Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

1

LXXII.

LXXVIII.
The lists are oped, the spacious area clear'd, Foil'd, bleeding, breathless, furious to the last,
Thousands on thousands piled are seated round; Full in the centre stands the bull at bay,
Long ere the first loud trumpet's note is heard, 'Mid wounds, and clinging darts, and lances brast,
Ne vacant space for lated wight is found:

And foes disabled in the brutal fray;
Here dons, grandees, but chiefly dames abound, And now the Matadores around him play,
Skill'd in the ogle of a roguish eye,

Shake the red cloak, and poise the ready brand : Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound;

Once more through all he bursts his thund'ring way: None through their cold disdain are doom'd to die, Vain rage! the mantle quits the conynge hand, As moonstruck bards complain, by Love's sad Wraps his fierce eye'tis past-he sicks upon the archery.

sand! LXXIII.

LXXIX.
Hush'd is the din of tongues-on gallant steeds,
With milk-white crest, gold-spur, and light-poised | Where his vast neck just mingles with the spine,
Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds, [lance, Sheathed in his form the deadly weapon lies.
And lowly bending to the lists advance ;

He stops-he starts-disdaining to decline:
Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance: Slowly he falls, amidst triumphant cries,
If in the dangerous game they shine to-day, " Without a groan, without a struggle, dies.
The crowd's loud shout and ladies' lovely glance, The decorated car appears-on high
Best prize of better acts, they bear away,

The corse is piled-sweet sight for vulgar eyes And all that kings or chiefs 'e'er gain their toils Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy, repay.

Hurl the dark bulk along, scarce seen in dashing by. LXXIV.

LXXX. But all afoot, the light-limb’d Matadore

Such the ungentle sport that oft invites Stands in the centre, eager to invade

The Spanish maid, and cheers the Spanish swain. The lord of lowing herds; but not before

Nurtured in blood betimes, his heart delights The ground, with cautious tread, is traversed o'er, In vengeance, gloating on another's pain. Lest aught unseen should lurk to thwart his speed: / What private feuds the troubled village stain!

Though now one phalanx'd host should meet tho Can man achieve without the friendly steed Enough, alas ! in humble homes remain, [foe, Alas! too oft condemn’d for him to bear and bleed. To meditate 'gainst friends the secret blow,

For some slight cause of wrath, whence life's warm LXXV.

stream must flow. Thrice sounds the clarion; lo! the signal falls,

LXXXI.
The den expands, and Expectation mute
Gapes round the silent circle's peopled walls.

But Jealousy has fied: his bars, his bolts,
Bounds with one lashing spring the mighty brute,

His wither'd sentinel, Duenna sage! And, wildly staring, spurns, with sounding foot,

And all whereat the generous soul revolts, The sand, nor blindly rushes on his foe;

Which the stern dotard deem'd he could encage, Here, there, he points his threatening front, to suit

Have pass’d to darkness with the vanish'd age. His first attack, wide waving to and fro

Who late so free as Spanish girls were seen, His angry tail; red rolls his eye's dilated glow.

(Ere War uprose in his volcanic rage,)

With braided tresses bounding o'er the green, LXXVI.

While on the gay dance shone Night's lover-loving

Queen?
Sudden he stops ; his eye is fix'd: away,

LXXXII.
Away, thou heedless boy! prepare the spear:
Now is thy time, to perish, or display

Oh! many a time, and oft, had Harold loved, The skill that yet may check his mad career.

Or dream'd he loved, since Rapture is a dream; With well-timed croupe the nimble coursers veer;

But now his wayward bosom was unmoved, On foams the bull, but not unscathed he goes ;

For not yet had he drunk of Lethe's stream; Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear:

And lately had he learn'd with truth to deem He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes;

Love has no gift so grateful as his wings; Dart follows dart; lance, lance; loud bellowings

How fair, how young, how soft soe'er he seem, speak his woes.

Full from the fount of Joy's delicious springs

Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom LXXVII.

ilings. 16 Again he comes; nor dart nor lance avail,

LXXXIII. Nor the wild plunging of the tortured horse; Yet to the beauteous form he was not blind, Though man, and man's avenging arms assail, Though now it moved him as it moves the wise; Vain are his weapons, vainer is his force.

Not that Philosophy on such a mind One gallant steed is stretch'd a mangled corse; E’er deigned to bend her chastely-awful eyes : Another, hideous sight! unseam'd appears, But Passion raves itself to rest, or flies; His gory chest unveils life's panting source ; And Vice, that digs her own voluptuous tomb,

Though death-struck, still his feeble frame herears, Had buried long his hopes, no more to rise: Staggering, but stemming all, his lord unharm'd he Pleasure's pall'd victim! life-abhorring gloom bears.

Wrote on his faded brow curst Cain's unresting doom.

TYTT

[ocr errors]

LXXXIV.

LXXXV. Still he beheld, nor mingled with the throng; Adieu, fair Cadiz! yea, a long adieu ! But view'd them not with misanthropic hate: Who may forget how well thy walls have stood ? Fain would he now have joined the dance, the song, When all were changing thou alone wert true, But who may smile that sinks beneath his fate? First to be free and last to be subdued : Nought that he saw his sadness could abate: And if amidst a scene, a shock so rude, Yet once he struggled 'gainst the demon's sway, Some native blood was seen thy streets to dye; And as in Beauty's bower he pensive sate,

A traitor only fell beneath the feud : 17 Pour'd forth this unpremeditated lay

Here all were noble, save Nobility; Io charms as fair as those that soothed his happier None hugg'd a conqueror's chain, save fallen day.

Chivalry!
TO INEZ.

LXXXVI.
Such be the sons of Spain, and strange her fate!

They fight for freedom who were never free;
Nay, smile not at my sullen brow;
Alas! I cannot smile again:

A Kingless people for a nerveless state,

Her vassals combat when their chieftains flee, Yet Heaven avert that ever thou

True to the veriest slaves of Treachery:
Shouldst weep, and haply weep in vain

Fond of a land which gave them nought but life,
Pride points the path that leads to Liberty;

Back to the struggle, baffied in the strife,
And dost thou ask, what secret wo

War, war is still the cry, “War' even to the I bear, corroding joy and youth?

knife!” 18 And wilt thou vainly seek zo know

LXXXVII.
A pang, ev'n thou must fail to sooth?

Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know,

Go, read whate'er is writ of bloodiest strife: It is not love, it is not hate,

Whate'er keen Vengeance urged on foreign foe Nor low Ambition's honors lost,

Can act, is acting there against man's life:
That bids me loathe my present state,

From flashing scimitar to secret knife,
And fly from all I prized the most:

War mouldeth there each weapon to his need
So may he guard the sister and the wife,

So may he make each curst oppressor bleed, It is that weariness which springs

So may such foes deserve the most remorseless deed
From all I meet, or hear, or see:
To me no pleasure Beauty brings;

LXXXVIII.
Thine eyes have scarce a charm for me. Flows there a tear of pity for the dead ?

Look o'er the ravage of the reeking plain;

Look on the hands with female slaughter red; It is that settled, ceaseless gloom

Then to the dogs resign the unburied slain,
The fabled Hebrew wanderer bore;

Then to the vulture let each corse remain;
That will not look beyond the tomb,

Albeit unworthy of the prey-bird's maw, [stain, But cannot hope for rest before.

Let their bleach'd bones, and blood's unbleaching

Long mark the battle-field with hideous awe: 6.

Thus only may our sons conceive the scenes we saw! What Exile from himself can flee? To Zones, though more and more remote,

LXXXIX.
Still, still pursues, where'er I be,

Nor yet, alas! the dreadful work is done;
The blight of life--the demon Thought.

Fresh legions pour adown the Pyreneen:
It deepens still, the work is scarce begun,

Nor mortal eye the distant end foresees.
Yet others rapt in pleasure seem,

Fall'n nations gaze on Spain; if freed, she frees And taste of all that I forsake;

More than her fell Pizarros once enchain'd: Oh! may they still of transport dream,

Strange retribution! now Columbia's ease
And ne'er, at least like me, awake!

Repairs the wrongs that Quito's sons sustain'd,
While o'er the parent clime prowls Murder un.

restrain'd. Through many a clime 'tis mine to go,

XC.
With many a retrospection curst;

Not all the blood at Talavera shed,
And all my solace is to know,

Not all the marvels of Barossa's fight,
Whate'er betides, I've known the worst.

Not Albuera lavish of the dead,
Have won for Spain her well-asserted right.

When shall her Olive-Branch be free from blight? What is that worst? Nay do not ask

When shall she breathe her from the blushing toil? In pity from the search forbear:

How many a doubtful day shall sink in night, Smile on-nor venture to unmask

Ere the Frank robber turn him from his spoil, Man's heart, and view the Hell that's there. And Freedom's stranger-tree grow native of the soil

5.

9.

[ocr errors]

III.

XCI.
And thou, my friend ! 19-since unavailing wo Son of the morning, rise! approach you here;
Burst from my heart, and mingles with the strain Come-but molest not yon defenceless urn:
Had the sword laid thee with the mighty low, Look on this spot-a nation's sepulchre !
Pride might forbid ev'n Friendship to complain; Abode of gods, whose shrines no longer burn.
But thus unlaurel'd to descend in vain,

Even gods must yield-religions take their turn: By all forgotten, save the lonely breast,

'Twas Jove'

s tis Mahomet’smand other creeds And mix unbleeding with the boasted slain, Will rise with other years, till man shall learn

While Glory crowns so many a meaner crest! | Vainly his incense soars, his victim bleeds; Wnat hadst thou done to sink so peacefully to Poor child of Doubt and Death, whose hope is built rest?

on reeds. XCII.

IV. Oh, known the earliest, and esteemid the most!

Bound to the earth, he lifts his eye to heavenDear to a heart where nought was left so dear!

Is't not enough, unhappy thing! to know Though to my hopeless days for ever lost,

Thou art ? Is this a boon so kindly given, In dreams deny me not to see thee here!

That being, thou would'st be again, and go And Morn in secret shall renew the tear

Thou know'st not, reck’st not to what region, so Of Consciousness awaking to her woes,

On earth no more, but mingled with the skies? And Fancy hover o'er thy bloodless bier,

Still wilt thou dream on future joy and wo ? Till my frail frame return to whence it rose,

Regard and weigh yon dust before it flies; And mourn'd and mourner lie united in repose.

That little urn saith more than thousand homilies.

i

V.
XCIII.

Or burst the vanish'd Hero's lofty mound;
Here is one fytte of Harold's pilgrimage:

Far on the solitary shore he sleeps :3 Ye who of him may further seek to know,

He fell, and falling nations mourn'd around; Shall find some tidings in a future page,

But now not one of saddening thousands weeps, If he that rhymeth now may scribble moe.

Nor war-like worshipper his vigil keeps Is this too much ? stern Critic! say not so:

Where demi-gods appear'd, as records tell. Patience! and ye shall hear what he beheld

Remove yon scull from out the scatter'd heaps : In other lands, where he was doom'd to go:

Is that a temple where a God may dwell? Lands that contain the monuments of Eld, Why ev'n the worm at last disdains her shatter'd Ere Greece and Grecian arts by barbarous hands we

cell!
quell’d.

VI.
Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall,
Its chambers desolate, and portals foul;
Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall,
The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul;
Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole,

The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit
CANTO II.

And Passion's host, that never brook'd control;

Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,
People this lonely tower, this tenement refit;

[ocr errors]

COME, blue-eyed maid of heaven !—but thou, alas.

VII. Didst never yet one mortal song inspire

Well didst thou speak, Athena's wisest son! Goddess of Wisdom! here thy temple was,

“ All that we know is, nothing can be known.” And is, despite of war and wasting fire,'

Why should we shrink from what we cannot shun? And years, that bade thy worship to expire;

Each has his pang, but feeble sufferers groan But worse than steel, and flame, and ages slow,

With brain-born dreams of evil all their own. Is the dread sceptre and dominion dire

Pursue what Chance or Fate proclaimeth best; Of men who never felt the sacred glow.

Peace waits us on the shores of Acheron : That thoughts of thee and thine on polish'd breasts

There no forced banquet claims the sated guest, bestow.2

But Silence spreads the couch of ever welcome rest.
II.

VIII.
Ancient of days ! august Athena! where,
Where are thy men of might? thy grand in soul?! Yet if, as holiest men have deem'd, there be
Gone, glimmering through the dream of things that A land of souls beyond that sable shore,
First in the race that led to Glory's goal [were: To shame the doctrine of the Sadducee
They won, and pass'd away—is this the whole? And sophists, madly vain of dubious lore;
A schoolboy's tale, the wonder of an hour! How sweet it were in concert to adore
The warrior's weapon and the sophists stole With those who made our mortal labors light!
Are sought in vain, and o'er each mouldering To hear each voice we feard to hear no more!
tower.

| Behold each mighty shade reveal'd to sight, Dim with the mist of years, gray flits the shade of The Bactrian, Samian sage, and all who taught the Power.

right.

L

[ocr errors]

IX.

XV. There, thou !-whose love and life together fled, Cold is the heart, fair Greece! that looks on thee, Have left me here to love and live in vain

Nor feels as lovers o'er the dust they loved; Twined with my heart, and can I deem thee dead Dull is the eye that will not weep to see [moved When busy Memory flashes on my brain ?

Thy walls defaced, thy mouldering shrines reWell—I will dream that we may meet again, By British hands, which it had best behooved And woo the vision to my vacant breast;

To guard those relics ne'er to be restored. If aught of young Remembrance then remain, Curst be the hour when from their isle they roved, Be as it may Futurity's behest,

And once again thy hapless bosom gored, For me 'twere bliss enough to know thy spirit blest. And snatch'd thy shrinking Gods to northern climes

abhorr'd!

XVI. Here let me sit upon this massy stone,

But where is Harold ? shall I then forget The marble column's yet unshaken base;

To urge the gloomy wanderer o'er the wave? Heré, son of Saturn! was thy fav’rite throne.4 Little reck'd he of all that men regret; Mightiest of many such! hence let me trace No loved one now in feign'd lament could rave; The latent grandeur of thy dwelling-place.

No friend the parting hand extended gave, It may not be; nor ev'n can Fancy's eye

Ere the cold stranger pass’d to other climes : Restore what Time hath labored to deface.

Hard is his heart whom charms may not enslave, Yet these proud pillars claim no passing sigh; But Harold felt not as in other times, Unmoved the Moslem sits, the light Greek carols And left without a sigh the land of war and crimes. by. XI.

XVII. But wno, of all the plunderers of yon fane

He that has sail'd upon the dark blue sea On high, where Pallas linger’d, loath to flee Has view'd at times, I ween, a full fair sight; The latest relic of her ancient reign;

When the fresh breeze is fair as breeze may be, The last, the worst, dull spoiler, who was he? The white sail set, the gallant frigate tight; Blush, Caledonia ! such thy son could be !

Masts, spires, and strand retiring to the right, England! I joy no child he was of thine: [free; The glorious main expanding o'er the bow, Thy free-born men should spare what once was The convoy spread like wild swans in their flight,

Yet they could violate each saddening shrine, The dullest sailer wearing bravely now, And bear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine.5 So gaily curl the waves before each dashing prow.

XII.

XVIII. But most the modern Pict's ignoble boast, And oh, the little warlike world within ! To rive what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath The well-reeved guns, the netted canopy," Cold as the crags upon his native coast, (spared ;61 The hoarse command, the busy humming din, His mind as barren and his heart as hard,

When, at a word, the tops are mann'd on high; Is he whose head conceived, whose hand prepared, Hark to the Boatswain's call, the cheering cry! Aught to displace Athena's poor remains.

While through the seaman's hand the tackle glides; Her sons too weak the sacred shrine to guard, 1 Or schoolboy Midshipman, that, standing by,

Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains,7 1 Strains his shrill pipe as good or ill betides,
And never knew, till then, the weight of Despot's And well the docile crew that skilful urchin guides.
chains.
XIII.

ΧΙΧ.
What! shall it e'er be said by British tongue, White is the glassy deck, without a stain,
Albion was happy in Athena's tears ?

Where on the watch the staid Lieutenant walks:
Though in thy name the slaves her bosom wrung. Look on that part which sacred doth remain
Tell not the deed to blushing Europe's ears ; For the lone chieftain, who majestic stalks,
The ocean queen, the free Britannia, bears

Silent and fear'd by all-not oft he talks The last poor plunder from a bleeding land; With aught beneath him, if he would preserve Yes, she, whose gen’rous aid her name endears, That strict restraint, which broken, ever balks

Tore down those remnants with a harpy's hand, Conquest and Fame: but Britons rarely swerve Which envious Elb forbore, and tyrants left to stand. From law, however stern, which tends their strength

to nerve. XIV.

XX. Where was thine Ægis, Pallas, that appall'd Blow! swiftly blow, thou keel-compelling gale! Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way ? 8

Till the broad sun withdraws his lessening ray; Where Peleus' son ? whom Hell in vain enthrall'a, Then must the pennant-bearer slacken sail, His shades from Hades upon that dread day That lagging barks may make their lazy way. Bursting to light in terrible array!

Ah! grievance sore, and listless dull delay, What! could not Pluto spare the chief once more, To waste on sluggish hulks the sweetest breeze! To scare a second robber from his prey ?

What leagues are lost, before the dawn of day, Idly he wander'd on the Stygian shore,

Thus loitering pensive on the willing seas, Nor now preserved the walls he loved to shield The flapping sail haul'd down to halt for logs like before.

these!

[ocr errors]

XXI.

XXVII.
The moon is up by Heaven, a lovely eve ! More blest the life of godly Eremite,
Long streams of light o'er dancing waves expand; Such as on lonely Athos may be seen,
Now lads on shore may sigh, and maids believe. Watching at eve upon the giant height,
Such be our fate when we return to land!

Which looks o'er waves so blue, skies so serene, Meantime, some rude Arion's restless hand

That he who there at such an hour hath been Wakes the brisk harmony that sailors love; Will wistful linger on that hallowed spot; A circle there of merry listeners stand,

Then slowly tear him from the witching scene, Or to some well-known measure featly move, Sigh forth one wish that such had been his lot, Thoughtless, as if on shore they still were free to Then turn to hate a world he had almost forgot. rove. XXII.

XXVIII. Through Calpe's straits survey the steepy shore;

Pass we the long, unvarying course, the track Europe and Afric on each other gaze!

Oft trod, that never leaves a trace behind; Lands of the dark-eyed Maid and dusky Moor

Pass we the calm, the gale, the change, the tack, Alike beheld beneath pale Hecate's blaze;

And each well known caprice of wave and wind; How softly on the Spanish shore she plays,

Pass we the joys and sorrows sailors find, Disclosing rock, and slope, and forest brown,

Coop'd in their winged sea-girt citadel; Distinct, though darkening with her waning phase;

The foul, the fair, the contrary, the kind, But Mauritania's giant-shadows frown,

As breezes rise and fall and billows swell, From mountain cliff to coast descending sombre

Till on some jocund morn-lo, land! and all is well down.

XXIX.
XXIII.

But not in silence pass Calypso's isles, 10 "Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel

The sister tenants of the middle deep; We once have loved, though love is at end.

There for the weary still a haven smiles, The heart, lone mourner of its baffled zeal,

Though the fair goddess long hath ceased to weep, Though friendless now, will dream it had a friend. |

And o'er her cliffs a fuitless watch to keep
Who with the weight of years would wish to bend

For him who dared prefer a mortal bride:
When Youth itself survives young Love and Joy ?
Alas! when mingling souls forget to blend,

Here, too, his boy essay'd the dreadful leap

Stern Mentor urged from high to yonder tide; Death hath but little left him to destroy!

While thus of both bereft, the nymph-queen doubly

sigh'd.
boy?

XXX.
XXIV.

Her reign is past, her gentle glories gone:
Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side,

But trust not this; too easy youth, beware! To gaze on Dian's wave reflected sphere,

A mortal sovereign holds her dangerous throne, The soul forgets her schemes of Hope and Pride.

And thou may'st find a new Calypso there. And flies unconscious o’er each backward year. Sweet Florence! could another ever share None are so desolate but something dear,

This wayward, loveless heart, it would be thine: Dearer than self, possesses or possess'd

But check'd by every tie, I may not dare A thought, and claims the homage of a tear;

To cast a worthless offering at thy shrine, A flashing pang! of which the weary breast

Nor ask so dear a breast to feel one pang for mine. Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.

XXXI.
XXV.

Thus Harold deem'd, as on that lady's eye
To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell, He look'd, and met its beam without a thought,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene,

Save Admiration glancing harmless by:
Where things that own not man's dominion dwell, Love kept aloof, albeit not far remote,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been; Who knew his votary often lost and caught,
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen, But knew him as his worshipper no more,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold; And ne'er again the boy his bosom sought;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean; Since now he vainly urged him to adore,

This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold
Converse with Nature's charms, and view her store

o'er.
unroll'd.

XXXII.

Fair Florence found, in sooth with some amaze, But midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men, One who, 'twas said, still sigh'd to all he saw, To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess,

Withstand, unmoved, the lustre of her gaze, And roam along, the world's tired denizen, Which others hail'd with real or mimic awe, [law; With none who bless us, none whom we can bless. Their hope, their doom, their punishment, their Minions of splendor, shrinking from distress! All that gay. Beauty from her bondsmen claims; None that, with kindred consciousness endued, And much she marvelled that a youth so raw If we were not, would seem to smile the less I Nor felt, nor feign'd at least, the oft-told flames, Of all that flatter'd, follow'd, sought, and sued: Which, though sometimes they frown, yet rarely This is to be alone; this, this is solitude!

anger dames.

XXVI.

« AnteriorContinuar »