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twelve pitched battles, and to have achieved the versie, and that greate."--Assertion of king Arother feats alluded to in the text.
thure. Imprinted by John Wolfe, London, 1582. 4. There Morolt of the iron mace, &c.-P. 353. 0. There were two who loved their neighbours' wives, The characters named in the following staoza And one who loved his own.-P. 354. are all of them, more or less, distinguished in the “ In our forefathers' tyme, when papistrie, as a romances which treat of king Arthur and his Round standyng poole, covered and overflowed all' EnTable, and their names are strung together ac- glund, fewe books were read in our tongue, savyng cording to the established custom of minstrels certain bookes of chevalrie, as they said, for pasupon such occasions; for example, in the ballad of time and pleasure; which, as some say, were made the marriage of sir Gawaine:
in the monasteries, by idle monks or wonton chaSir Lancelot, sir Stephen bolde,
nons. As one for example, La morte d'Arthure; They rode with them that daye,
the whole pleasure of which book standeth in two And, foremost of the companye, There rode the stewarde Kaye:
speciall poynts, in open manslaughter and bold Soe did sir Banier, and sir Bore,
bawdrye; in which booke they be counted the noAnd eke sir Garratte keen,
blest knightes that do kill most men without any Sir Tristram too, that gentle knight,
quarrell, and commit fowlest adoulteries by sutlest To the forest fresh and green
shiftes; as sir Launcelot, with the wife of King Ar5. And Lancelot, that evermore
thur, his master; sir Tristram, with the wife of Look'd stol'n-wise on the queen.-P, 363.
king Marke, his uncle; sir Lamerocke, with the Upon this delicate subject hear Richard Robin- wife of king Lote, that was his own aunt. This is son, citizen of London, in his assertion of king good stuffe for wise men to laugh at, or honest Arthur:
men to take pleasure at, yet I kuow when God's “ But as it is a thing sufficiently apparent that Bible was banished the court, and La Morte d'Arshe (Guenever, wife of King Arthur) was beauti- thure received into the prince's chamber.”-As. ful, so it is a thing doubted whether she was chaste, Cham's Schoolmaster. yea or no. Truly, so far as I can with honestie, i
7. -valiant Carodac, would spare the impayred honour and fame of no
Who won the cup of gold.-P. 354. ble women. But yet the truth of the historie See the comic tale of the Boy and the Mantle, pluckes me by the eere, and willeth me not onely, in the third volume of Percy's Reliques of Ancient but commandeth me to declare what the ancients Poetry, from the Breton or Norman original of have deemed of her. To wrestle or contend with which Ariosto is supposed to have taken his tale so great authoritie were indeed unto me a contro- of the Enchanted Cup.
The vision of Don Roderick.
Quid dignum memorare tuis, Hispania, terris,
TO JOHN WHITMORE, Esq.
AND TO THE COMMITTEE OF SUBSCRIBERS FOR RELIEF OF THE PORTUGUESE SUFFERERS,
IN WHICH HE PRESIDES,
THIS POEM, COMPOSED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FUND UNDER THEIR MANAGEMENT,
IS RESPECTFULLY INSCRIBED, BI WALTER SCOTT.
East and West Indies had raised to the highest Tas following poem is founded upon a Spanish pitch the renown of their arms; sullied, however, tradition, particularly detailed in the Notes; but by superstition and cruelty. An allusion to the inbearing, in general, that Don Roderick, the last humanities of the inquisition terminates this picGothic king of Spain, when the invasion of the ture. The Last Part of the poem opens with the Moors was impending, had the temerity to descend state of Spain previous to the unparalleled treachinto an ancient vault, near Toledo, the opening of ery of BONAPARTE; gives a sketch of the usurpawhich had been denounced as fatal to the Spanish Lion attempted upon that unsuspicious and friendly monarchy. The legead adds, that his rash curiosi- kingdom, and terminates with the arrival of the ty was mortified by an emblematical representa- British succours. It may be farther proper to mention of those Saracens, who, in the year 714, de- tion, that the object of the poem is less to comfeated him in battle, and reduced 'Spain under memorate or detail particular incidents, than to their dominion. I have presumed to prolong the exhibit a general and impressive picture of the Vision of the Revolutions of Spain down to the several periods brought upon the stage. present eventful crisis of the Peninsula; and to I am too sensible of the respect due to the pubdivide it, by a supposed change of scene, into lic, especially by one who has already experienced THREE PERIODS. The First of these represents more than ordinary indulgence, to offer any apothe invasion of the Moors, the defeat and death of logy for the inferiority of the poetry to the subject Roderick, and closes with the peaceful occupation it is chiefly designed to commemorate. Yet I think of the country by the victors. The Second PERIOD it proper to mention, that while I was hastily exeembraces the state of the Peninsula, when the cuting a work, written for a temporary purpose, conquests of the Spaniards and Portuguese in the land on passing events, the task was cruelty in
terrupted by the successive deaths of lord presi- That floats your solitary wastes along, dent Blair, and lord viscount Melville. In those And with affection vain gave them new voice in distinguished characters, I had not only to regret song. persons whose lives were most important to Scot
VI. land, but also whose notice and patronage honoured For not till now, how oft soe'er the task my entrance upon active life, and I may add, with Of truant verse hath lightened graver care, melancholy pride, who permitted my more ad- From muse or sylvan was he wont to ask, vanced age to claim no common share in their In phrase poetic, inspiration fair; friendship. Under such interruptions, the fol- Careless he gave his numbers to the air, lowing verses, which my best and happiest efforts They came unsought for, if applauses came; must have left far unworthy of their theme, bave, Nor for himself prefers he now the prayer; I am myself sensible, an appearance of negligence Let but his verse befit a hero's fame, and incoherence, which, in other circumstances, I Immortal be the verse!-forgot the poet's name. might have been able to remove.
VII. Edinburgh, June 24, 1811.
Hark, from yon misty cairn their answer tost;
“ Minstrei! the fame of whose romantic lyre, INTRODUCTION.
Capricious swelling now, may soon be lost, 1.
Like the light fickering of a cottage fire; LIVES there a strain, whose sounds of mountain If to such task presumptuous thou aspire, fire
Seek not from us the meed to warrior due: May rise distinguished o'er the din of war, Age after age has gathered son to sire, Or died it with yon master of the lyre,
Since our gray cliffs the din of conflict knew, Who sung beleaguered Ilion's evil star? Or, pealing through our vales, victorious bugles Such, WELLINGTON, might reach thee from afar, blew. Wafting its descant wide o'er ocean's range;
VIII. Nor shouts, nor clashing arms, its mood could mar, “Decayed our old traditionary lore, All as it swelled 'twixt each loud trumpet- Save where the lingering fays renew their ring, change,
By milk-maid seen beneath the hawthorn hoar, That clangs to Britain victory, to Portugal revenge! Or round the marge of Minchmore's haunted II.
spring;2 Yes! such a strain, with all o'erpowering measure,
Save where their legends gray-haired shepherds Might melodize with each tumultuous sound,
sing, Each voice of fear or triumph, wo or pleasure,
That now scarce win a listening ear but thine, That rings Mondego's ravaged shores around;
Of feuds obscure, and border ravaging, The thundering cry of hosts with conquest crown'd,
And rugged deeds recount in rugged line, The female shriek, the ruined peasant's moan, Of moonlight foray made on Teviot, Tweed, or The shout of captives from their chains unbound, Tyne. The foiled oppressor's deep and sullen groan,
IX. A nation's choral hymn for tyranny o'erthrown.
« No! search romantic lands, where the near sur III.
Gives with unstinted boon ethereal flame, But we, weak minstrels of a laggard day,
Where the rude villager, his labour done, Skilled but to imitate an elder page,
In verse spontaneous chants some favoured name; Timid and raptureless, can we repay
Whether Olalia's charms his tribute claim, The debt thou claim'st in this exhausted age?
Her eye of diamond, and her locks of jet; Thou givest our lyres a theme, that might engage
Or whether, kindling at the deeds of Gräme, Those that could send thy name o'er sea and
He sing, to wild Morisco meusure set, land,
Old Albyn's red claymore, green Erin's bayonet! While sea and land shall last; for Homer's rage
X. A theme; a theme for Milton's mighty hand- "Explore those regions, where the finty crest How much unmeet for us, a faint degenerate band!
of wild Nevada ever gleams with snows, IV.
Where in the proud Alhambra's ruined breast
Barbaric monuments of pomp repose: Ye mountains stern! within whose rugged breast
Or where the banners of more ruthless foes The friends of Scottish freedom found repose; Ye torrents! whose hoarse sounds have soothed From whose tall towers even now the patriot thross
Than the fierce Moor, float o'er Toledo's fane, their rest,
An anxious glance, to spy upon the plain Returning from the field of vanquished foes;
The blended rauks of England, Portugal, and Spain. Say, have ye lost each wild majestic close, That erst the choir of bards or druids flung;
XI. What time their hymn of victory arose,
“ There, of Numantian fire a swarthy spark And Cattraeth's glens with voice of triumph Still lightens in the son-burnt native's eye; Tung,
The stately port, slow step, and visage dark, And mystic Merlin harped, and gray-haired Lly- Still mark enduring pride and constaney. warch sung.
And, if the glow of feudal chivalry
Beam not, as once, thy nobles' dearest pride, 0! if your wilds such minstrelsy retain,
Iberia! oft thy crestless peasantry As sure your changeful gales seem ott to say, Have seen the plumed Hidalgo quit their side, When sweeping wild and sinking soft again, Have seen, yet dauntless stood-gainst fortune Like trumpet jubilee, or harp's wild sway;
fought and died. If ye can echo sich triumphant lay,
XII. Then lend the note to him has loved you long! " And cherished still by that unchanging race, Who pious gathered each tradition gray,
Are themes for minstrelsy more high than thine;
Of strange tradition many a mystic trace, But Roderick's visage, though his head was bare, Legend and vision, prophecy and sign;
Was shadowed by his hand and mantle's fold. Where wonders wild of Arabesque combine While of his hidden soul the sins he told, With Gothic imagery of darker shade,
Proud Alaric's descendant could not brook, Forming a model meet for minstrel line. That mortal man his bearing should behold, Go, seek such theme!”-The mountain spirit Or boast that he had seen, when conscience shook said:
Fear tame a monarch's brow, remorse a warrior's With filial awe I heard--I heard, and I obeyed. look.
The old man's faded cheek waxed yet more pale, VISION OF DON RODERICK. As many a secret sad the king bewrayed;
And sign and glance eked out the unfinished tale, I.
When in the midst his faltering whisper staid. REARING their crests amid the cloudless skies,
“ Thus royal Witiza* was slain," he said; And darkly clustering in the pale moonlight, “ Yet, holy father, deem not it was I.”— Toledo's holy towers and spires arise,
Thus still Ambition strives her crime to shade As from a trembling lake of silver white. “O rather deem 'twas stern necessity! Their mingled shadows intercept the sight Self-preservation bade, and I must kill or die. Of the broad burial-ground outstretched below,
VIII. And nought disturbs the silence of the night;
“And if Florinda's shrieks alarmed the air, All sleeps in sullen shade, or silver glow, All save the heavy swell of Teio's ceaseless flow. And on her knees implored that I would spare,
If she invoked her absent sire in vain,
Yet, reverend priest, thy sentence rash refrain! All save the rushing swell of Teio's tide,
All is not as it seems-the female train Or distant heard,
a courser's neigh or tramp, Know by their bearing to disguise their mood :" Their changing rounds as watchful horsemen ride, But Conscience here, as if in high disdain, To guard the limits of king Roderick's camp.
Sent to the monarch's cheek the burning blood For, through the river's night-fog rolling damp,
He stayed his speech abrupt-and up the prelate Was many a proud pavilion dimly seen,
IX. Which glimmer'd back, against the moon's fair lamp,
"O hardened offspring of an iron race! Tissues of silk and silver twisted sheen,
What of thy crimes, Don Roderick, shall I say? And standards proudly pitched, and warders armed What alms, or prayers, or penance can efface between.
Murder's dark spot, wash treason's stain away! III.
For the foul ravisher how shall I pray, But of their monarch's person keeping ward, Who, scarce repentant, makes his crime his Since last the deep-mouth'd bell of vespers toll’d,
boast? The chosen soldiers of the royal guard
How hope Almighty vengeance shall delay,
He spare the shepherd, lest the guiltless sheep be Who, for the cap of steel and iron mace,
lost!”– Bear slender darts, and casques bedeck'd with gold,
X. While silver-studded belts their shoulders grace, Then kindled the dark tyrant in his mood, Where ivory quivers ring in the broad falchion's And to his brow returned its dauntless gloom; place.
“And welcome then,” he cried, “ be blood for IV.
blood, In the light language of an idle court,
For treason treachery, for dishonour doom! They murmured at their master's long delay,
Yet will I know whence come they, or by whom. And held his lengthened orisons in sport: Show, for thou canst--give forth the fated key, “What! will Don Roderick here till morning and guide me, priest, to that mysterious room, stay,
Where, if aught true in old tradition be, To wear in shrift and prayer the night away?
His nation's future fate a Spanish king shall And are his hours in such dull penance past, For fair Florinda's plundered charms to pay?"
XI. Then to the east their weary eyes they cast,
IIl-fated prince! recal the desperate word, And wished the lingering dawn would glimmer Or pause ere yet the omen thou obey! forth at last.
Bethink yon spell-bound portal would afford V.
Never to former monarch entrance-way; But, far within, Toledo's prelate lent
Nor shall it ever ope, old records say, An ear of fearful wonder to the king;
Save to a king, the last of all his line, The silver lamp a fitful lustre sent,
What time his empire totters to decay, So long that sad confession witnessing:
And treason digs, beneath, her fatal mine, For Roderick told of many a hidden thing,
And, high above, impends avenging wrath divine. Such as are lothly uttered to the air,
XI. When Fear, Remorse, and Shame, the bosom -" Prelate! a monarch's fate brooks no delay; wring,
Lead on!” The ponderous key the old man And Guilt his secret burthen cannot bear,
took, And Conscience seeks in speech a respite from And held the winking lamp, and led the way, Despair.
By winding stair, dark aisle, and secret nook, VI.
The predecessor of Roderick upon the Spanish throne, Full on the prelate's face, and silver hair,
and slain by his connivance, as is affirmed by Rodriguez The stream of failing light was feebly rolled; of Toledo, the father of Spanish history.
Then on an ancient gate-way bent his look; And issue of events that had not been;
And, as the key the desperate king essayed, And ever and anon strange sounds were heard be Low-muttered thunders the cathedral shook,
tween. And twice he stopped, and twice new effort made,
XIX. Till the huge bolts rolled back, and the loud hinges First shrilled an unrepeated female shriek! brayed.
seemed as if Don Roderick knew the call, XU.
For the bold blood was blanching in his cheek.-Long, large, and lofty, was that vaulted hall; Then answered kettle-drum and atabal,
Roof, walls, and ftoor, were all of marble stone, Gong-peal and cymbal-clank the ear appal,
The Tecbir war-cry, and the Lelies' yell,7
Needs not to Roderick their dread import tellThrough the sad bounds, but whence they could " The Moor!'' he cried, “the Moor!-ring out
the tocsin bell! for window to the upper air was none;
Swart Zaarah joins her misbelieving bands,
Alla and Mahomet their battle-word,
The choice they yield, the koran or the sword.Of molten bronze, two statues held their place;
See how the christians rush to arms amain! Massive their naked limbs, their stature tall,
la yonder shout the voice of conflict roared! Their frowning foreheads golden circles grace. The shadowy hosts are closing on the plainMoulded they seemed for kings of giant race, Now, God and saint lago strike, for the good cause That lived and sinned before the aveaging flood;
of Spain!” This grasped a sithe, that rested on a mace:
XXI. This spreads his wings for fight, that pondering .. stood,
By heaven, the Moors prevail! the christians Each stubborn seemed and stern, immutable of
Their coward leader gives for flight the sign! mood. XV.
The sceptred craven mounts to quit the fieldFixed was the right-hand giant's brazen look
Is not you steed Orelia?--Yes, 'tis mine!3 Upon his brother's glass of shifting sand,
But never was she turned from batte-line: As if its ebb he measured by a book,
Lo! where the recreant spurs o'er stock and
stone! Whose iron volume loaded his huge hand; In which was wrote of many a falling land,
Curses pursue the slave and wrath divine! Of empires lost, and kings to exile driven,
Rivers ingulf him!”—“ Hush!” in shuddering And o'er that pair their names in scroll expand the prelate said: “ rash prince, yon visioned
tone, “Lo, DESTINY and Time! to whom by heaven The guidance of the earth is for a season given.”
form's thine own."
Just then, a torrent crossed the fier's course; Even while they read, the sand glass wastes away; The dangerous ford the kingly likeness tried; And, as the last and lagging grains did creep,
But the deep eddies whelmed both man and borse, That right-hand giant 'gan his club upsway, As one that startles from a heavy sleep.
Swept like benighted peasant down the tide;
And the proud Moslemah spread far and wide, Full on the upper wall the mace's sweep
As numerous as their native locust band; At once descended with the force of thunder, Berber and Ismael's sons the spoils divide, And hurling down at once, in crumbled heap, With naked scimitars mete out the land,
The marble boundary was rent asunder, And for their bondsmen base the freeborn natives And gave to Roderick's yiew new sights of fear
Then rose the grated Harem, to enclose
Realms as of Spain in visioned prospect laid, Then, menials to their misbelieving foes, Castles and towers, in due proportion each, Castile's young nobles held forbidden wine;
As by some skilful artist's hand portrayed: Then, too, the holy cross, salvation's sign,
And boundless plains that tire the traveller's eye; And the deep aisles of the polluted shrine
Or deep embrowned by forests huge and high, The santon's frantic dance, the fakir's gibbering Or washed by mighty streams, that slowly murmured by
How fares Don Roderick? --E'en as one who spies And here, as erst upon the antique stage,
Flames dart their glare o'er midnight's sable Passed forth the bands of masquers trimly led, woof, In various forms, and various equipage,
And hears around his children's piercing eries, While fitting strains the hearer's fancy fed; And sees the pale assistants stand aloof; So to sad Roderick's eye in order spread, While cruel conscience brings him bitter proof,
Successive pageants filled that mystic scene, His folly, or his crime, have caused his grief, Showing the fute of battles ere they bled, And, while above him nods the crumbling roof,
He curses earth and heaven-himself in chief
XXXI. Desperate of earthly aid, desparing heaven's re- Oft his proud galleys sought some new-found lief!
That latest sees the sun, or first the morn; That sithe-armed giant turned his fatal glass, Still at that wizard's feet their spoils he hurled,
And twilight on the landscape closed her wings; Ingots of ore, from rich Potosi borne, Far to Asturian hills the war-sounds pass, Crowus by caciques, aigrettes by omrahs worn,
And in their stead rebeck or timbrel rings; Wrought of rare gems, but broken, rent, and And to the sound the bell-decked dancer springs, foul;
Bazars resound as when their marts are met, Idols of gold, from heathen temples torn, In tourney light the Moor his jerrid flings,
Bedabbled all with blood. --With grisly scowl,
Then did he bless the offering, and bade make So passed that pageant. Ere another came, Tribute to heaven of gratitude and praise;
The visionary scene was wrapped in smoke, And at his word the choral hymns awake, Whose sulph'rous wreaths were crossed by sheets And many a hand the silver censer sways. of flame;
But with the incense-breath these censers raise, With every flash a bolt explosive broke, Mix steams from corpses smouldering in the fire, Till Roderick deemed the fiends bad burst their The groans of prisoned victims mar the lays, yoke,
And shrieks of agony confound the quire, And waved 'gainst heaven the infernal gonfalone! While, 'mid the mingled sounds, the darkened For war new and dreadful language spoke,
scenes expire. Never by ancient warrior heard or known;
XXXIII. Lightning and smoke her breath, and thunder was Preluding light, were strains of music heard, her tone.
As once again revolved that measured sand, XXVN.
Such sounds as when, for sylvan dance prepared, From the dim landscape roll the clouds away- Gay Xeres summons forth her vintage band; The christians have regained their heritage;
When for the light bolero ready stand Before the cross has waned the crescent's ray,
The Mozo blith, with gay Muchacha met, And many a monastery decks the stage,
He conscious of his broidered cap and band, And lofty church, and low browed hermitage.
She of her netted locks and light corsette, The land obeys a hermit and a knight, -
Each tiptoe perched to spring, and shake the case The genii these of Spain for many an age;
tanet. This clad in sackcloth, that in armour bright,
XXXIV. And that was VALOur named, this BIGOTRI was And well such strains the opening scene became; hight.
For VALOUR had relaxed his ardent look,
And at a lady's feet, like lion tame,
Lay stretched, full loth the weight of arms to Armed at all points, and prompt for knightly brook; gest;
And softened BIGOTRY, upon his book, His sword was tempered in the Ebro cold,
Pattered a task of little good or ill: Morena's eagle-plume adorned his crest, But the blith peasant plied bis pruning hook, The spoils of Afric's lion bound his breast.
Whistled the muleteer o'er vale and hill, Fierce he stepped forward, and Aung down his And rung from village-green the merry seguidille.
gage, As if of mortal kind to brave the best.
Gray royalty, grown impotent of toil,
Let the grave sceptre slip his lazy hold,
Of a loose female and her minion bola.
In look and language proud as proud might be, From court intrigue, from bickering faction far; Vaunting his lordship, lineage, fights, and fame, Beneath the chestnut tree Love's tale was told,
Yet was that bare-foot monk more proud than he. And to the tinkling of the light guitar, And as the ivy climbs the tallest tree,
Sweet stooped the western sun, sweet rose the So round the loftiest soul his toils he wound,
evening star. And with his spells subdued the fierce and free,
Came slowly overshadowing Israel's land,
Awhile, perchance, bedeck'd with colours sheen, And thus it chanced that VALOUR, peerless knight, While yet the sunbeams on its skirts had been,
Who ne'er to king or kaisar veiled his crest, Limning with purple and with gold its shroud, Victorious still in bull-feast, or in fight,
Till darker folds obscured the blue serene, Since first his limbs with mail he did invest,
And blotted heaven with one broad sable cloud, Stooped ever to that anchoret's behest;
Then sheeted rain burst down, and whirlwinds Nor reasoned of the right, nor of the wrong,
howled aloud: But at his bidding laid the lance in rest,
XXXVII. And wro't fell deeds the troubled world along, Even so upon that peaceful scene was poured, For be was fierce as brave, and pitiless as strong. Like gathering clouds, full many a foreign banda