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There was tumult in the crowded strait,
And a cry of wild dismay,
And many a warrior met his fate
From a peasant's hand that day!
And the empire's banner then
From its place of waving free, Went down before the shepherd-men,
The men of the Forest-sea.*
With their pikes and massy clubs they brake
The cuirass and the shield,
And the war-horse dash'd to the reddening lake
From the reapers of the field !
The field--but not of sheaves
Proud crests and pennons lay,
Strewn o'er it thick as the birch-wood leaves,
In the autumn tempest's way.
Oh! the sun in heaven fierce havoc view'd,
When the Austrian turn'd to fly,
And the brave, in the trampling multitude,
Had a fearful death to die !
And the leader of the war
At eve unhelm'd was seen,
With a hurrying step on the wilds afar,
And a pale and troubled mien.
But the sons of the land which the freeman tills,
Went back from the battle-toil,
To their cabin homes ’midst the deep green hills,
All burden'd with royal spoil.
There were songs and festal fires
On the soaring Alps that night, When children sprung to meet their sires
From the wild Morgarten fight.
* Forest-sea, the lake of the four cantons is also so called.
Seb. With what young life and fragrance in its breath
My native air salutes me! from the groves
Of citron, and the mountains of the vine,
And thy majestic tide thus foaming on
In power and freedom o'er its golden sands,
Fair stream, my Tajo! youth, with all its glow
And pride of feeling, through my soul and frame
Again seems rushing, as these noble waves
Past their bright shores flow joyously. Sweet land,
My own, my Fathers' land, of sunny skies
And orange-bowers !-Oh! is it not a dream
That thus 1 tread thy soil ? Or do I wake
From a dark dream but now ! Gonzalez, say,
Doth it not bring the flush of early life
Back on th' awakening spirit thus to gaze
On the far-sweeping river, and the shades
Which in their undulating motion speak
Of gentle winds amidst bright waters born,
After the fiery skies and dark-red sands
Of the lone desert ? Time and toil must needs
Have changed our mien; but this, our blessed land,
Hath gained but richer beauty since we bade
Her glowing shores farewell. Seems it not thus?
Thy brow is clouded.-
To mine eye the scene
Wears, amidst all its quiet loveliness,
A hue of desolation, and the calm,
The solitude and silence which pervade
Earth, air, and ocean, seem belonging less
To peace than sadness! We have proudly stood
Even on this shore, beside the Atlantic wave,
When it hath look'd not thus.
Ay, now thy soul
Is in the past! Oh no, it look'd not thus
When the morn smiled upon our thousand sails,
And the winds blew for Afric! How that hour
With all its hues of glory,
seems to burst
Again upon my vision ! 'I behold
The stately barks, the arming, the array,
The crests, the banners of my chivalry
Swayed by the sea-breeze till their motion show'd
Like joyous life! How the proud billows foam'd!
And the oars flash’d, like lightnings of the deep,
And the tall spears went glancing to the sun,
And scattering round quick rays, as if to guide
The valiant unto fame! Ay, the blue heaven
Seemed for that noble scene a canopy
Scarce too majestic, while it rung afar
To peals of warlike sound! My gallant bands !
Where are you now?
Bid the wide desert tell
Where sleep its dead! To mightier hosts than thema
Hath it leni graves ere now; and on its breast
Is room for nations yet!
It cannot be
That all have perished! Many a noble man,
Made captive on that war-field, may have burst
His bonds like ours. Cloud not this fleeting hour,
Which to my soul is as the fountain's draught
To the parched lip of fever, with a thought
So darkly sad !
Oh never, never cast
That deep remembrance from you! When once more
Your place is ’midst earth's rulers, let it dwell
as the shadow of your throne, Wherein the land may rest. My king, this hour (Solemn as that which to the voyager's eye, In far and dim perspective, doth unfold A new and boundless world) may haply be The last in which the courage and the power Of truth's high voice may reach you. Who may stand As man to man, as friend to friend, before The ancestral throne of monarchs? Or, perchance, Toils, such as tame the loftiest to endurance, Henceforth may wait us here! But howsoe'er This be, the lessons now from sufferings past Befit all time, all change. Oh! by the blood, The free, the generous blood of Portugal, Shed on the sands of Afric,-by the names Which, with their centuries of high renown, There died, extinct for ever,--let not those Who stood in hope and glory at our side Here, on this very sea-beach, whence they pass'd To fall, and leave no trophy,-- let them not
Be soon, be e'er forgotten ! for their fate
Bears a deep warning in its awfulness,
Whence power might well learn wisdom!
Think'st thou, then,
That years of sufferance and captivity,
Such as have bow'd down eagle hearts ere now,
And made high energies their spoil, have pass'd
So lightly o'er my spirit ? It is not thus !
The things thou wouldst recall are not of those
To be forgotten! But my heart hath still
A sense, a bounding pulse for hope and joy,
And it is joy which whispers in the breeze
Sent from my own free mountains. Brave Gonzalez!
Thou art one to make thy fearles heart a shield
Unto thy friend, in the dark stormy hour
When knightly crests are trampled, and proud helms
Cleft, and strong breastplates shiver'd. Thou art one
To infuse the soul of gallant fortitude
Into the captive's bosom, and beguile
The long slow march beneath the burning noon
With lofty patience; but for those quick bursts
Those buoyant efforts of the soul to cast
Her weight of care to earth, those brief delights
Whose source is in a sunbeam, or a sound
Which stirs the blood, or a young breeze, whose wing
Wanders in chainless joy; for things like these
Thou hast no sympathies And thou, my Zamor,
Art wrapt in thought! I welcome thee to this,
The kingdom of my fathers. Is it not
A goodly heritage ?
The land is fair:
But he, the archer of the wilderness,
Beholdeth not the palms beneath whose shade
His tents are scatterd, and his camels rest;
And therefore is he sad !
Thou must not pine
With that sick yearning of the impatient heart,
Which makes the exile's life one fever'd dream
Of skies, and hills, and voices far away,
And faces wearing the familiar hues
Lent by his native sunbeams. I have known
Too much of this, and would not see another
Thus daily die. If it be so with thee,
My gentle Zamor, speak. Behold, our bark
Yet, with her white sails catching sunset's glow,
Lies within signal reach. If it be thus,
Then fare thee well-farewell, thou brave, and true,
And generous friend! How often is our path
Crossd by some being whose bright spirit sheds
A passing gladness o'er it, but whose course
Leads down another current, never more
To blend with ours! Yet far within our souls,
Amidst the rushing of the busy world,
Dwells many a secret thought which lingers yet
Around that image. And e'en so, kind Zamor,
Shalt thou be long remembered !
By the fame
Of my brave sire, whose deeds the warrior tribes
Tell round the desert's watchfire, at the hour
Of silence, and of coolness, and of stars,
I will not leave thee! 'Twas in such an hour
The dreams of rest were on me, and I lay
Shrouded in slumber's mantle, as within
The chambers of the dead. Who saved me then,
When the pard, soundless as the midnight, stole
Soft on the sleeper? Whose keen dart transfix'd
The monarch of the solitudes? I woke,
And saw thy javelin crimson'd with his blood,
Thou, my deliverer! and my heart e'en then
Call'd thee its brother.
For that gift of life
With one of tenfold price, even freedom's self,
Thou hast repaid me well.
Then bid me not
Forsake thee! Though my father's tents may rise
At times upon my spirit, yet my home
Shall be amidst thy mountains, Prince, and thou
Shalt be my chief, until I see thee robed
With all thy power. When thou canst need no more
Thine Arab's faithful heart and vigorous arm,
From the green regions of the setting sun
Then shall the wanderer turn his steps, and seek
His orient wild's again.
Be near me still,
And ever, O my warrior! I shall stand
Again amidst my hosts a mail-clad king,
Begirt with spears and banners, and the pomp
And the proud sounds of battle. Be thy place
Then at my side. When doth a monarch cease
To need true hearts, bold hands ? Not in the field
Of arms, nor on the throne of power, nor yet
The couch of sleep. Be our friend, we will not part.
Gon. Be all thy friends then faithful, for e'en yet
They may be fiercely tried.
I doubt them not.
Even now my heart beats high to meet their welcome.
Let us away!
Gon. Yet hear once more my liege : The humblest pilgrim from his distant shrine Returning, finds not e'en his peasant home Unchanged amidst its vineyards. Some loved face, Which made the sun-light of his lowly board, Is touch'd by sickness; some familiar voice Greets him no more ; and shall not fate and time