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THE



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Htritelr fig i}tx Sisttr.



REPRINTED FROM THE LAST LONDON EDITION.



AN ESSAY ON HER GENIUS

BY

MRS. SIGOURNEY.



COMPLETE IN THKEE VOLUMSS.

VOL. I.



NEW-YORK :
C. S. FRANCIS & CO., U52 BROADWAY.

boston:

J. H. FRANCIS, 123 WASHINGTON-STREET.

] 845.






Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1840, by

LEA & BLANCHARD,

In the clerk's office of the district court of the eastern district
of Pennsylvania.






CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.



PART I.



Tales and Historic Scenes : —
Tlie Al)ci)cerraije . , Page 11

Notes to ilitto ... 62

The Widow of Crescentius . 73
Notes to ditto .... 93

Tiie Last Banquet of Antony and

Cleopatra . . . .101
Notes to ditto .... 106

Al uic in Itdly .... 107
Notes to ditto . . . . 113

T!ie Wife of Asdrubal . . 115
HolioJoius in the Temple . 118

Niirht-Scene in Genoa . . 122

The Troubadour and Richard Coeur

deLion .... 130

Notes to ditto .... 135
T le Daath of Conradin . . 137

Notes to ditto . . . .144

Thk Restokaticx of the Wokks

OF Art to Italy . . 147

Notes to ditto .... 166



Modern' Greece
Notes to ditto



169

211



Translations from Camokns and

OTHER Poets . . . 223

Miscellaneous Poems : —

Lines written in a Hermitage 259
Dirge of a Child . . . .261

Invocation .... 262

To the Memory of Gen. Sir E. P. 264

TotheMemoryofSirH. E— 11— s 265

Guerilla Song .... 267

The Aged Indian . . . 268

Evening among the Alps . . 270

Dirge of the Highland Chief 270

The Crusaders' War-Song . . 272

The Death of Clanronald . 273

To the Eye 274

The Hero's Death ... 276

Death of the Princess Charlotte 277

Italian Literature : —

Tiie Basviifliana of Monti . . 2S9

The AlcesUs of Alfieri . . 297
li Coute diCarmaguc>l.a,byManzoni3lO

Caius Gracchus, by Monti . . 339

Patriotic Effusions of Italian Poets 351.



PART II.



The Sceptic . . . Page 7
A tale of the Secret Tribunal 29
Superstition and Revelation 84
The Caravan in the Deserts 97
Marius a:«ongst the ruins of

Carthage . . . 103

Song, founded on an Arabian

anecdote .... 108
Alp-Horn Song (from the Ger-
man of Teck) ... 110
Translations from Horace . Ill
TuE Cross of the South . 115
The Sleeper of Marathon 117
To Miss F. A. L , on her Birth-
day - . . . . 118
VVritten in the first leaf of

the albuxM of the same 119
To the same, on the death of

her mother . . .119
From the Italian of Garci-

LASSO DE LA VeGA . 122

From the Italian of Sannazaro 122
Appearance of the Spirit of

THE Cape to Vasco de Gama 123



A Dirge J27

The Maremma . • . . 129
Stanzas to the memory of

George the third . 139

A TALE of the fourteenth

Century . . . .147

Belshazzar's Feast . . 168

The Last Constantine . 175

Greek Songs .... 225

Elysium 235

The Funeral Genius, (an An-
cient Statue) . . . 210
The Tombs of Plat.^a . . 242
The view from Castri . 244
The Festal Hour . . 246
Song of the Battle of Mor-

garten .... 251
Sebastian of Portugal, (a Dra-
matic Fragment) . . • 257
Ode on the Defeat of Se-
bastian of Portugal . 279
The Siege of Vale>-cia . . 2b5



TALES



AND



HISTORIC SCENES.



(9)



THE ABENCERRAGE.



Le Maure ne se venge pas parce que sa colere dure encore, mais, pnrce
que la vengeance seule peut ecarter de sa lete le poids d'infamie dont il
est accable. — II se venge, parce qii'a ses yeiix il n'y a qu'une ame basso
qui puisse pardonner les affVonis ; et il nourrit sa rancune, parce que s'll

la sentoit s'eteindre, il croiroit avec elle avoir perdu une vertu. Sis-

nioudi.



The events with which the following tale is interwoven, are
related in the " Historia de las Guerras Civiles de Granada."
They occurred in the reign of Abo Abdeli or Abdali, the last
Moorish king of that city, called by the Spaniards El Ret/ Chico.
The conquest of Granada, by Ferdinand and Isabella, is said, by
some historians, to have been greatly facilitated by the Abencer-
rages, whose defection was the result of the repeated injuries
they had received from the king at the instigation of the Zegris.
One of the most beautiful halls of the Alhambra is still pointed
out as the scene where so many of the former celebrated tribe
were massacred ; and it still retains their name, being called the
" Sala de los Abencerrages." Many of the most interesting old
Spanish ballads relate to the events of this chivalrous and roman-
tic period.



CANTO I.

Lonely and still are now thy marble halls,

Thou fair Alhambra ! there the feast is o'er ;

And with the murmur of thy fountain-falls

Blend the wild notes of minstrelsy no more.

00



12 TALES, AND HISTORIC SCENES.

Hush'd are the voices, that, in years gone by.
Have mourn'd, exulted, menaced, through thy
towers ;

Within thy pillar'd courts the grass waves high.
And all uncultured bloom thy fairy bowers.

Unheeded there the flowering myrtle blows,
Through tall arcades unmark'd the sunbeam
smiles,

And many a tint of soften'd brilliance throws.
O'er fretted walls, and shining peristyles.

And well might Fancy deem thy fabrics lone.
So vast, so silent, and so wildly fair.

Some charm'd abode of beings all unknown.
Powerful and viewless, children of the air.

For there no footstep treads the enchanted ground,
There not a sound the deep repose pervades.

Save winds and founts diffusing freshness round.
Through the light domes and graceful colonnades.

Far other tones have swell'd those courts along.
In days romance yet fondly loves to trace ;

The clash of arms, the voice of choral song.
The revels, combats, of a vanished race.

And yet awhile, at Fancy's potent call.

Shall rise that race, the chivalrous, the bold!

Peopling once more each fair, forsaken hall.

With stately forms, the knights and chiefs of old.



THE ABSNCERRAGE. 13

— The sun declines — upon Nevada's height
There dwells a mellow flush of rosy light ;
Each soaring pinnacle of mountain snow
Smiles in the richness of that parting glow.
And Darro's wave reflects each passing dye
That melts and mingles in th' empurpled sky.
Fragrance, exhaled from rose and citron bower,
Blends with the dewy freshness of the hour :
Hush'd are the winds, and Nature seems to sleep,
In light and stillness; wood, and tower, and steep,
Are dyed with, tints of glory, only given
To the rich evening of a southern heaven ;
Tints of the sun, whose bright fLirewell is fraught.
With all that art hath dreamt, but never caught.
— Yes, Nature sleeps; but not with her at rest
The fiery passions of the human breast.
Hark ! from the Alhambra's towers what stormy sound,
Each moment deepening, wildly swells around?
Those are no tumults of a festal throng,
Not the light zambra, (1) nor the choral song;
The combat rages — 'tis the shout of war,
'T is the loud clash of shield and scymetar.
Within the Hall of Lions, (2) where the rays
Of eve, yet lingering, on the fountain blaze;
There, gh t and guarded by his Zegri bands.
And stern in wrath, the Moorish monarch stands,
There the strife centres — swords around him wave^
There bleed the fallen, there contend the brave,
While echoing domes return the battle-cry,
'' lievenge and Freedom ! — let the tyrant die ! "
And onward rushing, and prevailing still.
Court, hall, and tower the fierce avengers fill.

Vol. H. 2



14 TALES, AND HISTORIC SCENES.

But first and bravest of that gallant train,
Where foes are mightiest, charging ne'er in vain ;
In his red hand the sabre glancing bright,
His dark eye flashing with a fiercer light.
Ardent, imtired, scarce conscious that he bleeds,
His Aben-Zurrahs (3) there young Hamet leads ;
While swells his voice that wild acclaim on high,
" Revenge and freedom ! — let the tyrant die ! "

Yes, trace the footsteps of the warrior's wrath,
By helm and corslet shatter'd in his path;
And by the thickest harvest of the slain.
And by the marble's deepest crimson stain ;
Search through the serried fight, where loudest cries
From triumph, anguish, or despair arise ;
And brightest where the shivering falchions glare,
And where the ground is reddest — he is there.
Yes, that young arm, amidst th(3 Zegri host,
Hath well avenged a sire, a brother, lost.
They perish'd — not as heroes should have died.
On tlie red field in victory's hour of pride.
In all the glow and sunshine of their fame.
And proudly smiling as the death-pang came ;
Oh ! had they thus expired, a warrior's tear
Had flow'd almost in triumph o'er their bier.
For thus alone the brave should weep for those
Who brightly pass in glory to repose.
— Not such their fate — a tyrant's stern command
Doom'd them to fall by some ignoble hand.
As with the flower of all their high-born race,
Summon'd Abdallah's royal feast to grace,
Fearless in heart, no dream of danger nigh.
They sought the banquet's gilded hall — to die,



THE ABENCERRAGE. 15

Betray'd, unarm'd, they fell — the fountain wave
Flow'd crimson with the life-blood of the brave,
Till far the fearful tidings of their fate
Through the wide city rung from gate to gate,
And of that lineage each surviving son
Rushed to the scene where vengeance might be won.

For this young Hamet mingles in the strife.
Leader of battle, prodigal of life,
Urging his followers, till their foes, beset.
Stand faint and breathless, but undaunted yet.
Brave Aben-Zurrahs, on ! one effort more.
Yours is the triumph, and the conflict o'er.
But lo ! descending o'er the darken'd hall.
The twilight shadows fast and deeply fall.
Nor yet the strife hath ceased — tho' scarce they know,
Through that thick gloom, the brother from the foe.
Till the moon rises with her cloudless ray.
The peaceful moon, and gives them light to slay.

Where lurks Abdallah ? — 'midst his yielding train
They seek the guilty monarch, but in vain :
He lies not number'd with the valiant dead.
His champions round him have not vainly bled;
But when the twilight spread her shadowy veil.
And his last warriors found each effort fail.
In wild despair he fled — a trusted few.
Kindred in time, are still in danger true ;
And o'er the scene of many a martial deed, /

The Vega's (4) green expanse, his flying footsteps lead, i
He passed the Alhambra's calm and lovely bowers,!
Where slept the glistening leaves and folded flowers
In dew and starlight — there from grot and cave,
Gush'd in wild music many a sparkling wave ;



16 TALES, AND HISTORIC SCENES.

There, on each breeze, the breath of fragrance rose,
And all was freshness, beauty, and repose.

But thou, dark monarch ! in thy bosom reign
Storms that, once roused, shall never sleep again.
Oh ! vainhr bright is nature in the course
Of him who flies from terror or remorse !
A spell is round him which obscures her bloom,
And dims her skies with shadows of the tomb ;
There smiles no Paradise on earth so fair.
But guilt will raise avenging phantoms there.
Abdallah heeds not though the hght gale roves
Fraught with rich odour, stolen from orange-groves,
Hears not the sounds from wood and brook that rise.
Wild notes of Nature's vesper melodies ;
Marks not, how lovely, on the mountain's head.
Moonlight and snow their mingling lustre spread ;
But urges onward, till his weary band,
Worn with their toil, a moment's pause demand.
He stops, and turning, on Granada's fanes
In silence gazing, fix'd awhile remains,
In stern, deep silence — o'er his feverish brow,
And burning cheek, pure breezes freshly blow.
But waft in fitful murmurs from afar,
Sounds, indistinctly fearful — as of war.
What meteor bursts, wdth sudden blaze, on high,
O'er the blue clearness of the starry sky?
Awful it rises, like some Genie-form,
Seen 'midst the redness of the desert storm, (5)
Magnificentl}'' dread — above, below.
Spreads the wild splendour of its deepening glow.
Lo ! from the Alhambra's towers the vivid glare
Streams through the still transparence of the air ;



THE ABENCERRAGE. 17

Avenging crowds have lit the mighty pyre,
Which feeds that waving pyramid of fire ;
And dome and minaret, river, wood, and height,
From dim perspective start to ruddy Hght.

Oh Heaven ! the anguish of Abdallah's soul,
The rage, though fruitless, yet beyond control !
Yet must he cease to gaze, and raving fly
For life — such life as makes it l)liss to die !
On yon green height, the mosque, but half reveal'd
Through cypress-groves, a safe retreat may yield.
Thither his steps are bent — yet oft he turns,
Watching that fearful beacon as it burns.
But paler grow the sinking flames at last.
Flickering they fade, their crimson light is past.
And spiry vapours, rising o'er the scene,
Mark where the terrors of their wrath have been.
And now his feet have reach'd that lonely pile.
Where grief and terror may repose awhile ;
Embower'd it stands, 'midst wood and cliff on high,
Through the grey rocks a torrent sparkling nigh ;
He hails the scene where every care should cease,
And all — except the heart he brings — is peace.

There is deep stillness in those halls of state.
Where the loud cries of conflict rung so late !
Stillness like that, when fierce the Kamsin's blast
Hath o'er the dwellings of the desert pass'd. (6)
Fearful the calm — nor voice, nor step, nor breath
Disturbs that scene of beauty and of death :
Those vaulted roofs re-echo not a sound.
Save the wild gush of waters — murmuring round,
In ceaseless melodies of plaintive tone.
Through chambers peopled by the dead alone.
2*



18 TALES AND HISTORIC SCENES.

O'er the mosaic floors, with carnage red,
Breastplate and shield, and cloven helm are spread
In mingled fragments — glittering to the light
Of yon still moon, whose rays, yet softly bright,
Their streaming lustre tremulously shed.
And smile, in placid beauty, o'er the dead ;
O'er features, where the tiery spirit's trace,
E'en death itself is powerless to efface,
O'er those who, flush'd with ardent youth, awoke,
When glowing morn in bloom and radiance broke.
Nor dreamt how near the dark and frozen sleep,
Which hears not Glory call, nor Anguish weep,
In the low silent house, the narrow spot,
Home of forgetfulness, and soon forgot.

But slowly fade the stars — the night is o'er —
Morn beams on those who hail her light no more ;
Slumberers, who ne'er shall wake on earth again,
Mourners, who call'd the loved, the lost, in vain.
Yet smiles the day — Oh ! not for mortal tear
Doth nature deviate from her calm career.
Nor is the earth less laughing or less fair,
Though breaking hearts her gladness may not share.
O'er the cold urn the beam of summer glows,
O'er fields of blood the zephyr freshly blows;
Bright shines the sun, though all be dark below,
And skies are cloudless o'er a world of woe.
And flowers renew'd in spring's green pathway bloom,
Alike to grace the banquet and the tomb.

Within Granada's walls the funeral rite
Attends that day of loveliness and light ;
And many a chief, with dirges and with tears,
Is gather'd to the brave of other years j



THE ABENCERRAGE. 10

And Hamet, as beneath the cypress shade
His martyr'd brother and his sire are laid.
Feels every deep resolve, and burning thought
Of ampler vengeance, e'en to passion wrought;
Yet is the hour afar — and he must brood
O'er those dark dreams awhile in solitude.
Tumult and rage are hush'd — another day
In still solemnity hath pass'd away.
In that deep slumber of exhausted wrath ;
The calm that follows in the tempest's path.

And now Abdallah leaves yon peaceful fane,
His ravaged city traversing again.
No sound of gladness his approach precedes,
No splendid pageant the procession leads ;
Where'er he moves the silent streets along.
Broods a stern quiet o'er the sullen throng;
No voice is heard — but in each alter'd eye,
Once brightly beaming when his steps were nigh,
And in each look of those whose love hath fled
From all on earth, to slumber with the dead,
Those, by his guilt made desolate, and thrown
On the bleak wilderness of life alone.
In youth's quick glance of scarce dissembled rage.
And the pale mien of calmly-mournful age.
May well be read a dark and fearful tale
Of thousfht that ill th' indigjnant heart can veil.
And passion, like the hush'd volcano's power.
That waits in stillness its appointed hour.

No more the clarion, from Granada's walls
Heard o'er the Vega, to the tourney calls ;
No more her graceful daughters, throned oa high,
Bend o'er the lists the darkly radiant eye;



^0 TALES, AND HISTORIC SCENES.

Silence and gloom her palaces o'erspread.
And song is hush'd, and pageantry is fled.
— Weep, fated city ! o'er thy heroes weep —
Low in the dust the sons of glory sleep ;
Furl'd are their banners in the lonely hall.
Their trophied shields hang mouldering on the wall.
Wildly their chargers range the pastures o'er.
Their voice in battle shall be heard no more;
And they, who still thy tyrant^s wrath survive.
Whom he hath wrong'd too deeply to forgive.
That race, of lineage high, of worth approved.
The chivalrous, the princefy, the beloved;
Thine Aben-Zurrahs — they no more shall wield
In thy proud cause, the conquering lance and shield ;
Condemn'd to bid the cherish'd scenes farewell
Where the loved ashes of their fathers dwell.
And far o'er foreign plains, as exiles, roam.
Their land the desert, and the grave their home.
Yet there is one shall see that race depart.
In deep, though silent, agony of heart ;
One whose dark fate must be to mourn alone.
Unseen her sorrows, and their cause unknown.
And veil her heart, and teach her cheek to wear
That smile, in which the spirit hath no share ;
Like the bright beams that shed their fruitless glow
O'er the cold solitude of Alpine snow.

Soft, fresh, and silent, is the midnight hour.
And the young Zayda seeks her lonely bower ;
That Zegri maid within whose gentle mind
One name is deeply, secretly enshrined.
That name in vain stern reason would efface,
Hamet 1 't is thine, thou foe to all her race 1



THE ABENCEURAGE. 21

And vet not hers in bitterness to prove
The sleepless pangs of unrequited love ;
Panics, which the rose of wasted youth consume,
And make the heart of all delight the tomb,
Check the free spirit in its eagle-flight,
And the spring-morn of early genius blight ;
Not such her grief — though now she wakes to weep,
While tearless eyes enjoy the honey-dews of sleep. (7)

A step treads lightly through the citron shade,
Lightiv, but by the rustling leaves betray'd —
Doth her young hero seek that well-known spot.
Scene of past hours that ne'er may be forgot?
'J' is he — but changed that eye, whose glance of fire
Could, like a sunbeam, hope and joy inspire,
As, luminous with youth, with ardour fraught.
It spoke of glory to the inmost thought ;
Thence the bright spirit's eloquence hath fled.
And in its wild expression may be read
Stern thoughts and herce resolves — now veil'd in

shade,
And now in characters of fire portray'd.
Chansjed e'en his voice — as thus its mournful tone
Wakes in her heart each feeling of his own.

" Zayda, my doom is fix'd — another day.
And the wrong'd exile shall be far away;
Far from the scenes where still his heart must be,
His home of youth, and, more than all, from thee.
Oh ! what a cloud hath gather'd o'er my lot.
Since last we met on this fair tranquil spot I
Lovely as then, the soft and silent hour.
And not a rose hath faded from thy bower;



22 TALES, AND HISTORIC SCENES.

But I — my hopes the tempest hath overthrown.

And changed my heart, to all but thee alone.

Farewell, high thoughts ! nispiring hopes of praise.

Heroic visions of my early days !

In me the glories of my race must end,

The exile hath no country to defend !

E'en in life's morn, my dreams of pride are o'er,

Youth's buoyant spirit wakes for me no more.

And one wild feeling in my alter 'd breast

Broods darkly o'er the ruins of the rest.

Yet fear not thou — to thee, in good or ill.

The heart, so sternly tried, is faithful still !

But when my steps are distant, and my name

Thou hear'st no longer m the song of fame,

When Time steals on, Ia silence to eiFace

Of early love each pure and sacred trace.

Causing our sorrows and our hopes to seem

But as the moonlight pictures of a dream,

Still shall thy soul be with me in the truth.

And all the fervour of aiFection's youth ?

— If such thy love, one beam of heaven shall play

In lonely beauty, o'er thy wanderer's way."

" Ask not, if such my love ! oh ! trust the mind
To grief so long, so silently resif^n'd !
Let the light spirit, ne'er by sorrow taught
The pure and lofty constancy of thought.
Its fleeting trials eager to forget,
Rise with elastic power o'er each regret !
Foster'd in tears, ou?^ young affection grew.
And I have learn'd to suffer and be true.
Deem not my love a frail ephemeral flower.
Nursed by soft sunshine and the balmy shower;



THE ABENCSRRAGE. 23

No ! 't is the child of tempests, and defies,

And nieets unchanged, the anger of the skies !

Too well 1 feel, with grief's prophetic heart,

That, ne'er to meet in happier days, we part.

We part ! and e'en this agonizing hour.

When Love first feels his own o'erwhelming power,

Shall soon to Memory's fix'd and tearful eye

Seem almost happiness — for thou wert nigh!

Yes ! when this heart in solitude shall bleed.

As days to days all wearily succeed.

When doom'd to weep in loneliness, 'twill be

Almost like rapture to have wept with thee.

" But thou, my Hamet, thou canst yet bestow
All that of joy my blighted lot can know.
Oh ! be thou still the high-soul'd and the brave.
To whom my first and fondest vows I gave.
In thy proud fame's untarnish'd beauty, still
The lofty visions of my youth fulfil.
So shall it soothe me 'midst my heart's despair,
To hold undimm'd one glorious image there ! "

" Zayda, my best-beloved ! m}^ words too well.
Too soon, thy bright illusions must dispel ;
Yet must my soul to thee unveil'd be shown.
And all its dreams and all its passions known.
Thou shalt not be deceived — for pure as heaven
Is thy young love, in faith and fervour given.
I said my heart was changed — and would thy thought
Explore the ruin by thy kindred wrought.
In fancy trace the land whose towers and fanes,
Crush'd by the earthquake, strew its ravaged plains
And such that heart — where desolation's hand
Hath blighted all that once was fair or grand !



24 TALES, AND HISTORIC SCRNKS.

But Vengeance, fix'd upon lier burning throi>e.

Sits 'nnidst the wreck in silence and alone,

And I, in stern devotion at her shrine,

Each softer feeling, but my love, resign.

— Yes! they whose spirits all my thoughts control.

Who hold dread converse with my thrilling soul ;

They, the betray'd, the sacrificed, the brave,

Who hll a blood-stain'd and untimely grave,

Must be avenged ! and pity and remorse.

In that stern cause, are banisli'd from my course.

Zayda, thou tremblest — and thy gentle breast

Shrinks from the passions that destroy my rest;

Yet shall thy form, in many a stormy hour,

Pass brightly o'er my soul with softening power,

And, oft recall'd, thy voice beguile my lot.

Like some sweet lay, once heard, and ne'er forgot.

"But the night wanes — the hours too swiftly fly,
The bitter moment of farewell draws nigh :
Yet, loved one ! weep not thus — in joy or pain,
Oh ! trust thy Hamet, we shall meet again !
Y'^es, we shall meet ! and haply smile at last
On all the clouds and conflicts of the past.
On that fair vision teach thy thoughts to dwell,
Nor deem these mingling tears our last farewell!'*

Is the voice huslvd, whose loved, expressive tone
riiriird to her heart, and doth she weep alone?
Alone she weeps — that hour of parting o'er —
When sliall the pang it leaves be felt no more ?
The gale breathes light, and fans her bosom fair,
Showerin^z: the dewv rose-leaves o'er her hair;
But ne'er for her shall dwell reviving power,
In balmy dew, soft breeze, or fragrant flower,



THE ABENCERRAGE. 25

To wake once more, that calm, serene delight,
The soul's young bloom, which passion's breath could

blight';
The smiling stillness of life's morning hour.
Ere yet the day-star burns in all his power.
Meanwhile through groves of deep luxuriant shade,
In the rich foliage of the south array'd,
Hamet, ere dawns the earliest blush of day.
Bends to the vale of tombs his pensive way.
Fair is that scene where palm and cypress wave,
On high o'er many an Aben-Zurrah's grave.
Lonely and fair — its fresh and glittering leaves.
With the young myrtle there the laurel weaves,



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