« AnteriorContinuar »
The tall, gray forest; and a band
They sang, that by his native bowers
A dark cloak of the roebuck's skin
Before, a dark-haired virgin train
Stripped of his proud and martial dress, Uncurbed, unreined, and riderless, With darting eye, and nostril spread, And heavy and impatient tread, He came; and oft that eye so proud Asked for his rider in the crowd.
They buried the dark chief—they freed Beside the grave his battle steed; And swift an arrow cleaved its way To his stern heart! One piercing neigh Arose,-and, on the dead man's plain, The rider grasps his steed again.
[Don Jorge Manrique, the author of the following poem, flourished in the last half of the fifteenth century. He followed the profession of arms, and died on the field of battle. Mariana, in his History of Spain, makes honourable mention of him, as being present at the siege of Uclés; and speaks of him as "a youth of estimable qualities, who in this war gave brilliant proofs of his valour. He died young; and was thus cut off from long exercising his great virtues, and exhibiting to the world the light of his genius, which was already known to fame.” He was mortally wounded in a skirmish near Canavette, in the year 1479.
The name of Rodrigo Manrique, the father of the poet, Conde de Paredes and Maestre de Santiago, is well known in Spanish history and song. He died in 1476; according to Mariana, in the town of Uclés; but, according to the poem of his son, in Ocana. It was his death that called forth the poem upon which rests the literary reputation of the younger Manrique. In the language of his historian, “Don Jorge Manrique, in an elegant Ode, full of poetic beauties, rich embellishments of genius, and high moral reflections, mourned the death of his father as with a funeral hymn." This praise is not exaggerated. The poem is a model in its kind. Its conception is solemn and beautiful; and, in accordance with it, the style moves on-calm, dignified, and majestic.]
Awake to see
Swiftly our pleasures glide away,
Onward its course the present keeps,
Let no one fondly dream again,
Thither the mighty torrents stray,