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And you, ye birds, winging your passage home, Then sunk his generous spirit, and he wept.
Fillid with its busy scenes his lonely mind;
The solemn march, the vows in concert given, (27)
The bended knees and lifted hands to heaven, -Still, as beyond this mortal life impellid
The incensed rites, and choral harmonies,
The Guardian's blessings mingling with his sighs;
While his dear boys ah, on his neck they hung, (23) High on the deck He stood, disdaining rest; (His amber chain the only badge he bore,'
And long at parting to his garments clung. His mantle blue such as his fathers wore)
Oft in the silent night-watch doubt and fear Fathom'd, with searching hand, the dark profound, Broke in uncertain murmurs on his ear. And scatter'd hope and glad assurance round; Oft the stern Catalan, at noon of day, Though, like some strange portentous dream, the past Mutter'd dark threats, and linger'd to obey ; Sull hover'd, and the cloudless sky o'ercast. Though that brave Youth—he, whom his courser At day-break might the Caravels ? be seen,
bore Chasing their shadows o'er the deep serene;
Right through the midst, when, fetlock-deep in gore Their burnish'd prows lash'd by the sparkling tide, The great Gonzalo (29) battled with the Moor Their green-cross standards: waving far and wide. (What time the Alhambra shook-soon to unfold And now once more to better thoughts inclined, Its sacred courts, and fountains yet untold, The seaman, mounting, clamor'd in the wind. Its holy texts and arabesques of gold), The soldier (24) told his tales of love and war;
Though Roldan, (30) sleep and death to him alike, The courtier sung-sung to his gay guitar. Grasp'd his good sword and half unsheathed to strike Round, at Primero, sate a whisker'd band;
“ Oh born to wander with your flocks," he cried, So Fortune smiled, careless of sea or land! (25) And bask and dream along the mountain-side ; Leon, Montalvan (serving side by side ;
To urge your mules, tinkling from hill to hill; Two with one soul—and, as they lived, they died),
Or at the vintage-feast to drink your fill, Vasco the brave, thrice found among the slain,
And strike your castanets, with gipsy-maid Thrice, and how soon, up and in arms again, Dancing Fandangos in the chesnut shadeAs soon to wish he had been sought in vain, Come on," he cried, and threw his glove in scorn, Chain'd down in Fez, beneath the bitter thong,
Not this your wonted pledge, the brimming horn, To the hard bench and heavy oar so long! Valiant in peace! adventurous at home! Albert of Florence, who, at twilight-time,
Oh, had ye vow'd with pilgrim-staff to roam ; In my rapt ear pour'd Dante's tragic rhyme,
Or with banditti sought the sheltering wood, Screen'd by the sail as near the mast we lay, Where mouldering crosses mark the scene of blood! Our nights illumined by the ocean-spray ;
He said, he drew; then, at his Master's frown,
The flight of an Angel of Darkness.
War with the Great in War let others sing, CANTO V.
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! A world of waves, a sea without a shore,
I sing a Man, amidst his sufferings here, Trackless and vast and wild as that reveal'd
Who watch'd and served in humbleness and fear, When round the Ark the birds of tempest wheel'd; Gentle to others, to himself severe. When all was still in the destroying hour
Still unsubdued by Danger's varying form, No sign of man! no vestige of his power!
Still, as unconscious of the coming storm, One at the stern before the hour-glass stood, He look'd elate; and, with his wonted smile, As 't were to count the sands ; one o'er the flood
On the great Ordnance leaning, would beguile Gazed for St. Elmo;s while another cried
The hour with talk. His beard, his mien sublime, "Once more good-morrow!” and sate down and Shadow'd by Age-by Age before the time,' sigh'd.
From many a sorrow borne in many a clime, Day, when it came, came only with its light;
Moved every heart. And now in opener skies Though long invoked, 't was sadder than the night! Stars yet unnamed of purer radiance rise ! Look where He would, for ever as He turn'd, Stars, milder suns,
that love a shade to cast, lle met the eye of one that inly mourn'd.
And on the bright wave fling the trembling mast!
Another firmament! the orbs that roll, 1 F. Columbus, c. 32. 2 Light vessels, formerly used by the Spaniards and Portu- Singly or clustering, round the Southern pole'
Nor yet the four that glorify the Night3 F. Columbus, c. 23. 4 Many such appellations occur in Bernal Diaz. c. 204. 5 A luminous appearance of good omen.
1F. Col. c 3.
Ah, how forget when to my ravish'd sight
(That in the aisles at midnight haunt me still, The Cross shone forth in everlasting light! (31) Turning my lonely thoughts from good to ill)
T was the mid hour, when He, whose accents dread," Were there no graves—none in our land," they cry,
His face he muffled—then the Hero spoke.
The glorious privilege to serve mankind! Mountains and seas fled backward as he pass'd Oh had I perish’d, when my failing frame (43) O'er the great globe, by not a cloud o'ercast Clung to the shatter'd oar 'mid wrecks of fame! From the Antarctic, from the Land of Fire!
-Was it for this I linger'd life away, To where Alaska's wintry wilds retire ; (34) The scorn of Folly, and of Fraud the prey;(44) From mines of gold, (35) and giant-sons of earth, Bow'd down my mind, the gift His bounty gave, To grots of ice, and tribes of pigmy birth
At courts a suitor, and to slaves a slave ? Who freeze alive, nor, dead, in dust repose, -Yet in His name whom only we should fear, High-hung in forests to the casing enows. (36) ('T is all, all I shall ask, or you shall hear), Now 'mid angelic multitudes he flies,
Grant but three days."—He spoke not uninspired ; (45) That hourly come with blessings from the skies; And each in silence to his watch retired. Wings the blue element, and, borne sublime,
At length among us came an unknown Voice ! Eyes the set sun, gilding each distant clime; Go, if ye will; and, if ye can, rejoice. Then, like a meteor, shooting to the main,
Go, with unbidden guests the banquet share ; Melts into pure intelligence again.
In his own shape shall Death receive you there."(46)
TWICE in the zenith blazed the orb of light; Stretch'd in the midst, and, through that dismal No shade, all sun, insufferably bright! night, (37)
Then the long line found rest—in coral gro res By his white plume reveald and buskins white, (38) Silent and dark, where the sea-lion roves :Slept Roldan. When he closed his gay career, And all on deck, kindling to life again, Hope fled for ever, and with Hope fled Fear. Sent forth their anxious spirits o'er the main. Blest with each gift indulgent Fortune sends,
“Oh whence, as wafted from Elysium, whence Birth and its rights, wealth and its train of friends, These perfumes, strangers to the raptured sense ? Star-like he shone! Now beggar'd and alone, These boughs of gold, and fruits of heavenly hue. Danger he woo'd, and claim'd her for his own. Tinging with vermeil light the billows blue ?
O'er him a Vampire his dark wings display'd. (39) And (thrice, thrice blessed is the eye that spied, "Twas Merion's self, covering with dreadful shade: (40) The hand that snatch'd it sparkling in the tide) He came, and, couch'd on Roldan's ample breast, Whose cunning carved this vegetable bowl,' Each secret pore of breathing life possessid, Symbol of social rites, and intercourse of soul ? " Fanning the sleep that seem'd his final rest; Such to their grateful ear the gush of springs, Then, inly gliding (41) like a subtle flame, Who course the ostrich, as away she wings; Subdued the man, and from his thrilling frame Sons of the desert! who delight to dwell Sent forth the voice! “ We live, we breathe no more! 'Mid kneeling camels round the sacred well; The fatal wind blows on the dreary shore!
Who, ere the terrors of his pump be past, On yonder cliffs beckoning their fellow-prey, Fall to the demon in the redd'ning blast.2 The spectres stalk, and murmur at delay!
The sails were furl'd: with many a melting close, -Yet if thou canst (not for myself I plead! Solemn and slow the evening-anthem rose, Mine but to follow where 'tis thine to lead) Rose to the Virgin. (47) ’T was the hour of day, Oh turn and save! To thee, with streaming eyes, When setting suns o'er summer-seas display To thee each widow kneels, each orphan cries ! A path of glory, opening in the west Who now, condemn'd the lingering hours to tell, To golden climes, and islands of the blest; Think and but think of those they loved so well!" And human voices, on the silent air,
All melt in tears! but what can tears avail ? Went o'er the waves in songs of gladness there! These climb the mast, and shift the swelling sail. Chosen of Men! (48) 't was thine, at noon of night, These snatch the helm; and round me now I hear First from the prow to hail the glimmering light; (49) Smiting of hands, outeries of grief and fear,
I Ex ligno lucido confectum, et arte mira laboratum. P. Mar 1 Tierra del Fuego.
tyr, dec. i, 5.
2 The Simoom.
(Emblem of Truth divine, whose secret ray Enters the soul, and makes the darkness day!)
CANTO X. "Pedro! Rodrigo! (50) there, methought it shone! There-in tue west! and now, alas, 't is gone! "T was all a dream! we gaze and gaze in vain!
Cora-luxuriant Vegetation-the Humming-bird-the -But mark, and speak not, there it comes again!
Fountain of Youth.
Yet oft by stealth a timid glance she cast,
Each bright reflection brighter than the last!
And oft behind it flew, and oft before ;
Her lips all mirth, all ecstasy her eyes!
But soon the telescope attracts her view;
Rocking, at noon-tide, on the silent sea,
Before her lies! It cannot, cannot be.
Sigh after sigh steals from her gentle frame,
And said that murmur-was it not his name? Say, was I then deceived, or from the skies
She turns, and thinks; and, lost in wild amaze, Burst on my ear seraphic harmonies ?
Gazes again, and could for ever gaze! "Glory to God!” unnumber'd voices sung,
Nor can thy flute, Alonso, now excite, “Glory to God!" the vales and mountains rung, Voices that hail'd Creation's primal morn,
As in Valencia, when, with fond delight, And to the Shepherds sung a Savior born.
Francisca, waking, to the lattice flew,
So soon to love and to be wretched too! Slowly, bare-headed, through the surf we bore
Hers through a conveni-grate to send her last adieu. The sacred cross, (51) and, kneeling, kiss'd the shore. —Yet who now comes uncall'd; and round and round, But what a scene was there! (52) Nymphs of And near and nearer flutters to its sound; romance, (53)
Then stirs not, breathes not—on enchanted ground ? Youths graceful as the Faun, with eager glance, Who now lets fall the flowers she cull'd to wear Spring from the glades, and down the alleys peep, When he, who promised, should at eve be there; Then headlong rush, bounding from steep to steep, And faintly smiles, and hangs her head aside And clap their hands, exclaiming as they run,
The tear that glistens on her cheek to hide! • Come and behold the Children of the Sun!”
Ah, who but Cora!-till inspired, possess'd, When hark, a signal-shot! The voice, it came
At once she springs and clasps it to her breast! Over the sea in darkness and in flame!
Soon from the bay the mingling crowd ascends, They saw, they heard; and up the highest hill, As in a picture, all at once were still!
Kindred first met! by sacred instinct Friends! Creatures so fair, in garments strangely wrought,
Through citron groves, and fields of yellow maize,(57) From citadels, with Heaven's own thunder fraught, Here blue savannas fade into the sky,
Through plantain-walks where not a sun-beam plays, Check'd their light footsteps-statue-like, they stood, There forests frown in midnight majesty; As worshipp'd forms, the Genii of the Wood!
Ceiba, (58) and Indian fig, and plane sublime, At length the spell dissolves! The warrior's lance Nature's first-born, and reverenced by Time! Rings on the tortoise with wild dissonance!
There sits the bird that speaks! (59) there, quivering And see, the regal plumes, the couch of state! (54)
rise Still, where it moves, the wise in council wait!
Wings that reflect the glow of evening skies! See now borne forth the monstrous mask of gold,' Half bird, half fly, (60) the fairy king of flowers (61) And ebon chair' of many a serpent-fold;
Reigns there, and revels (62) thro' the fragrant hours; These now exchanged for gifts that thrice surpass Gem full of life, and joy, and song divine, The wondrous ring, and lamp, and horse of brass. (55) Soon in the virgin's graceful ear to shine. (63) What long-drawn tube (56) transports the gazer home, Kindling with stars at noon the ethereal dome ?
'Twas he that sung, if ancient Fame speaks truth "Tis here: and here circles of solid light ?
“Come! follow, follow to the Fount of Youth! Charm with another self the cheated sight;
I quafr the ambrosial mists that round it rise,
Dissolved and lost in dreams of Paradise ! ” As man to man another self disclose,
For there call’d forth, to bless a happier hour, That now with lerror starts, with triumph glows!
It met the sun in many a rainbow-shower!
Murmuring delight, its living waters rolld 1 F. Columbus, c. 28 and 34. 2 F. Columbus, c. 69.
'Mid branching palms and amaranths of gold! (64)
That night, transported, with a sigh I said,
" "T is all a dream !"—Now, like a dream, 't is fled;
And many and many a year has pass'd away,
And I alone remain to watch and pray!
Yet oft in darkness, on my bed of straw,
on I awake and think on what I saw! Dream'd on his bough, and play'd the mimic yet. Fresh from the lake the breeze of twilight blew,
The groves, the birds, the youths, the nymphs recall, And vast and deep the mountain-shadows grew;
And Cora, loveliest, sweetest of them all.
STILL would I speak of Him before I went, Whose stedfast looks a secret dread impress'd;
Who among us a life of sorrow spent, (72) Not there forgot the sacred fruit that fed
And, dying, left a world his monument; At nightly feasts the Spirits of the Dead,
Still, if the time allow'd! My hour draws near; Mingling in scenes that mirth to mortals give,
But He will prompt me when I faint with sear. But by their sadness known from those that live.
-Alas, He hears me not! He cannot hear! There met, as erst, within the wonted grove, Twice the moon fill'd her silver urn with light, Unmarried girls and youths that died for love! Then from the Throne an Angel wing'd his flight · Sons now beheld their ancient sires again, He, who unfix'd the compass, and assign'd And sires, alas, their sons in battle slain! (67) O'er the wild waves a pathway to the wind; But whence that sigh? 'T was from a heart that Who, while approach'd by none but Spirits pure, broke!
Wrought, in his progress through the dread obscure, And whence that voice? As from the grave it spoke ! Signs like the ethereal bow—that shall endure ! (73) And who, as unresolved the feast to share,
As he descended through the upper air, Sits half-withdrawn in faded splendor there? Day broke on day as God himself were there! *T is he of yore, the warrior and the sage,
Before the great Discoverer, laid to rest, Whose lips have moved in prayer from age to age; He stood, and thus his secret soul address'd : (74) Whose eyes, that wander'd as in search before,
“ The wind recalls thee; its still voice obey, Now on Columbus fix'd-10 search no more!
Millions await thy coming; hence, away! Cazziva, (68) gifted in his day to know
To thee blest tidings of great joy consign'd, The gathering signs of a long night of woe;
Another Nature, and a new Mankind ! Gifted by those who give but to enslave;
The vain to dream, the wise to doubt shall cease ; No rest in death! no refuge in the grave!
Young men be glad, and old depart in peace!" -With sudden spring as at the shout of war,
Hence! though assembling in the fields of air,
And Thee restore thy Secret to the Deep!(76)
“ Not then to leave Thee! to their vengeance cast,
Thy heart their aliment, their dire repast ! Hark, o'er the busy mead the shell? proclaims Triumphs, and masques, and high heroic games. To other eyes shall Mexico unfold And now the old sit round ; and now the young Her feather'd tapestries, and roofs of gold. Climb the green boughs, the murmuring doves among. To other eyes, from distant cliff descried, (77) Who claims the prize, when winged feet contend; Shall the Pacific roll his ample tide; When twanging bows the flaming arrowgo send ? There destined soon rich argosies to ride. Who stands self-centred in the field of fame, Chains thy reward! beyond the Atlantic wave And, grappling, flings to earth a giant's frame? Hung in thy chamber, buried in thy grave! (78) Whilst all, with anxious hearts and eager eyes, Thy reverend form, (79) to time and grief a prey Bend as he bends, and, as he rises, rise !
A phantom wandering in the light of day! And Cora's sell, in pride of beauty here,
“What though thy grey hairs to the dust descena, 'Trembles with grief and joy, and hope and fear!
Their scent shall track thee, track thee to the end : (She who, the fairest, ever flew the first,
Thy sons reproach'd with their great father's fame. With cup of balm to quench his burning thirst;
And on his world inscribed another's name! Knelt at his head, her fan-leaf in her hand,
That world a prison-house, full of sights of woe, And humm'd the air that pleased him, while she fann'd) Where groans burst forth, and tears in torrents flow How blest his lot though, by the muse unsung, His name shall perish, when his knell is rung.
1 P. Martyr, Epist. 133, 152.
2 See the Eumenides of Æschylus, v 305 etc. I P. Martyr, dec. 1, 5.
2 P. Martyr, dec. üi, c. 7. 3 Clavigero, VII. 52. 3 Rochefort, c. XI.
4 See the Eumenides, v. 246
These gardens of the sun, sacred to song,
“Not here unwelcome, tho' unknown. By dogs of carnage, (80) howling loud and long,
Enter and rest i" the Friar said. Swept—ill the voyager, in the desert air, (81)
The moon, that through the portal shone,
Shone on his reverend head. Starts back to hear his alter'a accents there! (82)
Through many a court and gallery dim “Not thine the olive, but the sword to bring,
Slowly he led, the burial-hynın Not peace, but war! Yet from these shores shall spring Swelling from the distant choir. Peace without end;' from these, with blood defiled, But now the holy men retire; Spread the pure spirit of thy Master mild !
The arched cloisters issuing thro', Here, in His train, shall arts and arms attend, (83)
In long long order, two and two. Arts to adorn, and arms but to defend.
When other sounds had died away, Assembling here, (84) all nations shall be blest;
And the waves were heard alone, The sad be comforted, the weary rest :
They enter'd, though unused to pray, Untouch'd shall drop the fetters from the slave; (85) Where God was worshipp'd, night and day, And He shall rule the world he died to save!
And the dead knelt round in stone; “Hence, and rejoice. The glorious work is done.
They enter'd, and from aisle to aisle
Wander'd with folded arms awhile, A spark is thrown that shall eclipse the sun!
Where on his altar-tomb (89) reclined And though bad men shall long thy course pursue,
The crosierd Abbot; and the Knight As erst the ravening brood o'er chaos flew,?
In harness for the Christian fight, He, whom I serve, shall vindicate his reign;
His hands in supplication join'd; The spoiler spoil'd of all ; (86) the slayer slain; (87) Then said as in a solemn mood, The tyrant's self, oppressing and opprest,
"Now stand we where Columbus stood!" 'Mid gems and gold unenvied and unblest : (88)
Perez,' thou good old man," they cried, While to the starry sphere thy name shall rise,
“And art thou in thy piace of rest ?(Not there unsung thy generous enterprise!)
Though in the western world His grave,2 (90) Thine in all hearts to dwell—by Fame enshrined,
That other world, the gif He gave,» With those the Few, that live but for Mankind :
Would ye were sleeping side by side! Thine evermore, transcendant happiness!
Of all his friends He loved thee best." World beyond world to visit and to bless."
The supper in the chamber done,
Much of a Southern Sea they spake, On the two last leaves, and written in another
And of that glorious city * won hand, are some stanzas in the romance or ballad meas
Near the setting of the Sun, ure of the Spaniards. The subject is an adventure
Throned in a silver lake; soon related.
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 Shot like an arrow from the shore.
his grey habit, turned away and crossed himself -"Those lights are on St. Mary's Isle ;
again and again. “Here is a little book," said he at They glimmer from the sacred pile." 3
last, “ the work of him in his shroud below. It tells The waves were rough; the hour was late,
of things you have mentioned; and, were Cortes and But soon across the Tinto borne, Thrice he blew the signal-horn,
Pizarro here, it might perhaps make them reflect for He blew and would not wait.
a moment." The youngest smiled as he took it into Home by his dangerous path he went;
his hand. He read it aloud to his companion with Leaving, in rich habiliment,
an unfaltering voice; but, when he laid it down, a Two Strangers at the Convent-gate.
silence ensued; nor was he seen to smile again that They ascended by steps hewn out in the rock; and, night. “The curse is heavy,” said he at parting, having asked for admittance, were lodged there. but Cortes may live to disappoint it."—“Ay, and Brothers in arms the Guests appear'd;
** A circumstance, recorded by Herrera, renders this visit Short and sable was his beard,
not improbable. "In May 1528. Cortes arrived unexpectedly at Thoughtful and wan his face.
Palos; and, soon after he had landed, he and Pizarro met and His velvet cap a medal bore.
rejoiced; and it was remarkable that they should meet, as they
were two of the inost renowned men in the world." B. Diaz And ermine fringed his broider'd vest;
makes no mention of the interview; but, relating an occurrence And, ever sparkling on his breast,
that took place at this time in Palos, says, “ that Cortes wag An image of St. John he wore.
now absent at Nuestra Senora de la Rabida." The Convent The eldest had a rougher aspect, and there was craft is within half a league of the town. im his eye. He stood a liule behind in a long black
| Late Superior of the House. mantle, his hand resting on the hilt of his sword; and
2 In the chancel of the cathedral of St. Domingo. nis white hat and white shoes glittered in the moon- 3 The words of the epitaph. “A Castilia ya Leon nuevo shine.
Mundo dio Colon."
5 Afterwards the arms of Cortes and his descendants. " See Washington's farewell-address to his fellow-citizens. 6 Fernandez, lib. ji, c. 63.
7 B. Diaz, c. 203. 2 See Paradise Lost, X.
3 The Convent of Rabida.
8 " After the death of Guatimotzin," says B. Diaz, "he bes 4 See Bernal Diaz, c. 203 ; and also a well-known portrait of came gloomy and restless ; rising continually from his bed, and Cortes, ascribed to Titian. Cortes wag now in the 430, Pizarro wandering about in the dark."--"Nothing prospered with him in "he 60th year of his age 5 Augustin, Zarate, lib. iv, c. 9. and it was ascribed to the curses he was loaded with."