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Who sternly spoke to check the rising tear.
XXXII. But here 'twere tedious and unmeet A dismal story to repeat, Which was from mild Cazique received, Their former friend, and half believed. Him, in his cabin far apart, Wounded they found, by Carib dart; Received, said he, from savage foe Spaniards defending. Then with accents low He spoke, and ruefully began to tell, What to those hapless mariners befell. How that from lust of pleasure and of gold, And mutual strife and war on Caribs made, Their strength divided was, and burnt their hold, And their unhappy heads beneath the still earth
That continent, whose mighty reach
XXXVIII. There forests grand of olden birth, O'er-canopy the darken'd earth, Whose trees, growth of unreckon'd time, Rear o'er whole regions far and wide A checker'd dome of lofty pride Silent, solemn, and sublime.A pillar'd labyrinth, in whose trackless gloom, Unguided feet might stray till close of mortal
XXXIII. Yet, spite of adverse fate, he in those climes Spain's infant power establishd; after-times Have seen it flourish, and her sway maintain In either world, o'er many a fair domain. But wayward was his irksome lot the while, Striving with malice, mutiny, and guile; Yet vainly striving: that which most His generous bosom sought to shun, Each wise and liberal purpose crost, Must now at Mammon's ruthless call be done. Upon their native soil, They who were wont in harinless play To frolic out the passing day, Must pine with hateful toil.
XXXIV. Yea; this he did against his better will ; For who may stern ambition serve, and still His nobler nature trust? May on unshaken strength rely, Cast fortune as she will her dye, And say “ I will be just?"
XXXV. Envy mean, that in the dark Strikes surely at its noble mark, Against him rose with hatred fell, Which he could brave, but could not quell. Then he to Spain indignant went, And to his sovereigns made complaint, With manly freedom, of their trust, Put, to his cost, in men unjust, And turbulent. They graciously His plaint and plea received; and hoisting high His famed and gallant flag upon the main, He to his western world return'd again. Where he, the sea's unwearied, dauntless rover, Through many a gulf and strait, did first discover
The lion trampled by an ass !
From its vast bed profound with heaving throws This noble man must cross the main,
The mighty waste of weltering waters rose. And answer his foul charge to cold, ungrateful O'er countless waves, now mounting, now deprest, Spain.
The ridgy surges swell with foaming crest,
Like Alpine barriers of some distant shore,
Now seen, now lost amidst the deafening roar; By India's gentle race alone
While, higher still, on broad and sweepy base, Was pity to his suffering shown.
Their growing bulk the mountain billows raise, They on his parting wait,
Each far aloft in lordly grandeur rides, And looks of kindness on him cast,
With many a vassal wave roughening his furrow'd Or touch'd his mantle as he past,
sides. And mourn'd his alter'd state.
Heaved to its height, the dizzy skiff “May the Great Spirit smooth the tide
Shoots like an eagle from his cliff With gentle gales, and be thy guide !"
Down to the fearful gulf, and then And when his vessel wore from land,
On the swoln waters mounts again,With meaning nods and gestures kind
A fearful way! a fearful state He saw them still upon the strand
For vessel charged with living freight!
Within, without, the tossing tempest's rage: Of savage wolves, yet reckless still,
This was, of all his earthly pilgrimage, Feel but the pain of present ill.
The injured hero's fellest, darkest hour, He saw the fate he could not now control,
Yet swiftly pass'd its gloomy power ; And groan'd in bitter agony of soul.
For as the wild winds louder blew,
His troubled breast the calmer grew;
And, long before the mighty hand,
That rules the ocean and the land, And oft survey'd his rankling chain.
Had calm’d the sea, with pious reverence fillid The ship's brave captain grieved to see
The warring passions of his soul were stilld. Base irons his noble prisoner gall,
Through softly parting clouds the blue sky peerd, And kindly sued to set him free ;
And heavenward turn’d his eye with better feelBut proudly spoke the lofty thrall,
ings cheer'd. “ Until the king whom I have served,
Meek are the wise, the great, the good ;Who thinks this recompense reserved,
He sigh'd, and thought of Him, who died on holy Himself command th’ unclasping stroke,
rood. These gyved limbs will wear their yoke.
No more the angry tempest's sport,
The vessel reach'd its destined port. As token, long preserved of black ingratitude !"
A town of Christendom he greets,
And treads again its well-known streets ;
A sight of wonder, grief, and shame
To those who on his landing came.
And he before his sovereign dame
The silence of his smother'd flame, Utters the storm its awful sound.
In words that all his inward anguish spoke. It groans upon the distant waves;
The gentle queen's more noble breast O'er the mid-ocean wildly raves ;
Its generous sympathy exprest; Recedes afar with dying strain,
And as his varied story show'd That sadly through the troubled air
What wrongs from guileful malice flow'd, Comes like the wailings of despair,
Th’indignant eye and flushing cheek And with redoubled strength returns again : Did oft her mind's emotion speak. Through shrouds and rigging, boards and mast, The sordid king, with brow severe, Whistles, and howls, and roars th’outrageous blast. Could, all unmoved, his pleadings hear; 48
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Save, that, in spite of royal pride,
Quickly from bowsprit, shroud, or mast, Or vessel's side the Indians cast Their naked forms, the water dashing O’er their dark heads, as stoutly lashing The briny waves with arms out-spread, They gain the shore with terror's speed.
XLVIII. With four small vessels, small supply I trow! yet granted tardily, For such high service, he once more The western ocean to explore Directs his course. On many an isle He touch'd, where cheerly, for a while, His mariners their cares beguile Upon the busy shore. And there what wiles of barter keen Spaniard and native pass between; As feather'd crowns, whose colours change To every hue, with vizards strange, And gold and pearls are given away, For bead or bell, or bauble gay! Full oft the muttering Indian eyes With conscious smile his wondrous prize, Beneath the shady plantain seated, And thinks he hath the stranger cheated; Or foots the ground like vaunting child, Snapping his thumbs with antics wild.
XLIX. But if, at length, tired of their guests, Consuming like those hateful pests, Locusts or ants, provisions stored For many days, they will afford No inore, withholding fresh supplies, And strife and threatening clamours rise,Columbus' gentle craft pursues, And soon their noisy wrath subdues. Thus speaks the chief,— Refuse us aid From stores which Heaven for all hath made! The moon, your mistress, will this night From you withhold her blessed light, Her ire to show; take ye the risk.” Then, as half frighten’d, half in jest, They turn’d their faces to the east, From ocean rose her broaden'd disk; But when the deep eclipse came on, By science sure to him foreknown, How cower'd each savage at his feet, Like spaniel couching to his lord, Awed by the whip or angry word, His pardon to entreat! “Take all we have, thou heavenly man! And let our mistress smile again !”
LIII. And thus the Hero's sun went down, Closing his day of bright renown. Eight times through breeze and storm he past O’er surge and wave th’ Atlantic vast; And left on many an island fair Foundations which the after care Of meaner chieftains shortly rear'd To seats of power, serv'd, envied, fear'd. No kingly conqueror, since time began The long career of ages, hath to man A scope so ample given for trade's bold range, Or caused on earth’s wide stage such rapid, mighty change.
LIV. He, on the bed of sickness laid, Saw, unappall’d, death's closing shade; And there, in charity and love To man on earth and God above, Meekly to heaven his soul resign'd, His body to the earth consign'd. 'Twas in Valladolid he breathed his last, And to a better, heavenly city pass'd; But St. Dominga, in her sacred fane Doth his blest spot of rest and sculptured tomb
L. Or, should the ship, above, below, Be fill'd with crowds, who will not go ; Again to spare more hurtful force, To harmless guile he has recourse. “Ho! gunner! let these scramblers know The power we do not use:” when, lo! From cannon's mouth the silvery cloud Breaks forth, soft curling on the air, Through which appears the lightning's glare, And bellowing roars the thunder loud,
LV. There burghers, knights, adventurers brave, Stood round in funeral weeds bedight; And bow'd them to the closing grave, And wish'd his soul good night.
The brightest rays of cheering shed,
That point to immortality ?
LXII. Tenants of many a clime, who wont to come, (So fancy trows,) when vex'd with worldly coil,
A twinkling speck, but fix'd and bright, And linger sadly by his narrow home ;
To guide us through the dreary night, Repentant enemies, and friends that grieve
Each hero shines, and lures the soul In self-upbraiding tenderness, and say,
To gain the distant happy goal. “Cold was the love he did from us receive,"
For is there one who, musing o'er the grave The fleeting, restless spirits of a day,
Where lies interr'd the good, the wise, the brave, All to their dread account are pass'd away.
Can poorly think, beneath the mouldering heap,
That noble being shall for ever sleep?
No; saith the generous heart, and proudly swells,Silence, solemn, awful, deep,
“ Though his cered corse lies here, with God his Doth in that hall of death her empire keep;
LADY GRISELD BAILLIE.
WHEN, sapient, dauntless, strong, heroic man! “ Ha! tread my feet so near that sacred ground !”
Our busy thoughts thy noble nature scan,
Whose active mind, its hidden cell within, He stops and bows his head :-“ Columbus resteth
Frames that from which the mightiest works begin ; here!”
Whose secret thoughts are light to ages lending, LVIII.
Whose potent arm is right and life defending, Some ardent youth, perhaps, ere from his home
For helpless thousands, all on one high soul deHe launch his venturous bark, will hither come,
pending :Read fondly o’er and o'er his graven name
We pause, delighted with the fair survey, With feelings keenly touch'd, -with heart of flame; And haply in our wistful musings say, Till wrapp'd in fancy's wild, delusive dream, What mate, to match this noble work of heaven, Times past and long forgotten, present seem. Hath the all-wise and mighty master given? To his charm'd ear, the east wind rising shrill, One gifted like himself, whose head devises Seems through the Hero's shroud to whistle still.
High things, whose soul at sound of battle rises, The clock's deep pendulum swinging, through the who with glaved hand will through arm’d squadblast
rons ride, Sounds like the rocking of his lofty mast;
And, death confronting, combat by his side;
When cares of empire or strong impulse swell
The generous breast, and to high deeds impel; 0! who shall lightly say that fame
For who can these as meaner times upbraid, Is nothing but an empty name!
Who think of Saragossa's valiant maid ? Whilst in that sound there is a charm
But she of gentler nature, softer, dearer, The nerve to brace, the heart to warm,
Of daily life, the active, kindly cheerer ; As, thinking of the mighty dead,
With generous bosom, age, or childhood shielding, The young, from slothful couch will start,
And in the storms of life, though moved, unyieldAnd vow, with lifted hands outspread, Like them to act a noble part?
Strength in her gentleness, hope in her sorrow,
Whose darkest hours some ray of brightness borrow LX.
From better days to come, whose meek devotion 0! who shall lightly say that fame
Calms every wayward passion's wild commotion ; Is nothing but an empty name!
In want and suffering, soothing, useful, sprightly, When, but for those, our mighty dead,
Bearing the press of evil hap so lightly,
Till evil's self seems its strong hold betraying All ages past, a blank would be, Sunk in oblivion's murky bed,
To the sweet witchery of such winsome playing; A desert bare, a shipless sea ?
Bold from affection, if by nature fearful, They are the distant objects seen,
With varying brow, sad, tender, anxious, cheerful,The lofty marks of what hath been.
This is meet partner for the loftiest mind,
With crown or helmet graced,-yea, this is womanLXI.
kind! 0! who shall lightly say that fame
Come ye, whose grateful memory retains Is nothing but an empty name!
Dear recollection of her tender pains Then memory of the mighty dead
To whom your oft-conn'd lesson, daily said, To earth-worn pilgrim's wistful eye
With kiss and cheering praises was repaid ;
To gain whose smile, to shun whose mild rebuke, With stealthy steps I gain'd the shade
But little dreaming in his mind
ventured.” Like the slight willow, now aloft, now bending,
IV. But, still unbroken, with the blast contending,
Then from the simple vest that braced Whose very look call’d virtuous vigour forth, Her gentle breast, a letter traced Compelling you to match her noble worth ;
With well-known characters, he took, And ye, who in a sister's modest praise
And with an eager, joyful look
Her eyes up to his visage cast,
She saw his eyes through teardrops raise
Had to the sternest, darkest skeptic given And to my short and faithful lay give ear. Some love of human kind, some faith in righteous
What blessings on her youthful head
Were by the grateful patriot shed, Where, from the lofty window fell,
(For such he was, good and devoted, Through grated bars, the sloping beam,
And had at risk of lise promoted
His country's freedom and her faith,
Nor reckoning made of worldly skathe,)
How warm, confiding, and sincere,
He gave to her attentive ear
The answer which ber cautious sire Whose threshold black is cross' by those
Did to his secret note require: Who here their earthly being close,
How after this with 'quiries kind, Or issue to the light again
He ask'd for all she left behind A scaffold with their blood to stain,
In Redbraes' tower, her native dwelling, Moved something softly. Wistful ears
And set her artless tongue a-telling, Are quick of sense, and from his book
Which urchin dear had tallest grown,
And which the greatest learning shown,
And Sabbath questions learnt by rote,
And merry tricks and gambols play'd The form that quickly by him stood;
By evening fire, and forfeits paid, Of stature low, of figure light,
I will not here rehearse, nor will I say, In motion like some happy sprite;
How, on that bless'd and long-remember'd day, Yet meaning eyes and varying cheek,
The prisoner's son, deserving such a sire, Now red, now pale, seem'd to bespeak
First saw the tiny maid, and did admire, Of riper years the cares and feeling
That one so young, and wise, and good, and fair, Which with a gentle heart were dealing.
Should be an earthly thing that breathed this nether
air. “Such sense in eyes so simply mild !
E'en let my reader courteously suppose,
Suppose the prisoner from his thraldom freed,
And with our lay proceed.
VII. And he has sent me for thy good,
The damsel, glad her mission'd task was done His dearly honour'd Jerviswood.
Back to her home long since had blithely gone ; Long have I round these walls been straying And there remain'd, a meek and duteous child As if with other children playing;
Where useful toil, with play between, Long near the gate have kept my watch
And pastirne on the sunny green, The sentry's changing time to catch.
The weeks and months of passing years beguiled.