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To his castle Hubert sped ;
He has nothing now to dread.
But silent and by stealth he came,
And at an hour which nobody could name.
None could tell if it were night-time,
Night or day, at even or morn;
For the sound was heard by no one
Of the proclamation horn.
But bold Hubert lives in glee :
Months and years went smilingly;
With plenty was his table spread ;
And bright the lady is who shares his bed.
Likewise he had sons and daughters ;
And, as good men do, he sate
At his board by these surrounded,
Flourishing in fair estate.
And, while thus in open day,
Once he sate, as old books say,
A blast was utter'd from the horn,
Where, by the castle gate, it hung forlorn.
'Tis the breath of good Sir Eustace !
He is come to claim his right :
Ancient castle, woods, and mountains
Hear the challenge with delight.
Hubert ! though the blast be blown,
He is helpless and alone :
Thou hast a dungeon, speak the word !
And there he may be lodged, and thou be lord.
Speak! - astounded Hubert cannot ;
And if power to speak he had,
All are daunted, all the household,
Smitten to the heart and sad,
'Tis Sir Eustace : if it be
Living man, it must be he!
Thus Hubert thought in his disniay,
And by a postern gate he slunk away.
Pent in a tyrant's solitary thrall :
'Tis his who walks about in the open air,
One of a nation who, henceforth, must wear
Their fetters in their souls. For who could be
Who, even the best, in such condition, free
From self-reproach, reproach which he must share
With human nature ? Never be it ours
To see the sun how brightly it will shine,
And know that noble feelings, manly powers,
Instead of gathering strength must droop and pine,
And earth, with all her pleasant fruits and flowers,
Fade, and participate in man's decline.
Indignation of a high-minded Spaniard. We can endure that he should waste our lands, Despoil our temples, and by sword and flame Return us to the dust from which we came ; Such food a Tyrant's appetite demands : And we can brook the thought that by his hands Spain may be o'erpower'd, and he possess, For his delight, a solemn wilderness, Where all the brave lie dead. But when of bands, Which he will break for us, he dares to speak, Of benefits, and of a future day When our enlighten’d minds shall bless his sway, Then, the strain'd heart of fortitude proves weak: Our groans, our blushes, our pale cheeks declare That he has power t’ inflict what we lack strength to bear
HERE pause ; the Poet claims at least this praise
That virtuous liberty hath been the scope
Of his pure song, which did not shrink from hope
In the worst moment of these evil days ;
From hope, the paramount duty that Heaven lay,
For its own honour, on man's suffering heart.
Never may from our souls one truth depart,
That an accursed thing it is to gaze
On prosperous tyrants with a dazzled eye ;
Nor, touch'd with due abhorrence of their guilt
For whose dire ends tears flow, and blood is spilt,
And justice labours in extremity,
Forget thy weakness, upon which is built,
O wretched man, the throne of tyranny !