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Where all sweet flowers through all the year were Upon a smooth and grassy plat below, found,

By Nature there as for an altar drest, [earth And all fair fruits were through all seasons seen; They joined their sister stream, which from the

A place of Paradise, where each device Welled silently. In such a scene rude man
Of emulous art with nature strove to vie ; With pardonable error might have knelt,
And nature, on her part,

Feeling a present Deity, and made
Call’d forth new powers wherewith to vanquish art. His offering to the fountain Nymph devout.

The Swerga-God himself, with envious eye, The arching rock disclosed above the springs
Survey'd those peerless gardens in their prime; A cave, where hugest son of giant birth,
Nor ever did the Lord of Light,

That e'er of old in forest of romance Who circles Earth and Heaven upon his way,

'Gainst knights and ladies waged discourteous war, Behold from eldest time a goodlier sight

Erect within the portal might have stood. Than were the groves which Baly, in his might, The broken stone allowed for band and foot Made for his chosen place of solace and delight.

No difficult ascent, above the base

In height a tall man's stature, measured thrice.
It was a Garden still beyond all price, No holier spot than Covadonga, Spain
Even yet it was a place of Paradise :-

Boasts in her wide extent, though all her realms For where the mighty Ocean could not spare,

Be with the noblest blood of martyrdom
There had he, with his own creation, In elder or in later days enriched,
Sought to repair his work of devastation. And glorified with tales of heavenly aid
And here were coral bowers,

By many a miracle made inanifest;
And grots of madrepores,

Nor in the heroic annals of her fame
And banks of spunge, as soft and fair to eye Doth she show forth a scene of more renown.
As e'er was mossy bed

Then, save the hunter, drawn in keen pursuit Whereon the Wood-nymphs lay

Beyond his wonted haunts, or shepherd's boy, Their languid limbs in summer's sultry hours. Following the pleasure of his straggling flock, Here, too, were living flowers

None knew the place.
Which, like a bud compacted,

Pelayo, when he saw
Their purple cups contracted,

Those glittering sources and their sacred cave, And now in open blossom spread,

Took from his side the bugle silver-tipt, Stretch'd like green anthers many a seeking head. And with a breath long drawn and slow expired

And arborets of jointed stone were there, Sent forth that strain, which, echoing from the walls And plants of fibres fine, as silkworm's thread; Of Cangas, wont to tell his glad return Yea, beautiful as Mermaid's golden hair When from the chase he came. At the first sound Upon the waves dispread:

Favilia started in the cave, and cried, Others that, like the broad banana growing, My father's horn !-A sudden flame suffused Rais'd their long wrinkled leaves of purple hue, ' Hermesind's cheek, and she with quickened eye Like streamers wide out-flowing.

Looked eager to her mother silently; And whatsoe'er the depths of Ocean hide But Gaudiosa trembled and grew pale,

From human eyes, Ladurlad there espied, Doubting her sense deceived. A second time Trees of the deep, and shrubs and fruits and flowers, The bugle breathed its well-known notes abroad; As fair as ours,

And Hermesind around her mother's neck Wherewith the Sea-nymphs love their locks to braid, Threw her white arms, and earnestly exclaimed,

When to their father's hall, at festival 'Tis he!-But when a third and broader blast
Repairing, they, in emulous array,

Rung in the echoing archway, ne'er did wand,
Their charms display,

With magic power endued, call up a sight To grace the banquet, and the solemn day. So strange, as sure in that wild solitude

It seemed, when from the bowels of the rock

The mother and her children hastened forth. PELAYO AND HIS CHILDREN.

She in the sober charms and dignity

The ascending vale, Of womanhood mature, nor verging yet
Long straitened by the narrowing mountains, bere Upon decay; in gesture like a queen,
Was closed. In front a rock, abrupt and bare, Such inborn and habitual majesty
Stood eminent, in height exceeding far

Ennobled all her steps,mor priestess, chosen
All edifice of human power, by king

Because within such faultless work of Heaven Or caliph, or barbaric sultan reared,

Inspiring Deity might seem to make Or mightier tyrants of the world of old,

Its habitation known-Favilia such Assyrian or Egyptian, in their pride :

In form and stature as the Sea Nymph's son, Yet far above, beyond the reach of sight,

When that wise Centaur from his cave well-pleased Swell after swell, the heathery mountain rose. Beheld the boy divine his growing strength Here, in two sources, from the living rock

Against some shaggy lionet essay, The everlasting springs of Deva gushed.

And fixing in the half-grown mane his hands,

Roll with him in fierce dalliance intertwined. Sent forth in loud defiance of the foe.
But like a creature of some higher sphere

The enemy in shriller sounds returned
His sister came; she scarcely touched the rock, Their Akbar and the Prophet's trusted name.
So light was Hermesind's aerial speed.

The horsemen lowered their spears, the infantry Beauty and grace and innocence in her

Deliberately with slow and steady step (hissed, In heavenly union shone. One who had held Advanced; the bow-strings twang'd, and arrows The faith of elder Greece, would sure have thought And javelins hurtled by. Anon the hosts She was some glorious nymph of seed divine, Met in the shock of battle, horse and man (mace Oread or Dryad, of Diana's train

Conflicting: shield struck shield, and sword and The youngest and the loveliest: yea she seemed And curtle-axe on helm and buckler rung; Angel, or soul beatified, from realms

Armour was riven, and wounds were interchanged, Of bliss, on errand of parental love

And many a spirit from its mortal hold
To earth re-sent,-if tears and trembling limbs Hurried to bliss or bale. Well did the chiefs
With such celestial natures might consist.

of Julian's army in that hour support
Their old esteem; and well Count Pedro there

Enhanced his former praise; and by his side,

Rejoicing like a bridegroom in the strife,
My horse!

Alphonso through the host of infidels
My noble horse! he cried, with flattering hand Bore on his bloody lance dismay and death.
Patting his high arched neck! the renegade, But there was worst confusion and uproar,
I thank him for't, hath kept thee daintily!

There widest slaughter and dismay, where, proud Orelio, thou art in thy beauty still,

Of his recovered lord, Orelio plunged Thy pride and strength! Orelio, my good horse, Through thickest ranks, trampling beneath his feet Once more thou bearest to the field thy Lord, The living and the dead. Where'er he turns He who so oft hath fed and cherislied thee, The Moors divide and fly. What man is this, He for whose sake, wherever thou wert seen, Appalled they say, who to the front of war Thou wert by all men honoured. Once again Bareheaded offers thus his naked life? Thou hast thy proper master! Do thy part Replete with power he is, and terrible, As thou wert wont; and bear him gloriously, Like some destroying Angel! Sure his lips My beautiful Orelio,-to the last

Have drank of Kaf's dark fountain, and he comes The happiest of his fields !—Then he drew forth Strong in his immortality! Fly! fly! The scymitar, and waving it aloft,

They said, this is no human foe !-Nor less Rode toward the troops; its unaccustomed shape Of wonder filled the Spaniards when they saw Disliked him; Renegade in all thingsl cried How flight and terror went before his way, The Goth, and cast it from him; to the Chiefs And slaughter in his path. Behold, cries one, Then said, if I have done ye service here,

With what command and knightly ease he sits Help me, I pray you, to a Spanish sword!

The intrepid steed, and deals from side to side The trustiest blade that e'er in Bilbilis

His dreadful blows! Not Roderick in his power Was dipt, would not to-day be misbestowed Bestrode with such command and majesty On this right hand !–Go some one, Gunderick cried, That noble war-horse. His loose robe this day And bring Count Julian's sword. Whoe'er thou art, In death's black banner, shaking from its folds The worth which thou hast shown avenging him Dismay and ruin. Of no mortal mold Entitles thee to wear it. But thou goest

Is he who in that garb of peace affronts For battle unequipped ;-haste there and strip Whole hosts, and sees them scatter where he turns! Yon villian of his armour!

Auspicious Heaven beholds us, and some saint
Late he spake,

Revisits earth!
So fast the Moors came on. It matters not,
Replied the Goth; there's many a mountaineer,
Who in no better armour cased this day

Than his wonted leathern gipion, will be found

O Reader! hast thou ever stood to see In the hottest battle, yet bring off untouched

The Holly Tree? The unguarded life he ventures—Taking then

The eye that contemplates it well perceives Count Julian's sword, he fitted round his wrist

Its glossy leaves The chain, and eyeing the elaborate steel

Order'd by an intelligence so wise,
With stern regard of joy, the African

As might confound the atheist's sophistries.
Under unhappy stars was born, he cried,
Who tastes thy edge !—Make ready for the charge! Below, a circling fence, its leaves are seen
They come they come !-On, brethren, to the field. Wrinkled and keen;
The word is Vengeance !

No grazing cattle through their prickly round
Vengeance was the word;

Can reach to wound; From man to man, and rank to rank it past,

But as they grow where nothing is to fear, By every heart enforced, by every voice

Smooth and unarm'd the pointless leaves appear.


I love to view these things with curious eyes, Sharing their hopes, and with a breathless joy And moralize:

Whose expectation touch'd the verge of pain, And in this wisdom of the Holly Tree

Following their dangerous fortunes? If such lore Can emblems see

Hath ever thrillid thy bosom, thou wilt tread, Wherewith perchance to make a pleasant rhyme, As with a pilgrim's reverential thoughts, One which may profit in the after-time.

The groves of Penshurst. Sidney here was born,

Sidney, than whom no gentler, braver man Thus, though abroad perchance I might appear His own delightful genius ever feign'd, Harsh and austere,

Illustrating the vales of Arcady To those who on my leisure would intrude

With courteous courage and with loyal loves. Reserved and rude,

Upon his natal day the acorn here Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be

Was planted. It grew up a stately oak, Like the high leaves upon the Holly Tree.

And in the beauty of its strength it stood
And should my youth, as youth is apt I know,

And flourish'd, when his perishable part
Some harshness show,

Had moulder'd dust to dust. That stately oak All vain asperities I day by day

Itself hath moulder'd now, but Sidney's fame
Would wear away,

Endureth in his own immortal works.
Till the smooth temper of my age should be
Like the high leaves upon the Holly Tree.

This to a mother's sacred memory
And as when all the summer trees are seen

Her son hath hallow'd. Absent many a year So bright and green,

Far over sea, his sweetest dreams were still The Holly leaves their fadeless hues display Of that dear voice which sooth'd his infancy: Less bright than they;

And after many a fight against the Moor But when the bare and wintry woods we see, And Malabar, or that fierce cavalry What then so cheerful as the Holly Tree?

Which he had seen covering the boundless plain

Even to the utmost limits where the eye So serious should my youth appear among

Could pierce the far horizon,-his first thought The thoughtless throng,

In safety was of her, who when she heard
So would I seem amid the young and gay

The tale of that day's danger, would retire
than they,


pour her pious gratitude to Heaven That in my age as cheerful I might be

In prayers and tears of joy. The lingering hour As the green winter of the Holly Tree.

Of his return, long-look'd for, came at length,
And full of hope he reach'd his native shore.

Vain hope that puts its trust in human life!

For ere he came the number of her days
Was full. O reader, what a world were this,

How unendurable its weight, if they
Stranger! whose steps have reach'd this solitude, Whom Death hath sunder'd did not meet again!
Know that this lonely spot was dear to one
Devoted with no unrequited zeal
mo Nature. Here, delighted he has heard

The rustling of these woods, that now perchance
Melodious to the gale of summer move;
And underneath their shade on yon smooth rock,

With grey and yellow lichens overgrown,

Old friend! why you seem bent on parish duty, Often reclined; watching the silent flow

Breaking the highway stones,—and 'tis a task Of this perspicuous rivulet, that steals

Somewhat too hard methinks for age like yours! Along its verdant course,- till all around

Old Man.
Had fill'd his senses with tranquillity,
And ever sooth'd in spirit he return'd

Why yes! for one with such a weight of years
A happier, better man. Stranger! perchance,

Upon his back—I've lived here, man and boy, Therefore the stream more lovely to thine eye

In this same parish, well nigh the full age Will glide along, and to the summer gale

Of man, being hard upon threescore and ten. The woods wave more melodious. Cleanse thou then

I can remember sixty years ago The weeds and mosses from this letter'd stone.

The beautifying of this mansion here,

When my late Lady's father, the old Squire,

Came to the estate.
Are days of old familiar to thy mind,

Stranger. O reader? Hast thou let the midnight hour

Why then you have outlasted Pass unperceived, whilst thou in fancy lived All his improvements, for you see they're making With high-born beauties and enamour'd chiefs, Great alterations here.



Old Man.

Aye-great indeed! And if my poor old Lady could rise upGod rest her soul! 'twould grieve her to behold The wicked work is here.

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They've set about it In right good earnest. All the front is gone ; Here's to be turf, they tell me, and a road Round to the door. There were some yew trees too Stood in the court

Old Man.

Aye, Master! fine old trees ! My grandfather could just remember back When they were planted there. It was my task To keep them trimm'd, and 'twas a pleasure to me; All straight and smooth, and like a great green wall! My poor old Lady many a time would come And tell me where to shear, for she had play'd In childhood under them, and 'twas her pride To keep them in their beauty. Plague, I say, On their new-fangled whimsies! we shall have A modern shrubbery here stuck full of firs And your pert poplar trees;–I could as soon Have plough'd my father's grave as cut them down!

Stranger. But 'twill be lighter and more cheerful now; A fine smooth turf, and with a gravel road Round for the carriage-now it suits my taste. I like a shrubbery too, it looks so fresh ; And then there's some variety about it. In spring the lilac and the snow-ball flower, And the laburnum with its golden strings Waving in the wind: and when the autumn comes The bright red berries of the mountain-ashi, With pines enough in winter to look green, And show that something lives. Sure this is better Than a great hedge of yew that makes it look All the year round like winter, and for ever Dropping its poisonous leaves from the under boughs Wither'd and bare !

Old Man.

Ah! so the new Squire thinks, And pretty work he makes of it! what 'tis To have a stranger come to an old house !


Come-come! all is not wrong; Those old dark windows

Old Man.

They're demolish'd too, As if he could not see through casement glass! The very red-breasts, that so regular Came to my Lady for her morning crums, Won't know the window now!


Nay they were small, And then so darken'd round with jessamine, Harbouring the vermin ;-yet I could have wish'd That jessamine had been saved, which canopied And bower'd and lined the porch.

Old Man.

It did one good To pass within ten yards when 'twas in blossom. There was a sweet briar too that grew beside; My Lady loved at evening to sit there And knit; and her old dog lay at her seet And slept in the sun; 'twas an old far urite dog,She did not love him less that he wa 'd And feeble, and he always had a pla. By the fire-side; and when he died e She made me dig a grave in the gardt him. Ah! she was good to all! a woeful day 'Twas for the poor when to her grave si

sent! Stranger. They lost a friend then ?

Old Man.

You're a s .nger here. Or you wouldn't ask that question. Were they sick? She had rare cordial waters, and for herbs She could have taught the Doctors. Then at winter When weekly she distributed the bread In the poor old porch, to see her and to hear The blessings on her! and I warrant them They were a blessing to her when her wealth Had been no comfort else. At Christmas, Sir! It would have warm'd your heart if you had seen Her Christmas kitchen,-how the blazing fire Made her fine pewter shine, and holly boughs So cheerful red,

and as for misseltoe,
The finest bough that grew in the country round
Was mark'd for Madam. Then her old ale went
So bountiful about! a Christmas cask,
And 'twas a noble one!-God help me, Sir!
But I shall never see such days again.

Things may be better yet than you suppose,
And you should hope the best.

Old Man.

It don't look well, These alterations, sir! I'm an old man, And love the good old fashions; we don't find Old bounty in new houses. They've destroyed

Stranger. It seems you know him not ?

Old Man.

No, sir, not I.
They tell me he's expected daily now;
But in my Lady's time he never came
But once,

for they were very distant kin.
If he had play'd about here when a child
In that fore court, and eat the yew-berries,
And sate in the porch threading the jesssamine

flowers Which fell so thick, he had not had the heart To mar all thus !

All that my lady loved! her favourite walk That's gone to the great pond; the trees I learnt
Grubb'd up, and they do say that the great row To climb are down; and I see nothing now
Of elms behind the house, which meet a-top, That tells me of old times,-except the stones
They must fall too. Well! well! I did not think In the church-yard. You are young, sir, and I hope
To live to see all this, and 'tis perhaps

Have many years in store,—but pray to God A comfort I sha'n't live to see it long.

You mayn't be left the last of all your friends. Stranger.

Stranger. But sure all changes are not needs for the worse, Well! well! you've one friend more than you're My friend?

aware of. Old Man,

If the Squire's taste don't suit with yours, I warrant

That's all you'll quarrel with: walk in and taste Mayhap they mayn't, sir :—for all that

His beer, old friendl and see if your old lady I like what I've been used to. I remember

Ere broach'd a better cask. You did not know me, All this from a child up, and now to lose it,

But we're acquainted now. 'Twould not be easy 'Tis losing an old friend. There's nothing left

To make you like the outside; but within, As 'twas;—I go abroad and only meet

That is not changed, my friend! you'll always find With men whose fathers I remember boys; The brook that used to run before my door,

The same old bounty and old welcome there.

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