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Her lover sinks—she sheds no ill-timed tear;
Her chief is slain—she fills his fatal post;
Her fellows flee—she checks their base career;
The foe retires—she heads the sallying host :
Who can appease like her a lover's ghost ?
Who can avenge so well a leader's fall ?
What maid retrieve when man's flush'd hope is lost ?
Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul,
Foil'd by a woman's hand, before a batter'd wall ?"
Yet are Spain's maids no race of Amazons,
But form'd for all the witching arts of love:
Though thus in arms they emulate her sons,
And in the horrid phalanx dare to move,
'Tis but the tender fierceness of the dove,
Pecking the hand that hovers o'er her mate :
In softness as in firmness far above
Remoter females, famed for sickening prate;
Her mind is nobler sure, her charms perchance as great.
The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impress'd
Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch : 45
Her lips, whose kisses pout to leave their nest,
Bid man be valiant ere he merit such :
Her glance how wildly beautiful ! how much
Hath Phæbus woo'd in vain to spoil her cheek,
Which glows yet smoother from his amorous clutch!
Who round the North for paler dames would seek? How poor their forms appear ! how languid, wan, and
Match me, ye climes ! which poets love to laud;
Match me, ye harems of the land ! where now
I strike my strain, far distant, to applaud
Beauties that ev'n a cynic must avow;7
Match me those Houries, whom ye scarce allow
To taste the gale lest Love should ride the wind,
With Spain's dark-glancing daughters-deign to
There your wise Prophet's paradise we find,
His black-eyed maids of Heaven, angelically kind.
Oh, thou Parnassus ! whom I now survey,“'
Not in the phrensy of a dreamer's eye,
Not in the fabled landscape of a lay,
But soaring snow-clad through thy native sky,
In the wild pomp of mountain-majesty!
What marvel if I thus essay to sing ?
The humblest of thy pilgrims passing by
Would gladly woo thine Echoes with his string, Though from thy heights no more one Muse will wave
Oft have I dream'd of Thee ! whose glorious name
Who knows not, knows not man's divinest lore :
And now I view thee, 'tis, alas, with shame
That I in feeblest accents must adore.
When I recount thy worshippers of yore
I tremble, and can only bend the knee ;
Nor raise my voice, nor vainly dare to soar,
But gaze beneath thy cloudy canopy
In silent joy to think at last I look on Thee ! 50
Happier in this than mightiest bards have been,
Whose fate to distant homes confined their lot,
Shall I unmoved behold the hallow'd scene,
Which others rave of, though they know it not ?
Though here no more Apollo haunts his grot,
And thou, the Muses' seat, art now their grave,
Some gentle spirit still pervades the spot,
Sighs in the gale, keeps silence in the cave,
And glides with glassy foot o'er yon melodious wave.
Of thee hereafter.-Ev'n amidst my strain
I turn'd aside to pay my homage here ;
Forgot the land, the sons, the maids of Spain;
Her fate, to every freeborn bosom dear;
And hail'd thee, not perchance without a tear.
Now to my theme-but from thy holy haunt
Let me some remnant, some memorial bear ;
Yield me one leaf of Daphne's deathless plant,51
Nor let thy votary's hope be deem'd an idle vaunt.
But ne'er didst thou, fair Mount! whenGreece was
young, See round thy giant base a brighter choir, Nor e'er did Delphi, when her priestess sung The Pythian hymn with more than mortal fire, Behold a train more fitting to inspire The song
of love, than Andalusia's maids, Nurst in the glowing lap of soft desire :
Ah! that to these were given such peaceful sharles As Greece can still bestow, though Glory fly her glaules.
He bids to sober joy that here sojourns :
Nought interrupts the riot, though in lieu
Of true devotion monkish incense burns,
And love and prayer unite, or rule the hour by turns.55