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From Mr. Southey's Poem of Don Roderick the Last of the Goths.
TWELVE weary days with unremitted speed,
Shunning frequented tracts, the travellers
Pursued their way; the mountain path they chose,
The forest or the lonely heath wide spread,
Where cistus shrubs sole-seen exhaled at noon
Their fine balsamic odour all around)
Strew'd with their blossoms, frail as beautiful,
The thirsty soil at eve; and when the sun
Relumed the gladdened earth, opening anew
Their stores exuberant, prodigal as frail,
Whitened again the wilderness. They left
The dark sierra's skirts behind, and crost
The wilds where Ana in her native hills
Collects her sister springs, and hurries on
Her course melodious amid loveliest glens,
With forest and with fruitage overbower'd.
These scenes profusely blest by Heaven they left,
Where o'er the hazel and the quince the vine
Wide mantling spreads; and clinging round the cork
And ilex, hangs amid their dusky leaves
Garlands of brightest hue, with reddening fruit
Pendant, or clusters cool of glassy green.
So holding on o'er mountain and o'er vale,
Tagus they crost where midland on his way
The King of Rivers rolls his stately stream;
And rude Alverches' wide and stony bed;
And Duro distant far; and many a stream
And many a field obscure, in future war
For bloody theatre of famous deeds
Fore doomed; and deserts where in years to come
Shall populous towns arise, and crested towers
And stately temples rear, their heads on high.
Cautious with course circuitous they shunn'd
The embattled city which in oldest time
Thrice greatest Hermes built, so fables say,
Now subjugate, but fated to behold
Ere long the heroic Prince (who passing now
Unknown and silently the dangerous track,
Turns thither his regardant eye) come down
Victorious from the heights, and bear abroad
Her banner'd Lion, symbol to the Moor
Of rout and death through many an age of blood.
Lo there the Asturian hills! far in the west.
Huge llabanal and Foncebadon huge,
Pre-eminent, their giunt bulk display,
Darkening with earliest shade the distant vales
Of Leon and with evening premature.
Far in Cantabria eastward, the long line
Extends beyonl the reach of eagle's eye,
When buoyant in mid-heaven the bird of Jove
Soars at his loftiest pitch. In the north, before
The travellers the Erbasian mountains rise,
Bounding the land beloved, their native land.
How calmly gliding through the dark blue sky
The midnight moon ascends; her placid beams,
Through-thinly scattered leaves and boughs grotesque, ; Mottle with mazy shades the orchard slope;
Here, o'er the chesnut's fretted foliage grey
And massy; motionless they spread; here shine
Upon the crags, deepening with blacker night 'Their chasms; and there the glittering argentry
Ripples and glances on the confluent streams.
A lovelier, purer light than that of day
Rests on the hills; and oh how awfully
Into that deep and tranquil firmament
The summits of Auseva rise serene!
The watchman on the battlements partakes
The stillness of the solemn hour: he feels
The silence of the earth, the endless sound
Of flowing water soothes him, and the stars
Which in that brightest moon-light well-nigh quesch'd,
Scarce visible, as in the utmost depth
Of yonder sapphire infinite, are seen,
Draw on with elevating influence
Towards eternity the attemper'd mind.
Musing on worlds beyond the grave he stands.,
And to the "Virgin Mother silently
Breathes forth her Hymn of praise.
Before the castle, round their mouldering fires, N
Lie on the heath out-stretch'd. Pelayo's hall
Is full, and he upon his careful couch
Hears all around the deep and long-drawn breath
Of sleep; for gentle night had brought to these
Perfect and undisturbed repose, alike
Of corporal powers and inward faculty.
Wakeful the while he lay.
A mountain rivulet,
Now calm and lovely in its summer course,
Held by those huts its everlasting way
Towards Pionia. They whose Hocks and herds
Drink of its waters call it Deva. Here
Pelayo southward up the ruder vale
Traced it, his guide unerring. Amid heaps
Of mountain wreck, on either side thrown high,
The wide-spread traces of its wintry might,
The tortuous channel wound; o'er beds of sand
Here silently it flows; here, from the rock
Rebutted, curls and eddies; plunges here
Precipitate; here, roaring among crags,
It leaps and foams and whirls and hurries on.
Grey alders here and bushy hazels hid
The mossy side: their wreathed and knotted feet
Bared by the current, now against its force
Repaying the support they found, upheld
The bank secure. Here bending to the stream,
The birch fantastic stretch'd its rugged trunk,
Tall and erect, from whence as from their base
Each like a tree its silver branches grew.
The cherry here hung for the birds of heaven
Its rosy fruit on high. The elder there
Its purple berries o'er the water bent,
Heavily hanging. Here amid the brook,
Grey as the stone to which they clung, half root
Half trunk, the young ash rises from the rock;
And there its parent lifts a lofty head,
And spreads its graceful boughs; the passing wind
With twinkling motion lifts the silent leaves,
And shakes its rattling tufts.
Soon had the Prince
Behind him left the farthest dwelling place
Of man; no fields of waving corn were here,
Nor wicker storehouse for the autumnal grain,
Vineyard, nor bowery fig, nor fruitful grove;
Qnly the rockey vale, the mountain stream,
Incumbent crags, and hills that over hiDs
Arose on either hand, here hung with woods.
Here rich with heath, that o"er some smooth ascent
Its purple glory spread, or golden gorse;
Bare here, and striated with many a hue,
Scored by the wintry rain; by torrents here
Kiven, and by overhanging rocks abrupt.
Pelayo, upward as he cast his eyes
Where crags loose-hanging o'er the narrow pass
Impended, there beheld his country's strength
Insuperable, and in his heart rejoiced.
A MORNING CALL;
From Mr. Scott's Lord of the hies.
"Wake, Maid of Lorn!" the Minstrels sung,
Thy rugged halls, Artornish! rung,
And the dark seas, thy towers that lave,
Heaved on the beach a softer wave,
As mid the tuneful choir to keep
The Diapason of the Deep.
Lull'd were the winds on Inninmore,
And green Loch-Alline's woodland shore,
As if wild woods and waves had pleasure
In listing to the lovely measure.
And ne'er to symphony more sweet
Gave mountain echoes answer meet,
Since, met from mainland and from isle,
Ross, Arran, Hay, and Argyle,
Each minstrel's tributary lay
Paid homage to the festal day.
Dull and dishonour'd were the bard,
Worthless of guerdon and regard,
Deaf to the hope of minstrel fame,
Or lady's smiles, his noblest aim,
Who on that morn's resistless call
Were silent in Artornish hall.
"Wake, Maid of Lorn!" 'twas thus they sung,
And yet more proud the descant rung,
"Wake, Maid of Lorn! high right is ours,
To charm dull sleep from Beauty's bowers;
Earth, Ocean, Air, have nought so shy
But owns the power of minstrelsy.
In Lettennore the timid deer
Will pause, the harp's wild chime to hear;
Rude Heiskar's seal through surges dark
Will long pursue the minstrels bark;
To list his notes, the eagle proud
Will poise him on Ben-CaiUiach's cloud;
Then let not Maiden's ear disdain
The summons of the minstrel train.
But, while our harps wild music make,
Edith of Lorn, awake, awake!
"O wake, while Dawn, with dewy shine,
Wakes Nature's charms to vie with thine!
She bids the mottled thrush rejoice
To mate thy melody of voice;
The dew that on the violet lies
Mocks the dark lustre of thine eyes;
But, Edith, wake, and all we see
Of sweet and fair shall yield to thee!"—
"She comes not yet," grey Ferrand cried;
Brethren, let softer speU be tried,
Those notes prolong'd, that soothing theme,
Which best may mix with Beauty's dream,
And whisper, with their silvery tone,
The hope she loves, yet fears to own."—
He spoke, and on the harp-strings died
The strains of flattery and of pride;
More soft, more low, more tender fell
The lay of love he bade them tell.
"Wake, Maid of Lorn! the moments fly, .
Which yet that maiden-name allow j Wake, Maiden, wake! the hour is nigh,
When Love shall claim a plighted vow. By Fear, thy bosom's fluttering guest,
By Hope, that soon shall fears remove, We bid thee break the bonds of rest,
And wake thee at the call of Love!
"Wake, Edith, wake! in yonder bay
Lies many a galley gaily mann'd,
We hear the merry pibrochs play,
We see the streamers' silken band.
What Chieftain's praise these pibrochs swell.
What crest is on these banners wove,
The harp, the minstrel, dare not tell—
The riddle must be read by Love."