« AnteriorContinuar »
Full on the upper wall the mace's sweep “Prelate! a Monarch's fate brooks no delay; At once descended with the force of thunder, Lead on!”—The ponderous key the old man And hurtling down at once, in crumbled heap, took,
The marble boundary was rent asunder, And held the winking lamp, and led the way,
And gave to Roderick's view new sights of fear By winding stair, dark aisle, and secret nook,
and wonder. Then on an ancient gateway bent his look ; And, as the key the desperate King essay'd,
XVII. Low mutter'd thunders the Cathedral shook, For they might spy, beyond that mighty breach, And twice he stopp'd, and twice new effort Realms as of Spain in vision'd prospect laid, made,
[bray'd. Castles and towers, in due proportion each, Till the huge bolts roll'd back, and the loud hinges As by some skilful artist's hand portray'd:
Here, crossed by many a wild Sierra's shade, XIII.
And boundless plains that tire the traveller's Long, large, and lofty, was that vaulted hall;
eye; Roof, walls, and floor, were all of marble stone; There, rich with vineyard and with olive glade, Of polish'd marble, black as funeral pall,
Or deep-embrown'd by forests huge and high, Carved o'er with signs and characters unknown. Or wash'd by mighty streams, that slowly murA paly light, as of the dawning, shone (not spy;
mur'd by. Through the sad bounds, but whence they could For window to the upper air was none;
XVIII. Yet, by that light, Don Roderick could descry And here, as erst upon the antique stage, Wonders that ne'er till then were seen by mortal Passd forth the band of masquers trimly led, eye.
In various forms, and various equipage,
While fitting strains the hearer's fancy fed; XIV.
So, to sad Roderick's eye in order spread, Grim sentinels, against the upper wall, [place · Successive pageants fill'd that mystic scene,
Of molten bronze, two Statues held their Showing the fate of battles ere they bled, Massive their naked limbs, their stature tall, And issue of events that had not been;
Their frowning foreheads golden circles grace. And, ever and anon, strange sounds were heard Moulded they seem'd for kings of giant race,
between. That lived and sinn'd before the avenging flood;
XIX. This grasp'd a scythe, that rested on a mace; First shrill’d an unrepeated female shriek ! This spread his wings for flight, that ponder- It seem'd as if Don Roderick knew the call, ing stood,
[mood. For the bold blood was blanching in his cheek.Each stubborn seem'd and stern, immutable of Then answer'd kettle-drum and atabal,
Gong-peal and cymbal-clank the ear appal, XV.
The Tecbir war-cry, and the Lelie's yell, Fix'd was the right-hand Giant's brazen look Ring wildly dissonant along the hall. Upon his brother's glass of shifting sand,
Needs not to Roderick their dread import As if its ebb he measured by a book,
[Tocsin bell! Whose iron volume loaded his huge hand; The Moor!” he cried, “the Moor!-ring out the In which was wrote of many a fallen land,
XX. Of empires lost, and kings to exile driven: And o'er that pair their names in scroll expand- “ They come! they come! I see the groaning lands
"Lo, DESTINY and Timel to whom by Heaven White with the turbans of each Arab horde; The guidance of the earth is for a season given." — Swart Zaarah joins her misbelieving bands,
Alla and Mahomet their battle-word,
The choice they yield, the Koran or the Sword Even while they read, the sand-glass wastes See how the Christians rush to arms amain ! away;
In yonder shout the voice of conflict roard, And, as the last and lagging grains did creep, The shadowy hosts are closing on the plainThat right-hand Giant ’gan his club' upsway, Now, God and Saint Iago strike, for the good cause As one that startles from a heavy sleep.
of Spain !
1 MS.- Arm--mace-club." 2 See Appendix, Note G.
3“Oh, who could tell what deeds were wrought that day:
Or who endure to hear the tale of rage,
And sees the pale assistants stand aloof; While cruel Conscience brings him bitter proof,
His folly or his crime have caused his grief; And while above him nods the crumbling roof, He curses earth and Heaven-himself in chief
[lief! Desperate of earthly aid, despairing Heaven's re
XXI. " By Heaven, the Moors prevail! the Christians
yield! Their coward leader gives for flight the sign! The sceptred craven mounts to quit the field
Is not yon steed Orelia !_Yes, 'tis mine ! But never was she turn'd from battle-line: Lo! where the recreant spurs o'er stock and
stone! Curses pursue the slave, and wrath divine ! Rivers ingulph him !"_“ Hush," in shuddering tone,
[form's thine own.” The Prelate said ;—“rash Prince, yon vision'd
XXII. Just then, a torrent cross'd the flier's course;
The dangerous ford the Kingly Likeness tried; But the deep eddies whelm'd both man and
horse, Swept like benighted peasant down the tide ;' And the proud Moslemah spread far and wide,
As numerous as their native locust band; Berber and Ismael's sons the spoils divide,
With naked cimeters mete out the land, And for the bondsmen base the freeborn natives
XXV. That scythe-arm'd Giant turn'd his fatal glass And twilight on the landscape closed her
wings; Far to Asturian hills the war-sounds pass,
And in their stead rebeck or timbrel rings; And to the sound the bell-deck'd dancer springs,
Bazaars resound as when their marts are met, In tourney light the Moor his jerrid flings,
And on the land as evening seem'd to set, The Imaum's chant was heard from mosque or
The visionary scene was wrapp'd in smoke, Whose sulph'rous wreaths were cross’d by sheets
of flame; With every flash a bolt explosive broke, Till Roderick deem'd the fiends had burst their yoke,
[falone! And waved ’gainst heaven the infernal gonFor War a new and dreadful language spoke,
Never by ancient warrior heard or known; Lightning and smoke her breath, and thunder was
The loveliest maidens of the Christian line; Then, menials, to their misbelieving foes
Castile's young nobles held forbidden wine ; Then, too, the holy Cross, salvation's sign,
By impious hands was from the altar thrown, And the deep aisles of the polluted shrine
Echo'd, for boly hymn and organ-tone, (moan, The Santon's frantic dance, the Fakir's gibbering
XXIV. How fares Don Roderick ?—E'en as one who spies
[woof, Flames dart their glare o'er midnight's sable And hears around his children's piercing cries,
XXVII. From the dim landscape roll the clouds away
The Christians have regain'd their heritage; Before the Cross has waned the Crescent's ray
And many a monastery decks the stage, And lofty church, and low-brow'd hermitage.
The land obeys a Hermit and a Knight,The Genii those of Spain for many an age;
Hatred, and madness, and despair, and fear,
171. 1 See Appendix, Note H.
"Upon the banks
And who had thus again forsaken him.
SOUTHEY's Roderick. 9" The manner in which the pageant disappears is very beautiful.”— Quarterly Review.
4“We come now to the Second Period of the Vision ; and we cannot avoid noticing with much commendation the dexterity and graceful ease with which the first two scenes are connected. Without abruptness, or tedious apology for transition, they melt into each other with very harmonious effect; and we strongly recommend this example of skill, perhaps, exhibited without any effort, to the imitation of contemporary poets.”—Monthly Review
This clad in sackcloth, that in armor bright, Crowns by Caciques, aigrettes by Omrahs worn And that was VALOR named, this BIGOTRY was Wrought of rare gems, but broken, rent, and hight.
Idols of gold from heathen temples torn,
Bedabbled all with blood.— With grisly scowl Valor was harness'd like a chief of old, (gest ; | The Hermit mark'd the stains, and smiled beneath Arm'd at all points, and prompt for knightly
his cowl. His sword was temper'd in the Ebro cold, Morena's eagle plume adorn'd his crest,
XXXII. The spoils of Afric's lion bound his breast. (gage; Then did he bless the offering, and bade make
Fierce he stepp'd forward and flung down his Tribute to Heaven of gratitude and praise ; As if of mortal kind to brave the best.
And at his word the choral hymns awake, Him follow'd his Companion, dark and sage, And many a hand the silver censer sways, As he, my Master, sung the dangerous Archimage. But with the incense-breath these censers raise,
Mix steams from corpses smouldering in the XXIX.
fire; Haughty of heart and brow the Warrior came, The groans of prison'd victims mar the lays,
In look and language proud as proud might be, And shrieks of agony confound the quire; Vaunting his lordship, lineage, fights, and fame: While, 'mid the mingled sounds, the darken'd Yet was that barefoot monk more proud than
scenes expire. And as the ivy climbs the tallest tree, [he: So round the loftiest soul his toils he wound,
XXXIIL And with his spells subdued the fierce and free, Preluding light, were strains of music heard,
Till ermined Age and Youth in arms renown'd, As once again revolved that measured sand; Honoring his scourge and hair-cloth, meekly kiss'd Such sounds as when, for sylvan dance prepared, the ground.
Gay Xeres summons forth her vintage band;
When for the light bolero ready stand
The mozo blithe, with gay muchacha met, And thus it chanced that VALOR, peerless knight, He conscious of his broider'd cap and band,
Who ne'er to King or Kaiser veil'd his crest, She of her netted locks and light corsette, Victorious still in bull-feast or in fight,
Each tiptoe perch'd to spring, and shake the casSince first his limbs with mail he did invest,
tanet. Stoop'd ever to that Anchoret's behest; Nor reason'd of the right, nor of the wrong,
XXXIV. But at his bidding laid the lance in rest, (along, And well such strains the opening scene became;
And wrought fell deeds the troubled world For VALOR had relax'd his ardent look, For he was fierce as brave, and pitiless as strong. And at a lady's feet, like lion tame, [brook;
Lay stretch'd, full loth the weight of arms to XXXI.
And soften’d BIGOTRY, upon his book, Oft his proud galleys sought some new-found Patter'd a task of little good or ill : world,
But the blithe peasant plied his pruning-hook, That latest sees the sun, or first the morn; Whistled the muleteer o'er vale and hill, Still at that Wizard's feet their spoils he hurl?d, And rung from village-green the merry seguiIngots of ore from rich Potosi borne,
1 “These allegorical personages, which are thus described, “The three grand and comprehensive pictures in which Mr. are sketched in the true spirit of Spenser; but we are not sure Scott has delineated the state of Spain, during the three pe that we altogether approve of the association of such imagi- riods to which we have alluded, are conceived with mucb nary beings with the real events that pass over the stage: and genius, and executed with very considerable, though unequal these, as well as the form of ambition which precedes the path felicity. That of the Moorish dominion, is drawn, we think, of Bonaparte, have somewhat the air of the immortals of the with the greatest spirit. The reign of Chivalry and SuperLuxemburg gallery, whose naked limbs and tridents, thunder- stition we do not think so happily represented, by a long and bolts and caducei, are so singularly contrasted with the ruffs labored description of two allegorical personages called Bigotry and whiskers, the queens, archbishops, and cardinals of France and Valor. Nor is it very easy to conceive how Don Roderick and Navarre."- Quarterly Review.
was to learn the fortunes of his country, merely by inspecting 2 " Armed at all points, exactly cap-a-pee."- Hamlet. the physiognomy and furnishing of these iwo figurantes. The 3 See Appendix, Note I.
truth seems to be, that Mr. Scott has been tempted on this oo + “The third scene, a peaceful state of indolence and ob- casion to extend a mere metaphor into an allegory; and to scurity, where, though the court was degenerate, the peasant prolong a figure which might have given great grace and spirit was merry and contented, is introduced with exquisite light- to a single stanza, into the heavy subject of seven or eight. His ness and gayety."- Quarterly Review.
representation of the recent state of Spain, we think, displays
Who, placed by fortune on a Monarch's throne, Gray royalty, grown impotent of toil,"
Reck'd not of Monarch's faith, or Mercy's kingly Let the grave sceptre slip his lazy hold;
From court intrigue, from bickering faction The spark, that, from a suburb-hovel's hearth
Hath not a meaner or more sordid birth. Sweet stoop'd the western sun, sweet rose the And for the soul that bade him waste the earthevening star.
The sable land-flood from some swamp obscure,
That poisons the glad husband-field with dearth, XXXVI.
And by destruction bids its fame endure, As that sea-cloud, in size like human hand, Hath not a source more sullen, stagnant, and im. When first from Carmel by the Tishbite seen,
pure.' Came slowly overshadowing Israel's land, A while, perchance, bedeck'd with colors
Before that Leader strode a shadowy Form; While yet the sunbeams on its skirts had been, Her limbs like mist, her torch like meteor Limning with purple and with gold its shroud,
[storm, Till darker folds obscured the blue serene, With which she beckon'd him through fight and And blotted heaven with one broad sable And all he crush'd that cross'd his desperate cloud,
(trode. Then sheeted rain burst down, and whirlwinds Nor thought, nor fear'd, nor look'd on what he howl'd aloud >
Realms could not glut his pride, blood could
not slake, XXXVII.
So oft as e'er she shook her torch abroadEven so, upon that peaceful scene was pour'd, It was AMBITION bade her terrors wake, Like gathering clouds, full many a foreign Nor deign'd she, as of yore, a milder form to take.
band, And He, their leader, wore in sheath his sword,
XLI. And offer'd peaceful front and open hand, No longer now she spurn'd at mean revenge, Veiling the perjured treachery he plann'd,
Or staid her hand for conquer'd foeman's moan; By friendship’s zeal and honor's specious guise, As when, the fates of aged Rome to change, Until he won the passes of the land;
By Cæsar's side she cross'd the Rubicon. Then burst were honor's oath, and friendship’s Nor joy'd she to bestow the spoils she won, ties!
[his prize. As when the banded powers of Greece were He clutch'd his vulture-grasp, and call’d fair Spain
To war beneath the youth of Macedon:
No seemly veil her modern minion ask'd,
mask'd. Who ne'er his purpose for remorse gave o'er, Or check'd his course for piety or shame;
XLII. Who, train'd a soldier, deem'd a soldier's fame That Prelate mark'd his march-On banners Might flourish in the wreath of battles won,
blazed Though neither truth nor honor deck'd his name; With battles won in many a distant land,
the talent and address of the author to the greatest advantage ; are reasonably prepared for what follows."- Monthly Refor the subject was by no means inspiring ; nor was it easy, we view. should imagine, to make the picture of decay and inglorious in- ? See I. Kings, chap. xviii. v. 41-45. dolence so engaging."- Edinburgh Review, which then quotes 9" We are as ready as any of our countrymen can be, to stanzas xxxiv. and xxxv.
designate Bonaparte's invasion of Spain by its proper epithets ;
but we must decline to join in the author's declamation against 1 "The opening of the third period of the Vision is, perhaps the low birth of the invader; and we cannot help reminding necessarily, more abrupt than that of the second. No circum- Mr. Scott that such a topic of censure is onworthy of him, stance, equally marked with the alteration in the whole system both as a poet and as a Briton.”— Monthly Revier. of ancient warfare, could be introduced in this compartment " The picture of Bonaparte, considering the difficulty 8f all of the poem; yet, when we have been told that · Valor had
contemporary delineations, is not ill executed."'-Edinburgh relaxed his ardent look,' and that Bigotry' was softened,' we Review.
On eagle-standards and on arms he gazed ;
Grenada caught it in her Moorish hall; “And hopest thou then,” he said, “thy power Galicia bade her children fight or fall, shall stand ?
Wild Biscay shook his mountain-coronet, O, thou hast builded on the shifting sand, [flood; Valencia roused her at the battle-call,
And thou hast temper'd it with slaughter's And, foremost still where Valor's sons are met, And know, fell scourge in the Almighty's hand, First started to his gun each fiery Miquelet.
Gore-moisten'd trees shall perish in the bud,
But unappall’d, and burning for the fight,
The Invaders march, of victory secure;
Skilful their force to sever or unite,
And train'd alike to vanquish or endure. A wan fraternal Shade, and bade him kneel, Nor skilful less, cheap conquest to ensure, And paled his temples with the crown of Spain, Discord to breathe, and jealousy to sow, While trumpets rang, and heralds cried, To quell by boasting, and by bribes to lure; « Castile !!
While naught against them bring the unpracNot that he loved him-No !-In no man's weal,
tised foe, Scarce in his own, e'er joy'd that sullen heart; Save hearts for Freedom's cause, and hands for Yet round that throne he bade his warriors
Freedom's blow. wheel, That the poor Puppet might perform his part,
XLVIII. And be a sceptred slave, at his stern beck to start. Proudly they march—but, O! they march not
By one hot field to crown a brief campaign, But on the Natives of that Land misused, As when their Eagles, sweeping through the Not long the silence of amazement hung,
North, Nor brook'd they long their friendly faith abused; Destroy'd at every stoop an ancient reign!
For, with a common shriek, the general tongue Far other fate had Heaven decreed for Spain; Exclaim'd, “ To arms!”—and fast to arms they In vain the steel, in vain the torch was plied, sprung
New Patriot armies started from the slain, And VALOR woke, that Genius of the Land ! High blazed the war, and long, and far, and Pleasure, and ease, and sloth, aside he flung,
wide, As burst th' awakening Nazarite his band, And oft the God of Battles blest the righteous side. When 'gainst his treacherous foes he clench'd his dreadful hand.
Nor unatoned, where Freedom's foes prevail, XLV.
Remain’d their savage waste. With blade That Mimic Monarch now cast anxious eye
and brand, Upon the Satraps that begirt him round, By day the Invaders ravaged hill and dale, Now doff’d his royal robe in act to fly,
But, with the darkness, the Guerilla band And from his brow the diadem unbound. Came like night's tempest, and avenged the land, So oft, so near, the Patriot bugle wound,
And claim'd for blood the retribution due, From Tarick's walls to Bilboa's mountains Probed the hard heart, and lopp'd the murd'rous blown,
hand; These martial satellites hard labor found,
And Dawn, when o'er the scene her beams To guard a while his substituted throne
[knew. Light recking of his cause, but battling for their own. Midst ruins they had made, the spoilers' corpses
And it was echo'd from Corunna's wall;
1“ We are not altogether pleased with the lines which follow the description of Bonaparte's birth and country. In historical truth, we believe, his family was not plebeian; and, setting aside the old saying of 'genus et proavos,' the poet is here evidently becoming a chorus to his own scene, and explaining a fact which could by no means be inferred from the
pageant that passes before the eyes of the King and Prelate.
2 See Appendix, Note K.