Page images

And, ever sparkling on his breast,
An image of St. John he wore.

The Eldest had a rougher aspect, and there was craft in his eye.

He stood a little behind in a long black mantle, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword; and his white hat and white shoes glittered in the moon-shine. +

“ Not here unwelcome, tho' unknown.
Enter and rest!" the Friar said.
The moon, that thro' the portal shone,
Shone on his reverend head.
Thro' many a court and gallery dim
Slowly he led, the burial-hymn
Swelling from the distant choir.
But now the holy men retire;
The arched cloisters issuing thro',
In long long order, two and two.

[ocr errors]

When other sounds had died away,
And the waves were heard alone,

They entered, tho' unused to pray, * See Bernal Diaz, c. 203; and also a well-known portrait of Cortes, ascribed to Titian. Cortes was now in the 43rd, Pizarro in the 60th year of his age.

f Augustin Zaratè, lib. iv. c. 9.

Where God was worshipped, night and day,
And the dead knelt round in stone;
They entered, and from aisle to aisle
Wandered with folded arms awhile,
Where on his altar-tomb reclined
The crosiered Abbot; and the Knight
In harness for the Christian fight,
His hands in supplication joined ;-
Then said as in a solemn mood,
“ Now stand we where COLUMBUS stood !"

[blocks in formation]

“PEREZ, + thou good old man,” they cried,
“ And art thou in thy place of rest?-
Tho' in the western world His grave, *
That other world, the gift He gave,
Would ye were sleeping side by side!
Of all his friends He loved thee best."

[blocks in formation]

The supper in the chamber done,
Much of a Southern Sea they spake,
And of that glorious City s won
Near the setting of the Sun,
Throned in a silver lake;

+ Late Superior of the House.
* In the chancel of the cathedral of St. Domingo.

The words of the epitaph. “A Castilia y a Leon nuevo Mundo dio Colon.”

§ Mexico.

Of seven kings in chains of gold *
And deeds of death by tongue untold,
Deeds such as breathed in secret there
Had shaken the Confession-chair!

The Eldest swore by our Lady, 4 the Youngest by his conscience; † while the Franciscan, sitting by in his grey habit, turned away and crossed himself again and again. “ Here is a little book," said he at last,“ the work of him in his shroud below. It tells of things you have mentioned; and, were Cortes and Pizarro here, it might perhaps make them reflect for a moment.” The Youngest smiled as he took it into his hand. He read it aloud to his companion with an unfaltering voice; but, when he laid it down, a silence ensued; nor was he seen to smile again that night. Il “ The curse is heavy,” said he at parting, “ but Cortes may live to disappoint it.”“Ay, and Pizarro too!" * Afterwards the arms of Cortes and his descendants. + Fernandez, lib ii. c. 63.

B. Diaz, c. 203. || “ After the death of Guatimotzin,” says B. Diaz, “ he became gloomy and restless; rising continually from his bed, and wandering about in the dark.”—“ Nothing prospered with him; and it was ascribed to the curses he was loaded with.”

A circumstance, recorded by Herera, renders this visit not improbable. “In May, 1528, Cortes

arrived unexpectedly at Palos; and, soon after he had landed, he and Pizarro met and rejoiced; and it was remarkable that they should meet, as they were two of the most renowned men in the world.” B. Diaz makes no mention of the interview; but, relating an occurrence that took place at this time in Palos, says, « that Cortes was now absent at Nuestra Senora de la Rábida.' The Convent is within half a league of the town.”




P. 228, 1. 9.

descried of yore, In him was fulfilled the ancient prophecy,

venient annis Secula seris, quibus Oceanus Vincula rerum laxet, &c.

SENECA in Medea, v. 374. Which Tasso has imitated in his Gierusalemme Liberata.

Tempo verrà, che fian d'Ercole i segni
Favola vile, &c.

c. xv. 30. The Poem opens on Friday the 14th of September, 1492.

P. 228, 1. 22.

the great Commander In the original, El Almirante. “In Spanish America,” says M. de Humboldt, “ when El Almirante is pronounced without the addition of a name, that of Columbus is understood ; as, from the lips of a Mexican, El Marchese signifies Cortes ;” and as among the Florentines, Il Segretario has always signified Machiavel.

« PreviousContinue »