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It was a moral end for which they fought;
shame, Could they, poor Shepherds, have preserved
an aim, A resolution, or enlivening thought? Nor hath that moral good been vainly sought; 5 For in their magnanimity and fame Powers have they left, an impulse, and a claim Which neither can be overturned nor bought. Sleep, Warriors, sleep! among your hills
repose! We know that ye, beneath the stern control 10 Of awful prudence, keep the unvanquished
soul: And when, impatient of her guilt and woes, Europe breaks forth; then, Shepherds! shall
ye rise For perfect triumph o'er your Enemies.
Hail, Zaragoza! If with unwet eye
We can approach, thy sorrow to behold,
Yet is the heart not pitiless nor cold;
Such spectacle demands not tear or sigh.
These desolate remains are trophies high 5
Of more than martial courage in the breast
Of peaceful civic virtue: they attest
Thy matchless worth to all posterity.
Blood flowed before thy sight without remorse;
Disease consumed thy vitals; War upheaved 1 o
The ground beneath thee with volcanic force:
Dread trials! yet encountered and sustained Till not a wreck of help or hope remained, And law was from necessity received.
Say, what is Honour ?—'Tis the finest sense
A Foe's most favourite purpose to fulfil:
The martial courage of a day is vain,
Murdered without relief. Oh! blind as bold, To think that such assurance can stand fast!
Brave Schill! by death delivered, take thy
flight From Prussia's timid region. Go, and rest With heroes, 'mid the islands of the Blest, Or in the fields of empyrean light. A meteor wert thou crossing a dark night: 5 Yet shall thy name, conspicuous and sublime, Stand in the spacious firmament of time, Fixed as a star: such glory is thy right. Alas! it may not be: for earthly fame Is Fortune's frail dependant; yet there lives 10 A Judge, who, as man claims by merit, gives; To whose all-pondering mind a noble aim, Faithfully kept, is as a noble deed; In whose pure sight all virtue doth succeed.
Call not the royal Swede unfortunate,
Hence lives He, to his inner self endeared;
ordain That this great Servant of a righteous cause 10 Must still have sad or vexing thoughts to
endure, Yet may a sympathising spirit pause, Admonished by these truths, and quench all
pain In thankful joy and gratulation pure.1
Look now on that Adventurer who hath paid
Round which the elements of worldly might
Is there a power that can sustain and cheer
1 See Note to Sonnet vii, page 130.
Say can ho think of this with mind serene
Ah! where is Palafox? Nor tongue nor pen
Methinks that we shall hail thee, Champion
brave, Redeemed to baffle that imperial Slave, And through all Europe cheer desponding men With new-born hope. Unbounded is the might Of martyrdom, and fortitude, and right. 10 Hark, how thy Country triumphs!—Smilingly The Eternal looks upon her sword that gleams, Like his own lightning, over mountains high, On rampart, and the banks of all her streams.
In due observance of an ancient rite,
The rude Biscayans, when their children lie
Dead in the sinless time of infancy,
Attire the peaceful corse in vestments white;
And, in like sign of cloudless triumph bright,
They bind the unoffending creature's brows 6
With happy garlands of the pure white rose:
Then do a festal company unite
In choral song; and, while the uplifted cross
Of Jesus goes before, the child is borne io