« AnteriorContinuar »
XLII. Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale ? There shall they rot-Ambition's honor'd fools ! Ah! such, alas! the hero's amplest fate !
Yes, honor decks the turf that wraps their clay! When granite moulders and when records fail, Vain Sophistry! in these behold the tools, A peasant's plaint prolongs his dubious date. The broken tools, that tyrants cast away Pride! bend thine eye from heaven to thine By myriads, when they dare to pave their way See how the mighty shrink into a sopg! (estate, With human hearts—to what?-a dream alone. Can Volume, Pillar, Pile, preserve the great ? Can despots compass ought that hails their sway!
Or must thou trust Tradition's simple tongue, Or call with truth one span of earth their own, When Flattery sleeps with thee, and History does Save that wherein at last they crumble bone by thee wrong?
XLIII. Awake, ye sons of Spain ! awake! advance !
Oh, Albuera! glorious field of grief! Lo! Chivalry, your ancient goddess, cries ;
As o'er thy plain the Pilgrim prick'd his stee 1, But wields not, as of old, her thirsty lance,
Who could foresee thee, in a space so brief, [bleed. Nor shakes her crimson plumage in the skies :
A scene where mingling foes should boast and Now on the smoke of blazing bolts she flies,
Peace to the perish'd! may the warrior's meed And speaks in thunder through yon engine's roar:
And tears of triumph their reward prolong! In every peal she calls--"Awake! arise!"
Till others fall where other chieftains lead, Say, is her voice more feeble than of yore,
Thy name shall circle round the gaping throng, When her war-song was heard on Andalusia’s And shine in worthless lays, the theme of transient shore ?
Enough of Battle's minions ! let them play Hark! heard you not those hoofs of drcadful note?
Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame: Sounds not the clang of conflict on the heath?
Fame that will scarce reanimate their clay, Saw ye not whom the recking sabre smote;
Though thousands fall to deck some single name. Nor saved your brethren ere they sank beneath
In sooth 'twere sad to thwart their noble aim (good, Tyrants and tyrants' slaves the fires of death
Who strike, blest hirelings! for their country's The bale-fires flash on high :-from rock to rock
And die, that living might have proved her shame; Each volley tells that thousands cease to breathe,
Perish'd, perchance, in some domestic feud, Death rides upon the sulphury Siroc,
Or in a narrower sphere wild Rapine's path pursued. Red Battle stamps his foot, and nations feel the shock.
Full swiftly Harold wends his lonely way
Inevitable hour! 'Gainst fate to strive Flashing afar,--and at his iron feet
Where Desolation plants her famish'd brood Destruction cowers, to mark what deeds are done ; Is vain, or Ilinn, Tyre, might yet survive,
For on this morn three potent nations meet, And Virtue vanquish all, and Murder cease to thrive
( But all unconscious of the coming doom, By heaven, it is a splendid sight to see
The feast, the song, the revel here abounds;
Strange modes of merriment the hours consume, (For one who hath no friend, no brother there) Their rival scarfs of mix'd embroidery,
Nor bleed these patriots with their country's Their various arms that glitter in the air !
wounds : [lair
Nor here War's clarion, but Love's rebeck sounds; What gallant war-hounds rouse them from their And gnash their fangs, loud yelling for the prey !
Here Folly still his votaries inthralls; Al join the chase, but few the triumph share;
And young-eyed Lewdness walks her midnight The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away,
Girt with the silent crimes of Capitals, (rounds: And Havoc scarce for joy can number their array.
Still to the last kind Vice clings to the tott'ring walls.
Not so the rustic-with his trembling mate
He lurks, nor casts his heavy eye afar, Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high ; Lest he should view his vineyard desolate Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies ; Blasted below the dun hot breath of war The shouts are France, Spain, Albion, Victory! No more beneath soft Eve's consenting star The foe, the victim, and the fond ally
Fandango twirls his jocund castanet: That fights for all, but ever fights in vain, Ah, monarchs! could ye taste the mirth ye mar, Are met—as if at home they could not die Not in the toils of Glory would ye fret;' To feed the crow on Talavera's plain,
The hoarse dull drum would sleep, and Man be And fertilize the field that each pretends to gain
LIV. How carols now the lusty muleteer?
Is it for this the Spanish maia, aroused, Of love, romance, devotion, is his lay,
Hangs on the willow her unstrung guitar, As whilome he was wont the leagues to cheer,
And, all unsex'd, the anlace hath espoused, His quick bells wildly jinging on the way?
Sung the loud song, and dared the deed of war i No! as he speeds, he chants “Viva el Rey!”S
And she, whom once the semblance of a scar And checks his song to execrate Godoy,
Appallid, an owlet's 'larum chill'd with dread, The royal wittol Charles, and curse the day (boy, Now views the column-scattering bay’net jar, When first Spain's queen beheld the black-eyed
The falchion flash, and o'er the yet warm dead And gore-faced Treason sprung from her adulterate Stalks with Minerva's step where Mars might quake joy.
to tread, XLIX.
LV. On yon long level plain, at distance crown'd With crags, whereon those Moorish turrets rest, Ye who shall marvel when you hear her tale, Wide scattered hoof-marks lint the wounded
Oh! had you known her in her softer hour, (veil, ground;
(vest Mark'd her black eye that mocks her coal-black And, scathed by fire, the greensward's darken'd Heard her light, lively tones in Lady's bower, Tells that the foe was Andalusia's guest:
Seen her long locks that foil the painter's power, Here was the camp, the watch-flame, and thg host, Her fairy form, with more than female grace, Here the bold peasant storm'd the dragon's nest; Scarce would you deem that Saragoza's tower Still does he mark it with triumphant boast,
Beheld her smile in Danger's Gorgon face, And points to yonder cliffs, which oft were won and Thin the closed ranks, and lead in Glory's fearful lost.
LVI. And whomsoe'er along the path you meet,
Her lover sinks-she sheds no ill-timed tear; Bears in his cap the badge of criinson hue,
Her chief is slain-she fills his fatal post; Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet;'
Her fellows fiee-she checks their base career ; Wo to the man that walks in public view
The foe retires-she heads the sallying host; Without of loyalty this token true :
Who can appease like her a lover's ghost? Sharp is the knife, and sudden is the stroke;
Who can avenge so well a leader's fall ? And sorely would the Gallic foeman rue,
What maid retrieve when man's fiush'd hope is If subtle poniards, wrapt beneath the cloak, Could blunt the sabre's edge, or clear the cannon's Foil'd by a woman's hand, before a batter'd wall ?"
Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul, [lost?
Yet are Spain's maids no race of Amazons,
But form'd for all the witching arts of love : The mountain-howitzer, the broken road,
Though thus in arms they emulate her sons, The bristling pallisade, the fosse o'erflow'd, And in the horrid phalanx dare to move, The station'd bands, the never-vacant watch,
'Tis but the tender fierceness of the dove, The magazine in rocky durance stow'd,
Pecking the hand that hovers o'cr her mate: The bolster'd sterd beneath the shed of thatch, In softness as in firmness far above * The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match, io Remoter females, famed for sickening prate;
Her mind is nobler sure, her charms perchance as LII.
great. Portend the deeds to come :--but he whose nod
LVIII. Has tumbled feebler despots from their sway, The scal Love's dimpling finger hath impress’a A moment pauseth ere he lifts the rod;
Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch:11 A little moment deigneth to delay : [way;
Her lips, whose kisses pout to leave their nesi, Soon will his legions sweep through these their
Bid man be valiant cre he merit such: The West must own the Scourger of the world.
Her glance how wildly beautiful! how much Ah! Spain ! how sad will be thy reckoning-day, Hath Phæbus woo'd in vain to spoil her cheek, When soars Gaul's Vulture, with his wings
Which glows yet smoother from his amorous unfurl'd,
clutch! And thou shalt vicw thy sons in crowds to Hades
Who round the North for paler dames would seek? hurl'd.
How poor their forms appcar! how languid, wan, LIII.
and weak! And must they fall ? the young, the proud, the
LIX. brave, To swell one bloated (hief's unwholesome reign? Match me, ye climes! which poets love to laud; No step between submissica and a grave?
Match me, ye harams of the land! where now The rise of rapine and thr fall of Spain?
I strike my strain, far distant, to applaud And doth the Power that man adores ordain Beauties that er'n a cynic must avow; Their doom, nor heed the suppliant's appeal ? Match me those Houries, whom ye scarce allow Is all that desperate Valor acts in vain?
To taste the gale lest Love should ride the wind, And Counsel sage, and patriotic Zcal,
With Spain's dark-glancing daughters-deign to The Veteran's skill, Youth's fire, and Manhood's There your wise Prophet's paradise we find, (know heart of stcel?
His black-eyed maids of Heaven, angelically kird.
LXVI. Oh, thou Parnassus ! 13 whom I now survey, When Paphos fell by time-accursed Time! Not in the frenzy of a dreamer's eye,
The queen who conquers all must yield to thee Not in the fabled landscape of a lay,
The Pleasures fled, but sought as warm a clime But soaring snow-clad through thy native sky And Venus, constant to her native sea, In the wild pomp of mountain majesty!
To naught else constant, hither deign'd to flee; What marvel if I thus essay to sing ?
And fix'd her shrine within these walls of white; The humblest of thy pilgrims passing by
Though not to one dome circumscribeth she Would gladly w 30 thine Echoes with his string, Her worship, but, devoted to her rite, Though from thy heights no more one Muse will A thousand altars rise, for ever blazing bright. wave her wing. LXI.
LXVII. Oft have I dream'd of Thee! whose glorious name
From morn till night, from night till startled Mom Who knows not, knows not man's divinest lore:
Peeps blushing on the revel's laughing crew, And now I view thee, 'tis, alas ! with shame
The song is heard, the rosy garland worn,
Devices quaint, and frolics ever new,
Tread on each other's kibes. A long adieu
He bids to sober joy that here sojourns : Nor raise my voice, nor vainly dare to soar,
Nought interrupts the riot, though in lieu But gaze beneath thy cloudy canopy
Of true devotion monkish incense burns, In silent joy to think at last I look on Thee !
And love and prayer unite, or rule the hour by
LXVIII. Happier in this than mightiest bards have been,
The Sabbath comes, a day of blessed rest; Whose fate to distant homes confined their lot,
What hallows it upon this Christian shore ? Shall I unmoved behold the hallow'd scene,
Lo! it is sacred to a solemn feast; Which others rave of, though they know it not?
Hark! heard you not the forest monarch's roar? Though here no more Apollo haunts his grot,
Crashing the lance, he snuffs the spouting gore And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave,
Of man and steed, o'erthrown beneath his horn, Some gentle spirit still pervades the spot,
The throng'd arena shakes with shouts for more; Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave,
Yells the mad crowd o'er entrails freshly torn, And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious wave.
Nor shrinks the female eye, nor ev'n affects to
The seventh day this; the jubilee of man.
London! right well thou know'st the day of prayer:
Then thy spruce citizen, wash'd artisan, Forgot the land, the sons, the maids of Spain;
And smug apprentice gulp their weekly air : Her fate, to every freeborn bosom dear;
Thy coach of Hackney, whiskey, one-horse chair, And hail'd thee, not perchance without a tear.
And humblest gig through sundry suburbs whirl, Now to my theme-but from thy holy haunt
To Hampstead, Brentford, Harrow make repair ; Let me some remnant, some memorial bear;
Till the tired jade the wheel forgets to hurl, Yield me one leaf of Daphne's deathless plant, Nor let thy votary's hope be deem'd an idle vaunt.
Provoking envious gibe from each pedestrian churl.
Some o'er thy Thames row the ribbon'a fair,
'Tis to the worship of the solemn Horn, The song of love than Andalusia's maids, Grasp'd in the holy hand of Mystery, (sworn. Nurst in the glowing lap of soft desire :
In whose dread name both men and maids are
All have their fooleries-not alike are thine,
Then to the crowded circus forth they fare: A Cherub-hydra round us dost thou gape, Young, old, high, low, at once the same diversion And mould to every taste thy dear delusive shape.