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CANTO V.

The Voyage continued.

Yet who but He undaunted could explore *
A world of waves, a sea without a shore,
Trackless and vast and wild as that revealed
When round the Ark the birds of tempest wheeled ;
When all was still in the destroying hour-
No sign of man! no vestige of his power!
One at the stern before the hour-glass stood,
As 'twere to count the sands; one o'er the flood
Gazed for St. Elmot; while another cried
“Once more good morrow!” and sate down and sighed.
Day, when it came, came only with its light.
Though long invoked, 'twas sadder than the night!
Look where He would, for ever as He turned,
He met the eye of one that inly mourned.

*

Many sighed and wept; and every hour seemed a year, says Herrera.-I. i. 9 and 10.

+ A luminous appearance of good omen.

Then sunk his generous spirit, and He wept.
The friend, the father rose; the hero slept.
Palos, thy port, with many a pang resigned,
Filled with its busy scenes his lonely mind;
The solemn march, the vows in concert given*,
The bended knees and lifted hands to heaven,
The incensed rites, and choral harmonies,
The Guardian's blessings mingling with his sighs;
While his dear boys-ah, on his neck they hung,t
And long at parting to his garments clung.

Oft in the silent night-watch doubt and fear
Broke in uncertain murmurs on his ear.
Oft the stern Catalan, at noon of day,
Muttered dark threats, and lingered to obey ;

* His public procession to the convent of La Rábida on the day before he set sail. It was there that his sons had received their education; and he himself appears to have passed some time there, the venerable Guardian, Juan Perez de Marchena, being his zealous and affectionate friend.—The ceremonies of his departure and return are represented in many of the frescopaintings in the palaces of Genoa.

+" But I was most afflicted, when I thought of my two sons, whom I had left behind me in a strange country .... before I had done, or at least could be known to have done, any thing which might incline your highnesses to remember them. And

Tho' that brave Youth-he, whom his courser bore
Right thro' the midst, when, fetlock-deep in gore,
The great GONSALVO* battled with the Moor,
(What time the ALHAMBRA shook-soon to unfold
Its sacred courts, and fountains yet untold,
Its holy texts and arabesques of gold)
Tho' ROLDAN, sleep and death to him alike,
Grasped his good sword and half unsheathed to strike.
“ Oh born to wander with your flocks," he cried,
“ And bask and dream along the mountain-side;
To urge your mules, tinkling from hill to hill ;
Or at the vintage-feast to drink your fill,
And strike your castanets, with gipsy-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.

though I consoled myself with the reflection that our Lord would not suffer so earnest an endeavour for the exaltation of his church to come to nothing, yet I considered that, on account of my unworthiness,” &c.—Hist. c. 37.

* Gonsalvo, or, as he is called in Castilian, Gonzalo Hernan. dez de Cordova; already known by the name of The Great Captain. Granada surrendered on the 2d of January, 1492. Columbus set sail on the 3d of August following.

Valiant in peace! Adventurous at home!
Oh, 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.

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CANTO VI.

The flight of an Angel of Darkness.

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,

* Hist. c. 3.

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