« 前へ次へ »
Their mingled shadows intercept the sight
Of the broad burial-ground outstretched below,
All sleeps in sullen shade or silver glow,
Or, distant heard, a courser's neigh or tramp
For, through the river's night-fog rolling damp,
Was many a proud pavilion dimly seen, Which glimmered back, against the moon's fair lamp, .
Tissues of silk and silver twisted sheen, And standards proudly pitched, and warders armed between
But of their Monarch's person keeping ward,
Since last the deep-mouthed bell of vespers tolled, The chosen soldiers of the royal guard
Their post beneath the proud Cathedral hold:
Who, for the cap of steel and iron mace,
While silver-studded belts their shoulders grace,
They murmured at their master's long delay,
“What! will Don Roderick here till morning stay, To wear in shrift and prayer the night away?
And are his hours in such dull penance passed For fair Florinda's plundered charms to pay ?”
Then to the east their weary eyes they cast, And wished the lingering dawn would glimmer forth at last.
But, far within, Toledo's Prelate lent
An ear of fearful wonder to the king; The silver lamp a fitful lustre sent,
So long that sad confession witnessing:
Such as are lothly uttered to the air,
And Guilt his secret burthen cannot bear,
The stream of failing light was feebly rolled ;
Was shadowed by his hand and mantle's fold.
While of his hidden soul the sins he told,
Proud Alaric's descendant could not brook, That mortal man his bearing should behold.
Or boast that he had seen, when conscience shook, Fear tame a monarch's brow, remorse a warrior's look.
As many a secret sad the king bewrayed;
When in the midst his faltering whisper stayed. “ Thus royal Witiza was slain,” he said;
“Yet, holy father, deem not it was I."> Thus still Ambition strives her crimes to shade
“ O rather deem 'twas stern necessity ! Self-preservation bade, and I must kill or die.
If she invoked her absent sire in vain,
Yet, reverend priest, thy sentence rash refrain !
Know by their bearing to disguise their mood :"But Conscience here, as if in high disdain,
Sent to the Monarch's cheek the burning bloodHe stayed his speech abrupt-and up the Prelate stood.
IX. “O hardened offspring of an iron race !
What of thy crimes, Don Roderick, shall I say? What alms, or prayers, or penance can efface
Murder's dark spot, wash treason's stain away! For the foul ravisher how shall I pray,
Who, scarce repentant, makes his crime his boast? How hope Almighty vengeance shall delay,
Unless, in mercy to yon Christian host, He spare the shepherd, lest the guiltless sheep be lost."
Then kindled the dark Tyrant in his mood,
And to iis brow returned his dauntless gloom; “And welcome then," he cried, “be blood for blood,
For treason treachery, for dishonour doom! Yet will I know whence come they, or by whom.
Show, for thou canst-give forth the fated key,
Where, if aught true in old tradition be,
the Om Bethink, yon spell-bound portal would afford
Never to former Monarch entrance-way;
Or pause ere yet
Nor shall it ever ope, old records say,
Save to a king, the last of all his line,
And treason digs, beneath, her fatal mine,
Lead on !”—The ponderous key the old man took, And held the winking lamp, and led the way
By winding stair, dark aisle, and secret nook, Then on an ancient gateway bent his look ;
And, as the key the desperate king essayed, Low muttered thunders the Cathedral shook,
And twice he stopped, and twice new effort made,
Roof, walls, and floor, were all of marble stone,
Carved o'er with signs and characters unknown. A paly light, as of the dawning, shone
Through the sad bounds, but whence they could not spy: For window to the upper air was none;
Yet, by that light, Don Roderick could descry
Of molten bronze, two Statues held their place;
Their frowning foreheads golden circlets grace. Moulded they seem for kings of giant race,
That lived and sinned before the avenging flood; This grasped a scythe, that rested on a mace;
This spread his wings for flight, that pondering stood, Each stubborn seemed and stern, immutable of mood.
Upon his brother's glass of shifting sand,
Whose iron volume loaded his huge hand; In which was wrote of many a falling land,
Of empires lost, and kings to exile driven; And o'er that pair their names in scroll expand
“ Lo, DESTINY and TIME! to whom by Heaven The guidance of the earth is for a season given."
As one that startles from a heavy sleep.
Full on the upper wall the mace's sweep
At once descended with the force of thunder, And hurtling down at once, in crumbled heap,
The marble boundary was rent asunder,
Realms as of Spain in visioned prospect laid,
As by some skilful artist's band portrayed : Here, crossed by many a wild Sierra's shade,
And boundless plains that tire the traveller's eye; There, rich with vineyard and with olive-glade,
Or deep-embrowned by forests huge and high,
Passed forth the bands of masquers trimly led,
While fitting strains the hearer's fancy fed; So, to sad Roderick's eye in order spread,
Successive pageants filled that mystic scene,
And issue of events that had not been;
It seemed as if Don Roderick knew the call,
Then answered kettle-drum and atabal, Gong-peal and cymbal-clank the ear appal,
The Tecbir war-cry, and the Lelie's yell, Ring wildly dissonant along the hall.
Needs not to Roderick their dread import tell “The Moor!” he cried, “ the Moor!-rings out the Tocsinbell
xx. “ They come! they come! I see the groaning lands
White with the turbans of each Arab horde,
Alla and Mahomet their battle-word,
See how the Christians rush to arms amain !
The shadowy hosts are closing on the plainNow, God and St. Iago strike, for the good cause of Spain !
XXI. " By heaven, the Moors prevail ! the Christians yield !
Their coward leader gives for flight the sign! The sceptred craven mounts to quit the field
Is not yon steed Orelia ?-Yes, 'tis mine!
But never was she turned from battle line;
Lo! where the recreant spurs o'er stock and stone !Curses pursue the slave
Rivers engulf him!"_" Hush,” in shuddering tone, The Prelate said; “rash Prince, yon visioned form's thine
The dangerous ford the Kingly Likeness tried ;
Swept like benighted peasant down the tide; And the proud Moslemah spread far and wide,
As numerous as their native locust band;
With naked scimitars mete out the land,
The loveliest maidens of the Christian line;
Castile's young nobles held forbidden wine; Then, too, the holy Cross, salvation's sign,
By impious hands was from the altar thrown,
Echoed, for holy hymn and organ tone,
Flames dart their glare o'er midnight's sable woof,
And sees the pale assistants stand aloof; While cruel Conscience brings him bitter proof,
Flis folly, or his crime, have caused his grief; And, while above him nods the crumbling roof,
He curses earth and Heaven-himself in chief-
And twilight on the landscape closed her wings;
And in their stead rebeck or timbrel rings; And to the sound the bell-decked dancer springs,
Bazaars resound as when their marts are met,
And on the land as evening seemed to set,
The visionary scene was wrapped in smoke,
With every Aash a bolt explosive broke,