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Gray royalty, grown impotent of toil,
Let the grave sceptre slip his lazy hold, And careless saw his rule become the spoil
Of a loose female and her rninion bold. But peace was on the cottage and the fold,
From court intrigue, from bickering faction far; Beneath the ehesnut-tree Love's tale was told,
And to the tinkling of the light guitar
As that sea-cloud, in size like human hand
When first from Carmel by the Tishbite seen, Came slowly over-shadowing lsrael‘.s land,
Awhile, perchance, bedeck’d with colours sheen \\-’hile yet the sun—beams on its skirts had been,
Limning with purple and with gold its shroud, Till darker folds obscured the blue serene,
And blotted heaven with one broad sable eloud—
Then sheeted rain burst down, and whirlwinds howl’d aloud :—
‘No longer now she spurn'd at mean revenge, ‘
Or staid her hand for conquer'cl foeman’s moan, As when, the fates of aged Rome to change,
By Caesar's side she cross'd the Rubicon ; l‘ Norjoy’d she to bestow thespoils she won, i As when the banded powers of Greece were task'd y To war beneath the Youth of Macedon:
No seemly veil her modern minion ask'd, He saw her hideous face, and loved the fiend unmask'd.
XLlI. That prelate mark'd his'march—On banners blazed With battles won in many a distant land, On eagle-standards and on arms he gazed; (( And hopest thou then,» he said, (( thy power shall stand? O thou hast builded on the shifting sand, And thou hast temper'd it with slaughter’s flood; And know, fell scourge in the Almighty's hand! Gore-moisten’d trees shall perish in the bud, And by a bloody death shall die the man of blood l)!-—
XLlll. The ruthless leader beekon'd from his train A wan fraternal shade, and bade him kneel, And paled his temples with the crown of Spain, While trumpets rang, and heralds cried, <<Castile 3» ( l0: Not that he loved him——No!--in no man's weal, Scarce in his own, e'erjoy'd that sullen heart; Yet round that throne he bade his warriors wheel, That the poor puppet might perform his part, And be a sceptred slave, at his stern beck to start.
xuv. But on the natives of that land misused Not long the silence of amazement hung, Nor brook'd they long their friendly faith abused; For, with a common shriek, the general tongue EXelaim'd, it To arms!» and fast to arms they sprung. And Valour woke, that genius of the land! Pleasure and ease, and sloth,aside he flung, As burst the awakening Nazarite his band, When ’gainst his treacherous foes he elenclfd hi dreadful hand.
That mimic monarch now cast anxious eye
Upon the satraps that begirt him round, Now doff’d his royal robe in act to fly,
And from his brow the diadem unbound. So oft, so near, the palriotbugle wound,
From Tarik‘s walls to Bilhoa’s mountains blown. ' These martial satellites hard labour found,
To guard awhile his substituted throne—Light recking of his cause, but battling for their own.
From Alpuhara's peak that bugle rung,
And it was echo'd from Corunna's wall; Stately Seville responsive war-shout flung,
Grenada caught it in her Moorish hall; Galicia bade her children fight or fall,
Wild Biscay shook his mountain-coronet, Valencia roused her at the battle-call,
And foremost still where Valour’s sons are met, Fast started to his gun each fiery Miquelet.
XLVII. But unappall’d, and burning for the fight, The invaders march, of victory secure; Skilful their force to sever or unite, And train’d alike to vanquish or endure. Nor skilful less, cheap conquest to ensure, Discord to breathe, and jealousy to sow, To quell by boasting, and by bribes to lure: While nought against them bring the unpractised foe» Save hearts for freedoms cause, and hands for freedom's blow. XLVIII. Proudly they march—but 0! they march not forth, By one hot field to crown a brief campaign, As when their eagles, sweeping through the North, Destroy'd at every stoop an ancient reign ‘. Far other fate had Heaven decreed for Spain; In vain the steel, in vain the torch was plied, New patriot armies started fcom the slain, Iligh blazed the war, and long, and far, and wide, (I 1) And oft the God of Battles blest the righteous side.
Yet raise thy head, sad city! Though in chains,
For what thou worshippest !—thy sainted dame,
By all, whate'er their creed, who honour love! And like the sacred reliques of the flame,
That gave some martyr to the bless'd above, To every loyal heart may thy sad embers prove!
And Oh! loved warriors of the minstrel's land!
Yonder your bonnets nod, your l£\l‘lIlllS wave! The rugged form may mark the mountain band,
And harsher features, and a mien more grave; But ne'er in battle-field throblfd heart so brave
As that which beats beneath the Scottish plaid, And when the pibroch bids the battle rave,
And level for the charge your arms are laid,
Hark! from yon stately ranks what laughter rings,
, And moves to death with military glee:
Boast, Erin, boast them! tameless, frank, and free,
In kindness warm, and fierce in danger known, Rough Nature's children, humorous as she :
And be, you chieftain—strike the proudest tone Of thy bold harp, green Isle !—the hero is thine own.
LXI. Now on the scene Vimeira should be shown, On Talavera's fight should Roderick gaze, And hear (lorunna wail her battle won, And see Busacds crest with lightning blaze :—But shall fond fable mix with heroes‘ praise? Hath Fiction's stage for 'l‘ruth's long triumphs room? And dare her flowers mingle with the bays, That claim a long eternity to bloom Around the Warrior's crest, and (far the Warrior's tombt
Or may I give adventurous Fancy scope,
And stretch a bold hand to the awful veil That hides futnrity from anxious hope,
Bidding beyond it-scenes of glory hail, And painting Europe rousing at the tale
Of Spain's invaders fromiher confines hurl‘d, While kindling nations buckle on their mail,
And Fame, with clarion blast and wings unfurl'd, To freedom and revenge awakes an injured world!
O vain, though anxious, is the glance] cast,
Since Fate has mark'd futurity her own : Yet fate resigns to worth the glorious past,
The deeds recorded, and the laurcls won, Then, though the Vault of Destiny (13) be gone,
King, prelate, all the phantasms of my brain, Melted away like mist-wreaths in the sun,
Yet grant for faith, for valour, and for Spain, One note of pride and fire, a patriot's parting strain!
I. t( Wao shall command Estrella's mountain tide Back to the source, when tempest-chafed to hie! Who, when Gascogne's vex'd gulf is raging wide, Shall hush it as a nurse her infant's cry! His magic power let such rain boastcr try, And when the torrent shall his voice obey, And Biscay's whirlwinds list his lullaby, Let him stand forth and bar mine eagles’ way, And they shall heed his voice, and at his bidding stay.
I]. it Else ne'er to stoop, till high on Lisbon‘s towers They close their wings, the symbol of our yoke, And their own sea hath whelm'd yon red-cross powers !» Thus, on the summit of Alverca's rock, To marshal, duke, and peer, Gaul's leader spoke. While downward on the land his legions press, Before them it was rich with vine and flock, And smiled like Eden in her summer dress,Behind their wasteful march 11 reeking wilderness. (14)
III. And shall the boastful chief maintain his word, Though Heaven hath heard the wailings of the land, Though Lusitania whet heavengeful sword, _ Though Britons arm, and Wellington command! No‘. grim Busaco's iron ridge shall_ stand An adarnanline barrier to his force! And from its base shall wheel his shatter'd band, As from the unshaken rock the torrent hoarse Bears off its broken waves, and seeks a devious course.
IV. Yet not because Alcoba's mountain hawk [lath on his best and bravest made her food, In numbers confident, yon chief shall baulk His lord's imperial thirst for spoil and blood; For full in view the promised conquest stood, And Lisbon's matrons, from their walls, might sum The myriads that had half the world subdued, And hear the distant thundets of the drum That bids the hands of France to storm and havoc come.
‘ Four moons have heard these thunders idly roll'd,
Have seen these wistful myriads eye their prey,
l The literal translation of I":.-antes rl'IIon0r0.
XI. Go, baffled boaster! teach thy haughty mood To plead at thine imperious nr.1sler’s throne; Say, thou hast left his legions in their blood, Deceived his hopes, and frustrated thine own; Say, that thine utmost skill and valour shown By British skill and valour were outvied; Last say, thy conqueror was WEl.Lu\'GTon! And if he chafc, be his own fortune tried— God and our cause to friend, the venture we ‘ll abide.
XII. But ye, the heroes of that well-fought day, How shall a hard, unknowing and unknown, His meed to each victorious leader pay, Or bind on every brow the laurels won’! Yet fain my harp would wake its boldest tone, O!cr the wide sea to hail CADOGAN brave; And he, perchance, the minstrel note might own, Mindful of meeting brief that Fortune gave Mid you far western isles that bear the Atlantic rave.
ll . .
To give each chief and every field its fame; Hark! Albuera thunders iii-IRESFORD,
And red Barrosa shouts‘ for dauntless CREME! O fora verse of tumult and of flame,
Bold as the bursting of their cannon-sound, To bid the world re-echo to their fame!
For never, upon gory battle-ground,
0 who shall grudge him Albuera's bays,
Who brought a race regenerate to the field, PtO!lh'C(l. them to emulate their fathers’ praise,
'l‘ctnper'<,l their headlong rage, their courage stcel'd ,(|g)) And raised fair Lttsitztliltrs fallen shield,
And gave new edge to Lusitania's sword,
Shiver’d my lrarp, and burst its every cliord,
Not on that bloody field of battle won,
Though Gaul's proud legions roll’d like mist away, Was half his sielf-devoted valour shown,—
He gaged but life on that illustrious day; But when he t0il'd those squadrons to array,
Who fought like Britons in the bloody game, Sharper than Polish pike, or assagay,
lie braved the shafts of censure and of shame, And, dearer far than life, he pledged a soldier's fame.
XVI. Nor be his praise o'erpast who strove to hide Beneath the warriors vest affection's wound, Whose wish Heaven for his country's weal denied, Danger and fate he sought, but glory found. From clime to clime, where'er war's trumpets sound, The wanderer went; yet, Caledonia! still Thine was his thought in march and tented ground; He drcam'd mid Alpine cliffs of Athole’s hill, And heard in Ebro's roar his Lyndoch’s lovely rill.
.-‘Ind xnystic Merlin harp'd and gray-hair'd Ll_vwareh sung. Tats locality may startle those readers who do not recollect, that much of the ancient poetry, preserved in Wales, refers less to the history of the principality to which that name is now limited, than to events which happened in the north-west of England and south-west of Scotland, where the Britons for a long time made a stand against the Saxons. The battle of Cattraeth, lamented by the Ct.‘lCl)I'1'tIC(l Aneurin, is supposed by the. learned Dr Leyden to have been fought on the skirts of Ettrick forest. It is known to the English reader by the paraphrase of Gray, beginning, Had I but the torrent's might, With headlong rage and wild aI'fright, etc.
But it is not so generally known that the champions, mourned in this beautiful dirge, were the British inhabitants of lidinbttrglt, who were cut off by the Saxons of Deiria, or t'orthnmberland, about the latter part of the sixth century.—Tua.~tER's Hi.stor_y of the .»l3zgI0-Saxons, edition 1799, vol. i, p. 222.—Llywarch, the celebrated bard and monarch, was Prince of Argwood, in Cumberland; and his youthful exploits were performed upon the Border, although in his age he was driven into Powys by the successes of the Anglo-Saxons. As for Merlin Wyllt, or the Savage, his name of Caledonia, and his retreat into the Caledonian wood, appropriate him to Scotland. Forduu dedicates the thirty-first chapter of the third book of his Scotochronicon, to a narration of the death of this celebrated hard and prophet near Drummelzier, a village upon Tweed, which is supposed to have derived its name (quasi Tumulus Merlini) frotn the event. The particular spot in which he is buried is still shown, and appears, from the following quotation, to have partaken of his prophetic qualities :-“There is one thing remarkable here, which is,'that the burn,
called Pausayl, runs by the east side of this church-yard into the Tweed; at the side of which burn, a little below the church-yard, the farnonsiprophet Merlin is said to be buried. The particular place of his grave, at the root of a thorn-tree, was shown in» many years ago, by the old,and reverend minister of the place, Mr Richard Brown ;' and here was the old prophecy fulfilled, delivered in Scots rhyme, to this purpose:
\\'heu Tweed and Pausayljoin at .\.'erlin's grave,
Scotland and England shall one monarch have.
K For the same day that our King James the Sixth was crowned King of England, the river Tweed, by an extraordinary flood, so far overflowed its banks, that it met and joined with Pausayl at the said grave, which was never before observed to fall ot1t.>>—l’£umfcntcK's Description o‘f‘TweezIrIale, Ediub. 1715, 4. p. 26.
Note 5. Stanza iv.
Almost all the Spanish historians, as well as the voice of tradition, ascribe the invasion of the Moors to the forcible violation committed by Roderick upon Florinda, called by the Moors (Jaba or Cuva. She was the daughter of Count Julian, one of the Gothic monarch's principal lieutenants, who, when the crime was perpetrated, was engaged in the defence of Cent-a against the Moors. In his indignation at the ingratitude of his sovereign, and the dishonour of his daughter, Count Jnlian forgot the duties of a Christian and a patriot, and, forming a.n alliance with Musa, then the calip'h's lieutenant in Africa, he countenanced the invasion of Spain by a body of Saracens and Africans, commanded by the celebrated Tarik; the issue of which was the defeat and death of Roderick, and the occupation of almost the whole peninsula by the Moors. Voltaire, in his General History, expresses his doubts of this popu