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To urge your mules, tinkling from hill to hill;
Or at the vintage feast to drink your fill,
And strike your castanets, with gypsy-maid
Dancing Fandangos in the chestnut shade
Come on," he cried, and threw his glove in scorn,
“Not this your wonted pledge, the brimming horn.
Valiant in peace ! Adventurous at home!
O, had ye vowed with pilgrim-staff to roam ;
Or with banditti sought the sheltering wood,
Where mouldering crosses mark the scene of blood !—?
He said, he drew; then, at his Master's frown,
Sullenly sheathed, plunging the weapon down.
WAR and the Great in War let others sing,
Havoc and spoil, and tears and triumphing;
The morning-march that flashes to the sun,
The feast of vultures when the day is done;
And the strange tale of many slain for one !
I sing a Man, amid his sufferings here,
Who watched and served in humbleness and fear ;
Gentle to others, to himself severe.
Still unsubdued by Danger's varying form,
Still, as unconscious of the coming storm,
He looked elate; and, with his wonted smile,
On the great Ordinance leaning, would beguile
The hour with talk. His beard, his mien sublime,
Shadowed by Age — by Age before the time,
From many a sorrow borne in many a clime,
Moved every heart. And now in opener skies
Stars yet unnamed of purer radiance rise !
Stars, milder suns, that love a shade to cast,
And on the bright wave fling the trembling mast !
Another firmament! the orbs that roll,
Singly or clustering, round the Southern pole!
Not yet the four that glorify the Night
Ah! how forget when to my ravished sight
The Cross shone forth in everlasting light!
’T was the mid hour, when He, whose accents dread
Still wandered through the regions of the dead
(MERION, commissioned with his host to sweep
From age to age the melancholy deep),
To elude the seraph-guard that watched for man,
And mar, as erst, the Eternal's perfect plan,
Rose like the condor, and, at towering height,
In pomp of plumage sailed, deepening the shades of night
Roc of the West ! to him all empire given ! *
Who bears Axalhua's dragon folds to heaven;
His flight a whirlwind, and, when heard afar,
Like thunder, or the distant din of war!
Mountains and seas fled backward as he passed
O'er the great globe, by not a cloud o'ercast
From the ANTARCTIC, from the Land of Fire
To where ALASKA's wintry wilds retire ;?
From mines of gold, and giant-sons of earth,
To grots of ice, and tribes of pigmy birth
Who freeze alive, nor, dead, in dust repose,
High-hung in forests to the casing snows.
Now mid angelic multitudes he flies,
That hourly come with blessings from the skies;
Wings the blue element, and, borne sublime,
Eyes the set sun, gilding each distant clime;
Then, like a meteor shooting to the main,
Melts into pure intelligence again.
WHAT though Despondence reigned, and wild Affright-
Stretched in the midst, and, through that dismal night,
By his white plume revealed and buskins white,
Slept ROLDAN. When he closed his gay career,
Hope fled forever, and with Hope fled Fear.
Blest with each gift indulgent Fortune sends,
Birth and its rights, wealth and its train of friends,
Star-like he shone! Now beggared and alone,
Danger he wooed, and claimed her for his own.
O’er him a Vampire his dark wings displayed.
'Twas MERION's self, covering with dreadful shade.*
He came, and, couched on ROLDAN'S ample breast,
Each secret pore of breathing life possessed,
Fanning the sleep that seemed his final rest;
Then, inly gliding like a subtle flame,
Thrice, with a cry that thrilled the mortal frame,
Called on the Spirit within. Disdaining flight,
Calmly she rose, collecting all her might.
Dire was the dark encounter! Long unquelled,
Her sacred seat, sovereign and pure, she held.
At length the great foe binds her for his prize,
And awful, as in death, the body lies !
Not long to slumber! In an evil hour
Informed and lifted by the unknown power,
It starts, it speaks ! “We live, we breathe no more !
The fatal wind blows on the dreary shore !
On yonder cliffs beckoning their fellow-prey,
The spectres stalk, and murmur at delay !?
Yet if thou canst (not for myself I plead !
Mine but to follow where 't is thine to lead),
O, turn and save! To thee, with streaming eyes,
To thee each widow kneels, each orphan cries !
Who now, condemned the lingering hours to tell,
Think and but think of those they loved so well!”
All melt in tears! but what can tears avail? These climb the mast, and shift the swelling sail. These snatch the helm ; and round me now I hear Smiting of hands, outcries of grief and fear 8 (That in the aisles at midnight haunt me still, Turning my lonely thoughts from good to ill). “ Were there no graves —none in our land,” they cry, “That thou hast brought us on the deep to die ?"
Silent with sorrow, long within his cloak
His face he muffled - then the HERO spoke.
"Generous and brave! when God himself is here,
Why shake at shadows in your mid career ?
He can suspend the laws himself designed,
He walks the waters, and the wingéd wind;
your guide ! and yours the high behest,
To lift your voice, and bid a world be blest !
And can you shrink? to you, to you consigned
The glorious privilege to serve mankind !
O, had I perished, when my failing frame 20
Clung to the shattered oar mid wrecks of flame!
- Was it for this I lingered life away,
The scorn of Folly, and of Fraud the prey ; 11
Bowed down my mind, the gift His bounty gave,
At courts a suitor, and to slaves a slave ?
Yet in His name whom only we should fear
('T is all, all I shall ask, or you shall hear)
Grant but three days.” -- He spoke not uninspired ; 12
And each in silence to his watch retired.
At length among us came an unknown Voice ! “Go, if ye will; and, if ye can, rejoice. Go, with unbidden guests the banquet share. In his own shape shall Death receive you there.”?13
TWICE in the zenith blazed the orb of light;
No shade, all sun, insufferably bright!
Then the long line found rest -- in coral groves
Silent and dark, where the sea-lion roves :
And all on deck, kindling to life again,
Sent forth their anxious spirits o'er the main.
“O whence, as wafted from Elysium, whence These perfumes, strangers to the raptured sense ?