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With power and pride?
What, but a transient gleam of light,
A flame, which, glaring at its height,
Grew dim and died ?
So many a duke of royal name,
Marquis and count of spotless fame,
And baron brave,
That might the sword of empire wield,
All these, O Death, hast thou concealed
In the dark grave!
Their deeds of mercy and of arms,
In peaceful days, or war’s alarms,
When thou dost show,
O Death, thy stern and angry face,
One stroke of thy all-powerful mace
Unnumbered hosts, that threaten nigh,
Pennon and standard flaunting high,
And flag displayed;
High battlements intrenched around,
Bastion, and moated wall, and mound,
And covered trench, secure and deep,-
All these cannot one victim keep,
O Death, from thee,
When thou dost battle in thy wrath,
And thy strong shafts pursue their path
O World ! so few the years we live,
Would that the life which thou dost give
Were life indeed!
Alas! thy sorrows fall so fast,
Our happiest hour is when at last
The soul is freed.
Our days are covered o'er with grief,
And sorrows neither few nor brief
Veil all in gloom;
Left desolate of real good,
Within this cheerless solitude
No pleasures bloom.
Thy pilgrimage begins in tears,
And ends in bitter doubts and fears,
Or dark despair;
Midway so many toils appear,
That he who lingers longest here
Knows most of care.
Thy goods are bought with many a groan,
By the hot sweat of toil alone,
And weary hearts;
Fleet-footed is the approach of woe,
But with a lingering step and slow
Its form departs.
And he, the good man's shield and shade,
To whom all hearts their homage paid,
As Virtue's son,-
Roderic Manrique,---he whose name
Is written on the scroll of Fame,
His signal deeds and prowass high
Demand no pompous eulogy, -
Ye saw his deeds!
Why should their praise in verse be sung?
The name, that dwells on every tngue.
No minstrel needs.
To friends a friend ;-how kind to all
The vassals of this ancient hall
And feudal fief!
To foes how stern a foe was he!
And to the valiant and the free
How brave a chief!
What prudence with the old and wise;
What grace in youthful gayeties;
In all how sage!
Benignant to the serf and slave,
He showed the base and falsely brave
His was Octavian's prosperous star,
The rush of Cæsar's conquering car
At battle's call;
His, Scipio's virtue; his, the skill
And the indomitable will
His was a Trajan's goodness, — his
A Titus' noble charities
And righteous laws;
The arm of Hector, and the might
Of Tully, to maintain the right
In truth's just cause;
The clemency of Antonine,
Aurelius' countenance divine,
Firm, gentle, still ;
The eloquence of Adrian,
And Theodosius' love to man,
And generous will;
In tented field and bloody fray,
An Alexander's vigorous sway
And stern command ;
The faith of Constantine; ay, more,
The fervent love Camillus bore
His native land.
He left no well-filled treasury,
He heaped no pile of riches high,
Nor massive plate;
He fought the Moor's,--and, in their fall,
City and tower and castled wall
Were his estate.
Upon the hard-fought battle-ground,
Brave steeds and gallant riders found
A common grave;
And there the warrior's hand did gain
The rents, and the long vassal train,
That conquest gave.
And if, of old, his halls displayed
The honored and exalted grade
His worth had gained,
So, in the dark, disastrous hour,
Brothers and bondsmén of his power
Ilis hand sustained.
After high deeds, not left untold,
In the stern warfare, which of old
'T was his to share,
Such noble leagues he made, that more
And fairer regions, than before,
His guerdon were.
These are the records, half effaced,
Which, with the hand of youth, he traced
On history's page;
But with fresh victories he drew
Each fading character anew
In his old age
By his unrivalled skill, by great
And veteran service to the state,
By worth adored,
He stood, in his high dignity,
The proudest knight of chivalry,
Knight of the Sword.
He found his cities and domains
Beneath a tyrant's galling chains
And cruel power;
But, hy fierce battle and blockade,
Soon liis own banner was displayed
From every tower.
By the tried valor of his hand,
His monarch and his native land
Were nobly served ;-
Let Portugal repeat the story,
And proud Castile, who shared the glory
His arms deserved.
And when so oft, for weal or woe,
Ilis life upon the fatal throw
llad been cast down;
When he had served, with patriot zeal,
Beneath the banner of Castile,
His sovereign's crown;
And done such deeds of valor strong,
That neither history nor song
Can count them all;
Then, on Ocaña's castled rock,
Death at his portal came to knock,
With sudden call,--
Saying, “ Good Cavalier, prepare
To leave this world of toil and care
With joyful mien;
Let thy strong heart of steel this day
Put on its armour for the fray,-
The closing scene.
Since thou hast been, in battle-strife,
So prodigal of health and life,
For earthly fame,
Let virtue nerve thy heart again;