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Her horns, these purveyors
shall become the prey,
And ye on Moorish not on Christian flesh
Wearying your beaks, shall clog your scaly feet
With foreign gore. Soon will ye learn to know,
Followers and harbingers of blood, the flag
Of Leon where it bids
Terror and flight shall with that flag go forth,
And Havoc and the Dogs of War and Death.
Thou Covadonga with the tainted stream
Of Deva, and this now rejoicing vale,
Soon its primitial triumphs wilt behold!
Nor shall the glories of the noon be less
Than such miracụlous promise of the dawn :
Witness Calvijo, where the dreadful cry
Of Santiago, then first heard, o'erpowered
The Akbar, and that holier name blasphemed
By misbelieving lips! Simancas, thou
Be witness! And do
record bear, Tolosan mountains, where the Almohade Beheld his myriads scattered and destroyed, Like locusts swept before the stormy North! Thou too, Salado, on that later day
When Africa received her final foil,
And thy swoln stream incarnadined, rolled back
The invaders to the deep, . . there shall they toss
Till on their native Mauritanian shore
The waves shall cast their bones to whiten there.
When all had been performed, the royal Goth
toward the chamber in the tower,
Where, gazing on the multitude below,
Alone Rusilla stood. He met her eye,
For it was singling him amid the crowd ;
Obeying then the hand which beckoned him,
He went with heart prepared, nor shrinking now,
But arm'd with self-approving thoughts that hour.
Entering in tremulous haste, he closed the door,
And turned to clasp her knees; but lo, she spread
Her arms, and catching him in close embrace,
Fell on his neck, and cried, My Son, my Son!...
Ere long, controlling that first agony,
With effort of strong will, backward she bent,
And gazing on his head now shorn and grey,
And on his furrowed countenance, exclaimed,
Still, still, my Roderick ! the same noble mind!
The same heroic heart! Still, still, my Son!...
Changed, .. yet not wholly fall’n, .. not wholly lost,
He cried, . . not wholly in the sight of Heaven
Unworthy, O my Mother, nor in thine!
She locked her arms again around his neck,
Saying, Lord let me now depart in peace!
And bowed her head again, and silently
Gave way to tears.
When that first force was past,
And passion in exhaustment found relief, ..
I knew thee, said Rusilla, when the dog
Rose from my feet, and licked his master's hand.
All flashed upon me then; the instinctive sense
That goes unerringly where reason fails, ..
The voice, the eye,.. a mother's thoughts are quick;..
Miraculous as it seemed, .. Siverian's tale,· .
Florinda's, ..every action, .. every word, ..
Each strengthening each, and all confirming all,
Revealed thee, O my Son! but I restrained
My heart, and yielded to thy holier will
The thoughts which rose to tempt a soul not yet
Weaned wholly from the world.
What thoughts ? replied
Roderick. That I might see thee yet again
Such as thou wert, she answered; not alone
To Heaven and me restored, but to thyself, ..
Thy Crown, .. thy Country, . . all within thy reach;
Heaven so disposing all things, that the means
Which wrought the ill, might work the remedy.
Methought I saw thee once again the hope, ..
The strength, .. the pride of Spain! The miracle
Which I beheld made all things possible.
I know the inconstant people, how their mind,
With every breath of good or ill report,
Fluctuates, like summer corn before the breeze:
Quick in their hatred, quicker in their love,
Generous and hasty, soon would they redress
All wrongs of former obloquy... I thought
Of happiness restored,.. the broken heart
Healed, .. and Count Julian, for his daughter's sake,
Turning in thy behalf against the Moors
His powerful sword :. . all possibilities
That could be found or fancied, built a dream
Before me; such as easiest might illude
A lofty spirit trained in palaces,