« ElőzőTovább »
How carols now the lusty muleteer ?
Of love, romance, devotion is his lay,
As whilome he was wont the leagues to cheer,
His quick bells wildly jingling on the way?
No! as he speeds, he chants, “ Vivā el Rey!”
And checks his song to execrate Godoy,
The royal wittol Charles, and curse the day
When first Spain's queen beheld the black-eyed boy, And gore-faced Treason sprung from her adulterate joy.
On yon long, level plain, at distance crown'd
whereon those Moorish turrets rest,
Wide scatter'd hoof-marks dint the wounded ground
And, scathed by fire, the greensward's darken'd vest
Tells that the foe was Andalusia's guest :
Here was the camp, the watch-flame, and the host,
Here the bold peasant storm'd the dragon's nest ;
Still does he mark it with triumphant boast, And points to yonder cliffs, which oft were won and lost.
And whomsoe'er along the path you meet
Bears in his cap the badge of crimson hue,
Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet :
Woe to the man that walks in public view
Without of loyalty this token true:
Sharp is the knife, and sudden is the stroke ;
And sorely would the Gallic foeman rue,
If subtle poniards, wrapt beneath the cloke,
Could blunt the sabre's edge, or clear the cannon's smoke.
every turn Morena's dusky height
Sustains aloft the battery's iron load;
And, far as mortal eye can compass sight,
The mountain-howitzer, the broken road,
The bristling palisade, the fosse o’er-flow'd,
The station'd bands, the never-vacant watch,
The magazine in rocky durance stow'd,
The holster'd steed beneath the shed of thatch,
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever-blazing match,
Portend the deeds to come :but he whose nod
Has tumbled feebler despots from their sway
A moment pauseth ere he lifts the rod;
A little moment deigneth to delay :
Soon will his legions sweep through these their way;
The West must own the Scourger of the world.
Ah! Spain ! how sad will be thy reckoning-day,
When soars Gaul's Vulture, with his wings unfurld,
And thou shalt view thy sons in crowds to Hades hurl’d.
And must they fall? the young, the proud, the brave,
To swell one bloated Chief's unwholesome reign?
No step between submission and a grave?
The rise of rapine and the fall of Spain?
And doth the Power that man adores ordain
Their doom, nor heed the suppliant's appeal ?
Is all that desperate Valour acts in vain?
And Counsel sage, and patriotic Zeal,
The Veteran's skill, Youth's fire, and Manhood's heart of steel?
Is it for this the Spanish 'maid, aroused,
Hangs on the willow her unstrung guitar,
And, all unsex’d, the’anlace hath espoused,
Sung the loud song, and dared the deed of war?
And she, whom once the semblance of a scar
Appallid, an owlet's larum chill'd with dread,
Now views the column-scattering bay’net jar,
The falchion flash, and o'er the yet warm dead
Stalks with Minerva’s step where Mars might quake to tread.
Ye who shall marvel when you hear her tale,
Oh! had you known her in her softer hour,
Mark'd her black eye that mocks her coal-black veil,
Heard her light, lively tones in Lady's bower,
Seen her long locks that foil the painter's power,
Her fairy form, with more than female grace,
Scarce would you deem that Saragoza's tower
Beheld her smile in Danger's Gorgon face,
Thin the closed ranks, and lead in Glory's fearful chace.
Her lover sinks-she sheds no ill-timed tear ;
Her chief is slain—she fills his fatal post ;
Her fellows flee-she checks their base career ;
The foe retires-she heads the sallying host :
Who can appease like her a lover's ghost ?
Who can avenge so well a leader's fall ?
What maid retrieve when man's flush'd hope is lost?
Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul,
Foil'd by a woman's hand, before a batter'd wall ?
Yet are Spain's maids no race of Amazons,
But form’d for all the witching arts of love :
Though thus in arms they emulate her sons,
And in the horrid phalanx dare to move,
'Tis but the tender fierceness of the dove
Pecking the hand that hovers o'er her mate:
In softness as in firmness far above
Remoter females, famed for sickening prate ;
Her mind is nobler sure, her charms perchance as great.
The scal Love's dimpling finger hath imprest
Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch :
Her lips, whose kisses pout to leave their nest,
Bid man be valiant ere he merit such :
Her glance how wildly beautiful! how much
Hath Phæbus woo'd in vain to spoil her cheek,
Which glows yet smoother from his amorous clutch !
Who round the north for paler dames would seek ?
How poor their forms appear ! how languid, wan, and weak!