« PreviousContinue »
The trumpet's voice hath rous’d the land,
Light up the beacon-pyre!
And wav'd the sign of fire.
Their gorgeous folds have castAnd hark !—was that the sound of seas ?
-A king to war went past.
The chief is arming in his hall,
The peasant by his hearth; The mourner hears the thrilling call,
And rises from the earth. The mother on her first-born son,
Looks with a boding eyeThey come not back, though all be won,
Whose young hearts leap so high.
The bard hath ceas'd his song, and bound
The falchion to his side;
The lover quits his bride.
By earthly clarion spread !How will it be when kingdoms hear
The blast that wakes the dead ?
BERNARDO DEL CARPIO.
The celebrated Spanish champion, Bernardo del Carpio, having made many ineffectual efforts to procure the release of his father, the Count Saldana, who had been imprisoned by King Alfonso of Asturias, almost from the time of Bernardo's birth, at last took up arms in despair. The war which he maintained proved so destructive, that the men of the land gathered round the king, and united in demanding Saldana's liberty. Alfonso accordingly offered Bernardo immediate possession of his father's person, in exchange for his castle of Carpio. Bernardo, without hesitation, gave up his strong hold with all his captives, and being assured that his father was then on his way from prison, rode forth with the king to meet him. “And when he saw his father approaching, he exclaimed,” says the ancient chronicle,“Oh! God, is the Count of Saldana indeed coming ?' "Look where he is,' replied the cruel king, and now go and greet him whom you have so long desired to see.'”—The remainder of the story will be found related in the ballad. The chronicles and romances leave us nearly in the dark, as to Bernardo's future history after this event.
THE warrior bow'd his crested head, and tam'd his heart
of fire, And sued the haughty king to free his long-imprison'd
“I bring thee here my fortress-keys, I bring my captive
train, I pledge thee faith, my liege, my lord !-oh! break my
father's chain !”
“ Rise, rise! ev'n now thy father comes, a ransom'd man
Mount thy good horse, and thou and I will meet him on
his way.”Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded on his
steed, And urg'd, as if with lance in rest, the charger's foamy
And lo! from far, as on they press'd, there came a glit
tering band, With one that ʼmidst them stately rode, as a leader in the
-"Now haste, Bernardo, haste! for there, in very truth,
is he, The father whom thy faithful heart hath yearn'd so long
His dark eye flash'd,
-his proud breast heav'd,-his cheek's hue came and went,He reach'd that grey-hair'd chieftain's side, and there
dismounting bent, A lowly knee to earth he bent, his father's hand he
tookWhat was there in its touch that all his fiery spirit
That hand was cold—a frozen thing—it dropp'd from his
like leadHe look'd up to the face above,—the face was of the
deadA plume wav'd o'er the noble brow—the brow was fix’d
and whiteHe met at last his father's eyes—but in them was no
Up from the ground he sprang and gaz'd—but who could
paint that gaze? They hush'd their very hearts that saw its horror and