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Probed the hard heart, and lopp'd the murderous hand;
And Dawn, when o'er the scene her beams she threw,
"Midst ruins they had made the spoilers' corpses knew.
What Minstrel verse may sing, or tongue may tell,
Still honour'd in defeat as victory! For that sad pageant of events to be,
Show'd every form of fight by field and flood; Slaughter and Ruin, shouting forth their glee, Beheld, while riding on the tempest-scud, The waters choked with slain, the earth bedrench'd with blood!
Then Zaragoza blighted be the tongue
That names thy name without the honour due! For never hath the harp of minstrel rung,
Of faith so felly proved, so firmly true! Mine, sap, and bomb, thy shatter'd ruins knew Each art of war's extremity had room, Twice from thy half-sack'd streets the foe withdrew, And when at length stern Fate decreed thy doom, They won not Zaragoza, but her children's bloody tomb.*
Yet raise thy head, sad City! Though in chains, Enthrall'd thou canst not be! Arise and claim Reverence from every heart where Freedom reigns,
For what thou worshippest !-thy sainted Dame, She of the Column, honour'd be her name,
By all, whate'er their creed, who honour love! And like the sacred relics of the flame,
That gave some martyr to the blest above, To every loyal heart may thy sad embers prove!
The interesting account of Mr Vaughan has made most readers acquainted with the first siege of Zaragoza. The last and fatal piege of that gallant and devoted city is detailed with great eloquence and precision in the "Edinburgh Aunual Register for 1800.
Nor thine alone such wreck. Gerona fair!
Now briefly lighten'd by the cannon's flare,
While all around was danger, strife, and fear,
While the earth shook, and darken'd was the sky,
In which old Albion's heart and tongue unite,
Don Roderick turn'd him as the shout grew loud-
A gallant navy stemm'd the billows broad.
Blent with the silver cross to Scotland dear; Mottling the sea their landward barges row'd,
And flash'd the sun on bayonet, brand, and spear, And the wild beach return'd the seaman's jovial cheer.
It was a dread, yet spirit-stirring sight!
The billows foam'd beneath a thousand oars, Fast as they land the red-cross ranks unite,
Legions on legions brightening all the shores. Then banners rise, and cannon-signal roars,
Then peals the warlike thunder of the drum,
Thrills the loud fife, the trumpet-flourish pours, And patriot hopes awake, and doubts are dumb, For, bold in Freedom's cause, the bands of Ocean come!
A various host they came-whose ranks display Each mode in which the warrior meets the fight, The deep battalion locks its firm array,
And meditates his aim the marksman light; Far glance the lines of sabres flashing bright, Where mounted squadrons shake the echoing mead,
Lacks not artillery breathing flame and night, Nor the fleet ordnance whirl'd by rapid steed, That rivals lightning's flash in ruin and in speed.
A various host-from kindred realms they came,
And with their deeds of valour deck her crown. Hers their bold port, and hers their martial frown,
And hers their scorn of death in freedom's cause, Their eyes of azure, and their locks of brown,
And the blunt speech that bursts without a pause, And freeborn thoughts, which league the Soldier with the Laws.
And O! loved warriors of the Minstrel's land!
Yonder your bonnets nod, your tartans wave! The rugged form may mark the mountain band,
And harsher features, and a mien more grave; But ne'er in battle-field throbb'd heart so brave
As that which beats beneath the Scottish plaid, And when the pibroch bids the battle rave,
And level for the charge your arms are laid, Where lives the desperate foe, that for such onset staid!'
Hark! from yon stately ranks what laughter rings, Mingling wild mirth with war's stern minstrelsy,
His jest while each blithe comrade round him flings,
And HE, yon Chieftain-strike the proudest
Of thy bold harp, green Isle !—the Hero is thine own.
Now on the scene Vimeira should be shown,
On Talavera's fight should Roderick gaze, And hear Corunna wail her battle won,
And see Busaco's crest with light'ning blaze:But shall fond fable mix with heroes' praise? Hath Fiction's stage for Truth's long triumphs
And dare her wild-flowers mingle with the bays, That claim a long eternity to bloom Around the warrior's crest, and o'er the warrior's tomb!
Or may I give adventurous Fancy scope.
Bidding beyond it scenes of glory hail,
Of Spain's invaders from her confines hurl'd, While kindling Nations buckle on their mail,
And Fame, with clarion-blast and wings unfurl'd,
To freedom and revenge awakes an injured World.
O vain, though anxious, is the glance I cast,
King, Prelate, all the phantasms of my brain, Melted away like mist-wreaths in the sun,
Yet grant for faith, for valour, and for Spain, One note of pride and fire, a Patriot's parting strain.
"Who shall command Estrella's mountain-tide
And when the torrent shall his voice obey,
Let him stand forth and bar mine eagles' way, And they shall heed his voice, and at his bidding
"Else, ne'er to stoop, till high on Lisbon's towers They close their wings, the symbol of our yoke, And their own sea hath whelm'd yon red-cross Power!
Thus, on the summit of Alverca's rock, To Marshal, Duke, and Peer, Gaul's leader spoke. While downward on the land his legions press, Before them it was rich with vine and flock,
And smiled like Eden in her summer dress;Behind their wasteful march, a reeking wilderness.*
And shall the boastful Chief maintain his word, Though Heaven hath heard the wailings of the land,
Though Lusitania whet her vengeful sword, Though Britons arm, and WELLINGTON com
No: grim Busaco's iron ridge shall stand
And from its base shall wheel his shatter'd band, As from the unshaken rock the torrent hoarse Bears off its broken waves, and seeks a devious
I have ventured to apply to the movements of the French army that sublime passage in the prophecies of Joel, Chap, ii. 3. "A fire devoureth before them, and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness, yea, and nothing shall escape them,"