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Thy lonely watch-tower, Larenille,
Had lost the western sun;
And loud and long from hill to hill
Echoed the evening-gun,
When Hernan, rising on his oar,
Shot like an arrow from the shore.

.“ Those lights are on St. Mary's Isle;
They glimmer from the sacred pile.” *
The waves were rough; the hour was late.
But soon across the Tinto borne,
Thrice he blew the signal-horn,
He blew and would not wait.
Home by his dangerous path he went;
Leaving, in rich habiliment,
Two Strangers at the Convent-gate.

They ascended by steps hewn out in the rock; and, having asked for admittance, were lodged there.

Brothers in arms the Guests appeared ;
The Youngest with a Princely grace!
Short and sable was his beard,
Thoughtful and wan his face.
His velvet cap a medal bore,
And ermine fringed his broidered vest;

* The Convent of La Rábida.

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

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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.


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 6th year of his age.

t Augustin Zarate, 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 !"

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“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."

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The supper in the chamber done,
Much of a Southern Sea they spake,
And of that glorious City & 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, + 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. || “ 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. ll “ 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.”


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