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Calm, Olmedo mark'd the scene *,
Vain their rites and vain their prayer,
• 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 fall +. 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.
+ Motezuma, 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 exchang for rage, to the effects whereof he fell a victim.
Thick the darts, the arrows fly;
• Cease the strife! alas, 'tis vain!
Mexico, 'tis thine to know
• Cortes, in his retreat from Mexico, after the death of Motezuma, was followed and surrounded by the whole collective force of the empire, in the plains of Otumba.. After repelling the attacks of his enemies on every side, with indefatigable valour, he found himself overpowered by numbers; when, making one desperate effort, with a few select friends, he seized the imperial standard, killed the general, and routed the army
+ De Solis relates, that the Mexicans sacrificed to their idols a oumber of Spaniards whom they had taken prisoners, and whose cries and groans were distinctly heard in the Spanish camp, exciting sentiments of borror and revenge in their surviving companions.
Wake the sacred trumpet's breath,
• Cease the strife! ’tis fruitless all,
• What are those that round thy shore
• The above author observes, that the sacred trumpet of the Mexicans was so called because it was not permitted to any but the priests to sound it; and that only when they de. nounced war, and animated the people on the part of their gods.
+ When the Spaniards had forced their way to the centre of Mexico, Guatimozin, the reigning emperor, endeavoured to escape in his canoes across the Lake; but was pursued and taken prisoner by Garcia de Holguin, captain of one of the Spanish brigantines.
Otomèca shares thy spoils,
• Cease your boast, О stranger band,
Ceased the voice with dreadful sounds,
Their helmets glittering o'er the vale,
* The Otomies were a fierce, savage nation, never thoroughly sabdued by the Mexicans. Tlascala was a powerful neighbouring republic, the rival of Mexico.
+ Alluding to the dissensions which ensued among the Spaniards after the conquest of America.
(STRAIN OF MUSIC.) THERE breathes the language known and felt
Far as the pure air spreads its living zone; Wherever Rage can rouse or Pity melt,
That language of the soul is felt and known. From those meridian plains
Where oft, of old, on some high tower, The soft Peruvian pour’d his midnight strains, And call'd his distant love with such sweet
power That when she heard the well known lay, Not worlds could keep her from his arms away;
To those bleak realms of polar night,
As blithe as if the blessed light
Oh Music! thy celestial claim
Is still resistless, still the same; And faithful as the mighty sea
To the pole star that o'er its realm presides,
The spell-bound tides
* Recited by the author, at the Kilkenny Theatre, in 1810. The performers were gentlemen of the neighbouring country; and ihe profits were given to the charitable institutions of Kilkenny.