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xxxiv.
And well such strains the opening scene
became ;
For Valor had relaxed his ardent look,
And at a lady's feet, like lion tame,
Lay stretched, full loath the weight of
arms to brook ;
And softened Bigotry upon his book
Pattered a task of little good or ill :
But the blithe peasant plied his pruning-
hook,
Whistled the muleteer o'er vale andhill,
And rung from village-green the merry
seguidille.



XXXV.

Gray Royalty, grown impotent of toil.

Let the grave sceptre slip his lazy hold ;
And careless saw his rule become the
spoil
Of a loose female and her minion bold.
But peace was on the cottage and the
fold,
From court intrigue, from bickering
faction far ;
Beneath the chestnut-tree love's tale was
told,
And«to the tinkling of the light guitar
Sweet stooped the western sun, sweet rose
the evening star.



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK.



26l



xxxvi.

As that sea-cloud, in size like human
hand
When first from Carmel by the Tishbite
seen,
Came slowly overshadowing Israel's land,
Awhile perchance bedecked with colors
sheen,
While yet the sunbeams on its skirts had
been,
Limning with purple and with gold its
shroud,
Till darker folds obscured the blue serene
And blotted heaven with one broad sa-
ble cloud,
Then sheeted rain burst down and whirl-
winds howled aloud : —



XXXVII.

Even so, upon that peaceful scene was
poured,
Like gathering clouds, full many a for-
eign band,
And He, their leader, wore in sheath his
sword,
And offered peaceful front and open
hand,
Veiling the perjured treachery he planned,
By friendship's zeal and honor's spe-
cious guise,
Until he won the passes of the land ;
Then burst were honor's oath and
friendship's ties !
He clutched his vulture grasp and called fair
Spain his prize.

XXXVIII.

An iron crown his anxious forehead bore :
And well such diadem his heart became
Who ne'er his purpose for remorse gave
o'er, ,

Or checked his course for piety or
shame;
Who, trained a soldier, deemed a soldier's
fame
Might flourish in the wreath of battles
won,
Though neither truth nor honor decked
his name ;
Who, placed by fortune on a monarch's
throne,
Recked not of monarch's faith or mercy's
kingly tone.

XXXIX.

From a rude isle his ruder lineage came :
The spark that, from a suburb-hovel's
hearth



Ascending, wraps some capital in flame,
Hath not a meaner or more sordid birth.
And for the soul that bade him waste the
earth —
The sable land-flood from some swamp
obscure,
That poisons the glad husband-field with
dearth,
And by destruction bids its fame en-
dure,
Hath not a source more sullen, stagnant,
and impure.

XL.

Before that leader strode a shadowy form ;
Her limbs like mist, her torch like
meteor showed,
With which she beckoned him through
fight and storm,
And all he crushed that crossed his
desperate road,
Nor thought, nor feared, nor looked on
what he trode.
Realms could not glut his pride, blood
could not slake,
So oft as e'er she shook her torch abroad :
It was Ambition bade his terrors
wake,
Nor deigned she, as of yore, a milder form
to take.

XLI.

No longer now she spurned at mean re-
venge,
Or staid her hand for conquered foe-
man's moan,
As when, the fates of aged Rome to
change,
By Caesar's side she crossed the Ru-
bicon.
Nor joyed she to bestow the spoils she
won,
As when the banded powers of Greece
were tasked
To war beneath the Youth of Macedon ■
No seemly veil her modern minion
asked,
He saw her hideous face and loved the fiend
unmasked.



That prelate marked his march — on ban-
ners blazed
With battles won in many a distant
land,
On eagle-standards and on arms he gazed :
1 And hopest thou, then,' he said, ' thy
power shall stand ?
O, thou hast builded on the shifting sand



262



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.



And thou hast tempered it with slaugh-
ter's flood ;
And know, fell scourge in the Almighty's
hand,
Gore-moistened trees shall perish in
the bud,
And by a bloody death shall die the Man of
Blood ! '

XLIII.

The ruthless leader beckoned from his
train
A wan fraternal shade, and bade him
kneel,
And paled his temples with the crown of
Spain,
While trumpets rang and heralds cried
< Castile ! '
Not that he loved him — No! — In no
man's weal,
Scarce in his own, e'er joyed that sullen
heart ;
Yet round that throne he bade his war-
riors wheel,
That the poor puppet might perform
his part
And be a sceptred slave, at his stern beck
to start.

XLIV.

But on the natives of that land misused
Not long the silence of amazement
hung,
Nor brooked they long their friendly faith
abused ;
For with a common shriek the general
tongue
Exclaimed, ' To arms ! ' and fast to arms
they sprung. t

And Valor woke, that Genius of the
land!
Pleasure and ease and sloth aside he
flung,
As burst the awakening Nazarite his
band
When 'gainst his treacherous foes he
clenched his dreadful hand.

XLV.

That mimic monarch now cast anxious
eye
Upon the satraps that begirt him round,
Now doffed his royal robe in act to fly,

And from his brow the diadem unbound.
So oft, so near, the Patriot bugle wound,
From Tarik's walls to Bilboa's moun-
tains blown,
These martial satellites hard labor found,
To guard awhile his substituted throne ;
Light recking of his cause, but battling for
their own.



XLVI.

From Alpuhara's peak that bugle rung,
And it was echoed from Corunna's
wall ;
Stately Seville responsive war-shout
flung,
Grenada caught it in her Moorish hall ;
Galicia bade her children fight or fall,
Wild Biscay shook his mountain-coro-
net,
Valencia roused her at the battle-call,
And, foremost still where Valor's sons
are met,
Fast started to his gun each fiery Miquelet.



But unappalled and burning for the fight,
The invaders march, of victory secure ;
Skilful their force to sever or unite,

And trained alike to vanquish or endure.
Nor skilful less, cheap conquest to insure
Discord to breathe and jealousy to sow,
To quell by boasting and by bribes to
lure ;
While naught against them bring the
unpractised foe,
Save hearts for freedom's cause and hands
for freedom's blow.

XLVIII.

Proudly they march — but, O, they march
not forth
By one hot field to crown a brief cam-
paign,
As when their eagles, sweeping through
the North,
Destroyed at every stoop an ancient
reign !
Far other fate had Heaven decreed for
Spain ;
In vain the steel, in vain the torch was
plied,
New Patriot armies started from the slain,
High blazed the war, and long, and far,
and wide,
And oft the God of "Battles blest the right-
eous side.

XLIX.

Nor unatoned, where Freedom's foes
prevail,
Remained their savage waste. With
blade and brand
By day the invaders ravaged hill and dale,
But with the darkness the Guerilla band
Came like night's tempest and avenged
the land,
And claimed for blood the retribution
due,



THE VISION OE DON RODERICK.



263




Probed the hard heart and lopped the
murd'rous hand ;
And Dawn, when o'er the scene her
beams she threw,
Midst ruins they had made the spoilers'
corpses knew.



What minstrel verse may sing or tongue
may tell,
Amid the visioned strife from sea to
sea,
How oft the Patriot banners rose or fell,

Still honored in defeat as victory ?
For that sad pageant of events to be
Showed every form of fight by field and
flood ;
Slaughter and Ruin, shouting forth their
glee,
Beheld, while riding on the tempest
scud,
The waters choked with slain, the earth be-
drenched with blood !



Then Zaragoza — blighted be the tongue

That names thy name without the honor

due !

For never hath the harp of minstrel rung

Of faith so felly proved, so firmly true !

Mine, sap, and bomb thy shattered ruins

knew.



Each art of war's extremity had room,
Twice from thy half-sacked streets the foe
withdrew,
And when at length stern Fate decreed
thy doom,
They won not Zaragoza but her children's
bloody tomb.



LII.

Yet raise thy head, sad city ! Though in
chains,
Enthralled thou canst not be ! Arise,
and claim
Reverence from every heart where Free-
dom reigns,
For what thou worshippest ! — thy
sainted dame,
She of the Column, honored be her name
By all, whate'er their creed, who honor
love !
And like the sacred relics of the flame
That gave some martyr to the blessed
above,
To every loyal heart may thy sad embers
prove !



Nor thine alone such wreck. Gerona fair !
Faithful to death thy heroes should be

sung,
Manning the towers, while o'er their heads

the air



264



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.



Swart as the smoke from raging fur-
nace hung ;
Now thicker darkening where the mine
was sprung,
Now briefly lightened by the cannon's
flare,
Now arched with fire-sparks as the bomb
was flung,
And reddening now with conflagra-
tion's glare,
While by the fatal light the foes for storm
prepare.

LIV.

While all around was danger, strife, and
fear,
While the earth shook and darkened
was the sky,
And wide destruction stunned the listen-
ing ear,
Appalled the heart, and stupefied the
eye, —
Afar was heard that thrice-repeated cry,
In which old Albion's heart and tongue
unite,
Whene'er her soul is up and pulse beats
high,
Whether it hail the wine-cup or the
fight,
And bid each arm be strong or bid each
heart be light.

LV.

Don Roderick turned him as the shout
grew loud —
A varied scene the changeful vision
showed,
For, where the ocean mingled with the
cloud,
A gallant navy stemmed the billows
broad.
From mast and stern Saint George's
symbol flowed,
Blent with the silver cross to Scotland
dear ;
Mottling the sea their landward barges
rowed,
And flashed the sun on bayonet, brand,
and spear,
And the wild beach returned the seamen's
jovial cheer.



It was a dread yet spirit-stirring sight!
The billows foamed beneath a thou-
sand oars.

Fast as they land the red-cross ranks
unite,



Legions on legions brightening all the
shores.
Then banners rise and cannon-signal
roars.
Then peals the warlike thunder of the
drum,
Thrills the loud fife, the trumpet-flourish
pours,
And patriot hopes awake and doubts
are dumb,
For, bold in Freedom's cause, the bands of
Ocean come !

LVII.

A various host they came — whose ranks
display
Each mode in which the warrior meets
the fight :
The deep battalion locks its firm array.
And meditates his aim the marksman
light;
Far glance the lines of sabres flashing
bright,
Where mounted squadrons shake the
echoing mead ;
Lacks not artillery breathing flame and

night,
. Nor the fleet ordnance whirled by rapid
steed,
That rivals lightning's flash in ruin and in
speed.

LVIII.

A various host — from kindred realms
they came,
Brethren in arms but rivals in re-
nown —
For yon fair bands shall merry England
claim,
And with their deeds of valor deck her
crown.
Hers their bold port, and hers their mar-
tial frown,
And hers their scorn of death in free-
dom's cause,
Their eyes of azure, and their locks of
brown,
And the blunt speech that bursts with-
out a pause,
And freeborn thoughts which league the
soldier with the laws.

LIX.

And, O loved warriors of the minstrel's

land!
Yonder your bonnets nod, your tartans

wave !
The rugged form may mark the mountain

band,



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK.



265




And harsher features, and a mien more
grave :
But ne'er in battle-field throbbed heart so
brave
As that which beats beneath the Scot-
tish plaid ;
And when the pibroch bids the battle
rave,
And level for the charge your arms are
laid,
Where lives the desperate foe that for such
onset staid ?



Hark ! from yon stately ranks what

laughter rings,
iMingling wild mirth with war's stern

minstrelsy,
His jest while each blithe comrade round
him flings
And moves to death with military glee :
Boast, Erin, boast them ! tameless, frank,
and free,
In kindness warm and fierce in danger
known,
Rough nature's children, humorous as
she :
And He, yon Chieftain — strike the
proudest tone
Of thy bold harp, green Isle ! — the hero
is thine own.



LXI.

Now on the scene Vimeira should be
shown,
On Talavera's fight should Roderick
gaze,
And hear Corunna wail her battle won,
And see Busaco's crest with lightning
blaze : —
But shall fond fable mix with heroes'
praise t
Hath Fiction's stage for Truth's long
triumphs room ?
And dare her wild-flowers mingle with
the bays
That claim a long eternity to bloom
Around the warrior's crest and o'er the
warrior's tomb !



LXII.

Or may I give adventurous Fancy scope,
And stretch a bold hand to the awful
veil
That hides futurity from anxious hope.

Bidding beyond it scenes of glory hail,.
And painting Europe rousing at the
tale
Of Spain's invaders from her confines
hurled,
While kindling nations buckle on their
mail,



266



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.



And Fame, with clarion-blast and
wings unfurled,
To freedom and revenge awakes an injured
world ?

LXIII.

O vain, though anxious, is the glance I
cast,
Since Fate has marked futurity her
own:
Yet Fate resigns to worth the glorious
past,
The deeds recorded and the laurels
won.
Then, though the Vault of Destiny be
gone,
King, prelate, all the phantasms of my
brain,
Melted away like mist-wreaths in the
sun,
Yet grant for faith, for valor, and for
Spain,
One note of pride and fire, a patriot's
parting strain !



£fje Utston of ©on Eooericfc.



CONCLUSION.



* Who shall command Estrella's mountain-
tide
Back to the source, when tempest-
chafed, to hie ?
Who, when Gascogne's vexed gulf is
raging wide,
Shall hush it as a nurse her infant's cry ?
His magic power let such vain boaster try,
And when the torrent shall his voice
obey,
And Biscay's whirlwinds list his lullaby,
Let him stand forth and bar mine
eagles' way,
And they shall heed his voice and at his
bidding stay.



* Else ne'er to stoop till high on Lisbon's
towers
They close their wings, the symbol of
our yoke,
And their own sea hath whelmed yon red-
cross powers ! '
Thus, on the summit of Alverca's rock,



To marshal, duke, and peer Gaul's leader
spoke.
While downward on the land his le-
gions press,
Before them it was rich with vine and
flock,
And smiled like Eden in her summer
dress ; —
Behind their wasteful march a reeking wil-
derness.



And shall the boastful chief maintain his
word,
Though Heaven hath heard the wail-
ings of the land,
Though Lusitania whet her vengeful
sword,
Though Britons arm and Welling-
ton command ?
No ! grim Busaco's iron ridge shall stand

An adamantine barrier to his force ;
And from its base shall wheel his shat-
tered band,
As from the unshaken rock the torrent
hoarse
Bears off its broken waves and seeks a
devious course.



' IV.

Yet not because Alcoba's mountain-hawk
Hath on his best and bravest made her
food,
In numbers confident, yon chief shall balk
His lord's imperial thirst for spoil and
blood :
For full in view the promised conquest
stood,
And Lisbon's matrons from their walls
might sum
The myriads that had half the world sub-
dued,
And hear the distant thunders of the
drum
That bids the bands of France to storm and
havoc come.

v.

Four moons have heard these thunders
idly rolled,
Have seen these wistful myriads eye
their prey,
As famished wolves survey a guarded
fold —
But in the middle path a Lion lay !
At length they move — but not to battle-
fray,
Nor blaze yon fires where meets the
manly fight:



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK.



267



Beacons of infamy, they light the way
Where cowardice and cruelty unite
To damn with double shame their ignomini-
ous flight !



O triumph for the fiends of lust and
wrath !
Ne'er to be told, yet ne'er to be forgot,
What wanton horrors marked their wrack-
ful path !
The peasant butchered in his ruined cot,
The hoary priest even at the altar shot,
Childhood and age given o'er to sword
and flame,



Nor prince nor peer, the wealthy nor
the gay,
Nor the poor peasant's mite, nor bard's
more worthless lay.

VIII.

But thou — unfoughten wilt thou yield to
Fate,

Minion of Fortune, now miscalled in
vain !

Can vantage-ground no confidence cre-
ate,

Marcella's pass, nor Guarda's moun-
tain-chain ?




Woman to infamy ; — no crime forgot,
By which inventive demons might pro-
claim
Immortal hate to man and scorn of God's
great name !



The rudest sentinel in Britain born
With horror paused to view the havoc
done,
Gave his poor crust to feed some wretch
forlorn,
Wiped his stern eye, then fiercer grasped

his gun.
Nor with less zeal shall Britain's peace-
ful son
Exult the debt of sympathy to pay ;
Riches nor poverty the tax shall shun,



Vainglorious fugitive, yet turn again !
Behold, where, named by some pro-
phetic seer,
Flows Honor's Fountain, as foredoomed
the stain
From thy dishonored name and arms
to clear —
Fallen child of Fortune, turn, redeem her
favor here !



Yet, ere thou turn'st, collect each distant
aid ;
Those chief that never heard the lion
roar!
Within whose souls lives not a trace por-
trayed
Of Talavera or Mondego's shore !



268



SCOTT'S POETICAL WORKS.



Marshal each band thou hast and sum-
mon more ;
Of war's fell stratagems exhaust the
whole ;
Rank upon rank, squadron on -squadron
pour,
Legion on legion on thy foeman roll,
And weary out his arm — thou canst not
quell his soul.



x.

O vainly gleams with steel Agueda's
shore,
Vainly thy squadron's hide Assuava's
plain,
And front the flying thunders as they
roar,
With frantic charge and tenfold odds,
in vain !
And what avails thee that for Cameron
slain
Wild from his plaided ranks the yell
was given ?
Vengeance and grief gave mountain-rage
the rein,
And, at the bloody spear-point head-
long driven,
Thy despot's giant guards fled like the rack
of heaven.

XI.

Go, baffled boaster! teach thy haughty
mood
To plead at thine imperious master's
throne !
Say, thou hast left his legions in their
blood,
Deceived, his hopes and frustrated
thine own ;
Say, that thine utmost skill and valor
shown
By British skill and valor were out-
vied;
Last say, thy conqueror was Welling-
ton !
And if he chafe, be his own fortune
tried —
God and our cause to friend, the venture
we '11 abide.

XII.

But you, the heroes of that well-fought
day,
How shall a bard unknowing and un-
known
His meed to each victorious leader pay,
Or bind on every brow the laurels won ?
Yet fain my harp would wake its boldest
tone,



O'er the wide sea to hail Cadogan
brave ;
And he perchance the minstrel-note
might own,
Mindful of meeting brief that Fortune
gave
Mid yon far western isles that hear the
Atlantic rave.



Yes ! hard the task, when Britons wield
the sword,
To give each chief and every field its
fame :
Hark ! Albuera thunders Beresford,
And red Barosa shouts for dauntless
GrjEME !
O for a verse of tumult and of flame,
Bold as the bursting of their cannon
sound,
To bid the world re-echo to their fame !
For never upon gory battle-ground
With conquest's well-bought wreath were
braver victors crowned !



xiv.

O who shall grudge him Albuera's bays
Who brought a race regenerate to the
field,
Roused them to emulate their fathers'
praise,
Tempered their headlong rage, their
courage steeled,
And raised fair Lusitania's fallen shield,
And gave new edge to Lusitania's
sword,
And taught her sons forgotten arms to
wield —
Shivered my harp and burst its every
chord,
If it forget thy worth, victorious Beres-
ford !

xv.

Not on that bloody field of battle won,
Though Gaul's proud legions rolled like
mist away,
Was half his self-devoted valor shown, —
He gaged but life on that illustrious
day;
But when he toiled those squadrons to
array
Who fought like Britons in the bloody
game,
Sharper than Polish pike or assagay,
He braved the shafts of censure and
of shame,
And, dearer far than life, he pledged a
soldier's fame.



THE VISION OF DON RODERICK.



269



XVI.

Nor be his praise o'erpast who strove to
hide
Beneath the warrior's vest affection's
wound,
Whose wish Heaven for his country's
weal denied ;
Danger and fate he sought, but glory
found.
From clime to clime, where'er war's
trumpets sound,
The wanderer went ; yet, Caledonia !
still
Thine was his thought in march and
tented ground ;
He dreamed mid Alpine cliffs of Ath-
ole's hill,
And heard in Ebro's roar his Lyndoch's
lovely rill.



XVII.

O hero of a race renowned of old,

Whose war-cry oft has waked the battle-
swell,
Since first distinguished in the onset bold,
Wild sounding when the Roman ram-
part fell !



By Wallace' side it rung the Southron's
knell,
Alderne, Kilsythe, and Tibber owned
its fame,
Tummell's rude pass can of its terrors tell,
But ne'er from prouder field arose the
name
Than when wild Ronda learned the con-
quering shout of Graeme !



But all too long, through seas unknown
and dark, —
With Spenser's parable I close my
tale, —
By shoal and rock hath steered my ven-
turous bark,
And landward now I drive before the
gale.
And now the blue and distant shore I
hail,
And nearer now I see the port expand,
And now I gladly furl my weary sail,
And, as the prow light touches on the
strand,
I strike my red-cross flag and bind my skiff
to land.




A POEM IN SIX CANTOS.



TO

JOHN B. S. MORRITT, ESQ.,
THIS POEM,

THE SCENE OF WHICH IS LAID IN HIS BEAUTIFUL DEMESNE OF ROKEBY,
IS INSCRIBED, IN TOKEN OF SINCERE FRIENDSHIP, BY

WALTER SCOTT.



ADVERTISEMENT.

The Scene of this Poem is laid at Rokeby, near Greta Bridge, in Yorkshire, and shifts to the adjacent fortress of
Barnard Castle, and to other places in that Vicinity.

The Time occupied by the Action is a space of Five Days, Three of which are supposed to elapse between the end of
the Fifth and the beginning of the Sixth Canto.

The date of the supposed events is immediately subsequent to the great Battle of Marston Moor, 3d July, 1644.
This period of public confusion has been chosen without any purpose of combining the Fable with the Military or Politi-
cal Events of the Civil War, but only as affording a degree of probability to the Fictitious Narrative now presented to
the Public.



Hokebj).

CANTO FIRST.



The moon is in her summer glow,
But hoarse and high the breezes blow,
And, racking o'er her face, the cloud
Varies the tincture of her shroud ;
On Barnard's towers and Tees's stream
She changes as a guilty dream,
When Conscience with remorse and fear
Goads sleeping Fancy's wild career.
Her light seems now the blush of shame,
Seems now fierce anger's darker flame,
Shifting that shade to come and go,
Like apprehension's hurried glow ;
Then sorrow's livery dims the air,
And dies in darkness, like despair.
Such varied hues the warder sees



iS



Reflected from the woodland Tees,
Then from old Baliol's tower looks forth,
Sees the clouds mustering in the north,
Hears upon turret-roof and wall
By fits the plashing rain-drop fall,
Lists to the breeze's boding sound,
And wraps his shaggy mantle round.



Those towers, which in the changeful

gleam
Throw murky shadows on the stream,
Those towers of Barnard hold a guest,
The emotions of whose troubled breast,
In wild and strange confusion driven,
Rival the flitting rack of heaven.
Ere sleep stern Oswald's senses tied,
Oft had he changed his weary side,
Composed his limbs, and vainly sought
By effort strong to banish thought.



274



scorrs poetical works.



Sleep came at length, but with a train
Of feelings true and fancies vain,
Mingling, in wild disorder cast,
The expected future with the past.
Conscience, anticipating time,
Already rues the enacted crime,
And calls her furies forth to shake
The sounding scourge and hissing snake
While her poor victim's outward throes
Bear witness to his mental woes,
And show what lesson may be read
Beside a sinner's restless bed.



in.

Thus Oswald's laboring feelings trace
Strange changes in his sleeping face,
Rapid and ominous as these
With which the moonbeams tinge the Tees.
There might be seen of shame the blush,
There anger's dark and fiercer flush,
While the perturbed sleeper's hand
Seemed grasping dagger-knife or brand.
Relaxed that grasp, the heavy sigh,
The tear in the half-opening eye,
The pallid cheek and brow, confessed
That grief was busy in his breast :
Nor paused that mood — a sudden start
Impelled the life-blood from the heart ;
Features convulsed and mutterings dread
Show terror reigns in sorrow's stead.
That pang the painful slumber broke,
And Oswald with a start awoke.



He woke, and feared again to close
His eyelids in such dire repose ;



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