Till Roderick deemed the fiends had burst their yoke,

And waved 'gainst heaven the infernal gonfalone ! For War a new and dreadful language spoke,

Never by ancient warrior heard or known;
Lightning and smoke her breath, and thunder was her tone.

From the dim landscape roll the clouds away

The Christians have regained their heritage :
Before the Cross has waned the Crescent's ray,

And many a monastery decks the stage,
And lofty church, and low-browed hermitage.

The land obeys a Hermit and a Knight,
The Genii these of Spain for many an age;

This clad in sackcloth, that in armour bright,
And that was VALOur named, this BIGOTRY was hight.

VALOUR was harnessed like a Chief of old,

Armed at all points, and prompt for knightly gest:
His sword was tempered in the Ebro cold,

Morena's eagle-plume adorned his crest, The spoils of Afric's lion bound his breast.

Fierce he stepped forward and flung down his gage, As if of mortal kind to brave the best.

Him followed his Companion, dark and sage,
As he, my Master, sung the dangerous Archimage.

Haughty of heart and brow the Warrior came,

In look and language proud as proud might be,
Vaunting his lordship, lineage, fights and fame,

Yet was that bare-foot Monk
And as the ivy climbs the tallest tree,

So round the loftiest soul his toils he wound,
And with his spells subdued the fierce and free,

Till ermined Age, and Youth in arms renowned, Honouring his scourgeand hair-cloth, meekly kissed the ground

And thus it chanced that VALOUR, peerless Knight,

Who ne'er to King or Kaisar veiled his crest,
Victorious still in bull-feast, or in fight,

Since first his limbs with mail he did invest, Stooped ever to that Anchoret's behest:

Nor reasoned of the right nor of the wrong, But at his bidding laid the lance in rest,

And wrought fell deeds the troubled world along, For he was fierce as brave, and pitiless as strong.

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Oft his proud galleys sought some new-found world,

That latest sees the sun, or first the morn;
Still at that Wizard's feet their spoils he hurled, -

Ingots of ore from rich Potosi borne,

Crowns by Caciques, aigrettes by Omrahs worn,

Wrought of rare gems, but broken, rent, and foul; Idols of gold from heathen temples torn,

Bedabbled all with blood.- With grisly scowl
The Hermit marked the stains, and smiled beneath his cowl.

Then did he bless the offering, and bade make

Tribute to heaven of gratitude and praise;
And at his word the choral hymns awake,

And many a hand the silver censer sways. But with the incense-breath these censers raise,

Mix steams from corpses smouldering in the fire; The groans of prisoned victims mar the lays,

And shrieks of agony confound the quire,
While, 'mid the mingled sounds, the darkened scenes expire.

Preluding light, were strains of music heard,

As once again revolved that measured sand;
Such sonnds as when, for sylvan dance prepared,

Gay Xeres summons forth her vintage band; When for the light Bolero ready stand

The Mozo blithe, with gay Muchacha met,
He conscious of his broidered cap and band,

She of her netted locks and light corsette,
Each tiptoe perched to spring, and shake the castanet.

And well such strains the opening scene became;

For Valour had relaxed his ardent book,
And at a lady's feet, like lion tame,

Lay stretched, full loth the weight of arms to brook;
And softened BIGOTRY, upon his book,

Pattered a task of little good or ill:
But the blithe peasant plied his pruning-hook,

Whistled the muleteer o'er vale and hill,
And rung from village green the merry Seguidille.

Grey 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 Minion bold; But peace was on the cottage and the fold,

From court intrigue, from bickering faction far; Beneath the chestnut-tree Love's tale was told;

And to the tinkling of the light guitar,
Sweet stooped the western sun, sweet rose the evening star.

As that sea-cloud, in size like human hand,

When first from Carmel by the Tishbite seen,
Came slowly overshadowing Israel's land,

Awhile, perchance, bedecked with colours sheen,

While yet the sunbeams 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 cloud
Then sheeted rain burst down, and whirlwinds bowled aloud;

Even so upon that peaceful scene was poured,

Like gathering clouds, full many a foreign band,
And He, their Leader, wore in sheath his sword,

And offered peaceful front and open hand; Veiling the perjured treachery he planned,

By friendship’s zeal and honour's specious guise, Until he won the passes of the land;

Then, burst were honour's oath, and friendship’s ties !
He clutched his vulture-grasp, and called fair Spain his prize.

An Iron Crown his anxious forehead bore;

And well such diadem his heart became,
Who ne'er his purpose for remorse gave o'er,

Or checked his course for piety or shame; Who, trained a soldier, deemed a soldier's fame

Might flourish in the wreath of battles won, Though neither truth nor honour decked his name;

Who, placed by fortune on a Monarch's throne,
Recked not of Monarch's faith, or Mercy's kingly tone.

From a rude isle his ruder lineage came:

The spark, that, from a superb hovel's hearth
Ascending, wraps some capital in flame,

Hath not a meaner or more sordid birth.
And for the soul that bade him waste the earth-

The sable land-flood from some swamp obscure,
That poisons the glad husband-field with dearth,

And by destruction bids its fame endure,
Hath not a source more sullen, stagnant, and impure.

Before that Leader strode a shadowy Form:

Her limbs like mist, her torch-like meteor showed,
With which she beckoned him through fight and storin,

And all he crushed that crossed his desperate road, Nor thought, nor feared, nor looked on what he trod;

Realms could not glut his pride, blood could not slake, So oft as e'er she shook her torch abroad

It was AMBITION bade his terrors wake,
Nor deigned she, as of yore, a milder form to take.

No longer now she spurned at mean revenge,

Or stayed her band for conquered foeman's moan,
As when, the fates of aged Rome to change,

By Cæsar's side she crossed the Rubicon;

Nor joyed she to bestow the spoils she won,

As when the banded powers of Greece were tasked,
To war beneath the Youth of Macedon:

No seemly veil her modern minion asked,
He saw her hideous face, and loved the fiend unmasked.

That Prelate marked 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 sball stand! O thou hast builded on the shifting sand, · And thou hast tempered it with slaughter's flood; And know, fell scourge in the Almighty's hand !

Gore-moistened trees shall perish in the bud,
And, by a bloody death, shall die the Man of Blood !”-

The ruthless Leader beckoned 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 !" Not that he loved him-No!-in no man's weal,

Scarce in his own, e'er joyed 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.

But on the Natives of that Land misused,

Not long the silence of amazement hung,
Nor brooked they long their friendly faith abused,
due For, with a common shriek, the general tongue
Exclaimed, “ 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 clenched his dreadful handa

That mimic Monarch now cast anxious eye

Upon the Satraps that begirt him round,
Now doffed his royal robe in act to fly,

And from his brow the diadem unbound. So oft, so near, the Patriot bugle wound,

From Tarik's walls to Bilboa'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 A puhara's peak that bugle rung,

And it was echoed from Corunna's wall;
Stately Seville responsive war-shout flung,

Granada 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.

But unappalled and burning for the fight,

The invaders march, of victory secure;
Skilful their force to sever or unite,

And trained 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 freedom's cause, and hands for freedom's blow.

Proudly they march—but oh! they march not forth

By one hot field to crown a brief campaign,
As when their eagles, sweeping through the North,

Destroyed 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 from the slain,

High blazed the war, and long, and far, and wide,
And oft the God of Battles blessed the righteous side.

Nor unatoned, where Freedom's foes prevail,

Remained their savage waste. With blade and brand, By day the Invaders ravaged hill and dale,

But, with the darkness, the Guerilla band Came like night's tempest, and avenged the land,

And claimed for blood the retribution due, Probed the hard heart, and lopped the murderous hand;

And Dawn, when o'er the scene her beams she threw, 'Midst ruins they had made the spoilers' corpses knew.


What Minstrel verse may sing, or tongue may tell,

Amid the visioned strife from sea to sea, How oft the Patriot banners rose or fell,

Still honoured in defeat as victory! For that sad pageant of events to be,

Showed every form of fight by field and flood; Slaughter and Ruin, shouting forth their glee,

Beheld, while riding on the tempest-scud, The waters choked with slain, the earth bedrenched with blood!

Then Zaragoza-blighted be the tongue

That names thy name without the honour due !
For never hath the harp of minstrel rung,

Of faith so felly proved, so firmly true!

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