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Along Toledo's lawns, the pride of Spain,
Toledo's warriors join the martial train :
Nor less the furious luft of war inspires
The Biscayneer, and wakes his barbarous fires,
Which ever burn for vengeance, if the tongue
Of hapless stranger give the fancy'd wrong.
Nor bold Asturia, nor Guispuscoa’s shore,
Famed for their steely wealth, and iron ore,
Delay'd their vaunting squadrons ; o'er the dales
Cafed in their native steel, and belted mails,
Blue gleaming from afar they march along,
And join with many a spear the warlike throng.
As thus, wide sweeping o'er the trembling coast,
The proud Castilian leads his numerous host,
The valiant John for brave defence prepares,
And in himself collected greatly dares :
For such high valour in his bosom glow'd,
As Samson's locks by miracle bestow'd:
Safe in himself resolved the hero stands,
Yet calls the leaders of his anxious bands :
The council summon'd, some with prudent mien,
And words of
advice their terrors screen ;
By floth debased, no more the ancient fire
Of patriot loyalty can now inspire;
And each pale lip seem'd opening to declare
For tame submission, and to fhun the war;
When glorious Nunio, starting from his seat,
Claim'd every eye, and closed the cold debate :
Singling his brothers from the daftard train,
His rowling looks, that flash'd with stern disdain,
On them he fixt, then snatch'd his hilt in ire,
While his bold speech bewray'd the soldier's fire,
Bold and 8 unpolish’d; while his burning eyes
Seem'd as he dared the ocean, earth, and skies:
Heavens! shall the Lufian nobles tamely yield!
Oh shame! and yield untry'd the martial field!
That land whose genius, as the God of war,
Was own'd, where'er approach'd her thundering car;
Shall now her fons their faith, their love deny,
And, while their country sinks, ignobly fly!
Ye timorous herd, are ye the genuine line
Of those illustrious shades, whose
Beneath great Henry's standards awed the foe,
For whom ye tremble, and would stoop so low!
That foe, who, boastful now, then basely fled,
undaunted fires the hero led,
When seven bold earls in chains the spoil adorn'd,
And proud Casteel through all her kindreds mourn'd,
Casteel, your awful dread-yet, conscious, say,
When Dinez reign'd, when his bold fon bore fway,
By whom were trodden down the bravest bands
That ever march'd from proud Castilia’s lands?
8 Bold and unpolish d.—This speech in the original has been much admired by the foreign critics, as a model of military eloquence. The critic, it is hoped, will perceive that the trandator has endeavoured to support the character of the speaker.
'Twas your brave fires and has one languid reign
Fix'd in your tainted fouls so deep a stain,
That now, degenerate from your noble fires,
The last dim spark of Lufian flame expires ?
Though weak Fernando reign'd in war unskilld,
A godlike king now calls you to the field
Oh! could like his your mounting valour glow,
Vain were the threatenings of the vaunting foe.
Not proud Casteel, oft by your sires o'erthrown,
dauntless rage should own.
Still if your hands benumb'd by female fear,
Shun the bold war, hark! on my sword I swear,
Myself alone the dreadful war shall wage-
Mine be the fight - and trembling with the rage
Of valorous fire, his hand half-drawn display'd
The awful terror of his shining blade-
I and my vassals dare the dreadful shock;
My shoulders never to a foreign yoke
Shall bend; and by my sovereign's wrath I vow,
And by that loyal faith renounced by you,
My native land unconquer'd shall remain,
And all my monarch's foes shall heap the plain.
The hero paused—'Twas thus the youth of Rome, The trembling few who 'scaped the bloody doom That dy'd with flaughter Cannæ's purple field, Asembled food, and bow'd their necks to yield;
When nobly rising with a like disdain
The young Cornelius raged, nor raged in vain :
On his dread sword his daunted peers he swore,
(The reeking blade yet black with punic gore)
While life remain'd their arms for Rome to wield,
And but with life their conquer'd arms to yield.
Such martial rage brave Nunio's mien inspired;
Fear was no more: with rapturous ardour fired,
To horse, to horse, the gallant Lusians cry'd;
Rattled the belted mails on every fide,
The spear-staffs trembled; round their heads they waved
Their shining faulchions, and in transport raved,
The king our guardian-loud their shouts rebound,
And the fierce commons echo back the sound.
The mails that long in rusting peace had hung,
Now on the hammer'd anvils hoarsely rung:
Some soft with wool the plumy helmets line,
And some the breast-plate's scaly belts entwine :
h The young Cornelius. This was the famous P. Corn. Scipio Africanus. The fact, somewhat differently related by Livy, is this. After the defeat at Cannæ, a considerable body of Romans fled to Canusium, and appointed Scipio and Ap. Claudius their commanders. While they remained there, it was told Scipio, that some of his chief officers, at the head of whom was Cæcilius Metellus, were taking measures to transport themselves out of Italy. He went immediately to their assembly, and drawing his fword, said, I swear that I will not desert the Commonwealth of Rome, nor suffer any other citizen to do it. The same oath I require of you, Cæcilius, and of all present; whoever refuses, let bim know that this sword is drawn against him. The historian adds, that they were as terrified by this, as if they had beheld the face of their conqueror Hannibal. They all swore, and submitted themselves to Scipio. Vid. Liv. B. 22. C. 53.
The gaudy mantles fome, and scarfs prepare,
Where various lightfome colours gaily flare;
And golden tissue, with the warp enwove,
Displays the emblems of their youthful love.
The valiant John, begirt with warlike ftate,
Now leads his bands from fair Abrantes gate;
Whose lawns of green the infant Tagus laves,
As from his spring he rolls his cooly waves.
The daring van in Nunio's care could boast
A general worthy of the unnumber'd host,
Whose gaudy banners trembling Greece defy'd,
When boastful Xerxes lash'd the Seftian tide :
Nunio, to proud Casteel as dread a name,
As erst to Gaul and Italy the fame
Of Atila's impending rage. The right
Brave Roderic led, a chieftain train’d in fight:
Before the left the bold Almada rode,
And proudly waving o'er the centre nod
The royal ensigns, glittering from afar,
Where godlike John inspires and leads the war.
'Twas now the time, when from the stubbly plain The labouring hinds had borne the yellow grain; The purple vintage heapt the foamy tun, And fierce and red the fun of August fhone; When from the gate the squadrons march along: Crowds prest on crowds, the walls and ramparts throng: