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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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