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And how these women, thus with arms and death
Environed, came amid their company;
For yet, amid the fluctuating light
And tumult of the crowd, he knew them not.
Guisla was one. The Moors had found in her
A willing and concerted prisoner.
Gladly to Gegio, to the renegade
On whom her loose and shameless love was bent,
Had she set forth; and in her heart she cursed
The busy spirit, who, with powerful call
Rousing Pelayo's people, led them on
In quick pursual, and victoriously
Achieved the rescue, to her mind perverse
Unwelcome as unlooked for. With dismay
She recognized her brother, dreaded now
More than he once was dear; her countenance
Was turned toward him, not with eager joy
To court his sight, and meeting its first glance,
Exchange delightful welcome, soul with soul;
Her's was the conscious eye, that cannot chuse
But look to what it fears. She could not shun ļ
His presence, and the rigid smile constrained,
With which she coldly drest her features, ill
Concealed her inward thoughts, and the despite
Of obstinate guilt and unrepentant shame.
Sullenly thus upon her mule she sate,
Waiting the greeting which she did not dare
Bring on. But who is she that at her side,
Upon a stately war-horse eminent,
Holds the loose rein with careless hand? A helm
Presses the clusters of her flaxen hair;
The shield is on her arm; her breast is mailed;
A sword-belt is her girdle, and right well
be seen that sword hath done its work
To-day, for upward from the wrist or sleeve
Is stiff with blood. An unregardant eye,
As one whose thoughts were not of earth, she cast
Upon the turmoil' round. One countenance
So strongly marked, so passion-worn was there,
That it recalled her mind. Ha ! Maccabee !
Lifting her arm, exultingly she cried,
Did I not tell thee we should meet in joy?
Well, Brother, hast thou done thy part, .. I too
Have not been wanting! Now be His the praise,
From whom the impulse came !
That startling call,
That voice so well remembered, touched the Goth
With timely impulse now ; for he had seen
His mother's face, .. and at her sight, the past
And present mingled like a frightful dream,
Which from some dread reality derives
Its deepest horror. Adosinda's voice
Dispersed the waking vision. . Little deemed
Rusilla at that moment that the child,
For whom her supplications day and night
Were offered, breathed the living air. Her heard
Was calm; her placid countenance, though grief
Deeper than time had left its traces there,
Retained its dignity serene ; yet when
Siverian, pressing through the people, kissed
Her reverend hand, some quiet tears ran down.
As she approached the Prince, the crowd made way
Respectful. The maternal smile which bore
Her greeting, from Pelayo's heart almost
Dispelled its boding. What he would have asked
She knew, and bending from her palfrey down,
Told him that they for whom he looked were safe,
And that in secret he should hear the rest.
How calmly gliding through the dark-blue sky
The midnight Moon ascends! Her placid beams
Through thinly scattered leaves and boughs grotesque,
Mottle with mazy shades the orchard slope;
Here, o'er the chesnut's frettëd foliage grey
And massy, motionless they spread; here shine
Upon the crags, deepening with blacker night
Their chasms; and there the glittering argentry
Ripples and glances on the confluent streams.
A lovelier, purer light than that of day
Rests on the hills; and oh how awfully
Into that deep and tranquil firmament
The summits of Auseva rise serene !
The watchman on the battlements partakes
The stillness of the solemn hour; he feels
The silence of the earth, the endless sound
Of flowing water soothes him, and the stars,
Which in that brightest moon-light well-nigh quenched,
Scarce visible, as in the utmost depth
Of yonder sapphire infinite, are seen,
Draw on with elevating influence
Toward eternity the attempered mind.
Musing on worlds beyond the grave he stands,
And to the Virgin Mother silently
Breathes forth her hymn of praise.
Before the castle, round their mouldering fires,
Lie on the hearth outstretched. Pelayo's hall
Is full, and he upon his careful couch
Hears all around the deep and long-drawn breath
Of sleep; for gentle night hath brought to these
Perfect and undisturbed repose, alike
Of corporal powers and inward faculty.
Wakeful the while he lay, yet more by hope
Than grief or anxious thoughts possessed...though grief
For Guisla's guilt, which freshened in his heart
The memory of their wretched mother's crime,
Still made its presence felt, like the dull sense
Of some perpetual inward malady ;