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There shall thine eye, with mild amaze,
On his gigantic stature gaze;
There shalt thou find the monarch laid,
All in warrior weeds array’d;
Wearing in death his helmet crown,
And weapons huge of old renown.
Martial prince, 'tis thine to save
· From dark oblivion Arthur's grave !
So may thy ships securely stem
The western frith : thy diadem
Shine victorious in the van,
Nor heed the slings of Ulster's clan:
Thy Norman pikemen win their way
Up the dun rocks of Harald's bay* :
And from the steeps of rough Kildare
Thy prancing hoofs the falcon scare:
So may thy bow's unerring yew
Its shafts in Roderic's heart imbruet.'
Amid the pealing symphony
The spiced goblets mantled high ;
With passions new the song impress'd
The listening king's impatient breast:
Flash the keen lightnings from his eyes;
He scorns a while his bold emprise;
E’en now he seems, with eager pace,
The consecrated floor to trace,
And ope, from its tremendous gloom,
The treasure of the wondrous tomb:
* The bay of Dublin. Harald, or Harsager, the Fair-haired King of Norway, is said, in the life of Gryffudh ap Conan, Prince of North Wales, to have conquered Ireland, and to have founded Dublin. W.
Henry is supposed to have succeeded in this enterprise, chiefly by the use of the long bow, with which the Irish were entirely inacquainted. W.
E'en now he burns in thought to rear,
From its dark bed, the ponderous spear,
Rough with the gore of Pictish kings :
E'en now fond hope his fancy wings,
To poise the monarch's massy blade
Of magic-temper'd metal made;
And drag to day the dinted shield
That felt the storm of Camlan's field.
O'er the sepulchre profound
E'en now, with arching sculpture crown'd,
He plans the chantry's choral shrine,
The daily dirge, and rites divine.
FROM Cholula's hostile plain +,
Left her treacherous legions slain,
Left her temples all in lame,
Cortes' conquering army came.
• De Solis, in his History of the Conquest of Mexico, informs as that, on the approach of Cortes to the neighbourhood of that city, the Emperor Motezama sent a number of magicians to attempt the destruction of the Spanish army. As the sorcerers were practising their incantations, a demon appeared to them in the form of their idol Tlcatlepaca, and foretold the fall of the Mexican empire. On this legend is founded the following poem. The conquest of Mexico was undertaken from motives of avarice, and accompanied with circumstances of cruelty; but it produced the subversion of a tyrannical government, and the abolition of a detestable religion of horrid rites and haman sacrifices.
+ Cholola was a large city, not far distant from Mexico, The inhabitants were in league with the Mexicans; and after professing friendship for the Spaniards, endeavoured to surprise and destroy them.
High on Chalco's stormy steep
Shone their phalanx broad and deep;
High the’ Hispanian banner raised,
Bore the Cross in gold emblazed *.
Thick the gleaming spears appear’d,
Loud the neighing steeds were heard,
Flash'd the muskets’ lightnings round,
Rolld their thunders o'er the ground,
Echo'd from a thousand caves,
Down to Tenustitan's waves t;-
Spacious lake, that far below
Bade its lucid level flow :
There the ever sunny shore
Groves of palm and cocoa bore;
Maize fields rich, savannas green
Stretch'd around, with towns between.
Tacubà, Tezcùco fair
Rear'd their shining roofs in air :
Mexico's imperial pride
Glitter'd midst the glassy tide,
Bright with gold, with silver bright,
Dazzling, charming all the sightf;
From their post the war-worn band
Raptured view'd the happy land :
• Haste to victory, haste to ease,
Mark the spot that gives us these!'
On the exulting heroes strode,
Shunn'd the smooth insidious road,
Shunn'd the rock's impending shade,
Shunn'd the expecting ambuscade *
Deep within a gloomy wood
Motezume's magicians stood :
Tlcàtlepùca's horrid form,
God of famine, plague, and storm,
High on magic stones they raised';
Magic fires before him blazed;
Round the lurid flames they drew,
Flames whence streams of sulphur flew;
There, while bleeding victims smoked,
Thus his aid they loud invoked-
Minister supreme of ill,
Prompt to punish, prompt to kill,
Motezuma asks thy aid !
Foreign foes his realms invade;
Vengeance on the strangers shed,
Mix them instant with the dead !
By thy temple's sable floor,
By thy altar stain'd with gore,
Stain'd with gore and strew'd with bones,
Echoing shrieks, and echoing groans !
Vengeance on the strangers. shed,
Mix them instant with the dead!'
Ordaz heard, Velasquez heard-
Swift their falchions' blaze appear'd;
Alvarado, rushing near,
Furious raised his glittering spear ;
• The Indians bad blocked up the usual road to Mexico, and opened another broader and smooth at the entrance, but which led among rocks and precipices, where they had placed parties in ambush. Cortes discovered the stratagem, and or. dered his troops to remove the obstructions. Being asked by the Mexican ambassadors the reason of this procedure, he re. plied, “ The Spaniards always choose to encounter difficulties.'
Calm, Olmedo mark'd the scene *,
Calm he mark'd, and stepp'd between :
« Vain their rites and vain their prayer,
Weak attempts beneath your care;
Warriors! let the wretches live!
Christians ! pity, and forgive !'
Sudden darkness o'er them spread,
Glow'd the woods with dusky red;
Vast the Idol's stature grew,
Look'd his face of ghastly hue,
Frowning rage, and frowning hate,
Angry at his nation's fate;
Fierce his ffery eyes he rollid,
Thus his tongue the future told;
Cortes’ veterans paused to hear,
Wondering all, though void of fear-
Mourn, devoted city, mourn!
Mourn, devoted city, mourn!
Doom'd for all thy crimes to know
Scenes of battle, scenes of woe!
Who is he-0, spare the sight!-
Robed in gold with jewels bright?
Hark! he deigns the crowd to call;
Chiefs and warriors, prostrate fallt.
Reverence now to fury yields;
Strangers, o'er him spread your shields !
* Bartholeme de Olmedo, chaplain to Cortes : he seems to have been a man of enlarged ideas, much prudence, modera. tion, and humanity.
Motezama, who was resident in the Spanish quarters when they were attacked by the Mexicans, proposed showing himself to the people, in order to appease the tumult. At his first appearance he was regarded with veneration, which was soon exchanged for rage, to the effects whereof he fell a victim.