Scene - Room in a palace of Valencia.
XIMENA singing to a lute.

"THOU hast not been with a festal throng,
At the pouring of the wine;
Men bear not from the Hall of Song
A mien so dark as thine!
- There's blood upon thy shield,
There's dust upon thy plume,
- Thou hast brought from some disastrous field,
That brow of wrath and gloom!"

"And is there blood upon my shield?
- Maiden! it well may be !
We have sent the streams from our battle-field,
All darken'd to the sea!
We have given the founts a stain,
'Midst their woods of ancient pine,
And the ground is wet - but not with rain,
Deep-dyed - but not with wine!

"The ground is wet - but not with rain -
We have been in war array,
And the noblest blood of Christian Spain
Hath bathed her soil to-day.

I have seen the strong man die
And the stripling meet his fate,
Where the mountain-winds go sounding by,
In the Roncesvalles' Strait.

"In the gloomy Roncesvalles' Strait
There are helms and lances cleft;
And they that moved at morn elate
On a bed of heath are left!
There's many a fair young face,
Which the war-steed hath gone o'er;
At many a board there is kept a place
For those that come no more!"

"Alas! for love, for woman's breast,
If woe like this must be!
- Hast thou seen a youth with an eagle crest,
And a white plume waving free?
With his proud quick-flashing eye,
And his mien of knightly state?
Doth he come from where the swords flash'd high,
In the Roncesvalles' Strait?"

"In the gloomy Roncesvalles' strait
I saw and mark'd him well;
For nobly on his steed he sate,
When the pride of manhood fell!
- But it is not youth which turns
From the field of spears again;
For the boy's wild heart too wildly burns,
Till it rests amidst the slain!"

"Thou canst not say that he lies low,
The lovely and the brave;
Oh! none could look on his joyous brow,
And think upon the grave!
Dark, dark perchance the day
Hath been with valour's fate,
But he is on his homeward way,
From the Roncesvalles' Strait."

"There is dust upon his joyous brow,
And o'er his graceful head;
And the war-horse will not wake him now,
Though it bruise his greensward bed!
- I have seen the stripling die,
And the strong man meet his fate,
Where the mountain-winds go sounding by,
In the Roncesvalles' Strait!"

ELMINA enters.

Your songs are not like those of other days,
Mine own Ximena! - Where is now the young
And buoyant spirit of the morn, which once
Breath'd in your spring-like melodies, and woke
Joy's echo from all hearts?

My mother, this
Is not the free air of our mountain-wilds;
And these are not the halls, wherein my voice
First pour'd those gladdening strains.

Alas! thy heart
(I see it well) doth sicken for the pure
Free-wandering breezes of the joyous hills,
Where thy young brothers, o'er the rock and heath,
Bound in glad boyhood, e'en as torrent streams
Leap brightly from the heights.  Had we not been
Within these walls thus suddenly begirt,
Thou wouldst have track'd ere now with step as light,
Their wild wood-paths.

I would not but have shared
These hours of woe and peril, though the deep
And solemn feelings wakening at their voice,
Claim all the wrought-up spirit to themselves,
And will not blend with mirth.  The storm doth hush
All floating whispery sound, all bird-notes wild
O' th' summer forest, filling earth and heaven
With its own awful music. - And 'tis well!
Should not a hero's child be train'd to hear
The trumpet's blast unstartled, and to look
In the fix'd face of Death without dismay?

Woe! woe! that aught so gentle and so young
Should thus be call'd to stand i' the tempest's path,
And bear the token and the hue of death
On a bright soul so soon!  I had not shrunk
From mine own lot, but thou, my child, shouldst move
As a light breeze of heaven, through summer-bowers,
And not o'er foaming billows.  We are fall'n
On dark and evil days!

Ay, days that wake
All to their tasks! - Youth may not loiter now
In the green walks of spring; and womanhood
Is summon'd unto conflicts, heretofore
The lot of warrior souls.  But we will take
Our toils upon us nobly!  Strength is born
In the deep silence of long-suffering hearts;
Not amidst joy.

Hast thou some secret woe,
That thus thou speak'st?

What sorrow should be mine,
Unknown to thee?

Alas! the baleful air
Wherewith the pestilence in darkness walks
Through the devoted city, like a blight
Amidst the rose-tints of thy cheek hath fall'n,
And wrought an early withering! - Thou hast cross'd
The paths of Death, and minister'd to those
O'er whom his shadow rested, till thine eye
Deep, solemn radiance, and thy brow hath caught
A wild and high expression, which at times
Fades unto desolate calmness, most unlike
What youth's bright mien should wear.  My gentle child!
I look on thee in fear!

Thou hast no cause
To fear for me.  When the wild clash of steel,
And the deep tambour, and the heavy step
Of armed men, break on our morning dreams;
When, hour by hour, the noble and the brave
Are falling round us, and we deem it much
To give them funeral rites, and call them blest
If the good sword, in its own stormy hour,
Hath done its work upon them, ere disease
Had chill'd their fiery blood; - it is no time
For the light mien wherewith, in happier hours
We trod the woodland mazes, when young leaves
Were whispering in the gale. - My Father comes -
Oh! speak of me no more.  I would not shade
His princely aspect with a thought less high
Than his proud duties claim.

GONZALEZ enters.

My noble lord!
Welcome from this day's toil! - It is the hour
Whose shadows, as they deepen, bring repose
Unto all weary men; and wilt not thou
Free thy mail'd bosom from the corslet's weight,
To rest at fall of eve?

There may be rest
For the tired peasant when the vesper-bell
Doth send him to his cabin, and beneath
His vine and olive he may sit at eve
Watching his children's sport: but unto him
Who keeps the watch-place on the mountain height,
When Heaven lets loose the storms that chasten realms
- Who speaks of rest?

My father, shall I fill
The wine-cup for thy lips, or bring the lute
Whose sound thou lovest?

If there be strains of power
To rouse a spirit, which in triumphant scorn
May cast off nature's feebleness, and hold
Its proud career unshackled, dashing down
Tears and fond thoughts to earth; give voice to those!
I have need of such Ximena! we must hear
No melting music now.

I know all high
Heroic ditties of the elder time,
Sung by the mountain-Christians, in the holds
Of th' everlasting hills, whose snows yet bear
The print of Freedom's step; and all wild strains
Wherein the dark serranos teach the rocks
And the pine forests deeply to resound
The praise of later champions.  Wouldst thou hear
The war-song of thine ancestor, the Cid?

Ay, speak of him, for in that name is power
Such as might rescue kingdoms! Speak of him!
We are his children! They that can look back
I' th' annals of their house on such a name,
How should they take Dishonour by the hand,
And o'er the threshold of their fathers' halls
First lead her as a guest?

Oh, why this?
How my heart sinks!

It must not fail thee yet,
Daughter of heroes! - thine inheritance
Is strength to meet all conflicts.  Thou canst number
In thy long line of glorious ancestry
Men, the bright offering of whose blood hath made
The ground it bathed e'en as an altar, whence
High thoughts shall rise for ever.  Bore they not,
'Midst flame and sword, their witness of the Cross,
With its victorious inspiration girt
As with a conqueror's robe, till th' infidel,
O'erawed, shrank back before them? - Ay, the earth
Doth call them martyrs, but their agonies
Were of a moment, tortures whose brief aim
Was to destroy, within whose powers and scope
Lay naught but dust - And earth doth call them martyrs!
Why, Heaven but claim'd their blood, their lives, and not
The things which grow as tendrils round their hearts;
No, not their children!

Mean'st thou? - know'st thou aught?
I cannot utter it - My sons! my son!
Is it of them? - Oh! would'st thou speak of them?

A mother's heart divineth but too well!

Speak, I adjure thee! - I can bear it all.
- Where are my children?

In the Moorish camp
Whose lines have girt the city.

But they live?
- All is not lost, my mother!

Say, they live.

Elmina, still they live.

But captives! - They
Whom my fond heart had imaged to itself
Bounding from cliff to cliff amidst the wilds
Where the rock-eagle seem'd not more secure
In its rejoicing freedom! - And my boys
Are captives with the Moor! - Oh! how was this?

Alas! our brave Alphonso, in the pride
Of boyish daring , left our mountain-halls,
With his young brother, eager to behold
The face of noble war.  Thence on their way
Were the rash wanderers captured.

'Tis enough.
- And when shall they be ransomed?

There is ask'd
A random far too high.

What! have we wealth
Which might redeem a monarch, and our sons
The while wear fetters? - Take thou all for them,
And we will cast our worthless grandeur from us,
As 'twere a cumbrous robe! - Why, thou art one
To whose high nature pomp hath ever been
But as the plumage to a warrior's helm,
Worn or thrown off as lightly.  And for me,
Thou know'st not how serenely I could take
The peasant's lot upon me, so my heart,
Amidst its deep affections undisturb'd,
May dwell in silence.

Father! doubt thou not
But we will bind ourselves to poverty,
With glad devotedness, if this, but this,
May win them back. - Distrust us not, my father!
We can bear all things.

Can ye bear disgrace?

We were not born for this.

No, thou sayest well!
Hold to that lofty faith. - My wife, my child!
Hath earth no treasures richer than the gems
Torn from her secret caverns? - If by them
Chains may be riven, then let the captive spring
Rejoicing to the light! - But he, for whom
Freedom and life may but be worn with shame,
Hath naught to do, save fearlessly to fix
His steadfast look on the majestic heavens,
And proudly die!

Gonzalez, who must die?

Gonzalez (hurriedly).
They on whose lives a fearful price is set,
But to be paid by treason! - Is 't enough?
Or must I yet seek words?

That look saith more!
Thou canst not mean -

I do! why dwells there not

Power in a glance to speak it? They must die!
They - must their names be told - Our sons must die.
Unless I yield the city!

Oh! look up!
My mother, sink not thus! - Until the grave
Shut from our sight its victims, there is hope.

Elmina (in a low voice.)
Whose knell was in the breeze!
- No, no, not theirs!
Whose was the blessed voice that spoke of hope?
- And there is hope! - I will not be subdued -
I will not hear a whisper of despair!
For Nature is all-powerful, and her breath
Moves like a quickening spirit o'er the depths
Within a father's heart. - Thou too, Gonzalez,
Wilt tell me there is hope!

Gonzalez (solemnly.)
Hope but in Him
Who bade the patriarch lay his fair young son
Bound on the shrine of sacrifice, and when
The bright steel quiver'd in the father's hand
Just raised to strike, sent forth his awful voice
Through the still clouds, and on the breathless air,
Commanding to withhold! - Earth has no hope:
It rests with him.

Thou canst not tell me this!
Thou father of my sons, within whose hands
Doth lie thy children's fate.

If there have been
Men in whose bosoms Nature's voice hath made
Its accents as the solitary sound
Of an o'erpowering torrent, silencing
Th' austere and yet divine remonstrances
Whispered by faith and honour, lift thy hands,
And, to that Heaven, which arms the brave with strength
Pray that the father of thy sons may ne'er
Be thus found wanting!

Then their doom is seal'd!
Thou wilt not save they children?

Hast thou cause,
Wife of my youth, to deem it lies within
The bounds of possible things, that I should link
My name to that word - traitor? They that sleep
On their proud battle-fields, thy sires and mine,
Died not for this!

Oh, cold and hard of heart!
Thou shouldst be born for empire, since thy soul
Thus lightly from all human bonds can free
Its haughty flight! - Men! men! too much is yours
Of vantage; ye, that with a sound, a breath,
A shadow, thus can fill the desolate space
Of rooted-up affections, o'er whose void
Our yearning hearts must wither! - So it is,
Dominion must be won! - Nay, leave me not -
My heart is bursting, and I must be heard!
Heaven hath given power to mortal agony,
As to the elements in their hour of might
And mastery o'er creation! - Who shall dare
To mock that fearful strength? - I must be heard!
Give me my sons!

That they may live to hide
With covering hands th' indignant flush of shame
On their young brows, when men shall speak of him
They called their father! Was the oath whereby,
On th' altar of my faith, I bound myself,
With an unswerving spirit to maintain
This free and Christian city for my God
And for my king, a writing traced on sand?
That passionate tears should wash it from the earth.
Or e'en the life-drops of a bleeding heart
Efface it, as a billow sweeps away
The last light vessel's wake? - Then never more
Let man's deep vows be trusted! - though enforced
By all th' appeals of high remembrances,
And silent claims o' th' sepulchres, wherein
His fathers with their stainless glory sleep,
On their good swords! Think'st thou I feel no pangs?
He that hath given me sons, doth know the heart
Whose treasures he recalls. - Of this no more.
'Tis vain.  I tell thee that th' inviolate cross
Still, from our ancient temples, must look up
Through the blue heavens of Spain, though at its foot
I perish with my race. Thou darest not ask
That I, the son of warriors - men who died
To fix it on that proud supremacy -
Should tear the sign of our victorious faith
From its high place of sunbeams, for the Moor
In impious joy to trample!

Scorn me not,
In mine extreme of misery! - Thou art strong -
Thy heart is not as mine.  My brain grows wild;
I know not what I ask! - And yet 'twere but
Anticipating fate - since it must fall,
That cross must fall at last! There is no power,
No hope within this city of the grave,
To keep its place on high.  Her sultry air
Breathes heavily of death, her warriors sink
Beneath their ancient banners, era the Moor
Hath bent his bow against them; for the shaft
Of pestilence flies more swiftly to its mark, 
Than the arrow of the desert.  Ev'n the skies
O'erhang the desolate splendour of her domes
With an ill omen's aspect, shaping forth,
From the dull clouds, wild menacing forms and signs
Foreboding ruin.  Man might be withstood,
But who shall cope with famine and disease,
When leagued with armed foes! - where now the aid,
Where the long-promised lances of Castile!
- We are forsaken, in our utmost need,
By heaven and earth forsaken!

If this be,
(And yet I will not deem it) we must fall 
As men that in severe devotedness
Have chosen their part and bound themselves to death,
Through high conviction that their suffering land,
By the free blood of martyrdom alone,
Shall call deliverance down.

Oh! I have stood
Beside thee through the beating storms of life,
With the true heart of unrepining love,
As the poor peasant's mate doth cheerily
In the parch'd vineyard, or the harvest-field,
Bearing her part, sustain with him the heat
And burden of the day.  But now the hour
The heavy hour is come, when human strength
Sinks down, a toil-worn pilgrim, in the dust,
Owning that woe is mightier! - Spare me yet
This bitter cup, my husband! - Let not her,
The mother of the lovely, sit and mourn
In her unpeopled home, a broken stem,
O'er its fallen roses dying!

Urge me not,
Thou that through all sharp conflicts hast been found
Worthy a brave man's love, oh! urge me not
To guilt, which, through the mist of blinding tears,
In its own hues thou seest not! - Death may scarce
Bring aught like this!

All, all thy gentle race,
The beautiful beings that around thee grew,
Creatures of sunshine! Wilt thou doom them all?
- She, too, thy daughter - doth her smile unmark'd
Pass from thee, with its radiance, day by day?
Shadows are gathering round her - seest thou not?
The misty dimness of the spoiler's breath
Hangs o'er her beauty, and the face which made
The summer of our hearts, now doth but send,
With every glance, deep bodings through the soul,
Telling of early fate.

I see a change
Far nobler on her brow! - She is as one,
Who, at the trumpet's sudden call, hath risen
From the gay banquet, and in scorn cast down
The wine-cup, and the garland, and the lute,
Of festal hours, for the good spear and helm,
Beseeming sterner tasks. - Her eye hath lost
The beam which laugh'd upon th' awakening heart,
E'en as morn breaks o'er earth.  But far within
Its full dark orb, a light hath sprung, whose source
Lies deeper in the soul. - And let the torch
Which but illumed the glittering pageant, fade!
The altar-flame, i' th' sanctuary's recess,
Burns quenchless, being of heaven! - She hath put on
Courage, and faith, and generous constancy,
Ev'n as a breastplate. - Ay, men look on her,
As she goes forth serenely to her tasks,
Binding the warrior's wounds, and bearing fresh
Cool draughts to fever'd lips; they look on her,
Thus moving in her beautiful array
Of gently fortitude,, and bless the fair
Majestic vision, and unmurmuring turn
Unto their heavy toils.

And seest thou not
In that high faith and strong collectedness,
A fearful inspiration? - They have cause
To tremble, who behold th' unearthly light
Of high, and, it may be, prophetic thought,
Investing youth with grandeur ! - From the grave
It rises, on whose shadowy brink thy child
Waits but a father's hand to snatch her back
Into the laughing sunshine. - Kneel with me,
Ximena, kneel beside me, and implore
That which a deeper, more prevailing voice
Than ours doth ask, and will not be denied;
- His children's lives!

Alas! this may not be,
Mother! - I cannot.      [Exit XIMENA.

My heroic child!
- A terrible sacrifice thou claim'st, O God!
From creatures in whose agonizing hearts
Nature is strong as death.

Is't thus in thine?
Away! - what time is given thee to resolve
On? - what I cannot utter! - Speak! thou know'st
Too well what I would say.

Until - ask not!
The time is brief.

Thou said'st - I heard not right -

The time is brief.

What! must we burst all ties
Wherewith the thrilling chords of life are twined;
And, for this task's fulfilment, can it be
That man, in his cold heartlessness, hath dared
To number and to mete us forth the sands
Of hours, nay, moments? - Why, the sentenced wretch,
He on whose soul there rests a brother's blood
Pour'd forth in slumber, is allow'd more time
To wean his turbulent passions from the world
His presence doth pollute! - It is not thus!
We must have time to school us.

We have but
To bow the head in silence, when Heaven's voice
Calls back the things we love.

Love! Love! - there are soft smiles and gentle words,
And there are faces, skilful to put on
The look we trust in - and 'tis mockery all!
- A faithless mist, a desert-vapour, wearing
The brightness of clear waters, thus to cheat
The thirst that semblance kindled! - There is none
In all this cold and hollow world, no fount
Of deep, strong, deathless love, save that within
A mother's heart. - It is but pride, wherewith
To his fair son the father's eye doth turn
Watching his growth.  Ay, on the boy he looks,
The bright glad creature springing in his path,
But as the heir of his great name, the young
And stately tree, whose rising strength ere long
Shall bear his trophies well. - And this is love!
This is man's love! - What marvel? - you ne'er made
Your breast the pillow of his infancy,
While to the fulness of your heart's glad heavings
His fair cheek rose and fell; and his bright hair
Waved softly to your breath! - You ne'er kept watch
Beside him, till the last pale star had set,
And morn, all dazzling, as in triumph, broke
On your dim weary eye; not yours the face
Which early faded through fond care for him,
Hung o'er his sleep, and duly as Heaven's light,
Was there to greet his wakening! You ne'er smoothed
His couch, ne'er sung him to his rosy rest,
Caught his least whisper, when his voice from yours
Had learned soft utterance; pressed your lips to his
When fever parch'd it; hush'd his wayward cries,
With patient, vigilant, never-wearied love!
No! these are woman's tasks! - In these her youth,
And bloom of cheek, and buoyancy of heart,
Steal from her all unmark'd! - My boys! my boys!
Hath vain affection borne with all for this?
- Why were ye given me?

Is there strength in man
Thus to endure? - That thou couldst read, thro' all
Its depths of silent agony, the heart
Thy voice of woe doth rend!

Thy heart! thy heart! - Away! it feels not now!
But an hour comes to tame the mighty man
Unto the infant's weakness; nor shall Heaven
Spare you that bitter chastening! - May you live
To be alone, when loneliness doth seem
Most heavy to sustain! - For me, my voice
Of prayer and fruitless weeping shall be soon
With all forgotten sounds; my quiet place
Low with my lovely ones, and we shall sleep,
Though kings lead armies o'er us; we shall sleep,
Wrapt in earth's covering mantle! you the while
Shall sit within your vast, forsaken halls,
And hear the wild and melancholy winds
Moan through their drooping banners, never more
To wave above your race.  Ay, then call up
Shadows - dim phantoms from ancestral tombs,
But all - all glorious - conquerors, chieftains, kings
- To people that cold void! And when the strength
From your right arm hath melted, when the blast
Of the shrill clarion gives your heart no more
A fiery wakening; if at last your pine
For the glad voices, and the bounding steps,
Once through your home re-echoing, and the clasp
Of twining arms, and all the joyous light
Of eyes that laugh'd with youth, and made your board
A place of sunshine; - When those days are come,
Then, in your utter desolation, turn
To the cold world, the smiling, faithless world,
Which hath swept past you long, and bid it quench
Your soul's deep thirst with fame! immortal fame!
Fame to the sick of heart! - a gorgeous robe,
A crown of victory, unto him that dies
I' th' burning waste, for water!

This from thee!
Now the last drop of bitterness is pour'd.
Elmina - I forgive thee!     [Exit ELMINA.
Aid me, Heaven!
From whom alone is power! - Oh! thou hast set
Duties, so stern of aspect, in my path,
They almost, to my startled gaze, assume
The hue of things less hallow'd! Men have sunk
Unblamed beneath such trials! - Doth not He
Who made us, know the limits of our strength?
My wife! my sons! - Away! I must not pause
To give my heart one moment's mastery thus!
                           [Exit GONZALEZ.

Scene - The Aisle of A Gothic Church.


The rites are closed.  Now, valiant men depart,
Each to his place - I may not say, of rest;
Your faithful vigils for your sons may win
What must not be your own.  Ye are those
Who sow, in peril and in care, the seed
Of the fair tree, beneath whose stately shade
They may not sit.  But bless'd be they who toil
For after-day! - All high, and holy thoughts
Be with you, warriors, thro' the lingering hours
Of the night-watch!

Ay, father! we have need
Of high and holy thoughts, wherewith to fence
Our hearts against despair.  Yet have I been
From youth a son of war.  The stars have look'd
A thousand times upon my couch of heath,
Spread 'midst the wild sierras, by some stream
Whose dark-red waves look'd e'en as though their source
Caught his least whisper, when his voice from yours
Had learned soft utterance; pressed your lips to his
When fever parch'd it; hush'd his wayward cries,
With patient, vigilant, never-wearied love!
No! these are woman's tasks! - In these her youth,
And bloom of cheek, and buoyancy of heart,
Steal from her all unmark'd! - My boys! my boys!
Hath vain affection borne with all for this?
- Why were ye given me?

Is there strength in man
Thus to endure? - That thou couldst read, thro' all
Its depths of silent agony, the heart
Thy voice of woe doth rend!

Thy heart! thy heart! - Away! it feels not now!
But an hour comes to tame the mighty man
Unto the infant's weakness; nor shall Heaven
Spare you that bitter chastening! - May you live
To be alone, when loneliness doth seem
Most heavy to sustain! - For me, my voice
Of prayer and fruitless weeping shall be soon
With all forgotten sounds; my quiet place
Low with my lovely ones, and we shall sleep,
Though kings lead armies o'er us; we shall sleep,
Wrapt in earth's covering mantle! you the while
Shall sit within your vast, forsaken halls,
And hear the wild and melancholy winds
Moan through their drooping banners, never more
To wave above your race.  Ay, then call up
Shadows - dim phantoms from ancestral tombs,
But all - all glorious - conquerors, chieftains, kings
- To people that cold void! And when the strength
From your right arm hath melted, when the blast
Of the shrill clarion gives your heart no more
A fiery wakening; if at last your pine
For the glad voices, and the bounding steps,
Once through your home re-echoing, and the clasp
Of twining arms, and all the joyous light
Of eyes that laugh'd with youth, and made your board
A place of sunshine; - When those days are come,
Then, in your utter desolation, turn
To the cold world, the smiling, faithless world,
Which hath swept past you long, and bid it quench
Your soul's deep thirst with fame! immortal fame!
Fame to the sick of heart! - a gorgeous robe,
A crown of victory, unto him that dies
I' th' burning waste, for water!

This from thee!
Now the last drop of bitterness is pour'd.
Elmina - I forgive thee!     [Exit ELMINA.
Aid me, Heaven!
From whom alone is power! - Oh! thou hast set
Duties, so stern of aspect, in my path,
They almost, to my startled gaze, assume
The hue of things less hallow'd! Men have sunk
Unblamed beneath such trials! - Doth not He
Who made us, know the limits of our strength?
My wife! my sons! - Away! I must not pause
To give my heart one moment's mastery thus!
                           [Exit GONZALEZ.

Scene - The Aisle of A Gothic Church.


The rites are closed.  Now, valiant men depart,
Each to his place - I may not say, of rest;
Your faithful vigils for your sons may win
What must not be your own.  Ye are those
Who sow, in peril and in care, the seed
Of the fair tree, beneath whose stately shade
They may not sit.  But bless'd be they who toil
For after-day! - All high, and holy thoughts
Be with you, warriors, thro' the lingering hours
Of the night-watch!

Ay, father! we have need
Of high and holy thoughts, wherewith to fence
Our hearts against despair.  Yet have I been
From youth a son of war.  The stars have look'd
A thousand times upon my couch of heath,
Spread 'midst the wild sierras, by some stream
Whose dark-red waves look'd e'en as though their source
Lay not in rocky caverns, but the veins
Of noble hearts; while many a knightly crest
Roll'd with them to the deep.  And in the years
Of my long exile and captivity,
With the fierce Arab, I have watche'd beneath
The still, pale shadow of some lonely palm,
At midnight, in the desert; while the wind
Swell'd with the lion's roar, and heavily
The fearfulness and might of solitude
Press'd on my weary heart.

Hernandez (thoughtfully.)
Thou little know'st
Of what is solitude! - I tell thee, those
For whom - in earth's remotest nook - howe'er
Divided from their path by chain on chain
Of mighty mountains, and the amplitude
Of rolling seas - there beats one human heart,
There breathes one being unto whom their name
Comes with a thrilling and a gladdening sound,
Heard o'er the din of life! are not alone!
Not on the deep, nor in the wild, alone;
For there is that on earth with which they hold
A brotherhood of soul! - Call him alone;
Who stands shut out from this! - And let those
Whose homes are bright with sunshine and with love,
Put on the insolence of happiness,
Glorying in that proud lot! - A lonely hour
Is on its way to each, to all; for Death
Knows no companionship.

I have look'd on Death
In field, and storm, and flood.  But never yet
Hath aught weigh'd down my spirit to a mood
Of sadness, dreaming o'er dark auguries,
Like this, our watch by midnight.  Fearful things
Are gathering round us.  Death upon the earth,
Omens in heaven! - The summer-skies put forth
No clear bright stars above us, but at times,
Catching some comet's fiery hue of wrath,
Marshal their clouds to armies, traversing
Heaven with the rush of meteor steeds, the array
Of spears and banners, tossing like the pines
Of Pyrenean forests, when the storm
Doth sweep the mountains.

Ay, last night, I too
Kept vigil, gazing on the angry heavens;
And I beheld the meeting and the shock
Of those wild hosts i' th' air, when, as they closed,
A red and sultry mist, like that which mantles
The thunder's path, fell o'er them.  Then were flung
Through the dull glare, broad cloudy banners forth,
And chariots seem'd to whirl, and steeds to sink,
Bearing down crested warriors.  But all this
Was dim and shadowy; - then swift darkness rush'd
Down on th' unearthly battle, as the deep
Swept o'er the Egyptian's armament. - I look'd -
And all that fiery field of plumes and spears
Was blotted from heaven's face! - I look'd again
- And from the brooding mass of clouds leap'd forth
One meteor-sword, which o'er the reddening sea
Shook with strange motion, such as earthquakes give
Unto a rocking citadel! - I beheld,
And yet my spirit sunk not.

Neither deem
That mine hath blench'd. - But these are sights and sounds
To awe the firmest. - Know'st thou what we hear
At midnight from the walls? - Were 't but the deep
Barbaric horn or Moorish tambour's peal,
Thence might the warrior's heart catch impulses,
Quickening its fiery currents.  But our ears
Are pierced by other tones.  We hear the knell
For brave men in their noon of strength cut down,
And the shrill wail of woman, and the dirge
Faint swelling through the streets.  Then e'en the air
Hath strange and fitful murmurs of lament,
As if the viewless watchers of the land
Sigh'd on its hollow breezes! - To my soul,
The torrent-rush of battle, with its din
Of trampling steeds and ringing panoply,
Were, after these faint sounds of drooping woe,
As the free sky's glad music unto him
Who leaves a couch of sickness.

Hernandez. (with solemnity.)
If to plunge
In the mid-waves of combat, as they bear
Chargers and spearmen onwards; and to make
A reckless bosom's front the buoyant mark
On that wild current, for ten thousand arrows;
If thus to dare were valour's noblest aim,
Lightly might fame be won! - but there are things
Which ask a spirit of more exalted pitch,
And courage temper'd with a holier fire!
Well may'st thou say, that these are fearful times;
Therefore be firm, be patient! - There is strength,
And a fierce instinct, e'en in common souls,
To bear up manhood with a stormy joy,
When red swords meet in lightning!- but our task
Is more, and nobler!- We have to endure,
And to keep watch, and to arouse a land,
And to defend an altar! - If we fall,
So that our blood make but the millionth part
Of Spain's great ransom, we may count it joy
To die upon her bosom, and beneath
The banner of her faith! - Think but on this,
And gird your hearts with silent fortitude,
Suffering, yet hoping all things - Fare ye well.

Father, farewell. [exeunt GARCIAS and his followers.

These men have earthly ties
And bondage on their natures! - To the cause
Of God, and Spain's revenge, they bring but half
Their energies and hopes.  But he whom Heaven
Hath call'd to be th' awakener of a land,
Should have his soul's affections all absorb'd
In that majestic purpose, and press on
To its fulfilment, as a mountain-born
And mighty stream, with all its vassal rills
Sweeps proudly to the ocean, pausing not
To dally with the flowers.
Hark! what quick step
Comes hurrying through the gloom at this dead hour?

ELMINA enters.

Are not all hours as one to misery? - Why
Should she take note of time, for whom the day
And night have lost their blessed attributes
Of sunshine and repose?

I know thy griefs;
But there are trials for the noble heart
Wherein its own deep fountains must supply
All it can hope of comfort.  Pity's voice
Comes with vain sweetness to th' unheeding ear
Of anguish, e'en as music heard afar
On the green shore, by him who perishes
'Midst rocks and eddying waters.

Think thou not
I sought thee but for pity.  I am come
For that which grief is privileged to demand
With an imperious claim, from all whose form,
Whose human form, doth seal them unto suffering!
Father! I ask thine aid.

There is no aid
For thee or for thy children, but with Him
Whose presence is around us in the cloud,
As in the shining and the glorious light.

There is no aid! - Art thou a man of God?
Art thou a man of sorrow, (for the world
Doth call thee such) and hast thou not been taught
By God and sorrow - mighty as they are,
To own the claims of misery?

Is there power 
With me to save thy sons? - Implore of Heaven!

Doth not Heaven work its purposes by man?
I tell thee, thou canst save them! - Art thou not
Gonzalez' counsellor? - Unto him thy words
Are e'en as oracles -

And therefore? - Speak!
The noble daughter of Pelayo's line
Hath naught to ask, unworthy of the name
Which is a nation's heritage. - Dost thou shrink?

Pity on me, father! - I must speak
That, from the thought of which, but yesterday,
I had recoil'd in scorn! -But this is past.
Oh! we grow humble in our agonies,
And to the dust - their birth-place - bow the heads
That wore the crown of glory! - I am weak -
My chastening is far more than I can bear,

These are no times for weakness.  On our hills,
The ancient cedars, in their gather'd might,
Are battling with the tempest; and the flower
Which cannot meet its driving blast must die.
- But thou hast drawn thy nurture from a stem
Unwont to bend or break - Lift thy proud head,
Daughter of Spain! - What wouldst thou with thy Lord?

Look not upon me thus! - I have no power
To tell thee.  Take thy keen disdainful eye
Off from my soul! - What! am I sunk to this?
I, whose blood sprang from heroes! - How my sons
Will scorn the mother that would bring disgrace
On their majestic line! - My sons! my sons!
- Now is all else forgotten! - I had once
A babe that in the early spring-time lay
Sickening upon my bosom, till at last,
When earth's young flowers were opening to the sun,
Death sunk on his meek eyelid, and I deem'd
All sorrow light to mine! - But now the fate
Of all my children seems to brood above me
In the dark thunder-clouds! - Oh! I have power
And voice unfaltering now to speak my prayer,
And my last lingering hope that thou shouldst win
The father to relent, to save his sons!

By yielding up the city?

Rather say,
By meeting that which gathers close upon us
Perchance one day the sooner! - Is't not so?
Must we not yield at last? - How long shall man
Array his single breast against disease,
And famine, and the sword?

How long? - While he,
Who shadows forth his power more gloriously
In the high deeds and sufferings of the soul,
Than in the circling heavens, with all their stars,
Or the far-sounding deep, doth send abroad
A spirit, which takes affliction for its mate,
In the good cause, with solemn joy! - How long?
And who art thou, that, in the littleness
Of thine own selfish purpose, would'st set bounds
To the free current of all noble thought
And generous action, bidding its bright waves
Be stay'd, and flow no further? - But the Power
Whose interdict is laid on seas and orbs,
To chain them in from wandering, hath assign'd
No limits unto that which man's high strength
Shall, through its aid, achieve!

Oh! there are times,
When all that hopeless courage can achieve
But sheds a mournful beauty o'er the fate
Of those ho die in vain,

Who dies in vain
Upon his country's war-fields, and within
The shadow of her altars? - Feeble heart!
I tell thee that the voice of noble blood,
Thus pour'd for faith and freedom, hath a tone
Which from the night of ages, from the gulf
Of death shall burst, and make its high appeal
Sound unto earth and heaven! Ay, let the land,
Whose sons through centuries of woe have striven
And perish'd by her temples, sink awhile,
Borne down in conflict! - But immortal seed
Deep, by heroic suffering, hath been sown
On all her ancient hills; and generous hope
Knows that the soil, in its good time, shall yet
Bring forth a glorious harvest! - Earth receives
Not one red drop from faithful hearts in vain.

Then it must be! And ye will make those lives,
Those young bright lives, an offering, to retard
Our doom one day!

The mantle of that day
May wrap the fate of Spain!

What led me here?
Why did I turn to thee in my despair?
Love hath no ties upon thee; what had I
To hope from thee, thou lone and childless man?
Go to thy silent home! - there no young voice
Shall bid thee welcome, no light footstep spring
Forth at he sound of thine! - What knows thy heart?

Woman! how dar'st thou taunt me with my woes?
Thy children too shall perish, and I say
It shall be well! - Why tak'st thou thought for them?
Wearing thy heart, and wasting down thy life
Unto its dregs, and making night thy time
Of care yet more intense, and casting health,
Unpriz'd to melt away, i' th' bitter cup
Thou minglest for thyself! - Why, what hath earth
To pay thee back for this? - Shall thy not live,
(If the sword spare them now) to prove how soon
All love may be forgotten?  Years of thought,
Long faithful watchings, looks of tenderness,
That changed not, though to change be this world's law?
Shall they not flush thy cheeks with shame, whose blood
Marks, e'en like branding iron? - to thy sick heart
Make death a want, as sleep to weariness?
Doth not all hope end thus? - or e'en at best,
Will they not leave thee? - far from thee seek room
For th' overflowings of their fiery souls,
On life's wide ocean? - Give the bounding steed
Or the wing'd bark to youth, that his free course
May be o'er hills and seas; and weep thou not
In thy forsaken home, for the bright world
Lies all before him, and be sure he wastes
No thought on thee?

Not so ! it is not so!
Thou dost but torture me! - My sons are kind,
And brave, and gentle.

Others too have worn
The semblance of all good.  Nay, stay thee yet:
I will be calm, and thou shalt learn how earth,
The fruitful in all agonies, hath woes
Which far outweigh thine own.

It may not be -
Whose grief is like a mother's for her sons?

My son lay stretch'd upon his battle-bier,
And there were hands wrung o'er him, which had caught
Their hue from his young blood!

What tale is this?

Read you no records in this mien, of things
Whose traces on man's aspect are not such
As the breeze leaves on water? - Lofty birth,
War, peril, power? - Affliction's hand is strong,
If it erase the haughty characters
They grave so deep! - I have not always been
That which I am.  The name I bore is not
Of those which perish! - I was once a chief,
A warrior! - nor, as now, a lonely man!
I was a father!

Then thy heart can feel!
Thou wilt have pity!

Should I pity thee?
Thy sons will perish gloriously - their blood -

Their blood! my children's blood! - Thou speak'st as 'twere
Of casting down a wine-cup, in the mirth
And wantonness of feasting!- My fair boys!
- Man! hast thou been a father?

Let them die!
Let them die now, thy children! so thy heart
Shall wear their beautiful image all undimm'd,
Within it, to the last!  Nor shalt thou learn
The bitter lesson, of what worthless dust
Are framed the idols, whose false glory binds
Earth's fetters on our souls! - Thou think'st it much
To mourn the early dead; but there are tears
Heavy with deeper anguish!  We endow
Those whom we love, in our fond passionate blindness,
With power upon our souls, too absolute
To be a mortal's trust!  Within their hands
We lay the flaming sword, whose stroke alone
Can reach our hearts, and they are merciful,
As they are strong, that wield it not to pierce us!
- Ay, fear them, fear the loved! - Had I but wept
O'er my son's grave, as o'er a babe's, where tears
Are as spring dew-drops, glittering in the sun,
And brightening the young verdure, I might still
Have loved and trusted!

Elmina (disdainfully.)
But he fell in war!
And hath not glory medicine in her cup
For the brief pangs of nature?

Glory! - Peace,
And listen! - By my side the stripling grew,
Last of my line.  I rear'd him to take joy
I' th' blaze of arms, as eagles train their young
To look upon the day-king - His quick blood
E'en to his boyish cheek would mantle up,
When the heavens rang with trumpets, and his eye
Flash with the spirit of a race whose deeds -
But this availeth not! - Yet he was brave.
I've seen him clear himself a path in fight
As lighting through a forest, and his plume
Waved like a torch, when princely crests had sunk,
And banners were struck down - Around my steps
Floated his fame, like music, and I lived
But in the lofty sound.  But when my heart
In one frail ark had ventured all, when most
He seem'd to stand between my soul and heaven,
- Then came the thunder-stroke!

'Tis ever thus!
And the unquiet and foreboding sense
That thus 'twill ever be, doth link itself
Darkly with all deep love! - He died?

Not so!
- Death! Death! - Why, earth should be a paradise,
To make that name so fearful!  Had he died,
With his young fame about him for a shroud,
I had not learn'd the might of agony,
To bring proud natures low! - No! he fell off -
- Why do I tell thee this? - What right hast thou
To learn how pass'd the glory from my house?
Yet listen! - He forsook me! - He, that was
As mine own soul, forsook me! - trampled o'er
The ashes of his sires! - Ay, leagued himself
E'en with the infidel, the curse of Spain,
And, for the dark eye of a Moorish maid,
Abjured his faith, his God! - Now, talk of death!

Oh! I can pity thee -

There's more to hear.
I braced the corslet o'er my heart's deep wound,
And cast my troubled spirit on the tide
Of war and high events, whose stormy waves
Might bear it up from sinking; -

And ye met
No more?

Be still! - We did! - we met once more.
God had his own high purpose to fulfil,
Or think'st thou that the sun in his bright heaven
Had look'd upon such things? - We met once more.
- That was an hour to leave its lightning-mark
Sear'd upon brain and bosom! - there had been
Combat on Ebro's banks, and when the day
Sank in red clouds, it faded from a field
Still held by Moorish lances.  Night closed round,
A night of sultry darkness, in the shadow
Of whose broad wing, e'en unto death I strove
Long with a turban'd champion; but my sword
Was heavy with God's vengeance - and prevail'd.
He fell - my heart exulted - and I stood
In gloomy triumph o'er him - Nature gave
No sign of horror, for 'twas Heaven's decree!
He strove to speak - but I had done the work
Of wrath too well - yet in his last deep moan
A dreadful something of familiar sound
Came o'er my shuddering sense - The moon look'd forth,
And I beheld - speak out! - 'twas he - my son!
My boy lay dying there!  He raised one glance,
And knew me - for he sought with feeble hand
To cover his glazed eyes.  A darker veil
Sank o'er them soon - I will not have thy look
Fix'd on me thus! - away!

Thou hast seen this,
Thou hast done this - and yet thou liv'st?

I live!
And know'st thou wherefore? - On my soul there fell
A horror of great darkness, which shut out
All earth, and heaven, and hope.  I cast away
The spear and helm, and made the cloister's shade
The home of my despair.  But a deep voice
Came to me through the gloom, and sent its tones
Far through my bosom's depths.  And I awoke,
Ay, as the mountain cedar doth shake off
Its weight of wintry snow, e'en so I shook
Despondence from my soul, and knew myself
Seal'd by that blood wherewith my hands were dyed,
And set apart, and fearfully mark'd out
Unto a mighty task! - To rouse the soul
Of Spain, as from the dead; and to lift up
The cross, the sign of victory, on the hills,
Gathering her sons to battle! - And my voice
Must be as freedom's trumpet on the winds,
From Roncesvalles to the blue sea-waves
Where Calpe looks on Afric; till the land
Have fill'd her cup of vengeance!- Ask me now
To yield the Christian city, that its fanes
May rear the minaret in the face of heaven!
- But death shall have a bloodier vintage-feast
Ere that day come!

I ask thee this no more,
For I am hopeless now - But yet one boon -
Hear me, by all thy woes! - Thy voice hath power
Through the wide city - here I cannot rest: -
Aid me to pass the gates!

And wherefore?

That wert a father, and art now - alone!
Canst thou ask 'wherefore?' - Ask the wretch whose sands
Have not an hour to run, whose failing limbs
Have but one earthly journey to perform,
Why, on his pathway to the place of death,
Ay, when the very axe is glistening cold
Upon his dizzy sight, his pale, parch'd lip
Implores a cup of water? - Why, the stroke
Which trembles o'er him in itself shall bring
Oblivion of all wants, yet who denies
Nature's last prayer? - I tell thee that the thirst
Which burns my spirit up is agony
To be endured no more! - And I must look
Upon my children's faces, I must hear
Their voices, ere they perish!- But hath Heaven
Decreed that they must perish? - Who shall say
If in yon Moslem camp there beats no heart
Which prayers and tears may melt?

There! - with the Moor!
Let him fill up the measure of his guilt!
- 'Tis madness all! - How would'st thou pass the array
Of armed foes?

Oh! free doth sorrow pass,
Free and unquestion'd, through a suffering world!

This must not be.  Enough of woe is laid
E'en now, upon thy lord's heroic soul,
For man to bear, unsinking.  Press thou not
Too heavily th' o'erburthen'd heart. - Away!
Bow down the knee, and send thy prayers for strength
Up to Heaven's gate. - Farewell! [Exit HERNANDEZ.

Are all men thus?
- Why, wer't not better thy should fall e'en now
Than live to shut their hearts, in haughty scorn,
Against the sufferer's pleadings? - But no, no!
Who can be like this man, that slew his son,
Yet wears his life still proudly, and a soul
Untamed upon his brow? (After a pause.)
There's one, whose arms
Have borne my children in their infancy,
And on whose knees they sported, and whose hand
Hath led them oft - a vassal of their sire's:
And I will seek him: he may lend me aid,
When all beside pass on.


Thou to thy rest art gone,
High heart! and what are we,
While o'er our head the storm sweeps on,
That we should mourn for thee?

Free grave and peaceful bier
To the buried son of Spain!
To those that live, the lance and spear,
And well if not the chain!

Be theirs to weep the dead
As they sit beneath their vines,
Whose flowery land hath borne no tread
Of spoilers o'er its shrines!

Thou hast thrown off the load
Which we must yet sustain,
And pour our blood where thine hath flow'd,
Too blest if not in vain!

We give thee holy rite,
Slow knell, and chanted strain!
- For those that fall to-morrow night
May be left no funeral train.

Again, when trumpets wake,
We must brace our armour on;
But a deeper note thy sleep must break -
- Thou to thy rest art gone!

Happier in this than all
That, now thy race is run,
Upon thy name no strain may fall,
Thy work hath well been done.

"Thy work hath well been done!" - so thou mayst rest!
- There is a solemn lesson in those words -
But now I may not pause.
                         [Exit ELMINA.

Scene - A Street in the City.


Would they not hear?

They heard, as one that stands
By the cold grave which hath but newly closed
O'er his last friend, doth hear some passer-by
Bid him be comforted! - Their hearts have died
Within them: - We must perish, not as those
That fall when battle's voice doth shake the hills,
And peal through Heaven's great arch, but silently,
And with a wasting of the spirit down,
A quenching, day by day, of some bright spark,
Which lit us on our toils! - Reproach me not;
My soul is darken'd with a heavy cloud -
- Yet fear not I shall yield!

Breathe not the word,
Save in proud scorn; - Each bitter day, o'erpass'd
By slow endurance, is a triumph won
For Spain's red cross.  And be of trusting heart!
A few brief hours, and those who turn'd away
In cold despondence, shrinking from your voice,
May crowd around their leader, and demand
To be array'd for battle.  We must watch
For the swift impulse, and await its time,
As the bark waits the ocean's.  You have chosen
To kindle up their souls, an hour, perchance,
When they were weary.  They had cast aside
Their arms to slumber; or a knell, just then
With its deep hollow tone, had made the blood
Creep shuddering through their veins; or they had caught
A glimpse of some new meteor, and shaped forth
Strange omens from its blaze.

Alas! the cause
Lies deeper in their misery! - I have seen,
In my night's course through this beleaguer'd city,
Things, whose remembrance doth not pass away
As vapours from the mountains. - There were some,
That sat beside their dead, with eyes wherein
Grief had ta'en place of sight, and shut out all
But its own ghastly object.  To my voice
Some answer'd with a fierce and bitter laugh,
As men whose agonies were made to pass
The bounds of sufferance, by some reckless word,
Dropt from the light of spirit. - Others lay -
Why should I tell thee, father! how despair
Can bring the lofty brow of manhood down
Unto the very dust? - And yet for this,
Fear not that I embrace my doom - Oh God!
That 'twere my doom alone! - with less of fix'd
And solemn fortitude. - Lead on, prepare
The holiest rites of faith, that I by them
Once more may consecrate my sword, my life,
- But what are these? - Who hath not dearer lives
Twined with his own? - I shall be lonely soon -
Childless! - Heaven wills it so.  Let us begone.
Perchance before the shrine my heart may beat
With a less troubled motion.

Scene - A tent in the Moorish Camp.

These are bold words: but hast thou look'd on death,
Fair stripling! - On thy cheek and sunny brow
Scarce fifteen summers of their laughing course
Have left light traces.  If thy shaft hath pierced
The ibex of the mountains, if thy step
Hath climb'd some eagle's nest, and thou hast made
His nest thy spoil.  'tis much: - And fear'st thou not
The leader of the mighty?

I have been
Rear'd among fearless men, and 'midst the rocks
And the wild hills, whereon my fathers fought
And won their battles.  There are glorious tales
Told of their deeds, and I have learn'd them all.
How should I fear thee, Moor?

So, thou hast seen
Fields, where the combat's roar hath died away
Into the whispering breeze, and where wild flowers
Bloom o'er forgotten graves! - But know'st thou aught
Of those, where sword from crossing sword strikes fire,
And leaders are borne down, and rushing steeds
Trample the life from out the mighty hearts
That ruled the storm so late? - Speak not of death,
Till thou hast look'd on such.

I was not born
A shepherd's son, to dwell with pipe and crook,
And peasant-men, amidst the lowly vales;
Instead of ringing clarions, and bright spears,
And crested knights! - I am of princely race,
And, if my father would have heard my suit,
I tell thee, infidel! that long ere now,
I should have seen how lances meet, and swords
Do the field's work.

Boy! know'st thou there are sights
A thousand times more fearful! - Men may die
Full proudly, when the skies and mountains ring
To battle-horn and tecbir. - But not all
So pass away in glory.  There are those,
'Midst the dead silence of pale multitudes,
Led forth in fetters - dost thou mark me, boy? -
To take their last look of th' all-gladdening sun,
And how, perchance, the stately head of youth,
Unto the death of shame! - Hast thou seen this? -

Alphonso (to Carlos.)
Sweet brother, God is with us - fear thou not!
We have had heroes for our sires - this man
Should not behold us tremble.

There are means
To tame the loftiest natures.  Yet again
I ask thee, wilt thou, from beneath the walls,
Sue to thy sire for life; or wouldst thou die,
With this, thy brother?

Moslem! on the hills,
Around my father's castle, I have heard
The mountain-peasants, as they dress'd the vines,
Or drove the goats, by rock and torrent, home,
Singing their ancient songs; and these were all
Of the Cid Campeador; and how his sword
Tizona clear'd its way through turban'd hosts
And captured Afric's kings, and how he won
Valencia from the Moor. - I will not shame
The blood we draw from him!

(A Moorish Soldier enters.)

Valencia's lord.
Sends messengers, my chief.

Conduct them hither.
[The Soldier goes out, and re-enters with ELMINA,
disguised, and an Attendant.]

Carlos (springing forward to the Attendant.)
Take me hence, Diego! take me hence
With thee, that I may see my mother's face
At morning, when I wake.  Here dark-brow'd men
Frown strangely, with their cruel eyes, upon us.
Take me with thee, for thou art good and kind,
And well I know thou lov'st me, my Diego!

Peace, boy! - What tidings, Christian, from thy lord?
Is he grown humbler? - doth he set the lives
Of these fair nurslings at a city's worth?

Alphonso (rushing forward impatiently.)
Say not, he doth! - Yet wherefore art thou here?
If it be so - I could weep with burning tears
For very shame! - If this can be, return!
Tell him, of all his wealth, his battle-spoils,
I will but ask a war-horse and a sword,
And that beside him in the mountain-chase,
And in his halls, and at his stately feasts,
My place shall be no more! - But no! - I wrong,
I wrong my father! - Moor, believe it not!
He is a champion of the cross and Spain,
Sprung from the Cid; and I too, I can die
As a warrior's high-born child!

Alas! alas!
And wouldst thou die, thus early die, fair boy?
What hath life done to thee, that thou shouldst cast
Its flower away, in very scorn of heart,
Ere yet the blight be come?

That voice doth sound -

Stranger, who art thou? - this is mockery - speak!

Elmina (throwing off a mantle and helmet, and embracing her sons.)
My boys! whom I have rear'd through many hours
Of silent joys and sorrows, and deep thoughts
Untold and unimagined; let me die
With you, now I have held you to my heart,
And seen once more the faces, in whose light
My soul hath lived for years!

Sweet mother! now
Thou shalt not leave us more.

Enough of this!
Woman! what seek'st thou here? - How hast thou dared
To front the mightly thus amidst his hosts?

Think'st thou there dwells no courage but in breasts
That set their mail against the ringing spears,
When helmets are struck down? - Thou little know'st
Of nature's marvels! - Chief! my heart is nerved
To make its way through things which warrior men,
- Ay, they that master death by field or flood,
Would look on, ere they braved! - I have no thought,
No sense of fear! - Thou'rt mighty; but a soul
Wound up like mine, is mightier, in the power
Of that one feeling, pour'd through all its depths,
Than monarchs with their hosts! - Am I not come
To die with these, my children?

Doth thy faith
Bid thee do this, fond Christian? - Hast thou not
The means to save them?

I have prayers, and tears,
And agonies! - And he - my God - the God
Whose hand, or soon or late, doth find its hour
To bow the crested head - hath made these things
Most powerful in a world where all must learn
That one deep language, by the storm call'd forth
From the bruis'd reeds of earth! - For thee, perchance,
Affliction's chastening lesson hath not yet
Been laid upon thy heart, and thou may'st love
To see the creatures, by its might brought low,
Humbled before thee.
                   [She throws herself at his feet.
Conqueror! I can kneel!
I, that drew birth from princes, bow myself
E'en to thy feet! Call in thy chiefs, thy slaves,
If this will swell thy triumph, to behold
The blood of kings, of heroes, thus debased!
Do this, but spare my sons!

Alphonso (attempting to raise her.)
Thou shouldst not kneel
Unto this infidel! - Rise, rise, my mother!
This sight doth shame our house.

Thou daring boy!
They that in arms have taught thy father's land
How chains are worn, shall school that haughty mien
Unto another language.

Peace, my son;
Have pity on my heart! - Oh, pardon, Chief -
He is of noble blood! - Hear, hear me yet!
Are there no lives through which the shafts of Heaven
May reach your soul? - He that loves aught on earth,
Dares far too much, if he be merciless!
Is it for those, whose frail mortality
Must one day strive alone with God and death,
To shut their souls against th' appealing voice
Of nature in her anguish? - Warrior! man!
To you too, ay, and haply with your hosts,
By thousands and ten thousands marshall'd round,
And your strong armour on, shall come that stroke
Which the lance wards not - Where shall your high heart
Find refuge then, if in the day of might
Woe hath laid prostrate, bleeding at your feet,
And you have pitied not?

These are vain words.

Have you no children? - Fear you not to bring
The lighting on their heads? - In your own land
Doth no fond mother, from the tens, beneath
Your native palms, look o'er the deserts out,
To greet your homeward step? - You have not yet
Forgot so utterly her patient love -
- For is not woman's, in all climes, the same! -
That you should scorn my prayer! - Oh Heaven! his eye
Doth wear no mercy!

Then it mocks you not.
I have swept o'er the mountains of your land,
Leaving my traces, as the visitings
Of storms, upon them! - Shall I now be stay'd?
Know, unto me it were as light a thing,
In this, my course, to quench your children's lives,
As, journeying through a forest, to break off
The wild young branches that obstruct the way
With their green sprays and leaves.

Are there such hearts
Among thy works, oh God?

Kneel not to me.
Kneel to your lord; on his resolves doth hang
His children's doom.  He may be lightly won
By a few bursts of passionate tears and words.

Elmina (rising indignantly.)
Speak not of noble men! - he bears a soul
Stronger than love or death.

Alphonso (with exultation.)
I knew 'twas thus -
He could not fail!

There is no mercy, none,
On this cold earth! - To strive with such a world,
Hearts should be void of love.  We will go hence,
My children, we are summon'd.  Lay your heads,
In their young radiant beauty, once again
To rest upon this bosom.  He that dwells
Beyond the clouds which press us darkly round,
Will yet have pity, and before his face
We three will stand together!  Moslem! now
Let the stroke fall at once.

'Tis thine own will.
These might e'en yet be spared.

Thou wilt not spare;
And he beneath whose eye their childhood grew,
And in whose paths they sported, and whose ear
From their first lisping accents caught the sound
Of that word - Father - once a man of love -
Is - Men shall call him steadfast.

Hath the blast
Of sudden trumpets ne'er at dead of night,
When the land's watchers fear'd no hostile step,
Startled the slumberers from their dreamy world,
In cities, whose heroic lords have been
Steadfast as thine?

There's meaning in thine eye,
More than thy words.

Abdullah (pointing to the city.)
Look to yon towers and walls!
Think you no hearts within their limits pine,
Weary of hopeless warfare, and prepared
To burst the feeble links which bind them still
Unto endurance?

Thou hast said too well.
But what of this?

Then there are those, to whom
The prophet's armies not as foes would pass
You gates, but as deliverers.  Might they not,
In some still hour, when weariness takes rest,
Be won to welcome us?  Your children's steps
May yet bound lightly through their father's halls.

Alphonso (indignantly.)
Thou treacherous Moor!

Let me not thus be tried
Beyond all strength, oh Heaven!

Now 'tis for thee,
Thou Christian mother, on thy sons to pass
The sentence - life or death - the price is set
On their young blood, and rests within thy hands.

Mother, thou tremblest!

Hath thy heart resolved?

Elmina (covering her face with her hands.)
My boy's proud eye is on me, and the things
Which rush in stormy darkness, through my soul,
Shrink from his glance.  I cannot answer here.

Come forth.  We'll commune elewhere.

Carlos (to his mother.)
Wilt thou go?
Oh, let me follow thee!

Mine own fair child!
Now that thine eyes have pour'd once more on mine
The light of their young smile, and thy sweet voice
Hath sent its gentle music through my soul,
And I have felt the twining of thine arms -
- How shall I leave thee?

Leave him, as 'twere but
For a brief slumber, to behold his face
At morning, with the sun's.

Thou hast no look
For me, my mother?

Oh, that I should live
To say, I dare not look on thee! - Farewell,
My first-born, fare thee well.

Yet, yet beware! 
It were a grief more heavy on thy soul,
That I should blush for thee, than o'er my grave
That thou shouldst proudly weep.

Away! we trifle here.  The night wanes fast.
Come forth.

One more embrace - My sons, farewell.
[Exeunt ABDULLAH with ELMINA and her Attendant

Hear me yet once, my mother!
Art thou gone?
But one word more.
    [He rushes out, followed by CARLOS.

Scene - The Garden of a Palace in Valencia.


Stay yet awhile.  A purer air doth rove
Here through the myrtles whispering, and the limes,
And shaking sweetness from the orange boughs,
Than waits you in the city.

There are those
In their last need, and on their bed of death,
At which no hand doth minister but mine,
That wait me in the city.  Let us hence.

You have been wont to love the music made
By founts, and rustling foliage, and soft winds,
Breathing of citron-grove. And will you turn
From these to scenes of death?

To me the voice
Of summer, whispering through young flowers and leaves,
Now speaks too deep a language; and of all
Its dreamy and mysterious melodies,
The breathing soul is sadness. - I have felt
That summons through my spirit, after which
The hues of earth are changed, and all her sounds
Seem fraught with secret warnings.  There is cause
That I should bend my footsteps to the scenes
Where death is busy, taming warrior-hearts,
And pouring winter through the fiery blood,
And fettering the strong arm. - For now no sigh
In the dull air, nor floating cloud in heaven,
No, not the lightest murmur of a leaf,
But of his angel's silent coming bears
Some token to my soul.  But naught of this
Unto my mother. - These are awful hours!
And on their heavy steps, afflictions crowd
With such dark pressure, there is left no room
For one grief more.

Sweet lady, talk not thus!
Your eye this morn doth wear a calmer light,
There's more of life in its clear tremulous ray
Than I have mark'd of late.  Nay, go not yet;
Rest by this fountain, where the laurels dip
Their glossy leaves.  A fresher gale doth spring
From the transparent waters, dashing round
Their silvery spray, with a sweet voice of coolness,
O'er the pale glistening marble.  'Twill call up
Faint bloom, if but a moment's, to your cheek.
Rest here, ere you go forth, and I will sing
The melody you love.

THERESA sings.

Why is the Spanish maiden's grave
So far from her own bright land?
The sunny flowers that o'er it wave
Were sown by no kindred hand.

'Tis not the orange-bough that sends
Its breath on the sultry air,
'Tis not the myrtle-stem that bends
To the breeze of evening there!

But the Rose of Sharon's eastern bloom
By the silent dwelling fades,
And none but strangers pass the tomb,
Which the Palm of Judah shades.

The lowly cross, with flowers o'ergrown,
Marks well that place of rest;
But who hath graved, on its mossy stone,
A sword, a helm, a crest?

These are the trophies of a chief,
A lord of the axe and spear!
- Some blossom pluck'd, some faded leaf,
Should grace a maiden's bier!

Scorn not her tomb -deny not her
The honours of the brave!
O'er that forsaken sepulchre,
Banner and plume might wave.

She bound the steel, in battle tried,
Her fearless heart above,
And stood with brave men, side by side,
In the strength and faith of love!

That strength prevail'd - that faith was bless'd!
True was the javelin thrown,
Yet pierced it not her warrior's breast,
She met it with her own!

And nobly won, where heroes fell
In arms for the holy shrine,
A death which saved what she loved so well,
And a grave in Palestine.

Then let the Rose of Sharon spread
Its breast to the glowing air,
And the Palm of Judah lift its head,
Green and immortal there!

And let yon gray stone, undefaced,
With its trophy mark the scene,
Telling the pilgrim of the waste,
Where Love and Death have been.

Those notes were wont to make my heart beat quick,
As at a voice of victory; but to-day
The spirit of the song is changed, and seems
All mournful.  Oh! that ere my early grave
Shuts out the sun-beam, I might hear one peal
Of the Castilian trumpet, ringing forth
Beneath my father's banner! - In that sound
Were life to you, sweet brother! - But for me -
Come on - our tasks await us.  They who know
Their hours are number'd out, have little time
To give the vague and slumberous languor way,
Which doth steal o'er them in the breath of flowers,
And whisper of soft winds.

ELMINA enters hurriedly.

This air will calm my spirit, ere yet I meet
His eye, which must be met.  Thou here, Ximena!
          [She starts back, on seeing XIMENA

Alas! my mother! in that hurrying step
And troubled glance I read -

Elmina (wildly.)
Thou read'st it not!
Why, who would live, if unto mortal eye
The things lay glaring, which within our hearts
We treasure up for God's? - Thou read'st it not!
I say, thou canst not! - There's not one on earth
shall know the thoughts, which for themselves have made
And kept dark places in the very breast
Whereon he hath laid his slumber, till the hour
When the graves open.

Mother! what is this?
Alas! your eye is wandering, and your cheek
Flush'd, as with fever!  To your woes the night
Hath brought no rest.

Rest! - who should rest? - not he
That holds one earthly blessing to his heart
Nearer than life! - No! if this world have aught
Of bright or precious, let not him who calls
Such things his own, take rest! - Dark spirits keep watch,
And they to whom fair honour, chivalrous fame,
Were as heaven's air, the vital element
Wherein they breathed, may wake, and find their souls
Made marks for human scorn! - Will they bear on
With life struck down, and thus disrobed of all
Its glorious drapery? - Who shall tell us this?
- Will he so bear it?

Mother! let us kneel,
And blend our hearts in prayer! - What else is left
To mortals when the dark hour's might is on them?
- Leave us, Theresa. - Grief like this doth find
Its balm in solitude.      [Exit THERESA.
My mother! peace
Is heaven's benignant answer to the cry
Of wounded spirits.  Wilt thou kneel with me?

Away! 'tis but for souls unstain'd to wear
Heaven's tranquil image on their depths. - The stream
Of my dark thoughts, all broken by the storm,
Reflects but clouds and lightnings! - Didst thou speak
Of peace? - 'Tis fled from earth! - but there is joy!
Wild, troubled joy! - And who shall know, my child!
It is no happiness? - Why, our own hearts
Will keep the secret close! - Joy, joy! if but
To leave this desolate city, with its dull
Slow knells and dirges, and to breathe again
Th' untainted mountain air! - But hush! the trees,
The flowers, the waters, must hear naught of this!
They are full of voices, and will whisper things - 
- We'll speak of it no more.

Oh! pitying Heaven!
This grief doth shake her reason!

Elmina (starting.)
Hark! a step!
'Tis - 'tis thy father's - come away - not now -
He must not see us now!

Why should this be?

GONZALEZ enters and detains ELMINA.

Elmina, dost thou shun me? - Have we not
E'en from the hopeful and the sunny time
When youth was as a glory round our brows,
Held on through life together? - And is this,
When eve is gathering round us, with the gloom
Of stormy clouds, a time to part our steps
Upon the darkening wild?

Elmina (coldly.) 
There needs not this.
Why shouldst thou think I shunn'd thee?

Should the love
That shone o'er many years, th' unfading love,
Whose only change hath been from gladdening smiles
To mingling sorrows and sustaining strength,
Thus lightly be forgotten?

Speak'st thou thus!
- I have knelt before thee with that very plea,
When it avail'd me not! - But there are things
Whose very breathings on the soul erase
All record of past love, save the chill sense,
Th' unquiet memory of its wasted faith,
And vain devotedness! - Ay, they that fix
Affection's perfect trust on aught of earth,
Have many a dream to start from!

This is but
The wildness and the bitterness of grief,
Ere yet th' unsettled heart hath closed its long
Impatient conflicts with mightier power,
Which makes all conflicts vain.
- Hark! was there not
A sound of distant trumpets, far beyond
The Moorish tents, and of another tone
Than th' Afric horn, Ximena?

Oh, my father!
I know that horn too well. - 'Tis but the wind,
Which, with a sudden rising, bears its deep
And savage war-note from us, wafting it
O'er the far hills.

Alas! this woe must be!
I do but shake my spirit from its height,
So startling it with hope! - But the dread hour
Shall be met bravely still.  I can keep down
Yet for a little while - and Heaven will ask
No more - the passionate workings of my heart;
- And thine - Elmina!

'Tis - I am prepared.
I have prepared for all.

Oh, well I knew
Thou wouldst not fail me! - Not in vain my soul,
Upon thy faith and courage, hath built up
Unshaken trust.

Elmina (wildly.)
Away! - thou know'st me not!
Man dares too far: his rashness would invest
This our mortality with an attribute
Too high and awful, boasting that he knows
One human heart!

These are wild words, but yet
I will not doubt thee! - Hast thou not been found
Noble in all things, pouring thy soul's light
Undimm'd o'er every trial? - And, as our fates,
So must our names be, undivided! - Thine,
I' th' record of a warrior's life, shall find
Its place of stainless honour.  By his side - 

May this be borne! - How much of agony -
Hath the heart room for? -
Speak to me in wrath -
I can endure it! - But no gentle words!
No words of love! no praise! - Thy sword might slay,
And be more merciful!

Wherefore art thou thus?
Elmina, my beloved!

No more of love!
- Have I not said there's that within my heart,
Whereon it falls as living fire would fall
Upon and unclosed wound?

Nay, lift thine eyes
That I may read their meaning!

Never more
With a free soul - What have I said? - 'twas naught!
Take thou no heed!  The words of wretchedness
Admit not scrutiny.  Wouldst thou mark the speech
Of troubled dreams?

I have seen thee in the hour
Of thy deep spirit's joy, and when the breath
Of grief hung chilling round thee; in all change,
Bright health and drooping sickness; hope and fear;
Youth and decline; but never yet, Elmina
Ne'er hath thine eye till now shrunk back perturb'd
With shame or dread, from mine!

Thy glance doth search
A wounded heart too deeply.

Hast thou there
Aught to conceal?

Who hath not?

Till this hour
Thou never hadst! - Yet hear me! - by the free
And unattainted fame which wraps the dust
Of thine heroic fathers -

This to me!
- Bring your inspiring war-notes, and your sounds
Of festal music, round a dying man!
Will his heart echo them? - But if thy words
Were spells, to call up with each lofty tone,
The grave's most awful spirits, they would stand
Powerless, before my anguish!

Then, by her,
Who there looks on thee in the purity
Of her devoted youth, and o'er whose name
No blight must fall, and whose pale cheek must ne'er
Burn with that deeper tinge, caught painfully
From the quick feeling of dishonour - Speak!
Unfold this mystery! - By thy sons -

My sons!
And canst thou name them?

Proudly! - Better far
They died with all the promise of their youth,
And the fair honour of their house upon them,
Than that with manhood's high and passionate soul
To fearful strength unfolded, they should live,
Barr'd from the lists of crested chivalry,
And pining in the silence of a woe,
Which from the heart shuts daylight - o'er the shame
Of those who gave them birth! - but thou couldst ne'er
Forget their lofty claims!

Elmina (wildly.)
'Twas but for them!
'Twas for them only! - Who shall dare arraign
Madness of crime? - And he who made us, knows
There are dark moments of all hearts and lives,
Which bear down reason!

Thou, whom I have loved
With such high trust, as o'er our nature threw
A glory, scare allow'd; - what hast thou done?
- Ximena, go thou hence!

No, no! my child!
There's pity in thy look! - All other eyes
Are full of wrath and scorn! - Oh! leave me not!

That I should live to see thee thus abased!
- Yet speak! - What hast thou done?

Look to the gate!
Thou'rt worn with toil - But tale no rest to-night!
The western gate! - Its watchers have been won -
The Christian city hath been bought and sold!
They will admit the Moor!

They have been won!
Brave men and tried so long! - Whose work was this?

Think'st thou all hearts like thine? -
Can mothers stand
To see their children perish?

Then the guilt
Was thine!

- Shall mortal dare to call it guilt?
I tell thee, Heaven, which made all holy things,
Made naught more holy than the boundless love
Which fills a mother's heart! - I say, 'tis woe
Enough with such an aching tenderness,
To love aught earthly! - and in vain! in vain!
- We are press'd down too sorely!

Gonzalez (in a low desponding voice.)
Now my life
Is struck to worthless ashes! - In my soul
Suspicion hath ta'en root.  The nobleness
Heneceforth is blotted from all human brows,
And fearful power, a dark and troublous gift,
Almost like prophecy, is pour's upon me,
To read the guilty secrets in each eye
That once look'd bright with truth!
- Why then I have gain'd
What men call wisdom! - A new sense, to which
All tales that speak of high fidelity,
And holy courage, and proud honour, tried,
Search'd, and found steadfast, even to martyrdom,
Are food for mockery! - Why should I not cast
From my thinn'd locks the wearing helm at once,
And in the heavy sickness of my soul!
Throw the sword down for ever? - Is there aught
In all this world of gilded hollowness,
Now the bright hues drop off its loveliest things,
Worth striving for again?

Father! look up!
Turn unto me, thy child!

Thy face is fair;
And hath been unto me, in other days,
As morning to the journeyer of the deep;
But now - 'tis too like hers!

Elmina (falling at his feet.)
Woe, shame and woe,
Are on me in their might! - forgive, forgive!

Gonzalez (starting up.)
Doth the Moor deem that
I have part, or share,
Or counsel in this vileness? - Stay me not!
Let go thy hold - 'tis powerless on me now -
I linger here, while treason is at work!
                   [Exit GONZALEZ.

Ximena, dost thou scorn me?

I have found
In mine own heart too much of feebleness,
Hid, beneath many foldings, from all eyes
But His whom naught can blind - to dare do aught
But pity thee, dear mother!

Blessings light
On thy fair head, my gentle child, for this!
Thou kind and merciful! - My soul is faint -
Worn with long strife! - Is there aught else to do,
Or suffer, ere we die? - Oh God! my sons!
- I have betray'd them! - All their innocent blood
Is on my soul!

How shall I comfort thee?
- Oh! hark! what sounds come deepening on the wind.
So full of solemn hope!

(A procession of Nuns passing across the scene, 
bearing relies, and chanting.
A sword is on the land!
He that bears down young tree and glorious flower,
Death is gone forth, he walks the wind in power!
- Where is the warrior's hand?
Our steps are in the shadows of the grave,
Hear us, we perish! Father, hear, and save!

If, in the days of song,
The days of gladness, we have call'd on thee,
When mirthful voices rang from sea to sea,
And joyous hearts were strong;
Now that alike the feeble and the brave
Must cry, "We perish!" - Father! hear, and save!

The days of song are fled!
The winds come loaded, wafting dirge-notes by,
But they that linger, soon unmourn'd must die;
- The dead weep not the dead!
- Wilt thou forsake us 'midst the stormy wave?
We sink, we perish! - father, hear, and save!

Helmet and lance are dust!
Is not the strong man wither'd from our eye?
The arm struck down that held our banners high?
- Thine is our spirit's trust!
Look through the gathering shadows of the grave!
Do we not perish? - Father, hear and save!


Why comest thou, man of vengeance? -
What have I
To do with thee? - Am I not bow'd enough?
Thou art no mourner's comforter!

Thy lord
Hath sent me unto thee.  Till this day's task
Be closed, thou daughter of the feeble heart!
He bids thee seek him not, but lay thy woes
Before Heaven's altar, and in penitence
Make thy soul's peace with God.

Till this day's task
Be closed! - there is strange triumph in thine eyes -
Is it that I have fallen from that high place
Whereon I stood in fame? - But I can feel
A wild and bitter pride in thus being past
The power of thy dark glance! - My spirit now
Is wound about by one sole mighty grief;
Thy scorn hath lost its sting. - Thou may'st reproach -

I come not to reproach thee.  Heaven doth work
By many agencies; and in its hour
There is no insect which the summer breeze
From the green leaf shakes trembling, but may serve
Its deep unsearchable purposes, as well
As the great ocean, or th' eternal fires,
Pent in earth's caves! - Thou hast but speeded that
Which, in th' infatuate blindness of thy heart,
Thou wouldst have trampled o'er all holy ties,
But to avert one day!

My senses fail -
Thou saidst - speak yet again! - I could not catch
The meaning of thy words.

E'en now thy lord
Hath sent our foes defiance.  On the walls
He stands in conference with the boastful Moor,
And awful strength is with him.  Through the blood
Which, this day, must be pour'd in sacrifice,
Shall Spain be free.  On all her olive-hills
Shall men set up the battle-sign of fire,
And round its blaze, at midnight keep the sense
Of vengeance wakeful in each other's hearts
E'en with thy children's tale!

Peace, father! peace!
Behold, she sinks! - the storm hath done its work
Upon the broken reed.  Oh! lend thine aid
To bear her hence.   [They lead her away.

Scene - A street in Valencia.  Several Groups of
Citizens and Soldiers, many of them lying on the 
steps of a Church.  Arms scattered on the ground
around them.

An old Citizen.
The air is sultry, as with thunder-clouds.
I left my desolate home, that I might breathe
More freely in heaven's face, but my heart feels
With this hot gloom o'erburthen'd.  I have now
No sons to tend me.  Which of you, kind friends,
Will bring the old man water from the fount,
To moisten his parch'd lip?  [A Citizen goes out.

Second Citizen.
This wasting siege,
Good Father Lopez, hath gone hard with you!
'Tis sad to hear no voices through the house,
Once peopled with fair sons!

Third Citizen.
Why, better thus,
Than to be haunted with their famish'd cries,
E'en in your very dreams!

Old Citizen.
Heaven's will be done!
These are dark times!  I have not been alone
In my affliction.

Third Citizen (with bitterness.)
Why, we have but this thought
Left for our gloomy comfort! - And 'tis well!
Ay, let the balance be awhile struck even
Between the noble's palace, and the hut
Where the worn peasant sickens! - They that bear
The humble dead unhonour'd to their homes,
Pass now i' th' street no lordly bridal train,
With its exulting music; and the wretch
Who on the marble steps of some proud hall
Flings himself down to die, in his last need
And agony of famine, doth behold
No scornful guests, with their long purple robes
To the banquet sweeping by.  Why, this is just!
These are the days when pomp is made to feel
Its human mould!

Fourth Citizen.
Heard you last night the sound
Of Saint Iago's bell? - How sullenly
From the great tower it peal'd!

Fifth Citizen.
Ay, and 'tis said
No mortal hand was near when so it seem'd
To shake the midnight streets.

Old Citizen.
Too well I know
The sound of coming fate! - 'Tis ever thus
When death is on his way to make it night
In the Cid's ancient house. - Oh! there are things
In this strange world of which we have all to learn
When its dark bounds are pass'd. - Yon bell, untouch'd
(Save by hands we see not) still doth speak -
- When of that line some stately head is mark'd -
With a wild hollow peal, at dead of night,
Rocking Valencia's towers.  I have heard it oft,
Nor known its warning false.

Fourth Citizen.
And will our chief
Buy, at the price of his fair children's blood,
A few more days of pining wretchedness
For this forsaken city?

Old Citizen.
Doubt it nor!
- But with that ransom he may purchase still
Deliverance for the land! - And yet 'tis sad
To think that such a race, with all its fame,
Should pass away! - For she, his daughter too,
Moves upon earth as some bright thing whose time
To sojourn there is short.

Fifth Citizen.
Then woe for us
When she is gone! - Her voice - the very sound
Of her soft step was comfort as she moved
Through the still house of mourning! - Who like her
Shall give us hope again?

Old Citizen.
Be still! she comes,
And with a mien how changed! - A hurrying step
And a flush'd cheek! - What may this bode? - Be still!

XIMENA enters, with Attendants carrying a Banner.

Men of Valencia! in an hour like this,
What do ye here?

A Citizen.
We die!

Brave men die now
Girt for the toil, as travellers suddenly
By the dark night o'ertaken on their way!
These days require such death! - It is too much
Of luxury for our wild and angry times,
To fold the mantle round us and to sink
From life, as flowers that shut up silently,
When the sun's heat doth scorch them!- Hear ye not?

A Citizen.
Lady! what wouldst thou with us?

Rise and arm!
E'en now the children of your chief are led
Forth by the Moor to perish! - Shall this be?
Shall the high sound of such a name be hush'd,
I' th' land to which for ages it hath been
A battle-word, as 'twere some passing note
Of shepherd music? - Must this work be done,
Any ye lie pining here, as men in whom
The pulse which God hath made for noble thought
Can so be thrill'd no longer?

'Tis even so!
Sickness, and toil, and grief, have breathed upon us.
Our hearts beat faint and low.

Are ye so poor
Of soul, my countrymen! that ye can draw
Strength from no deeper source than that which sends
The red blood mantling through the joyous veins,
And gives the fleet step wings? - Why, how have age
And sensitive womanhood ere now endured,
Through pangs of searching fire, in some proud cause,
Blessing that agony? - Think ye the Power
Which bore them nobly up, as if to teach
The torturer where eternal Heaven had set
Bounds to his sway, was earthly, of this earth,
This dull mortality? - Nay, then look on me!
Death's touch hath mark'd me, and I stand among you,
As one whose place, i' th' sunshine of your world,
Shall soon be left to fill! - I say the breath
Of th' incense, floating through yon fane, shall scarce
Pass from your path before me!  But even now,
I have that within me, kindling through the dust,
Which from all time hath made high deeds its voice
And token to the nations! - Look on me!
Why hath Heaven pour'd forth courage, as a flame
Wasting the womanish heart, which must be still'd
Yet sooner for its swift consuming brightness,
If not to shame your doubt, and your despair,
And your soul's torpor? - Yet, arise and arm!
It may not be too late.

A Citizen.
Why, what are we,
To cope with hosts? - Thus faint, and worn, and few,
O'ernumber'd and forsaken, is't for us
To stand against the mighty?

And for whom
Hath He, who shakes the mightly with a breath
From their high places, made the fearfulness,
And ever-wakeful presence of his power,
To the pale startled earth most manifest,
But for the weak? - Wasn't for the helm'd and crown'd
That suns were stay'd at noonday? - Stormy seas
As a rill parted? - Mail'd archangels sent
To wither up the strength of kings with death?
- I tell you, if these marvels have been done
'Twas for the wearied and the oppress'd of men,
They needed such! - And generous faith hath power
By her prevailing spirit, e'en yet to work
Deliverances, whose tale shall live with those
Of the great elder time! - Be of good heart!
Who is forsaken? - He that gives the thought
A place within his breast! - 'Tis not for you.
- Know ye this banner?

Citizens (murmuring to each other.)
Is she not inspired?
Doth not Heaven call us by her fervent voice?

Know ye this banner?

'Tis the Cid's.
The Cid's!
Who breathes that name but in th' exulting tone
Which the heart rings to? - Why, the very wind,
As it swells out the noble standard's fold,
Hath a triumphant sound! - The Cid's! - it moved
Even as a sign of victory through the land,
From the free skies ne'er stooping to a foe!

Old Citizen.
Can ye still pause, my brethren? -
Oh! that youth
Through this worn frame were kindling once again!

Ye linger still!- Upon this very air,
He that was born in happy hour for Spain
Pour'd forth his conquering spirit! - 'Twas the breeze
From your own mountains which came down to wave
This banner of his battles, as it droop'd
Above the champion's death-bed.  Nor even then
Its tale of glory closed. - They made no moan
O'er the dead hero, and no dirge was sung,
But the deep tambour and shrill horn of war
Told when the mighty pass'd! - They wrapt him not
With the pale shroud, but braced the warrior's form,
In war array, and on his barbed steed,
As for a triumph, rear'd him; marching forth
In the hush'd midnight from Valencia's walls,
Beleaguer'd then as now.  All silently
The stately funeral moved:- but who was he
That follow'd, charging on the tall white horse,
And with the solemn standard, broad and pale,
Waving in sheets of snow-light? - And the cross,
The bloody cross far-blazing from his shield,
And the fierce meteor-sword?  They fled, they fled!
The kings of Afric, with their countless hosts,
Were dust in his red path! - The scimetar
Was shiver'd as a reed! - For in that hour
The warrior saint that keeps the watch for Spain,
Was arm'd betimes! - And o'er that fiery field
The Cid's high banner stream'd all joyously,
For still its lord was there!

Citizens (rising tumultuously.)
Even unto death
Again it shall be follow'd!

Will he see
The noble stem hewn down, the beacon-light
Which his high house for ages o'er the land
Hath shone through cloud and storm, thus quench'd at once?
Will he not aid his children, in the hour
Of this their uttermost peril? - Awful power
Is with the holy dead, and there are times
When the tomb hath no chain they cannot burst!
- Is it a thing forgotten, how he woke
From its deep rest of old, remembering Spain
In her great danger? - At the night's mid-watch
How Leon started, when the sound was heard
That shook her dark and hollow-echoing streets,
As with the heavy tramp of steel-clad men,
By thousands marching through! - For he had risen!
The Campeador was on his march again,
And in his arms, and follow'd by his hosts
Of shadowy spearmen! - He had left the world
From which we are dimly parted, and gone forth
And call'd his buried warriors from their sleep,
Gathering them round him to deliver Spain;
For Aflic was upon her! - Morning broke - 
Day rush'd through clouds of battle; but at eve
Our God had triumph'd, and the rescued land
Sent up a shout of victory from the field,
That rock'd her ancient mountains.

The Citizens.
Arm! to arms!
On to our chief! We have strength within us yet
To die with our blood roused! Now, be the word,
For the Cid's house!  [They begin to arm themselves.

Ye know his battle-song,
The old rude strain wherewith his hands went forth
To strike down Paynim swords! (She sings.)

The Moor is on his way!
With the tambour-peal and the tecbir-shout,
And the horn o'er the blue seas ringing out,
He hath marshall'd his dark array!

Shout through the vine-clad land!
That her sons on all their hills may hear,
And sharpen the point of the red wolf-spear,
And the sword for the brave man's hand!

(The Citizens join in the song, while they continue arming themselves.)

Banners are in the field!
The chief must rise from his joyous board,
And turn from the feast ere the wine be pour'd,
And take up his father's shield!

The Moor is on his way!
Let the peasant leave his olive-ground,
And the goats roam wild through the pine-woods round!
- There is nobler work to-day!

Send forth the trumpet's call!
Till the bridegroom cast he goblet down,
And the marriage-robe and the flowery crown,
And arm in the banquet-hall!

And stay the funeral-train!
Bid the chanted mass be hush'd awhile,
And the bier laid down in the holy aisle,
And the mourners girt for Spain!

(They take up the banner and follow XIMENA out.
Their voices are heard gradually dying away at a distance.)

Ere night, must swords be red!
It is not an hour for knells and tears,
But for helmets braced, and serried spears!
To-morrow for the dead!

The Cid is in array!
His steed is barb'd, his plume waves high,
His banner is up in the sunny sky,
Now, joy for the Cross to-day!

Scene- The Walls of the City.  The Plain beneath,
with the Moorish Camp and Army.


(A wild sound of Moorish music heard from below.)

What notes are these, in their deep mournfulness
So strangely wild?

'Tis the shrill melody
Of the Moor's ancient death-song.  Well I know
The rude barbaric sound: but, till this hour,
It seem'd not fearful.  Now, a shuddering chill
Comes o'er me with its tones. - Lo! from yon tent
They lead the noble boys!

The young, and pure,
And beautiful victims! - 'Tis on things like these
 We cast our hearts in wild idolatry,
Sowing the winds with hope! - Yet this is well.
Thus brightly crown'd with life's most gorgeous flowers,
And all unblemish'd, earth should offer up
Her treasures unto heaven!

Garcias (to Gonzalez.)
My chief, the Moor
Hath led your children forth.

Gonzalez (starting.)
Are my sons there?
I knew they could not perish; for yon heaven
Would ne'er behold it! - Where is he that said
I was no more a father? - They look changed -
Pallid and worn, as from a prison-house!
Or is't mine eye sees dimly? - But their steps
Seem heavy, as with pain - I hear the clank -
Oh! God! their limbs are fetter'd!

Abdullah (coming forward beneath the walls.)
Christian, look
Once more upon thy children.  There is yet
One moment for the trembling of the sword:
Their doom is still with thee.

Why should this man
So mock us with the semblance of our kind?
- Moor! Moor! thou dost too daringly provoke,
In thy hold cruelty, th' all-judging One,
Who visit for such things! - Hast thou no sense
Of thy frail nature? - 'Twill be taught thee yet,
And darkly shall the anguish of my soul,
Darkly and heavily, pour itself on thine,
When thou shalt cry for mercy from the dust,
And be denied!

Nay, is it not thyself
That hast no mercy and no love within thee?
These are thy sons, the nurslings of thy house;
Speak! must they live or die?

Gonzalez (in violent emotion.)
Is it Heaven's will
To try the dust it kindles for a day,
With infinite agony! - How have I drawn
This chastening on my head! - They bloom'd around me,
And my heart grew too fearless in its joy,
Glorying in their bright promise! - If we fall,
Is there no pardon for our feebleness?

(Hernandez, without speaking, holds up a Cross before him.)


Gonzalez (snatching the Cross, and lifting it up.)
Let the earth be shaken through its depths,
But this must triumph!

Abdullah (coldly.)
Be it as thou wilt.
- Unsheath the scimetar!  [To his Guards.

Garcian (to Gonzalez.)
Away, my chief!
This is your place no longer.  There are things
No human heart, though battle-proof as yours,
Unmadden'd may sustain.

Be still!  I have now
No place on earth but this!

Alphonso (from beneath.)
Men! give me way,
That I may speak forth once before I die!

The princely boy! - How gallantly his brow
Wears its high nature in the face of death!


My son! my son! - mine eldest-born!

Stay but upon the ramparts! - Fear thou not -
There is good courage in me: oh! my father!
I will not shame thee! - only let me fall
Knowing thine eye looks proudly on thy child,
So shall my heart have strength.

Would, would to God,
That I might die for thee, my noble boy!
Alphonso, my fair son!

Could I have lived,
I might have been a warrior! - Now, farewell!
But look upon me still! - I will not blench
When the keen sabre flashes. - Mark me well!
Mine eyelid shall not quiver as it falls,
So thou wilt look upon me!

Garcias (to Gonzalez.)
Nay, my lord!
We must be gone! - thou canst not bear it!

- Who hath told thee how much man's heart can bear?
- Lend me thine arm - my brain whirls fearfully -
How thick the shades close round! - my boy! my boy!
Where art thou in this gloom?

Let us go hence.
This is a dreadful moment!

Hush! - what saidst thou?
Now let me look on him! - Dost thou see aught
Through the dull mist that wraps us?

I behold -
Oh! for a thousand Spaniards to rush down -

Thou seest - My heart stands still to hear thee speak!
- There seems a fearful hush upon the air,
As 'twere the dead of night!

The hosts have closed
Around the spot in stillness.  Through the spears,
Ranged thick and motionless, I see him not;
- But not -

He bade me keep mine eye upon him,
And all is darkness round me! - Now?

A sword,
A sword, springs upward, like a lightning burst,
Through the dark serried mass! - Its cold blue glare
Is wavering to and fro - 'tis vanish'd - hark!

I heard it, yes! - I heard the dull dead sound,
That heavily broke the silence! - Didst thou speak?
- I lost thy words - come nearer!

'Twas - 'tis past! -
The sword fell then!

Hernandez (with exultation.)
Flow forth, thou noble blood!
Fount of Spain's ransom and deliverance, flow
Uncheck'd and brightly forth! - Thou kingly stream!
Blood of our heroes! blood of martyrdom!
Which through so many warrior-hearts hast pour'd
Thy fiery currents, and hast made our hills
Free, by thine own free offering! - Bathe the land!
But there thou shalt not sink! - Our very air
Shall take thy colouring, and our loaded skies,
O'er th' infidel hang dark and ominous,
With battle-hues of thee! - And thy deep voice
Rising above them to the judgement-seat
Shall call a burst of gather'd vengeance down,
To sweep th' oppressor from us! - For thy wave
Hath made his guilt run o'er!

Gonzalez (endeavouring to rouse himself.)
'Tis all a dream!
There is not one - no hand on earth could harm
That fair boy's graceful head! - Why look you thus!

Abdullah (pointing to Carlos.)
Christian! e'en yet thou hast a son!

E'en yet!

My father! take me from these fearful men!
Wilt thou not save me, father?

Gonzalez (attempting to unsheath his sword.)
Is the strength
From mine arm shiver'd? Garcian, follow me!

Whither, my chief?

Why, we can die as well
On yonder plain, - ay, a spear's thrust will do
The little that our misery doth require,
Sooner than e'er this anguish!  Life is best
Thrown from us in such moments.
                    [Voices heard at a distance.

Hush! what strain
Floats on the wind?

'Tis the Cid's battle-song!
What marvel hath been wrought?
          [Voices approaching heard in chorus.
The Moor is on his way!
With the tambour peal and the tecbir-shout,
And the horn o'er the blue seas ringing out,
He hath marshall'd his dark array!

XIMENA enters, followed by CITIZENS, with the Banner.

Is it too late? - My father, these are men
Through life and death prepared to follow thee
Beneath this banner! - Is their zeal too late?
- Oh! there's a fearful history on thy brow!
What hast thou seen?

It is not all too late.

My brothers!

All is well.
(To CARCIAS.) Hush! would'st thou chill
That which hath sprung within them, as a flame
From th' altar-embers mounts in sudden brightness?
I say, 'tis not too late, ye men of Spain!
On to the rescue!

Bless me, oh, my father!
And I will hence, to aid thee with my prayers,
Sending my spirit with thee through the storm,
Lit up by flashing swords!

Gonzalez (falling on her neck.)
Hath aught been spared?
Am I not all bereft? - Thou'rt left me still!
Mine own, my loveliest one, thou'rt left me still!
Farewell!- thy father's blessing, and thy God's,
Be with thee, my Ximena.

Fare thee well!
If, ere thy steps turn homeward from the field,
The voice is hush'd that still hath welcomed thee,
Think of me in thy victory!

Peace! no more!
This is no time to melt our nature down
To a soft stream of tears. - Be of strong heart!
Give me the banner! Swell the song again!

Ere night, must swords be red!
It is not an hour for knells and tears,
But for helmets braced and serried spears!
To-morrow for the dead!  [Exeunt omnes.

Scene - Before the Altar of a Church.
ELMINA rises from the steps of the Altar.

The clouds are fearful that o'erhang thy ways,
Oh, thou mysterious Heaven! - It cannot be
That I have drawn the vials of thy wrath,
To burst upon me through the lifting up
Of a proud heart, elate in happiness!
No! in my day's full noon, for me life's flowers
But wreathed a cup of trembling; and the love
The boundless love, my spirit was form'd to bear,
Hath ever, in its place of silence, been
A trouble and a shadow, tinging thought
With hues too deep for joy! - I never look'd
On my fair children, in their buoyant mirth,
Or sunny sleep, when all the gentle air
Seem'd glowing with their quiet blessedness,
But o'er my soul there came a shuddering sense
Of earth, and its pale changes; even like that
Which vaguely mingles with our glorious dreams
A restless and disturbing consciousness
That the bright things must fade! - How have I shrunk
From the dull murmur of th' upquiet voice,
With its low tokens of mortality,
Till my heart fainted 'midst their smiles! - their smiles!
- Where are those glad looks now? Could they go down
With all their joyous light, that seem'd not earth's,
To the cold grave? - My children! - Righteous Heaven!
There floats a dark rememberance o'er my brain
Of one who told me, with relentless eye,
That this should be the hour!

XIMENA enters.

They are gone forth
Unto the rescue- strong in heart and hope,
Faithful, though few! - My mother, let thy prayers
Call on the land's good saints to lift once more
The sword and cross that sweep the field for Spain,
As in old battle; so thine arms e'en yet
May clasp thy sons! - For me, my part is done!
The flame, which dimly might have linger'd yet
A little while, hath gather'd all its rays
Brightly to sink at once! and it is well!
The shadows are around me; to thy heart
Fold me, that I may die.

My child! - What dream
Is on thy soul? - E'en now thine aspect wears
Life's brightest inspiration!


Thine eye hath starry clearness, and thy cheek
Doth glow beneath it with a richer hue
Than ting'd its earlier flower!

It well may be!
There are far deeper and far warmer hues
Than those which draw their colouring from the founts
Of youth, or health, or hope.

Nay, speak not thus:
There's that about thee shining which would send
E'en through my heart a sunny flow of joy,
Wer't not for these sad words.  The dim cold air
And solemn light, which wrap these tombs and shrines
As a pale gleaming shroud, seem kindled up
With a young spirit of ethereal hope
Caught from thy mien! - Oh no! this is not death!

Why should not He, whose touch dissolves our chain,
Put on his robes of beauty when he comes
As a deliverer? - He hath many forms,
They should not all be fearful! - If his call
Be but our gathering to that distant land
For whose sweet waters we have pined with thirst,
Why should not its prophetic sense be borne
Into the heart's deep stillness, with a breath
Of summer-winds, a voice of melody,
Solemn, yet lovely? - Mother! I depart!
- Be it thy comfort, in the after-days,
That thou hast seen me thus!

Distract me not
With such wild fears! Can I bear on with life
When thou art gone? - Thy voice, thy step, thy smile,
Pass'd from my path? - Alas! even now thine eye
Is changed - thy cheek is fading!

Ay the clouds
Of the dim hour are gathering o'er my sight,
And yet I fear not, for the God of Help
Comes in that quiet darkness! - It may soothe
Thy woes, my mother, if I tell thee now,
With what glad calmness I behold the veil
Falling between me and the world, wherein
My heart so ill hath rested.


For her, that, when the garland of her life
Was blighted, and the springs of hope were dried,
Received her summons hence; and had no time,
Bearing the canker at th' impatient heart,
To wither, sorrowing for that gift of Heaven,
Which lent one moment of existence light,
That dimm'd the rest for ever!

How is this?
My child, what mean'st thou?

Mother, I have loved,
And been beloved! - the sunbeam of an hour,
Which gave life's hidden treasures to mine eye,
As they lay shining in their secret founts,
Went out, and left them colourless. - 'Tis past -
And what remains on earth? - the rainbow mist,
Through which I gazed, hath melted, and my sight
Is clear'd to look on all things as they are!
- But this is far too mournful! - Life's dark gift
Hath fallen too early and too cold upon me!
- Therefore I would go hence!

And thou hast loved
Unknown -

Oh! pardon, pardon that I veil'd
My thoughts from thee! - But thou hadst woes enough,
And mine came o'er me when thy had need
Of more than mortal strength! - For I had scarce
Given the deep consciousness that I was loved
A treasure's place within my secret heart,
When earth's brief joy went from me!
'Twas at morn
I saw the warriors to their field go forth,
And he - my chosen - was there amongst the rest,
With his young, glorious brow! - I look'd again -
The strife grew dark beneath me - but his plume
Waved free above the lances. - Yet again -
It had gone down! and steeds were trampling o'er
The spot to which mine eyes were riveted
Till blinded by th' intenseness of their gaze!
- And then - at last - I hurried to the gate,
And met him there! - I met him! - on his shield,
And with his cloven helm, and shiver'd sword,
And dark hair steep'd in blood! - They bore him past -
Mother! I saw his face! - Oh! such a death
Works fearful changes on the fair of earth,
The pride of woman's eye!

Sweet daughter, peace!
Wake not the dark remembrance; for thy frame -

There will be peace ere long.  I shut my heart
E'en as a tomb, o'er that lone silent grief,
That I might spare it thee! - But now the hour
Is come when that which would have pierced thy soul
Shall be its healing balm.  Oh! weep thou not,
Save with a gentle sorrow!

Must it be?
Art thou indeed to leave me?

Ximena (exultingly.)
Be thou glad!
I say, rejoice above thy favour'd child!
Joy for the soldier, when his field is fought;
Joy for the peasant, when his vintage-task
Is closed at eve! - But most of all for her,
Who, when her life changed its glittering robes
For the dull garb of sorrow, which doth cling
So heavily around the journeyers on,
Cast down its weight - and slept!

Alas! thine eye
Is wandering - yet how brightly! - Is this death,
Or some high wondrous vision? - Speak, my child!
How is it with thee now?

Ximena (wildly.)
I see it still!
'Tis floating, like a glorious cloud on high,
My father's banner! - Hear'st thou not a sound?
The trumpet of Castile? - Praise, praise to Heaven!
- Now may the weary rest! - Be still! - Who calls
The night so fearful? -     [She dies,

No! she is not dead!
- Ximena! speak to me! - Oh! yet a tone
From that sweet voice, that I may gather in
One more remembrance of its lovely sound
Ere the deep silence fall! - What! is all hush'd?
- No, no! - it cannot be! - How should we bear
The dark misgivings of our souls, if Heaven
Left not such beings with us? - But is this
Her wonted look? - too sad a quiet lies
On its dim fearful beauty! - Speak, Ximena!
Speak! - my heart dies within me! - She is gone,
With all her blessed smiles! - My child! my child!
Where art thou? - Where is that which answer'd me,
From thy soft-shining eyes! - Hush! doth she move?
- One light lock seem'd to tremble on her brow,
As a pulse throbb'd beneath; - 'twas but the voice
Of my despair that stirr'd it! - She is gone!
[She throws herself on the body.  Gonzalez enters
alone, and wounded.
Elmina (rising as he approaches.)
I must not now be scorn'd! - No, not a look,
A whisper of reproach! - Behold my woe!
Thou canst not scorn me now!

Hast thou heard all?

Thy daughter on my bosom laid her head,
And pass'd away to rest. - Behold her there,
Even such as death hath made her!

Gonzalez (bending over Ximena's body.)
Thou art gone
A little while before me, oh, my child!
Why should the traveller weep to part with those
That scarce an hour will reach their promised land
Ere he too cast his pilgrim staff away,
And spread his couch beside them?

Must it be
Henceforth enough that once a thing so fair
Had its bright place among us? - Is this all,
Left for the years to come? - We will not stay!
Earth's chain each hour grows weaker.

Gonzalez (still gazing upon Ximena.)
And thou'rt laid
To slumber in the shadow, blessed child!
Of a yet stainless altar, and beside
A sainted warrior's tomb! - Oh, fitting place
For thee to yield thy pure heroic soul
Back unto him that gave it! - And thy cheek
Yet smiles in its bright paleness!

Hadst thou seen
The look with which she pass'd!

Gonzalez (still bending over her.)
Why, 'tis almost
Like joy to view thy beautiful repose!
The faded image of that perfect calm
Floats, e'en as long-forgotten music, back
Into my weary heart! - No dark wild spot
On thy clear brow doth tell of bloody hands
That quench'd young life by violence! - We have seen
Too much of horror, in one crowded hour,
To weep for aught, so gently gather'd hence!
- Oh! man leaves other traces!

Elmina (starting suddenly.)
It returns
On my bewilder'd soul! - Went ye not forth
Unto the rescue? - And thou'rt here alone!
- Where are my sons?

Gonzalez (solemnly.)
We were too late!

Too late!
Hast thou naught else to tell me?

I brought back
From that last field the banner of my sires,
And my own death-wound.


Another hour
Shall hush its throbs for ever. I go hence,
And with me -

No! - Man could not lift his bands -
Where hast thou left thy sons?

I have no sons.

What hast thou said?

That now there lives not one
To wear the glory of mine ancient house,
When I am gone to rest,

Elmina (throwing herself on the ground, and speaking 
in a low hurried voice.)
In one brief hour, all gone! - and such a death!
- I see their blood gush forth! - their graceful heads -
Take the dark vision from me, oh my God!
And such a death for them! - I was not there! -
They were but mine in beauty and in joy,
Not in that mortal anguish! - Ah, all gone!
- Why should I struggle more? - What is this Power
Against whose might, on all sides pressing us,
We strive with fierce impatience, which but lays
Our own frail spirit prostrate?
(After a long pause.)
Now I know
Thy hand, my God! - and they are soonest crush'd
That most withstand it! - I resist no more
(She rises.) - A light, a light springs up from grief and death
Which with its solemn radiance doth reveal
Why we have thus been tried!

Then I may still
Fix my last look on thee, in holy love,
Parting, but yet with hope.

Elmina (falling at his feet.)
Canst thou forgive?
- Oh, I have driven the arrow to thy heart,
That should have buried it within mine own,
And borne the pang in silence! - I have cast
Thy life's fair honour, in my wild despair,
As an unvalued gem upon the waves,
Whence thou hast snatch'd it back, to bear from earth,
All stainless, on thy breast - Well hast thou done -
But I - canst thou forgive?

Within this hour
I have stood upon that verge whence mortals fall,
And learn'd how 'tis with one whose sight grows dim,
And whose foot trembles on the gulf's dark side.
- Death purifies all feeling - We will part
In pity and in love.

Death! - And thou too
Art on thy way! - Oh, joy for thee, high heart!
Glory and joy for thee! - The day is closed,
And well and nobly hast thou borne thyself
Through its long battle-toils, though many swords
Have enter'd thine own soul! - But on my head
Recoil the fierce invokings of despair,
And I am left far distanced in the race,
The lonely one of earth! - Ay, this is just:
I am not worthy that upon my breast
In this, thine hour of victory, thou shouldst yield
Thy spirit unto God.

Thou art! thou art!
Oh! a life's love, a heart's long faithfulness,
E'en in the presence of eternal things
Wearing their chasten'd beauty all undimm'd,
Assert their lofty claims; and these art not
For one dark hour to cancel! - We are here
Before that altar which received the vows
Of our unbroken youth, and meet it is 
For such a witness in the sight of Heaven,
And in the face of death, whose shadowy arm
Comes dim between us, to regard th' exchange
Of our tried hearts' forgiveness - who art they,
That in one path have journey'd, needing not
Forgiveness at its close?
   (A Citizen enters hastily.)

The Moors! the Moors!

How ! is the city storm'd?
Oh! righteous Heaven! - for this I look'd not yet!
Hath all been done in vain? - Why, then 'tis time
For prayer, and then to rest!

The sun shall set
And not a Christian voice be left for prayer,
To-night, within Valencia! - round our walls
The paynim host is gathering for th' assault,
And we have none to guard them.

Then my place
Is here no longer. - I had hoped to die
Ev'n by the altar and the sepulchre
Of my brave sires - but this was not to be!
Give me my sword again, and lead me hence
Back to the ramparts.  I have yet an hour,
And it hath still high duties. - Now my wife!
Thou mother of my children - of the dead -
Whom I name unto thee, in steadfast hope -

No, not farewell! - My soul hath risen
To mate itself with thine; and by thy side,
Amidst the hurtling lances, I will stand,
As one to whom a brave man's love hath been
Wasted not utterly.

I thank thee, Heaven,
That I have tasted of the awful joy
Which thou hast given to temper hours like this,
With a deep sense of thee, and of thine ends
In these dread visitings!
(To ELMINA.) We will not part,
But with the spirit's parting!

One farewell
To her, that, mantled with sad loveliness,
Doth slumber at our feet! - My blessed child!
Oh! in thy heart's affliction thou wert strong,
And holy courage did pervade thy woe,
As light the troubled waters! - Be at peace!
Thou whose bright spirit made itself the soul
Of all that were around thee! - And thy life
E'en then was struck, and withering at the core!
- Farewell! - Thy parting look hath on me fall'n,
E'en as a gleam of heaven, and I am now
More like what thou hast been! - My soul is hush'd,
For a still sense of purer worlds hath sunk
And settled on its depths with that last smile
Which from thine shone forth. - Thou hast not lived
In vain - my child, farewell!

Surely for thee
Death had no sting, Ximena! - We are blest,
To learn one secret of the shadowy past,
From such an aspect's calmness.  Yet once more
I kiss thy pale young cheek, my broken flower!
In token of th' undying love and hope,
Whose land is far away.    [Exeunt.

Scene - The Walls of the City.

HERNANDEZ. - A few Citizens gathered round him.

Why, men have cast the treasures, which their lives
Had been worn down in gathering, on the pyre,
Ay, at their household hearts have lit the brand,
Ev'n from that shrine of quiet love of bear
The flame which gave their temples and their homes,
In ashes, to the winds! - They have done this,
Making a blasted void, where once the sun
Look'd upon lovely dwellings; and from earth
Razing all record that on such a spot
Childhood hath sprung, age faded, misery wept,
And frail Humanity knelt before her God;
- They have done this, in their free nobleness,
Rather than see the spoiler's tread pollute
Their holy places! - Praise, high praise be theirs,
Who have left man such lessons! - And these things,
Made your own hills their witnesses! - The sky,
Whose arch bends o'er you, and the seas, wherein
Your rivers pour their gold, rejoicing saw
The altar, and the birth-place, and the tomb,
And all memorials of man's heart and faith,
Thus proudly honour'd. - Be ye not outdone
By the departed! - Though the godless foe
Be close upon us, we have power to snatch
The spoils of victory from him.  Be but strong!
A few bright torches and brief moments yet
Shall baffle his flush'd hope, and we may die
Laughing him unto scorn. - Rise, follow me,
And thou, Valencia! triumph in thy fate,
The ruin, not the yoke, and make thy towers
A beacon unto Spain!

We'll follow thee!
- Alas! for our fair city, and the homes
Wherein we rear'd our children! - But away!
The Moor shall plant no cresent o'er our fanes!

Voice (from a tower on the walls.)
Succours! - Castile!  Castile!

Citizens (rushing to the spot.)
It is even so!
Now blessing be to Heaven, for we are saved!
Castile, Castile!

Voice (from the tower.)
Line after line of spears,
Lance after lance, upon the horizon's verge,
Like festal lights from cities bursting up,
Doth skirt the plains! - in faith, a noble host!

Another Voice.
The Moor hath turn'd him from our walls, to front
Th' advancing might of Spain!

Citizens (shouting.)
Castile! Castile!

(GONZALEZ enters, supported by ELMINA and a Citizen.

What shouts of joy are these?

Hail, chieftain! hail!
Thus ev'n in death 'tis given thee to receive
The conqueror's crown! - Behold our God hath heard
And arm'd himself with vengeance! - Lo! they come!
The lances of Castile!

I knew, I knew
Thou wouldst not utterly, my God, forsake
Thy servant in his need! - My blood and tears
Have not sunk vainly to th' attesting earth!
Praise to thee, thanks and praise, that I have lived
To see this hour!

And I too bless thy name,
Though thou hast proved me unto agony!
Oh! God! - thou God of chastening!

Voice (from the tower.)
They move on!
I see the royal banner in the air,
With its emblazon'd towers!

Go, bring ye forth
The banner of the Cid, and plant it here,
To stream above me for an answering sign
That the good cross doth hold its lofty place
Within Valencia still! - What see ye now?

I see a kingdom's might upon its path,
Moving in terrible magnificence,
Unto revenge and victory! - With the flash
Of knightly swords, up-springing from the ranks,
As meteors from a still and gloomy deep,
And with the waving of ten thousand plumes,
Like a land's harvest in the autumn wind,
And with fierce light, which is not of the sun,
But flung from sheets of steel - it comes, it comes,
The vengeance of our God!

I hear it now,
The heavy tread of mail-clad multitudes,
Like thunder-showers upon the forest paths.

Ay, earth knows well the omen of that sound,
And she hath echoes, like a sepulchre's,
Pent in her secret hollows, to respond
Unto the step of death!

Hark! how the wind
Swells proudly with the battle-march of Spain!
Now the heart feels its power! - A little while
Grant me to live, my God! - What pause is this?

A deep and dreadful one! - the serried files
Level their spears for combat; now the hosts
Look on each other in their brooding wrath,
Silent, and face to face.


Calm on the bosom of thy God,
Fair spirit! rest thee now!
E'en while with ours thy footsteps trod,
His seal was on thy brow.

Dust, to its narrow house beneath!
Soul, to its place on high!
They that have seen thy look in death,
No more may fear to die.

Elmina (to GONZALEZ.)
It is the death-hymn o'er thy daughter's bier!
- But I am clam, and e'en like gentle winds,
That music, through the stillness of my heart,
Sends mournful peace.

Oh! well those solemn tunes
Accord with such an hour, for all her life
Breathed of a hero's soul!

[A sound of trumpets and shouting from the plain.

Now, now they close! - Hark! what a dull dead sound
Is in the Moorish war-shout! - I have known
Such tones prophetic oft. - The shock is given -
Lo! they have placed their shields before their hearts,
And lower'd their lances with the streamers on,
And on their steeds bent forward! - God for Spain!
The first bright sparks of battle have been struck
From spear to spear, across the gleaming field!
- There is no sight on which the blue sky looks
To match with this! - 'Tis not the gallant crests,
Nor banners with their glorious blazonry;
The very nature and high soul of man
Doth now reveal itself!

Oh, raise me up,
That I may look upon the noble scene!
- It will not be! - That this dull mist would pass
A moment from my sight! - Whence rose that shout,
As in fierce triumph?

Hernandez (clasping his hands.)
Must I look on this?
The banner sinks - 'tis taken!



Oh, God of battles!

Calm thy noble heart!
Thou wilt not pass away without thy meed.
Nay, rest thee on my bosom.

Cheer thee yet!
Our knights have spurr'd to rescue. - There is now
A whirl, a mingling of all terrible things,
Yet more appalling than the fierce distinctness
Wherewith they moved before! - I see tall plumes
All wildly tossing o'er the battle's tide,
Sway'd by the wrathful motion, and the press
Of desperate men, as cedar-boughs by storms.
Many a white streamer there is dyed with blood,
Many a false corslet broken, many a shield
Pierced through! - Now, shout for Santiago, shout!
Lo! javelins with a moment's brightness cleave
The thickening dust, and barbed steeds go down
With their helm'd riders! - Who, but One, can tell
How spirits part amidst that fearful rush
And trampling on of furious multitudes?

Thou'rt silent! - See'st thou more? -
My soul grows dark.

And dark and troubled, as an angry sea,
Dashing some gallant armament in scorn
Against its rocks, is all on which I gaze!
- I can but tell thee how tall spears are cross'd,
And lances seem to shiver, and proud helms
To lighten with the stroke! - But round the spot,
Where, like a storm-fell'd mast, our standard sank,
The heart of battle burns.

Where is that spot?

It is beneath the lonely tuft of palms,
That lift their green heads o'er the tumult still,
In calm and stately grace.

There, didst thou say?
Then God is with us, and we must prevail!
For on that spot they died! - My children's blood
Calls on the avenger thence!

They perish'd there!
- And the bright locks that waved so joyously
To the free winds, lay trampled and defiled
Ev'n on that place of death! - Oh, merciful!
Hush the dark thought within me!

Hernandez (with sudden exultation.)
Who is he,
On the white steed, and with the castled helm,
And the gold broider'd mantle, which doth float
E'en like a sunny cloud above the fight;
And the pale cross, which from his breast-plate gleams
With star-like radiance?

Gonzalez (eagerly.)
Didst thou say the cross?

On his mail'd bosom shines a broad white cross.
And his long plumage through the darkening air
Streams like a snow-wreath.

That should be -

The king!
- Was it not told us how he sent, of late,
To the Cid's tomb, e'en for the silver cross.
Which he who slumbers there was wont to bind
O'er his brave heart in fight?

Gonzalez (springing up joyfully.)
My king! my king!
Now all good saints for Spain! - My noble king!
And thou art there! - That I might look once more
Upon thy face! - But yet I thank thee, Heaven!
That thou hast sent him, from my dying hands
Thus to receive his city!

          [He sinks back into ELMINA's arms.

He hath clear'd
A pathway 'midst the combat, and the light
Follows his charge through yon close living mass
E'en as the gleam on some proud vessel's wake
Along the stormy waters! - 'Tis redeem'd -
The castled banner! - It is flung once more,
In joy and glory, to the sweeping winds!
- There seems a wavering through the paynim hosts -
Castile doth press them sore - Now, now rejoice!

What hast thou seen?

Abdullah falls! He falls!
The man of blood! - the spoiler! - he hath sunk
In our king's path! - Well hath that royal sword
Avenged thy cause, Gonzalez.
They give way,
The Crescent's van is broken! - On the hills
And the dark pine-woods may the infidel
Call vainly in his agony of fear,
To cover him from vengeance! - Lo! they fly!
They of the forest and the wilderness
Are scatter's e'en as leaves upon the wind!
Woe to the sons of Afric! - Let the plains,
And the vine-mountains, and Hesperian seas,
Take their dead unto them! - that blood shall wash
Our soil from stains of bondage.

Gonzalez (attempting to raise himself.)
Set me free!
Come with me forth, for I must greet my king,
After his battle-field!

Oh, blest in death!
Chosen of Heaven, farewell! - Look on the Cross,
And part from earth in peace!

Now charge once more!
God is with Spain, and Santiago's sword
Is reddening all the air! - Shout forth 'Castile!'
The day is ours! - I go! - but fear ye not!
For Afric's lance is broken, and my sons
Have won their first good field!   [He dies.

Look on me yet!
Speak one farewell, my husband! - must thy voice
Enter my soul no more? - Thine eye is fix'd -
Now is my life uprooted,- and 'tis well.

(A Sound of triumphant music is heard, and many
Castilian Knights and Soldiers enter.)

A Citizen.
Hush your triumphal sounds, although ye come
E'en as deliverers! - But the noble dead,
And those that mourn them, claim from human hearts
Deep silent reverence.

Elmina (rising proudly.)
No: swell forth, Castile!
Thy trumpet-music, till the seas and heavens,
And the deep hills, give every stormy note
Echoes to ring through Spain! - How, know ye not
That all array'd for triumph, crown'd and robed
With the strong spirit which hath saved the land,
Ev'n now a conqueror to his rest is gone?
- Fear not to break that sleep, but let the wind
Swell on with victory's shout? - He will not hear -
Hath earth a sound more sad?

Lift ye the dead,
And bear him, with the banner of his race
Waving above him proudly, as it waved
O'er the Cid's battles, to the tomb, wherein
His warrior-sires are gather'd.  [They raise the body.

Ay, 'tis thus
Thou shouldst be honour'd! - And I follow thee
With an unfaltering and a lofty step,
To the last home of glory.  She that wears
In her deep heart the memory of thy love
Shall thence draw strength for all things, till the God
Whose hand around her hath unpeopled earth,
Looking upon her still and chasten'd soul,
Call it once more to thine!
                          (To the Castilians.)
Awake, I say,
Tambour and trumpet, wake! - and let the land
Through all her mountains hear your funeral peal
- So should a hero pass to his repose.
                          [Exeunt omnes.

Scanned by Masayuki Yamaguchi

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