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“ Rise, rise! even now thy father comes, a ransonied man this
day! Mount thy good horse ; and thou and I will meet him on his
Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded on his steed, And urged, as if with lance in rest, the charger's foamy speed.
And lo! from far, as on they pressed, there came a glittering
band, With one that ʼmidst them stately rode, as a leader in the land : “ Now haste, Bernardo, haste! for there, in very truth, is he, The father whom thy faithful heart hath yearned so long to see.”
His dark eye flashed, his proud breast heaved, his cheek’s hue
came and went ; He reached that gray-haired chieftain's side, and there, dis
mounting, bent; A lowly knee to earth he bent, his father's hand he took What was there in its touch that all his fiery spirit shook ?
That hand was cold - a frozen thing — it dropped from his like
lead! He looked up to the face above, the face was of the dead ! A plume waved o’er the noble brow, — the brow was fixed and
white : He met, at last, his father's eyes, but in them was no light!
Up from the ground he sprang and gazed, — but who could paint
that gaze? They hushed their very hearts that saw its horror and amaze ; – They might have chained him, as before that stony form he stood; For the power was stricken from his arm, and from his lip the
* FATHER ! at length he murmured low, and wept like child
hood then : Talk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears of warlike men! He thought on all his glorious hopes, and all his young renown, He flung his falchion from his side, and in the dust sat down.
Then covering with his steel-gloved hands his darkly mournful
brow, “ No more, there is no more,” he said, “to lift the sword for,
now; My king is false, - my hope betrayed! My father - O! the
worth, The glory, and the loveliness, are passed away from earth !
“ I thought to stand where banners waved, my sire, beside thee,
yet! I would that there our kindred blood on Spain's free soil bad
met! Thou wouldst have known my spirit, then; - for thee
fields were won ; And thou hast perished in thy chains, as though thou hadst no
Then, starting from the ground once more, he seized the mon
arch's rein, Amidst the pale and wildered looks of all the courtier,
train ; And, with a fierce, o'ermastering grasp, the rearing war-horse
led, And sternly set them face to face - the king before the dead :
“ Came I not forth, upon thy pledge, my father's hand to kiss ?— Be still, and gaze thou on, false king! and tell me what is this? The voice, the glance, the heart I sought, — give answer, where
are they? If thou wouldst clear thy perjured soul, send life through this
“ Into these glassy eyes put light ;- be still ! keep down thine
ire ! Bid these white lips a blessing speak, — this earth is not my
sire : Give me back him for whom I strove, for whom my blood was
shed ! Thou canst not ? - and a king !-- his dust be mountains on thy
He loosed the steed, — his slack hand fell ; – upon the silent face He cast one long, deep, troubled look, then turned from that sad
place : His hope was crushed, his after fate untold in martial strain : His banner led the spears no more, amidst the hills of Spain.
BERNARDO AND KING ALPAONSO.
ITH some good ten of his chosen men,
Bernardo hath appeared,
The lying king to beard ;
He came in reverend guise,
And flame broke from his eyes.
“ A curse upon thee,” cries the king,
“ Who com'st unbid to me! But what from traitor's blood should spring,
Save traitor like to thee ?
Perchance our champion brave
To share Don Sancho's grave."
“ Whoever told this tale,
The king hath rashness to repeat,"
Before the LJAR's feet !
No stain in mine doth lie :
The coward calumny?
* The blood that I like water shed,
When Roland did advance,
By secret traitors hired and led,
To make us slaves of France :
I sared at Roncesval
Abundant for it all.
6 Your horse was down
your hope was flown
Had I not ventured mine;
Deserteth the ingrate;
By the father's bloody fate.
“ Ye swore upon your kingly faith
To set Don Sancho free;
The light he ne'er did see ;
By Alphonso's base decree ;
Were all they gave to me.
“ The king that swerveth from his word,
Hath stained his purple black ;
Behind a liar's back ;
And open hate I 'll show
And Bernard is his foe!”
“ Seize, seize him!' loud the King doth scream ;
“ There are a thousand here !
What! caitiffs, do ye fear?