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And you, ye birds, winging your passage home,
-Still, as beyond this mortal life impellid
At day-break might the Caravels? be seen,
green-cross standards3 waving far and wide.
Then sunk his generous spirit, and he wept.
Oft in the silent night-watch doubt and fear
The Voyage continued. Yet who but He undaunted could explore (26) A world of waves, a sea without a shore, Trackless and vast and wild as that reveald When round the Ark the birds of tempest wheel'd; When all was still in the destroying hourNo sign of man! no vestage of his power! One at the stern before the hour-glass stood, As 't were to count the sands; one o'er the flood Gazed for St Elmo;5 while another cried - Once more good morrow!, and sate down and sigh'd. Day, when it came, came only with its light; Though long invoked, 't was sadder than the night! Look where He would, for ever as He turn'd, He met the eye of one that inly mourn'd.
F. Columbus, c. 33, a Light vessels, formerly used by the Spaniards and Portuguese. 3 F. Columbus, c. 23. * Many such appellations occur in Bernal Diaz. c. 204. : A luminous appearance of good omen.
The flight of an Angel of Darkness. War with 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, amidst bis sufferings here, Who watch'd 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 look'd elate ; and, with his wonted smile, On the great Ordinance leaning, would beguile The hour with talk. His beard, his mien sublime, Shadow'd by Age—hy Age before the time,
sorrow borne in many a clime, Moved every heart. And now in Stars yet unnamed of purer radiance rise! Stars, milder suns, that love a shade to cast, And on the bright wave fling the trembling mast! Another firmament! the orbs that roll, Singly or clustering, round the Southern pole! Not yet thc four that glorify the Night
IF. Col. c. 3.
Ah, how forget when to my ravish'd sight
'T was the mid hour, when He, whose accents dread
Mountains and seas fled backward as he pass'd
Now 'mid angelic multitudes he flies,
( That in the aisles at midnight haunt me still,
Silent with sorrow, long within his cloak
- Was it for this I lingered life away,
At length among us came an unknown Voice!
ye can, rejoice.
A mutiny excited.
Then the long line found rest—in coral groves
Silent and dark, where the sea-lion roves :-
And all on deck, kindling to life again, Blest with each gift indulgent Fortune sends,
Sent forth their anxious spirits o'er the main. Birth and its rights, wealth and its train of friends, • Oh whence, as wafted from Elysium, whence Star-like he shone! Now becgar'd and alone,
These perfumes, strangers to the raptured sense? Danger he woo'd, and claim'd her for his own. These boughs of gold, and fruits of heavenly hue, O'er him a Vampire his dark wings display'd. (39)
Tiuging with vermcil light the billow bluc? 'T was Merion's self, covering with dreadful shade (40)
And (thrice, thrice blessed is the eye that spied, He came, and, couch'd on Roldan's ample breast, The hand that snatch'd it sparkling in the tide) Each secret pore of breathing life possess'd,
Whose cunning carved this vegetable bowl, Fanning the sleep that seem'd his final rest;
Symbol of social rites, and intercourse of soul?» Then, inly gliding (41) like a subtle tlame,
Such to their grateful ear the gush of springs,
Who course the ostrich, as away she wings;
'Mid kneeling camels round the sacred well; On yonder cliffs beckoning their fellow-prey,
Who, ere the terrors of his pomp be past, The spectres stalk, and murmur at delay!
Fall to the demon in the redd'ning blast. - Yet if thou canst (not for myself I plead!
The sails were furld : with many a melting close, Mine but to follow where 't is thine to lead)
Solemn and slow the evening-anthem rose, Oh turn and save! To thee, with streaming eyes,
Rose to the Virgin. (47) 'T was the hour of day,
When setting suns o'er summer-seas display
And human voices, on the silent air,
Went o'er the waves in songs of gladness there! These snatch the helm ; and round me now I hear
Chosen of Men! (48) t' was thine, at noon of night, Smiting of hands, out-cries of grief and fear,
First from the prow to hail the glimmering light; (49)
' Ex ligno lucido confectum, et arte mirà laboratam. P. Martyr. 'Tierra del Fuego.
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 the west' and now, alas, 't is gonel
Cora --luxuriant Vegetation-the Humming-bird--the Fountain of 'T was all a dream! we gaze and gaze in vain!
Youth. – But mark and speak not, there it comes again! It moves! - what form unseen, what being there
Taen Cora came, the youngest of her race, With torch-like lustre fires the murky air?
And in her bands slie bid her lovely face; His instincts, passions, say, how like our own?
Yet oft by stealth a timid glance she cast,
And now with playful step the Mirror pass'd,
And oft behind it flew, and oft before;
The more she search'd, pleased and perplex'd the more!
And look'd and laughid, and blush'd with quick surThe New World.
Her lips all mirth, all ecstasy her eyes! Long on the wave the morning-mists reposed,
But soon the telescope attracts her view; Then broke-and, melting into light, disclosed
And lo, her lover in his light canoe Half-circling lills, whose everlasting woods
Rocking, at noon-tide, on the silent
a, Sweep with their sable skirts the shadowy floods:
Before her lies! It cannot, cannot be. when all, to holy transport given,
Late as he left the shore, she linger'd there, Embraced and wept as at the gates of Heaven,
Till, less and less, he melted into air!When one and all of us, repentant, ran,
Sigh after sigh steals from her gentle frame, And, on our faces, bless'd the wondrous Man ;
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!» unnumbered voices sung,
Nor can thy tlute, Alonso, now excite, Glory to God!» the vales and mountains rung,
As in Valencia, when, with fond delight, Voices that haild Creation's primal morn,
Francisca, waking, to the lattice flew, And to the shepherds sung a Saviour born.
So soon to love and to be wretched too! Slowly, bare-headed, through the surf we bore
Hers through a convent.grate to send her last adicu. 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 romance, (53) | And near and nearer flutters to its sound; Youths graceful as the Faun, with eager glance,
Then stirs not, breathes not-on enchanted ground? Spring from the glades, and down the alleys peep,
Who now lets fall the flowers she cull'd to wear Then head-long rush, bounding from steep to steep,
When he, who promised, should at eve be there; And clap their hands, exclaiming as they run,
And faintly smiles, and hangs her head aside Come and behold the Children of the Sun!.
The tear that glistens on her cheek to hide! When hark, a signal-shot! The voice, it came
Ah, who but Cora ?— till inspired, possess'd, Over the sea in darkness and in flame!
At once she springs, and clasps it to her breast ! They saw, they heard ; and up the highest hill,
Soon from the bay the mingling crowd ascends, 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,
Throuzlı plantain-walks where not a sun-beam plays. Check'd their light footsteps-statue-like they stood,
Here blue savannas fade into the sky, As worshipp'd forms, the Genii of the Wood!
There forests frown in midnight majesty; At length the spell dissolves! The warrior's lance
Ceiba, (58) and Indian fig, and plane sublime, Rings on the tortoise with wild dissonance!
Nature's first-born, and reverenced by Time! And sce, the regal plumes, the couch of state! (54)
There sits the bird that speaks! (59) there, quivering Still, where it moves, the wise in council wait!
rise See now borne forth the monstrous mask of gold, '
Wings that reflect the glow of evening skies ! And ebon chair of many a serpent-fold ;
Half bird, half fly, (60) the fairy king of flowers (61) Thiesc now exchanged for gifts that thrice surpass
Reigns there, and revels (62) through the fragrant hours; The wond'rous ring, and lamp, and horse of brass. (55) Gem full of life, and joy, and song divine, What long-drawn tube (56) transports the yazer home, Soon in the virgin's graceful ear to shine. (63) Kindling with stars at noon the ethereal dome?
'T was he that sung, if ancient Fame speaks trutlı, 'T is here : and here circles of solid light?
Comc! follow, follow to the Fount of Youth! Charm with another self the cheated sight;
I quaff the ambrosial mists that round it rise, As man to man another self disclose,
Dissolved and lost in dreams of Paradise!, That now with terror starts, with triumph glows! For there called forth, to bless a happier hour,
It met the sun in many a rainbow-shower! IF. Columbus, c. 28. and 34. · P. Columbus, c. 69. Nurmuring delight, its living waters rollid
'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 I alone remain to watch and pray!
Yet oft in darkness, on my bed of straw,
Oft I awake and think on what I saw!
STILL would I speak of Him before I went,
Who among us a life of sorrow spent, (72)
Still, if the time allow'd! My hour draws near;
But He will prompt me when I faint with fear.
--Alas, He hears me not! He cannot liear!
Twice the Moon filla her silver urn with light,
Then from the Throne an Angel wing'd his flight;
He, who unfix'd the compass, and assigu'd
O'er the wild waves a pathway to the wind;
Signs like the ethereal bow-that shall endure! (73)
As he descended through the upper air,
Day broke on day as God himself were there!
He stood, and thus his secret soul address'd: (74)
* The wind recalls thee; its still voice obey,
Millions await thy coming; hence, away.
To thee blest tidings of great joy consign'd,
Another Nature, and a new Mankind!
The vain to dream, the wise to doubt shall cease;
Young men be glad, and old depart in peace!!
Hence! though assembling in the fields of air,
Not then to leave Thee! to their vengeance cast,
To other eyes shall Mexico unfold
Shall the Pacific roll his ample tide;
Tbere destined soon rich argosies to ride.
Hung in thy chamber, buried in thy grave! (78)
Thy reverend form, (79) to time and grief a prey,
A phantom wandering in the light of day!
• What though thy grey hairs to the dust descend,
Their scent shall track thec, track thee to the end, 4
And on his world inscribed another's name!
" P. Martyr, Epist. 133, 153.
? See tbe Eumenides of Æschylus, v. 305, etc.
· P. Martyr, dec. iii, c. 7. 3 Clavigero, VII, 53.
These gardens of the sun, sacred to song,
• Not thine the olive, but the sword to bring,
« Hence, and rejoice. The glorious work is done. A spark is thrown that shall eclipse the sun! And though bad men shall long thy course pursue, As erst the ravening brood o'er chaos flew, ? lle, whom I serve, shall vindicate his reign; The spoiler spoil'd of all; (86) the slayer slain; (87) The tyranı’s self, oppressing and opprest, 'Mid gems and gold unenvied and unblest : (88). While to the starry sphere thy name shall rise, (Not there unsung thy generous enterprise!) Thine in all bearts to dwell-by Fame enshrined, With those the Few, that live but for Mankind : Thine evermore, transcendant happiness! World beyond world to visit and to bless. »
The Eldest swore by our Lady, 6 the Youngest by his conscience; 7 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. 8 « The curse is heavy,» said he at parting, • but Cortes may live to disappoint it.»• Aye, and Pizarro too!,
On the two last leaves, and written in another hand, are some stanzas in the romance or ballad measure of the Spaniards. The subject is an adventure soon related.
Thy lonely watch-lower, Larenille,
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 appear'd;
An image of St Jobn be wore. 4 The Eldest had a rougher aspect, and there was craft in his eye. He stood a litile 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 moonshine. 5
• Not here unwelcome, tho' anknown.
* A circumstance, recorded by Herrera, renders this visit not improbable. «In May 1528, Cortes arrived unexpectedly at Palos; and, soon after be bad landed, bo 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.
* Late Superior of the House.
3 The words of the epitaph. « A Castilia ya Leon nuevo Mando dio Colon.
. B. Diaz, c. 203.
* See Washington's farewell-address to bis fellow-citizens. * See Paradise Lost. X.
3 The Convent of Rábida. * See Bernal Diaz, c. 203; and also a well-known portrait of Cortes, ascribed 10 Titian. Cortes was now in the 430, Pizarro in the both year of his age.
5 Augustin, Zarate, lib. iv, c. 9.