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Still he beheld, nor mingled with the throng;
Nat, smile not at my sullen brow,
Alas! I cannot smile again;
Should'st weep, and haply weep in vain.
I bear, corroding joy and youth?
A pang, ev'n thou must fail to soothe?
Nor low ambition's honours lost,
And fly from all I prized the most:
Fiom all I meet, or hear, or see:
Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me.
It is that settled, ceaseless gloom
That will not look beyond the tomb,
What exile from himself can flee?
To zones, though more and more remote, Still, still pursues, where-e'er I be,
The blight of life—the demon, Thought.
Yet others rapt in pleasure seem,
Oh! may they still of transport dream,
Through many a clime 'tis mine to go,
And all my solace is to know
Whate'er betides, I've known the worst.
What is that worst? Nay do not ask—
Smile on—nor venture to unmask
Adieu, fair Cadiz! yea, a long adieu! Who may forget how well thy walls have stood? When all were changing thou alone wert true, First to be free and last to be subdued: And if amidst a scene, a shock so rude, Some native blood was seen thy streets to die; A traitor only fell beneath the feud: Here all were noble, 'save Nobility; None hugged a conqueror's chain, save fallen Cbiralry!
Such be the sons of Spain, and strange her fate! They fight for freedom who were never free; A kingless people for a nerveless state, Her vassals combat when their chieftains flee, True to the veriest slaves of treachery: Fond of a land which gave them nought but life , Pride points the path that leads to liberty; Back to the struggle, baffled in the strife, W ar, war is still the cry, « War even to the knife! »
Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know, Go, read whate'er is writ of bloodiest strife: Whate'er keen vengeance urged on foreign foe Can act, is acting there against man's life: From flashing scimitar to secret knife, War mouMrth there each weapon to his need— So may he guard the sister and the wiffe, So may he make each curst oppressor bleed, So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed!
Flows there a tear of pity for the dead? Look o'er the ravage of the reeking plain; Look on the bands with female slaughter red; Then to the dogs resign the unburied slain, Then to the vulture let each corse remain ;. Albeit unworthy of the prey-bird's maw , Let theirhlpached bones, and blood's unbleaching stain, Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe: Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw I
Nor yet, alas! the dreadful work is done, Fresh legions pour adown the Pyrenees; It deepens stilt; the work is scarce begun, Nor mortal eye the distant end foresees. FalFn nations gaze on Spain; if freed, she frees More than her fell Pizarros once enchained. Strange retribution! now Columbia's ease Repairs the wrongs that Quito's sons sustained, While o'er the parent clime prowls Murd,er unrestrained,
Not all the blood at Talavera shed, Not all the marvels of Barossa's fight, Not Albuera lavish of the dead, Have won for Spain her well asserted right. When shall her olive-branch be free from blight? When shall she breathe her from the blushing toil? How many a doubtful day shall sink in night, Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil, And Freedom's stranger-tree grow native of the soil!
And thon, my friend!—since unavailing woe
Oh! known the earliest, and esteemed the most!
Here is one fytte of Harold's pilgrimage: Ye who of him may further seek to know, Shall find some tidings in a future page, If he that rhymeth now may scribble moe. Is this too much? stern critic! say not so: Patitnce! and ye shall hear what he beheld In other lands, where he was doomed to go: Lands that contain the monuments of Eld, Ere Greece ajid Grecian arts by barbarous hands were quelled
END OF CANTO I. ,\