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His soul to Him, who gave it, rose ;
God lead it to its long repose,
Its glorious rest!
And, though the warrior's sun has set,
Its light shall linger round us yet,
Bright, radiant, blest. *
FROM THE SPANISH OF LOPE DE VEGA.
SHEPHERD! that with thine amorous sylvan song
Hast broken the slumber which encompassed me, --
Thou mad'st thy crook from the accursed tree,
On which thy powerful arms were stretched so long!
Lead me to mercy's ever-flowing fountains;
For thou my shepherd, guard, and guide shalt be;
I will obey thy voice, and wait to see
Thy feet all beautiful upon the mountains.
Hear, Shepherd ! thou who for thy flock art dying,
Oh, wash away these scarlet sins, for thou
Rejoicest at the contrite sinner's vow.
Oh, wait!—to thee my weary soul is crying, — * This poem of Manrique is a great favourite in Spain. No less than four poetic Glosses, or running commentaries upon it have been published ; no one of which, however, possesses great poetic merit. That of the Carthusian monk, Rodrigo de Valdepenas, is the best. It is known as the Glosa del Cartujo. There is also a prose Commentary by Luis de Aranda.
The following stanzas of the poem were found in the author's pocket after his death on the field of battle:
World! so few the years we live,
Would that the life which thou dost give
Were life indeed !
Alas! thy sorrows fall so fast,
Our happiest hour is when at last
The soul is freed.
“Our days are covered o'er with grief,
And sorrows neither few nor brief
Veil ali in gloom;
Left desolate of real good,
Within this cheerless solitude
No pleasures bloom.
“Thy pilgrimage begins in tears,
And ends in bitter doubts and fears,
Or dark despair;
Midway so many toils appear,
That he who lingers longest here
Knows most of care.
“Thy goods are bought with many a groan,
By the hot sweat of toil alone,
And weary hearts ;
Fleet-footed is the approach of woe,
But with a lingering step and slow
Its form departs,”
Wait for me!-Yet why ask it, when I see,
With feet nailed to the cross, thou’rt waiting still for me!
FROM THE SPANISH OF LOPE DE VEGA.
LORD, what am I, that, with unceasing care,
Thou didst seek after me,--that thou didst wait,
Wet with unhealthy dews, before my gate,
pass the gloomy nights of winter there? O strange delusion!—that I did not greet Thy blest approach, and oh, to Heaven how lost, If my ingratitude's unkindly frost Has chilled the bleeding wounds upon thy feet. How oft my guardian angel gently cried, “Soul, from thy casement look, and thou shalt see How he persists to knock and wait for thee !" And, oh! how often to that voice of sorrow, “ To-morrow we will open," I replied, And when the morrow came I answered still, “ To-morrow.”
FROM THE SPANISH OF FRANCISCO DE ALDAX.I.
CLEAR fount of light! my native land on high,
Bright with a glory that shall never fade!
Mansion of truth! without a veil or shade,
Thy holy quiet meets the spirit's eye,
There dwells the soul in its ethereal essence,
Gasping no longer for life's feeble breath;
But, sentinelled in heaven, its glorious presence
With pitying eye beholds, yet fears not death.
Beloved country! banished from thy shore,
A stranger in his prison-house of clay,
The exiled spirit sighs and weeps for thee!
Heavenward the bright perfections I adore
Direct, and the sure promise cheers the way,
That, whither love aspires, there shall my dwelling be.
FROM THE SPANISH OF FRANCISCO DE ALDANA.
O LORD! that seest, from yon starry height,
Centred in one the future and the past,
Fashioned in thine own image, see how fast
The world obscures in me what once was bright!
Eternal Sun! the warmth which thou hast given,
To cheer life's flowery April, fast decays;
Yet, in the boary winter of my days,
For ever green shall be my trust in heaven,
Celestial King! Oh, let thy presence pass
Before my spirit, and an image fair
Shall meet that look of mercy from on high,
As the reflected image in a glass
Doth meet the look of him who seeks it there,
And owes its being to the gazer's eye.
LAUGH of the mountain !-lyre of bird and tree!
Pomp of the meadow! mirror of the morn!
The soul of April, unto whom are born
The rose and jessamine, leaps wild in thee!
Although, where'er thy devious current strays,
The lap of earth with gold and silver teems,
To me thy clear proceeding brighter seems
Than golden sands, that charm each shepherd's gaze.
How without guile thy bosom, all transparent
As the pure crystal, lets the curious eye
Thy secrets scan, thy smooth, round pebbles count!
How, without malice murmuring, glides thy current!
O sweet simplicity of days gone by!
Thou shun'st the haunts of man, to dwell in limpid fount!
FROM DANTE. PURGATORIO, II.
AND now, behold! as at the approach of morning
Through the gross vapours, Mars grows fiery red
Down in the west upon the ocean floor,
Appeared to me,-may I again behold it!
A light along the sea, so swiftly coming,
Its motion by no flight of wing is equalled.
And when therefrom I had withdrawn a little
Mine eyes, that I might question my conductor,
Again I saw it brighter grown and larger.
Thereafter, on all sides of it, appeared
I knew not what of white, and underneath,
Little by little, there came forth another.
My master yet had uttered not a word,
While the first brightness into wings unfolded ;
But, when he clearly recognised the pilot,
He cried aloud ; “Quick, quick, and bow the knee!
Behold the Angel of God I fold up thy hands!
Henceforward shalt thou see such officers !
“See, how he scorns all human arguments,
So that no oar he wants, nor other sail
Than his own wings, between so distant shores !
“ See, how he holds them, pointed straight to heaven,
Fanning the air with the eternal pinions,
That do not moult themselves like mortal hair!"
And then, as nearer and more near us came
The Bird of Heaven, more glorious he appeared,
So that the eye could not sustain his presence,
But down I cast it; and he came to shore
With a small vesssel, gliding swift and light,
So that the water swallowed nought thereof.
Upon the stern stood the Celestial Pilot!
Beatitude seemed written in his face!
And more than a hundred spirits sat within.
In exitu Israel out of Egypt !"
Thus sang they all together in one voice,
With whatso in that Psalm is after written.
Then made he sign of holy rood upon them,
Whereat all cast themselves upon the shore,
And he departed swiftly as he came,
THE TERRESTRIAL PARADISE.
FROM DANTE, PURGATORIO, XXVIII. LONGING already to search in and round The heavenly forest, dense and living-green, Which to the eyes tempered the new-born day. Withouten more delay I left the bank, Crossing the level country slowly, slowly, Over the soil, that everywhere breathed fragrance. A gently-breathing air, that no mutation Had in itself, smote me upon the forehead, No heavier blow, than of a pleasant breeze, Whereat the tremulous branches readily Did all of them bow downward towards that side Where its first shadow casts the Holy Mountain ; Yet not from their upright direction bent So that the little birds upon their tops Should cease the practice of their tuneful art; But with full-throated joy, the hours of prime Singing received they in the midst of foliage That made monotonous burden to their rhymes,
Even as from branch to branch it gathering swells,
Through the pine forests on the shore of Chiassi,
When Æolus unlooses the Sirocco.
Already my slow steps had led me on
Into the ancient wood so far, that I
Could see no more the place where I had entered.
And lol my farther course cut off a river,
Which, towards the left hand, with its little waves,
Bent down the grass that on its margin sprang.
All waters that on earth most limpid are,
Would seem to have within themselves some mixture,
Compared with that, which nothing doth conceal,
Although it moves on with a brown, brown current,
Under the shade perpetual, that never
Ray of the sun lets in, nor of the moon.
FROM DANTE. PURGATORIO, XXX., XXXI. EVEN as the Blessed, in the new covenant, Shall rise up quickened, each one from his grave, Wearing again the garments of the flesh, So, upon that celestial chariot, A hundred rose ad vocem tanti senis, Ministers and messengers of life eternal. They all were saying ; " Benedictus qui venis," And scattering flowers above and round about, - Manibus o date lilia plenis." I once beheld, at the approach of day, The orient sky all stained with roseate hues, And the other heaven with light serene adorned, And the sun's face uprising, overshadowed, So that, by temperate influence of vapours, The eye sustained his aspect for long while; Thus in the bosom of a cloud of flowers, Which from those hands angelic were thrown up, And down descended inside and without, With crown of olive o'er a snow-white veil, Appeared a lady, under a green mantle, Vested in colours of the living flame.
Even as the snow, among the living rafters
Upon back of Italy, congeals,
Blown on and beaten by Sclavonian winds,