A Recent Event in CATALONIA.
1 LOUD shriek'd the wind; hoarse struck the hour,
2 When from his couch, Alphonso rose;
3 Bedeck'd with gold his splendid bower —
4 Gold, had his couch, but not repose!
5 The Night sat brooding on the hill:
6 Beneath, the sable rivers roll'd,
7 Not glist'ring, now, the tinkling rill; —
8 Its stream opaque, its spirit cold.
9 His chamber, long with restless feet
10 The Lord Alphonso travers'd o'er;
11 Here once he tasted slumbers sweet,
12 But slumber sweet he knows no more!
13 His rous'd domestics strait obey
14 The signal of their Lord, unloved;
15 Their torches flash a second day,
16 As thro' the costly rooms they moved.
17 His favourite, from th' obsequious train
18 Was to his inmost closet led;
19 There heard confess'd the am'rous pain
20 Which tore him from his midnight bed.
21 Oh, thou wert near, Alphonso cries,
22 When in the progress late we made,
23 Gonsalvo's daughter in our eyes
24 Made every other virgin fade.
25 Her noble mien, her blushes mild,
26 The burnish of her tresses bright;
27 Her age — but just no longer Child,
28 Her rosy mouth, her graceful height;
29 All these have in my time-worn heart,
30 Lighted a youthful, am'rous fire —
31 I sink beneath the poignant smart,
32 I faint with eager, strong desire.
33 Oft did I try her soul to melt,
34 But ign'rant she of Cupid's pow'r —
35 His ecstacies she never felt —
36 But now is come her fated hour.
37 With flames illicit I essay'd
38 To touch her iced, unwaken'd heart;
39 Let Hymen sooth the bashfull maid,
40 She'll waken'd, play a softer part.
41 Strait to her father's, speed thy way,
42 The fleetest mules with haste prepare;
43 And ere to-morrow scants his day,
44 Thou'lt reach the village of my fair.
45 These pearls, these di'monds, speak my truth,
46 Woo her with treasures to my arms;
47 When love no longer boasts of youth,
48 Riches may plead their meaner charms.
49 Oh how unlike the rapturous hour,
50 When love is bought by love alone;
51 When a soft look, a touch, a flower,
52 Is prized beyond IND's brightest stone.
53 But go, and to her parents bear
54 Thy Lord's designs — his hopes unfold;
55 Plead with due force his meaning fair,
56 And in thy promises be bold.
57 Much more, the Lord Alphonso spoke;
58 His servant's mind the whole retains,
59 Whose lashes soon the mules provoke;
60 The mules skim o'er the distant plains.
61 Th' awaken'd night with streaks of gold
62 Her jetty robes begun to lace;
63 Her drowsy car far off she roll'd —
64 The blithe Sun urging to the race;
65 And ere his wheels had run behind
66 The western mountain's giddy slope;
67 Julia, with meekness all resign'd
68 Had listen'd to Alphonso's hope.
69 Not so resign'd, but that her thought
70 Recoil'd at such unequal love,
71 Till by parental wisdom taught,
72 She learn'd to bear, and then approve.
73 The Sire attends his darling child,
74 For so Alphonso's pride allows;
75 And with the transport almost wild,
76 Saw her receive a Grandee's vows.
77 He saw that form where speaking grace
78 Gave soul to beauty most refin'd,
79 The robe of dignity embrace,
80 By taste magnificent design'd.
81 Her hair, which floated o'er her dress,
82 A dress, which to be seen demands
83 Its rich luxuriance to repress,
84 They tie in folds with diamond bands.
85 But the soft curls which hap'ly fell
86 Upon her bosom's heaving snow,
87 Were suffer'd there, unbound, to dwell,
88 And spread their wavy golden glow.
89 Thus the fond parent saw her rove
90 Thro' gaudy halls and rooms of state;
91 Whilst humble trains at distance wait,
92 And from her nod receive their fate.
93 Succinct the time in which such joy
94 Around his aged heart might play;
95 Bitter, oh! bitter the allay!
96 And set full soon is Pleasure's day:
97 For Lord Alphonso names the hour,
98 When he the sumptuous dome must quit,
99 And seek again the humble bower —
100 For birth like his a mansion fit:
101 Tells him to take a last farewell,
102 Of her more dear then sense or light;
103 Bids him ne'er hope again to dwell
104 Where filial Julia bless'd his sight.
105 His daughter, overwhelm'd with woe,
106 The haughty cruel order hears;
107 She sees her mournful parent go,
108 And bathes his last steps with her tears.
109 Now slow, and sadden'd, rolls the time
110 Which late flew rapid with delight;
111 Heedless is she of Morning's prime,
112 Nor hails the soft approach of Night.
113 Her only solace was to roam
114 Midst the deep wood's embosom'd calm,
115 Where distant from her gaudy home
116 Meek solitude bestow'd its balm.
117 There, on a river's fringy side,
118 Which snatch'd her breath as stealing by,
119 She'd watch its curl'd, unequal glide,
120 And swell with her's the zephyr's sigh:
121 Mark with what truth it objects drew,
122 When ruffling zephyr ceas'd to breathe,
123 Its surface polish'd to the view —
124 A phantom forest underneath.
125 Two drooping willows there display'd
126 Their foliage to the painting wave;
127 Which in their pensive green array'd
128 Would still their jutting bare roots lave.
129 These, by her hands, in garlands dress'd,
130 She'd sometimes chide the low bent branch,
131 Which would its blooming fragrant vest
132 Upon th' escaping river launch.
133 Thus was she one bright eve employ'd,
134 Whilst carols sad her sweet voice sung;
135 Evening's own bird her note enjoy'd —
136 When from its shades a soldier sprung.
137 His form, like that Apollo wears,
138 When from his bow the swift dart sings;
139 Or when the discus thro' the air
140 With equal force and grace he flings.
141 Martial his step; his beamy eye
142 Bright as fair Julia's own appears;
143 Strait to each others arms they fly —
144 They mingle joy — they mingle tears.
145 'Twas Julia's brother whom she saw,
146 'Twas Julia whom her brother press'd;
147 Both dear by Nature's dearest law,
148 For twins they were, who thus caress'd.
149 From Calpe's glorious rock he came —
150 Immortal monument decreed
151 Of English ELLIOT's laurel'd name;
152 Where English heroes oft shall bleed.
153 And there his blood did Gusman shed
154 Amongst the boldest ever found,
155 By sacred thirst of honour led —
156 Nor shun'd the deaths that flew around.
157 But when bright Peace her silver flute
158 Had sounded thro' wide Europe's skies,
159 And when the voice of war was mute,
160 Sped by fond duty, home he flies.
161 There he first learn'd his sister's fate,
162 How elevated — and how curst!
163 Heard, that amidst her brilliant state
164 Her heart consuming sorrow nurst.
165 Her husband's tyrant law reveal'd,
166 No dear relation to behold;
167 Oblig'd him thus in shades conceal'd,
168 His sister to his heart to fold.
169 And oft he mourn'd her cruel lot,
170 And oft he dried her tears away,
171 When from the interesting spot
172 They each were warn'd by closing day.
173 Adieu, my Gusman, Julia cries!
174 Yet let me see thee, once again;
175 To-morrow bless thy sister's eyes,
176 Then seek our dear paternal plain:
177 From forth my little treasur'd hoard,
178 Fond tokens to my mother bear;
179 No miser is my cruel Lord,
180 And gifts, like these, I well can spare.
181 Gusman, with pure, fraternal love,
182 Kiss'd either beauteous, fading cheek,
183 Vowing, when Morn shou'd light the grove,
184 In its mild haunts her steps he'd seek.
185 Now Evening hung its silv'ry dews,
186 On every shrub that deck'd the glades;
187 And fainter scents the flowers effuse —
188 As loth to greet with sweets, her shades.
189 Oft had fair Julia linger'd there
190 In hours like these — and traced the beam,
191 Which sent from Luna's brilliant sphere,
192 Shot thro' the wood a shiver'd gleam.
193 Mark'd how each sound, stole soft away,
194 As gliding off to shores more bright;
195 Bribed by the gaudy tumid day,
196 To fly the dove-eyed, tender night.
197 By Julia these are all forgot,
198 For pleasure hath her soul suffused;
199 Blind to the beauties of the spot,
200 She deigns not now to be amused.
201 Braced with young joy, the sportive fawn
202 Pursues her dam, with motion fleet,
203 Regardless of the sprinkled lawn
204 That weaves its flowers around her feet.
205 So speeds the fair one to her home,
206 Whose towers return the moon's broad glare;
207 Whilst to point out the distant dome,
208 They flash their gold vanes thro' the air.
209 On her soft pillow soon reclined,
210 Round her, the slumbers spun their veil;
211 And o'er her placid gentle mind,
212 The softest dreams their phantoms steal.
213 At Morning's dawn, her Lord commands,
214 Her placid slumbers must be broke;
215 He grasp'd in his her trembling hands,
216 He led her forth, but never spoke.
217 And oh! these horrid sounds, she cried —
218 Those piteous shrieks, which tear the ear!
219 With terror struck, she faintly sigh'd,
220 And sunk, at length, o'erpower'd with fear.
221 He dragg'd her on; the screams of pain,
222 More piercing as they nearer grow,
223 Left her scarce power to sustain
224 Her crimson life's unequal flow.
225 There, wretch, behold! Alphonso cried,
226 As wide he threw the grating gate:
227 There feast thy loose adulterous eyes,
228 See there, thy paramour's just fate!
229 There, stretch'd upon the racking wheel,
230 She saw her brother's tortur'd form;
231 From his torn flesh the jagged steel,
232 Bad rush the blood, with life yet warm.
233 She saw — but oh! she spoke no more!
234 The agony too fierce to bear;
235 Groaning she sunk upon the floor,
236 And breath'd her spirit on the air.
237 Sister! the writhing Gusman said —
238 Oh, Sister! plead — then swoon'd with pain!
239 On his gash'd bosom sunk his head,
240 His limbs convuls'd, the cords still strain.
241 Alphonso, when he heard the sound,
242 Leapt sudden to the deathful wheel;
243 With eager haste the youth's unbound,
244 And stern Alphonso learns to feel.
245 He raves, he sinks, he strikes his breast,
246 But oh! the guilty deed is past,
247 The victims pure are now at rest —
248 Thy tortures shall for ever last!
249 Vain is all art, for life no more
250 Can lift their pulse, their cheeks can paint;
251 Thou'st freed their souls, they quit the shore —
252 Each seeks its God — a murder'd Saint!
253 There, tyrant, lie! and let the fangs
254 Of deep remorse thy bosom tear!
255 Each wak'ning morn awake new pangs —
256 Teach thee to pity, and despair!