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Had chill'd their fiery blood;—it is no time
For the light mien wherewith, in happier hours,
We trod the woodland mazes, when young leaves
Were whispering in the gale.—My father comes—
Oh! speak of me no more. I would not shade
His princely aspect with a thought less high
Than his proud duties claim.

GoNZALEZ enters.

ELMINA.
My noble lord :
Welcome from this day's toil —It is the hour
Whose shadows, as they deepen, bring repose
Unto all weary men; and wilt not thou
Free thy mail'd bosom from the corslet's weight,
To rest at fall of eve
GONZALEZ.
There may be rest

For the tired peasant, when the vesper-bell
Doth send him to his cabin, and beneath
His vine and olive, he may sit at eve,
Watching his children's sport: but unto him

Who keeps the watch-place on the mountain-height,

When Heaven lets loose the storms that chasten realms —Who speaks of rest?

XIMENA.

My father, shall I fill
The wine-cup for thy lips, or bring the lute
Whose sounds thou lovest ?

GONZALEZ.
If there be strains of power

To rouse a spirit, which in triumphant scorn
May cast off nature's feebleness, and hold
Its proud career unshackled, dashing down
Tears and fond thoughts to earth; give voice to those !
I have need of such, Ximena we must hear
No melting music now.

XIMENA.

I know all high
Heroic ditties of the elder time,
Sung by the mountain-Christians,' in the holds
Of th' everlasting hills, whose snows yet bear
The print of Freedom's step; and all wild strains
Wherein the dark serranos” teach the rocks

And the pine forests deeply to resound

* “Serranos,” mountaineers.

The praise of later champions. Wouldst thou hear
The war-song of thine ancestor, the Cid

GONZALEZ.
Aye, speak of him; for in that name is power,
Such as might rescue kingdoms' Speak of him :
We are his children' They that can look back
I' th' annals of their house on such a name,
How should they take dishonour by the hand,
And o'er the threshold of their father's halls
First lead her as a guest ?

ELMINA,
Oh, why is this?

How my heart sinks'

GONZALEZ.

- It must not fail thee yet,

Daughter of heroes!—thine inheritance
Is strength to meet all conflicts. Thou canst number
In thy long line of glorious ancestry
Men, the bright offering of whose blood hath made
The ground it bathed e'en as an altar, whence
High thoughts shall rise forever. Bore they not,
"Midst flame and sword, their witness of the Cross,
With its victorious inspiration girt
As with a conqueror's robe, till th’ infidel

O'erawed, shrank back before them —Aye, the earth
Doth call them martyrs, but their agonies
Were of a moment, tortures whose brief aim
Was to destroy, within whose powers and scope
Lay nought but dust.—And earth doth call them martyrs 1
Why, Heaven but claim'd their blood, their lives, and not
The things which grow as tendrils round their hearts;
No, not their children :

ELMINA.

Mean'st thou?—know'st thou aught?— I cannot utter it—My sons! my sons ! Is it of them —Oh! wouldst thou speak of them * GONZALEZ.

A mother's heart divineth but too well!

ELMINA.
Speak, I adjure thee!—I can bear it all.—
Where are my children :

GONZALEZ.

In the Moorish camp Whose lines have girt the city.

XIMENA.

But they live *

—All is not lost, my mother

ELMINA.

Say, they live.

GONZALEZ. Elmina, still they live. ELMINA. But captives!—They Whom my fond heart had imaged to itself Bounding from cliff to cliff amidst the wilds Where the rock-eagle seem’d not more secure In its rejoicing freedom –And my boys Are captives with the Moor —Oh! how was this? GONZALEZ. Alas! our brave Alphonso, in the pride Of boyish daring, left our mountain-halls, With his young brother, eager to behold The face of noble war. Thence on their way Were the rash wanderers captured. ELMINA. 'Tis enough. —And when shall they be ransomed GONZALEZ. There is asked A ransom far too high. ELMINA. What' have we wealth Which might redeem a monarch, and our sons The while wear setters?—Take thou all for them,

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