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Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale?
When Flattery sleeps with thee, and History does
XXXVII. Awake, ye sons of Spain! awake! advance! Lo! Chivalry, your ancient goddess, cries; But wields not, as of old, her thirsty lance, Nor shakes her crimson plumage in the skies: Now on the smoke of blazing bolts she flies, And speaks in thunder through yon engine's roar In every peal she calls—“Awake! arise!” Say, is her voice more feeble than of yore, When her war-song was heard on Andalusia's shore?
tion by Roderick of Florinda, called by the Moors Caba, or Cava. She was the daughter of Count Julian, one of the Gothic monarch's principal lieutenants, who, when the crime was perpetrated, was engaged in the defence of Ceuta against the Moors. In his indignation at the ingratitude of his sovereign, and the dishonour of his daughter, Count Julian forgot the duties of a Christian and a patriot, and, forming an alliance with Musa, then the Caliph's lieutenant in Africa, he countenanced the invasion of Spain by a body of Saracens and Africans, commanded by the celebrated Tarik; the issue of which was the defeat and death of Roderick, and the occupation of almost the whole peninsula by the Moors. The Spaniards, in detestation of Florinda's memory, are said by Cervantes never to bestow that name upon any human female, reserving it especially for their dogs.” —SIR WALTER Scott.]
VOL. VIII, D
To shed before his shrine the blood he deems most
(1) [In the original MS.
from rock to rock Blue columns soar aloft in sulphurous wreath, Fragments on fragments in confusion knock:]
(2) [“A bolder prosopopoeia,” says anameless critic, “or one better imagined or expressed, cannot easily be found in the whole range of ancient and modern poetry. Unlike the ‘plume of Horror,” or the ‘eagle-winged Victory,” described by our great epic poet, this gigantic figure is a distinct object, perfect in lineaments, tremendous in operation, and vested with all the attributes calculated to excite terror and admiration.”]
XLBy Heaven! it is a splendid sight to see (For one who hath no friend, no brother there) Their rival scarfs of mix'd embroidery, Their various arms that glitter in the airl What gallantwar-hounds rouse them from theirlair, And gnash their fangs, loud yelling for the prey ! All join the chase, but few the triumph share; The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away,
And Havoc scarce for joy can number their array.
Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice; Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high ; Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies; The shouts are France, Spain, Albion, Victory! The foe, the victim, and the fond ally That fights for all, but ever fights in vain, Are met — as if at home they could not die — To feed the crow on Talavera's plain, And fertilize the field that each pretends to gain.(1)
(1) [We think it right to restore here a note which Lord Byron himself suppressed with reluctance, at the urgent request of a friend. It alludes, inter alia, to the then recent publication of Sir Walter Scott's Vision of Don Roderick, of which work the profits had been handsomely given to the cause of Portuguese patriotism: – “We have heard wonders of the Portuguese lately, and their gallantry. Pray Heaven it continue; yet “would it were bed-time, Hal, and all were well!” They must fight a great many hours, by ‘Shrewsbury clock,” before the number of their slain equals that of our countrymen butchered by these kind creatures, now metamorphosed into * caçadores,’ and what not. I merely state a fact, not confined to Portugal; for in Sicily and Malta we are knocked on the head at a handsome average nightly, and not a Sicilian and Maltese is ever punished 1 The neglect of protection is disgraceful to our government and governors; for the murders are as notorious as the moon that shines upon them, and the apathy
There shall they rot—Ambition's honour'd fools! Yes, Honour decks the turf that wraps their clay ! Vain Sophistry in these behold the tools, The broken tools, that tyrants cast away By myriads, when they dare to pave their way With human hearts—to what?—a dream alone. Can despots compass aught that hails their sway? Or call with truth one span of earth their own, Save that wherein at last they crumble bone by bone?
that overlooks them. The Portuguese, it is to be hoped, are complimented with the “Forlorn Hope,”— if the cowards are became brave (like the rest of their kind, in a corner), pray let them display it. But there is a subscription for these tearv-3axon,' (they need not be ashamed of the epithet once applied to the Spartans); and all the charitable patronymics, from ostentatious A. to diffident Z., and 261 : 1 : 0 from “An Admirer of Valour,” are in requisition for the lists at Lloyd's, and the honour of British benevolence. Well ! we have fought, and subscribed, and bestowed peerages, and buried the killed by our friends and foes; and, lo! all this is to be done over again! Like Lien Chi (in Goldsmith's Citizen of the World), as we “grow older, we grow never the better.” It would be pleasant to learn who will subscribe for us, in or about the year 1815, and what nation will send fifty thousand men, first to be decimated in the capital, and then decimated again (in the Irish fashion, mine out of ten), in the ‘bed of honour;' which, as Sergeant Kite says, is considerably larger and more commodious than ‘the bed of Ware.” Then they must have a poet to write the ‘Vision of Don Perceval,” and generously bestow the profits of the well and widely printed quarto, to rebuild the “Backwynd and the ‘Canongate,” or furnish new kilts for the half-roasted Highlanders. Lord Wellington, however, has enacted marvels; and so did his Oriental brother, whom I saw charioteering over the French flag, and heard clipping bad Spanish, after listening to the speech of a patriotic cobbler of Cadiz, on the event of his own entry into that city, and the exit of some five thousand bold Britons out of this ‘best of all possible worlds.” Sorely were we puzzled how to dispose of that same victory of Talavera; and a victory it surely was somewhere, for every body claimed it. The Spanish despatch and mob called it Cuesta's, and made no great mention of the Viscount; the French called it theirs (to my great discomfiture, — for a French consul stopped my mouth in Greece with a pestilent Paris gazette, just as I had killed Sebastiani, ‘in buckram,’ and King Joseph, “in Kendai
XLIII. Oh, Albuera, glorious field of grief! As o'er thy plain the Pilgrim prick'd his steed, Who could foresee thee, in a space so brief, A scene where mingling foes should boast and
Peace to the perish’d l may the warrior's meed
And shine in worthless lays, the theme of transient
XLIV. Enough of Battle's minions ! let them play Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame: Fame that will scarce re-animate their clay, Though thousands fall to deck some single name. In sooth 'twere sad to thwart their noble aim Whostrike, blest hirelings! for their country's good, And die, that living might have proved her shame; Perish'd, perchance, in some domestic feud, Or in a narrower sphere wild Rapine's path pursued.
green”), — and we have not yet determined what to call it, or whose ; for, certes, it was none of our own. Howbeit, Massena's retreat is a great comfort; and as we have not been in the habit of pursuing for some years past, no wonder we are a little awkward at first. No doubt we shall improve; or, if not, we have only to take to our old way of retrograding, and there we are at home.”- El
(1) [This stanza is not in the original MS. It was written at Newstead, in August 1811, shortly after the battle of Albuera, which took place in May.-E.]