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Or whether, kindling at the deeds of Græme,

He sing, to wild Morisco measure set,
Old Albin's red claymore, green Erin's bayonet !

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'Explore those regions, where the flinty crest

Of wild Nevada ever gleams with snows,
Where in the proud Alhambra's ruined breast

Barbaric monuments of pomp repose;
Or where the banners of more ruthless foes

· Than the fierce Moor float o'er Toledo's fane, From whose tall towers even now the patriot throws

An anxious glance, to spy upon the plain The blended ranks of England, Portugal, and Spain.

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XI

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"There, of Numantian fire a swarthy spark

Still lightens in the sunburnt native's eye; The stately port, slow step, and visage dark

Still mark enduring pride and constancy. And, if the glow of feudal chivalry

Beam not, as once, thy nobles' dearest pride, Iberia! oft thy crestless peasantry

Have seen the plumed Hidalgo quit their side, Have seen, yet dauntless stood — 'gainst fortune fought

and died.

1 See Note 108.

XII

*And cherished still by that unchanging race,

Are themes for minstrelsy more high than thine; Of strange tradition many a mystic trace,

Legend and vision, prophecy and sign; Where wonders wild of Arabesque combine

With Gothic imagery of darker shade. Forming a model meet for minstrel line,

Go, seek such theme!' – The Mountain Spirit said: With filial awe I heard - I heard, and I obeyed.

THE VISION OF DON RODERICK

I

REARING their crests amid the cloudless skies,

And darkly clustering in the pale moonlight, Toledo's holy towers and spires arise,

As from a trembling lake of silver white. Their mingled shadows intercept the sight

Of the broad burial-ground outstretched below, And nought disturbs the silence of the night;

All sleeps in sullen shade, or silver glow,
All save the heavy swell of Teio's ceaseless flow.

II

All save the rushing swell of Teio's tide,

Or, distant heard, a courser's neigh or tramp, Their changing rounds as watchful horsemen ride,

To guard the limits of King Roderick's camp. For, through the river's night-fog rolling damp,

Was many a proud pavilion dimly seen, Which glimmered back, against the moon's fair lamp,

Tissues of silk and silver twisted sheen, And standards proudly pitched, and warders armed

between.

III

But of their monarch's person keeping ward,

Since last the deep-mouthed bell of vespers tolled, The chosen soldiers of the royal guard

The post beneath the proud cathedral hold: A band unlike their Gothic sires of old,

Who, for the cap of steel and iron mace, Bear slender darts and casques bedecked with gold,

While silver-studded belts their shoulders grace, Where ivory quivers ring in the broad falchion's place.

IV

In the light language of an idle court,

They murmured at their master's long delay, And held his lengthened orisons in sport:

What! will Don Roderick here till morning stay, To wear in shrift and prayer the night away?

And are his hours in such dull penance past, For fair Florinda's plundered charms to pay?'1

Then to the east their weary eyes they cast, And wished the lingering dawn would glimmer forth at

last.

V

But, far within, Toledo's prelate lent

An ear of fearful wonder to the king;

i See Note 1o9.

The silver lamp a fitful lustre sent,

So long that sad confession witnessing: For Roderick told of many a hidden thing,

Such as are lothly uttered to the air, When Fear, Remorse, and Shame the bosom wring,

And Guilt his secret burden cannot bear, And Conscience seeks in speech a respite from Despair.

VI

Full on the prelate's face and silver hair

The stream of failing light was feebly rolled; But Roderick's visage, though his head was bare,

Was shadowed by his hand and mantle's fold. While of his hidden soul the sins he told,

Proud Alaric's descendant could not brook That mortal man his bearing should behold,

Or boast that he had seen, when conscience shook, Fear tame a monarch's brow, remorse a warrior's look.

VII

The old man's faded cheek waxed yet more pale,

As many a secret sad the king bewrayed;
As sign and glance eked out the unfinished tale,

When in the midst his faltering whisper staid. “Thus royal Witiza ' was slain,' he said;

"Yet, holy father, deem not it was I.'

1 See Note 110.

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