Page images


Not so the rustic — with his trembling mate
He lurks, nor casts his heavy eye afar,
Lest he should view his vineyard desolate,
Blasted below the dun hot breath of war.
No more beneath soft Eve's consenting star
Fandango twirls his jocund castanet :
Ah, monarchs! could ye taste the mirth ye mar,

Not in the toils of Glory would ye fret;
The hoarse dull drum would sleep, and Man be happy



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!” 1
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.

1“ Vivā el Rey Fernando !” Long live King Ferdinand ! is the chorus of most of the Spanish patriotic songs. They are chiefly in dispraise of the old king Charles, the Queen, and the Prince of Peace. I have heard many of them : some of the airs are beautiful. Don Manuel Godoy, the Principe de la Paz, of an ancient but decayed family, was born at Badajoz, on the frontiers of Portugal, and was originally in the ranks of the Spanish guards ; till his person attracted the queen's eyes, and raised him to the dukedom of Alcudia, &c. &c. "It is to this man that the Spaniards universally impute the ruin of their country: - [See, for ample particulars concerning the flagitious court of Charles IV., Southey's History of the Peninsular War, vol. i.]


On yon long, level plain, at distance crown'd
With crags, 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


whom to shun and whom to greet : 1 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.


At 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’erflow'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,

| The red cockade, with “ Fernando Septimo,” in the centre.

2 All who have seen a battery will recollect the pyramidal form in which shot and shells are piled. The Sierra Morena was


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 unfurl'd, And thou shalt view thy sons in crowds to Hades hurld.


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, [of steel? The Veteran's skill, Youth's fire, and Manhood's heart


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


fortified in every defile through which I passed in my way to Seville.


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 chase.

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 ?

! Such were the exploits of the Maid of Saragoza, who by her valour elevated herself to the highest rank of heroines. When the author was at Seville, she walked daily on the Prado, decorated with medals and orders, by command of the Junta. — [The exploits of Augustina, the famous heroine of both the sieges of Saragoza, are recorded at length in one of the most splendid chapters of Southey's History of the Peninsular War. At the time when she first attracted notice, by mounting a battery where her lover had fallen, and working a gun in his room, she was in her twenty-second year, exceedingly pretty, and in a soft feminine style of beauty. She has further had the

honour to be painted by Wilkie, and alluded to in Wordsworth's Dissertation on the Convention (misnamed) of Cintra ; where a noble passage concludes in these words :-“ Saragoza has exemplified a melancholy, yea, a dismal truth, - yet consolatory and full of joy, - that when a


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 seal Love's dimpling finger hath impress'd Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch : 1 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 Phoebus 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 !

people are called suddenly to fight for their liberty, and are sorely pressed upon, their best 'field of battle is the floors upon which their children have played ; the chambers where the family of each man has slept ; upon or under the roofs by which they have been sheltered ; in the gardens of their recreation; in the street, or in the market-place; before the altars of their temples, and among their congregated dwellings, blazing or uprooted."] 1 “ Sigilla in mento impressa Amoris digitulo

Vestigio demonstrant mollitudinem." --AUL. Gel.

« PreviousContinue »