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NOTES.

Note 1, page, 415, line 25, MOUNTAIN CHRISTIANS, those natives of Spain, who under their • prince, Pelayo, took refuge amongst the mountains of the northern provinces, where they maintained their religion and liberty, whilst the rest of their country was overrun by the Moors.

Note 2, page 432, line 11.

Oh, free doth sorrow pass, &c.
“Frey geht das Unglück durch die ganze Erde.”
SCHILLER's Death of Wallenstein, act iv. sc. 2.

Note 3, page 435, line 37. Tizona, the fire-brand. The name of the Cid's favorite sword, taken in battle from the Moorish king Bucar.

Note 4, page 435, line 39.

How he won Valencia from the Moor, &c. Valencia, which has been repeatedly besieged and taken by the armies of different nations, remained in the possession of the Moors for a hundred and seventy years after the Cid's death. It was re gained from them by King Don Jayme of Aragon, surnamed the Con queror; after whose success I have ventured to suppose it governed by a descendant of the Campeador.

Note 5, page 449, line 26. It was a Spanish tradition, that the great bell of the cathedral of Saragossa always tolled spontaneously before a king of Spain died.

Note 6, page 451, line 37. “El que en buen hora nasco ," he that was born in happy hour An appellation given to the Cid in the ancient chronicles.

Note 7, page 451, line 43. For this, and the subsequent allusion to Spanish legends, see The Romances, and Chronicle of the Cid.

Note 8, page 461, line 13. “La voilà, telle que la mort nous l'a faite !'-Bossuet, Oraisons Funébres.

Note 9, page 468, line 18. This circumstance is recorded of King Don Alfonso, the last of that name. He sent to the Cid's tomb for the cross which that warrior was accustomed to wear upon his breast when he went to battle, and had it made into one for himself; " Because of the faith which he had, that through it he should obtain the victory.”Southey's Chronicle of the Cid.

CRITICAL ANNOTATIONS

ON

“THE SIEGE OF VALENCIA," "THE LAST CONSTAN

TINE,” &c.

“THE present publication appears to us, in every respect superior to any thing Mrs. Hemans has yet written-more powerful in particular passages-more interesting in the narrative part-as pathetic and delicate in the reflective-as elaborately faultless in its versifi.

cation as copious in imagery. Of the longer poems, The Last Constantine is our favorite. The dramatic poem which follows it, entitled The Siege of Valencia, exhibits too evidently the weak points of Mrs. Hemans's poetry-a want of dramatic invention, a penury of incident, and the substitution of lyrical for passionate dialogue. The leading features of Constantine's character seem to be taken from the unequal, but, on the whole, adnjirable play of Constantine Palæologus, by the gifted rival of our authoress, Joanna Baillie ; and the picture of that enduring and Christian courage, which, in the midst of a ruined city and a fallen state, sustained the last of the Cæsars, when all earthly hope and help had failed him, is eminently touching and poetical. The following stanzas appears to us particularly beautiful.

Sounds from the waters, sounds upon the earth,

Sounds in the air, of battle,' &c. The following stanzas, tno, in which the leading idea cf Constantine's character is still more fully brought out, are likewise excellent.

• It was a sad and solemn task to hold

Their midnight watch on that beleaguer'd wall,' &c, “These are splendid passages, justly conceived, admirably erpressed, full of eloquence and melody; and the poem contains many others equally beautiful. As we have already hinted, the story might have been better told; or rather, there is scarcely any story at all, but the reader is borne down the stream of pensive reflection, so gently and so easily, that he scarcely perceives the want of it.

“Of the Siege of Valencia we say little, for we by no means consider it as the happiest of Mrs. Hemans's efforts. Not that it does not contain, nay, abound with fine passages; but the whole wants vigor, coherence, and compression. The story is meagre, and the dialogue too diffuse.

The Festal Hour certainly appears to us to be one of the noblest regular and classical odes in the English language-happy in the general idea, and rich in imagery and illustration.”—The Rev. Dr. MOREHEAD, in Constable's Magazine for September, 1823.

The Siege of Valencia is a dramatic poem, but not intended for representation. The story is extremely simple. The Moors, who besiege Valencia, take the two sons of the Governor, Gonzalez, captive, as they come to visit their father, and now the ransom demanded for them is the surrender of the city: they are to die if the place is not yielded up. Elmina, the mother of the boys, and Ximena, their sister, are the remaining members of a family to which so dreadful an option is submitted. The poem is one of the highest merit. The subject is of great dignity, being connected with the defence of Spain against the Moors, and at the same time it is of the greatest tenderness, offering a succession of the most moving scenes that can be imagined to occur in the bosom of a family. The father is firm, the daughter is heroic; the mother falters. She finds her way to the Moorish camp, sees her children, forms her plan for betraying the town, and then is not able to conceal her grief and her design from her husband. He immediately sends a defiance to the Moors, his children are brought out and beheaded, a sortie is made from the besieged city: finally, the king of Spain arrives to the rescue; the wrongs of Gonzalez are avenged, he himself dies in victory; and the poem closes with a picture of his wife, moved by the strongest grief, of which she is yet able to restrain the expression. The great excellence of the poem lies in the description of the struggle between the consciousness of duty and maternal fondness. We believe none but a mother could have written it.”-PROFESSOR NORTox, in North American Review for April 1827.

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So ist des geistes ruf an mich ergangen,
Mich treibt nicht eitles, irdisches verlangen.

Die Jungfrau von Orlean.
Long time against oppression have I fought,
And for the native liberty of faith
Have bled and suffer'd bonds.

Remorse, a Tragedy. The following Poem is intended to describe the mental conflicts, as well as outward sufferings, of a Spaniard, who, flying from the religious persecutions of his own country, in the sixteenth century, takes refuge with his child, in a North American forest. The story is supposed to be related by himself, amidst the wilderness which has afforded him an asylum.

I.

THE voices of my home! I hear them still !
They have been with me through the dreamy night-
The blessed household voices, wont to fill
My heart's clear depths with unalloyd delight!
I hear them still, unchanged :-though some from earth
Are music parted, and the tones of mirth-
Wild, silvery tones, that rang through days more bright!

Have died in others--yet to me they come,
Singing of boyhood back—the voices of my home!

II.

They call me through this hush of woods reposing,
In the grey stillness of the summer morn;
They wander by when heavy flowers are closing,
And thoughts grow deep, and winds and stars are born ;
Even as a fount's remembered gushings burst
On the parch'd traveller in his hour of thirst,
E’en thus they haunt me with sweet sounds, till worn
By quenchless longings, to my soul I say
Oh! for the dove's swift wings, that I might flee away,-

III.

And find mine ark yet whither?-Imust bear
A yearning heart within me to the grave.
I am of those o'er whom a breath of air-
Just darkening in its course the lake's bright wave,
And sighing through the feathery canes —hath power
To call up shadows, in the silent hour,
From the dim past, as from a wizard's cave !

So must it be!—These skies above me spread, Are they my own soft skies ?-Ye rest not here, my dead !

IV.

Ye far amidst the southern flowers lie sleeping,
Your graves all smiling in the sunshine clear,
Save one! a blue, lone, distant main is sweeping
High o'er one gentle head-ye rest not here
'Tis not the olive, with a whisper swaying,
Not thy low ripplings, glassy water, playing,
Through my own chestnut groves, which till mine ear;

But the faint echoes in my breast that dwell,
And for their birthplace moan, as moans the ocean-shell."

V.

Peace !-I will dash these fond regrets to earth,
Even as an eagle shakes the cumbering rain
From his strong pinion. Thou that gavest me birth,
And lineage, and once home,-my native Spain !
My own bright land-my father's land-my child's!
What hath thy son brought from thee to the wilds?
He hath brought marks of torture and the chain,

Traces of things which pass not as a breeze ; (these. A blighted name, dark thoughts, wrath, woe,--thy gifts are

VI.
A blighted name !-I hear the winds of morn-
Their sounds are not of this ! -I hear the shiver
Of the green reeds, and all the rustlings, borne
From the high forest, when the light leaves quiver.
Their sounds are not of this the cedars, waving,
Lend it no tone: His wide savannahs laving,
It is not murmur'd by the joyous river!

What part hath mortal name, where God alone
Speaks to the mighty waste, and through its heart is known?

VII.

Is it not much that I may worship Him,
With nought my spirit's breathings to control,
And feel His presence in the vast, and dim,
And whispery woods, where dying thunders roll
From the far catracts ?-Shall I not rejoice
That I have learn'd at last to know His voice
From man's ?-I will rejoice !--my soaring soul

Now hath redeem'd her birthright of the day,
And won, through clouds, to Him, her own unfetter'd way!

VIII.
And thou, my boy! that silent at my knee
Dost lift to mine thy soft, dark, earnest eyes,
Fill'd with the love of childhood, which I see
Pure through its depths, a thing without disguise ;
Thou that hast breathed in slumber on my breast,
When I have check'd its throbs to give thee rest,
Mi own! whose young thoughts fresh before me rise !

Is it not much that I may guide thy prayer,
And circle thy glad soul with free and healthful air ?

IX.

Why should I weep on thy bright head, my boy?
Within thy fathers' halls thou wilt not dwell,
Nor lift their banner, with a warrior's joy,
Amidst the sons of mountain chiefs, who fell
For Spain of old.-Yet what if rolling waves
Have borne us far from our ancestral graves ?
Thou shalt not feel thy bursting heart rebel,

As mine hath done ; nor bear what I have borne,
Casting in falsehood's mould th' indignant brow of scorn.

X. This shall not be thy lot, my blessed child ! I have not sorrow'd, struggled, lived in vainHear me ! magnificent and ancient wild ; And mighty rivers, ye that meet the main, As deep meets deep; and forests, whose dim shade The flood's voice, and the wind's, by swells pervade ; Hear me !—'tis well to die, and not complain, Yet there are hours when the charged heart must speak, E'en in the desert's ear to pour itself, or break!

XI.
I see an oak before me:3 it hath been
The crown'd one of the woods; and might have flung
Its hundred arms to heaven, still freshly green,
But a wild vine around the stem hath clung,
From branch to branch close wreaths of bondage throwing,
Till the proud tree, before no tempest bowing,
Hath shrunk and died those serpent folds amorg,

Alas! alas! what is it that I see?
An image of man's mind, land of my sires, with thee!

XII.

Yet art thou lovely!-Song is on thy hills
Oh, sweet and mournful melodies of Spain,
That lulld my boyhood, how your memory thrills
The exile's heart with sudden-wakening pain !
Your sounds are on the rocks :- That I might hear
Once more the music of the mountaineer!
And from the sunny vales the shepherd's strain

Floats out, and fills the solitary place
With the old tuneful names of Spain's heroic race.

XIII.

But there was silence one bright, golden day,
Through my own pine-hung mountains. Clear, yet lone,
In the rich autumn light the vineyards lay,
And from the fields the peasant's voice was gone;
And the red grapes untrodden strew'd the ground,
And the free Hocks, untended, roarn’d around :
Where was the pastor ?--where the pipe's wild tone ?

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