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Claspt with extended arms the funeral mould.
Father! he cried; companion, only friend,
When all beside was lost! thou too art gone,
And the poor sinner whom from utter death
Thy providential hand preserved, once more
Totters upon the gulf. I am too weak
For solitude,-too vile a wretch to bear
This everlasting commune with myself.
Despair hath laid the nets
To take my soul, and Memory, like a ghost,
Haunts me, and drives me to the toils. O Saint,
While I was blest with thee, the hermitage
Was my sure haven! Look upon me still ;
For from thy heavenly mansion thou canst see
The suppliant ; look upon thy child in Christ.
Romano! Father ! let me hear thy voice
In dreams, O sainted soul! or from the grave
Speak to thy penitent; even from the grave
Thine were a voice of comfort.
Thus he cried,
Easing the pressure of his burthen'd heart
With passionate prayer; thus pour'd his spirit forth,
Till the long effort had exhausted him,
His spirit faiļd, and laying on the grave
His weary head, as on a pillow, sleep
Fell on him. He had pray'd to hear a voice
Of consolation, and in dreams a voice
Of consolation came. Roderick, it said,
Roderick, my poor, unhappy, sinful child,
Jesus have mercy on thee! Not if heaven
Had open'd, and Romano, visible
In his beatitude, had breath'd that prayer ;-
Not if the grave had spoken, had it pierced
So deeply in his soul, nor'wrung his heart
With such compunctious visitings, nor given
So quick, so keen a pang. It was that voice
Which sung his fretful infancy to sleep
So patiently ; which sooth'd his childish griefs ;
Counsell'd with anguish and prophetic tears,
His headstrong youth. And lo! his mother stood
Before him in the vision.
PELAYO AND HIS CHILDREN. The ascending vale, Long straitened by the narrowing mountains, here Was closed. In front a rock, abrupt and bare, Stood eminent, in height exceeding far All edifice of human power, by king Or caliph, or barbaric sultan reared, Or mightier tyrants of the world of old, Assyrian or Egyptian, in their pride : Yet farłabove, beyond the reach of sight, . Swell after swell, the heathery mountain rose. Here, in two sources, from the living rock The everlasting springs of Deva gushed. Upon a smooth and grassy plat below, a By Nature there as for an altar drest, They joined their sister stream, which from the earth Welled silently. In such a scene rude man With pardonable error might have knelt, Feeling a present Deity, and made His offering to the fountain nymph devout. The arching rock disclosed above the springs A cave, where hugest son of giant birth, That e'er of old in forest of romance Gainst knights and ladies waged discourteous war. Erect within the portal might have stood. No holier spot than Covadonga, Spain Boasts in her wide extent, though all her realms Be with the noblest blood of martyrdom In elder or in later days enriched, And glorified with tales of heavenly aid By many a miracle made manifest; Nor in the heroic annals of her fame Doth she show forth a scene of more renown. Then, save the hunter, drawn in keen pursuit
Beyond his wonted haunts, or shepherd's boy,
Following the pleasure of his straggling flock,
None knew the place.
Pelayo, when he saw
Those glittering sources and their sacred cave,
Took from his side the bugle silver-tipt,
And with a breath long drawn and slow expired
Sent forth that strain, which, echoing from the walls
Or Cangas, wont to tell his glad return
When from the chase he came. At the first sound
Favila started in the cave, and cried,
My father's horn!—A sudden flame suffused
Hermesind's cheek, and she with quickened eye
Looked eager to her mother silently ;
But Gaudiosa trembled and grew pale,
Doubting her sense deceived. A second time
The bugle breathed its well-known notes abroad ;
And Hermesind around her mother's neck
Threw her white arms, and earnestly exclaimed,
'Tis he!--But when a third and broader blast
Rung in the echoing archway, ne'er did wand,
With magic power 'endued, call up a sight
So strange, as sure in that wild solitude
It seemed, when from the bowels of the rock
The mother and her children hastened forth.
She in the sober charms and dignity Of womanhood mature, nor verging yet Upon decay: in gesture like a queen, Such inborn and habitual majesty Ennobled all her steps,-or priestess, chosen Because within such fațltless work of heaven Inspiring Deity might seem to make Its habitation known.-Favila such In form and stature as the Sea Nymph's son, When that wise Centaur from his caye well-pleased Beheld the boy divine his growing strength Against some shaggy lionet essay,.. And fixing in the half-grown mane his hands, Roll with himn in fierce dalliance intertwined.
But like a creature of some higher sphere
His sister came; she scarcely touched the rock,
So light was Hermesind's aërial speed.
Beauty and grace and innocence in her
In heavenly union shone. One who had held
The faith of elder Greece, would sure have thought
She was some glorious nymph of seed divine,
Oread or Dryad, of Diana's train
The youngest and the loveliest : yea she seemed
Angel, or soul beatified, from realms
Of bliss, on errand of parental love
To earth re-sent,-if tears and trembling limbs
With such celestial natures might consist.
In form and stature as the Sea Nymph's son,
When that wise Centaur, &c.
Achilles, the son of Thetis, a sea nymph, was educated in Thessaly by Chiron the Centaur. Favila, the son and successor of Pelayo, is here compared with the young Achilles.
The faith of elder Greece. This religion has been described with considerable effect by Mr. Percival, an American poet.
RELIGION OF GREECE. There was a time, when the o'erhanging sky, And the fair earth with its variety, Mountain and valley, continent and sea, Were not alone the unmoving things that lie Slumbering beneath the sun's unclouded eye; But every fountain had its spirit then, That held communion oft with holy men, And frequent from the heavenward mountain came Bright creatures, hovering round on wings of flame, And some mysterious sybil darkly gave Responses from the dim and hidden cave:Voices were heard waking the silent air,
A solemn music echoed from the wood,
And often from the bosom of the flood
Came forth a sportive Naiad passing fair,
The clear drops twinkling in her braided hair ;
And as the hunter through the forest strayed,
Quick-glancing beauty shot across the glade,
Her polished arrow levelled on her bow,
Ready to meet the fawn or bounding roe.
Each lonely spot was hallowed then-the oak
That o'er the village altar hung, would tell
Strange hidden things; the old remembered well,
How from its gloom a spirit often spoke.
There was not then a fountain or a cave,
But had its reverend oracle, and gave
Responses to the fearful crowd, who came
And called the indwelling deity by name ;
Then every snowy peak, that lifted high
Its shadowy cone to meet the bending sky,
Stood like a heaven of loveliness and light:
And as the gilt cloud rolled its glory by,
Chariots and steeds of flame stood harnessed there,
And gods came forth and seized the golden reins,
Shook the bright scourge, and through the boundless air
Rode over starry fields and azure plains.
It was a beautiful and glorious dream,
Such as would kindle high the soul of song.
All seemed one bright enchantment then ;-but now,
Since the long sought for goal of truth is won,
Nature stands forth unveiled with cloudless brow,
On earth ONE SPIRIT OF Life, in heaven One.
They sin who tell us Love can die.
With life all other passions fly,
All others are but vanity.
In heaven Ambition cannot dwell,
Nor Avarice in the vaults of hell; .
Earthly these passions of the earth,