misty dimness of the spoiler's breath 
Hangs o'er her beauty, and the face which made 
The summer of our hearts, now doth but send, 
With every glance, deep bodings through the soul, 
Telling of early fate. 

GONZALEZ. 

I see a change 

Far nobler on her brow ! She is as one, 
Who, at the trumpet's sudden call, hath risen 
From the gay banquet, and in scorn cast down 
The wine-cup, and the garland, and the lute 
Of festal hours, for the good spear and helm, 
Beseeming sterner tasks. Her eye hath lost 
The beam which laugh'd upon th' awakening heart, 
E'en as morn breaks o'er earth. But far within 
Its full dark orb, a light hath sprung, whose source 
Lies deeper in the soul. And let the torch 
Which but illumed the glittering pageant, fade ! 
The altar-flame, i' th' sanctuary's recess, 
Burns quenchless, being of heaven ! She hath put on 
Courage, and faith, and generous constancy, 



118 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Ev'n as a breastplate. Aye, men look on her, 
As she goes forth serenely to her tasks, 
Binding the warrior's wounds, and bearing fresh 
Cool draughts to fevered lips ; they look on her, 
Thus moving in her beautiful array 
Of gentle fortitude, and bless the fair 
Majestic vision, and unmurmuring turn 
Unto their heavy toils. 

ELMINA. 

And seest thou not 

In that high faith and strong collectedness, 
A fearful inspiration? They have cause 
To tremble, who behold th 1 unearthly light 
Of high, and, it may be, prophetic thought, 
Investing youth with grandeur ! From the grave 
It rises, on whose shadowy brink thy child 
Waits but a father's hand to snatch her back 
Into the laughing sunshine. Kneel with me, 
Ximena, kneel beside me, and implore 
That which a deeper, more prevailing voice 
Than ours doth ask, and will not be denied ; 
His children's lives! 

XIMENA. 

Alas ! this may not be, 
Mother! I cannot. [Exit XIMENA. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 1 19 

GONZALEZ. 

My heroic child ! 

A terrible sacrifice thou claim'st, O God ! 
From creatures in whose agonizing hearts 
Nature is strong as death ! 

ELMINA. 

Is't thus in thine? 

Away ! what time is given thee to resolve 
On ? what I cannot utter ! Speak ! thou know'st 
Too well what I would say. 

GONZALEZ. 

Until ask not ! 
The time is brief. 

ELMINA. 
Thou saidst I heard not right 

GONZALEZ. 

The time is brief. 

ELMINA. 

What ! must we burst all ties 
Wherewith the thrilling chords of life are twined ; 
And, for this task's fulfilment, can it be 
That man, in his cold heartlessness, hath dared 
To number and to mete us forth the sands 
Of hours, nay, moments ? Why, the sentenced wretch, 



120 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

He on whose soul there rests a brother's blood 
Pour'd forth in slumber, is allowed more time 
To wean his turbulent passions from the world 
His presence doth pollute ! It is not thus ! 
We must have Time to school us. 

GONZALEZ. 

We have but 

To bow the head in silence, when Heaven's voice 
Calls back the things we love. 

ELMINA. 

Love ! love ! there are soft smiles and gentle words, 
And there are faces, skilful to put on 
The look we trust in and 'tis mockery all ! 
A faithless mist, a desert-vapour, wearing 
The brightness of clear waters, thus to cheat 
The thirst that semblance kindled ! There is none, 
In all this cold and hollow world, no fount 
Of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within 
A mother's heart. It is but pride, wherewith 
To his fair son the father's eye doth turn, 
Watching his growth. Aye, on the boy he looks, 
The bright glad creature springing in his path, 
But as the heir of his great name, the young 
And stately tree, whose rising strength ere long 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Shall bear his trophies well. And this is love ! 

This is mans love ! What marvel ? you ne'er made 

Your breast the pillow of his infancy, 

While to the fulness of your heart's glad heavings 

His fair cheek rose and fell ; and his bright hair 

Waved softly to your breath ! You ne'er kept watch 

Beside him, till the last pale star had set, 

And morn, all dazzling, as in triumph, broke 

On your dim weary eye ; not yours the face 

Which, early faded thro' fond care for him, 

Hung o'er his sleep, and, duly as Heaven's light, 

Was there to greet his wakening ! You ne'er smooth'd 

His couch, ne'er sung him to his rosy rest, 

Caught his least whisper, when his voice from yours 

Had learn'd soft utterance ; press'd your lip to his, 

When fever parch'd it ; hush'd his wayward cries, 

With patient, vigilant, never-wearied love ! 

No ! these are woman s tasks ! In these her youth, 

And bloom of cheek, and buoyancy of heart, 

Steal from her all unmark'd ! My boys ! my boys ! 

Hath vain affection borne with all for this ? 

Why were ye given me ? 

GONZALEZ. 

Is there strength in man 
Thus to endure ? That thou couldst read, thro' all 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Its depths of silent agony, the heart 
Thy voice of woe doth rend ! 

ELMINA. 

Thy heart ! thy heart ! Away ! it feels not now! 

But an hour comes to tame the mighty man 

Unto the infant's weakness ; nor shall Heaven 

Spare you that bitter chastening ! May you live 

To be alone, when loneliness doth seem 

Most heavy to sustain ! For me, my voice 

Of prayer and fruitless weeping shall be soon 

With all forgotten sounds ; my quiet place 

Low with my lovely ones, and we shall sleep, 

Tho' kings lead armies o'er us, we shall sleep, 

Wrapt in earth's covering mantle 1 you the while 

Shall sit within your vast, forsaken halls, 

And hear the wild and melancholy winds 

Moan thro' their drooping banners, never more 

To wave above your race. Aye, then call up 

Shadows dim phantoms from ancestral tombs, 

But all all glorious conquerors, chieftains, kings 

To people that cold void ! And when the strength 

From your right arm hath melted, when the blast 

Of the shrill clarion gives your heart no more 

A fiery wakening ; if at last you pine 

For the glad voices, and the bounding steps, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Once thro 1 your home re-echoing, and the clasp 

Of twining arms, and all the joyous light 

Of eyes that laughed with youth, and made your board 

A place of sunshine; When those days are come, 

Then, in your utter desolation, turn 

To the cold world, the smiling, faithless world, 

Which hath swept past you long, and bid it quench 

Your soul's deep thirst with fame ! immortalfame ! 

Fame to the sick of heart ! a gorgeous robe, 

A crown of victory, unto him that dies 

F th' burning waste, for water ! 

GONZALEZ. 

This from ifiee / 

Now the last drop of bitterness is pour'd. 
Elmina I forgive thee ! [Exit ELMINA. 

Aid me, Heaven ! 

From whom alone is power ! Oh ! thou hast set 
Duties, so stern of aspect, in my path, 
They almost, to my startled gaze, assume 
The hue of things less hallow'd ! Men have sunk 
Unblamed beneath such trials ! Doth not He 
Who made us know the limits of our strength ? 
My wife ! my sons! Away! I must not pause 
To give my heart one moment's mastery thus ! 

[Exit GONZALEZ. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Scene The Aisle of a Gothic Church. 
HERNANDEZ, GARCIAS, and others. 

HERNANDEZ. 

The rites are closed. Now, valiant men, depart, 
Each to his place I may not say, of rest ; 
Your faithful vigils for your sons may win 
What must not be your own. Ye are as those 
Who sow, in peril and in care, the seed 
Of the fair tree, beneath whose stately shade 
They may not sit. But bless'd be they who toil 
For after-days ! All high and holy thoughts 
Be with you, warriors, thro' the lingering hours 
Of the night-watch ! 

GARCIAS. 

Aye, father ! we have need 
Of high and holy thoughts, wherewith to fence 
Our hearts against despair. Yet have I been 
From youth a son of war. The stars have look'd 
A thousand times upon my couch of heath, 
Spread midst the wild sierras, by some stream 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Whose dark-red waves look'd e'en as tho' their source 

Lay not in rocky caverns, but the veins 

Of noble hearts ; while many a knightly crest 

RolTd with them to the deep. And in the years 

Of my long exile and captivity, 

With the fierce Arab, I have watch'd beneath 

The still, pale shadow of some lonely palm, 

At midnight, in the desert; while the wind 

S welPd with the lion's roar, and heavily 

The fearfulness and might of solitude 

Pressed on my weary heart. 

HERNANDEZ (thoughtfully). 

Thou little know'st 

Of what is solitude ! I tell thee, those 
For whom in earth's remotest nook howe'er 
Divided from their path by chain on chain 
Of mighty mountains, and the amplitude 
Of rolling seas there beats one human heart, 
There breathes one being unto whom their name 
Comes with a thrilling and a gladdening sound 
Heard o'er the din of life ! are not alone ! 
Not on the deep, nor in the wild, alone ; 
For there is that on earth with which they hold 
A brotherhood of soul ! Call him alone, 



126 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Who stands shut out from this! And let not those 
Whose homes are bright with sunshine and with love, 
Put on the insolence of happiness, 
Glorying in that proud lot ! A lonely hour 
Is on its way to each, to all ; for Death 
Knows no companionship. 

GARCIAS. 

I have looked on Death 

In field, and storm, and flood. But never yet 
Hath aught weighed down my spirit to a mood 
Of sadness, dreaming o^er dark auguries, 
Like this, our watch by midnight. Fearful things 
Are gathering round us. Death upon the earth. 
Omens in Heaven ! The summer-skies put forth 
No clear bright stars above us, but at times, 
Catching some comet's fiery hue of wrath, 
Marshal their clouds to armies, traversing 
Heaven with the rush of meteor-steeds, the array 
Of spears and banners, tossing like the pines 
Of Pyrenean forests, when the storm 
Doth sweep the mountains. 

HERNANDEZ. 

Aye, last night I too 
Kept vigil, gazing on the angry heavens ; 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 127 

And I beheld the meeting and the shock 

Of those wild hosts i' th' air, when, as they closed, 

A red and sultry mist, like that which mantles 

The thunder's path, fell o'er them. Then were flung 

Thro' the dull glare, broad cloudy banners forth, 

And chariots seem'd to whirl, and steeds to sink, 

Bearing down crested warriors. But all this 

Was dim and shadowy ; then swift darkness rush'd 

Down on th' unearthly battle, as the deep 

Swept o'er the Egyptian's armament. I look'd 

And all that fiery field of plumes and spears 

Was blotted from heaven's face ! I look'd again 

And from the brooding mass of cloud leap'd forth 

One meteor-sword, which o'er the reddening sea 

Shook with strange motion, such as earthquakes give 

Unto a rocking citadel ! I beheld, 

And yet my spirit sunk not. 

GARCIAS. 

Neither deem 

That mine hath blench'd. But these are sights and sounds 
To awe the firmest. Know'st thou what we hear 
At midnight from the walls ? Were 't but the deep 
Barbaric horn, or Moorish tambour's peal, 
Thence might the warrior's heart catch impulses, 



128 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Quickening its fiery currents. But our ears 
Are pierced by other tones. We hear the knell 
For brave men in their noon of strength cut down, 
And the shrill wail of woman, and the dirge 
Faint swelling thro"* the streets. Then e'en the air 
Hath strange and fitful murmurs of lament, 
As if the viewless watchers of the land 
Sigh'd on its hollow breezes ! To my soul, 
The torrent-rush of battle, with its din 
Of trampling steeds and ringing panoply, 
Were, after these faint sounds of drooping woe, 
As the free sky's glad music unto him 
Who leaves a couch of sickness. 

HERNANDEZ ( with solemnity). 

If to plunge 

In the mid-waves of combat, as they bear 
Chargers and spearmen onwards ; and to make 
A reckless bosom's front the buoyant mark 
On that wild current, for ten thousand arrows ; 
If thus to dare were valour's noblest aim, 
Lightly might fame be won ! but there are things 
Which ask a spirit of more exalted pitch, 
And courage tempered with a holier fire ! 
Well mayst thou say, that these are fearful times, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 129 

Therefore be firm, be patient !~ There is strength, 

And a fierce instinct, e'en in common souls, 

To bear up manhood with a stormy joy, 

When red swords meet in lightning ! But our task 

Is more, and nobler! We have to endure, 

And to keep watch, and to arouse a land, 

And to defend an altar ! If we fall, 

So that our blood make but the millionth part 

Of Spain's great ransom, we may count it joy 

To die upon her bosom, and beneath 

The banner of her faith .'Think but on this, 

And gird your hearts with silent fortitude, 

Suffering, yet hoping all things Fare ye well. 

GARCIAS. 

Father, farewell. [ Exeunt GARCIAS and Ms followers. 

HERNANDEZ. 

These men have earthly ties 
And bondage on their natures ! To the cause 
Of God, and Spain's revenge, they bring but half 
Their energies and hopes. But he whom Heaven 
Hath ealTd to be th 1 awakener of a land, 
Should have his soul's affections all absorb'd 
In that majestic purpose, and press on 
To its fulfilment, as a mountain-born 
And mighty stream, with all its vassal-rills 



130 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Sweeps proudly to the ocean, pausing not 
To dally with the flowers. 

Hark ! What quick step 
Comes hurrying through the gloom at this dead hour ? 

ELMINA enters. 

ELMINA. 

Are not all hours as one to misery ? Why 
Should she take note of time, for whom the day 
And night have lost their blessed attributes 
Of sunshine and repose ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

I know thy griefs ; 

But there are trials for the noble heart 
Wherein its own deep fountains must supply 
All it can hope of comfort. Pity's voice 
Comes with vain sweetness to th' unheeding ear 
Of anguish, e^en as music heard afar 
On the green shore, by him who perishes 
Midst rocks and eddying waters. 

ELMINA. 

Think thou not 

I sought thee but for pity. I am come 
For that which grief is privileged to demand 
With an imperious claim, from all whose form, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 131 

Whose human form, doth seal them unto suffering ! 
Father ! I ask thine aid. 

HERNANDEZ. 

There is no aid 

For thee or for thy children, but with Him 
Whose presence is around us in the cloud, 
As in the shining and the glorious light. 

ELMINA. 

There is no aid ! Art thou a man of God ? 
Art thou a man of sorrow (for the world 
Doth call thee such) and hast thou not been taught 
By God and sorrow mighty as they are, 
To own the claims of misery ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

Is there power 
With me to save thy sons? Implore of Heaven ! 

ELMINA. 

Doth not Heaven work its purposes by man ? 
I tell thee, thou canst save them ! Art thou not 
Gonzalez' counsellor ? Unto him thy words 
Are e'en as oracles 

HERNANDEZ. 

And therefore ? Speak ! 
The noble daughter of Pelayo's line 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Hath nought to ask, unworthy of the name 
Which is a nation's heritage. Dost thou shrink? 

ELMINA. 

Have pity on me, father ! I must speak 
That, from the thought of which, but yesterday, 
I had recoil'd in scorn ! But this is past. 
Oh ! we grow humble in our agonies, 
And to the dust their birth-place bow the heads 
That wore the crown of glory ! I am weak 
My chastening is far more than I can bear. 

HERNANDEZ. 

These are no times for weakness. On our hills 
The ancient cedars, in their gathered might, 
Are battling with the tempest ; and the flower 
Which cannot meet its driving blast must die. 
But thou hast drawn thy nurture from a stem 
Unwont to bend or break. Lift thy proud head, 
Daughter of Spain ! What wouldst thou with thy lord? 

ELMINA. 

Look not upon me thus ! I have no power 
To tell thee. Take thy keen disdainful eye 
Off from my soul ! What ! am I sunk to this ? 
I, whose blood sprung from heroes ! How my sons 
Will scorn the mother that would bring disgrace 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 133 

On their majestic line ! My sons ! my sons ! 

Now is all else forgotten ! I had once 

A babe that in the early spring-time lay 

Sickening upon my bosom, till at last, 

When earth's young flowers were opening to the sun, 

Death sunk on his meek eyelid, and I deem'd 

All sorrow light to mine ! But now the fate 

Of all my children seems to brood above me 

In the dark thunder-clouds ! Oh ! I have power 

And voice unfaltering now to speak my prayer 

And my last lingering hope, that thou shouldst win 

The father to relent, to save his sons ! 

HERNANDEZ. 

By yielding up the city ? 

ELMINA. 

Rather say 

By meeting that which gathers close upon us 
Perchance one day the sooner ! Is 't not so ? 
Must we not yield at last ? How long shall man 
Array his single breast against disease, 
And famine, and the sword ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

How long ? While he, 
Who shadows forth his power more gloriously 



134 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

In the high deeds and sufferings of the soul, 

Than in the circling heavens, with all their stars, 

Or the far-sounding deep, doth send abroad 

A spirit, which takes affliction for its mate, 

In the good cause, with solemn joy ! How long? 

And who art thou, that, in the littleness 

Of thine own selfish purpose, would'st set bounds 

To the free current of all noble thought 

And generous action, bidding its bright waves 

Be stayed, and flow no further ? But the Power 

Whose interdict is laid on seas and orbs, 

To chain them in from wandering, hath assigned 

No limits unto that which man's high strength 

Shall, through its aid, achieve ! 

ELMINA. 

Oh ! there are times, 

When all that hopeless courage can achieve 
But sheds a mournful beauty o'er the fate 
Of those who die in vain. 

HERNANDEZ. 

Who dies in vain 

Upon his country's war-fields, and within 
The shadow of her altars ? Feeble heart ! 
I tell thee that the voice of noble blood, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 135 

Thus pour'd for faith and freedom, hath a tone 
Which, from the night of ages, from the gulf 
Of death, shall burst, and make its high appeal 
Sound unto earth and heaven ! Aye, let the land, 
Whose sons, through centuries of woe, have striven, 
And perished by her temples, sink awhile, 
Borne down in conflict ! But immortal seed 
Deep, by heroic suffering, hath been sown 
On all her ancient hills ; and generous hope 
Knows that the soil, in its good time, shall yet 
Bring forth a glorious harvest ! Earth receives 
Not one red drop, from faithful hearts, in vain. 

ELMINA. 

Then it must be ! And ye will make those lives, 
Those young bright lives, an offering to retard 
Our doom one day ! 

HERNANDEZ. 

The mantle of that day 
May wrap the fate of Spain ! 

ELMINA. 

What led me here ? 
Why did I turn to thee in my despair ? 
Love hath no ties upon thee ; what had I 
To hope from thee, thou lone and childless man ! 



136 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Go to thy silent home ! there no young voice 
Shall bid thee welcome, no light footstep spring 
Forth at the sound of thine ! What knows thy heart ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

Woman ! how dar'st thou taunt me with my woes ? 

Thy children too shall perish, and I say 

It shall be well ! Why tak'st thou thought for them ? 

Wearing thy heart, and wasting down thy life 

Unto its dregs, and making night thy time 

Of care yet more intense, and casting health, 

Unpriz'd, to melt away, i' th' bitter cup 

Thou minglest for thyself ? Why, what hath earth 

To pay thee back for this ? Shall they not live, 

(If the sword spare them now) to prove how soon 

All love may be forgotten ? Years of thought, 

Long faithful watchings, looks of tenderness, 

That changed not, though to change be this world's law ? 

Shall they not flush thy cheek with shame, whose blood 

Marks, e'en like branding iron ? to thy sick heart 

Make death a want, as sleep to weariness ? 

Doth not all hope end thus ? or e'en at best, 

Will they not leave thee ? far from thee seek room 

For th' overflowings of their fiery souls, 

On life's wide ocean ? Give the bounding steed, 






SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 13? 

Or the wing'd bark to youth, that his free course 
May be o'er hills and seas ; and weep thou not 
In thy forsaken home, for the bright world 
Lies all before him, and be sure he wastes 
No thought on thee ! 

ELMINA. 

Not so ! it is not so ! 

Thou dost but torture me ! My sons are kind, 
And brave, and gentle. 

HERNANDEZ. 

Others too have worn 

The semblance of all good. Nay, stay thee yet ; 
I will be calm, and thou shalt learn how earth, 
The fruitful in all agonies, hath woes 
Which far outweigh thine own. 
ELMINA. 

It may not be ! 
Whose grief is like a mother's for her sons ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

My son lay stretch'd upon his battle-bier, 
And there were hands wrung o'er him, which had caught 
Their hue from his young blood ! 
ELMINA. 

What tale is this ? 



138 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

HERNANDEZ. 

Read you no records in this mien, of things 
Whose traces on man's aspect are not such 
As the breeze leaves on water ? Lofty birth, 
War, peril, power ? Affliction's hand is strong, 
If it erase the haughty characters 
They grave so deep ! I have not always. been 
That which I am. The name I bore is not 
Of those which perish !-^I was once a chief 
A warrior! nor as now, a lonely man ! 
I was a father ! 

ELMINA. 

Then thy heart can feel ! 
Thou wilt have pity ! 

HERNANDEZ. 

Should I pity thee ? 
Thy sons will perish gloriously their blood 

ELMINA. 

Their blood! my children's blood! Thou speak'st as 

'twere 

Of casting down a wine-cup, in the mirth 
And wantonness of feasting ! My fair boys ! 
Man ! hast ihou been a father ? 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 139 

HERNANDEZ. 

Let them die ! 

Let them die now, thy children ! so thy heart 
Shall wear their beautiful image all undimm'd, 
Within it, to the last ! Nor shalt thou learn 
The bitter lesson, of what worthless dust 
Are framed the idols, whose false glory binds 
Earth's fetter on our souls ! Thou think'st it much 
To mourn the early dead ; but there are tears 
Heavy with deeper anguish ! We endow 
Those whom we love, in our fond passionate blindness, 
With power upon our souls, too absolute 
To be a mortal's trust ! Within their hands 
We lay the flaming sword, whose stroke alone 
Can reach our hearts, and they are merciful, 
As they are strong, that wield it not to pierce us ! 
Aye, fear them, fear the loved ! Had I but wept 
O'er my son's grave, as o'er a babe's, where tears 
Are as spring dew-drops, glittering in the sun, 
And brightening the young verdure, / might still 
Have loved and trusted ! 

ELMINA (disdainfully). 

But he fell in war ! 

And hath not glory medicine in her cup 
For the brief pangs of nature ? 



140 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

HERNANDEZ. 

Glory ! Peace, 
\ 
And listen ! By my side the stripling grew, 

Last of my line. I rearM him to take joy 
I 1 th' blaze of arms, as eagles train their young 
To look upon the day-king ! His quick blood 
Ev'n to his boyish cheek would mantle up, 
When the heavens rang with trumpets, and his eye 
Flash with the spirit of a race whose deeds 
But this availeth not ! Yet he was brave. 
I Ve seen him clear himself a path in fight 
As lightning through a forest, and his plume 
Waved like a torch, above the battle-storm, 
The soldier's guide, when princely crests had sunk, 
And banners were struck down. Around my steps 
Floated his fame, like music, and I lived 
But in the lofty sound. But when my heart 
In one frail ark had ventur'd all, when most 
He seenVd to stand between my soul and heaven, 
Then came the thunder-stroke ! 
ELMINA. 

'Tis ever thus ! 

And the unquiet and foreboding sense 
That thus 'twill ever be y doth link itself 
Darkly with all deep love! He died? 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 141 

HERNANDEZ. 

Not so ! 

Death ! Death ! Why, earth should be a paradise, 
To make that name so fearful ! Had he died. 
With his young fame about him for a shroud, 
I had not learn'd the might of agony, 
To bring proud natures low ! No ! he fell off 
Why do I tell thee this ? What right hast ifiou 
To learn how pass'd the glory from my house ? 
Yet listen ! He forsook me ! He, that was 
As mine own soul, forsook me ! trampled o'er 
The ashes of his sires ! Aye, leagued himself 
E'en with the infidel, the curse of Spain, 
And, for the dark eye of a Moorish maid. 
Abjured his faith, his God ! Now, talk of death ! 

ELMINA. 
Oh ! I can pity thee 

HERNANDEZ. 

There's more to hear. 

I braced the corslet o'er my heart's deep wound, 
And cast my troubled spirit on the tide 
Of war and high events, whose stormy waves 
Might bear it up from sinking; 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



ELMINA. 

And ye met 
No more ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

Be still! We did! we met once more. 
God had his own high purpose to fulfil, 
Or think'st thou that the sun in his bright heaven 
Had looked upon such things ? We met once more. 
That was an hour to leave its lightning-mark 
Seared upon brain and bosom ! there had been 
Combat on Ebro's banks, and when the day 
Sank in red clouds, it faded from a field 
Still held by Moorish lances. Night closed round, 
A night of sultry darkness, in the shadow 
Of whose broad wing, ev'n unto death I strove 
Long with a turban'd champion ; but my sword 
Was heavy with God's vengeance and prevailed. 
He fell my heart exulted and I stood 
In gloomy triumph o'er him Nature gave 
No sign of horror, for 'twas Heaven's decree ! 
He strove to speak but I had done the work 
Of wrath too well yet in his last deep moan 
A dreadful something of familiar sound 
Came o'er my shuddering sense. The moon look'd forth, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 143 

And I beheld speak not! 'twas he my son! 
My boy lay dying there ! He raised one glance, 
And knew me for he sought with feeble hand 
To cover his glazed eyes. A darker veil 
Sank o'er them soon. I will not have thy look 
Fix'd on me thus ! Away ! 

ELMINA. 

Thou hast seen this, 
Thou hast done this and yet thou hVst? 

HERNANDEZ. 

Hive! 

And know'st thou wherefore ? On my soul there fell 
A horror of great darkness, which shut out 
All earth, and heaven, and hope. I cast away 
The spear and helm, and made the cloister's shade 
The home of my despair. But a deep voice 
Came to me through the gloom, and sent its tones 
Far through my bosom's depths. And I awoke, 
Aye, as the mountain cedar doth shake off 
Its weight of wintry snow, e'en so I shook 
Despondence from my soul, and knew myself 
Seal'd by that blood wherewith my hands were dyed, 
And set apart, and fearfully mark'd out 
Unto a mighty task ! To rouse the soul 



144. SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Of Spain, as from the dead ; and to lift up 
The cross, her sign of victory, on the hills, 
Gathering her sons to battle ! And my voice 
Must be as freedom's trumpet on the winds, 
From Roncesvalles to the blue sea-waves 
Where Calpe looks on Afric ; till the land 
Have filPd her cup of vengeance ! Ask me now 
To yield the Christian city, that its fanes 
May rear the minaret in .the face of Heaven ! 
But death shall have a bloodier vintage-feast 
Ere that day come ! 

ELMINA. 

I ask thee this no more, 

For I am hopeless now. But yet one boon 
Hear me, by all thy woes ! Thy voice hath power 
Through the wide city here I cannot rest : 
Aid me to pass the gates ! 

HERNANDEZ. 

And wherefore ? 

ELMINA. 

Thou, 

That wert a father, and art now alone ! 
Canst thou ask ' wherefore ?' Ask the wretch whose sands 
Have not an hour to run, whose failing limbs 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 145 

Have but one earthly journey to perform, 

Why, on his pathway to the place of death, 

Aye, when the very axe is glistening cold 

Upon his dizzy sight, his pale, parched lip 

Implores a cup of water ? Why, the stroke 

Which trembles o'er him in itself shall bring 

Oblivion of all wants, yet who denies 

Nature's last prayer ? I tell thee that the thirst 

Which burns my spirit up is agony 

To be endured no more ! And I must look 

Upon my children's faces, I must hear 

Their voices, ere they perish! But hath Heaven 

Decreed that they must perish ? Who shall say 

If in yon Moslem camp there beats no heart 

Which prayers and tears may melt ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

There ! with the Moor ! 
Let him fill up the measure of his guilt ! 
'Tis madness all ! How wouldst thou pass th' array 
Of armed foes ? 

ELMINA. 

Oh ! free doth sorrow pass, 
Free and unquestion'd, through a suffering world ! 2 



146 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

HERNANDEZ. 

This must not be. Enough of woe is laid 

E'en now, upon thy lord's heroic soul. 

For man to bear, unsinking. Press thou not 

Too heavily th' o'erburthen'd heart. Away ! 

Bow down the knee, and send thy prayers for strength 

Up to Heaven's gate. Farewell ! 

[Exit HERNANDEZ. 
. ELMINA. 

Are all men thus ? 

Why, wer't not better they should fall e'en now 
Than live to shut their hearts, in haughty scorn, 
Against the sufferer's pleadings ? But no, no ! 
Who can be like this man, that slew his son, 
Yet wears his life still proudly, and a soul 
Untamed upon his brow ? 

(After a pause.) 

There 's one, whose arms 
Have borne my children in their infancy, 
And on whose knees they sported, and whose hand 
Hath led them oft a vassal of their sire's ; 
And I will seek him : he may lend me aid, 
When all beside pass on. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 147 

DIRGE HEARD WITHOUT. 

Thou to thy rest art gone, 
High heart ! and what are we, 
While o'er our heads the storm sweeps on, 
That we should mourn for thee ? 

Free grave and peaceful bier 
To the buried son of Spain ! 
To those that live, the lance and spear, 
And well if not the chain ! 

Be theirs to weep the dead 
As they sit beneath their vines, 
Whose flowery land hath borne no tread 
Of spoilers o'er its shrines ! 

Thou hast thrown off the load 
Which we must yet sustain, 
And pour our blood where thine hath flow'd, 
Too blest if not in vain ! 

We give thee holy rite, 

Slow knell, and chaunted strain ! 



148 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

For those that fall to-morrow night. 
May be left no funeral-train. 

Again, when trumpets wake, 
We must brace our armour on; 
But a deeper note thy sleep must break 
Thou to thy rest art gone ! 

Happier in this than all, 
That, now thy race is run, 
Upon thy name no stain may fall, 
Thy work hath well been done ! 

ELMINA. 

" Thy work hath well been done !" so thou mayst rest ! 
There is a solemn lesson in those words 
But now I may not pause. 

[Exit ELMINA. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 149 



Scene A Street in the City. 

HERNANDEZ, GONZALEZ. 

HERNANDEZ. 
Would they not hear ? 

GONZALEZ. 

They heard, as one that stands 
By the cold grave which hath but newly closed 
O'er his last friend doth hear some passer-by, 
Bid him be comforted ! Their hearts have died 
Within them ! We must perish, not as those 
That fall when battle's voice doth shake the hills, 
And peal through Heaven's great arch, but silently, 
And with a wasting of the spirit down, 
A quenching, day by day, of some bright spark, , 
Which lit us on our toils ! Reproach me not ; 
My soul is darkened with a heavy cloud 
Yet fear not I shall yield ! 

HERNANDEZ. 

Breathe not the word, 
Save in proud scorn ! Each bitter day, o'erpass'd 



150 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

By slow endurance, is a triumph won 

For Spain's red cross. And be of trusting heart ! 

A few brief hours, and those that turn'd away 

In cold despondence, shrinking from your voice, 

May crowd around their leader, and demand 

To be array'd for battle. We must watch 

For the swift impulse, and await its time, 

As the bark waits the ocean's. You have chosen 

To kindle up their souls, an hour, perchance, 

When they were weary ; they had cast aside 

Their arms to slumber ; or a knell, just then 

With its deep hollow tone, had made the blood 

Creep shuddering through their veins; or they had caught 

A glimpse of some new meteor, and shaped forth 

Strange omens from its blaze. 

GONZALEZ. 

Alas ! the cause 

Lies deeper in their misery ! I have seen, 
In my night's course through this beleaguer'd city 
Things, whose remembrance doth not pass away 
As vapours from the mountains. There were some, 
That sat beside their dead, with eyes, wherein 
Grief had ta'en place of sight, and shut out all 
But its own ghastly object. To my voice 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 151 

Some answered with a fierce and bitter laugh, 
As men whose agonies were made to pass 
The bounds of sufferance, by some reckless word, 
Dropt from the light of spirit. Others lay 
Why should I tell thee, father ! how despair 
Can bring the lofty brow of manhood down 
Unto the very dust ? And yet for this, 
Fear not that I embrace my doom Oh God ! 
That 'twere my doom alone ! with less of fix'd 
And solemn fortitude. Lead on, prepare 
The holiest rites of faith, that I by them 
Once more may consecrate my sword, my life, 
But what are these ? Who hath not dearer lives 
Twined with his own ? I shall be lonely soon 
Childless ! Heaven wills it so. Let us begone. 
Perchance before the shrine my heart may beat 
With a less troubled motion. 

[Exeunt GONZALEZ and HERNANDEZ. 



152 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Scene A Tent in the Moorish Camp. 
ABDULLAH, ALPHONSO, CARLOS. 

ABDULLAH. 

These are bold words : but hast thou look'd on death, 
Fair stripling ? On thy cheek and sunny brow 
Scarce fifteen summers of their laughing course 
Have left light traces. If thy shaft hath pierced 
The ibex of the mountains, if thy step 
Hath climVd some eagle's nest, and thou hast made 
His nest thy spoil, 'tis much ! And fear'st thou not 
The leader of the mighty ? 

ALPHONSO. 

I have been 

Reared amongst fearless men, and midst the rocks 
And the wild hills, whereon my fathers fought 
And won their battles. There are glorious tales 
Told of their deeds, and I have learn'd them all. 
How should I fear thee, Moor ? 

ABDULLAH. 

So, thou hast seen 
Fields, where the combaf s roar hath died away 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 153 

Into the whispering breeze, and where wild flowers 
Bloom o'er forgotten graves ! But know'st thou aught 
Of those, where sword from crossing sword strikes fire. 
And leaders are borne down, and rushing steeds 
Trample the life from out the mighty hearts 
That ruled the storm so late ? Speak not of death, 
Till thou hast looked on such. 

ALPHONSO. 

I was not born 

A shepherd's son, to dwell with pipe and crook, 
And peasant-men, amidst the lowly vales ; 
Instead of ringing clarions, and bright spears, 
And crested knights ! I am of princely race, 
And, if my father would have heard my suit, 
I tell thee, infidel ! that long ere now, 
I should have seen how lances meet ; and swords 
Do the field's work. 

ABDULLAH. 

Boy ! know'st thou there are sights 
A thousand times more fearful ? Men may die 
Full proudly, when the skies and mountains ring 
To battle-horn and tecbir*. But not all 
So pass away in glory. There are those, 

* Tecbir, the war-cry of the Moors and Arabs. 



SIEGE of V.\LE.\( I A 



Midst the dead silence of pale multitudes, 
Led forth in fetters dost thou mark me, boy ? 
To take their last look of th" all gladdening sun, 
And bow, perchance, the stately head of youth, 
Unto the death of shame! Hadst thou seen 

ALPHONSO (to CARLOS). 

Sweet brother, God is with us fear thou not ! 
We have had heroes for our sires this man 
Should not behold us tremble. 

ABDULLAH. 

There are means 

To tame the loftiest natures. Yet again, 
I ask thee, wilt thou, from beneath the walls, 
Sue to thy sire for life ; or wouldst thou die, 
With this, thy broth i 

ALPHONSO. 

Moslem ! on the hills, 
Around my father's castle, I have heard 
The mountain-peasants, as they dressed the vines, 
Or drove the goats, by rock and torrent, home, 
Singing their ancient songs ; and these were all 
Of the Cid Campeador ; and how his sword 
Tizona 3 cleared its way through turban'd hosts, 
And captured Afric's kings, and how he won 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 155 

Valencia from the Moor 4 . I will not shame 
The blood we draw from him ! 

(A Moorish Soldier enters). 

SOLDIER. 

Valencia's lord 
Sends messengers, my chief. 

ABDULLAH. 

Conduct them hither. 

[ The Soldier goes out, and re-enters with ELMIN A, 
disguised, and an Attendant. 

CARLOS (springing forward to the Attendant). 
Oh ! take me hence, Diego ; take me hence 
With thee, that I may see my mother's face 
At morning, when I wake. Here dark-brow'd men 
Frown strangely, with their cruel eyes, upon us. 
Take me with thee, for thou art good and kind, 
And well I know, thou lov'st me, my Diego ! 

ABDULLAH. 

Peace, boy ! What tidings, Christian, from thy lord ? 
Is he grown humbler, doth he set the lives 
Of these fair nurslings at a city's worth ? 

ALPHONSO (rushing forward impatiently). 
Say not, he doth ! Yet wherefore art thou here ? 



156 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

If it be so I could weep burning tears 
For very shame ! If this can be, return ! 
Tell him, of all his wealth, his battle-spoils, 
I will but ask a war-horse and a sword, 
And that beside him in the mountain-chase, 
And in his halls and at his stately feasts, 
My place shall be no more ! but no ! I wrong, 
I wrong my father ! Moor ! believe it not ! 
He is a champion of the cross and Spain, 
Sprung from the Cid ; and I too, I can die 
As a warrior's high-born child ! 

ELMINA. 

Alas! Alas! 

And wouldst thou die, thus early die, fair boy ? 
What hath life done to thee, that thou shouldst cast 
Its flower away, in very scorn of heart, 
Ere yet the blight be come ? 

ALPHONSO. 

That voice doth sound 

ABDULLAH. 

Stranger, who art thou ? this is mockery ! speak ! 
ELMINA (throwing off a mantle and helmet, and em- 
bracing her sons). 
My boys! whom I have reared through many hours 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 157 

Of silent joys and sorrows, and deep thoughts 
Untold and unimagined ; let me die 
With you, now I have held you to my heart, 
And seen once more the faces, in whose light 
My soul hath lived for years ! 

CARLOS. 

Sweet mother ! now 
Thou shalt not leave us more. 

ABDULLAH. 

Enough of this ! 

Woman ! what seek'st thou here ? How hast thou dared 
To front the mighty thus amidst his hosts ? 

ELMINA. 

Think'st thou there dwells no courage but in breasts 
That set their mail against the ringing spears, 
When helmets are struck down ? Thou little know'st 
Of nature's marvels ! Chief! my heart is nerved 
To make its way through things which warrior-men, 
Aye, they that master death by field or flood, 
Would look on, ere they braved ! I have no thought, 
No sense of fear ! Thou 'rt mighty ! but a soul 
Wound up like mine is mightier, in the power 
Of that one feeling, pour'd through all its depths, 
Than monarchs with their hosts ! Am I not come 
To die with these, my children ? 



158 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

ABDULLAH. 

Doth thy faith 

Bid thee do this, fond Christian ? Hast thou not 
The means to save them ? 

ELMINA. 

I have prayers, and tears, 
And agonies ! and he my God the God 
Whose hand, or soon or late, doth find its hour 
To bow the crested head hath made these things 
Most powerful in a world where all must learn 
That one deep language, by the storm calPd forth 
From the bruised reeds of earth ! For thee, perchance, 
Affliction's chastening lesson hath not yet 
Been laid upon thy heart, and thou may'st love 
To see the creatures, by its might brought low, 
Humbled before thee. [She throws herself at Tiisfeet. 

Conqueror ! I can kneel ! 
I, that drew birth from princes, bow myself 
E'en to thy feet ! Call in thy chiefs, thy slaves, 
If this will swell thy triumph, to behold 
The blood of kings, of heroes, thus abased ! 
Do this, but spare my sons ! 

ALPHONSO (attempting to raise her). 

Thou shouldst not kneel 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 159 

Unto this infidel ! Rise, rise, my mother ! 
This sight doth shame our house ! 

ABDALLAH. 

Thou daring boy ! 

They that in arms have taught thy father's land 
How chains are worn, shall school that haughty mien 
Unto another language. 

ELMINA. 

Peace, my son! 

Have pity on my heart ! Oh, pardon, Chief! 
He is of noble blood ! Hear, hear me yet ! v 
Are there no lives through which the shafts of Heaven 
May reach your soul ? He that loves aught on earth, 
Dares far too much, if he be merciless ! 
Is it for those, whose frail mortality 
Must one day strive alone with God and death, 
To shut their souls against th' appealing voice 
Of nature, in her anguish ? Warrior ! Man ! 
To you too, aye, and haply with your hosts, 
By thousands and ten thousands marshalled round, 
And your strong armour on, shall come that stroke 
Which the lance wards not ! Where shall your high heart 
Find refuge then, if in the day of might 
Woe hath lain prostrate, bleeding at your feet, 
And you have pitied not ? 



160 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

ABDULLAH. 

These are vain words. 

ELMINA. 

Have you no children ? fear you not to bring 

The lightning on their heads ? In your own land 

Doth no fond mother, from the tents, beneath 

Your native palms, look o'er the deserts out, 

To greet your homeward step ? You have not yet 

Forgot so utterly her patient love 

For is not woman's, in all climes, the same ? 

That you should scorn my prayer ! Oh Heaven ! his eye 

Doth wear no mercy ! 

ABDULLAH. 

Then it mocks you not. 

I have swept o'er the mountains of your land, 
Leaving my traces, as the visitings 
Of storms, upon them ! Shall I now be stay'd ! 
Know, unto me it were as light a thing, 
In this, my course, to quench your children's lives, 
As, journeying through a forest, to break off 
The young wild branches that obstruct the way 
With their green sprays and leaves. 

ELMINA. 

Are there such hearts 
Amongst thy works, oh God ? 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 161 

ABDULLAH. 

Kneel not to me. 

Kneel to your lord ! on his resolves doth hang 
His children's doom. He may be lightly won 
By a few bursts of passionate tears and words. 

ELM IN A (rising- indignantly). 
Speak not of noble men ! he bears a soul 
Stronger than love or death. 

ALPHONSO (with exultation). 

I knew 'twas thus ! 
He could not fail ! 

ELMINA. 

There is no mercy, none, 

On this cold earth ! To strive with such a world, 
Hearts should be void of love ! We will go hence, 
My children ! we are summon'd. Lay your heads, 
In their young radiant beauty, once again 
To rest upon this bosom. He that dwells 
Beyond the clouds which press us darkly round, 
Will yet have pity, and before his face 
We three will stand together ! Moslem ! now 
Let the stroke fall at once ! 

ABDULLAH. 

'Tis thine own will. 
These might e'en yet be spared. 



162 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

ELMINA. 

Thou wilt not spare ! 

And he beneath whose eye their childhood grew, 
And in whose paths they sported, and whose ear 
From their first lisping accents caught the sound 
Of that word Father once a name of love 
Is Men shall call him stedfast. 

ABDULLAH. 

Hath the blast 

Of sudden trumpets ne'er at dead of night, 
When the land's watchers feared no hostile step, 
Startled the slumberers from their dreamy world, 
In cities, whose heroic lords have been 
Stedfast as thine ? 

ELMINA. 

There 's meaning in thine eye, 
More than thy words. 

ABDULLAH (pointing to the city). 

Look to yon towers and walls ! 
Think you no hearts within their limits pine, 
Weary of hopeless warfare, and prepared 
To burst the feeble links which bind them still 
Unto endurance ? 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 163 

ELMINA. 

Thou hast said too well. 
But what of this ? 

ABDULLAH. 

Then there are those, to whom 
The Prophet's armies not as foes would pass 
Yon gates, but as deliverers. Might they not 
In some still hour, when weariness takes rest, 
Be won to welcome us ? Your children's steps 
May yet bound lightly through their father's halls ! 

ALPHONSO (indignantly}. 
Thou treacherous Moor ! 

ELMINA. 

Let me not thus be tried 
Beyond all strength, oh Heaven ! 

ABDULLAH. 

Now, 'tis for thee, 

Thou Christian mother ! on thy sons to pass 
The sentence life or death ! the price is set 
On their young blood, and rests within thy hands. 

ALPHONSO, 

Mother ! thou tremblest f 

ABDULLAH. 

Hath thy heart resolved ? 



164 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

ELMINA (covering her face with her hands). 
My boy's proud eye is on me, and the things 
Which rush, in stormy darkness, through my soul, 
Shrink from his glance. I cannot answer here. 

ABDULLAH. 

Come forth. We'll commune elsewhere. 
CARLOS (to his mother). 

Wilt thou go ? 

Oh ! let me follow thee ! 

ELMINA. 

Mine own fair child ! 

Now that thine eyes have pour'd once more on mine 
The light of their young smile, and thy sweet voice 
Hath sent its gentle music through my soul, 
And I have felt the twining of thine arms 
How shall I leave thee ? 

ABDULLAH. 

Leave him, as 'twere but 
For a brief slumber, to behold his face 
At morning, with the sun's. 

ALPHONSO. 

Thou hast no look 

For me, my mother! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 165 

ELMINA. 

Oh ! that I should live 
To say, I dare not look on thee ! Farewell, 
My first born, fare thee well ! 

ALPHONSO. 

Yet, yet beware ! 

It were a grief more heavy on thy soul, 
That I should blush for thee, than o'er my grave 
That thou shouldst proudly weep ! 

ABDULLAH. 

Away ! we trifle here. The night wanes fast. 
Come forth ! 

ELMINA. 

One more embrace ! My sons, farewell ! 
[Exeunt ABDULLAH with ELMINA and 

her Attendant. 
ALPHONSO. 
Hear me yet once, my mother ! 

Art thou gone ? 
But one word more ! 

[He rushes out, followed by CARLOS. 



166 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Scene The Garde* of a Palace in Valencia. 
XIMENA, THERESA. 



Stay jet awhile. A purer air doth rove 
Here through the myrtles whispering, and the times, 
And shaking sweetness from the orange boughs, 
Than waits you in the city. 

XIME-NA. 

There are those 

In their last need, and on their bed of death, 
At which no hand doth minister but mine 
That wait me in the city. Let us hence. 



You hare been wont to love the music made 
By founts, and rustling foliage, and soft winds, 
Breathing of citron-groves. And will you turn 
From these to scenes of death ? 



To me the voice 
Of summer, whispering through young flowers and leavi 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Now speaks too deep a language ! and of all 
Its dreamy and mysterious melodies, 
The breathing soul is sadness ! I have felt 
That summons through my spirit, after which 
The hues of earth are changed, and all her sounds 
Seem fraught with secret warnings. There is cause 
That I should bend my footsteps to the scenes 
Where Death is busy, taming warrior-hearts, 
And pouring winter through the fiery blood, 
And fettering the strong arm ! For now no sigh 
In the dull air, nor floating cloud in heaven, 
No, not the lightest murmur of a leaf, 
But of his angel's silent coming bears 
Some token to my souL But nought of this 
Unto my mother ! These are awful hours ! 
And on their heavy steps, afflictions crowd 
With such dark pressure, there is left no room 
For one grief more. 

THERESA. 

Sweet lady, talk not thus! 
Your eye this morn doth wear a calmer light, 
There ^s more of life in its clear tremulous ray 
Than I have marked of late. Nay, go not yet ; , 
Rest by this fountain, where the laurels dip 



168 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Their glossy leaves. A fresher gale doth spring 
From the transparent waters, dashing round 
Their silvery spray, with a sweet voice of coolness, 
O'er the pale glistening marble. 'Twill call up 
Faint bloom, if but a moment's, to your cheek. 
Rest here, ere you go forth, and I will sing 
The melody you love. 

THERESA Sings. 

Why is the Spanish maiden's grave 
So far from her own bright land ? 

The sunny flowers that o'er it wave 
Were sown by no kindred hand. 

'Tis not the orange-bough that sends 

Its breath on the sultry air, 
'Tis not the myrtle- stem that bends 

To the breeze of evening there ! 

But the Rose of Sharon's eastern bloom 

By the silent dwelling fades, 
And none but strangers pass the tomb 

Which the Palm of Judah shades. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. * 169 

The lowly Cross, with flowers o'ergrown, 

Marks well that place of rest ; 
But who hath graved, on its mossy stone, 

A sword, a helm, a crest ? 

These are the trophies of a chief, 

A lord of the axe and spear ! 
Some blossom pluck'd, some faded leaf, 

Should grace a maiden's bier ! 

Scorn not her tomb deny not her 

The honours of the brave ! 
O'er that forsaken sepulchre, 

Banner and plume might wave. 

She bound the steel, in battle tried, 

Her fearless heart above, 
And stood with brave men, side by side, 

In the strength and faith of love ! 

That strength prevaiTd that faith was bless'd ! 

True was the javelin thrown, 
Yet pierced it not her warrior's breast, 

She met it with her own ! 



170 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

And nobly won, where heroes fell 

In arms for the holy shrine, 
A death which saved what she loved so well, 

And a grave in Palestine. 

Then let the Rose of Sharon spread 

Its breast to the glowing air. 
And the Palm of Judah lift its head, 

Green and immortal there ! 

And let yon grey stone, undefaced, 

With its trophy mark the scene, 
Telling the pilgrim of the waste, 

Where Love and Death have been. 

XIMENA. 

Those notes were wont to make my heart beat quick, 
As at a voice of victory ; but to-day 
The spirit of the song is changed, and seems 
All mournful. Oh ! that ere my early grave 
Shuts out the sunbeam, I might hear one peal 
Of the Castilian trumpet, ringing forth 
Beneath my father's banner ! In that sound 
Were life to you, sweet brothers ! But for me 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 1?1 

Come on our tasks await us. They who know 
Their hours are numbered out, have little time 
To give the vague and slumberous languor way, 
Which doth steal o'er them in the breath of flowers, 
And whisper of soft winds. 

ELMINA enters hurriedly. 

ELMINA. 

This air will calm my spirit, ere yet I meet 
His eye, which must be met. Thou here, Ximena ! 

[She starts back on seeing XIMENA. 

XIMENA. 

Alas ! my mother ! In that hurrying step 
And troubled glance I read 

ELMINA (wildly). 

Thou reaxTst it not ! 

Why, who would live, if unto mortal eye 
The things lay glaring, which within our hearts 
We treasure up for God's ? Thou read'st it not ! 
I say, thou canst not ! There 's not one on earth 
Shall know the thoughts, which for themselves have made 
And kept dark places in the very breast 
Whereon he hath laid his slumber, till the hour 
When the graves open ! 



172 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

XIMENA. 

Mother ! what is this ? 

Alas ! your eye is wandering, and your cheek 
Flush'd, as with fever ! To your woes the night 
Hath brought no rest. 

ELMINA. 

Rest ! who should rest ? not he 
That holds one earthly blessing to his heart 
Nearer than life ! No ! if this world have aught 
Of bright or precious, let not him who calls 
Such things his own, take rest ! Dark spirits keep watch, 
And they to whom fair honour, chivalrous fame, 
Were as heaven's air, the vital element 
Wherein they breathed, may wake, and find their souls 
Made marks for human scorn ! Will they bear on 
With life struck down, and thus disrobed of all 
Its glorious drapery f Who shall tell us this ? 
Will he so bear it ? 

XIMENA. 

Mother ! let us kneel, 

And blend our hearts in prayer ! What else is left 
To mortals wheji the dark hour's might is on them ? 
Leave us, Theresa. Grief like this doth find 
Its balm in solitude. [Exit THERESA. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 1?3 

My mother ! peace 

Is heaven's benignant answer to the cry 
Of wounded spirits. Wilt thou kneel with me ? 

ELMINA. 

Away ! 'tis but for souls unstain'd to wear 
Heaven's tranquil image on their depths. The stream 
Of my dark thoughts, all broken by the storm. 
Reflects but clouds and lightnings ! Didst thou speak 
Of peace ? 'tis fled from earth ! but there is joy ! 
Wild, troubled joy ! And who shall know, my child ! 
It is not happiness ? Why, our own hearts 
Will keep the secret close ! Joy, joy ! if but 
To leave this desolate city, with its dull 
Slow knells and dirges, and to breathe again 
Th' untainted mountain-air ! But hush ! the trees, 
The flowers, the waters, must hear nought of this ! 

They are full of voices, and will whisper things 

We '11 speak of it no more. 

XIMENA. 

Oh ! pitying heaven ! 
This grief doth shake her reason ! 

ELMINA (starting). 

Hark ! a step ! 

' Tis 'tis thy father's ! come away not now 
He must not see us now ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

XIMENA. 

Why should this be ? 
GONZALEZ enters, and detains ELMINA. 

GONZALEZ. 

Elmina, dost thou shun me ? Have we not, 
E'en from the hopeful and the sunny time 
When youth was as a glory round our brows, 
Held on through life together ? And is this, 
When eve is gathering round us, with the gloom 
Of stormy clouds, a time to part our steps 
Upon the darkening wild ? 

ELMINA (coldly). 

There needs not this. 
Why shouldst thou think I shunn'd thee? 

GONZALEZ. 

Should the love 

That shone o'er many years, th' unfading love, 
Whose only change hath been from gladdening smiles 
To mingling sorrows and sustaining strength, 
Thus lightly be forgotten? 

ELMINA. 

Speak'st^owthus? 

I have knelt before thee with that very plea, 
When it avail'd me not ! But there are things 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 175 

Whose very breathings on the soul erase 
All record of past love, save the chill sense, 
Th' unquiet memory of its wasted faith, 
And vain devotedness ! Aye ! they that fix 
Affection s perfect trust on aught of earth, 
Have many a dream to start from ! 

GONZALEZ. 

This is but 

The wildness and the bitterness of grief, 
Ere yet th 1 unsettled heart hath closed its long 
Impatient conflicts with a mightier power, 
Which makes all conflict vain. 

Hark ! was there not 

A sound of distant trumpets, far beyond 
The Moorish tents, and of another tone 
Than th' Afric horn, Ximena ? 
XIMENA. 

Oh, my father ! 

I know that horn too well. 'Tis but the wind, 
Which, with a sudden rising, bears its deep 
And savage war-note from us, wafting it 
O'er the far hills. 

GONZALEZ. 

Alas ! this woe must be ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



I do but shake my spirit from its height 
So startling it with hope ! But the dread hour 
Shall be met bravely still. I can keep down 
Yet for a little while and Heaven will ask 
No more the passionate workings of my heart ; 
And thine Elmina ? 

ELMINA. 

'Tis I am prepared. 
I have prepared for all. 

GONZALEZ 

Oh, well I knew 

Thou wouldst not fail me ! Not in vain my soul, 
Upon thy faith and courage, hath built up 
Unshaken trust. 

ELMINA (wildly). 
Away ! thou know'st me not ! 
Man dares too far, his rashness would invest 
This our mortality with an attribute 
Too high and awful, boasting that he knows 
One human heart ! 

GONZALEZ. 

These are wild words, but yet 
I will not doubt thee ! Hast thou not been found 
Noble in all things, pouring thy souPs light 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 177 

UndimmM o'er every trial ? And, as our fates, 
So must our names be, undivided ! Thine, 
r th' record of a warrior's life, shall find 

Its place of stainless honour. By his side 

ELMINA. 

May this be borne ? How much of agony 
Hath the heart room for ? Speak to me in wrath 
I can endure it ! But no gentle words ! 
No words of love ! no praise ! Thy sword might slay, 
And be more merciful ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Wherefore art thou thus ? 
Elmina, my beloved ! 

ELMINA. 

No more of love ! 

Have I not said there 's that within my heart, 
Whereon it falls as living fire would fall 
Upon an unclosed wound ? 

GONZALEZ. 

Nay, lift thine eyes 
That I may read their meaning ! 

ELMINA. 

Never more 
With a free soul What have I said ? 'twas nought ! 



178 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Take thou no heed ! The words of wretchedness 
Admit not scrutiny. Wouldst thou mark the speech 
Of troubled dreams ? 

GONZALEZ. 

I have seen thee in the hour 
Of thy deep spirit's joy, and when the breath 
Of grief hung chilling round thee ; in all change, 
Bright health and drooping sickness ; hope and fear ; 
Youth and decline ; but never yet, Elmina, 
Ne'er hath thine eye till now shrunk back perturb'd 
With shame or dread, from mine ! 

ELMINA. 

Thy glance doth search 
A wounded heart too deeply. 

GONZALEZ. 

Hast thou there 
Aught to conceal ? 

ELMINA. 

Who hath not ? 

GONZALEZ. 

Till this hour 

Thou never hadst ! Yet hear me ! by the free 
And unattainted fame which wraps the dust 
Of thine heroic fathers 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 179 

ELMINA. 

This to me ! 

Bring your inspiring war-notes, and your sounds 
Of festal music round a dying man ! 
Will his heart echo them ? But if thy words / 

Were spells, to call up, with each lofty tone, 
The grave's most awful spirits, they would stand 
Powerless, before my anguish ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Then, by her, 

Who there looks on thee in the purity 
Of her devoted youth, and o'er whose name 
No blight must fall, and whose pale cheek must ne'er 
Burn with that deeper tinge, caught painfully 
From the quick feeling of dishonour. Speak ! 

Unfold this mystery ! By thy sons 

ELMINA. 

My sons ! 
And canst thou name them ? 

GONZALEZ. 

Proudly ! Better far 

They died with all the promise of their youth, 
And the fair honour of their house upon them, 
Than that with manhood's high and passionate soul 



180 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

To fearful strength unfolded, they should live, 

Barr'd from the lists of crested chivalry, 

And pining, in the silence of a woe, 

Which from the heart shuts daylight ; o'er the shame 

Of those who gave them birth ! But thou couldst ne'er 

Forget their lofty claims ! 

ELMINA (Wildly), 

'Twas but for them ! 

'Twas for them only ! Who shall dare arraign 
Madness of crime ? And he who made us, knows 
There are dark moments of all hearts and lives, 
Which bear down reason ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Thou, whom I have loved 
With such high trust, as o'er our nature threw 
A glory, scarce allow'd ; what hast thou done ? 
Ximena, go thou hence ! 

ELMINA. 

No, no ! my child ! 

There's pity in thy look ! All other eyes 
Are full of wrath and scorn ! Oh ! leave me not ! 

GONZALEZ. 

That I should live to see thee thus abased ! 
Yet speak? What hast thou done? 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 181 

ELMINA. 

Look to the gate ! 

Thou 'rt worn with toil but take no rest to-night ! 
The western gate! Its watchers have been won 
The Christian city hath been bought and sold ! 
They will admit the Moor ! 

GONZALEZ. 

They have been won ! 
Brave men and tried so long ! Whose work was this ? 

ELMINA. 

Think'st thou all hearts like thine ? Can mothers stand 
To see their children perish ? 

GONZALEZ. 

Then the guilt 
Was thine ? 

ELMINA. 

Shall mortal dare to call it guilt ? 
I tell thee, Heaven, which made all holy things, 
Made nought more holy than the boundless love 
Which fills a mother's heart ! I say, 'tis woe 
Enough, with such an aching tenderness, 
To love aught earthly ! and in vain ! in vain ! 
We are press'd down too sorely ! 



182 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

GONZALEZ (in a low desponding voice). 

Now my life 

Is struck to worthless ashes ! In my soul 
Suspicion hath ta^en root. The nobleness 
Henceforth is blotted from all human brows, 
And fearful power, a dark and troublous gift, 
Almost like prophecy, is pour'd upon me, 
To read the guilty secrets in each eye 
That once look'd bright with truth ! 

Why then I have gained 
What men call wisdom ! A new sense, to which 
All tales that speak of high fidelity, 
And holy courage, and proud honour, tried, 
Searched, and found stedfast, even to martyrdom, 
Are food for mockery ! Why should I not cast 
From my thinned locks the wearing helm at once, 
And in the heavy sickness of my soul 
Throw the sword down for ever? Is there aught 
In all this world of gilded hollowness, 
Now the bright hues drop off its loveliest things, 
Worth striving for again ? 

XIMENA. 

Father I look up ! 
Turn unto me, thy child ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 183 

GONZALEZ. 

Thy face is fair; 

And hath been unto me, in other days, 
As morning to the journey er of the deep ; 
But now 'tis too like hers ! 

ELMINA {falling at his feet). 

Woe, shame and woe, 
Are on me in their might ! forgive, forgive ! 

GONZALEZ (starting up). 

Doth the Moor deem that / have part or share, 
Or counsel in this vileness ? Stay me not ! 
Let go thy hold 'tis powerless on me now 
I linger here, while treason is at work ! 

[Exit GONZALEZ. 

ELMINA. 

Ximena, dost thou scorn me ? 

XIMENA. 

I have found 

In mine own heart too much of feebleness, 
Hid, beneath many foldings, from all eyes 
But His whom nought can blind ; to dare do aught 
But pity thee, dear mother ! 

ELMINA. 

Blessings light 
On thy fair head, my gentle child, for this ! 



184 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Thou kind and merciful ! My soul is faint 
Worn with long strife ! Is there aught else to do, 
Or suffer, ere we die? Oh God ! my sons ! 
I have betrayed them ! All their innocent blood 
Is on my soul ! 

XIMENA. 

How shall I comfort thee ? 

Oh ! hark ! what sounds come deepening on the wind, 
So full of solemn hope ! 

(A procession of Nuns passes across the Scene, bearing- 
relics, and chanting.) 

CHANT. 

A sword is on the land ! 

He that bears down young tree and glorious flower, 
Death is gone forth, he walks the wind in power ! 

Where is the warrior's hand ? 
Our steps are in the shadows of the grave, 
Hear us, we perish ! Father, hear, and save ! 

If, in the days of song, 

The days of gladness, we have calTd on thee, 
When mirthful voices rang from sea to sea, 

And joyous hearts were strong ; 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 185 

Now, that alike the feeble and the brave 

Must cry, " We perish !" Father ! hear, and save ! 

The days of song are fled ! 
The winds come loaded, wafting dirge-notes by, 
But they that linger soon unmourn'd must die ; 

-The dead weep not the dead ! 
Wilt thou forsake us midst the stormy wave ? 
We sink, we perish ! Father, hear, and save ! 

Helmet and lance are dust ! 
Is not the strong man withered from our eye ? 
The arm struck down that held our banners high ? 

Thine is our spirit's trust ! 

Look through the gathering shadows of the grave ! 
Do we not perish ? Father, hear, and save ! 

HERNANDEZ enters. 

ELMINA. 

Why comest thou, man of vengeance ? What have I 
To do with thee ? Am I not bow'd enough ? 
Thou art no mourner's comforter ! 

HERNANDEZ. 

Thy lord 



186 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Hath sent me unto thee. Till this day's task 
Be closed, thou daughter of the feeble heart ! 
He bids thee seek him not, but lay thy woes 
Before Heaven's altar, and in penitence 
Make thy soul's peace with God. 
ELMINA. 

Till this day's task 

Be closed ! there is strange triumph in thine eyes 
Is it that I have fallen from that high place 
Whereon I stood in fame ? But I can feel 
A wild and bitter pride in thus being past 
The power of thy dark glance ! My spirit now 
Is wound about by one sole mighty grief; 
Thy scorn hath lost its sting. Thou mayst reproach- 

HERNANDEZ. 

I come not to reproach thee. Heaven doth work 

By many agencies ; and in its hour 

There is no insect which the summer breeze 

From the green leaf shakes trembling, but may serve 

Its deep unsearchable purposes, as well 

As the great ocean, or th' eternal fires, 

Pent in earth's caves ! Thou hast but speeded that, 

Which, in th' infatuate blindness of thy heart, 

Thou wouldst have trampled o'er all holy ties, 

But to avert one day ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 187 

ELMINA. 

My senses fail 

Thou saidst speak yet again ! I could not catch 
The meaning of thy words. 

HERNANDEZ. 

E'en now thy lord 

Hath sent our foes defiance. On the walls 
He stands in conference with the boastful Moor, 
And awful strength is with him. Through the blood 
Which this day must be pour'd in sacrifice 
Shall Spain be free. On all her olive-hills 
Shall men set up the battle-sign of fire, 
And round its blaze, at midnight, keep the sense 
Of vengeance wakeful in each other's hearts 
E'en with thy children's tale ! 

XIMENA. 

Peace, father ! peace ! 

Behold she sinks ! the storm hath done its work 
Upon the broken reed. Oh ! lend thine aid 
To bear her hence. [They lead her away. 






188 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Scene A Street in Valencia. Several Groups of Citi- 
zens and Soldiers, many of them lying on the Steps of 
a Church. Arms scattered on the Ground around 
them. 

AN OLD CITIZEN. 

The air is sultry, as with thunder-clouds. 

I left my desolate home, that I might breathe 

More freely in heaven's face, but my heart feels 

With this hot gloom o'erburthen'd. I have now 

No sons to tend me. Which of you, kind friends, 

Will bring the old man water from the fount, 

To moisten his parch'd lip ? [A citizen goes out. 

SECOND CITIZEN. 

This wasting siege, 

Good Father Lopez, hath gone hard with you ! 
'Tis sad to hear no voices through the house, 
Once peopled with fair sons ! 

THIRD CITIZEN. 

Why, better thus, 

Than to be haunted with their famish'd cries, 
E'en in your very dreams ! 

OLD CITIZEN. 

Heaven's will be done ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 189 

These are dark times ! I have not been alone 
In my affliction. 

THIRD CITIZEN (with bitterness). 

Why, we have but this thought 
Left for our gloomy comfort ! And 'tis well ! 
Aye, let the balance be awhile struck even 
Between the noble's palace and the hut, 
Where the worn peasant sickens ! They that bear 
The humble dead unhonour'd to their homes, 
Pass now i' th' streets no lordly bridal train, 
With its exulting music ; and the wretch 
Who on the marble steps of some proud hall 
Flings himself down to die, in his last need 
And agony of famine, doth behold 
No scornful guests, with their long purple robes, 
To the banquet sweeping by. Why, this is just ! 
These are the days when pomp is made to feel 
Its human mould ! 

FOURTH CITIZEN. 

Heard you last night the sound 
Of Saint Jago's bell?- How sullenly 
From the great tower it peaTd ! 

FIFTH CITIZEN. 

Aye, and 'tis said 



190 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

No mortal hand was near when so it seeni'd 
To shake the midnight streets. 

OLD CITIZEN. 

Too well I know 

The sound of coming fate ! 'Tis ever thus 
When Death is on his way to make it night 
In the Cid's ancient house 5 . Oh ! there are things 
In this strange world of which we have all to learn 
When its dark bounds are pass'd. Yon bell, untouched, 
(Save by the hands we see not) still doth speak 
When of that line some stately head is markM, 
With a wild hollow peal, at dead of night, 
Rocking Valencia's towers. I have heard it oft, 
Nor known its warning false. 

FOURTH CITIZEN. 

And will our chief 

Buy with the price of his fair children's blood 
A few more days of pining wretchedness 
For this forsaken city ? 

OLD CITIZEN. 

Doubt it not ! 

But with that ransom he may purchase still 
Deliverance for the land ! And yet 'tis sad 
To think that such a race, with all its fame, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 191 

Should pass away ! For she, his daughter too, 
Moves upon earth as some bright thing whose time 
To sojourn there is short. 

FIFTH CITIZEN. 

Then woe for us 

When she is gone ! Her voice the very sound 
Of her soft step was comfort, as she moved 
Through the still house of mourning ! Who like her 
Shall give us hope again ? 

OLD CITIZEN. 

Be still ! she comes, 

And with a mien how changed ! A hurrying step, 
And a flush'd cheek !r What may this bode ? Be still ! 

XIMENA enters, with Attendants carrying a Banner. 

XIMENA. 

Men of Valencia ! in an hour like this, 
What do ye here ? 

A CITIZEN. 
We die! 

XIMENA. 

Brave men die now 
Girt for the toil, as travellers suddenly 



192 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

By the dark night overtaken on their way ! 

These days require such death ! It is too much 

Of luxury for our wild and angry times, 

To fold the mantle round us, and to sink 

From life, as flowers that shut up silently, 

When the sun's heat doth scorch them ! Hear ye not ? 

A CITIZEN. 
Lady ! what wouldst thou with us ? 

XIMENA. 

Rise and arm ! 

E'en now the children of your chief are led 
Forth by the Moor to perish ! Shall this be, 
Shall the high sound of such a name be hush'd, 
I' th' land to which for ages it hath been 
A battle-word, as 'twere some passing note 
Of shepherd-music ? Must this work be done, 
And ye lie pining here, as men in whom 
The pulse which God hath made for noble thought 
Can so be thrill'd no longer ? 

CITIZEN. 

'Tis even so ! 

Sickness, and toil, and grief, have breath'd upon us, 
Our hearts beat faint and low. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 193 

XIMENA. 

Are ye so poor 

Of soul, my countrymen ! that ye can draw 
Strength from no deeper source than that which sends 
The red blood mantling through the joyous veins, 
And gives the fleet step wings ? Why, how have age 
And sensitive womanhood ere now endured, 
Through pangs of searching fire, in some proud cause, 
Blessing that agony ? Think ye the Power 
Which bore them nobly up, as if to teach 
The torturer where eternal Heaven had set ,H fftnH 
Bounds to his sway, was earthy, of this earth, 
This dull mortality ? Nay, then look on me ! 
Death's touch hath marked me, and I stand amongst you, 
As one whose place, i 1 th 1 sunshine of your world, 
Shall soon be left to fill ! I say, the breath 
Of th' incense, floating through yon fane, shall scarce 
Pass from your path before me ! But even now, 
I have that within me, kindling through the dust, 
Which from all time hath made high deeds its voice 
And token to the nations ; Look on me ! 
Why hath Heaven pour'd forth courage, as a flame 
Wasting the womanish heart, which must be stuTd 
Yet sooner for its swift consuming brightness, 

o 



194 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

If not to shame your doubt, and your despair, 
And your soul's torpor ? Yet, arise and arm ! 
It may not be too late. 

A CITIZEN. 

Why, what are we, 

To cope with hosts ? Thus faint, and worn, and few, 
CTernumber'd and forsaken, is 't for us 
To stand against the mighty ? 

XIMENA. 

And for whom 

Hath He, who shakes the mighty with a breath 
From their high places, made the fearfulness, 
And ever-wakeful presence of his power, 
To the pale startled earth most manifest, 
But for the weak ? Was 't for the helm'd and crowned 
That suns were stayed at noonday ? Stormy seas 
As a rill parted ? Mail'd archangels sent 
To wither up the strength of kings with death ? 
I tell you, if these marvels have been done, 
'Twas for the wearied and th' oppressed of men, 
They needed such ! And generous faith hath power 
By her prevailing spirit, e^en yet to work 
Deliverances, whose tale shall live with those 
Of the great elder time ! Be of good heart ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 195 

Who is forsaken ? He that gives the thought 
A place within his breast ! 'Tis not for you. 
Know ye this banner ? 

CITIZENS (murmuring to each other). 

Is she not inspired ? 

Doth not Heaven call us by her fervent voice ? 

XIMENA. 

Know ye this banner ? 

CITIZENS. 
'Tis the Cid's. 

XIMENA. 

The Cid's! 

Who breathes that name but in th' exulting tone 
Which the heart rings to ? Why, the very wind 
As it swells out the noble standard's fold 
Hath a triumphant sound ! The Cid's ! it moved 
Even as a sign of victory through the land, 
From the free skies ne'er stooping to a foe ! 

OLD CITIZEN. 

Can ye still pause, my brethren ? Oh! that youth 
Through this worn frame were kindling once again ! 

XIMENA. 

Ye linger still ? Upon this very air, 

He that was born in happy hour for Spain 6 



196 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Pour'd forth his conquering spirit ! 'Twas the breeze 

From your own mountains which came down to wave 

This banner of his battles, as it droop'd 

Above the champion's death-bed. Nor even then 

Its tale of glory closed. They made no moan 

O'er the dead hero, and no dirge was sung 7, 

But the deep tambour and shrill horn of war 

Told when the mighty passed ! They wrapt him not 

With the pale shroud, but braced the warrior's form 

In war-array, and on his barbed steed, 

As for a triumph, rear'd him ; marching forth 

In the hush'd midnight from Valencia's walls, 

Beleaguer'd then, as now. All silently 

The stately funeral moved : but who was he 

That follow'd, charging on the tall white horse, 

And with the solemn standard, broad and pale, 

Waving in sheets of snow-light ? And the cross, 

The bloody cross, far-blazing from his shield, 

And the fierce meteor-sword ? They fled, they fled ! 

The kings of Afric, with their countless hosts, 

Were dust in his red path ! The scimetar 

Was shiver'd as a reed ! for in that hour 

The warrior-saint that keeps the watch for Spain, 

Was arm'd betimes ! And o'er that fiery field 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 197 

The Cid's high banner streamed all joyously, 
For still its lord was there ! 

CITIZENS (rising tumultuously). 

Even unto death 
Again it shall be followed ! 

XIMENA. 

Will he see 

The noble stem hewn down, the beacon-light 
Which his house for ages o'er the land 
Hath shone through cloud and storm, thus quench'd at 

once ? 

Will he not aid his children in the hour 
Of this their uttermost peril ? Awful power 
Is with the holy dead, and there are times 
When the tomb hath no chain they cannot burst ? 
Is it a thing forgotten, how he woke 
From its deep rest of old, remembering Spain 
In her great danger ? At the nighf s mid-watch 
How Leon started, when the sound was heard 
That shook her dark and hollow-echoing streets, 
As with the heavy tramp of steel-clad men, 
By thousands marching through ! For he had risen ! 
The Campeador was on his march again, 



198 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

And in his arms, and follow'd by his hosts 
Of shadowy spearmen ! He had left the world 
From which we are dimly parted, and gone forth, 
And call'd his buried warriors from their sleep, 
Gathering them round him to deliver Spain ; 
For Afric was upon her ! Morning broke 
Day rush'd through clouds of battle ; but at eve 
Our God had triumphed, and the rescued land 
Sent up a shout of victory from the field, 
That rock'd her ancient mountains. 

THE CITIZENS. 

Arm ! to arms ! 

On to our chief! We have strength within us yet 
To die with our blood roused ! Now, be the word a 
For the Cid's house I 

[They begin to arm themselves. 

XIMENA. 

Ye know his battle-song ? 

The old rude strain wherewith his bands went forth 
To strike down Paynim swords ! 

(She sings) 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 199 



THE CID'S BATTLE SONG. 

The Moor is on his way ! 
With the tambour-peal and the tecbir-shout. 
And the horn o'er the blue seas ringing out, 

He hath marshalled his dark array ! 

' 

Shout through the vine-clad land ! 

That her sons on all their hills may hear, 



And sharpen the point of the red wolf spear, 

"m X 

And the sword for the brave man's hand ! 

(The CITIZENS join in tlie song., while they continue 
arming themselves}. 

; *T 

Banners are in the field ! 
The chief must rise from his joyous board, 
And turn from the feast ere the wine be pour'd, 

And take up his father's shield ! 



The Moor is on his way ! 
Let the peasant leave his olive-ground. 
And the goats roam wild through the pine- woods round ! 

There is nobler work to-day ! 



200 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Send forth the trumpet's call ! 
Till the bridegroom cast the goblet down, 
And the marriage-robe and the flowery crown, 

And arm in the banquet-hall ! 

And stay the funeral-train ! 
Bid the chanted mass be hush'd awhile, 
And the bier laid down in the holy aile, 

And the mourners girt for Spain ! 

(They take up the banner, and follow XIMENA out. 
Their voices are heard gradually dying away 
at a distance). 

Ere night, must swords be red I 
It is not an hour for knells and tears, 
But for helmets braced, and serried spears ! 

To-morrow for the dead ! 

The Cid is in array ! 

His steed is barbed, his plume waves high, 
His banner is up in the sunny sky, 

Now, joy for the Cross to-day ! 

. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 201 



Scene The Walls of the City. The Plain beneath, with 
the Moorish Camp and Army. 

GONZALEZ, GARCIAS, HERNANDEZ. 

{A wild Sound of Moorish Music heard from below). 

. 

HERNANDEZ. 

What notes are these in their deep mournfulness 
So strangely wild ? 

GARCIAS. 

"Tis the shrill melody 

Of the Moor's ancient death-song. Well I know 
The rude barbaric sound ; but, till this hour, 
It seemed not fearful. Now, a shuddering chill 
Comes o'er me with its tones. Lo ! from yon tent 
They lead the noble boys ! 

HERNANDEZ. 

The young, and pure, 

And beautiful victims ! 'Tis on things like these 
We cast our hearts in wild idolatry, 
Sowing the winds with hope ! Yet this is well. 
Thus brightly crown'd with life's most gorgeous flowers, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



And all unblemish'd, earth should offer up 
Her treasures unto Heaven ! 

GARCIAS (to GONZALEZ). 

My chief, the Moor 
Hath led your child forth. 

GONZALEZ (starting). 

Are my sons there ? 

I knew they could not perish ; for yon Heaven 
Would ne'er behold it ! Where is he that said 
I was no more a father ? They look changed- 
Pallid and worn, as from a prison-house ! 
Or is 't mine eye sees dimly ? But their steps 
Seem heavy, as with pain. I hear the clank 
Oh God ! their limbs are fetter'd ! 

ABDULLAH (coming forward beneath the w Us). 

Christian! look /J8 ji 

Once more upon thy children. There is yet rf o r ) 

One moment for the trembling of the sword ; ,/>[ ^o/IT 
Their doom is still with thee. 

GONZALEZ. 

Why should this man 

So mock us with the semblance of our kind ? 
Moor ! Moor ! thou dost too daringly provoke, 
In thy bold cruelty, th ? all-judging One, -idT 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 203 

Who visits for such things ! Hast thou no sense 
Of thy frail nature ? 'Twill be taught thee yet, 
And darkly shall the anguish of my soul, 
Darkly and heavily, pour itself on thine, 
When thou shalt cry for mercy from the dust, 
And be denied ! 

ABDULLAH. 

Nay, is it not thyself, 

That hast no mercy and no love within thee ? 
These are thy sons, the nurslings of thy house ; 
Speak ! must they live or die ? 

(GONZALEZ in violent emotion). 

Is it Heaven's will 
To try the dust it kindles for a day, 
With infinite agony ! How have I drawn 
This chastening on my head ! They bloom'd around me, 
And my heart grew too fearless in its joy, 
Glorying in their bright promise ! If we fall, 
Is there no pardon for our feebleness ? 

(HERNANDEZ, without speaking, holds up a Cross 
before him). 

ABDULLAH. 

Speak ! 



204 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

GONZALEZ (snatching the Cross, and lifting it up). 

Let the earth be shaken through its depths, 
But this must triumph ! 

ABDULLAH (coldly). 

Be it as thou wilt. 

Unsheath the scimetar ! [To his Guards. 

GARCIAS (to GONZALEZ). 

Away, my chief ! 

This is your place no longer. There are things 
No human heart, though battle-proof as yours, 
Unmadden'd may sustain. 

GONZALEZ. 

Be still ! I have now 
No place on earth but this ! 

ALPHONSO (from beneath). 

Men ! give me way, 
That I may speak forth once before I die ! 

GARCIAS. 

The princely boy ! how gallantly his brow 
Wears its high nature in the face of death ! 

ALPHONSO. 
Father ! 

GONZALEZ. 

My son ! my son ! Mine eldest-born ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 205 

ALPHONSO. 

Stay but upon the ramparts ! Fear thou not 
There is good courage in me : oh ! my father ! 
I will not shame thee ! only let me fall 
Knowing thine eye looks proudly on thy child, 
So shall my heart have strength. 

GONZALEZ. 

Would, would to God, 
That I might die for thee, my noble boy ! 
Alphonso, my fair son ! 

ALPHONSO. 

Could I have lived, 

I might have been a warrior! Now, farewell! 
But look upon me still ! I will not blench 
When the keen sabre flashes Mark me well ! 
Mine eyelids shall not quiver as it falls, 
So thou wilt look upon me ! 

GARCIAS (to GONZALEZ). 

Nay, my lord ! 

We must begone ! Thou canst not bear it ! 
GONZALEZ. 

Peace! 

Who hath told thee how much man's heart can bear? 
Lend me thine arm my brain whirls fearfully 



206 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

How thick the shades close round ! my boy ! my boy ! 
Where art thou in this gloom ? 
GARCIAS. 

Let us go hence ! 
This is a dreadful moment ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Hush ! what saidst thou? 
Now let me look on him ! Dost thou see aught 
Through the dull mist which wraps us ? 
GARCIAS. 

I behold 
Oh ! for a thousand Spaniards to rush down 

GONZALEZ. 

Thou seest My heart stands still to hear thee speak ! 
There seems a fearful hush upon the air, 
As 't were the dead of night ! 

GARCIAS, 

The hosts have closed 

Around the spot in stillness. Through the spears, 
Ranged thick and motionless, I see him not; 
But now 

GONZALEZ. 

He bade me keep mine eye upon him, 
And all is darkness round me ! Now ? 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 207 

GARCIAS. 

A sword, 

A sword, springs upward, like a lightning burst, 
Through the dark serried mass ! Its cold blue glare 
Is wavering to and fro 'tis vanished hark ! 

GONZALEZ. 

I heard it> yes ! I heard the dull dead sound 
That heavily broke the silence ! Didst thou speak ? 
I lost thy words come nearer! 
GARCIAS. 

'Twas 'tis past ! 
The sword fell then I 

HERNANDEZ (with exultation). 

* 

Flow forth thou noble blood ! 
Fount of Spain's ransom and deliverance, flow 
Uncheck'd and brightly forth !-^Thou kingly stream ! 
Blood of our heroes ! blood of martyrdom ! 
Which through so many warrior-hearts hast pour'd 
Thy fiery currents, and hast made our hills 
Free, by thine own free offering ! Bathe the land, 
But there thou shalt not sink ! Our very air 
Shall take thy colouring, and our loaded skies 
O'er th' infidel hang dark and ominous, 
With battle-hues of thee ! And thy deep voice 



208 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Rising above them to the judgment-seat 
Shall call a burst of gathered vengeance down, 
To sweep th' oppressor from us ! For thy wave 
Hath made his guilt run o'er ! 

GONZALEZ (endeavouring to rouse himself}. 
'Tis all a dream ! 

There is not one no hand on earth could harm 
That fair boy's graceful head ! Why look you thus ? 

ABDULLAH (pointing' tO CARLOS.) 

Christian ! e'en yet thou hast a son ! 

GONZALEZ. 

E'en yet ! 

CARLOS. 

My father ! take me from these fearful men ! 
Wilt thou not save me, father ? 

GONZALEZ (attempting to unsheath his sword). 

Is the strength 
From mine arm shiver'd ? Garcias, follow me ! 

GARCIAS. 

Whither, my chief? 

GONZALEZ. 

Why, we can die as well 

On yonder plain, aye, a spear's thrust will do 
The little that our misery doth require, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 209 

Sooner than e'en this anguish ! Life is best 
Thrown from us in such moments. 

[Voices heard at a distance. 

HERNANDEZ. 

Hush ! what strain 
Floats on the wind ? 

GARCIAS. 

'Tis the Cid's battle song! 
What marvel hath been wrought ? 

\Voices approaching heard in chorus. 
The Moor is on his way ! 
With the tambour peal and the tecbir shout, 
And the horn o'er the blue seas ringing out, 
He hath marshalled his dark array ! 

XIMENA enters, followed by the CITIZENS, with the 
Banner. 

XIMENA. 

Is it too late ? My father, these are men 
Through life and death prepared to follow thee 
Beneath this banner ! Is their zeal too late ? 
Oh ! there 's a fearful history on thy brow ! 

What hast thou seen ? 

p 



210 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

GARCIAS. 

It is not all too late. 

XIMENA. 

My brothers ! 

HERNANDEZ. 

All is well. 

(To GARCIAS.) Hush ! wouldst thou chill 
That which hath sprung within them, as a flame 
From th' altar-embers mounts in sudden brightness ? 
I say, 'tis not too late, ye men of Spain ! 
On to the rescue ! 

XIMENA. 

Bless me, oh my father ! 

And I will hence, to aid thee with my prayers,' 
Sending my spirit with thee through the storm, 
Lit up by flashing swords ! 

GONZALEZ (falling upon her neck). 

Hath aught been spared ? 
Am I not all bereft ? Thou 'rt left me still! 
Mine own, my loveliest one, thou 'rt left me still ! 
Farewell ! thy father's blessing, and thy God's, 
Be with thee, my Ximena ! 

XIMENA. 

Fare thee well ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 211 

If, ere thy steps turn homeward from the field, 
The voice is hushed that still hath welcomed thee, 
Think of me in thy victory ! 

HERNANDEZ. 

Peace ! no more ! 

This is no time to melt our nature down 
To a soft stream of tears ! Be of strong heart ! 
Give me the banner ! Swell the song again ! 

THE CITIZENS. 

Ere night, must swords be red ! 
It is not an hour for knells and tears, 
But for helmets braced and serried spears ! 

To-morrow for the dead ! 

[Exeunt omnes. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Scene Before the Altar of a Church. 
ELMINA rises from the steps of the Altar. 

ELMINA. 

The clouds are fearful that o'erhang thy ways, 
Oh, thou mysterious Heaven ! It cannot be 
That I have drawn the vials of thy wrath, 
To burst upon me through the lifting up 
Of a proud heart, elate in happiness ! 
No ! in my day's full noon, for me life's flowers 
But wreath'd a cup of trembling ; and the love, 
The boundless love, my spirit was formed to bear, 
Hath ever, in its place of silence, been 
A trouble and a shadow, tinging thought 
With hues too deep for joy ! I never look'd 
On my fair children, in their buoyant mirth, 
Or sunny sleep, when all the gentle air 
Seem'd glowing with their quiet blessedness, 
But o'er my soul there came a shuddering sense 
Of earth, and its pale changes ; even like that 
Which vaguely mingles with our glorious dreams, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 213 

A restless and disturbing consciousness 

That the bright things must fade ! How have I shrunk 

From the dull murmur of th' unquiet voice, 

With its low tokens of mortality, 

Till my heart fainted midst their smiles ! their smiles! 

Where are those glad looks now ? Could they go down, 

With all their joyous light, that seem'd not earth's, 

To the cold grave ? My children ! Righteous Heaven ! 

There floats a dark remembrance o'er my brain 

Of one who told me, with relentless eye, 

That this should be the hour ! 

XIMENA enters. 

XIMENA. 

They are gone forth 

Unto the rescue ! strong in heart and hope, 
Faithful, though few ! My mother, let thy prayers 
Call on the land's good saints to lift once more 
The sword and cross that sweep the field for Spain, 
As in old battle ; so thine arms e'en yet 
May clasp thy sons ! For me, my part is done ! 
The flame, which dimly might have linger'd yet 
A little while, hath gather'd all its rays 
Brightly to sink at once ; and it is well ! 






SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



The shadows are around me ; to thy heart 
Fold me, that I may die. 

ELMINA. 

My child ! What dream 
Is on thy soul ? Even now thine aspect wears 
Life's brightest inspiration ! 

XIMENA. 

Death's ! 

ELMINA. 

Away! 

Thine eye hath starry clearness, and thy cheek 
Doth glow beneath it with a richer hue 
Than tinged its earliest flower ! 
XIMENA. 

It well may be ! 

There are far deeper and far warmer hues 
Than those which draw their colouring from the founts 
Of youth, or health, or hope. 

ELMINA. 

Nay, speak not thus I 

There 's that about thee shining which would send 
E'en through my heart a sunny glow of joy, 
Wer 't not for these sad words. The dim cold air 
And solemn light, which wrap these tombs and shrines 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



As a pale gleaming shroud, seem kindled up 

With a young spirit of ethereal hope 

Caught from thy mien ! Oh no ! this is not death ! 

XIMENA. 

Why should not He, whose touch dissolves our chain, 
Put on his robes of beauty when he comes 
As a deliverer ? He hath many forms, 
They should not ah 1 be fearful ! If his call 
Be but our gathering to that distant land 
For whose sweet waters we have pined with thirst, 
Why should not its prophetic sense be borne 
Into the heart's deep stillness, with a breath 
Of summer-winds, a voice of melody, 
Solemn, yet lovely ? Mother ! I depart ! 
Be it thy comfort, in the after-days, 
That thou hast seen me thus ! 

ELMINA. 

Distract me not 

With such wild fears ! Can I bear on with life 
When thou art gone ? Thy voice, thy step, thy smile, 
Passed from my path ? Alas ! even now thine eye 
Is changed thy cheek is fading ! 

XIMENA. 

Aye, the clouds 



216 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Of the dim hour are gathering o'er my sight, * 
And yet I fear not, for the God of Help 
Comes in that quiet darkness ! It may soothe 
Thy woes, my mother ! if I tell thee now, 
With what glad calmness I behold the veil 
Falling between me and the world, wherein 
My heart so ill hath rested. 

ELMINA. 
Thine! 

XIMENA. 

Rejoice 

For her, that, when the garland of her life 
Was blighted, and the springs of hope were dried, 
Received her summons hence ; and had no time, 
Bearing the canker at th' impatient heart, 
To wither, sorrowing for that gift of Heaven, 
Which lent one moment of existence light, 
That dimnVd the rest for ever ! 
ELMINA. 

How is this ? 
My child, what meanest thou ? 

XIMENA. 

Mother ! I have loved, 
And been beloved ! the sunbeam of an hour, 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 217 

Which gave life's hidden treasures to mine eye, 
As they lay shining in their secret founts, 
Went out, and left them colourless. 'Tis past 
And what remains on earth ? the rainbow mist, 
Through which I gazed, hath melted, and my sight 
Is clear'd to look on all things as they are ! 
But this is far too mournful ! Life's dark gift 
Hath fallen too early and too cold upon me ! 
Therefore I would go hence ! 
ELMINA. 

And thou hast loved 

Unknown 

XIMENA. 

Oh ! pardon, pardon that I veil'd 

My thoughts from thee ! But thou hadst woes enough, 
And mine came o'er me when thy soul had need 
Of more than mortal strength ! For I had scarce 
Given the deep consciousness that I was loved 
A treasure's place within my secret heart, 
When earth's brief joy went from me ! 

'Twas at morn 

I saw the warriors to their field go forth. 
And he my chosen was there amongst the rest, 
With his young, glorious brow ! I look'd again 



218 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

The strife grew dark beneath me but his plume 

Waved free above the lances. Yet again 

It had gone down ! and steeds were trampling o'er 

The spot to which mine eyes were riveted, 

Till blinded by th' intenseness of their gaze ! 

And then at last I hurried to the gate, 

And met him there ! I met him ! on his shield, 

And with his cloven helm, and shiver'd sword, 

And dark hair steep'd in blood ! They bore him past 

Mother ! I saw his face ! Oh ! such a death 

Works fearful changes on the fair of earth, 

The pride of woman's eye ! 

ELMINA. 

Sweet daughter, peace ! 
Wake not the dark remembrance ; for thy frame 

XIMENA. 

There will be peace ere long. I shut my heart, 
Even as a tomb, o'er that lone silent grief, 
That I might spare it thee ! But now the {lour 
Is come when that which would have pierced thy soul 
Shall be its healing balm. Oh ! weep thou not, 
Save with a gentle sorrow ! 

ELMINA. 

Must it be? 
Art thou indeed to leave me ? 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 219 

XIMENA (exultingly). 
Be thou glad ! 

I say, rejoice above thy favoured child ! 
Joy, for the soldier when his field is fought, 
Joy, for the peasant when his vintage-task 
Is closed at eve ! But most of all for her, 
Who, when her life had changed its glittering robes 
For the dull garb of sorrow, which doth cling 
So heavily around the journeyers on, 
Cast down its weight and slept \ 

ELMINA. 

Alas ! thine eye 

Is wandering yet how brightly ! Is this death, 
Or some high wondrous vision ? Speak, my child ! 
How is it with thee now ? 

XIMENA (wildly). 

I see it still ! 

'Tis floating, like a glorious cloud on high, 
My father's banner ! Hearst thou not a sound ? 
The trumpet of Castile ? Praise, praise to Heaven ! 
Now may the weary rest ! Be still ! Who calls 
The night so fearful ? [She dies. 

ELMINA. 

No ! she is not dead ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Ximena! speak to me! Oh! yet a tone 
From that sweet voice, that I may gather in 
One more remembrance of its lovely sound, 

Ere the deep silence fall .'What ! is all hush'd ? 

No, no! it cannot be ! How should we bear 
The dark misgivings of our souls, if Heaven 
Left not such beings with us ? But is this 
Her wonted look ? too sad a quiet lies 

On its dim fearful beauty ! Speak, Ximena ! 
Speak! my heart dies within me ! She is gone, 
With all her blessed smiles ! My child ! my child ! 
Where art thou ? Where is that which answered me, 
From thy soft-shining eyes ? Hush ! doth she move ? 

One light lock seemed to tremble on her brow, 
As a pulse throbb'd beneath ; 'twas but the voice 
Of my despair that stirrM it ! She is gone ! 

[She throws herself on the body. GONZALEZ 

enters, alone, and wounded. 
ELMINA (rising as he approaches}. 
I must not now be scorned ! No, not a look, 
A whisper of reproach ! Behold my woe ! 

Thou canst not scorn me now ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Hast thou heard all ? 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



ELMINA. 

Thy daughter on my bosom laid her head, 
And passed away to rest. Behold her there, 
Even such as death hath made her ! 8 

GONZALEZ (bending over XIMENA'S body). 

Thou art gone 

A little while before me, oh, my child ! 
Why should the traveller weep to part with those 
That scarce an hour will reach their promised land 
Ere he too cast his pilgrim staff away, 
And spread his couch beside them ? 
ELMINA. 

Must it be 

Henceforth enough that once a thing so fair 
Had its bright place amongst us ? Is this all, 
Left for the years to come ? We will not stay ! 
Earth's chain each hour grows weaker. 

GONZALEZ (still gazing upon XIMENA). 

And thou Vt laid 

To slumber in the shadow, blessed child ! 
Of a yet stainless altar, and beside 
A sainted warrior's tomb ! Oh, fitting place 
For thee to yield thy pure heroic soul 



222 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Back unto him that gave it ! And thy cheek 
-Yet smiles in its bright paleness ! 
ELMINA. 

Hadst thou seen 
The look with which she passed ! 

GONZALEZ (still bending" over her). 

Why, 'tis almost 

Like joy to view thy beautiful repose ! 
The faded image of that perfect calm 
Floats, e'en as long-forgotten music, back 
Into my weary heart ! No dark wild spot 
On thy clear brow doth tell of bloody hands 
That quench'd young life by violence ! We have seen 
Too much of horror, in one crowded hour, 
To weep for aught, so gently gathered hence ! 
Oh ! man leaves other traces ! 

ELMINA (suddenly starting). 

It returns 

On my bewildered soul ! Went ye not forth 
Unto the rescue ? And thou 'rt here alone ! 
Where are my sons ? 

GONZALEZ (solemnly). 

We were too late ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



ELMINA. 

Too late ! 
Hast thou nought else to tell me ? 

GONZALEZ. 

I brought back 

From that last field the banner of my sires, 
And my own death-wound. 

ELMINA. 

Thine! 

GONZALEZ. 

Another hour 

Shall hush its throbs for ever. I go hence, 
And with me - 

ELMINA. 

No ! Man could not lift his hands 
Where hast thou left thy sons ? 

GONZALEZ. 

I have no sons. 

ELMINA. 

What hast thou said ? 

GONZALEZ. 

That now there lives not one 
To wear the glory of mine ancient house, 
When I am gone to rest. 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



ELMINA (throwing herself on the ground, and speaking 

in a low hurried voice). 
In one brief hour, all gone ! and such a death ! 

I see their blood gush forth ! their graceful heads- 
'Take the dark vision from me, oh, my God ! 

And such a death for them ! I was not there ! 
They were but mine in beauty and in joy, 
Not in that mortal anguish ! All, all gone ! 

Why should I struggle more ? What is this Power, 
Against whose might, on all sides pressing us, 

We strive with fierce impatience, which but lays 
Our own frail spirits prostrate ? 

(After a long pause}. 

Now I know 

Thy hand, my God ! and they are soonest crush'd 
That most withstand it ! I resist no more. 
(She rises). A light, a light springs up from grief and 

death, 

Which with its solemn radiance doth reveal 
Why we have thus been tried ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Then I may still 

Fix my last look on thee, in holy love, 
Parting, but yet with hope ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



ELMINA (Jailing at his feet}. 

Canst thou forgive ? 

Oh, I have driven the arrow to thy heart, 
That should have buried it within mine own, 
And borne the pang in silence ! I have cast 
Thy life's fair honour, in my wild despair, 
As an unvalued gem upon the waves, 

Whence thou hast snatch'd it back, to bear from earth, 
All stainless, on thy breast. Well hast thou done 
But I canst thou forgive ? 

GONZALEZ. 

Within this hour 

I have stood upon that verge whence mortals fall, 
And learn'd how 'tis with one whose sight grows dim, 
And whose foot trembles on the gulf's dark side. 

Death purifies all feeling We will part 
In pity and in love. 

ELMINA. 

Death ! And thou too 

Art on thy way! Oh, joy for thee, high heart! 
Glory and joy for thee ! The day is closed, 
And well and nobly hast thou borne thyself 
Through its long battle-toils, though many swords 
Have entered thine own soul ! But on my head 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Recoil the fierce invokings of despair, 

And I am left far distanced in the race, 

The lonely one of earth ! Aye, this is just. 

I am not worthy that upon my breast 

In this, thine hour of victory, thou shouldst yield 

Thy spirit unto God ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Thou art! thou art! 

Oh ! a life's love, a heart's long faithfulness, 
Ev'n in the presence of eternal things, 
Wearing their chasten'd beauty all undimm'd, 
Assert their lofty claims ; and these are not 
For one dark hour to cancel ! We are here, 
Before that altar which received the vows 
Of our unbroken youth, and meet it is 
For such a witness, in the sight of Heaven, 
And in the face of death, whose shadowy arm 
Comes dim between us, to record th* exchange 
Of our tried hearts' forgiveness. Who are they, 
That in one path have journey'd, needing not 
Forgiveness at its close ? 

(A Citizen enters hastily). 

CITIZEN. 

The Moors ! the Moors ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 227 

GONZALEZ. 

How ! is the city storm'd ? 

Oh ! righteous Heaven ! for this I look'd not yet J 
Hath all been done in vain ? Why then, 'tis time 
For prayer, and then to rest ! 

CITIZEN, 

The sun shall set, 

And not a Christian voice be left for prayer, 
To-night within Valencia ? Round our walls 
The paynim host is gathering for th 1 assault, 
And we have none to guard them. 

GONZALEZ. 

Then my place 

Is here no longer. I had hoped to die 
Ev'n by the altar and the sepulchre 
Of my brave sires but this was not to be ! 
Give me my sword again, and lead me hence 
Back to the ramparts. I have yet an hour, 
And it hath still high duties. Now, my wife J 
Thou mother of my children of the dead r 
Whom I name unto thee in stedfast hope 
Farewell ! 

ELMINA. 

No, not farewell ! My soul hath risen 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

To mate itself with thine ; and by thy side 
Amidst the hurtling lances I will stand, 
As one on whom a brave man's love hath been 
Wasted not utterly. 

GONZALEZ. 

I thank thee, Heaven ! 
That I have tasted of the awful joy 
Which thou hast given to temper hours like this, 
With a deep sense of thee, and of thine ends 
In these dread visitings ! 
(To ELMINA). We will not part, 

But with the spirit's parting ! 

ELMINA. 

One farewell 

To her, that mantled with sad loveliness, 
Doth slumber at our feet ! My blessed child ! 
Oh ! in thy heart's affliction thou wert strong, 
And holy courage did pervade thy woe, 
As light the troubled waters ! Be at peace ! 
Thou whose bright spirit made itself the soul 
Of all that were around thee ! And thy life 
E'en then was struck, and withering at the core ! 
Farewell ! thy parting look hath on me fall'n, 
E'en as a gleam of heaven, and I am now 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 229 

More like what thou hast been ! My soul is hush'd, 
For a still sense of purer worlds hath sunk 
And settled on its depths with that last smile 
Which from thine shone forth. Thou hast not lived 
In vain my child, farewell ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Surely for thee 

Death had no sting, Ximena ! We are blest, 
To learn one secret of the shadowy pass, 
From such an aspects calmness. Yet once more 
I kiss thy pale young cheek, my broken flower ! 
In token of th' undying love and hope, 
Whose land is far away. {Exeunt, 



280 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

SceneThe Walls of the City. 
FERNANDEZ. -A few Citizens gathered round him* 

HERNANDEZ. 

Why, men have cast the treasures, which their lives 
Had been worn down in gathering, on the pyre, 
Aye, at their household hearths have lit the brand, 
Ev'n from that shrine of quiet love to bear 
The flame which gave their temples and their homes* 
In ashes, to the winds ! They have done this, 
Making a blasted void where once the sun 
Looked upon lovely dwellings ; and from earth 
Razing all record that on such a spot 
Childhood hath sprung* age faded, misery wept* 
And frail Humanity knelt before her Grod ; 
^-They have done this, in their free nobleness* 
Rather than see the spoiler's tread pollute 
Their holy places ! Praise, high praise be theirs* 
Who have left man such lessons ! And these things* 
Made your own hills their witnesses ! The sky, 
Whose arch bends o^er you, and the seas, wherein 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 231 

Your rivers pour their gold, rejoicing saw 
The altar, and the birth-place, and the tomb, 
And all memorials of man's heart and faith^ 
Thus proudly honoured ! Be ye not outdone 
By the departed ! Though the godless foe 
Be close upon us, we have power to snatch 
The spoils of victory from him. Be but strong ! 
A few bright torches and brief moments yet 
Shall baffle his flushed hope, and we may die, 
Laughing him unto scorn. Rise, follow me> 
And thou, Valencia ! triumph in thy fate, 
The ruin, not the yoke, and make thy towers 
A beacon unto Spain ! 

CITIZEN. 

We '11 follow thee! 

Alas ! for our fair city, and the homes 
Wherein we rear'd our children ! But away ! 
The Moor shall plant no crescent o'er our fanes ! 

VOICE (from a Tower on the Walls). 
Succours ! Castile ! Castile ! 

CITIZENS (rushing to the spot). 
It is even so ! 

Now blessing be to Heaven, for we are saved ! 
Castile, Castile ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

VOICE {from the Tower)* 

Line after line of spears, 
Lance after lance, upon the horizon's verge, 
Like festal lights from cities bursting up, 
Doth skirt the plain ! In faith, a noble host ! 

ANOTHER VOICE. 

The Moor hath turn'd him from our walls, to front 
Th' advancing might of Spain ! 

CITIZENS (shouting). 

Castile! Castile! 

(GONZALEZ enters, supported by ELMINA and a Citizen}. 

GONZALEZ. 

What shouts of joy are these ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

Hail, chieftain ! hail ! 

Thus ev'n in death 'tis given thee to receive 
The conqueror's crown ! Behold our God hath heard, 
And arm'd himself with vengeance ! Lo ! they come ! 
The lances of Castile ! 

GONZALEZ. 

I knew, I knew 
Thou wouldst not utterly, my God, forsake 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Thy servant in his need ! My blood and tears 
Have not sunk vainly to th' attesting earth ! 
Praise to thee, thanks and praise, that I have lived 
To see this hour ! 

ELMINA. 

And I too bless thy name, 
Though thou hast proved me unto agony! 
Oh God ! Thou God of chastening ! 

VOICE .(from the Tower). 

They move on ! 

I see the royal banner in the air, 
With its emblazoned towers ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Go, bring ye forth 

The banner of the Cid, and plant it here, 
To stream above me> for an answering sign 
That the good cross doth hold its lofty place 
Within Valencia still ! What see ye now ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

I see a kingdom's might upon its path, 

Moving, in terrible magnificence, 

Unto revenge and victory ! With the flash 

Of knightly swords, up-springing from the ranks, 

As meteors from a still and gloomy deep> 



234 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

And with the waving of ten thousand plumes, 
Like a land's harvest in the autumn-wind, 
And with fierce light, which is not of the sun, 
But flung from sheets of steel it comes, it comes, 
The vengeance of our God ! 

GONZALEZ. 

I hear it now, 

The heavy tread of mail-clad multitudes, 
Like thunder-showers upon the forest-paths. 

HERNANDEZ. 

Aye, earth knows well the omen of that sound, 
And she hath echoes, like a sepulchre's, 
Pent in her secret hollows, to respond 
Unto the step of death ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Hark ! how the wind 

Swells proudly with the battle-march of Spain ! 
Now the heart feels its power ! A little while 
Grant me to live, my God ! What pause is this ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

A deep and dreadful one ! the serried files 
Level their spears for combat ; now the hosts 
Look on each other in their brooding wrath, 
Silent, and face to face* 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 235 

VOICES HEARD WITHOUT, CHANTING. 

Calm on the bosom of thy God, 

Fair spirit ! rest thee now ! 
E'en while with ours thy footsteps trod, 

His seal was on thy brow. 

Dust, to its narrow house beneath ! 

Soul, to its place on high ! 
They that have seen thy look in death, 

No more may fear to die. 


ELMINA (to GONZALEZ). 

It is the death-hymn o'er thy daughter's bier ! 
But I am calm, and e'en like gentle winds, 
That music, through the stillness of my heart, 
Sends mournful peace. 

GONZALEZ. 

Oh ! well those solemn tones 
Accord with such an hour, for all her life 
Breathed of a hero's soul ! 

[A sound of trumpets and shouting from the plain. 

HERNANDEZ. 

Now, now they close ! Hark ! what a dull dead sound 



236 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

Is in the Moorish war-shout ! I have known 
Such tones prophetic oft. The shock is given 
Lo ! they have placed their shields before their hearts, 
And lower'd their lances with the streamers on, 
And on their steeds bent forward ! God for Spain! 
The first bright sparks of battle have been struck 
From spear to spear, across the gleaming field ! 
There is no sight on which the blue sky looks 
To match with this ! 'Tis not the gallant crests, 
Nor banners with their glorious blazonry ; 
The very nature and high soul of man 
Doth now reveal itself! 

GONZALEZ. 

Oh, raise me up. 

That I may look upon the noble scene ! 
It will not be ! That this dull mist would pass 
A moment from my sight ! Whence rose that shout, 
As in fierce triumph ? 

HERNANDEZ (clasping Ms hands). 
Must I look on this ? 
The banner sinks 'tis taken ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Whose? 
HERNANDEZ. 

Castile's ! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 237 

GONZALEZ. 

Oh, God of Battles ! 

ELMINA. 

Calm thy noble heart ! 
Thou wilt not pass away without thy meed. 
Nay, rest thee on my bosom. 

HERNANDEZ. 

Cheer thee yet ! 

Our knights have spurred to rescue. There is now 
A whirl, a mingling of all terrible things, 
Yet more appalling than the fierce distinctness 
Wherewith they moved before ! I see tall plumes 
All wildly tossing o'er the battle's tide, 
Sway'd by the wrathful motion, and the press 
Of desperate men, as cedar-boughs by storms. 
Many a white streamer there is dyed with blood, 
Many a false corslet broken, many a shield 
Pierced through ! Now, shout for Santiago, shout ! 
Lo ! javelins with a moment's brightness cleave 
The thickening dust, and barbed steeds go down 
With their helm'd riders ! Who, but One, can tell 
How spirits part amidst that fearful rush 
And trampling on of furious multitudes ? 



238 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

GONZALEZ. 

Thou'rt silent ! See'st thou more ? My soul grows dark. 

HERNANDEZ. 

And dark and troubled, as an angry sea, 
Dashing some gallant armament in scorn 
Against its rocks, is all on which I gaze ! 
I can but tell thee how tall spears are cross'd, 
And lances seem to shiver, and proud helms 
To lighten with the stroke ! But round the spot, 
Where, like a storm-felTd mast, our standard sank, 
The heart of battle burns. 

GONZALEZ. 

Where is that spot ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

It is beneath the lonely tuft of palms, 

That lift their green heads o'er the tumult still, 

In calm and stately grace. 

GONZALEZ. 

There, didst thou say ? 
Then God is with us, and we must prevail ! 
For on that spot they died ! My children's blood 
Calls on th 1 avenger thence ! 

ELMINA. 

They perish'd there! 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 239 

And the bright locks that waved so joyously 
To the free winds, lay trampled and defiled 
Ev'n on that place of death ! Oh, Merciful ! 
Hush the dark thought within me ! 

HERNANDEZ (with sudden exultation). 

Who is he, 

On the white steed, and with the castled helm, 
And the gold-broider'd mantle, which doth float 
E'en like a sunny cloud above the fight ; 
And the pale cross, which from his breast-plate gleams 
With star-like radiance ? 

GONZALEZ (eagerly). 

Didst thou say the cross ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

On his maiPd bosom shines a broad white cross, 
And his long plumage through the darkening air 
Streams like a snow-wreath. 

GONZALEZ. 

That should be 

HERNANDEZ. 

The king t 

Was it not told us how he sent, of late, 
To the Cid's tomb, e'en for the silver cross, 
Which he who slumbers there was wont to bind 
O'er his brave heart in fight 9 ? 



240 SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 

GONZALEZ (springing up joyfully}. 

My king ! my king ! 

Now all good saints for Spain ! My noble king ! 
And thou art there ! That I might look once more 
Upon thy face ! But yet I thank thee, Heaven ! 
That thou hast sent him, from my dying hands 
Thus to receive his city ! 

[He sinks back into ELMINA'S arms, 

HERNANDEZ. 

He hath cleared 

A pathway midst the combat, and the light 
Follows his charge through yon close living mass, 
E'en as the gleam on some proud vessel's wake 
Along the stormy waters ! 'Tis redeemed 
The castled banner ! It is flung once more 
In joy and glory, to the sweeping winds ! 
There seems a wavering through the paynim hosts 
Castile doth press them sore Now, now rejoice ! 

GONZALEZ. 
What hast thou seen? 

HERNANDEZ. 

Abdullah falls! He falls! 

The man of blood ! the spoiler ! he hath sunk 
In our king's path ! Well hath that royal sword 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 241 

Avenged thy cause, Gonzalez ! 

They give way. 

The Crescent's van is broken ! On the hills 
And the dark pine-woods may the infidel 
Call vainly, in his agony of fear, 
To cover him from vengeance ! Lo ! they fly ! 
They of the forest and the wilderness 
Are scattered, e'en as leaves upon the wind ! 
Woe to the sons of Afric ! Let the plains, 
And the vine-mountains, and Hesperian seas, 
Take their dead unto them ! that blood shall wash 
Our soil from stains of bondage. 

GONZALEZ (attempting to raise himself). 

Set me free ! 

Come with me forth, for I must greet my king, 
After his battle-field! 

HERNANDEZ. 

Oh, blest in death ! 

Chosen of Heaven, farewell ! Look on the Cross, 
And part from earth in peace ! 

GONZALEZ. 

Now charge once more ! 
God is with Spain, and Santiago's sword 
Is reddening all the air ! Shout forth 5 Castile P 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



The day is ours ! I go ; but fear ye not ! 
For Afric's lance is broken, and my sons 
Have won their first good field ! [He dies. 

ELMINA. 

Look on me yet ! 

Speak one farewell, my husband ! must thy voice 
Enter my soul no more ! Thine eye is nVd 
Now is my life uprooted, and 'tis well. 

(A Sound of triumphant Music is heard) and many 
Castilian Knights and Soldiers enter). 

A CITIZEN. 

Hush your triumphal sounds, although ye come 
E^en as deliverers ! But the noble dead, 
And those that mourn them^ claim from human hearts 
Deep silent reverence. 

ELMINA (rising proudly}. 

No, swell forth, Castile ! 
Thy trumpet-music, till the seas and heavens, 
And the deep hills, give every stormy note 
Echoes to ring through Spain ! How, know ye not 
That all array'd for triumph, crown'd and robed 
With the strong spirit which hath saved the land, 
Ev'n now a conqueror to his rest is gone ? 
Fear not to break that sleep, but let the wind 



SIEGE OF VALENCIA. 



Swell on with victory's shout ! He will not hear-~ 
Hath earth a sound more sad ? 

HERNANDEZ. 

Lift ye the dead, 

And bear him with the banner of his race 
Waving above him proudly, as it waved 
O'er the Cid's battles, to the tomb, wherein 
His warrior-sires are gathered. [They raise the body. 
ELMINA. 

Aye, 'tis thus 

Thou shouldst be honour'd ! And I follow thee 
With an unfaltering and a lofty step, 
To that last home of glory. She that wears 
In her deep heart the memory of thy love 
Shall thence draw strength for all things, till the God, 
Whose hand around her hath unpeopled earth, 
Looking upon her still and chastened soul, 
Call it once more to thine ! 

(To the Castilians). 

Awake, I say, 

Tambour and trumpet, wake ! And let the land 
Through all her mountains hear your funeral peal ! 
So should a hero pass to his repose. [Exeunt omnes. 



NOTES. 



Note 1. 

MOUNTAIN Christians, those natives of Spain, who, under 
their prince, Pelayo, took refuge amongst the mountains of 
the northern provinces, where they maintained their religion 
and liberty, whilst the rest of their country was overrun 
by the Moors. 

Note 2. 
Oh, free doth sorrow pass, fyc. 

Frey geht das Ungliick durch die ganze Erde. 

Schiller's Death of Wallenstien, act iv. sc. 2. 

NoteS. 

Tizona, the fire-brand. The name of the Cid's favourite 
sword, taken in battle from the Moorish king Bucar. 



246 NOTES. 

Note 4. 
Hoto he won Valencia from the Moor, fyc. 

Valencia, which has been repeatedly besieged, and taken 
by the armies of different nations, remained in the pos- 
session of the Moors for an hundred and seventy years after 
the Cid's death. It was regained from them by King Don 
Jayme of Aragon, surnamed the Conqueror ; after whose 
success I have ventured to suppose it governed by a de- 
scendant of the Campeador. 

Note 5. 

It was a Spanish tradition, that the great bell of the 
cathedral of Saragossa always tolled spontaneously before a 
king of Spain died. 

Note 6. 

" El que en buen hora nasco ;" he that was born in happy 
hour. An appellation given to the Cid in the ancient 
chronicles*. 

Note 7. 

For this, and the subsequent allusions to Spanish legends, 
see The Romances and Chronicle of the Cid. 

Note 8. 

* 

" La voila, telle que la mort nous 1'a faite \"-~Bossuet, 
Oraisons Funebres: 



NOTES. 247 

Note 9. 

This circumstance is recorded of King Don Alfonso, the 
last of that name. He sent to the Cid's tomb for the cross 
which that warrior was accustomed to wear upon his breast 
when he went to battle, and had it made into one for him- 
self; " because of the faith which he had, that through it 
he should obtain the victory." Southey's Chronicle of the 
Cid. 



SONGS OF THE CID*. 



The following ballads are not translations from the Spanish, 
but are founded upon some of the ' wild and wonderful' tradi- 
tions preserved in the romances of that language, and the 
ancient poem of the Cid. 



THE CID'S DEPARTURE INTO EXILE. 

WITH sixty knights in his gallant train. 
Went forth the Campeador of Spain ; 
For wild sierras and plains afar, 
He left the lands of his own Bivar l . 

To march o'er field, and to watch in tent; 
From his home in good Castile he went ; 
To the wasting siege and the battle's van^ 

For the noble Cid was a banish'd man ! 

* 

* Originally published in the New Monthly Magazine. 



&50 SONGS OF THE CID. 

Through his olive-woods the morn-breeze play'd, 
And his native streams wild music made. 
And clear in the sunshine his vineyards lay, 
When for march and combat he took his way. 

With a thoughtful spirit his way he took, 
And he turn'd his steed for a parting look, 
For a parting look at his own fair towers ; 
Oh ! the Exile's heart hath weary hours ! 

The pennons were spread, and the band array'd, 
But the Cid at the threshold a moment stay'd ; 
It was but a moment the halls were lone, 
And the gates of his dwelling all open thrown. 

There was not a steed in the empty stall, 
Nor a spear nor a cloak on the naked wall, 
Nor a hawk on the perch, nor a seat at the door, 
Nor the sound of a step on the hollow floor 2 . 

Then a dim tear swelTd to the warrior's eye, 
As the voice of his native groves went by ; 
And he said " My foemen their wish have won- 
-Now the will of God be in all things done !" 



HIS DEPARTURE INTO EXILE. 251 

But the trumpet blew, with its note of cheer, 
And the winds of the morning swept off the tear, 
And the fields of his glory lay distant far, 
He is gone from the towers of his own Bivar ! 



SONGS OF THE CID. 



THE CID'S DEATH-BED, 

IT was an hour of grief and fear 

Within Valencia's walls. 
When the blue spring-heaven lay still and clear 

Above her marble halls. 

There were pale cheeks and troubled eyes, 

And steps of hurrying feet, 
Where the Zambra's 3 notes were wont to rise, 

Along the sunny street. 

It was an hour of fear and grief, 

On bright Valencia's shore, 
For Death was busy with her chief, 

The noble Campeador. 

The Moor-king's barks were on the deep, 

With sounds and signs of war, 
For the Cid was passing to his sleep* 

In the silent Alcazar. 



HIS DEATH-BED. 253 

No moan was heard through the towers of state, 

No weeper's aspect seen, 
But by the couch Ximena sate, 

With pale, yet stedfast mien 4. 

Stillness was round the leaders bed, 

Warriors stood mournful nigh, 
And banners, o'er his glorious head, 

Were drooping heavily. 

And feeble grew the conquering hand, 

And cojd the valiant breast ; 
He had fought the battles of the land, 

And his hour was come to rest. 

What said the Ruler of the field ? 

His voice is faint and low ; 
The breeze that creeps o'er his lance and shield 

Hath louder accents now. 

" Raise ye no cry, and let no moan 

Be made when I depart ; 
The Moor must hear no dirge's tone, 

Be ye of mighty heart ! 



SONGS OF THE CID. 

Let the cymbal-clash and the trumpet^strain 
From your walls ring far and shrill, 

And fear ye not, for the saints of Spain 
Shall grant you victory still. 

" And gird my form with mail-array, 

And set me on my steed, 
So go ye forth on your funeral-way, 

And God shall give you speed. 

Go with the dead in the front of war, 
All arm'd with sword and helm, 5 

And march by the camp of King Bucar, 
For the good Castilian realm. 

" And let me slumber in the soil 

Which gave my fathers birth ; 
I have closed my day of battle-toil, 

And my course is done on earth." 

Now wave, ye glorious banners, wave ! 6 
Through the lattice a wind sweeps by, 

And the arms, o'er the death-bed of the brave, 
Send forth t hollow sigh. 



HIS DEATH-BED. 255 

Now wave, ye banners of many a fight ! 

As the fresh wind o'er you sweeps ; 
The wind and the banners fall hush'd as night, 

The Catnpeador he sleeps ! 

Sound the battle-horn on the breeze of morn, 

And swell out the trumpet's blast, 
Till the notes prevail o'er the voice of wail, 

For the noble Cid hath pass'd ! 



SONGS OF THE CID. 



THE CID'S FUNERAL PROCESSION. 



THE Moor had beleaguered Valencia's towers, 
And lances gleam'd up through her citron-bowers, 
And the tents of the desert had girt her plain, 
'And camels were trampling the vines of Spain ; 
For the Cid was gone to rest. 

There were men from wilds where the death-wind sweeps. 
There were spears from hills where the lion sleeps, 
There were bows from sands where the ostrich runs, 
For the shrill horn of Afric had calTd her sons 
To the battles of the West. 

The midnight bell, o'er the dim seas heard, 
Like the roar of waters, the air had stirr'd ; 
The stars were shining o'er tower and wave, 
And the camp lay hush'd, as a wizard's cave ; 
But the Christians woke that night 



HIS FUNERAL PROCESSION. 257 

They rear'd the Cid on his barbed steed. 
Like a warrior maiTd for the hour of need, 
And they fix'd the sword in the cold right hand. 
Which had fought so well for his father's land, 
And the shield from his neck hung bright. 

There was arming heard in Valencia's halls, 
There was vigil kept on the rampart walls ; 
Stars had not faded, nor clouds turn'd red, 
When the knights had girded the noble dead, 
And the burial-train moved out. 

With a measured pace, as the pace of one, 
Was the still death-march of the host begun ; 
With a silent step went the cuirass'd bands, 
Like a lion's tread on the burning sands, 
And they gave no battle-shout. 

When the first went forth, it was midnight deep, 
In heaven was the moon, in the camp was sleep. 
When the last through the city's gates had gone, 
O'er tent and rampart the bright day shone, 
With a sun-burst from the sea. 



58 SONGS OF THE CID. 

There were knights five hundred went armM before, 
And Bermudez the Cid's green standard bore ; 6 
To its last fair field, with the break of morn, 
Was the glorious banner in silence borne, 
On the glad wind streaming free. 

And the Campeador came stately then, 
Like a leader circled with steel-clad men ! 
The helmet was down o'er the face of the dead, 
But his steed went proud, by a warrior led, 
For he knew that the Cid was there. 

He was there, the Cid, with his own good sword, 
And Ximena following her noble lord ; 
Her eye was solemn, her step was slow. 
But there rose not a sound of war or woe, 
Not a whisper on the air. 

The halls in Valencia were still and lone, 
The churches were empty, the masses done ; 
There was not a voice through the wide streets far, 
Nor a foot-fall heard in the Alcazar, 
So the burial-train moved out. 



HIS FUNERAL PROCESSION. 259 

With a measured pace, as the pace of one, 
Was the still death-march of the host begun ; 
With a silent step went the cuirass'd bands, 
Like a lion's tread on the burning sands ; 
And they gave no battle-shout. 

But the deep hills peaPd with a cry ere long, 
When the Christians burst on the Paynim throng ! 
With a sudden flash of the lance and spear, 
And a charge of the war-steed in full career, 
It was Alvar Fanez came ! 7 

He that was wrapt with no funeral shroud, 
Had passed before, like a threatening cloud ! 
And the storm rushed down on the tented plain, 
And the Archer-Queen, 8 with her bands lay slain, 
For the Cid upheld his fame. 

Then a terror fell on the King Bucar, 
And the Lybian kings who had joined his war ; 
And their hearts grew heavy, and died away, 
And their hands could not wield an assagay, 
For the dreadful things they saw ! 



260 SONGS OF THE CID. 

For it seem'd where Minaya his onset made, 
There were seventy thousand knights arrayed, 
All white as the snow on Nevada's steep, 
And they came like the foam of a roaring deep; 
'Twas a sight of fear and awe ! 

And the crested form of a warrior tall, 
With a sword of fire, went before them all ; 
With a sword of fire, and a banner pale, 
And a blood-red cross on his shadowy mail, 
He rode in the battle's van ! 

There was fear in the path of his dim white horse, 
There was death in the Giant- warrior's course ! 
Where his banner stream'd with its ghostly light, 
Where his sword blazed out, there was hurrying flight, 
For it seem'd not the sword of man ! 

The field and the river grew darkly red, 
As the kings and leaders of Afric fled ; 
There was work for the men of the Cid that day ! 
They were weary at eve, when they ceased to slay, 
As reapers whose task is done ! 



HIS FUNERAL PROCESSION. 

The kings and the leaders of Afric fled ! 
The sails of their galleys in haste were spread ; 
But the sea had its share of the Paynim-slain, 
And the bow of the desert was broke in Spain ; 
So the Cid to his grave pass'd on ! 






SONGS OF THE CID. 



THE CID'S RISING. 

'TWAS the deep mid-watch of the silent night, 

And Leon in slumber lay. 
When a sound went forth, in rushing night, 

Like an army on its way ! 9 
In the stillness of the hour, 
When the dreams of sleep have power, 
And men forget the day. 

Through the dark and lonely streets it went. 

Till the slumberers woke in dread ; 
The sound of a passing armament, 

With the charger's stony tread. 
There was heard no trumpet's peal, 
But the heavy tramp of steel, 
As a host's, to combat led. 

Through the dark and lonely streets it pass'd, 
And the hollow pavement rang, 

And the towers, as with a sweeping blast, 
Rock'd to the stormy clang ! 



HIS RISING. 263 

But the march of the viewless train 
Went on to a royal fane, 

Where a priest his night-hymn sang. 

There was knocking that shook the marble floor, 

And a voice at the gate, which said 
" That the Cid Ruy Diez, the Campeador, 

Was there in his arms arrayed ; 
And that with him, from the tomb, 
Had the Count Gonzalez come, 
With a host, uprisen to aid ! 

" And they came for the buried king that lay 

At rest in that ancient fane ; 
For he must be arm'd on the battle-day, 

With them, to deliver Spain P 
Then the march went sounding on, 
And the Moors, by noontide sun, 
Were dust on Tolosa's plain. 



NOTES. 



Note 1. 

BIVAR, the supposed birth-place of the Cid, was a castle, 
about two leagues from Burgos. 



Note 2. 

Tornaba la cabeza, e estabalos catando : 
Vio puertas abiertas, e uzos sin canaries, 
Alcandaras vacias, sin pielles e sin mantos : 
E sin falcones, e sin adtores mudados. 
Sospiro* mio Cid. Poem of the Cid. 



NoteS. 

The zambra, a Moorish dance. When Valencia was taken 
by the Cid, many of the Moorish families chose to remain 
there, and reside under his government. 

Note 4. 

The calm fortitude of Ximena is frequently alluded to in 
the romances. 



266 NOTES. 



Note 5. 

Banderas antiguas, tristes 
De victorias un tiempo amadas, 
Tremolando estan al viento 
Y lloran aunque no hablan, &c. 

Herder's translation of these romances (Der Cid, nach 
Spanischen Romanzen besungen) are remarkable for their 
spirit and scrupulous fidelity. 

Note 6. 

" And while they stood there they saw the Cid Ruy Diez 
coming up with three hundred knights ; for he had not 
been in the battle, and they knew his green pennon." 
Southey's Chronicle of the Cid. 

Note 7. 

Alvar Fanez Minaya, one of the Cid's most distinguished 
warriors. \ 

Note 8. 
The archer queen 



A Moorish Amazon, who, with a band of female warriors, 
accompanied King Bucar from Africa. Her arrows were 
so unerring, that she obtained the name of the Star of 
archers. 



NOTES. 267 



Una Mora muy gallarda, 
Gran maestra en el tirar, 
Con Saetas del Aljava, 
De los arcos de Turquia 
Estrella era nombrada, 
Por la destreza que avia 
En el herir de la Xara. 



Note 9. 
See Southey's Chronicle of the Cid, p. 352. 



BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST*. 



'TwAS night in Babylon : yet many a beam 
Of lamps, far-glittering from her domes on high. 
Shone, brightly mingling in Euphrates' stream, 
With the clear stars of that Chaldean sky, 
Whose azure knows no cloud : each whispered sigh 
Of the soft night-breeze through her terrace-bowers 
Bore deepening tones of joy and melody, 
O'er an illumin'd wilderness of flowers ; 
And the glad city's voice went up from all her towers. 

But prouder mirth was in the kingly hah 1 , 
Where, midst adoring slaves, a gorgeous band ! 
High at the stately midnight-festival, 
Belshazzar sat enthroned. There Luxury's hand 
Had shower'd around all treasures that expand 

* Originally published in Mrs. Joanna Baillie's Collection of Poems 
from living Authors. 



270 BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST. 

Beneath the burning East ; all gems that pour 
The sunbeams back ; all sweets of many a land, 
Whose gales waft incense from their spicy shore ; 
But mortal Pride look'd on, and still demanded more. 

With richer zest the banquet may be fraught, 
A loftier theme may swell th 1 exulting strain ! 
The Lord of nations spoke, and forth were brought 
The spoils of Salem's devastated fane : 
Thrice holy vessels ! pure from earthly stain, 
And set apart, and sanctified to Him, 
Who deigned within the oracle to reign, 
ReveaPd, yet shadowed ; making noon-day dim, 
To that most glorious cloud between the Cherubim. 

They came, and louder peaTd the voice of song, 
And pride flashed brighter from the kindling eye, 
And He who sleeps not heard th' elated throng, 
In mirth that plays with thunderbolts, defy 
The Rock of Zion ! Fill the nectar high, 
High in the cups of consecrated gold ! 
And crown the bowl with garlands, ere they die, 
And bid the censers of the Temple hold 
Offerings to Babel's gods, the mighty ones of old ! 



BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST. 271 

Peace ! is it but a phantom of the brain, 
Thus shadow'd forth the senses to appal, 
Yon fearful vision ? Who shall gaze again 
To search its cause ? Along the illumin'd wall, 
Startling, yet riveting the eyes of all, 
Darkly it moves, a hand, a human hand, 
O'er the bright lamps of that resplendent hall 
In silence tracing, as a mystic wand, 
Words all unknown, the tongue of some far distant land. 

There are pale cheeks around the regal board, 
And quivering limbs, and whispers deep and low, 
And fitful starts ! the wine, in triumph pour'd, 
Untasted foams, the song hath ceas'd to flow, 
The waving censer drops to earth and lo ! 
The King of Men, the Ruler, girt with might, 
Trembles before a shadow! Say not so! 
The child of dust, with guilt's foreboding sight, 
Shrinks from the Dread Unknown, th' avenging Infinite ! 

But haste ye ! bring Chaldea's gifted seers. 
The men of prescience ! haply to their eyes, 
Which track the future through the rolling spheres, 
Yon mystic sign may speak in prophecies. 
They come the readers of the midnight skies, 



272 BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST. 

They that give voice to visions but in vain ! 
Still wrapt in clouds the awful secret lies, 
It hath no language midst the starry train, 
Earth has no gifted tongue Heaven's mysteries to explain. 

Then stood forth one, a child of other sires, 
And other inspiration ! One of those 
Who on the willows hung their captive lyres, 
And sat, and wept, where Babel's river flows. 
His eye was bright, and yet the deep repose 
Of his pale features half o'eraw'd the mind, 
And imaged forth a soul, whose joys and woes 
Were of a loftier stamp than aught assigned 
To Earth ; a being seal'd and sever'd from mankind. 

Yes ! what was earth to him, whose spirit pass'd 
Time's utmost bounds ? on whose unshrinking sight 
Ten thousand shapes of burning glory cast 
Their full resplendence ? Majesty and might 
Were in his dreams ; for him the veil of light 
Shrouding heaven's inmost sanctuary and throne, 
The curtain of th' unutterably bright 
Was rais'd ! to him, in fearful splendour shown, 
Ancient of days! e'en thou, mad'st thy dread presence 
known. 



BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST. 273 

He spoke : the shadows of the things to come 
Passed o'er his soul : " O King, elate in pride ! 
God hath sent forth the writing of thy doom, 
The one, the living God, by thee defied ! 
He, in whose balance earthly lords are tried, 
Hath weighed, and found thee wanting. 'Tis decreed 
The conqueror's hands thy kingdom shall divide, 
The stranger to thy throne of power succeed ! 
The days are full, they come; the Persian and the 
MedeT 

There fell a moment's thrilling silence round, 
A breathless pause ! the hush of hearts that beat 
And limbs that quiver : is there not a sound, 
A gathering cry, a tread of hurrying feet ? 
'Twas but some echo, in the crowded street, 
Of far-heard revelry ; the shout, the song. 
The measured dance to music wildly sweet, 
That speeds the stars their joyous course along; 
Away ! nor let a dream disturb the festal throng ! 

Peace yet again ! Hark ! steps in tumult flying, 
Steeds rushing on, as o'er a battle-field ! 
The shout of hosts exulting or defying, 

The press of multitudes that strive or yield ! 

T 



BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST. 



And the loud startling clash of spear and shield, 
Sudden as earthquake's burst ! and, blent with these, 
The last wild shriek of those whose doom is seal'd 
In their full mirth ! all deepening on the breeze 
As the long stormy roar of far-advancing seas ! 

And nearer yet the trumpets blast is swelling, 
Loud, shrill, and savage, drowning every cry ! 
And lo ! the spoiler in the regal dwelling, 
Death bursting on the halls of revelry ! 
Ere on their brows one fragile rose-leaf die, 
The sword hath raged through joy's devoted train, 
Ere one bright star be faded from the sky, 
Red flames, like banners, wave from dome and fane, 
Empire is lost and won, Belshazzar with the skin. 

FalPn is the golden city ! in the dust 
Spoiled of her crown, dismantled of her state, 
She that hath made the Strength of Towers her trust, 
Weeps by her dead, supremely desolate ! 
She that beheld the nations at her gate, 
Thronging in homage, shall be calFd no more 
Lady of kingdoms ! Who shall mourn her fate ? 
Her guilt is full, her march of triumph o'er ; 
What widow'd land shall now her widowhood deplore ? 



BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST. 

Sit thou in silence ! Thou that wert enthroned 
On many waters ! thou, whose augurs read 
The language of the planets, and disown'd 
The mighty name it blazons! Veil thy head, 
Daughter of Babylon ! the sword is red 
From thy destroyers' harvest, and the yoke 
Is on thee, O most proud ! for thou hast said, 
" I am, and none beside !" Th"* Eternal spoke, 
Thy glory was a spoil, thine idol-gods were broke. 

But go thou forth, O Israel ! wake ! rejoice ! 
Be clothed with strength, as in thine ancient day ! 
Renew the sound of harps, th' exulting voice, 
The mirth of timbrels ! loose the chain, and say 
God hath redeemed his people ! from decay 
The silent and the trampled shall arise ; 
Awake ; put on thy beautiful array, 
Oh long-forsaken Zion ! to the skies 
Send up on every wind thy choral melodies ! 

And lift thy head ! Behold thy sons returning, 
Redeemed from exile, ransom'd from the chain ! 
Light hath revisited the house of mourning"; 
She that on Judah's mountains wept in vain 



BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST. 



Because her children were not dwells again 
Girt with the lovely ! through thy streets once more, 
City of God ! shall pass the bridal train, 
And the bright lamps their festive radiance pour, 
And the triumphal hymns thy joy of youth restore ! 



THE CHIEFTAIN'S SON. 277 



THE CHIEFTAIN'S SON. 

YES, it is ours ! the field is won, 

A dark and evil field ! 
Lift from the ground my noble son, 
And bear him homewards on his bloody shield ! 

Let me not hear your trumpets ring, 

Swell not the battle-horn ! 
Thoughts far too sad those notes will bring, 
When to the grave my glorious flower is borne ! 

Speak not of victory ! in the name 

There is too much of woe ! 
Hush'd be the empty voice of Fame 
Call me back his whose graceful head is low. 

Speak not of victory ! from my halls 

The sunny hour is gone ! 
The ancient banner on my walls 
Must sink ere long I had but him but one ! 



278 THE CHIEFTAIN'S SON. 

Within the dwelling of my sires 

The hearths will soon be cold, 
With me must die the beacon-fires 
That streamed at midnight from the mountain-hold. 

And let them fade, since this must be, 

My lovely and my brave ! 
Was thy bright blood pour'd forth for me, 
And is there but for stately youth a grave ? 

Speak to me once again, my boy ! 
Wilt thou not hear my call ? 
Thou wert so full of life and joy, 
I had not dreamt of this that thou couldst fall ! 

Thy mother watches from the steep 

For thy returning plume ; 
How shall I tell her that thy sleep 
Is of the silent house, th' untimely tomb ? 

Thou didst not seem as one to die, 
With all thy young renown ! 
Ye saw his falchion's flash on high, 
In the mid-fight, when spears and crests went down ! 



THE CHIEFTAIN'S SON. 279 

Slow be your march ! the field is won ! 

A dark and evil field ! 
Lift from the ground my noble son, 
And bear him homewards on his bloody shield. 



280 
THE FUNERAL GENIUS; 

AN ANCIENT STATUE. 



" Debout, couronne de fleurs, les bras eleves et poses sur sa tete, et le dos 
appuye centre un pin, ce genie semble exprimer par son attitude le repos des 
morts. Les bas-reliefs des tombeaux offrent souvent des figures semblables." 
VISCONTI, Description des Antiques du Muste Royal. 



THOU shouldst be looked on when the starlight falls 

Through the blue stillness of the summer-air, 

Not by the torch-fire wavering on the walls ; 

It hath too fitful and too wild a glare ! 

And thou ! thy rest, the soft, the lovely, seems 

To ask light steps, that will not break its dreams. 

Flowers are upon thy brow ; for so the dead 

Were crown'd of old, with pale spring-flowers like these 

Sleep on thine eye hath sunk ; yet softly shed, 

As from the wing of some faint southern breeze : 

And the pine-boughs overshadow thee with gloom 

Which of the grove seems breathing not the tomb. 



THE FUNERAL GENIUS. 281 

They fear'd not death, whose calm and gracious thought 

Of the last hour, hath settled thus in thee ! 

They who thy wreath of pallid roses wrought, 

And laid thy head against the forest-tree, 

As that of one, by music's dreamy close, 

On the wood-violets lulFd to deep repose. 

They fear'd not death ! yet who shall say his touch 

Thus lightly falls on gentle things and fair ? 

Doth he bestow, or will he leave so much 

Of tender beauty as thy features wear ? 

Thou sleeper of the bower ! on whose young eyes 

So still a night, a night of summer, lies i 

Had they seen aught like thee ? Did some fair boy 
Thus, with his graceful hair, before them rest ? 
- His graceful hair, no more to wave in joy, 
But drooping, as with heavy dews oppressed ! 
And his eye veiPd so softly by its fringe, 
And his lip faded to the white-rose tinge ? 

Oh ! happy, if to them the one dread hour 
Made known its lessons from a brow like thine ! 
If all their knowledge of the spoiler's power 



THE FUNERAL GENIUS. 



Came by a look, so tranquilly divine ! 

Let him, who thus hath seen the lovely part, 
Hold well that image to his thoughtful heart! 

But thou, fair slumberer ! was there less of woe, 

Or love, or terror, in the days of old, 

That men poured out their gladdening spirit's flow, 

Like sunshine, on the desolate and cold, 

And gave thy semblance to the shadowy king 

Who for deep souls had then a deeper sting ? 

In the dark bosom of the earth they laid 
Far more than we for loftier faith is ours ! 
Their gems were lost in ashes yet they made 
The grave a place of beauty and of flowers, 
With fragrant wreaths, and summer-boughs array 'd, 
And lovely sculpture gleaming through the shade. 

Is it for us a darker gloom to shed 
O'er its dim precincts ? do we not entrust 
But for a time, its chambers with our dead, 
And strew immortal seed upon the dust ? 

Why should we dwell on that which lies beneath, 
When living light hath touched the brow of death ? 



283 



THE TOMBS OF PLAT^EA. 

FROM A PAINTING BY WILLIAMS. 

AND there they sleep ! the men who stood 
In arms before tlV exulting sun, 
And bathed their spears in Persian blood, 
And taught the earth how freedom might be won. 

They sleep ! th* Olympic wreaths are dead, 
Th' Athenian lyres are hush'd and gone ; 
The Dorian voice of song is fled 
Slumber, ye mighty! slumber deeply on ! 

They sleep, and seems not all around 
As hallowed unto glory's tomb ? 
Silence is on the battle ground, 
The heavens are loaded with a breathless gloom. 

And stars are watching on their height, 
But dimly seen through mist and cloud, 
And still and solemn is the light 
Which folds the plain, as with a glimmering shroud. 



284 THE TOMBS OF PLAT.EA. 

And thou, pale night-queen! here thy beams 
Are not as those the shepherd loves, 
Nor look they down on shining streams, 
By Naiads haunted, in their laurel groves : 

Thou seest no pastoral hamlet sleep, 
In shadowy quiet, midst its vines ; 
No temple gleaming from the steep, 
Midst the grey olives, or the mountain pines : 

But o'er a dim and boundless waste, 
Thy rays, e'en like a tomb-lamp's, brood, 
Where man's departed steps are traced 
But by his dust, amidst the solitude. 

And be it thus ! What slave shall tread 
O'er freedom's ancient battle-plains ? 
Let deserts wrap the glorious dead, 
When their bright land sits weeping o'er her chains 

Here, where the Persian clarion rung, 
And where the Spartan sword flash'd high, 
And where the Paean strains were sung, 
From year to year swell'd on by liberty ! 



THE TOMBS OF PLAT^EA. 285 

Here should no voice, no sound, be heard, 
Until the bonds of Greece be riven, 
Save of the leader's charging word, 
Or the shrill trumpet, pealing up through heaven ! 

Rest in your silent homes, ye brave ! 

No vines festoon your lonely tree* ! 

No harvest o'er your war-field wave, 

Till rushing winds proclaim the land is free ! 

* A single tree appears in Mr. Williams's impressive picture. 



286 



THE VIEW FROM CASTRI. 

FROM A PAINTING BY WILLIAMS. 

THERE have been bright and glorious pageants here* 
Where now grey stones and moss-grown columns lie ; 
There have been words, which earth grew pale to hear, 
Breath'd from the cavern's misty chambers nigh : 
There have been voices, through the sunny sky, 
And the pine-woods, their choral hymn-notes sending, 
And reeds and lyres, their Dorian melody, 
With incense-clouds around the temple blending, 
And throngs, with laurel-boughs, before the altar bending. 

There have been treasures of the seas and isles 
Brought to the day-god's now forsaken throne ; 
Thunders have peal'd along the rock-defiles, 
When the far-echoing battle-horn made known 
That foes were on their way ! the deep-wind's moan 
Hath chill'd th 1 invader's heart with secret fear, 
And from the Sybil-grottoes, wild and lone, 



THE VIEW FROM CASTRI. 287 

Storms have gone forth, which, in their fierce career, 
From his bold hand have struck the banner and the spear. 

The shrine hath sunk ! but thou unchanged art there ! 
Mount of the voice and vision, robed with dreams ! 
Unchanged, and rushing through the radiant air, 
With thy dark-waving pines, and flashing streams, 
And all thy founts of song ! their bright course teems 
With inspiration yet ; and each dim haze, 
Or golden cloud which floats around thee, seems 
As with its mantle, veiling from our gaze 
The mysteries of the past, the gods of elder days ! 

Away, vain phantasies ! doth less of power 
Dwell round thy summit, or thy cliffs invest, 
Though in deep stillness now, the ruin's flower 
Wave o'er the pillars mouldering on thy breast ? 
Lift through the free blue heavens thine arrowy crest! 
Let the great rocks their solitude regain ! 
No Delphian lyres now break thy noontide rest 
With their full chords : but silent be the strain I 
Thou hast a mightier voice to speak th" 1 Eternal's reign * ! 

* This, with the preceding, and several of the following pieces, have ap- 
peared in the Edinburgh Magazine. 



288 



THE FESTAL HOUR. 

WHEN are the lessons given 

That shake the startled earth ? When wakes the foe, 
While the friend sleeps ! When falls the traitor's blow? 

When are proud sceptres riven. 
High hopes overthrown ?^ It is, when lands rejoice, 
When cities blaze, and lift th* exulting voice, 
And wave their banners to the kindling heaven ! 

Fear ye the festal hour ! 

When mirth overflows, then tremble ! 'Twas a night 
Of gorgeous revel, wreaths, and dance, and light, 

When through the regal bower 
The trumpet peal'd, ere yet the song was done, 
And there were shrieks in golden Babylon, 
And trampling armies, ruthless in their power. 

The marble shrines were crown'd : 
Young voices, through the blue Athenian sky, 
And Dorian reeds, made summer-melody, 

And censers waved around ; 



THE FESTAL HOUR. 289 

And lyres were strung, and bright libations pour'd, 
When, through the streets, flashed out th' avenging sword, 
Fearless and free, the sword with myrtles bound*! 

Through Rome a triumph pass'd. 
Rich in her sun-god's mantling beams went by 
That long array of glorious pageantry, 

With shout and trumpet-blast. 
An empire's gems their starry splendour shed 
O'er the proud march ; a king in chains was led ; 
A stately victor, crown'd and robed, came last-f. 

And many a Dryad's bower 
Had lent the laurels, which, in waving play, 
Stirr'd the warm air, and glisten'd round his way, 

As a quick-flashing shower. 

O'er his own porch, meantime, the cypress hung, 
Through his fair halls a cry of anguish rung 
Woe for the dead! the father's broken flower! 



* The sword of Harmodius. 

f- Paulus jEmilius, one of whose sons died a few days before, and another 
shortly after, his triumph on the conquest of Macedon, when Perseus, king 
of that country, was led in chains. 

U 



290 THE FESTAL HOUR. 

A sound of lyre and song, 
In the still night, went floating o'er the Nile, 
Whose waves, by many an old mysterious pile, 

Swept with that voice along ; 
And lamps were shining o'er the red wine's foam, 
Where a chief revelTd in a monarch's dome, 
And fresh rose-garlands deck'd a glittering throng. 

'Twas Antony that bade 

The joyous chords ring out ! but strains arose 
Of wilder omen at the banquet's close ! 

Sounds, by no mortal made*, 
Shook Alexandria through her streets that night, 
And pass'd and with another sunset's light. 
The kingly Roman on his bier was laid. 

Bright midst its vineyards lay 
The fair Campanian cityf-, with its towers 



* See the description given by Plutarch, in his life of Antony, of the 
supernatural sounds heard in the streets of Alexandria, the night before 
Antony's death. 

f Herculaneum, of which it is related, that all the inhabitants were as- 
sembled in the theatres, when the shower of ashes, which covered the city, 
descended. 



THE FESTAL HOUR, 291 

And temples gleaming through dark olive-bowers, 

Clear in the golden day; 
Joy was around it as the glowing sky, 
And crowds had fill'd its halls of revelry, 
And all the sunny air was music's way. 

A cloud came o'er the face 
Of Italy's rich heaven ! its crystal blue 
Was changed, and deepened to a wrathful hue 

Of night, overshadowing space, 
As with the wings of death ! in all his power 
Vesuvius woke, and hurl'd the burning shower, 
And who could tell the buried city's place ? 

Such things have been of yore, 
In the gay regions where the citrons blow, 
And purple summers all their sleepy glow 

On the grape-clusters pour ; 
And where the palms to spicy winds are waving, 
Along clear seas of melted sapphire, laving, 
As with a flow of light, their southern shore. 

Turn we to other climes ! 
Far in the Druid-Isle a feast was spread, 



292 THE FESTAL HOUR. 

Midst the rock-altars of the warrior-dead *, 

And ancient battle-rhymes 
Were chanted to the harp ; and yellow mead 
Went flowing round, and tales of martial deed, 
And lofty songs of Britain's elder time. 

But ere the giant-fane 
Cast its broad shadows on the robe of even, 
Hush'd were the bards, and, in the face of Heaven, 

O'er that old burial-plain 

Flashed the keen Saxon dagger! Blood was streaming, 
Where late the mead-cup to the sun was gleaming, 
And Britain's hearths were heap'd that night in vain. 

For they returned no more ! 

They that went forth at morn, with reckless heart, 
In that fierce banquet's mirth to bear their part ; 

And, on the rushy floor, 

And the bright spears and bucklers of the walls, 
The high wood-fires were blazing in their halls ; 
But not for them they slept their feast was o'er ! 

* Stonehenge, said by some traditions to have been erected to the memory 
of Ambrosius, an early British king ; and by others mentioned as a monu- 
mental record of the massacre of British chiefs here alluded to. 



THE FESTAL HOUR. 293 

Fear ye the festal hour ! 
Aye, tremble when the cup of joy overflows! 
Tame down the swelling heart ! the bridal rose, 

And the rich myrtle's flower 

Have veil'd the sword ! Red wines have sparkled fast 
From venom'd goblets, and soft breezes pass'd, 
With fatal perfume, through the revel's bower. 

Twine the young glowing wreath ! 
But pour not all your spirit in the song, 
Which through the sky's deep azure floats along, 

Like summer's quickening breath ! 
The ground is hollow in the path of mirth, 
Oh ! far too daring seems the joy of earth, 
So darkly press'd and girdled in by death ! 



294 



SONG 



THE BATTLE OF MORGARTEN, 



" In the year 1315, Switzerland was invaded by Duke Leopold of 
Austria, with a formidable army. It is well attested, that this prince 
repeatedly declared he ' would trample the audacious rustics under his 
feet ;' and that he had procured a large stock of cordage, for the purpose 
of binding their chiefs, and putting them to death. 

" The 15th October, 1315, dawned. The sun darted its first rays 
on the shields and armour of the advancing host ; and this being the first 
army ever known to have attempted the frontiers of the cantons, the 
Swiss viewed its long line with various emotions. Montfort de Tettnang 
led the cavalry into the narrow pass, and soon filled the whole space 
between the mountain (Mount Sattel) and the lake. The fifty men on 
the eminence (above Morgarten) raised a sudden shout, and rolled down 
heaps of rocks and stones among the crowded ranks. The confederates 
on the mountain, perceiving the impression made by this attack, rushed 
down in close array, and fell upon the flank of the disordered column. 
With massy clubs they dashed in pieces the armour of the enemy, and 
dealt their blows and thrusts with long pikes. The narrowness of the 
defile admitted of no evolutions, and a slight frost having injured the 
road, the horses were impeded in all their motions ; many leaped into 
the lake ; all were startled ; and at last the whole column gave way, and 
fell suddenly back on the infantry ; and these last, as the nature of the 
country did not allow them to open their files, were run over by the 



BATTLE OF MORGARTEN. 



fugitives, and many of them trampled to death. A general rout ensued, 
and Duke Leopold was, with much difficulty, rescued by a peasant, who 
led him to Winterthur, where the historian of the times saw him arrive 
in the evening, pale, sullen, and dismayed." PLANTA'S History of the 
Helvetic Confederacy. 



THE wine-month* shone in its golden prime, 

And the red grapes clustering hung, 
But a deeper sound, through the Switzer's clime, 
Than the vintage-music, rung. 

A sound, through vaulted cave, 
A sound, through echoing glen, 
Like the hollow swell of a rushing wave ; 
'Twas the tread of steel-girt men. 

And a trumpet, pealing wild and far, 
Midst the ancient rocks was blown, 
Till the Alps replied to that voice of war, 
With a thousand of their own. 

And through the forest glooms 
Flashed helmets to the day. 
And the winds were tossing knightly plumes, 
Like the larch-boughs in their play. 

* Wine-month the German name for October. 



296 BATTLE OF MORGARTEN. 

In Hash's* wilds there was gleaming steel, 

As the host of the Austrian passed ; 
And the Schreckhorn'sf rocks, with a savage peal, 
Made mirth of his clarion's blast. 
Up midst the RighiJ snows 
The stormy march was heard, 
With the charger's tramp, whence fire-sparks rose, 
And the leader's gathering word. 

But a band, the noblest band of all. 

Through the rude Morgarten strait, 
With blazon'd streamers, and lances tall. 
Moved onwards, in princely state. 
They came, with heavy chains, 
For the race despis'd so long 
But amidst his Alp-domains, 

The herdsman's arm is strong ! 

The sun was reddening the clouds of morn 

When they enter'd the rock-defile, 
And shrill as a joyous hunter's horn 

Their bugles rung the while. 



* Hasli, a wild district in the canton of Berne. 

f Schreckhorn, the peak of terror, a mountain in the canton of Berne. 

f Righi, a mountain in the canton of Schwytz. 



BATTLE OF MORGARTEN. 297 

But on the misty height, 
Where the mountain-people stood, 
There was stillness, as of night, 

When storms at distance brood. 

There was stillness, as of deep dead night, 

And a pause but not of fear, 
While the Switzers gaz'd on the gathering might 
Of the hostile shield and spear. 

On wound those columns bright 
Between the lake and wood, 
But they look'd not to the misty height 
Where the mountain-people stood. 

The pass was filM with their serried power, 

All helm'd and mail-array'd, 
And their steps had sounds like a thunder-shower 
In the rustling forest-shade. 

There were prince and crested knight, 
HemmM in by cliff and flood, 
When a shout arose from the misty height 
Where the mountain-people stood. 

And the mighty rocks came bounding down, 
Their startled foes among, 



298 BATTLE OF MORGARTEN. 

With a joyous whirl from the summit thrown 
Oh ! the herdsman's arm is strong ! 

They came, like lauwine* hurl'd 

From Alp to Alp in play, 
When the echoes shout through the snowy world, 

And the pines are borne away. 

The fir-woods crashed on the mountain-side, 

And the Switzers rush'd from high, 
With a sudden charge, on the flower and pride 
Of the Austrian chivalry : 

Like hunters of the deer. 
They storm'd the narrow dell, 
And first in the shock, with Uri's spear, 
Was the arm of William Tellf. 

There was tumult in the crowded strait, 

And a cry of wild dismay, 
And many a warrior met his fate 

From a peasant's hand that day ! 



* Lauwine, the Swiss name for the avalanche, 
f William Tell's name is particularly mentioned amongst the con- 
federates at Morgarten. 



BATTLE OF MORGARTEN. 299 

And the empire's banner then, 
From its place of waving free, 
Went down before the shepherd-men, 
The men of the Forest-sea*. 

With their pikes and massy clubs they brake 

The cuirass and the shield, 
And the war-horse dash'd to the reddening lake, 
From the reapers of the field ! 

The field but not of sheaves 
Proud crests and pennons lay, 
Strewn o'er it thick as the birch-wood leaves, 
In the autumn-tempest's way. 

Oh ! the sun in heaven fierce havoc view'd, 

When the Austrian turn'd to fly, 
And the brave, in the trampling multitude, 
Had a fearful death to die ! 
And the leader of the war 
At eve unhelnVd was seen, 
With a hurrying step on the wilds afar, 
And a pale and troubled mien. 

* Forest-sea, the lake of the four cantons is also so called. 



300 BATTLE OF MORGARTEN. 

But the sons of the land which the freeman tills, 

Went back from the battle-toil, 
To their cabin homes midst the deep green hills, 
All burden'd with royal spoil. 

There were songs and festal fires 

On the soaring Alps that night, 

When children sprung to greet their sires, 

From the wild Morgarten fight. 



301 



CHORUS. 

TRANSLATED FROM MANZONl's ' CONTE DI CARMOGNOLA. 

HARK ! from the right bursts forth a trumpet's sound ! 
A loud shrill trumpet from the left replies ! 
On every side, hoarse echoes from the ground. 
To the quick tramp of steeds and warriors rise, 
Hollow and deep : and banners all around, 
Meet hostile banners waving through the skies. 
Here steel-clad bands in marshalled order shine, 
And there a host confronts their glittering line. 

Lo ! half the field, already from the sight 
Hath vanished, hid by closing groups of foes ! 
Swords crossing swords, flash lightning o'er the fight, 
And the strife deepens, and the life-blood flows ! 
Oh ! who are these ? What stranger in his might 
Comes bursting on the lovely land's repose ? 
What patriot hearts have nobly vow'd to save 
Their native soil, and make its dust their grave ? 



302 CHORUS. 

One race, alas ! these foes, one kindred race, 
Were born and reared the same bright scenes among ! 
The stranger calls them brothers and each face 
That brotherhood reveals ; one common tongue 
Dwells on their lips ; the earth on which ye trace 
Their heart's blood, is the soil from whence they sprung. 
One mother gave them birth this chosen land, 
Girdled with Alps and seas, by Nature's guardian hand. 

Oh, grief and horror ! Who the first could dare 

Against a brother's breast the sword to wield ? 

What cause unhallow'd and accursed, declare ! 

Hath bathed with carnage this ignoble field ? 

Think'st thou they know ? they but inflict and share 

Misery and death, the motive unreveal'd ! 

Sold to a leader, sold himself to die, 

With him they strive, they fall and ask not why. 

But are there none who love them ? Have they none, 
No wives, no mothers, who might rush between, 
And win with tears the husband and the son, 
Back to their homes from this polluted scene ? 



CHORUS. 303 

And they, whose hearts, when life's bright day is done, 
Unfold to thoughts more solemn and serene, 
Thoughts of the tomb ; why cannot they assuage 
The storms of passion with the voice of age ? 

Ask not ! the peasant at his cabin-door 
Sits, calmly pointing to the distant cloud 
Which skirts th' horizon, menacing to pour 
Destruction down, o'er fields he hath not ploughed. 
Thus, where no echo of the battle's roar 
Is heard afar, e'en thus the reckless crowd, 
In tranquil safety number o'er the slain, 
Or tell of cities burning on the plain. 

There mayst thou mark the boy, with earnest gaze, 
Fix'd on his mother's lips, intent to know, 
By names of insult, those, whom future days 
Shall see him meet in arms, their deadliest foe ! 
There proudly many a glittering dame displays 
Bracelet and zone, with radiant gems that glow, 
By husbands, lovers, home in triumph borne, 
From the sad brides of fallen warriors torn. 



304 CHORUS. 

Woe to the victors and the vanquished ! Woe ! 
The earth is heap'd, is loaded with the slain, 
Loud and more loud the cries of fury grow, 
A sea of blood is swelling o'er the plain ! 
But from th' embattled front already, lo ! 
A band recedes it flies all hope is vain, 
And venal hearts, despairing of the strife, 
Wake to the love, the clinging love of life. 

As the light grain disperses in the air, 
Borne from the winnowing by the gales around, 
Thus fly the vanquished, in their wild despair, 
Chas'd severed scatter 'd o'er the ample ground. 
But mightier bands, that lay in ambush there, 
Burst on their flight and hark ! the deepening sound 
Of fierce pursuit! still nearer and more near, 
The rush of war-steeds trampling in the rear ! 

The day is won ! they fall disarmed they yield, 
Low at the conqueror's feet all suppliant lying ! 
Midst shouts of victory pealing o'er the field, 
Oh ! who may hear the murmurs of the dying ? 



CHORUS. 305 



Haste ! let the tale of triumph be reveal'd ! 
E'en now the courier to his steed is flying, 
He spurs he speeds with tidings of the day, 
To rouse up cities in his lightning way. 



Why pour ye thus from your deserted homes, 
Oh, eager multitudes ! around him pressing ? 
Each hurrying where his breathless courser foams, 
Each tongue, each eye, infatuate hope confessing ! 
Know ye not whence th' ill omened herald comes, 
And dare ye dream he comes with words of blessjng ? 
Brothers, by brothers slain, lie low and cold 
Be ye content ! the glorious tale is told. 

I hear the voice of joy, th 1 exulting cry ! 

They deck the shrine, they swell the choral strains ; 

E'en now the homicides assail the sky 

With paeans, which indignant Heaven disdains ! 

But, from the soaring Alps, the stranger's eye 

Looks watchful down on our ensanguin'd plains, 

And with the cruel rapture of a foe, 

Numbers the mighty, stretch'd in death below. 

x 



306 CHORUS. 

Haste ! form your lines again, ye brave and true ! 
Haste, haste ! your triumphs and your joys suspending ! 
Th' invader comes ; your banners raise anew, 
Rush to the strife, your country's cause defending ! 
Victors ! why pause ye ? Are ye weak and few ? 
Aye, such he deem'd you ! and for this descending, 
He waits you on the field ye know too well, 
The same red war-field where your brethren fell. 

Oh ! thou devoted land ! that canst not rear 
In peace thine offspring ; thou, the lost and won, 
The fair and fatal soil, that dost appear 
Too narrow still for each contending son ; 
Receive the stranger, in his fierce career, 
Parting thy spoils ! thy chastening is begun ! 
And, wresting from thy chiefs the guardian sword, 
Foes, whom thou ne'er hadst wrong'd, sit proudly at thy 
board. 

Are these infatuate too ? Oh ! who hath known 
A people e'er by guilt's vain triumph blest ? 
The wrong'd, the vanquished, suffer not alone, 
Brief is the joy that swells th' oppressor's breast. 



CHORUS. 307 

What though not yet his day of pride be flown, 
Though yet Heaven's vengeance spare his towering crest, 
Well hath it mark'd him and ordain'd the hour 
When his last sigh shall own its mightier power. 

Are we not creatures of one hand divine ? 
Formed in one mould, to one redemption born ? 
Kindred alike, where'er our skies may shine, 
Where'er our sight first drank the vital morn ? 
Brothers ! one bond around our souls should twine, 
And woe to him by whom that bond is torn ! 
Who mounts by trampling broken hearts to earth, 
Who bears down spirits of immortal birth ! 



308 



ENGLAND'S DEAD. 



SON of the ocean isle ! 
Where sleep your mighty dead ? 
Show me what high and stately pile 
Is rear'd o'er Glory's bed. 

Go, stranger ! track the deep, 
Free, free, the white sail spread ! 
Wave may not foam, nor wild wind sweep, 
Where rest not England's dead. 

On Egypt's burning plains, 
By the pyramid o'ersway'd, 
With fearful power the noon-day reigns, 

And the palm-trees yield no shade. 

/ 

But let the angry sun 
From heaven look fiercely red, 
Unfelt by those whose task is done ! 
There slumber England's dead. 



ENGLAND'S DEAD. 309 

The hurricane hath might 
Along the Indian shore, 
And far, by Ganges' banks at night, 
Is heard the tiger's roar. 

But let the sound roll on ! 
It hath no tone of dread, 
For those that from their toils are gone ; 
There slumber England's dead 

Loud rush the torrent-floods 
The western wilds among, 
And free, in green Columbians woods, 
The hunter's bow is strung. 

But let the floods rush on ! 
Let the arrow's flight be sped ! 
Why should they reck whose task is done ? 
There slumber England's dead ! 

The mountain-storms rise high 
In the snowy Pyrenees, 
And toss the pine-boughs through the sky, 
Like rose-leaves on the breeze. 



310 ENGLAND'S DEAD. 

But let the storm rage on ! 
Let the forest-wreaths be shed ! 
For the Roncesvalles' field is won, 
There slumber England's dead. 

On the frozen deep's repose 
Tis a dark and dreadful hour, 
When round the ship the ice-fields close, 
To chain her with their power. 

But let the ice drift on ! 
Let the cold-blue desert spread ! 
Their course with mast and flag is done, 
There slumber England's dead. 

The warlike of the isles, 
The men of field and wave ! 
Are not the rocks their funeral piles, 
The seas and shores their grave ? 

Go, stranger ! track the deep, 
Free, free the white sail spread ! 
Wave may not foam, nor wild wind sweep, 
Where rest not England's dead. 



311 



THE MEETING OF THE BARDS. 

WRITTEN FOR AN EISTEDDVOD, OR MEETING OF 
WELSH BARDS. 

Held in London, May 22d, 1822. 



The Gorseddau, or meetings of the British bards, were anciently or- 
dained to be held in the open air, on some conspicuous situation, whilst 
the sun was above the horizon ; or, according to the expression em- 
ployed on these occasions, " in the face of the sun, and in the eye of 
light." The places set apart for this purpose were marked out by a 
circle of stones, called the circle of federation. The presiding bard 
stood on a large stone, (Maen Gorsedd, or the stone of assembly), in 
the centre. The sheathing of a sword upon this stone was the ceremony 
which announced the opening of a Gorsedd, or meeting. The bards 
always stood in their uni-coloured robes, with their heads and feet un- 
covered, within the circle of federation. See OWEN'S Translation of 
the Heroic Elegies of Lly-warc Hen. 



WHERE met our bards of old ? the glorious throng, 

They of the mountain and the battle-song ? 

They met oh ! not in kingly hall or bower, 

But where wild Nature girt herself with power : 

They met where streams flash'd bright from rocky caves, 

They met where woods made moan o^er warriors' graves, 



312 THE MEETING OF THE BARDS 

And where the torrent's rainbow spray was cast 

And where dark lakes were heaving to the blast, 

And midst th' eternal cliffs, whose strength defied 

The crested Roman, in his hour of pride ; 

And where the Carnedd*, on its lonely hill, 

Bore silent record of the mighty still ; 

And where the Druid's ancient Cromlech f frowned, 

And the oaks breathed mysterious murmurs round. 

There throng'd th' inspired of yore ! on plain or height, 

In the sun's face, beneath the eye of light, 

And, baring unto heaven each noble head, 

Stood in the circle, where none else might tread. 

. 

Well might their lays be lofty ! soaring thought 
From Nature's presence tenfold grandeur caught : 
Well might bold Freedom's soul pervade the strains, 
Which startled eagles from their lone domains, 
And, like a breeze, in chainless triumph, went 
Up through the blue resounding firmament ! 



Whence came the echoes to those numbers high ? 

'Twas from the battle fields of days gone by ! 

. 

* Carnedd, a stone-barrow, or cairn. 

f- Cromlech, a Druidical monument, or altar. The word means a stone 
of covenant. 



THE MEETING OF THE BARDS. 313 

And from the tombs of heroes, laid to rest 
With their good swords, upon the mountain's breast ; 
And from the watch-towers on the heights of snow, 
Severed, by cloud and storm, from all below ; 
And the turf-mounds*, once girt by ruddy spears, 
And the rock-altars of departed years. 

Thence, deeply mingling with the torrents roar, 

The winds a thousand wild responses bore ; 

And the green land, whose every vale and glen 

Doth shrine the memory of heroic men, 

On all her hills awakening to rejoice, 

Sent forth proud answers to her children's voice. 

For us, not ours the festival to hold, 

Midst the stone-circles, hallow'd thus of old ; 

Not where great Nature's majesty and might 

First broke, all-glorious, on our infant sight ; 

Not near the tombs, where sleep our free and brave, 

Not by the mountain-llyn f, the ocean wave, 

In these late days we meet ! dark Mona's shore, 

Eryri'sf cliffs resound with harps no more ! 

The ancient British chiefs frequently harangued their followers from 
small artificial mounts of turf. See Pennant. 

f Llyn, a lake or pool. $ Eryri, Snowdon. 



314 THE MEETING OF THE BARDS. 

But, as the stream (though time or art may turn 

The current, bursting from its cavern'd urn, 

To bathe soft vales of pasture and of flowers, 

From Alpine glens, or ancient forest-bowers,) 

Alike, in rushing strength or sunny sleep, 

Holds on its course, to mingle with the deep ; 

Thus, though our paths be changed, still warm and free, 

Land of the bard ! our spirit flies to thee ! 

To thee our thoughts, our hopes, our hearts belong, 

Our dreams are haunted by thy voice of song ! 

Nor yield our souls one patriot-feeling less, 

To the green memory of thy loveliness, 

Than theirs, whose harp-notes peaPd from every height, 

In the surfs face, beneath the eye of light! 



315 



THE VOICE OF SPRING*. 



I COME, I come ! ye have call'd me long, 
I come o'er the mountains with light and song 1 
Ye may trace my step o'er the wakening earth, 
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth, 
By the primrose-stars in the shadowy grass, 
By the green leaves, opening as I pass. 

I have breathed on the south, and the chesnut flowers 
By thousands have burst from the forest-bowers, 
And the ancient graves, and the fallen fanes, 
Are veil'd with wreaths on Italian plains ; 
But it is not for me, in my hour of bloom, 
To speak of the ruin or the tomb I 

I have look'd o'er the hills of the stormy north, 
And the larch has hung all his tassels forth, 

* Originally published in the New Monthly Magazine. 



316 THE VOICE OF SPRING. 

The fisher is out on the sunny sea, 

And the rein-deer bounds o'er the pastures free, 

And the pine has a fringe of softer green. 

And the moss looks bright, where my foot hath been. 

I have sent through the wood-paths a glowing sigh, 
And calTd out each voice of the deep blue sky ; 
From the night-bird's lay through the starry time, 
In the groves of the soft Hesperian clime, 
To the swan's wild note, by the Iceland lakes, 
When the dark fir-branch into verdure breaks. 

From the streams and founts I have loosed the chain, 
They are sweeping on to the silvery main, 
They are flashing down from the mountain brows, 
They are flinging spray o'er the forest-boughs, 
They are bursting fresh from their sparry caves, 
And the earth resounds with the joy of waves ! 

Come forth, O ye children of gladness, come ! 
Where the violets lie may be now your home. 
Ye of the rose lip and dew-bright eye, 
And the bounding footstep, to meet me fly ! 



THE VOICE OF SPRING. 317 

With the lyre, and the wreath, and the joyous lay, 
Come forth to the sunshine, I may not stay. 

Away from the dwellings of care-worn men, 
The waters are sparkling in grove and glen ! 
Away from the chamber and sullen hearth, 
The young leaves are dancing in breezy mirth ! 
Their light stems thrill to the wild-wood strains, 
And youth is abroad in my green domains. 

But ye! ye are changed since ye met me last! 
There is something bright from your features passed ! 
There is that come over your brow and eye, 
Which speaks of a world where the flowers must die ! 
Ye smile ! but your smile hath a dimness yet 
Oh ! what have ye look'd on since last we met ? 

Ye are changed, ye are changed ! and I see not here 
AJ1 whom I saw in the vanished year ! 
There were graceful heads, with their ringlets bright, 
Which tossed in the breeze with a play of light, 
There were eyes, in whose glistening laughter lay 
No faint remembrance of dull decay ! 



318 THE VOICE OF SPRING. 

There were steps that flew o'er the cowslip's head, 

As if for a banquet all earth were spread ; 

There were voices that rung through the sapphire sky, 

And had not a sound of mortality ! 

Are they gone? is their mirth from the mountains pass'd? 

Ye have look'd on death since ye met me last ! 

I know whence the shadow comes o'er you now, 
Ye have strewn the dust on the sunny brow ! 
Ye have given the lovely to earth's embrace, 
She hath taken the fairest of beauty's race, 
With their laughing eyes and their festal crown, 
They are gone from amongst you in silence down ! 

They are gone from amongst you, the young and fair, 
Ye have lost the gleam of their shining hair ! 
But I know of a land where there falls no blight, 
I shall find them there, with their eyes of light ! 
Where Death midst the blooms of the morn may dwell, 
I tarry no longer farewell, farewell ! 

The summer is coming, on soft winds borne, 
Ye may press the grape, ye may bind the corn ! 



THE VOICE OF SPRING. 319 

For me, I depart to a brighter shore, 

Ye are marked by care, ye are mine no more. 

I go where the loved who have left you dwell, 

And the flowers are not death's fare ye well, farewell ! 



THE END. 






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