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THE SLEEPER ON MARATHON.

99

Wert thou not peopled by some glorious race,
And was there power to smite them with decay ?
Why, who shall talk of thrones, of sceptres riven ?
Bow'd be our hearts to think of what we are,

When from its height afar
A world sinks thus--and yon majestic heaven
Sbines not the less for that one vanish'd star!

THE SLEEPER ON MARATHON.

I lay upon the solemn plain

And by the funeral mound,
Where those who died not there in vain,

Their place of sleep had found.
'Twas silent where the free blood gush'd,

When Persia came array'd
So many a voice had there been hush'd,

So many a footstep stay'd.
I slumber'd on the lonely spot,

So sanctified by Death-
I slumber'd—but my rest was not

As theirs who lay beneath.
For on my dreams, that shadowy hour,

They rose-the chainless dead
All arm'd they sprang, in joy, in power,

Up from their grassy bed.
I saw their spears, on that red field,

Flash as in time gone by
Chased to the seas, without his shield

I saw the Persian fly.
I woke--the sudden trumpet's blast

Call'd to another fight-
From visions of our glorious past,

Who doth not wake in might?

100

THE TRUMPET,

TROUBADOUR SONG.

The warrior cross'd the ocean's foam,

For the stormy fields of war-
The maid was left in a smiling home,

And a sunny land afar.
His voice was heard where javelin showers

Pour'd on the steel-clad line;
Her step was 'midst the summer-flowers,

Her seat beneath the vine.
His shield was cleft, bis lance was riven,

And the red blood stain'd his crest ;
While she-the gentlest wind of heaven

Might scarcely fan her breast.
Yet a thousand arrows pass'd him by,

And again he cross'd the seas;
But she had died, as roses die

That perish with a breeze.
As roses die, when the blast is come,

For all things bright and fair-
There was death within the smiling home,

How had death found her there?

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THE TRUMPET.

The trumpet's voice hath rous'd the land,

Light up the beacon pyre !
A hundred bills have seen the brand

And waved the sign of fire.
A hundred banners to the breeze

Their gorgeous folds have cast
And hark was that the sound of seas?

-A king to war went past.

BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.

101

The chief is arming in his hall,

The peasant by his hearth;
The mourner hears the thrilling call,

And rises from the earth.
The mother on her first-born son,

Looks with a boding eye-
They come not back, though all be won,

Whose young hearts leap so high.
The bard hath ceased his song, and bound

The falchion to his side ;
E'en for the marriage altar crown'd,

The lover quits his bride.
And all this haste, and change, and fear,

By earthly clarion spread?
How will it be when kingdoms hear

The blast that wakes the dead?

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The celebrated Spanish champion, Bernardo del Carpio, having made ineffectual efforts to procure the release of his father, the Count Saldana, who had been imprisoned by King Alfonso of Asturias, almost from the time of Bernardo's birth, at last took up arms in despair. The war which he maintained proved so destructive, that the men

of the land gathered round the king, and united in demanding Saldana's liberty. Alfonso accordingly offered Bernardo immediate possession of his father's person, in exchange for his castie of Carpio. Bernardo, without hesitation, gave up his strong hold with all his captives, and being assured that his father was then on his way from prison,rode forth with the king to meet him. * And when he saw his father approaching, he exclaimed,” says the ancient chronicle, “. Oh! God, is the Count of Saldana indeed coming?' • Look where he is,' replied the cruel king, and now go and greet him whom you have so long desired to see.?"-The remainder of the story will be found related in the ballad. The chronicles and romances leave us nearly in the dark, as to Bernardo's future history after this event.

The warrior bow'd his crested head, and tamed his heart of

fire, And sued the haughty king to free his long-imprison'd sire ; “I bring thee bere my fortress-keys, I bring my captive train,

102

BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.

way.

see."

I pledge thee faith, my liege, my lord !-oh! break my fa

ther's chain! " Rise, rise! ev'n now thy father comes, a ransom'd man

this day; Mount thy good borse, and thou and I will meet him on his Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded on his steea, And urged, as if with lance in rest, the charger's foamy

speed. And lo! from far, as on they press'd, there came a glittering

band, With one that 'midst them stately rode, as a leader in the

land; " Wow haste, Bernardo, haste! for there, in very truth, is

he, The father whom thy faithful heart hath yearn'd so long to His dark eye flash'd,-his proud breast heaved, his cheek's

hue came and went.He reach'd that gray.hair’d chieftain's side, and there dis

mounting beni, A lowly knee to earth he bent, his father's hand he tookWhat was there in its touch that all his fiery spirit shook ? That hand was cold-a frozen thing-it dropp'd from his

like leadHe look'd up to the face above,-the face was of the dead A plume waved o'er the noble brow-the brow was fix'd and

white He met at last his father's eyes--but in them was no sight! Up from the ground he sprang and gazed but who could

paint that gaze? They hush'd their very hearts that saw its horror and amazeThey might have chain’d him as before that stony form he

stood, For the power was stricken froin his arm, and from his lip the

blood, " Father!" at length he murmur'd low-and wept like child.

hood then Talk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears of warlike

men !

He thought on all his glorious hopes, and all his young He flung his salchion from his side, and in the dust sat down.

renown

BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.

103

now

Then covering with his steel-gloved hands his darkly mourn

ful brow, “No more, there is no more," he said, “ to lift the sword for My king is false, my hope betray'd, my father--oh! the

worth, The glory, and the loveliness are pass!d away from earth. “ I thought to stand where banners waved, my sire! beside I would that there our kindred blood on Spain's free soil had Thou wouldst have known my spirit then--for thee

were won, And thou hast perish'd in thy chains, as though thou hadst no

thee yet

met

my fields

son !"

Then starting from the ground once more, he siezed the mo

narch's rein, Amidst the pale and wilder'd looks of all the courtier-train ; And with a fierce c'ermastering grasp the rearing war-horse

led, And sternly set them face to face the king before the dead“Came l not forth upon thy pledge, my father's hand to kiss? --Be still, and gaze thou on, false king! and tell me what is

this? The voice, the glance, art I sought--gite answer, where

are they? --If thou wouldst clear thy perjured soul, send life through

this cold clay. “ Into these glassy eyes put light-be still! keep down thine

ireBid these white lips a blessing speak—this earth is not my

sire Give me back hin for whom I strore, for whom my blood was

shed Thou canst not ? --and a king !--his dust be mountains on thy

head"! He loosed the steed. --his slack hand fell-upon the silent face He cast one long, deep, troubled look, then turn'd from that

sad place-His hope was crush'd, his after-fate untold in martial strainHis banner led the spears no more amidst the hills of Spain.

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