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GENTLE river, gentle river,
Lo, thy streams are stain'd with gore, Many a brave and noble captain
Floats along thy willow'd shore.
All beside thy limpid waters,
All beside thy sands so bright, Moorish chiefs and Christian warriors
Join'd in fierce and mortal fight.
Lords, and dukes, and noble princes
On thy fatal banks were slain : Fatal banks that gave to slaughter
All the pride and flower of Spain.
There the hero, brave Alonzo,
Full of wounds and glory died : There the fearless Urdiales
Fell a victim by his side.
Lo! where yonder Don Saavedra
Thro’ their squadrons slow retires; Proud Seville, his native city,
Proud Seville his worth admires.
Close behind a renegado
Loudly shouts with taunting cry; Yield thee, yield thee, Don Saavedra,
Dost thou from the battle fly?
Well I know thee, haughty Christian,
Long I liv'd beneath thy roof; Oft I've in the lists of glory
Seen thee win the prize of proof.
Well I know thy aged parents,
Well thy blooming bride I know;
years of pain and woe.
May our prophet grant my wishes,
Haughty chief, thou shalt be mine:
sorrow, Which I drank when I was thine.
Like a lion turns the warrior,
Back he sends an angry glare; Whizzing came the Moorish javelin,
Vainly whizzing thro’ the air.
Back the hero full of fury
Sent a deep and mortal wound: Instant sunk the renegado,
Mute and lifeless on the ground.
With a thousand Moors surrounded,
Brave Saavedra stands at bay : Wearied out but never daunted,
Cold at length the warrior lay.
Near him fighting great Alonzo
Stout resists the Paynim bands;
Firm intrench'd behind him stands.
Furious press the hostile squadron,
Furious he repels their rage:
Who can war with thousands wage!
Where yon rock the plain o'ershadows,
Close beneath its foot retir'd,
And without a groan expir'd.
In the Spanish original of the foregoing ballad, follow a few more stanzas, but being of inferior merit were not translated.
Renegado properly signifies an apostate, but it is sometimes used to express an infidel in general; as it seems to do above in ver. 21, &c.
The image of the lion, &c. in ver. 37, is taken from the other Spanish copy, the rhymes of which end in ia, viz.
Sayavedra, que lo oyera,