Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

20

“ The exulting sense—the pulse's maddening play, 15 “ That thrills the wanderer of that trackless way? “ That for itself can woo the approaching fight, “ And turn what some deem danger to delight; “ That seeks what cravens shun with more than zeal, “ And where the feebler faint-can only feel “ Feel-to the rising bosom's inmost core, “ Its hope awaken and its spirit soar ? 66 No dread of death--if with us die our foes66 Save that it seems even duller than repose : Come when it will-we snatch the life of life- 25 “ When lost—what recks it-by disease or strife ? “Let him who crawls enamour'd of decay, “ Cling to his couch, and sicken years away; “ Heave his thick breath; and shake his palsied head ; “ Ours—the fresh turf, and not the feverish bed. 30 “While gasp by gasp he falters forth his soul, “ Ours with one pang—one bound-escapes control. “ His corse may boast its urn and narrow cave, " And they who loath'd his life may gild his grave: “Ours are the tears, though few, sincerely shed, 35 When Ocean shrouds and sepulchres our dead. “ For us, even banquets fond regret supply “ In the red cup that crowns our memory ; " And the brief epitaph in danger's day, " When those who win at length divide the prey, 40 And cry, Remembrance saddening o'er each brow " How had the brave who fell exulted now !"

II.

Such were the notes that from the Pirate's isle,
Around the kindling watch-fire rang the while ;
Such were the sounds that thrill’d the rocks along, 45
And unto ears as rugged seem'd a song!
In scatter'd groups upon the golden sand,
They game-carouse-converse—or whet the brand;
Select the arms—to each his biåde assign,
And careless eye the blood that dims its shine: 50
Repair the boat, replace the helm or oar,
While others straggling muse along the shore;
For the wild bird the busy springes set,
Or spread beneath the sun the dripping net;
Gaze where some distant sail a speck supplies, 55
With all the thirsting eye of Enterprise ;
Tell o'er the tales of many a night of toil,
And marvel where they next shall seize a spoil :
No matter where—their chief's allotment this;
Theirs, to believe no prey nor plan amiss. 60
But who that CHIEF? his name on every shore
Is famed and fear'd—they ask and know no more.
With these he mingles not but to command;
Few are his words, but keen his eye

and hand. · Ne'er seasons he with mirth their jovial mess, 65 But they forgive his silence for success. Ne'er for his lip the purpling cup they fill, That goblet passes him untasted still-

VOL. 11.

And for his fare—the rudest of his crew
Would that, in turn, have pass'd untasted too ; 70
Earth's coarsest bread, the garden's homeliest roots,
And scarce the summer luxury of fruits,
His short repast in humbleness supply
With all a hermit's board would scarce deny.
But while he shuns the grosser joys of sense, 75
His mind seems nourish'd by that abstinence. [done:
“Steer to that shore!”—they sail. “Do this !"_?tis
6 Now form and follow me !"—the spoil is won.
Thus prompt his accents and his actions still,
And all obey and few enquire his will ;

80 To such, brief answer and contemptuous eye Convey reproof, nor further deign reply.

III.

"A sail !-a sail !". promised prize to Hope ! Her nation-flag-how speaks the telescope? No prize, alas !--but yet a welcome sail :

85 The blood-red signal glitters in the gale. Yes-she is ours-a home returning barkBlow fair, thou breeze !-she anchors ere the dark. Already doubled is the cape-our bay Receives that prow which proudly spurns the

spray.90 How gloriously her gallant course she goes ! Her white wings flying-never from her foesShe walks the waters like a thing of life, And seems to dare the elements to strife.

Who would not brave the battle-fire-the wreck - 95 To move the monarch of her peopled deck?

IV.

Hoarse o'er her side the rustling cable rings ;
The sails are furld; and anchoring round she swings:
And gathering loiterers on the land discern
Her boat descending from the latticed stern. 100
'Tis mann'd-the oars keep concert to the strand,
Till grates her keel upon the shallow sand.
Hail to the welcome shout!--the friendly speech!
When hand grasps hand uniting on the beach;
The smile, the question, and the quick reply, 105
And the heart's promise of festivity!

V. The tidings spread, and gathering grows the crowd: The hum of voices, and the laughter loud, And woman's gentler anxious tone is heard- 109 Friends'--husbands'--lovers'names in each dear word: “Oh! are they safe? we ask not of success“But shall we see them ? will their accents bless ? “From where the battle roars—the billows chafe "They doubtless boldly did--but who are safe? “Here let them haste to gladden and surprise, 115 “And kiss the doubt from these delighted eyes!"

VI. “Where is our chief? for him we bear report “ And doubt that joy, which hails our coming-short;

“ Yet thus sincere---'tis cheering, though so brief: “ But, Juan! instant guide us to our chief: 120 “ Our greeting paid, we'll feast on our return, • And all shall hear what each may wish to learn." Ascending slowly by the rock-hewn way, To where his watch-tower beetles o'er the bay, By bushy brake, and wild flowers blossoming, 125 And freshness breathing from each silver spring, Whose scatter'd streams from granite basins burst, Leap into life, and sparkling woo your thirst; From crag to cliff they mount–Near yonder cave, What lonely straggler looks along the wave? 130 In pensive posture leaning on the brand, Not oft a resting-staff to that red hand ? “ 'Tis he-'tis Conrad-here-as wont--alone; “ On-Juan! on--and make our purpose known. “ The bark he views and tell him we would greet 135 “ His ear with tidings he must quickly meet: "We dare not yet approach-thou know'st his mood, " When strange or uninvited steps intrude."

VII. Him Juan sought, and told of their intentHe spake not-but a sign express'd assent. 140 These Juan calls--they come-to their salute He bends him slightly, but his lips are mute. " These letters, Chief, are from the Greek—the spy, “ Who still proclaims our spoil or peril nigh:

« AnteriorContinuar »