Obrazy na stronie






HE warrior bowed his crested head and tamed his heart of fire,

And sued the haughty king to free his long-imprisoned sire:
“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 ! even now thy father comes, a ransomed man this day;
Mount thy good steed, and thou and I will meet him on his way.”
Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded on his steed;
And urged' as if with lance in rest, his charger's foamy speed.
And lo! from far, as on they pressed, there came a glittering band,
With one that 'mid them stately rode, like a leader in the land.
««Now haste, Bernardo, haste! for there, in very truth is he,
The father whom thy faithful heart hath yearned so long to see."
His proud breast heaved, his dark eye flashed, his cheeks' hue came and went;
He reached that gray-haired chieftain's side, and there dismouting bent-
A lowly knee to earth he bent-his father's hand he took ;
What was there in its touch that all his fiery spirit shook ?
That hand was cold ! a frozen thing !-it dropped from his like lead,
He looked up to the face above—the face was of the dead !
A plume waved o'er his noble brow—that brow was fixed and white !
He met at length his father's eyes—but in them was no sight !
Up from the ground he sprang, and gazed ; but who can paint that gaze ?
They hushed their very hearts who saw its horror and amaze :
They might have chained him, as before that stony form he stood ;
For the power was striken from his arm, and from his lip the blood.
“Father!” at length he murmured low, and wept like childhood then-
Talk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears of warlike men.
He thought on all his glorious hopes, on all his young renown,
Then flung the falchion from his side, and in the dust sat down ;
There, covering with his steel-gloved hand his darkly mournful brow;
“No more, there is no more,” he said, “to lift the sword for now;
My king is false ! my hope betrayed ! my father-oh, the worth,
The glory, and the loveliness, are passed away from earth!
I thought to stand where banners waved, my sire, beside thee yet;
I would that there, on Spain's free soil, our kindred blood had met ;
Thou wouldst have known my spirit then, for thee my fields were won-
And thou hast perished in thy chains, as though thou hadst no son !"
He started from the ground once more and seized the monarch's rein,
Amid the pale and wildered looks of all the courtier train,
With a fierce, o'ermastering grasp, the rearing war-horse led,
And sternly set them face to face—the king before the dead !

Came I not forth, upon thy pledge, my father's hand to kiss?
Be still ! and gaze thou on, false king ! and tell me what is this?
The look, the voice, the heart I sought-give answer, where are they?
If thou wouldst clear thy perjured soul, send life through this cold clay!
Into these glassy eyes put light; be still, keep down thine ire;
Bid those white lips a blessing speak—this earth is not my sire !

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Give me back him for whom I strove, for whom my blood was shed!
Thou canst not—and a king ? his dust be mountains on thy head!"
He loosed the steed—his slack hand fell ;— upon the silent face
He cast one long, deep troubled glance. then turned from that sad place
Despair, and grief, and baffled love, o’erwhelmed his soul at last-
The time for Vengeance will arrive, when Sorrow's hour is past.



PART SECOND.-JOHN GIBSON LOCKHART. WV ith ¡TH some good ten of his chosen men, Bernardo hath appeared

Before them all, in the palace hall, the lying kind to beard ; With

сар in hand and eye on ground, he came in reverent guise, But ever and anon he frown'd, and flame broke from his eyes. “A curse upon thee,'' cries the king, “who com'st unbid to me; But what from traitor's blood should spring save traitor like to thee! His sire, lords, had a traitor's heart; perchance our champion brave May think it were a pious part to share Don Sancho's grave.” “Whoever told this tale, the king hath rashness to repeat, Cries Bernard, where my gage I Aling before the Liar's feet ! No treason was in Sancho's blood, no stain in mine doth lieBelow the throne what knight will own the coward calumny? The blood that I like water shed, when Roland did advance, By secret traitors hired and led, to make us slaves of FranceThe life of King Alphonso, I saved at RoncesvalYour words, lord king, are recompense abundant for it all ! Your horse was down your hope was flown—I saw the falchion shine That soon had drunk your royal blood, had I not ventured mine; But memory soon of service done deserteth the ingrate, And you've thank'd the son for life and crown by the father's bloody fate. You swore upon your kingly faith to set Don Sancho free, But, curse upon your paltering breath! the light he ne'er did see ; He died in dungeon cold and dim, by Alphonso's base decree, And visage blind and stiffen'd limb were all they gave to me. The king that swerveth from his word hath stain'd his purple blackNo Spanish lord will draw the sword behind a liar's back ; But noble vengeance shall be mine ; an open hate I'll showThe king hath injured Carpio's line, and Bernard is his foe.” “Seize—seize him!”'_loud the king doth scream ; "there are a thousand hereLet his foul blood this instant stream—what! caitiffs, do you fear? Seize--seize the traitor !!! But not one to move a finger darethBernardo standeth by the throne, and calm his sword he bareth : He drew the falchion from the sheath and held it up on high, And all the hall was still as death ; cries Bernard, “Here am I ; And here's the sword that owns no lord excepting Heaven and me: Fain would I know who dares its point-King, Conde, or Grandee?" Then to his mouth the horn he drew—(it hung below his cloak)His ten true men the signal knew, and through the ring they broke; With helm on head, and blade in hand, the knights the circle brake ; And back the lordlings 'gan to stand, and the false king to quake. - Ha ! Bernard," quoth Alphonso, “what means this warlike guise ? You know full well I jested—you know your worth I prize.”' But Bernard turned upon his heel, and smiling passed away ; Long rued Alphonso and Castile the jesting of that day.



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HAT tents gleam on the green hill-side, like snow in the sunny beam ?

What gloomy warriors gather there, like a surly mountain stream? These, for Bernardo's vengeance, have come like a stormy blast, The rage of their long cherished hate on a cruel king to cast. “Smiters of tyranny !" cries their chief. “ste yonder slavish host, We shall drench the field with their craven blood, or freedom's hopes are lost. You know I come for a father's death, my filial vow to pay, Then let the “Murdered Sancho !' be your battle-cry to-day. On, on! for the death of the tyrant king!” “Hurrah !" was the answering cry ; “We follow thee to victory, or follow thee to die!”' The battle-field-the charge—the shock--the quivering struggle nowThe rout—the shout !—while lightnings flash from Bernardo's angry brow. The chieftain's arm has need of rest, his brand drips red with gore, But one last sacrifice remains ere his work of toil is o'er. The king, who looked for victory, from his large and well-trained host, Now flies for safety from the field, where all his hopes are lost ; But full in front, with blood-red sword, a warrior appears, And the war-cry, “Murdered Sancho!" rings in the tyrant's ears. “Ha! noble king, have we met at last ?" with scornful lip he cries ; “Don Sancho's son would speak with you once more before he dies ; Your kindness to my sainted sire is graven on my heart, And I would show my gratitude once more before we part. Draw! for the last of Sancho's race is ready for your sword ;Bernardo's blood should flow by him by whom his sire's was poured! What wait you for, vile, craven wretch ? it was not thus you stood When laying out your fiendish plans to spill my father's blood. Draw! for I will not learn from thee the assassin's coward trade, I scorn the lesson you have taught—unshead your murderous blade !'' Roused by Bernardo's fiery taunts, the king at length engaged : He fought for life, but all in vain ; unequal strife he waged ! Bernardo's sword has pierced his side—the tyrant's reign is o'er, “Father, I have fulfilled my vow, I thirst for blood no more.”'


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OWN in a street by the river's side,

Where ebbs and flows the hurrying tide
Of city life, in a squalid den,
Hungry and poor, dwelt “Cripple Ben.”
So they called him; no other name
He e'er had boasted since first he came,
Unknown, unnoticed, his care to hide,
In that wretched home by the river's side.
Ragged, one-legged, deformed was he ;
His age not over twenty-and-three.
All day long on his crutch he'd go
Through the streets with a painful gait and slow,
Vending matches, and pins, and soap,
Ever cheery and full of hope,

Never complaining, never sad.
With an eye so bright, and a face so glad,
In spite of his cares, that folks would pause
In passing, to buy from his little stores ;
And children would see his cheery smile
Reflected back in their own the while,
And even the rough, blunt sailor-men
Had always a word for “Cripple Ben."
Yet oft on the pier where the great ships lay
He'd sit and rest on a summer's day,
And peering over the moss-grown brink
On the seething tide below, would think
And wonder if in yon current there
He could bury forever his weight of care.
“Nobody cares for me,” he'd say ;
"I'm weary of toiling every day.
By night a hard and narrow bed,
By day a beggarly crust of bread.
Why not finish it all? And then
Nobody 'll miss poor Cripple Ben.''
Yet something within him said: “Live on ;
Though thy heart be lonely, thy features wan,
Even for thee it rests in store
To do some good ere thy life is o'er.”
So, then, with a sigh of silent pain,
He'd hobble away on his crutch again,
And take up his burden of life once more,
Bravely and patiently as before.
On day last June, in an eager hunt
For a friend's place, down by the river front,
I suddenly heart a piercing cry,--

of grief from the pier hard by ;
And half a hundred hurrying feet
Were speeding across the rough-paved street.
I joined the crowd. At the pier-head, lo !
A woman, wringing her hands in woe,
Screamed, “Oh! my child !” while men did shout,
And out in the current, out, far out,
A man was struggling to heep afloat
A baby form. "A boat ! a boat !”
We shouted. Then stalwart arms and brave
Pulled hurriedly forth, two lives to save.
'Twas not in vain, for, quicker than thought,
Those dripping two to the pier they brought.
“The child's alive ?" they cried with zest,
And the babe was clasped to its mother's breast.
But what of him the other one-
With his face upturned to the noonday sun
Lifeless they lifted him up, and then
A bystander said: "Why, its Cripple Ben.




LONE, in the dreary, pitiless street,

With my torn old dress and bare, cold feet, All day I've wandered to and fro, Hungry and shivering and nowhere to go; The night's coming on in darkness and dread, And the chill sleet beating upon my bare head; Oh! why does the wind blow upon me so wild? Is it because l'm nobody's child ? Just over the way there's a flood of light, And warmth and beauty, and all things bright; Beautiful children, in robes so fair, Are carolling songs in rapture there. I wonder if they, in their blissful glee, Would pity a poor little beggar like me Wandering alone in the merciless street, Naked and shivering and nothing to eat? Oh, what shall I do when the night comes down In its terrible blackness all over the town! Shall I lay me down 'neath the angry sky, On the cold hard pavement alone to die? When the beautiful children their prayers have said, And mammas have tucked them up snugly in bed. No dear mother ever upon me smiledWhy is it, I wonder, that I'm nobody's child ! No father, no mother, no sister, not one In all the world loves me; e'en the little dogs run When I wander too near them ; 'tis wondrous to see How everything shrinks from a beggar like me! Perhaps 'tis a dream ; but sometimes when I lie, Gazing far up in the dark blue sky, Watching for hours some large bright star, I fancy the beautiful gates ajar. And a host of white-robed, nameless things, Come fluttering o'er me in gilded wings; A hand that is strangely soft and fair Caresses gently my tangled hair, And a voice like the carol of some wild birdThe sweetest voice that ever was heardCalls me many a dear pet name, Till my heart and spirits are all aflame; And tells me of such unbounded love, And bids me come up to their home above, And then, with such pitiful, sad surprise, They look at me with their sweet blue eyes, And it seems to me out of the dreary night I'm going up to the world of light, And

away from the hunger and storms so wildI am sure I shall then be somebody's child.

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