Gama, in reply to the King of Melinda, describes the various countries of Europe; narrates the rise of the Portuguese nation. History of Portugal. Battle of Guimaraens. Egas offers himself with his wife and family for the honour of his country. Alonzo pardons him. Battle of Ourique against the Moors; great slaughter of the Moors. Alonzo proclaimed King of Portugal on the battle-field of Ourique. At Badajoz he is wounded and taken prisoner: resigns the kingdom to his son, Don Sancho. Hearing that thirteen Moorish kings, headed by the Emperor of Morocco, were besieging Sancho in Santarem, he hastens to deliver his son: gains a great battle, in which the Moorish Emperor is slain. Victories of Sancho; capture of Sylves from the Moors, and of Tui from the King of Leon. Conquest of Alcazar do Sul by Alfonso II. Deposition of Sancho II. Is succeeded by Alphonso III., the conqueror of Algarve; succeeded by Dionysius, founder of the University of Coimbra. His son, Alfonso the Brave. Affecting story of the fair Inez, who is crowned Queen of Portugal after her assassination. Don Pedro, her husband, rendered desperate by the loss of his mistress, is succeeded by the weak and effeminate Ferdinand. His wife Eleonora, torn from the arms of her lawful husband, dishonours his reign.
OH now, Calliope, thy potent aid!
What to the king th’ illustrious GAMA said
Clothe in immortal verse. With sacred fire
My breast, if e’er it loved thy lore, inspire:
So may the patron 1 of the healing art,
The god of day to thee consign his heart;
From thee, the mother of his darling son, 1
May never wand’ring thought to Daphne run:
May never Clytia, nor Leucothoë’s pride
Henceforth with thee his changeful love divide.
Then aid, O fairest nymph, my fond desire,
And give my verse the Lusian warlike fire:
Fir’d by the song, the list’ning world shall know
That Aganippe’s streams from Tagus flow.
Oh, let no more the flowers of Pindus shine
On thy fair breast, or round thy temples twine:
On Tago’s banks a richer chaplet blows,
And with the tuneful god my bosom glows:
I feel, I feel the mighty power infuse,
And bathe my spirit in Aonian 2 dews!
Now silence woo’d the illustrious chief’s reply,
And keen attention watch’d on every eye;
When slowly turning with a modest grace,
The noble VASCO rais’d his manly face;
O mighty king (he cries), at thy 3 command
The martial story of my native land
I tell; but more my doubtful heart had joy’d
Had other wars my praiseful lips employ’d.
When men the honours of their race commend,
The doubts of strangers on the tale attend:
Yet, though reluctance falter on my tongue,
Though day would sail a narrative so long,
Yet, well assur’d no fiction’s glare can raise,
Or give my country’s fame a brighter praise;
Though less, far less, whate’er my lips can say,
Than truth must give it, I thy will obey.
Between that zone where endless winter reigns
And that where flaming beat consumes the plains;
Array’d in green, beneath indulgent skies,
The queen of arts and arms, fair Europe lies.
Around her northern and her western shores,
Throng’d with the finny race old ocean roars;
The midland sea, 1 where tide ne’er swell’d the waves,
Her richest lawns, the southern border, laves.
Against the rising morn, the northmost bound
The whirling Tanais 2 parts from Asian ground,
As tumbling from the Scythian mountains cold
Their crooked way the rapid waters hold
To dull Mæotis’ 3 lake. Her eastern line
More to the south, the Phrygian waves confine:
Those waves, which, black with many a navy, bore
The Grecian heroes to the Dardan shore;
Where now the seaman, rapt in mournful joy,
Explores in vain the sad remains of Troy.
Wide to the north beneath ’the pole she spreads;
Here piles of mountains rear their rugged heads,
Here winds on winds in endless tempests roll,
The valleys sigh, the length’ning echoes howl.
On the rude cliffs, with frosty spangles grey,
Weak as the twilight, gleams the solar ray;
Each mountain’s breast with snows eternal shines,
The streams and seas eternal frost confines.
Here dwelt the num’rous Scythian tribes of old,
A dreadful race! by victor ne’er controll’d,
Whose pride maintain’d that theirs the sacred earth,
Not that of Nile, which first gave man his birth.
Here dismal Lapland spreads a dreary wild,
Here Norway’s wastes, where harvest never smil’d,
Whose groves of fir in gloomy horror frown,
Nod o’er the rocks, and to the tempest groan.
Here Scandia’s clime her rugged shores extends,
And, far projected, through the ocean bends;
Whose sons’ dread footsteps yet Ansonia 1 wears,
And yet proud Rome in mournful ruin bears.
When summer bursts stern winter’s icy chain,
Here the bold Swede, the Prussian, and the Dane
Hoist the white sail and plough the foamy way,
Cheer’d by whole months of one continual day:
Between these shores and Tanais’ 2 rushing tide
Livonia’s sons and Russia’s hordes reside.
Stern as their clime the tribes, whose sires of yore
The name, far dreaded, of Sarmatians bore.
Where, fam’d of old, th’ Hercynian 3 forest lower’d,
Oft seen in arms the Polish troops are pour’d
Wide foraging the downs. The Saxon race,
The Hungar dext’rous in the wild-boar chase,
The various nations whom the Rhine’s cold wave
The Elbe, Amasis, and the Danube lave,
Of various tongues, for various princes known,
Their mighty lord the German emperor own.
Between the Danube and the lucid tide
Where hapless Helle left her name, 1 and died:
The dreadful god of battles’ kindred race,
Degenerate now, possess the hills of Thrace.
Mount Hæmus 2 here, and Rhodope renown’d,
And proud Byzantium, 3 long with empire crown’d;
Their ancient pride, their ancient virtue fled,
Low to the Turk now bend the servile head.
Here spread the fields of warlike Macedon,
And here those happy lands where genius shone
In all the arts, in all the Muses’ charms,
In all the pride of elegance and arms,
Which to the heavens resounded Grecia’s name,
And left in every age a deathless fame.
The stern Dalmatians till the neighb’ring ground;
And where Antenor anchor’d in the sound
Proud Venice, as a queen, majestic towers,
And o’er the trembling waves her thunder pours.
For learning glorious, glorious for the sword,
While Rome’s proud monarch reign’d the world’s dread lord,
Here Italy her beauteous landscapes shows;
Around her sides his arms old ocean throws;
The dashing waves the ramparts aid supply;
The hoary Alps high tow’ring to the sky,
From shore to shore a rugged barrier spread,
And lower destruction on the hostile tread.
But now no more her hostile spirit burns,
There now the saint, in humble vespers mourns
To Heaven more grateful than the pride of war,
And all the triumphs of the victor’s car.
Onward fair Gallia opens to the view
Her groves of olive, and her vineyards blue:
Wide spread her harvests o’er the scenes renown’d,
Where Julius 4 proudly strode with laurel crown’d.
Here Seine, how fair when glist’ning to the moon!
Rolls his white wave, and here the cold Garcon;
Here the deep Rhine the flow’ry margin laves,
And here the rapid Rhone impervious raves.
Here the gruff mountains, faithless to the vows
Of lost Pyrene 1 rear their cloudy brows;
Whence, when of old the flames their woods devour’d,
Streams of red gold and melted silver pour’d.
And now, as head of all the lordly train
Of Europe’s realms, appears illustrious Spain.
Alas, what various fortunes has she known!
Yet ever did her sons her wrongs atone;
Short was the triumph of her haughty foes,
And still with fairer bloom her honours rose.
Where, lock’d with land, the struggling currents boil
Fam’d for the godlike Theban’s latest toil, 2
Against one coast the Punic strand extends,
Around her breast the midland ocean bends,
Around her shores two various oceans swell,
And various nations in her bosom dwell.
Such deeds of valour dignify their names,
Each the imperial right of honour claims.
Proud Aragon, who twice her standard rear’d
In conquer’d Naples; and for art rever’d,
Galicia’s prudent sons; the fierce Navarre,
And he far dreaded in the Moorish war,
The bold Asturian; nor Sevilia’s race,
Nor thine, Granada, claim the second place.
Here too the heroes who command the plain
By Betis 3 water’d; here the pride of Spain,
The brave Castilian pauses o’er his sword,
His country’s dread deliverer and lord.
Proud o’er the rest, with splendid wealth array’d,
As crown to this wide empire, Europe’s head,
Fair Lusitania smiles, the western bound,
Whose verdant breast the rolling waves surround,
Where gentle evening pours her lambent ray,
The last pale gleaming of departing day;
This, this, O mighty king, the sacred earth,
This the loved parent-soil that gave me birth.
And oh, would bounteous Heaven my prayer regard,
And fair success my perilous toils reward,
May that dear land my latest breath receive,
And give my weary bones a peaceful grave.
Sublime the honours of my native land,
And high in Heaven’s regard her heroes stand;
By Heaven’s decree ’twas theirs the first to quell
The Moorish tyrants, and from Spain expel;
Nor could their burning wilds conceal their flight,
Their burning wilds confess’d the Lusian might.
From Lusus famed, whose honour’d name we bear,
(The son of Bacchus or the bold compeer),
The glorious name of Lusitania rose,
A name tremendous to the Roman foes,
When her bold troops the valiant shepherd 1 led,
And foul with rout the Roman eagles fled;
When haughty Rome achiev’d the treach’rous blow,
That own’d her terror of the matchless foe. 2
But, when no more her Viriatus fought,
Age after age her deeper thraldom brought;
Her broken sons by ruthless tyrants spurn’d,
Her vineyards languish’d, and her pastures mourn’d;
Till time revolving rais’d her drooping head,
And o’er the wond’ring world her conquests spread.
Thus rose her power: the lands of lordly Spain
Were now the brave Alonzo’s wide domain;
Great were his honours in the bloody fight,
And Fame proclaim’d him champion of the right.
And oft the groaning Saracen’s 1 proud crest
And shatter’d mail his awful force confess’d.
From Calpe’s summits to the Caspian shore
Loud-tongued renown his godlike actions bore.
And many a chief from distant regions 2 came
To share the laurels of Alonzo’s fame;
Yet, more for holy Faith’s unspotted cause
Their spears they wielded, than for Fame’s applause.
Great were the deeds their thund’ring arms display’d,
And still their foremost swords the battle sway’d.
And now to honour with distinguish’d meed
Each hero’s worth the gen’rous king decreed.
The first and bravest of the foreign bands
Hungaria’s younger son, brave Henry 3 stands.
To him are given the fields where Tagus flows,
And the glad king his daughter’s hand bestows;
The fair Teresa shines his blooming bride,
And owns her father’s love, and Henry’s pride.
With her, besides, the sire confirms in dower
Whate’er his sword might rescue from the Moor;
And soon on Hagar’s race 1 the hero pours
His warlike fury--soon the vanquish’d Moors
To him far round the neighb’ring lands resign,
And Heaven rewards him with a glorious line.
To him is born, Heaven’s gift, a gallant son,
The glorious founder of the Lusian throne.
Nor Spain’s wide lands alone his deeds attest,
Deliver’d Judah Henry’s might 2 confess’d
On Jordan’s bank the victor-hero strode,
Whose hallow’d waters bath’d the Saviour-God;
And Salem’s 3 gate her open folds display’d,
When Godfrey 4 conquer’d by the hero’s aid.
But now no more in tented fields oppos’d,
By Tagus’ stream his honour’d age lie clos’d;
Yet still his dauntless worth, his virtue lived,
And all the father in the son survived.
And soon his worth was prov’d, the parent dame
Avow’d a second hymeneal flame. 1
The low-born spouse assumes the monarch’s place,
And from the throne expels the orphan race.
But young Alphonso, like his sires of yore
(His grandsire’s virtues, as his name, he bore),
Arms for the fight, his ravish’d throne to win;
And the lac’d helmet grasps his beardless chin.
Her fiercest firebrands Civil Discord wav’d,
Before her troops the lustful mother rav’d;
Lost to maternal love, and lost to shame,
Unaw’d she saw Heaven’s awful vengeance flame;
The brother’s sword the brother’s bosom tore,
And sad Guimaria’s 2 meadows blush’d with gore;
With Lusian gore the peasant’s cot was stain’d,
And kindred blood the sacred shrine profan’d.
Here, cruel Progne, here, O Jason’s wife,
Yet reeking with your children’s purple life,
Here glut your eyes with deeper guilt than yours;
Here fiercer rage her fiercer rancour pours.
Your crime was vengeance on the faithless sires,
But here ambition with foul lust conspires.
’Twas rage of love, O Scylla, urged the knife 1
That robb’d thy father of his fated life;
Here grosser rage the mother’s breast inflames,
And at her guiltless son the vengeance aims,
But aims in vain; her slaughter’d forces yield,
And the brave youth rides victor o’er the field.
No more his subjects lift the thirsty sword,
And the glad realm proclaims the youthful lord.
But ah, how wild the noblest tempers run!
His filial duty now forsakes the son;
Secluded from the day, in clanking chains
His rage the parent’s agèd limbs constrains.
Heaven frown’d--Dark vengeance lowering on his brows,
And sheath’d in brass, the proud Castilian rose,
Resolv’d the rigour to his daughter shown
The battle should avenge, and blood atone.
A numerous host against the prince he sped,
The valiant prince his little army led:
Dire was the shock; the deep-riven helms resound,
And foes with foes lie grappling on the ground.
Yet, though around the stripling’s sacred head
By angel hands etherial shields were spread;
Though glorious triumph on his valour smiled,
Soon on his van the baffled foe recoil’d:
With bands more num’rous to the field he came,
His proud heart burning with the rage of shame.
And now in turn Guimaria’s 2 lofty wall,
That saw his triumph, saw the hero fall;
Within the town immured, distress’d he lay,
To stern Castilia’s sword a certain prey.
When now the guardian of his infant years,
The valiant Egas, as a god appears;
To proud Castile the suppliant noble bows,
And faithful homage for his prince he vows.
The proud Castile accepts his honour’d faith,
And peace succeeds the dreadful scenes of death.
Yet well, alas, the generous Egas knew
His high-soul’d prince to man would never sue:
Would never stoop to brook the servile stain,
To hold a borrow’d, a dependent reign.
And now with gloomy aspect rose the day,
Decreed the plighted servile rights to pay;
When Egas, to redeem his faith’s disgrace,
Devotes himself, his spouse, and infant race.
In gowns of white, as sentenced felons clad,
When to the stake the sons of guilt are led,
With feet unshod they slowly moved along,
And from their necks the knotted halters hung.
"And now, O king," the kneeling Egas cries,
"Behold my perjured honour’s sacrifice:
If such mean victims can atone thine ire,
Here let my wife, my babes, myself expire.
If gen’rous bosoms such revenge can take,
Here let them perish for the father’s sake:
The guilty tongue, the guilty hands are these,
Nor let a common death thy wrath appease;
For us let all the rage of torture burn,
But to my prince, thy son, in friendship turn."
He spoke, and bow’d his prostrate body low,
As one who waits the lifted sabre’s blow;
When o’er the block his languid arms are spread,
And death, foretasted, whelms the heart with dread:
So great a leader thus in humbled state,
So firm his loyalty, his zeal so great,
The brave Alonzo’s kindled ire subdu’d,
And, lost in silent joy, the monarch stood;
Then gave the hand, and sheath’d the hostile sword,
And, to such honour honour’d peace 1 restor’d.
Oh Lusian faith! oh zeal beyond compare!
What greater danger could the Persian dare,
Whose prince in tears, to view his mangled woe,
Forgot the joy for Babylon’s 1 o’erthrow.
And now the youthful hero shines in arms,
The banks of Tagus echo war’s alarms:
O’er Ourique’s wide campaign his ensigns wave,
And the proud Saracen to combat brave.
Though prudence might arraign his fiery rage
That dar’d with one, each hundred spears engage,
In Heaven’s protecting care his courage lies,
And Heaven, his friend, superior force supplies.
Five Moorish kings against him march along,
Ismar the noblest of the armèd throng;
Yet each brave monarch claim’d the soldier’s name,
And far o’er many a land was known to fame.
In all the beauteous glow of blooming years 2
Beside each king a warrior nymph appears;
Each with her sword her valiant lover guards,
With smiles inspires him, and with smiles rewards.
Such was the valour of the beauteous maid, 3
Whose warlike arm proud Ilion’s 4 fate delay’d.
Such in the field the virgin warriors 5 shone,
Who drank the limpid wave of Thermodon. 6
’Twas morn’s still hour, before the dawning grey
The stars’ bright twinkling radiance died away,
When lo, resplendent in the heaven serene,
High o’er the prince the sacred cross was seen;
The godlike prince with Faith’s warm glow inflam’d,
"Oh, not to me, my bounteous God!" exclaim’d,
"Oh, not to me, who well thy grandeur know,
But to the pagan herd thy wonders show."
The Lusian host, enraptur’d, mark’d the sign
That witness’d to their chief the aid divine:
Right on the foe they shake the beamy lance,
And with firm strides, and heaving breasts, advance;
Then burst the silence, "Hail, O king!" they cry;
"Our king, our king!" the echoing dales reply:
Fir’d at the sound, with fiercer ardour glows
The Heaven-made monarch; on the wareless foes
Rushing, he speeds his ardent bands along:
So, when the chase excites the rustic throng,
Rous’d to fierce madness by their mingled cries,
On the wild bull the red-eyed mastiff flies.
The stern-brow’d tyrant roars and tears the ground
His watchful horns portend the deathful wound.
The nimble mastiff springing on the foe,
Avoids the furious sharpness of the blow;
Now by the neck, now by the gory sides
Hangs fierce, and all his bellowing rage derides:
In vain his eye-balls burn with living fire,
In vain his nostrils clouds of smoke respire,
His gorge torn down, down falls the furious prize
With hollow thund’ring sound, and raging dies: 1
Thus, on the Moors the hero rush’d along,
Th’ astonish’d Moors in wild confusion throng;
They snatch their arms, the hasty trumpet sounds,
With horrid yell the dread alarm rebounds;
The warlike tumult maddens o’er the plain,
As when the flame devours the bearded grain:
The nightly flames the whistling winds inspire,
Fierce through the braky thicket pours the fire:
Rous’d by the crackling of the mounting blaze
From sleep the shepherds start in wild amaze;
They snatch their clothes with many a woeful cry,
And, scatter’d, devious to the mountains fly:
Such sudden dread the trembling Moors alarms,
Wild and confused, they snatch the nearest arms;
Yet flight they scorn, and, eager to engage,
They spur their foamy steeds, and trust their furious rage:
Amidst the horror of the headlong shock,
With foot unshaken as the living rock
Stands the bold Lusian firm; the purple wounds
Gush horrible; deep, groaning rage resounds;
Reeking behind the Moorish backs appear
The shining point of many a Lusian spear;
The mailcoats, hauberks, 1 and the harness steel’d,
Bruis’d, hack’d, and torn, lie scatter’d o’er the field;
Beneath the Lusian sweepy force o’erthrown,
Crush’d by their batter’d mails the wounded groan;
Burning with thirst they draw their panting breath,
And curse their prophet 2 as they writhe in death.
Arms sever’d from the trunks still grasp the steel, 3
Heads gasping roll; the fighting squadrons reel;
Fainty and weak with languid arms they close,
And stagg’ring, grapple with the stagg’ring foes.
So, when an oak falls headlong on the lake,
The troubled waters slowly settling shake:
So faints the languid combat on the plain,
And settling, staggers o’er the heaps of slain.
Again the Lusian fury wakes its fires,
The terror of the Moors new strength inspires:
The scatter’d few in wild confusion fly,
And total rout resounds the yelling cry.
Defil’d with one wide sheet of reeking gore,
The verdure of the lawn appears no more:
In bubbling streams the lazy currents run,
And shoot red flames beneath the evening sun.
With spoils enrich’d, with glorious trophies 1 crown’d,
The Heaven-made sov’reign on the battle ground
Three days encamp’d, to rest his weary train,
Whose dauntless valour drove the Moors from Spain.
And now, in honour of the glorious day,
When five proud monarchs fell, his vanquish’d prey,
On his broad buckler, unadorn’d before,
Placed as a cross, five azure shields he wore,
In grateful memory of the heav’nly sign,
The pledge of conquest by the aid divine.
Nor long his falchion in the scabbard slept,
His warlike arm increasing laurels reap’d:
From Leyra’s walls the baffled Ismar flies,
And strong Arroncha falls his conquer’d prize;
That honour’d town, through whose Elysian groves
Thy smooth and limpid wave, O Tagus, roves.
Th’ illustrious Santarene confess’d his power,
And vanquish’d Mafra yields her proudest tower.
The Lunar mountains saw his troops display
Their marching banners and their brave array:
To him submits fair Cintra’s cold domain,
The soothing refuge of the Naiad train.
When Love’s sweet snares the pining nymphs would shun:
Alas, in vain, from warmer climes they run:
The cooling shades awake the young desires,
And the cold fountains cherish love’s soft fires.
And thou, famed Lisbon, whose embattled wall
Rose by the hand that wrought proud Ilion’s 1 fall; 2
Thou queen of cities, whom the seas obey,
Thy dreaded ramparts own’d the hero’s sway.
Far from the north a warlike navy bore
From Elbe, from Rhine, and Albion’s misty 3 shore;
To rescue Salem’s 1 long-polluted shrine
Their force to great Alonzo’s force they joie:
Before Ulysses’ walls the navy rides,
The joyful Tagus laves their pitchy sides.
Five times the moon her empty horns conceal’d,
Five times her broad effulgence shone reveal’d,
When, wrapt in clouds of dust, her mural pride
Falls thund’ring,--black the smoking breach yawns wide.
As, when th’ imprison’d waters burst the mounds,
And roar, wide sweeping, o’er the cultur’d grounds;
Nor cot nor fold withstand their furious course;
So, headlong rush’d along the hero’s force.
The thirst of vengeance the assailants fires,
The madness of despair the Moors inspires;
Each lane, each street resounds the conflict’s roar,
And every threshold reeks with tepid gore.
Thus fell the city, whose unconquer’d 2 towers
Defied of old the banded Gothic powers,
Whose harden’d nerves in rig’rous climates train’d
The savage courage of their souls sustain’d:
Before whose sword the sons of Ebro fled,
And Tagus trembled in his oozy bed;
Aw’d by whose arms the lawns of Betis’ shore
The name Vandalia from the Vandals bore.
When Lisbon’s towers before the Lusian fell,
What fort, what rampart might his arms repel!
Estremadura’s region owns him lord,
And Torres-vedras bends beneath his sword;
Obidos humbles, and Alamquer yields,
Alamquer famous for her verdant fields,
Whose murm’ring riv’lets cheer the traveller’s way,
As the chill waters o’er the pebbles stray.
Elva the green, and Moura’s fertile dales,
Fair Serpa’s tillage, and Alcazar’s vales
Not for himself the Moorish peasant sows;
For Lusian hands the yellow harvest glows:
And you, fair lawns, beyond the Tagus’ wave,
Your golden burdens for Alonzo save;
Soon shall his thund’ring might your wealth reclaim,
And your glad valleys hail their monarch’s name.
Nor sleep his captains while the sov’reign wars;
The brave Giraldo’s sword in conquest shares,
Evora’s frowning walls, the castled hold
Of that proud Roman chief, and rebel bold,
Sertorious dread, whose labours still remain; 1
Two hundred arches, stretch’d in length, sustain
The marble duct, where, glist’ning to the sun,
Of silver hue the shining waters run.
Evora’s frowning walls now shake with fear,
And yield, obedient to Giraldo’s spear.
Nor rests the monarch while his servants toil,
Around him still increasing trophies smile,
And deathless fame repays the hapless fate
That gives to human life so short a date.
Proud Beja’s castled walls his fury storms,
And one red slaughter every lane deforms.
The ghosts, whose mangled limbs, yet scarcely cold,
Heap’d, sad Trancoso’s streets in carnage roll’d,
Appeas’d, the vengeance of their slaughter see,
And hail th’ indignant king’s severe decree.
Palmela trembles on her mountain’s height,
And sea-laved Zambra owns the hero’s might.
Nor these alone confess’d his happy star,
Their fated doom produc’d a nobler war.
Badaja’s 1 king, a haughty Moor, beheld
His towns besieg’d, and hasted to the field.
Four thousand coursers in his army neigh’d,
Unnumber’d spears his infantry display’d;
Proudly they march’d, and glorious to behold,
In silver belts they shone, and plates of gold.
Along a mountain’s side secure they trod,
Steep on each hand, and rugged was the road;
When, as a bull, whose lustful veins betray
The madd’ning tumult of inspiring May;
If, when his rage with fiercest ardour glows,
When in the shade the fragrant heifer lows,
If then, perchance, his jealous burning eye
Behold a careless traveller wander by,
With dreadful bellowing on the wretch he flies,
The wretch defenceless, torn and trampled dies.
So rush’d Alonzo on the gaudy train,
And pour’d victorious o’er the mangled slain;
The royal Moor precipitates in flight,
The mountain echoes with the wild affright
Of flying squadrons; down their arms they throw,
And dash from rock to rock to shun the foe.
The foe! what wonders may not virtue dare!
But sixty horsemen wag’d the conqu’ring war. 2
The warlike monarch still his toil renews,
New conquest still each victory pursues.
To him Badaja’s lofty gates expand,
And the wide region owns his dread command.
When, now enraged, proud Leon’s king beheld
Those walls subdued, which saw his troops expell’d;
Enrag’d he saw them own the victor’s sway,
And hems them round with battailous array.
With gen’rous ire the brave Alonzo glows;
By Heaven unguarded, on the num’rous foes
He rushes, glorying in his wonted force,
And spurs, with headlong rage, his furious horse;
The combat burns, the snorting courser bounds,
And paws impetuous by the iron mounds:
O’er gasping foes and sounding bucklers trod
The raging steed, and headlong as he rode
Dash’d the fierce monarch on a rampire bar--
Low grovelling in the dust, the pride of war,
The great Alonzo lies. The captive’s fate
Succeeds, alas, the pomp of regal state.
"Let iron dash his limbs," his mother cried,
"And steel revenge my chains:" she spoke, and died;
And Heaven assented--Now the hour was come,
And the dire curse was fallen Alonzo’s doom. 1
No more, O Pompey, of thy fate complain,
No more with sorrow view thy glory’s stain;
Though thy tall standards tower’d with lordly pride
Where northern Phasis 2 rolls his icy tide;
Though hot Syene, 3 where the sun’s fierce ray
Begets no shadow, own’d thy conqu’ring sway;
Though from the tribes that shiver in the gleam
Of cold Boötes’ wat’ry glist’ning team;
To those who parch’d beneath the burning line,
In fragrant shades their feeble limbs recline,
The various languages proclaim’d thy fame,
And trembling, own’d the terrors of thy name;
Though rich Arabia, and Sarmatia bold,
And Colchis, 1famous for the fleece of gold;
Though Judah’s land, whose sacred rites implor’d
The One true God, and, as he taught, ador’d;
Though Cappadocia’s realm thy mandate sway’d,
And base Sophenia’s sons thy nod obey’d;
Though vex’d Cilicia’s pirates wore thy bands,
And those who cultur’d fair Armenia’s lands,
Where from the sacred mount two rivers flow,
And what was Eden to the pilgrim show;
Though from the vast Atlantic’s bounding wave
To where the northern tempests howl and rave
Round Taurus’ lofty brows: though vast and wide
The various climes that bended to thy pride;
No more with pining anguish of regret
Bewail the horrors of Pharsalia’s fate:
For great Alonzo, whose superior name
Unequall’d victories consign to fame,
The great Alonzo fell--like thine his woe;
From nuptial kindred came the fatal blow.
When now the hero, humbled in the dust,
His crime aton’d, confess’d that Heaven was just,
Again in splendour he the throne ascends:
Again his bow the Moorish chieftain bends.
Wide round th’ embattl’d gates of Santareen
Their shining spears and banner’d moons are seen.
But holy rites the pious king preferr’d;
The martyr’s bones on Vincent’s Cape interr’d
(His sainted name the Cape shall ever bear), 2
To Lisbon’s walls he brought with votive care.
And now the monarch, old and feeble grown,
Resigns the falchion to his valiant son.
O’er Tagus’ waves the youthful hero pass’d,
And bleeding hosts before him shrunk aghast.
Chok’d with the slain, with Moorish carnage dy’d,
Sevilia’s river roll’d the purple tide.
Burning for victory, the warlike boy
Spares not a day to thoughtless rest or joy.
Nor long his wish unsatisfied remains:
With the besiegers’ gore he dyes the plains
That circle Beja’s wall: yet still untam’d,
With all the fierceness of despair inflam’d,
The raging Moor collects his distant might;
Wide from the shores of Atlas’ starry height,
From Amphelusia’s cape, and Tingia’s 1 bay,
Where stern Antæus held his brutal sway,
The Mauritanian trumpet sounds to arms;
And Juba’s realm returns the hoarse alarms;
The swarthy tribes in burnish’d armour shine,
Their warlike march Abyla’s shepherds join.
The great Miramolin 2 on Tagus’ shores
Far o’er the coast his banner’d thousands pours;
Twelve kings and one beneath his ensigns stand,
And wield their sabres at his dread command.
The plund’ring bands far round the region haste,
The mournful region lies a naked waste.
And now, enclos’d in Santareen’s high towers,
The brave Don Sancho shuns th’ unequal powers;
A thousand arts the furious Moor pursues,
And ceaseless, still the fierce assault renews.
Huge clefts of rock, from horrid engines whirl’d,
In smould’ring volleys on the town are hurl’d;
The brazen rams the lofty turrets shake,
And, mined beneath, the deep foundations quake;
But brave Alonzo’s son, as danger grows,
His pride inflam’d, with rising courage glows;
Each coming storm of missile darts he wards,
Each nodding turret, and each port he guards.
In that fair city, round whose verdant meads
The branching river of Mondego 3 spreads,
Long worn with warlike toils, and bent with years,
The king reposed, when Sancho’s fate he hears.
His limbs forget the feeble steps of age,
And the hoar warrior burns with youthful rage.
His daring vet’rans, long to conquest train’d,
He leads--the ground with Moorish blood is stain’d;
Turbans, and robes of various colours wrought,
And shiver’d spears in streaming carnage float.
In harness gay lies many a welt’ring steed,
And, low in dust, the groaning masters bleed.
As proud Miramolin 1 in horror fled,
Don Sancho’s javelin stretch’d him with the dead.
In wild dismay, and torn with gushing wounds,
The rout, wide scatter’d, fly the Lusian bounds.
Their hands to heaven the joyful victors raise,
And every voice resounds the song of praise;
"Nor was it stumbling chance, nor human might;
"’Twas guardian Heaven," they sung, "that ruled the fight."
This blissful day Alonzo’s glories crown’d;
But pale disease now gave the secret wound;
Her icy hand his feeble limbs invades,
And pining languor through his vitals spreads.
The glorious monarch to the tomb descends,
A nation’s grief the funeral torch attends.
Each winding shore for thee, Alonzo, 2 mourns,
Alonzo’s name each woeful bay returns;
For thee the rivers sigh their groves among,
And funeral murmurs wailing, roll along;
Their swelling tears o’erflow the wide campaign;
With floating heads, for thee, the yellow grain,
For thee the willow-bowers and copses weep,
As their tall boughs lie trembling on the deep;
Adown the streams the tangled vine-leaves flow,
And all the landscape wears the look of woe.
Thus, o’er the wond’ring world thy glories spread,
And thus thy mournful people bow the head;
While still, at eve, each’ dale Alonzo sighs,
And, oh, Alonzo! every hill replies;
And still the mountain-echoes trill the lay,
Till blushing morn brings on the noiseful day.
The youthful Sancho to the throne succeeds,
Already far renown’d for val’rous deeds;
Let Betis’, 1 ting’d with blood, his prowess tell,
And Beja’s lawns, where boastful Afric fell.
Nor less when king his martial ardour glows,
Proud Sylves’ royal walls his troops enclose!
Fair Sylves’ lawns the Moorish peasant plough’d,
Her vineyards cultur’d, and her valleys sow’d;
But Lisbon’s monarch reap’d. The winds of heaven 2
Roar’d high--and headlong by the tempest driven,
In Tagus’ breast a gallant navy sought
The shelt’ring port, and glad assistance brought.
The warlike crew, by Frederic the Red, 3
To rescue Judah’s prostrate land were led;
When Guido’s troops, by burning thirst subdu’d,
To Saladin, the foe, for mercy su’d.
Their vows were holy, and the cause the same,
To blot from Europe’s shores the Moorish name.
In Sancho’s cause the gallant navy joins,
And royal Sylves to their force resigns.
Thus, sent by Heaven, a foreign naval band
Gave Lisbon’s ramparts to the sire’s command.
Nor Moorish trophies did alone adorn
The hero’s name; in warlike camps though born,
Though fenc’d with mountains, Leon’s martial race
Smile at the battle-sign, yet foul disgrace
To Leon’s haughty sons his sword achiev’d:
Proud Tui’s neck his servile yoke receiv’d;
And, far around, falls many a wealthy town,
O valiant Sancho, humbled to thy frown.
While thus his laurels flourish’d wide and fair
He dies: Alonzo reigns, his much-lov’d heir.
Alcazar lately conquer’d from the Moor,
Reconquer’d, streams with the defenders’ gore.
Alonzo dead, another Sancho reigns:
Alas, with many a sigh the land complains!
Unlike his sire, a vain unthinking boy,
His servants now a jarring sway enjoy.
As his the power, his were the crimes of those
Whom to dispense that sacred power he chose.
By various counsels waver’d, and confus’d
By seeming friends, by various arts, abus’d;
Long undetermin’d, blindly rash at last,
Enrag’d, unmann’d, untutor’d by the past.
Yet, not like Nero, cruel and unjust,
The slave capricious of unnatural lust.
Nor had he smil’d had flames consum’d his Troy;
Nor could his people’s groans afford him joy;
Nor did his woes from female manners spring,
Unlike the Syrian, 1 or Sicilia’s king.
No hundred cooks his costly meal prepar’d,
As heap’d the board when Rome’s proud tyrant far’d. 2
Nor dar’d the artist hope his ear to 3 gain,
By new-form’d arts to point the stings of pain.
But, proud and high the Lusian spirit soar’d,
And ask’d a godlike hero for their lord.
To none accustom’d but a hero’s sway,
Great must he be whom that bold race obey.
Complaint, loud murmur’d, every city fills,
Complaint, loud echo’d, murmurs through the hills.
Alarm’d, Bolonia’s warlike Earl 1 awakes,
And from his listless brother’s minions takes
The awful sceptre.--Soon was joy restor’d,
And soon, by just succession, Lisbon’s lord
Beloved, Alonzo, nam’d the Bold, he reigns;
Nor may the limits of his sire’s domains
Confine his mounting spirit. When he led
His smiling consort to the bridal bed,
"Algarbia’s realm," he said, "shall prove thy dower,"
And, soon Algarbia, conquer’d, own’d his power.
The vanquish’d Moor with total rout expell’d,
All Lusus’ shores his might unrivall’d held.
And now brave Diniz reigns, whose noble fire
Bespoke the genuine lineage of his sire.
Now, heavenly peace wide wav’d her olive bough,
Each vale display’d the labours of the plough,
And smil’d with joy: the rocks on every shore
Resound the dashing of the merchant-oar.
Wise laws are form’d, and constitutions weigh’d,
And the deep-rooted base of Empire laid.
Not Ammon’s son 1 with larger heart bestow’d,
Nor such the grace to him the Muses owed.
From Helicon the Muses wing their way,
Mondego’s 2 flow’ry banks invite their stay.
Now Coimbra shines Minerva’s proud abode;
And fir’d with joy, Parnassus’ bloomy god
Beholds another dear-lov’d Athens rise,
And spread her laurels in indulgent skies;
Her wreath of laurels, ever green, he twines
With threads of gold, and baccaris 3 adjoins.
Here castle walls in warlike grandeur lower,
Here cities swell, and lofty temples tower:
In wealth and grandeur each with other vies:
When old and lov’d the parent-monarch dies.
His son, alas, remiss in filial deeds,
But wise in peace, and bold in fight, succeeds,
The fourth Alonzo: Ever arm’d for war
He views the stern Castile with watchful care.
Yet, when the Libyan nations cross’d the main,
And spread their thousands o’er the fields of Spain,
The brave Alonzo drew his awful steel,
And sprung to battle for the proud Castile.
When Babel’s haughty queen’ unsheath’d the sword,
And o’er Hydaspes 1 lawns her legions pour’d;
When dreadful Attila, 2 to whom was given
That fearful name, "the Scourge of angry Heaven,"
The fields of trembling Italy o’erran
With many a Gothic tribe, and northern clan;
Not such unnumber’d banners then were seen,
As now in fair Tartesia’s dales convene;
Numidia’s bow, and Mauritania’s spear,
And all the might of Hagar’s race was here;
Granada’s mongrels join their num’rous host,
To those who dar’d the seas from Libya’s coast.
Aw’d by the fury of such pond’rous force
The proud Castilian tries each hop’d resource;
Yet, not by terror for himself inspir’d,
For Spain he trembl’d, and for Spain was fir’d.
His much-lov’d bride, 3 his messenger, he sends,
And, to the hostile Lusian lowly bends.
The much-lov’d daughter of the king implor’d,
Now sues her father for her wedded lord.
The beauteous dame approach’d the palace gate,
Where her great sire was thron’d in regal state:
On her fair face deep-settled grief appears,
And her mild eyes are bath’d in glist’ning tears;
Her careless ringlets, as a mourner’s, flow
Adown her shoulders, and her breasts of snow:
A secret transport through the father ran,
While thus, in sighs, the royal bride began:--
"And know’st thou not, O warlike king," she cried,
"That furious Afric pours her peopled tide--
Her barb’rous nations, o’er the fields of Spain?
Morocco’s lord commands the dreadful train.
Ne’er since the surges bath’d the circling coast,
Beneath one standard march’d so dread a host:
Such the dire fierceness of their brutal rage,
Pale are our bravest youth as palsied age.
By night our fathers shades confess their fear, 1
Their shrieks of terror from the tombs we hear:
To stem the rage of these unnumber’d bands,
Alone, O sire, my gallant husband stands;
His little host alone their breasts oppose
To the barb’d darts of Spain’s innum’rous foes:
Then haste, O monarch, thou whose conqu’ring spear
Has chill’d Malucca’s 2 sultry waves with fear:
Haste to the rescue of distress’d Castile,
(Oh! be that smile thy dear affection’s seal!)
And speed, my father, ere my husband’s fate
Be fix’d, and I, deprived of regal state,
Be left in captive solitude forlorn,
My spouse, my kingdom, and my birth to mourn."
In tears, and trembling, spoke the filial queen.
So, lost in grief, was lovely Venus 3 seen,
When Jove, her sire, the beauteous mourner pray’d
To grant her wand’ring son the promis’d aid.
Great Jove was mov’d to hear the fair deplore,
Gave all she ask’d, and griev’d she ask’d no more.
So griev’d Alonzo’s noble heart. And now
The warrior binds in steel his awful brow;
The glitt’ring squadrons march in proud array,
On burnish’d shields the trembling sunbeams play:
The blaze of arms the warlike rage inspires,
And wakes from slothful peace the hero’s fires.
With trampling hoofs Evora’s plains rebound,
And sprightly neighings echo far around;
Far on each side the clouds of dust arise,
The drum’s rough rattling rolls along the skies;
The trumpet’s shrilly clangor sounds alarms,
And each heart burns, and ardent, pants for arms.
Where their bright blaze the royal ensigns pour’d,
High o’er the rest the great Alonzo tower’d;
High o’er the rest was his bold front admir’d,
And his keen eyes new warmth, new force inspir’d.
Proudly he march’d, and now, in Tarif’s plain
The two Alonzos join their martial train:
Right to the foe, in battle-rank updrawn,
They pause--the mountain and the wide-spread lawn
Afford not foot-room for the crowded foe:
Aw’d with the horrors of the lifted blow
Pale look’d our bravest heroes. Swell’d with pride,
The foes already conquer’d Spain divide,
And, lordly o’er the field the .promis’d victors stride.
So, strode in Elah’s vale the tow’ring height
Of Gath’s proud champion; 1 so, with pale affright,
The Hebrews trembled, while with impious pride
The huge-limb’d foe the shepherd boy 2 defied:
The valiant boy advancing, fits the string,
And round his head he whirls the sounding sling;
The monster staggers with the forceful wound,
And his huge bulk lies groaning on the ground.
Such impious scorn the Moor’s proud bosom swell’d,
When our thin squadrons took the battle-field;
Unconscious of the Power who led us on,
That Power whose nod confounds th’ eternal throne;
Led by that Power, the brave Castilian bar’d
The shining blade, and proud Morocco dar’d
His conqu’ring brand the Lusian hero drew,
And on Granada’s sons resistless flew;
The spear-staffs crash, the splinters hiss around,
And the broad bucklers rattle on the ground:
With piercing shrieks the Moors their prophet’s name,
And ours, their guardian saint, aloud acclaim.
Wounds gush on wounds, and blows resound to blows
A. lake of blood the level plain o’erflows;
The wounded, gasping in the purple tide,
Now find the death the sword but half supplied.
Though wove 1 and quilted by their ladies’ hands,
Vain were the mail-plates of Granada’s bands.
With such dread force the Lusian rush’d along,
Steep’d in red carnage lay the boastful throng.
Yet now, disdainful of so light a prize,
Fierce o’er the field the thund’ring hero flies;
And his bold arm the brave Castilian joins
In dreadful conflict with the Moorish lines.
The parting sun now pour’d the ruddy blaze,
And twinkling Vesper shot his silv’ry rays
Athwart the gloom, and clos’d the glorious day,
When, low in dust, the strength of Afric lay.
Such dreadful slaughter of the boastful Moor
Never on battle-field was heap’d before;
Not he whose childhood vow’d 2 eternal hate
And desp’rate war against the Roman state:
Though three strong coursers bent beneath the weight
Of rings of gold (by many a Roman knight,
Erewhile, the badge of rank distinguish’d, worn),
From their cold hands at Cannæ’s 3 slaughter torn;
Not his dread sword bespread the reeking plain
With such wide streams of gore, and hills of slain;
Nor thine, O Titus, swept from Salem’s land
Such floods of ghosts, rolled down to death’s dark strand;
Though, ages ere she fell, the prophets old
The dreadful scene of Salem’s fall foretold,
In words that breathe wild horror: nor the shore,
When carnage chok’d the stream, so smok’d with gore,
When Marius’ fainting legions drank the flood,
Yet warm, and purpled with Ambronian 1 blood;
Not such the heaps as now the plains of Tarif strew’d.
While glory, thus, Alonzo’s name adorn’d,
To Lisbon’s shores the happy chief return’d,
In glorious peace and well-deserv’d repose,
His course of fame, and honour’d age to close.
When now, O king, a damsel’s fate 2 severe,
A fate which ever claims the woeful tear,
Disgraced his honours------On the nymph’s ’lorn head
Relentless rage its bitterest rancour shed:
Yet, such the zeal her princely lover bore,
Her breathless corse the crown of Lisbon wore.
’Twas thou, O Love, whose dreaded shafts control
The hind’s rude heart, and tear the hero’s soul;
Thou, ruthless power, with bloodshed never cloy’d,
’Twas thou thy lovely votary destroy’d.
Thy thirst still burning for a deeper woe,
In vain to thee the tears of beauty flow;
The breast that feels thy purest flames divine,
With spouting gore must bathe thy cruel shrine.
Such thy dire triumphs!--Thou, O nymph, the while,
Prophetic of the god’s unpitying guile,
In tender scenes by love-sick fancy wrought,
By fear oft shifted, as by fancy brought,
In sweet Mondego’s ever-verdant bowers,
Languish’d away the slow and lonely hours:
While now, as terror wak’d thy boding fears,
The conscious stream receiv’d thy pearly tears;
And now, as hope reviv’d the brighter flame,
Each echo sigh’d thy princely lover’s name.
Nor less could absence from thy prince remove
The dear remembrance of his distant love:
Thy looks, thy smiles, before him ever glow,
And o’er his melting heart endearing flow:
By night his slumbers bring thee to his arms,
By day his thoughts still wander o’er thy charms:
By night, by day, each thought thy loves employ,
Each thought the memory, or the hope, of joy.
Though fairest princely dames invok’d his love,
No princely dame his constant faith could move:
For thee, alone, his constant passion burn’d,
For thee the proffer’d royal maids he scorn’d.
Ah, hope of bliss too high--the princely dames
Refus’d, dread rage the father’s breast inflames;
He, with an old man’s wintry eye, surveys
The youth’s fond love, and coldly with it weighs
The people’s murmurs of his son’s delay
To bless the nation with his nuptial day.
(Alas, the nuptial day was past unknown,
Which, but when crown’d, the prince could dare to own.)
And, with the fair one’s blood, the vengeful sire
Resolves to quench his Pedro’s faithful fire.
Oh, thou dread sword, oft stain’d with heroes’ gore,
Thou awful terror of the prostrate Moor,
What rage could aim thee at a female breast,
Unarm’d, by softness and by love possess’d!
Dragg’d from her bower, by murd’rous ruffian hands,
Before the frowning king fair Inez stands;
Her tears of artless innocence, her air
So mild, so lovely, and her face so fair,
Mov’d the stern. monarch; when, with eager zeal,
Her fierce destroyers urg’d the public weal;
Dread rage again the tyrant’s soul possess’d,
And his dark brow his cruel thoughts confess’d;
O’er her fair face a sudden paleness spread,
Her throbbing heart with gen’rous anguish bled,
Anguish to view her lover’s hopeless woes,
And all the mother in her bosom rose.
Her beauteous eyes, in trembling tear-drops drown’d,
To heaven she lifted (for her hands were bound); 1
Then, on her infants turn’d the piteous glance,
The look of bleeding woe; the babes advance,
Smiling in innocence of infant age,
Unaw’d, unconscious of their grandsire’s rage;
To whom, as bursting sorrow gave the flow,
The native heart-sprung eloquence of woe,
The lovely captive thus:--"O monarch, hear,
If e’er to thee the name of man was dear,
If prowling tigers, or the wolf’s wild brood
(Inspir’d by nature with the lust of blood),
Have yet been mov’d the weeping babe to spare,
Nor left, but tended with a nurse’s care,
As Rome’s great founders 2 to the world were given;
Shalt thou, who wear’st the sacred stamp of Heaven,
The human form divine, shalt thou deny
That aid, that pity, which e’en beasts supply!
Oh, that thy heart were, as thy looks declare,
Of human mould, superfluous were my prayer;
Thou couldst not, then, a helpless damsel slay,
Whose sole offence in fond affection lay,
In faith to him who first his love confess’d,
’Who first to love allur’d her virgin breast.
In these my babes shalt thou thine image see,
And, still tremendous, hurl thy rage on me?
Me, for their sakes, if yet thou wilt not spare,
Oh, let these infants prove thy pious care! 1
Yet, Pity’s lenient current ever flows
From that brave breast where genuine valour glows;
That thou art brave, let vanquish’d Afric tell,
Then let thy pity o’er mine anguish swell;
Ah, let my woes, unconscious of a crime,
Procure mine exile to some barb’rous clime:
Give me to wander o’er the burning plains
Of Libya’s deserts, or the wild domains
Of Scythia’s snow-clad rocks, and frozen shore;
There let me, hopeless of return, deplore:
Where ghastly horror fills the dreary vale,
Where shrieks and howlings die on every gale,
The lion’s roaring, and the tiger’s yell,
There, with mine infant race, consign’d to dwell,
There let me try that piety to find,
In vain by me implor’d from human kind:
There, in some dreary cavern’s rocky womb,
Amid the horrors of sepulchral gloom,
For him whose love I mourn, my love shall glow,
The sigh shall murmur, and the tear shall flow:
All my fond wish, and all my hope, to rear
These infant pledges of a love so dear,
Amidst my griefs a soothing glad employ,
Amidst my fears a woeful, hopeless joy."
In tears she utter’d--as the frozen snow
Touch’d by the spring’s mild ray, begins to flow,
So, just began to melt his stubborn soul,
As mild-ray’d Pity o’er the tyrant stole;
But destiny forbade: with eager zeal
(Again pretended for the public weal),
Her fierce accusers urg’d her speedy doom;
Again, dark rage diffus’d its horrid gloom
O’er stern Alonzo’s brow: swift at the sign,
Their swords, unsheath’d, around her brandish’d shine.
O foul disgrace, of knighthood lasting stain,
By men of arms a helpless lady 1 slain!
Thus Pyrrhus, 2 burning with unmanly ire,
Fulfilled the mandate of his furious sire;
Disdainful of the frantic matron’s 3 prayer,
On fair Polyxena, her last fond care,
He rush’d, his blade yet warm with Priam’s gore,
And dash’d the daughter on the sacred floor;
While mildly she her raving mother eyed,
Resign’d her bosom to the sword, and died.
Thus Inez, while her eyes to heaven appeal,
Resigns her bosom to the murd’ring steel:
That snowy neck, whose matchless form sustain’d
The loveliest face where all the graces reign’d,
Whose charms so long the gallant prince enflam’d,
That her pale corse was Lisbon’s queen 1 proclaim’d,
That snowy neck was stain’d with spouting gore,
Another sword her lovely bosom tore.
The flowers that glisten’d with her tears bedew’d,
Now shrunk and languish’d with her blood embru’d.
As when a rose, ere-while of bloom so gay,
Thrown from the careless virgin’s breast away,
Lies faded on the plain, the living red,
The snowy white, and all its fragrance fled;
So from her cheeks the roses died away,
And pale in death the beauteous Inez lay:
With dreadful smiles, and crimson’d with her blood,
Round the wan victim the stern murd’rers stood,
Unmindful of the sure, though future hour,
Sacred to vengeance and her lover’s power.
O Sun, couldst thou so foul a crime behold,
Nor veil thine head in darkness, as of old 2
A sudden night unwonted horror cast
O’er that dire banquet, where the sire’s repast
The son’s torn limbs supplied!--Yet you, ye vales!
Ye distant forests, and ye flow’ry dales!
When pale and sinking to the dreadful fall,
You heard her quiv’ring lips on Pedro call;
Your faithful echoes caught the parting sound,
And Pedro! Pedro! mournful, sigh’d around.
Nor less the wood-nymphs of Mondego’s groves
Bewail’d the memory of her hapless loves:
Her griefs they wept, and, to a plaintive rill
Transform’d their tears, which weeps and murmurs still.
To give immortal pity to her woe
They taught the riv’let through her bowers to flow,
And still, through violet-beds, the fountain pours
Its plaintive wailing, and is named Amours. 1
Nor long her blood for vengeance cried in vain:
Her gallant lord begins his awful reign,
In vain her murd’rers for refuge fly,
Spain’s wildest hills no place of rest supply.
The injur’d lover’s and the monarch’s ire,
And stern-brow’d Justice in their doom conspire:
In hissing flames they die, and yield their souls in fire. 2
Nor this alone his stedfast soul display’d:
Wide o’er the land he wav’d the awful blade
Of red-arm’d Justice. From the shades of night
He dragg’d the foul adulterer to light:
The robber from his dark retreat was led,
And he who spilt the blood of murder, bled.
Unmov’d he heard the proudest noble plead;
Where Justice aim’d her sword, with stubborn speed
Fell the dire stroke. Nor cruelty inspir’d,
Noblest humanity his bosom fir’d.
The caitiff, starting at his thoughts, repress’d
The seeds of murder springing in his breast.
His outstretch’d arm the lurking thief withheld,
For fix’d as fate he knew his doom was seal’d.
Safe in his monarch’s care the ploughman reap’d,
And proud oppression coward distance kept.
Pedro the Just 1 the peopled towns proclaim,
And every field resounds her monarch’s name.
Of this brave prince the soft degen’rate son,
Fernando the Remiss, ascends the throne.
With arm unnerv’d the listless soldier lay
And own’d the influence of a nerveless sway:
The stern Castilian drew the vengeful brand,
And strode proud victor o’er the trembling land.
How dread the hour, when injur’d heaven, in rage,
Thunders its vengeance on a guilty age!
Unmanly sloth the king, the nation stain’d;
And lewdness, foster’d by the monarch, reign’d:
The monarch own’d that first of crimes unjust,
The wanton revels of adult’rous lust:
Such was his rage for beauteous 1 Leonore,
Her from her husband’s widow’d arms he tore:
Then with unbless’d, unhallow’d nuptials stain’d
The sacred altar, and its rites profan’d.
Alas! the splendour of a crown, how vain,
From Heaven’s dread eye to veil the dimmest stain!
To conqu’ring Greece, to ruin’d Troy, what woes,
What ills on ills, from Helen’s rape arose!
Let Appius own, let banish’d Tarquin tell
On their hot rage what heavy vengeance fell.
One female, ravish’d, Gibeah’s streets 1 beheld,
O’er Gibeah’s streets the blood of thousands swell’d
In vengeance of the crime; and streams of blood
The guilt of Zion’s sacred bard 2 pursued.
Yet Love, full oft, with wild delirium blinds,
And fans his basest fires in noblest minds;
The female garb the great Alcides 3 wore,
And for his Omphăle the distaff 4 bore.
For Cleopatra’s frown the world was lost:
The Roman terror, and the Punic boast,
Cannæ’s great victor, 5 for a harlot’s smile,
Resign’d the harvest of his glorious toil.
And who can boast he never felt the fires,
The trembling throbbings of the young desires,
When he beheld the breathing roses glow,
And the soft heavings of the living snow;
The waving ringlets of the auburn hair,
And all the rapt’rous graces of the fair!
Oh! what defence, if fix’d on him, he spy
The languid sweetness of the stedfast eye!
Ye who have felt the dear, luxurious smart,
When angel-charms oppress the powerless heart,
In pity here relent the brow severe,
And o’er Fernando’s weakness drop the tear. 6
61:1 Calliope.--The Muse of epic poesy, and mother of Orpheus. Daphne, daughter of the river Peneus, flying from Apollo, was turned into the laurel. Clytia was metamorphosed into the sun-flower, and Leucothoë, who was buried alive by her father for yielding to the solicitations of Apollo, was by her lover changed into an incense tree.
61:2 A fountain of Bœotia sacred to the Muses.--Ed.
61:3 The preface to the speech of Gama, and the description of Europe which follows, are happy imitations of the manner of Homer. When Camoëns describes countries, or musters an army, it is after the example of the great models of antiquity: by adding some characteristical feature of the climate or people, he renders his narrative pleasing, picturesque, and poetical.
62:1 The Mediterranean.
62:2 The Don.--Ed.
62:3 The Sea of Azof.--Ed.
63:1 Italy. In the year 409 the city of Rome was sacked, and Italy laid desolate by Alaric, king of the Gothic tribes. In mentioning this circumstance Camoëns has not fallen into the common error of little poets, who on every occasion bewail the outrage which the Goths and Vandals did to the arts and sciences. A complaint founded on ignorance. The Southern nations of Europe were sunk into the most contemptible degeneracy. The sciences, with every branch of manly literature, were almost unknown. For near two centuries no poet of note had adorned the Roman empire. Those arts only, the abuse of which have a certain and fatal tendency to enervate the mind, the arts of music and cookery, were passionately cultivated in all the refinements of effeminate abuse. The art of war was too laborious for their delicacy, and the generous warmth of heroism and patriotism was incompatible with their effeminacy. On these despicable Sybarites * the North poured her brave and hardy sons, who, though ignorant of polite literature, were possessed of all the manly virtues in a high degree. Under their conquests Europe wore a new face, which, however rude, was infinitely preferable to that which it had lately worn. And, however ignorance may talk of their barbarity, it is to them that England owes her constitution, which, as Montesquieu observes, they brought from the woods of Saxony.
63:2 The river Don.
63:3 This was the name of an extensive forest in Germany. It exists now under different names, as the Black Forest, the Bohemian and the Thuringian Forest, the Hartz, etc.--Ed.
63:* Sybaris, a city in Magna Grecia (South Italy), whose inhabitants were so effeminate, that they ordered all the cocks to be killed, that they might not be disturbed by their early crowing.
64:1 The Hellespont, or Straits of the Dardanelles.--Ed.
64:2 The Balkan Mountains separating Greece and Macedonia from the basin of the Danube, and extending from the Adriatic to the Black Sea.--Ed.
64:3 Now Constantinople.
64:4 Julius Cæsar, the conqueror of Gaul, or France.--Ed.
65:1 Faithless to the vows of lost Pyrene, etc.--She was daughter to Bebryx, a king of Spain, and concubine to Hercules. Having wandered one day from her lover, she was destroyed by wild beasts, on one of the mountains which bear her name.
65:2 Hercules. says the fable, to crown his labours, separated the two mountains Calpe and Abyla, the one in Spain, the other in Africa, in order to open a canal for the benefit of commerce; on which the ocean rushed in, and formed the Mediterranean, the Ægean, and Euxine seas. The twin mountains Abyla and Calpe were known to the ancients by the name of the Pillars of Hercules.--See Cory’s Ancient Fragments.
65:3 The river Guadalquivir; i.e., in Arabic, the great river.--Ed.
66:1 Viriatus.--See the note on Book I. p. 9.
66:2 The assassination of Viriatus--See the note on Book I. p. 9.
67:1 The name of Saracen is derived from the Arabic Es-shurk, the East, and designates the Arabs who followed the banner of Mohammed.--Ed.
67:2 Don Alonzo, king of Spain, apprehensive of the superior number of the Moors, with whom he was at war, demanded assistance from Philip I. of France, and the Duke of Burgundy. According to the military spirit of the nobility of that age, no sooner was his desire known than numerous bodies of troops thronged to his standard. These, in the course of a few years, having shown signal proofs of their courage, the king distinguished the leaders with different marks of his regard. To Henry, a younger son of the Duke of Burgundy, he gave his daughter Teresa in marriage, with the sovereignty of the countries to the south of Galicia, commissioning him to enlarge his boundaries by the expulsion of the Moors. Under the government of this great man, who reigned by the title of Count, his dominion was greatly enlarged, and became more rich and populous than before. The two provinces of Entre Minho e Douro, and Tras os Montes, were subdued, with that part of Beira which was held by the Moorish king of Lamego, whom he constrained to pay tribute. Many thousands of Christians, who had either lived in miserable subjection to the Moors, or in desolate independency in the mountains, took shelter under the protection of Count Henry. Great multitudes of the Moors also chose rather to submit, than be exposed to the severities and the continual feuds and seditions of their own governors. These advantages, added to the great fertility of the soil of Henry’s dominions, will account for the numerous armies, and the frequent wars of the first sovereigns of Portugal.
67:3 Camoëns, in making the founder of the Portuguese monarchy a younger son of the King of Hungary, has followed the old chronologist Galvan. The Spanish and Portuguese historians differ widely in their accounts of the parentage of this gallant stranger. Some bring him from Constantinople, and others from the house of Lorraine. But the p. 68 clearest and most probable account of him is in the chronicle of Fleury, wherein is preserved a fragment of French history, written by a Benedictine monk in the beginning of the twelfth century, and in the time of Count Henry. By this it appears, that he was a younger son of Henry, the only son of Robert, the first duke of Burgundy, who was a younger brother of Henry I. of France. Fanshaw having an eye to this history, has taken the unwarrantable liberty to alter the fact as mentioned by his author.
[paragraph continues] Nor are the historians agreed on the birth of Donna Teresa, the spouse of Count Henry. Brandam, and other Portuguese historians, are at great pains to prove she was the legitimate daughter of Alonzo and the beautiful Ximena de Guzman. But it appears from the more authentic chronicle of Fleury, that Ximena was only his concubine. And it is evident from all the historians, that Donna Urraca, the heiress of her father’s kingdom, was younger than her half-sister, the wife of Count Henry.
68:1 The Mohammedan Arabs.
68:2 Deliver’d Judah Henry’s might confess’d.--His expedition to the Holy Land is mentioned by some monkish writers, but from the other parts of his history it is highly improbable.
68:4 Godfrey of Bouillon.
69:1 Don Alonzo Enriquez, son of Count Henry, had only entered into his third year when his father died. His mother assumed the reins of government, and appointed Don Fernando Perez de Traba to be her minister. When the young prince was in his eighteenth year, some of the nobility, who either envied the power of Don Perez, or suspected his intention to marry the queen, and exclude the lawful heir, easily persuaded the young Count to take arms, and assume the sovereignty. A battle ensued, in which the prince was victorious. Teresa, it is said, retired into the castle of Legonaso, where she was taken prisoner by her son, who condemned her to perpetual imprisonment, and ordered chains to be put upon her legs. That Don Alonso made war against his mother, vanquished her party, and that she died in prison about two years after, A.D. 1130, are certain. But the cause of the war, that his mother was married to, or intended to marry, Don Perez, and that she was put in chains, are uncertain.
69:2 Guimaraens was the scene of a very sanguinary battle.--Ed.
70:1 The Scylla here alluded to was, according to fable, the daughter of Nisus, king of Megara, who had a purple lock, in which lay the fate of his kingdom. Minos of Crete made war against him, for whom Scylla conceived so violent a passion, that she cut off the fatal lock while her father slept. Minos on this was victorious, but rejected the love of the unnatural daughter, who in despair flung herself from a rock, and in the fall was changed into a lark.
70:2 Guimaraens, the scene of a famous battle.--Ed.
71:1 Some historians having related this story of Egas, add, "All this is very pleasant and entertaining, but we see no sufficient reason to affirm that there is one syllable of it true."
72:1 When Darius laid siege to Babylon, one of his lords, named Zopyrus, having cut off his own nose and ears, persuaded the enemy that he had received these indignities from the cruelty of his master. Being appointed to a chief command in Babylon, he betrayed the city to Darius.--Vid. Justin’s History.
72:2 Spanish and Portuguese histories afford several instances of the Moorish chiefs being attended in the field of battle by their mistresses, and of the romantic gallantry and Amazonian courage of these ladies.
72:3 Penthesilea, queen of the Amazons, who, after having signalized her valour at the siege of Troy, was killed by Achilles.
72:4 The Greek name of Troy.--Ed.
72:5 The Amazons.
72:6 Thermodon, a river of Scythia in the country of the Amazons.
73:1 It may, perhaps, be agreeable to the reader, to see the description of a bull-fight as given by Homer.
74:1 A shirt of mail, formed of small iron rings.
74:3 There is a passage in Xenophon, upon which perhaps Camoëns had his eye. Επεὶ δέ ἒληξεν ἡ μάχη, παρῆν ἰδεἱν την μέν γῆν αἵματι πεφυρμένην, &c. "When the battle was over, one might behold through the whole extent of the field the ground purpled with blood; the bodies of friends and enemies stretched over each other, the shields pierced, the spears broken, and the drawn swords, some scattered on the earth, some plunged in the bosoms of the slain, and some yet grasped in the hands of the dead soldiers."
75:1 This memorable battle was fought in the plains of Ourique, in 1139. The engagement lasted six hours; the Moors were totally routed with incredible slaughter. On the field of battle Alonzo was proclaimed King of Portugal. The Portuguese writers have given many fabulous accounts of this victory. Some affirm that the Moorish army amounted to 380,000, others, 480,000, and others swell it to 600,000, whereas Don Alonzo’s did not exceed 13,000. Miracles must also be added. Alonzo, they tell us, being in great perplexity, sat down to comfort his mind by the perusal of the Holy Scriptures. Having read the story of Gideon, he sunk into a deep sleep, in which he saw a very old man in a remarkable dress come into his tent, and assure him of victory. His chamberlain coming in, awoke him, and told him there was an old man very importunate to speak with him. Don Alonzo ordered him to be brought in, and no sooner saw him than he knew him to be the old man whom he had seen in his dream. This venerable person acquainted him that he was a fisherman, and had led a life of penance for sixty years on an adjacent rock, where it had been revealed to him, that if the count marched his army the next morning, as soon as he heard a certain bell ring, he should receive the strongest assurance of victory. Accordingly, at the ringing of the bell, the count put his army in motion, and suddenly beheld in the eastern sky the figure of the cross, and Christ upon it, who promised him a complete victory, and commanded him to accept the title of king, if it were offered him by the army. The same writers add, that as a standing memorial of this miraculous event, Don Alonzo changed the arms which his father had given, of a cross azure in a field argent, for five escutcheons, each charged with five bezants, in memory of the wounds of Christ. Others assert, that he gave, in a field argent, five escutcheons azure in the form of a cross, each charged with five bezants argent, placed saltierwise, with a point sable, in memory of five wounds he himself received, and of five Moorish kings slain in the battle. There is an old record, said to be written by Don Alonzo, in p. 76 which the story of the vision is related upon his majesty’s oath. The Spanish critics, however, have discovered many inconsistencies in it. They find the language intermixed with phrases not then in use: and it bears the date of the year of our Lord, at a time when that era had not been introduced into Spain.
76:2 The tradition, that Lisbon was built by Ulysses, and thence called Olyssipolis, is as common as, and of equal authority with, that which says, that Brute landed a colony of Trojans in England, and gave the name of Britannia to the island.
76:3 The conquest of Lisbon was of the utmost importance to the p. 77 infant monarchy. It is one of the finest ports in the world, and before the invention of cannon, was of great strength. The old Moorish wall was flanked by seventy-seven towers, was about six miles in length, and fourteen in circumference. When besieged by Don Alonzo, according to some, it was garrisoned by an army of 200,000 men. This is highly incredible. However, that it was strong and well garrisoned is certain, as also that Alonzo owed the conquest of it to a fleet of adventurers, who were going to the Holy Land, the greater part of whom were English. One Udal op Rhys, in his tour through Portugal, says, that Alonzo gave them Almada, on the side of the Tagus opposite to Lisbon, and that Villa Franca was peopled by them, which they called Cornualla, either in honour of their native country, or from the rich meadows in its neighbourhood, where immense herds of cattle are kept, as in the English Cornwall.
77:2 Unconquer’d towers.--This assertion of Camoëns is not without foundation, for it was by treachery that Herimeneric, the Goth, got possession of Lisbon.
78:1 The aqueduct of Sertorius, here mentioned, is one of the grandest remains of antiquity. It was repaired by John III. of Portugal about A.D. 1540.
79:2 The history of this battle wants authenticity.
80:1 As already observed, there is no authentic proof that Don Alonzo used such severity to his mother as to put her in chains. Brandan says it was reported that Don Alonzo was born with both his legs growing together, and that he was cured by the prayers of his tutor, Egas Nunio. Legendary as this may appear, this however is deducible from it, that from his birth there was something amiss about his legs. When he was prisoner to his son-in-law, Don Fernando, king of Leon, he recovered his liberty ere his leg, which was fractured in the battle, was restored, on condition that as soon as he was able to mount on horseback, he should come to Leon, and in person do homage for his dominions. This condition, so contrary to his coronation agreement, he found means to avoid. He ever after affected to drive in a calash, and would never mount on horseback more. The superstitious of those days ascribed this infirmity to the curses of his mother.
80:2 Phasis.--A river of Colchis.
80:3 A frontier town on the Nile, bordering on Nubia.
81:1 Colchis.--A country of Asia Minor bordering on the Black Sea.--Ed.
82:1 i.e. Tangiers, opposite to Gibraltar.--Ed.
82:2 This should be Emir el Moumeneen, i.e., Commander of the Faithful.--Ed.
82:3 The Mondego is the largest river having its rise within the kingdom of Portugal and entering no other state.--Ed.
83:1 Miramolin.--Not the name of a person, but a title, quasi Sultan; the Emperor of the Faithful.
83:2 In this poetical exclamation, expressive of the sorrow of Portugal on the death of Alonzo, Camoëns has happily imitated some passages of Virgil.
---------Eurydicen vox ipsa et frigida lingua,
Ah miseram Eurydicen, anima fugiente, vocabat:
Eurydicen toto referebant flumine ripæ. GEORG. iv.
---------littus, Hyla, Hyla, omne sonaret. ECL. vi.
84:1 The Guadalquiver, the largest river in Spain.--Ed.
84:2 The Portuguese, in their wars with the Moors, were several times assisted by the English and German crusaders. In the present instance the fleet was mostly English, the troops of which nation were, according to agreement, rewarded with the plunder, which was exceeding rich, of the city of Silves. Nuniz de Leon as cronicas dos Reis de Port, A.D. 1189.--Ed.
84:3 Barbarossa, A.D. 1189.--Ed.
85:1 Unlike the Syrian (rather Assyrian).--Sardanapalus.
85:2 When Rome’s proud tyrant far’d.--Heliogabalus, infamous for his gluttony.
85:3 Alluding to the history of Phalaris.
86:1 Camoëns, who was quite an enthusiast for the honour of his country, has in this instance disguised the truth of history. Don Sancho was by no means the weak prince here represented, nor did the miseries of his reign proceed from himself. The clergy were the sole authors of his, and the public, calamities. The Roman See was then in the height of its power, which it exerted in the most tyrannical manner. The ecclesiastical courts had long claimed the sole right to try an ecclesiastic: and, to prohibit a priest to say mass for a twelve-month, was by the brethren, his judges, esteemed a sufficient punishment for murder, or any other capital crime. Alonzo II., the father of Don Sancho, attempted to establish the authority of the king’s courts of justice over the offending clergy. For this the Archbishop of Braga excommunicated Gonzalo Mendez, the chancellor; and Honorius, the pope, excommunicated the king, and put his dominions under an interdict. The exterior offices of religion were suspended, the people fell into the utmost dissoluteness of manners; Mohammedanism made great advances, and public confusion everywhere prevailed. By this policy the Church constrained the nobility to urge the king to a full submission to the papal chair. While a negotiation for this purpose was on foot Alonzo died, and left his son to struggle with an enraged and powerful clergy. Don Sancho was just, affable, brave, and an enamoured husband. On this last virtue faction first fixed its envenomed fangs. The queen was accused of arbitrary influence over her husband; and, according to the superstition of that age, she was believed to have disturbed his senses by an enchanted draught. Such of the nobility as declared in the king’s favour were stigmatized, and rendered odious, as the creatures of the queen. The confusions which ensued were fomented by Alonso, Earl of Bologna, the king’s brother, by whom the king was accused as the author of them. In short, by the assistance of the clergy and Pope Innocent IV., Sancho was deposed, and soon after died at Toledo. The beautiful queen, Donna Mencia, was seized upon, and conveyed away by one Raymond Portocarrero, and was never heard of more. Such are the triumphs of faction!
87:1 Alexander the Great.
87:2 Mondego, the largest exclusively Portuguese river.--Ed.
87:3 The baccaris, or Lady’s glove, a herb to which the Druids and ancient poets ascribed magical virtues.
88:1 Semiramis, who is said to have invaded India.--Ed.
88:2 Attila, a king of the Huns, surnamed "The Scourge of God." He lived in the fifth century. He may be reckoned among the greatest of conquerors.
88:3 His much-lov’d bride.--The Princess Mary. She was a lady of great beauty and virtue, but was exceedingly ill used by her husband, who was violently attached to his mistresses, though he owed his crown to the assistance of his father-in-law, the King of Portugal.
[paragraph continues] Camoëns says, "A mortos faz espanto;" to give this elegance in English required a paraphrase. There is something wildly great, and agreeable to the superstition of that age, to suppose that the dead were troubled in their graves on the approach of so terrible an army. The French translator, contrary to the original, ascribes this terror to the ghost of only one prince, by which this stroke of Camoëns, in the spirit of Shakespeare, is reduced to a piece of unmeaning frippery.
89:2 The Muliya, a river of Morocco.--Ed.
89:3 See the first Æneid.
90:1 Goliath, the Philistine champion.--Ed.
90:2 David, afterwards king of Israel.--Ed.
91:1 Though wove.--It may perhaps be objected that this is ungrammatical. But--
and Dryden, Pope, etc., often use wove as a participle in place of the harsh-sounding woven, a word almost incompatible with the elegance of versification.
91:2 Hannibal, who, as a child, was compelled to swear perpetual hostility to the Romans.--Ed.
91:3 Where the last great battle between Hannibal and the Romans took place, in which the Romans sustained a crushing defeat.--Ed.
92:1 When the soldiers of Marius complained of thirst, he pointed to a river near the camp of the Ambrones. "There," says he, "you may drink, but it must be purchased with blood." "Lead us on," they replied, "that we may have something liquid, though it be blood." The Romans, forcing their way to the river, the channel was filled with the dead bodies of the slain.--Vid. Plutarch’s Lives.
92:2 This unfortunate lady, Donna Inez de Castro, was the daughter of a Castilian gentleman, who had taken refuge in the court of Portugal. Her beauty and accomplishments attracted the regard of Don Pedro, the king’s eldest son, a prince of a brave and noble disposition. La Neufville, Le Clede, and other historians, assert that she was privately married to the prince ere she had any share in his bed. Nor was his conjugal fidelity less remarkable than the ardour of his passion. Afraid, however, of his father’s resentment, the severity of whose temper he knew, his intercourse with Donna Inez passed at the court as an intrigue of gallantry. On the accession of Don Pedro the Cruel to the throne of Castile many of the disgusted nobility were kindly received by Don Pedro, through the interest of his beloved Inez. The favour shown to these Castilians gave great uneasiness to the politicians. A thousand evils were foreseen from the prince’s attachment to his Castilian mistress: even the murder of his children by his deceased spouse, the princess Constantia, was surmised; and the enemies of Donna Inez, finding the king willing to listen, omitted no opportunity to increase his resentment against the unfortunate lady. The prince was about his twenty-eighth year when his amour with his beloved Inez commenced.
94:2 Romulus and Remus, who were said to have been suckled by a wolf.--Ed.
95:1 It has been observed by some critics, that Milton on every occasion is fond of expressing his admiration of music, particularly of the song of the nightingale, and the full woodland choir. If in the same manner we are to judge of the favourite taste of Homer, we shall find it of a less delicate kind. He is continually describing the feast, the huge chine, the savoury viands on the glowing coals, and the foaming bowl. The ruling passion of Camoëns is also strongly marked in his writings. One may venture to affirm, that there is no poem of equal length that abounds with so many impassioned encomiums on the fair sex as the Lusiad. The genius of Camoëns seems never so pleased as when he is painting the variety of female charms; he feels all the magic of their allurements, and riots in his descriptions of the happiness and miseries attendant on the passion of love. As he wrote from his feelings, these parts of his works have been particularly honoured with the attention of the world.
96:1 To give the character of Alphonso IV. will throw light on this inhuman transaction. He was an undutiful son, an unnatural brother, and a cruel father, a great and fortunate warrior, diligent in the execution of the laws, and a Macchiavellian politician. His maxim was that of the Jesuits; so that a contemplated good might be attained, he cared not how villainous might be the means employed. When the enemies of Inez had persuaded him that her death was necessary to the welfare of the state, he took a journey to Coimbra, that he might see the lady, when the prince, his son, was absent on a hunting party. Donna Inez, with her children, threw herself at his feet. The king was moved with the distress of the beautiful suppliant, when his three counsellors, Alvaro Gonsalez, Diego Lopez Pacheco, and Pedro Coello, reproaching him for his disregard to the state, he relapsed to his former resolution. She was then dragged from his presence, and brutally murdered by the hands of his three counsellors, who immediately returned to the king with their daggers reeking with the innocent blood of his daughter-in-law. Alonzo, says La Neufville, avowed the horrid assassination, as if be had done nothing of which he ought to be ashamed.
96:2 Pyrrhus, son of Achilles: he was also called Neoptolemus. He sacrificed Polyxena, daughter of Priam king of Troy, to the manes of his father. Euripides and Sophocles each wrote a tragedy having the sacrifice of Polyxena for the subject. Both have unfortunately perished.--Ed.
96:3 Hecuba, mother of Polyxena, and wife of Priam.--Ed.
97:1 The fair Inez was crowned Queen of Portugal after her interment.
97:2 Atreus, having slain the sons of Thyestes, cut them in pieces, and served them up for a repast to their own father. The sun, it is said, hid his face rather than shine on so barbarous a deed.--Ed.
98:1 At an old royal castle near Mondego, there is a rivulet called the fountain of Amours. According to tradition, it was here that Don Pedro resided with his beloved Inez. The fiction of Camoëns, founded on the popular name of the rivulet, is in the spirit of Homer.
98:2 When the prince was informed of the death of his beloved Inez, he was transported into the most violent fury. He took arms against his father. The country between the rivers Minho and Doura was laid desolate: but, by the interposition of the queen and the Archbishop of Braga, the prince relented, and the further horrors of a civil war were prevented. Don Alonzo was not only reconciled to his son, but laboured by every means to oblige him, and to efface from his memory the injury and insult he had received. The prince, however, still continued to discover the strongest marks of affection and grief. When he succeeded to the crown, one of his first acts was a treaty with the King of Castile, whereby each monarch engaged to give up such malcontents as should take refuge in each other’s dominions. In consequence of this, Pedro Coello and Alvaro Gonsalez, who, on the death of Alonzo had fled to Castile, were sent prisoners to Don Pedro. Diego Pacheco, the third murderer, made his escape. The other two were put to death with the most exquisite tortures, and most justly merited, if torture is in any instance to be allowed. After this tire king, Don Pedro, summoned an assembly of the states at Cantanedes. Here, in the presence of the Pope’s nuncio, Ire solemnly swore on the holy Gospels, that having obtained a dispensation from Rome, he had secretly, at Braganza, espoused the Lady Inez de Castro, in the presence of the Bishop of Guarda, and of his master of the wardrobe; both of whom confirmed the truth of the oath. The Pope’s Bull, containing the dispensation, was published; the body of Inez was lifted from the grave, was placed on a magnificent throne, and with the proper regalia, crowned Queen of Portugal. The nobility did homage to her skeleton, and kissed the bones of her hand. The corpse was then interred at the royal monastery of Alcobaca, with a pomp before unknown in Portugal, and with all the honours due to a queen. Her monument is still extant, where her statue is adorned with the diadem and the royal robe. This, with the legitimation of her children, and the care he took of all who had been in her service, consoled Trim in some degree, and rendered him more conversable than he had hitherto been; but the cloud which the death of Inez brought p. 99 over the natural cheerfulness of his temper, was never totally dispersed.--A circumstance strongly characteristic of the rage of his resentment must not be omitted. When the murderers were brought before him, he was so transported with indignation, that he struck Pedro Coello several blows on the face with the shaft of his whip.
99:1 Pedro the Just.--History cannot afford an instance of any prince who has a more eminent claim to the title of ,just than Pedro I. His diligence to correct every abuse was indefatigable, and when guilt was proved his justice was inexorable. He was dreadful to the evil, and beloved by the good, for he respected no persons, and his inflexible severity never digressed from the line of strict justice. An anecdote or two will throw some light on his character. A priest having killed a mason, the king dissembled his knowledge of the crime, and left the issue to the ecclesiastical court, where the priest was punished by one year’s suspension from saying mass. The king on this privately ordered the mason’s son to revenge the murder of his father. The young man obeyed, was apprehended, and condemned to death. When his sentence was to be confirmed by the king, Pedro enquired, what was the young man’s trade. He was answered, that he followed his father’s. "Well then," said the king, I shall commute his punishment, and interdict him from meddling with stone or mortar for a twelve-month." After this he fully established the authority of the king’s courts over the clergy, whom he punished with death when their crimes were capital. When solicited to refer the causes of such criminals to a higher tribunal, he would answer very calmly, "That is what I intend to do: I will send them to the highest of all tribunals, to that of their Maker and mine." Against adulterers he was p. 100 particularly severe, often declaring it as his opinion, that conjugal infidelity was the source of the greatest evils, and that therefore to restrain it was the interest and duty of the sovereign. Though the fate of his beloved Inez chagrined and soured his temper, he was so far from being naturally sullen or passionate, that he was rather of a gay and sprightly disposition; he was affable and easy of access; delighted in music and dancing; was a lover of learning, a man of letters, and an elegant poet.--Vide Le Clede, Mariana, Faria.
100:1 This lady, named Leonora de Tellez, was the wife of Don Juan Lorenzo Acugna, a nobleman of one of the most distinguished families in Portugal. After a sham process this marriage was dissolved, and the king privately espoused to her, though, at this time, he was publicly married by proxy to Donna Leonora of Arragon. A dangerous insurrection, headed by one Velasquez, a tailor, drove the king and his adulterous bride from Lisbon. Soon after, he caused his marriage to be publicly celebrated in the province of Entre Douro e Minho. Henry, king of Castile, being informed of the general discontent that reigned in Portugal, marched a formidable army into that kingdom, to revenge the injury offered to some of his subjects, whose ships had been unjustly seized at Lisbon. The desolation hinted at by Camoëns ensued. After the subjects of both kingdoms had severely suffered, the two kings ended the war, much to their mutual satisfaction, by an intermarriage of their illegitimate children.
101:1 Judges, chap. xix. and xx.
101:2 2 Samuel, chap. xii. 10, "The sword shall never depart from thine house."
101:4 Love compelled Hercules to spin wool.--OVID.
101:6 To conclude the notes on this book, it may not be unnecessary to observe that Camoëns, in this episode, has happily adhered to a principal rule of the Epopea. To paint the manners and characters of the age in which the action is placed, is as requisite in the epic poem as it is to preserve the unity of the character of an individual. That gallantry of bravery and romantic cast of the military adventures, which characterised the Spaniards and Portuguese during the Moorish wars, is happily supported by Camoëns in its most just and striking colours. In storming the citadel of Arzila, the Count de Marialva, a brave old officer, lost his life. The king, leading his only son, the Prince Don Juan, to the body of the count, while the blood yet streamed from his wounds: "Behold," he cried, "that great man! May God grant you, my son, to imitate his virtues. May your honour, like his, be complete!"