Page images
PDF

• My spouse and boys dwell near thy hall,

Along the hordering lake,
And when they on their father call,

What answer shall she make ? -
“Enough, enough, my yeoman good,

Thy grief let none gainsay ; But I, who am of lighter mood,

Will laugh to flee away.

“For who would trust the seeming siglas

Of wife or paramour?
Fresh feres will dry the bright blue eyes

We late saw streaming o'er.
For pleasures past I do not grieve,

Nor perils gathering near;
My greatest grief is that I leave

No thing that claims a tear

" And now I'm in the world alone,

Upon the wide, wide sea :
But why should I for others groan,

When none will sigh for me?
Perchance my dog will whine in vain,

Till fed by stranger hands; But long ere I come back again,

He'd tear me where he stands.

10.

“ With thee, my bark, I'll swiftly go ,

Athwart the foaming brine;
Nor care what land thou bear'st me to,

So not again to mine,
Welcome, welcome, ye dark-blue waves,

And when you fail my sigilat, . .

Welcome ye deserts, and ye caves!

My native land-Good Night!”

" XIV. On, on the vessel flies, the land is gone, And winds are rude in Biscay's sleepless bay. Four days are sped, but with the fifth, anon, New shores descried make every bosom gay; And Cintra's mountain greets them on their way, And Tagus dashing onward to the deep, His fabled golden tribute bent to pay ;

And soon on board the Lucian pilots leap, And steer 'twixt fertile shores where yet few rustics reap.

XV. Oh, Christ! it is a goodly sight to see What Heaven hath done for this delicious land! What fruits of fragrance blush on every tree! What goodly prospects o'er the hills expand ! But man would mar them with an impious handa And when the Almighty lifts his fiercest scourge 'Gainst those who most transgress his high com

mand, With treble vengeance will his hot shafts urge Gaul's locust host, and earth from fellest foeman

purge.

XVI.
What beauties doth Lisboa first unfold!
Her image floating on that noble tide,
Which poets vainly pave with sands of gold,
But now whereon a thousand keels did ride
Of mighty strength, since Albion was allied,
And to the Lusians did her aid afford:

A nation swoln with ignorance and pride,
Who lick yet loathe the hand that waves the sword
To save them from the wrath of Gaul's unsparing
lord.

XVII.
But whoso entereth within this town,
That, sheening far, celestial seems to be,
Disconsolate will wander up and down,
'Mid many things unsightly to strange ee;
For hut and palace show like filthily :
The dingy denizens are rear'd in dirt;
Ne personage of high or mean degree

Doth care for cleanness of surtout or shirt, Though shent with Egypt's plague, unkempt, un

wash'd ; unhurt.

. XVIII. Poor, paltry slaves! yet born 'midst noblest

scenesWhy, Nature, waste thy glory on such men? Lo! Cintra's glorious Eden intervenes In variegated maze of mount and glen. Ah, me! what hand can pencil, guide, or pen, To follow half on which the eye dilates Through views more dazzling unto mortal ken

Than those whereof such things the bard relates, Who to the awe-struck world unlock'd Elysium's

gates ?

[ocr errors]

The horrid crags, by toppling convent crown'd, The cork-trees hoar that clothe the shaggy steep, The mountain-moss by scorching skies imbrown'd The sunken glen, whose sunless shrubs must The tender azure of the unruffled deep, (weep, The orange tints that guild the greenest bough, The torrents that from cliff to valley leap,

The vine on high, the willow branch below, Mix'd in one mighty scene, with varied beauty glow.

XX. Then slowly climb the many-winding way, And frequent turn to linger as you go, From loftier rocks new loveliness survey, And rest ye at our “Lady's house of wo;" (2) Where frugal monks their little relics show, And sundry legends to the stranger tell: Here impious men have punish'd been, and lo!

Deep in yon cave Honorius long did dwell, In hope to merit Heaven by making earth a Hell.

XXI. And here and there as up the crags you spring, Mark many rude-carved crosses near the path: Yet deem not these devotion's offeringThese are memorials frail of murderous wrath : For wheresoe'er the shrieking victim hath Pourd forth his bloood beneath the assassin's

knife Some hand erects a cross of mouldering lath ;

And grove and glen with thousand such are rife Throughout this purple land, where law secures

not life. (3)

XXII. On sloping mounds, or in the vale beneath, Are domes where whilome kings did make re

pair ; But now the wild fowers round them only

breathe ; Yet ruin'd splendour still is lingering there. And yonder towers the Prince's palace fair ; There thou too, Vathek! England's wealthiest

son,

Once form'd thy Paradise, as not aware [done,

When wanton Wealth her mightiest deeds hath Meek peace voluptuous lures was ever wont to shun:

XXIII. Here didst thou dwell, here, schemes of pleasure

plan, Beneath yon mountain's ever beauteous brow: But now, as if a thing unblest by Man, Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as thou ! Here giant weeds a passage scarce allow To halls deserted, portals gaping wide: Fresh lessons to the thinking bosom, how

Vain are the pleasaunces on earth supplied; Swept into wrecks anon by Time's ungentle tide!

XXIV. Behold the hall where chiefs were late con

vened! (4) Oh! dome displeasing unto British eye! With diadem hight foolscap, lo! a fiend, A little fiend that scoffs incessantly, There sits in parchment robe array'd, and by His side is hung a seal and sable scroll, Where blazon'd glare names known to chivalry,

And sundry signatures adorn the roll, Whereat the Urchin points and laughs with all bis

soul.

XXV. .. Convention is the dwarfish demon styled That foild the knights in Marialva's dome: * Of brains (if brains they had) he them beguiled, And turn'd a nation's shallow joy to gloom. "Here Folly dash'd to earth the victor's plume, And Policy regain'd what arms had lost: For chiefs like ours in vain way laurels bloom!

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »