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Is there a Power that can sustain and cheer
The captive Chieftain - by a Tyrant's doom
Forced to descend alive into his tomb,
A dungeon dark!-where he must waste the year,
And lie cut off from all his heart holds dear;
What time his injured Country is a stage
Whereon deliberate Valour and the Rage
Of righteous vengeance side by side appear,
Filling from morn to night the heroic scene
With deeds of hope and everlasting praise:
Say can he think of this with mind serene
And silent fetters?—Yes, if visions bright
Shine on his soul, reflected from the days
When he himself was tried in open light.
AH! where is Palafox? Nor tongue nor pen
Reports of him, his dwelling or his grave!
Does yet the unheard-of Vessel ride the wave?
Or is she swallowed up-remote from ken
Of pitying human-nature? Once again
Methinks that we shall hail thee, Champion brave,
Redeemed to baffle that imperial Slave,
And through all Europe cheer desponding men
With new-born hope. Unbounded is the might
Of martyrdom, and fortitude, and right.
Hark, how thy Country triumphs! - Smilingly
The Eternal looks upon her sword that gleams,
Like his own lightning, over mountains high,
On rampart, and the banks of all her streams,
In due observance of an ancient rite,
The rude Biscayans, when their Children lie
Dead in the sinless time of infancy,
Attire the peaceful Corse in vestments white;
And, in like sign of cloudless triumph bright,
They bind the unoffending Creature's brows
With happy garlands of the pure white rose:
This done, a festal Company unite
In choral song; and, while the uplifted Cross
Of Jesus goes before, the Child is borne
Uncovered to his grave. Her piteous loss
The lonesome Mother cannot chuse but mourn;
Yet soon by Christian faith is grief subdued,
And joy attends upon her fortitude.
FEELINGS OF A NOBLE BISCAYAN AT ONE OF THESE FUNERALS.
YET, yet Biscayans, we must meet our Foes
With firmer soul, — yet labour to regain
Our ancient freedom; else 'twere worse than vain
To gather round the Bier these festal shows!
A garland fashioned of the pure white rose
Becomes not one whose Father is a Slave:
Oh! bear the Infant covered to his Grave!
These venerable mountains now enclose
A People sunk in apathy and fear.
If this endure, farewell, for us, all good!
The awful light of heavenly Innocence
Will fail to illuminate the Infant's bier;
And guilt and shame, from which is no defence,
Descend on all that issues from our blood.
THE OAK OF GUERNICA.
The ancient oak of Guernica, says Laborde in his account of Biscay, is a most venerable natural monument. Ferdinand and Isabella, in the year 1476, after hearing mass in the Church of Santa Maria de la Antigua, repaired to this tree, under which they swore to the Biscayans to maintain their fueros (privileges). What other interest belongs to it in the minds of this People will appear from the following
SUPPOSED ADDRESS OF THE SAME. 1810.
OAK of Guernica! Tree of holier power
Than that which in Dodona did enshrine
(So faith too fondly deemed) a voice divine
Heard from the depths of its aërial bower,
How canst thou flourish at this blighting hour?
What hope, what joy' can sunshine bring to thee,
Or the soft breezes from the Atlantic sea, '
The dews of morn, or April's tender shower?
Stroke merciful and welcome would that be
Which should extend thy branches on the ground,
If never more within their shady round
Those lofty-minded Lawgivers shall meet,
Peasant and Lord, in their appointed seat,
Guardians of Biscay's ancient liberty.