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FLORA MACIVOR'S SUMMONS.
To-MORROW, do thy worst, for I have lived TO-DAY!
Be fair or foul, or rain or shine,
Not heaven itself upon the past has power ;
Fortune, that with malicious joy
her slave, oppress,
Is seldom pleased to bless :
Still various, and inconstant still, But with an inclination to be iil,
Promotes, degrades, delights in strife,
And makes a lottery of life.
And shakes her wings and will not stay,
I puff the runagate away:
Content with poverty, my soul I arm;
And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm. What is ’t to me, who never sail in her unfaithful sea, If storms arise, and clouds grow
black; If the mast split, and threaten wreck ? Then let the greedy merchant fear
For his ill-gotten gain;
And pray to gods that will not hear,
His wealth into the main.
Contemning all the blustering roar :
And see the storm ashore.
XXII. - FLORA MACIVOR’S SUMMONS.
The dirk and the target lie sordid with dust,
- but not for the chase is the call; 'Tis the pibroch's shrill summons — but not to the hall. 'Tis the summons of heroes for conquest or death, When the banners are blazing on mountain and heath ; They call to the dirk, the clay-more', and the targe, To the march and the muster, the line and the charge. Be the brand of each chieftain like Fin's in his ire! May the blood through his veins flow like currents of fire ! Burst the base foreign yoke as your sires did of yore! Or die, like your sires, and endure it no more !
SIR WALTER SCOTT.
XXIII. THE LORD OF BUTRAGO. The incident to which the following ballad relates is supposed to have occurred on the
famous field of Aljubarrota, where King Juan the First, of Castile, was defeated by the Portuguese. The king, who was at the time in a feeble state of health, exposed himself very much during the action ; and, being wounded, had great difficulty in making
The battle was fought A. D. 1385. “Your horse is faint, my king — my lord! Your gallant horse is sick,His limbs are torn, his breast is gored, on his eye the film is thick ;
BERNARDO AND ALFONZO
Mount, mount ou mine, — 0, mount apace, I pray thee, mount and fly! Or in my arms I 'll lift your grace, — their trampling hoofs are nigh ! “My king — my king ! you ’re wounded sore : the blood runs from your
But only lay a hand before, and I 'll lift you to your seat :
Stand, noble steed! this hour of need be gentle as a lamb :
Nay, never speak; my sires, Lord King, received their land from yours,
XXIV. – BERNARDO AND ALFONZO.*
HAVE ye heard of King Alfonzo — how he pledged his royal truth
Whoever told this tale the king, hath rashness to repeat,”
* To introduce the subject more distinctly to the hearer, we have added the first stanza above to Lockhart's admirable version.
“Ye swore, upon your kingly faith, to set my father free ; But, curse upon your paltering breath! the light he ne'er did see : He died in dungeon cold and dim, by Alfonzo's base decree ; And visage blind, and stiffened limb, were all they gave to me. “ The king that swerveth from his word hath stained his purple black : No Spanish lord will draw the sword behind a liar's back. But noble vengeance shall be mine ; an open hate I 'll show; The king hath injured Carpio's line, and Bernard is his foe!” “ Seize - seize him!” loud the king doth scream : " there are a thousand
here ; Let his foul blood this instant stream ! — What! caitiffs, do ye fear ? Seize, seize the traitor !” But not one to move a finger dareth : Bernardo standeth by the throne, and calm his sword he bareth. He drew the falchion from its sheath, and held it up on high ;* And all the hall was still as death. Cries Bernard, “ Here am I; And here's the sword that owns no lord, excepting Heaven and me : Fain would I know who dares its point, — king, condé, or grandee.” Then to his mouth his horn he drew (it hung below his cloak) ; His ten true men the signal knew, and through the ring they broke. With helm on head, and blade in hand, the knights the circle brake, And back the lordlings 'gan to stand, and the false king to quake. “ Ha ! Bernard !” quoth Alfonzo,“ what means this warlike guise ? Ye know full well I jested ; - - ye know your worth I prize!” But Bernard turned upon his heel, and, smiling, passed away: Long rued Alfonzo and Castile the jesting of that day ! LOCKHART.
your prayers are in vain,
The bands that once he led ;
To vengeance from the dead;
* Here is an opportunity for the picturesque imitative action of drawing a sword and holding it up on high. But the action, if ventured on at all, must be correctly imitative. The left hand should first rise to the hip, as if to hold the scabbard ; and the right arm, in drawing the sword, must not be curved across the body, but straightly drawn out, as if it had a yard of steel behind it. The speaker should rise to his full height, and stretch his arm up perpendicularly (the hand closed as if grasping a sword), while uttering Bernard's splendid defiance.
+ See the story of Regulus, page 195.
Accursëd moment! when I woke
From faintness all but death,
Like venomed serpents wreathe
If lip and eye
The captive's blighting doom,
Or plunge the soul in gloom ?
Then from that living tomb
- kind Heaven had yet in store
That he who once was brave-
They băde me to my country bear
The offers these have borne ;
Which never yet have sworn!
Unshrinking to return.
They sue for peace,
- I bid you spurn The gilded bait they bear! I bid you still, with aspect stern,
War, ceaseless war, declare !