Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

When Orpheus played a lesson to the brutes, The listening savages; the speckled pard Dandled the kid, and with the bounding roe The lion gambolled.

On his opponent's head, this beaver white,
With silver edging graced and scarlet plume.
Ye taper maidens ! whose impetuous speed
Outflies the roe, nor bends the tender grass,
See here this prize, this rich-laced smock behold,
White as your bosoms, as your kisses soft. (grace
Blest nymph! whom bounteous (Fate's] peculiar
Allots this pompous vest, and worthy deems
To win a virgin and to wear a bride.'

GANDERETTA'S DANCING ; ITS MAGNIFICENT EFFECT ON

HOBBINOL.

But what heavenly muse With equal lays shall Ganderetta sing, When, goddess-like, she skims the verdant plain, Gracefully gliding ? every ravished eye The nymph attracts, and every heart she wounds,Thee most, transported Hobbinol ! Lo, now, Now to thy opening arms she scuds along, With yielding blushes glowing on her cheeks, And eyes that sweetly languish ; but too soon, Too soon, alas ! she flies thy vain embrace, But flies to be pursued ; nimbly she trips, And darts a glance so tender as she turns, That, with new hopes relieved, thy joys revive, Thy stature's raised, and thou art more than man ! Thy stately port, and more majestic air, And every sprightly motion speaks thy love.

THE MOUNTAIN CHAMPION, PASTOREL. The gifts refulgent dazzle all the crowd. In speechless admiration fixed, unmoved ; E'en he who now each glorious palm displays In sullen silence views his battered limbs, And sighs his vigor spent. Not so appalled Young Pastorel, for active strength renowned : Him Ida bore, a mountain shepherdess ; On the bleak wold the new-born infant lay Exposed to winter snows and northern blasts Severe. As heroes old, who from great Jove Derive their proud descent, so might he boast His line paternal : but be thou, my muse ! No leaky blab, nor painful umbrage give To wealthy squire, or doughty knight, or peer Of high degree. Him every shouting ring In triumph crowned, him every champion feared From Kiftsgate to remotest Henbury.? High in the midst the brawny wrestler stands, A stately-towering object; the tough belt Measures his ample breast, and shades around His shoulders broad ; proudly secure he kens The tempting prize, in his presumptuous thought Already gained ; with partial look the crowd Approve his claim.

THE GAMES. -THE BAGPIPES. THE MASTER OF THE RING.

To the loud bagpipe's solemn voice attend, Whose rising winds proclaim a storm is nigh. Harmonious blasts ! that warm the frozen blood Of Caledonia's sons to love or war, And cheer their drooping hearts, robbed of the sun's Enlivening ray,

that o'er the snowy Alps Reluctant peops, and speeds to better climes.

Forthwith, in boary majesty appears
One of gigantic size, but visage wan,
Milonides the strong, renowned of old
For feats of arms, but bending now with years.
His trunk unwieldy from the verdant turf
He rears deliberate, and with his plant
Of toughest, virgin oak, in rising aids
His trembling limbs ; his bald and wrinkled front,
Entrenched with many a glorious scar, bespeaks
Submissive reverence. He with countenance grim
Boasts his past deeds, and with redoubled strokes
Marshals the crowd, and forms the circle wide.
Stern arbiter ! like some huge rock he stands,
That breaks the incumbent waves ; they thronging

press
In troops confused, and rear their foaming heads
Each above each, but from superior force
Shrinking repelled, compose of stateliest view
A liquid theatre.

THE VALLEY CHAMPION, HOBBINOL.

But Hobbinol, enraged, To see the important gifts go cheaply won, And uncontested honors tamely lost, With lowly reverence thus accosts his queen. Fair goddess ! be propitious to my vows, Smile on thy slave, nor Hercules bimself Shall rob us of this palm ; that boaster vain Far other port shall learn.' She, with a look That pierced his inmost soul, smiling, applauds His generous ardor, with aspiring hope Distends his breast, and stirs the man within : Yet much, alas ! she fears, for much she loves. So from her arms the Paphian queen dismissed The warrior god, on glorious slaughter bent, Provoked his rage, and with her eye inflamed Her haughty paramour. Swift as the winds Dispel the fleeting mists, at once he strips His royal robes ; and with a frown that chilled The blood of the proud youth, active he bounds High o'er the heads of multitudes reclined : But, as beseemed one, whose plain honest heart,

THE PRIZES PROCLAIMED BY MILOXIDES.

With hands uplift And voice stentorian, he proclaims aloud Each rural prize. "To him whose active foot Foils his bold foe, and rivets him to earth, This pair of gloves, by curious virgin hands [gold. Embroidered, seamed with silk, and fringed with To him, who best the stubborn hilts can wield, And bloody marks of his displeasure leave

1 The names of two hundreds in Gloucestershire.

CANTO II.

Nor passion foul, nor malice dark as hell,
But honor pure and love['s fond flame) had fired, –
His hand presenting, on his sturdy foe
Disdainfully he smiles ;

ARGEMENT.

THE WRESTLING.

Then, quick as thought, With his left hand the belt, and with his right His shoulder seized, fast griping; his right foot

essayed The champion's strength ; but firm he stood, Fixed as a mountain ash, and in his turn Repaid the bold affront; his horny fist Fast on his back he closed, and shook in air The cumb'rous load. Nor rest nor pause allowed, Their watchful eyes instruct their busy feet; They pant, they heave; each nerve, each sinew

strained, Grasping they close, beneath each painful gripe The livid tumors rise, in briny streams The sweat distils, and from their battered shins The clotted gore distains the beaten ground. Each swain his wish, each trembling nymph conceals Her secret dread ; while every panting breast Alternate fears and hopes depress or raise.

CRISIS OF THE WRESTLING-MATCH. THE ROPE-DANCER.

The fray. Tonsorio, Colin, Hildebrand, Cuddy, Cinda

raxa, Talgol, Avaro, Cubbin, Collakin, Mundungo. Sir Rhadamanth, the justice, attended with his guards, comes to quell the fray. Rhadamanth's speech ; tumult appeased. Gorgonius, the butcher, takes up the hilts ; his character. The Kiftsgatians' consternation ; they look wistfully on Hobbinol ; his speech. The cudgel-playing. Gorgonius knocked down ; falls upon Twangdillo ; the fiddler's distress ; his lamentation over his broken fiddle.

THE TRIUMPH ; INSOLENT TAUNTS ; EFFECTS. Long while an universal hubbub loud, Deafening each ear, had drowned each accent mild ; Till biting taunts, and harsh, opprobrious words Vile utterance found. How weak are human minds! How impotent to stem the swelling tide, And without insolence enjoy success! The vale-inhabitants, proud, and elate With victory, know no restraint, but give A loose to joy. Their champion, Hobbinol, Vaunting they raise above that earth-born race Of giants old, who, piling hills on hills, Pelion on Ossa, with rebellious aim Made war on Jove. The sturdy mountaineers, Who saw their mightiest fallen, and in his fall Their honors past impaired, their trophies, won By their proud fathers, who with scorn looked down Upon the subject vale, sullied, despoiled, And levelled with the dust, - no longer bear The keen reproach.

THE FRAY; THE Weapons.

But as when sudden fire Seizes the ripened grain, whose bending ears Invite the reaper's hand, the furious god In sooty triumph dreadful rides, upborne On wings of wind, that with destructive breath Feed the fierce flames; from ridge to ridge he bounds Wide wasting, and pernicious ruin spreads : So through the crowd from breast to breast swift flew The propagated rage ; loud, volleyed oaths, Like thunder bursting from a cloud, gave signs Of wrath awaked. Prompt fury soon supplied With arms uncouth; and tough, well-seasoned plants Weighty with lead infused, on either host Fall thick and heavy ; stools in pieces rent, And chairs, and forms, and battered bowls, are hurled With fell intent ; like bombs the bottles fly Hissing in air, their sharp-edged fragments drenched In the warm spouting gore ; heaps driven on heaps Promiscuous lie.

Thus long in dubious scale the contest hung, Till Pastorel, impatient of delay, Collecting all his force, a furious stroke At his left ankle aimed ; 't was death to fall, To stand impossible. 0, Ganderetta ! What horrors seize thy soul! On thy pale cheeks The roses fade. But wavering long in air, Nor firm on foot, nor as yet wholly fallen, On his right knee he slipped, and nimbly scaped The foul disgrace. Thus on the slackened rope The wingy-footed artist, frail support! Stands tottering; now, in dreadful shrieks, the crowd Lament his fate, and yield him lost : He on his hams, or on his brawny rump, Sliding secure, derides their vain distress.

THE VICTORY. - HOBBINOL THROWS PASTOREL; THE MOUX

TAIN 8CCCCMBS TO THE VALE. Up starts the vigorous Hobbinol undismayed, From mother earth, like old Anteus, raised With might redoubled. Clamor and applause Shake all the neighboring hills ; Avona's banks Return him loud acclaim : with ardent eyes, Fierce as a tiger rushing from his lair, Ho grasped the wrist of his insulting foe. Then with quick wheel oblique his shoulder point Beneath his breast he fixed, and whirled aloft High o'er his head the sprawling youth he flung : The hollow ground rebellowed as he fell. The crowd press forward with tumultuous din ; Those to relieve their faint, expiring friend, With gratulations these. Hands, tongues, and caps, Outrageous joy proclaim, shrill fiddles squeak, Hoarse bag-pipes roar, and Ganderetta smiles.

EXPLOITS OF TONSORIO. DEFEATED BY COLIN.

Tonsorio now advanced On the rough edge of battle : his broad front Beneath his shining helm secure, as erst Was thine, Mambrino, stout Iberian knight!. Defied the rattling storm, that on his head Fell innocent. A table's ragged frame In his right hand he bore, Herculean club! Crowds, pushed on crowds, before his potent arm, Fled ignominious ; havoc and dismay

Hung on their rear. Colin, a merry swain
Blithe as the soaring lark,

,- as sweet the strains
Of his soft warbling lips, that whistling cheer
His laboring team, who toss their heads well pleased,
In gaudy plumage decked, — with stern disdain
Beheld this victor proud ; his generous soul
Brooked not the foul disgrace. High o'er his head
His ponderous ploughstaff in both hands he raised ;
Erect he stood, and stretching every nerve,
As from a forceful engine, down it fell
Upon his hollowed helm, that yielding sunk
Beneath the blow, and with its sharpened edge
Sheared both his ears, they on his shoulders broad
Hung ragged. Quick as thought, the vigorous youth
Shortening his staff, the other end he darts
Into his gaping jaws. Tonsorio fled
Sore maimed ; with pounded teeth and clotted gore
Half-choked, he fled ; with him the host retired,
Companions of his shame ; all but the stout,
And erst unconquered Hildebrand, brave man !

The threatening meteor shone, brandished in air,
Or round their heads in ruddy circles played.
Across the prostrate Hildebrand she strode
Dreadfully bright; the multitude appalled
Fled different ways, their beards, their hair in flames.
Imprudent she pursued, till on the brink
Of the next pool, with force united pressed,
And waving round with huge, two-handed sway
Her blazing arms, into the muddy lake
The bold virago fell. Dire was the fray
Between the warring elements ; of old
Thus Mulciber and Xanthus, Dardan stream,
In hideous battle joined. Just sinking now
Into the boiling deep, with suppliant hands
She begged for life ; black-ouse and filth obscene
Hung in her matted hair ; the shouting crowd
Insult her woes, and proud of their success
The dripping Amazon in triumph lead.

THE RALLY; TALGOL RAGES UPON AVARO, CUBBIN AND

COLLAKIN ; SINKS, UNNERVED, AT SIGHT OF HIS FALLEN HEROINE.

HILDEBRAND, THE HILL-CHAMPION, MAKES HAVOC ; UNDER

MINED BY CUDDY. SIMILE OF THE AGED OAK.

Bold champion of the hills ! thy weighty blows Our fathers felt dismayed ; to keep thy post Unmoved, whilom thy valor's choice, now sad Necessity compels ; decrepit now with age And stiff with honorable wounds, He stands unterrified : one crutch sustains His frame majestic, the other in his hand He wields tremendous ; like a mountain boar In toils enclosed, he dares his circling foes. They shrink aloof, or soon with shame repent The rash assault; the rustic heroes fall In heaps around. Cuddy, a dexterous youth, When force was vain, on fraudful art relied : Close to the ground low-cowering, unperceived, Cautious he crept, and with his crooked bill Cut sheer the frail support, prop of his age : Reeling a while he stood, and menaced fierce The insidious swain ; reluctant now at length Fell prone, and ploughed the dust. So the tall oak, Old monarch of the groves, that long had stood The shock of warring winds, and the red bolts Of angry Jove, — shorn of his leafy shade At last, and inwardly decayed, if chance The cruel woodman spy the friendly spur, His only hold – that severed, soon he nods, And shakes the incumbered mountain as he falls.

Now like a gathering storm, the rallied troops Blackened the plain. Young Talgol from the front, With a fond lover's haste, - swift as the hind That by the huntsman's voice alarmed had fled, Panting returns, and seeks the gloomy brake, Where her dear fawn lay hid, - into the booth Impatient rushed. But when the fatal tale He heard, the dearest treasure of his soul Purloined, his Cindy lost ; stiffened and pale A while he stood ; his kindling ire at length Burst forth implacable, and injured love Shot lightning from his eyes ; a spit he seized, Just reeking from the fat sirloin, a long, Unwieldy spear ; then with impetuous rage Pressed forward on the embattled host, that shrunk At his approach. The rich Avaro first, His fleshy rump bored with dishonest wounds, Fled bellowing: nor could his numerous flocks, Nor all the aspiring pyramids that grace His yard well stored, save the penurious clown. Here Cubbin fell, and there young Collakin, Nor his fond mother's prayers, nor ardent vows Of love-sick maids, could move relentless Fate. Where'er he raged with his far-beaming lance He thinned their ranks, and their battle swerved With many an inroad gored. Then cast around His furious eyes, if haply he might find The captive fair ; her in the dust he spied Grovelling, disconsolate ; those locks, that erst, So bright, shone like the polished jet, defiled With mire impure ; thither with eager haste He ran, he flew. But when the wretched maid Prostrate he viewed, deformed with gaping wounds And weltering in her blood, his trembling hand Soon dropped the dreaded lance; on her pale cheeks Ghastly he gazed, nor felt the pealing storm, That on his bare defenceless brow fell thick From every arm : o'erpowered at last, down sunk His drooping head, on her cold breast reclined.

CINDARAXA'S FIERY ONSET, AND DISASTER. When manly valor failed, a female arm Restored the fight. As in the adjacent booth Black Cindaraxa's busy hand prepared The smoky viands, she beheld, abashed, The routed host, and all her dastard friends Far scattered o'er the plain ; their shameful flight Grieved her proud heart, for hurried with the stream Even Talgol too had fled, her darling boy. A flaming brand from off the glowing hearth The greasy heroine snatched ; o'er her pale foes

REIGN OF RIOT.

Hail, faithful pair ! if aught my verse avail, Sends forth her brawny myrmidons, their clubs Nor envy's spite, nor time shall o'er efface

Blazoned with royal arms ; dispatchful haste
The records of your fame ; blind British bards, Sits earnest on each brow, and public care.
In ages yet to come, on festal days

Encompassed round with these his dreadful guards, Shall chant this mournful tale, while listening nymphs He spurred his sober steed, grizzled with age Lament around, and every generous heart

And venerably dull ; his stirrups stretched With active valor glows, and virtuous love.

Beneath the knightly load ; one hand he fixed

Upon his saddle-bow, the other palm RECKLESS INJUSTICE OF MOBS ; QUIET MUNDUNGO'S FATE.

Before him spread, like some grave orator How blind is popular fury! how perverse,

In Athens, or free Rome, when eloquence

Subdued mankind, and all the listening crowd When broils intestine rage, and force controls

Hung by their ears on his persuasive tongue.
Reason and law! As the torn vessel sinks
Between the burst of adverse waves o'erwhelmed :

He thus the jarring multitude addressed :
So fares it with the neutral head, between

SPEECH OF JUSTICE RHADAMANTI ; ITS EFFECT. Contending parties bruised, incessant peeled

“Neighbors and friends and countrymen, the flower With random strokes that undiscerning fall ;

Of Kiftsgate ! ah ! what means this impious broil? Guiltless he suffers most who leasts offends.

Is then the haughty Gaul no more your care? Mundungo, from the bloody field retired,

Are Landen's plains so soon forgot, that thus Close in a corner plied the peaceful bowl ;

Ye spill that blood inglorious, waste that strength, Incurious he, and thoughtless of events,

Which, well employed, once more might have comNow deemed himself concealed, wrapped in the cloud

The stripling Anjou to a shameful flight? (pelled That issued from his mouth, and the thick fogs

Or by your great forefathers taught, have fixed That hung upon his brows; but hostile rage

The British standard on Lutetian towers ! Inquisitive found out the rusty swain.

O sight odious, detestable! O, times, His short black tube down his furred throat impelled,

Degenerate, of ancient honor void ! Staggering he reeled, and with tenacious gripe

This fact so foul, so riotous, insults The bulky jordan that before him stood

All law, all sovereign power, and calls aloud Seized falling ; that its liquid freight disgorged

For vengeance ; but, my friends! too well ye know Upon the prostrate clown ; floundering he lay How slow this arm to punish, and how bleeds Beneath the muddy beverage whelmed, so late

This heart, when forced on rigorous extremes. His prime delight. Thus the luxurious wasp,

O countrymen ! all, all can testify Voracious insect, by the fragrant dregs

My vigilance, my care for public good. Allured, and in the viscous nectar plunged,

I am the man, who by your own free choice His filmy pennons struggling, flaps in vain,

Select from all the tribes, in senates ruled
Lost in a flood of sweets. Still o'er the plain Each warm debate, and emptied all my stores
Fierce onset and tumultuous battle spread ;

Of ancient science in my country's cause.
And now they fall, and now they rise, incensed Wise Tacitus, of penetration deep,
With animated rage, while naught around

Each secret spring revealed ; Thuanus bold
Is heard but clamor, shout, and female cries, Breathed liberty, and all the mighty dead,
And curses mixed with groans. Discord on high Raised at my call, the British rights confirmed ;
Shook her infernal scourge, and o'er their heads While Musgrave, How, and Seymour sneered in vain.
Screamed with malignant joy ;

I am the man, who from the bench exalt

This voice, still grateful to your ears, this voice RUADAMANTH, THE MAGISTRATE, AND HIS OFFICIALS.

Which breathes for you alone. Where is the wretch When, lo! between

Distressed, who in the cobwebs of the law
The warring hosts appeared sage Rhadamanth,

Entangled, and in subtle problems lost,
A knight of high renown. Nor Quixote bold, Seeks not to me for aid ! In shoals they come
Nor Amadis of Gaul, nor Hudibras,

Neglected, feeless clients, nor return
Mirror of knighthood, 'ere could vie with thee,

Unedified ; scarce greater multitudes Great sultan of the vale ! thy front severe,

At Delphi sought the god, to learn their fate As humble Indians to their pagods bow,

From his dark oracles. I am the man The clowns submiss approach. Themis to thee

Whose watchful providence beyond the date Commits her golden balance, when she weighs

Of this frail life extends, to future times The abandoned orphan's sighs, the widow's tears ; Beneficent ; my useful schemes shall steer By thee gives sure redress, comforts the heart

The common-weal in ages yet to come. Oppressed with woe, and rears the suppliant knee. Your children's children, taught by me, shall keep Each bold offender hides his guilty head,

Their rights inviolable : and as Rome Astonished, when thy delegated arm

The Sibyl's sacred books, though wrote on leaves, Draws her vindictive sword ; at thy command, And scattered o'er the ground, with pious awe Stern minister of power supreme ! each ward

Collected ; so your sons shall glean with care

My hallowed fragments, every script divine
Consult intent, of more intrinsic worth
Than half a Vatican. Hear me, my friends!
Hear me, my countrymen ! O suffer not
This hoary head, employed for you alone,
To sink with sorrow to the grave.' He spake
And veiled his bonnet to the crowd. As when
The sovereign of the floods o'er the rough deep
His awful trident shakes, its fury falls,
The warring billows on each band retire,
And foam and rage no more, - all now is hushed ;
The multitude appeased ; a cheerful dawn
Smiles on the fields, the waving throng subsides,
And the loud tempest sinks, becalmed in peace.

A doubtful contest urged, but from her soon
He sprung relentless, all her tears are vain ;
Yet oft he turned, oft sighed, thus pleading mild :

Ill should I merit these imperial robes,
Ensigns of majesty, by general voice
Conferred, should pain, or death itself, avail
To shake the steady purpose of my soul. [man
Peace, fair one ! peace! Heaven will protect the
By thee held dear, and crown thy generous love.'
Her from the listed field the matrons sage
Reluctant drew, and with fair speeches soothed.

GORGONIUS. -THE CUDGEL PLAYING.THE CHALLENGE.

Gorgonius now with haughty strides advanced, A gauntlet seized, firm on his guard he stood, A formidable foe, and dealt in air His empty blows, a prelude to the fight. Slaughter his trade ; full many a pampered ox Fell by his fatal hand, the bulky beast Dragged by his horns ; oft, at one deadly blow, His iron fist descending crushed his skull, And left him spurning on the bloody floor, While at his feet the guiltless axe was laid. * * Sternly he gazed around with many a frown, Fierce menacing provoked the tardy foe; For now each combatant, that erst so bold, Vaunted his manly deeds, in pensive mood Hung down his head, and fixed on earth his eyes Pale and dismayed. On Hobbinol, at last, Intent they gaze, on him alone their hope. Each eye solicits him, each panting heart Joins in the silent suit. Soon he perceived Their secret wish, and eased their doubting minds.

THE BOUT WITI CUDGELS. - HOBBIXOL BATTERS THE SHINS

AND SIDES OF GORGONIUS, WHO GETS A FALL, BUT RISES IN GREAT WRATH.

Now front to front the fearless champions meet ; Gorgonius, like a tower, whose cloudy top Invades the skies, stood lowering ; far beneath The stripling Hobbinol with careful eye Each opening scans, and each unguarded space Measures intent. While, negligently bold, The bulky combatant, whose heart elate Disdained his puny foe, now fondly deemed At one decisive stroke to win, unhurt, An easy victory ; down came at once The ponderous plant, with fell malicious rage, Aimed at his head direct ; but the tough hilts, Swift interposed, elude his effort vain. The cautious Hobbinol, with ready feet, Now shifts his ground, retreating ; then again Advances bold, and his unguarded shins Batters secure. Each well-directed blow Bites to the quick ; thick as the falling hail The strokes redoubled peal his hollow sides. The multitude, amazed, with horror view The rattling storm, shrink back at every blow, And seem to feel his wounds ; inly he groaned, And gnashed his teeth, and from his blood-shot eye Red lightning flashed; the fierce tumultuous rage Shook all his mighty fabric ; once again Erect he stands, collected, and resolved To conquer or to die : swift as the bolt Of angry Jove, the weighty plant descends. But wary Hobbinol, whose watchful eye Perceived his kind intent, slipped on one side Declining ; the vain stroke from such an height, With such a force impelled, headlong drew down The unwieldy champion : on the solid ground He fell, rebounding breathless and astunned, His trunk extended lay ; sore maimed, from out His heaving breast he belched a crimson flood. Full leisurely he rose, but conscious shame Of honor lost his failing strength renewed.

HOBBIXOL'S SPEECH ; HE ACCEPTS THE CHALLENGE ; HIS

PARTING WITH GANDERETTA.

Ye men of Kiftsgate ! whose wide-spreading fame In ancient days was sung from shore to shore, To British bards of old a copious theme ; Too well, alas ! in your pale cheeks I view Your dastard souls ; O mean, degenerate race ! But since ye call, (and every) suppliant eye Invites my sovereign aid, lo ! here I come, The bulwark of your fame, though scarce my brows Are dry from glorious toils, just now achieved, To vindicate your worth. Lo ! here I swear By all my great forefathers' fair renown, By that illustrious wicker where they sat In comely pride, and in triumphant sloth Gave law to passive clowns ; or on this spot, In glory's prime, young Hobbinol expires, And from his dearest Ganderetta's arms Sinks to death's cold embrace ; - or by this hand That stranger big with insolence shall fall Prone on the ground, and do your honor right.' Forthwith the hilts he seized ; but on his arm Fond Ganderetta hung, and round his neck Curled in a soft embrace. Honor and love

THE CRISIS. - HOBBIXOL HIT, BUT UNCONQUERED ; SIMILE OF

TIE WOUXDED SNAKE. - HOBBINOL'S VICTORY.

Rage and revenge, and ever-during hate, Blackened his stormy front; rash, furious, blind, And lavish of his blood, of random strokes He laid on load ; without design or art Onward he pressed outrageous, while his foe Encircling wheels, or inch by inch retires,

« AnteriorContinuar »