« AnteriorContinuar »
Such be the sons of Spain, and strange her fate!
They fight for freedom who were never free;
A Kingless people for a nerveless state,
Her vassals combat when their chieftains flee,
True to the veriest slaves of Treachery:
Fond of a land which gave them nought but life,
Pride points the path that leads to Liberty;
Back to the struggle, baffled in the strife,
War, war is still the cry, “War even to the knife!" (18)
Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know,
Go, read whate'er is writ of bloodiest strife:
Whate'er keen Vengeance urged on foreign foe
Can act, is acting there against man's life:
From flashing scimitar to secret knife,
War mouldeth there each weapon to his need-
may he guard the sister and the wife,
he make each curst oppressor bleed, So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed!
LXXXVIII. Flows there a tear of pity for the dead ? Look o'er the ravage of the reeking plain; Look on the hands with female slaughter red; Then to the dogs resign the unburied slain, Then to the vulture let each corse remain; Albeit unworthy of the prey-bird's maw, Let their bleach'd bones, and blood's unbleaching stain,
Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe: Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw!
Nor yet, alas! the dreadful work is done;
Fresh legions pour adown the Pyrenees:
It deepens still, the work is scarce begun,
Nor mortal eye the distant end foresees.
Fall'n nations gaze on Spain; if freed, she frees
More than her fell Pizarros once enchain'd:
Strange retribution! now Columbia's ease
Repairs the wrongs that Quito's sons sustain'd, While o'er the parent clime prowls Murder unrestrain'd.
Not all the blood at Talavera shed,
Not all the marvels of Barossa's fight,
Not Albuera lavish of the dead,
Have won for Spain her well asserted right.
When shall her Olive-Branch be free from blight?
When shall she breathe her from the blushing toil?
How many a doubtful day shall sink in night,
Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil, And Freedom's stranger-tree grow native of the soil!
And thou, my friend ! (19)--since unavailing woe
Bursts from my heart, and mingles with the strain-
Had the sword laid thee with the mighty low,
Pride might forbid ev'n Friendship to complain:
But thus unlaureld to descend in vain,
By all forgotten, save the lonely breast,
And mix unbleeding with the boasted slain,
While Glory crowns so many a meaner crest! What hadst thou done to sink so peacefully to rest?
Oh, known the earliest, and esteem'd the most!
Dear to a heart where nought was left so dear!
Though to my hopeless days for ever lost,
In dreams deny me not to see thee here!
And Morn in secret shall renew the tear
Of Consciousness awaking to her woes,
And Fancy hover o'er thy bloodless bier,
Till my frail frame return to whence it rose,
And mourn's and mourner lie united in repose.
Here is one fytte of Harold's pilgrimage:
Ye who of him may further seek to know,
Shall find some tidings in a future page,
If he that rhymeth now may scribble moe.
Is this too much? stern Critic! say not so:
Patience! and ye shall hear what he beheld
In other lands, where he was doom'd to go:
Lands that contain the monuments of Eld,
Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands were
CHILDE HAROLD'S PILGRIMAGE.
Come, blue-eyed maid of heaven!-but thou, alas!
Didst never yet one mortal song inspire
Goddess of Wisdom! here thy temple was,
And is, despite of war and wasting fire, (14
And years, that bade thy worship to expire:
But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow,
Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire
Of men who never felt the sacred glow
That thoughts of thee and thine on polish'd breasts
Ancient of days! august Athena! where,
Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul?
Gone-glimmering through the dream of things that
First in the race that led to Glory's goal, [were:
They won, and pass'd away-is this the whole?
A schoolboy's tale, the wonder of an hour!
The warrior's weapon and the sophist's stole
Are sought in vain, and o’er each mouldering tower, Dim with the mist of years, gray flits the shade of power.