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My good Siverian, go not thou this day
To war! I charge thee keep thyself from harm!
Thou art past the age for battles, and with whom
Hereafter should thy mistress talk of me
If thou wert gone? .. Thou seest I am unarm'd ;
Thus disarray'd as thou beholdest me,
Clean through yon miscreant army have I cut
My way unhurt ; but being once by Heaven
Preserved, I would not perish with the guilt
Of having wilfully provoked my death.
Give me thy helmet and thy cuirass! .. nay,
Thou wert not wont to let me ask in vain,
Nor to gainsay me when my will was known !
To thee methinks I should be still the King.

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O who could tell what deeds were wrought that day, Or who endure to hear the tale of rage, Hatred, and madness, and despair, and fear, Horror, and wounds, and agony, and death, The cries, the blasphemies, the shrieks, and groans, And prayers, which mingled with the din of arms In one wild uproar of terrific sounds ; While over all predominant was heard, Reiterate from the conquerors o'er the field, Roderick the Goth! Roderick and Victory! Roderick and Vengeance!...

The evening darken'd, but the avenging sword
Turned not away its edge till night had closed
Upon the field of blood. The Chieftains then
Blew the recall, and from their perfect work
Return'd rejoicing, all but he for whom
All look'd with most expectance. He full sure
Had thought upon that field to find his end
Desired, and with Florinda in the grave
Rest, in indissoluble union joined.
But still where through the press of war he went
Half-arm’d, and like a lover seeking death,
The arrows past him by to right and left,

The spear-point pierced him not, the scymitar
Glanced from his helmet ; he, when he beheld
The rout complete, saw that the shield of Heaven
Had been extended over him once more,
And bowed before its will. Upon the banks
Of Sella was Orelio found, his legs
And flanks incarnadined, his poitral smeared
With froth and foam and gore, his silver mane
Sprinkled with blood, which hung on every hair,
Aspersed like dew-drops ; trembling there he stood
From the toil of battle, and at times sent forth
His tremulous voice far echoing loud and shrill,
A frequent anxious cry, with which he seem'd
To call the master whom he loved so well,
And who had thus again forsaken him.
Siverian's helm and cuirass on the grass
Lay near ; and Julian's sword, its hilt and chain
Clotted with blood; but where was he whose hand
Had wielded it so well that glorious day?...

Days, months, and years, and generations pass'd,
And centuries held their course, before, far off
Within a hermitage near Viseu’s walls
A humble tomb was found, which bore inscribed
In ancient characters King Roderick's name.


He found a Woman in the cave,

A solitary Woman,
Who by the fire was spinning,

And singing as she spun.
The pine boughs were cheerfully blazing,
And her face was bright with the flame ;
Her face was as a Damsel's face,

And yet her hair was grey.
She bade him welcome with a smile,

And still continued spinning,
And singing as she spun. ...

The thread she spun it gleam'd like gold

In the light of the odorous fire,

Yet was it so wonderously thin,
That, save when it shone in the light,
You might look for it closely in vain.

The youth sate watching it,
And she observed his wonder,

And then again she spake,
And still her speech was song ;
"Now twine it round thy hands I say,
Now twine it round thy hands I pray ;
My thread is small, my thread is fine,

But he must be

A stronger than thee,
Who can break this thread of mine!!

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And up she raised her bright blue eyes,
And sweetly she smiled on him,

And he conceived no ill ;
And round and round his right hand,

And round and round his left,

He wound the thread so fine.
And then again the Woman spake,

And still her speech was song,
Now thy strength, 0 Stranger, strain !
Now then break the slender chain.'

Thalaba strove, but the thread

By magic hands was spun,
And in his .cheek the flush of shame

Arose, commixt with fear.
She beheld and laugh'd at him,

And then again she sung,
• My thread is small, my thread is fine,

But he must be

A stronger than thee,
Who can break this thread of mine!'

And up she raised her bright blue eyes,

And fiercely she smiled on him :

'I thank thee, I thank thee, Hodeirah's son! I thank thee for doing what can't be undone, For binding thyself in the chain I have spun!'

Then from his head she wrench'd

A lock of his raven hair,

And cast it in the fire,
And cried aloud as it burnt,
Sister! Sister! hear my voice!
Sister! Sister! come and rejoice!

The thread is spun,
The prize is won,

The work is done,
For I have made captive Hodeirah's Son.'

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O force of faith! O strength of virtuous will! Behold him in his endless martyrdom,

Triumphant still! The Curse still burning in his heart and brain,

And yet doth he remain
Patient the while, and tranquil, and content !
The pious soul hath framed unto itself

A second nature, to exist in pain
As in its own allotted element.

Such strength the will reveald had given
This holy pair, such influxes of grace,
That to their solitary resting place

They brought the peace of Heaven.
Yea, all around was hallow’d! Danger, Fear,

Nor thought of evil ever enter'd here. A charm was on the Leopard when he came

Within the circle of that mystic glade ; Submiss he crouch'd before the heavenly maid,

And offer'd to her touch his speckled side ; Or with arch'd back erect, and bending head, And eyes half-closed for pleasure, would he stand

Courting the pressure of her gentle hand.

Trampling his path through wood and brake, And canes which crackling fall before his way, And tassel-grass, whose silvery feathers play

O’ertopping the young trees,

On comes the Elephant, to slake
His thirst at noon in yon pellucid springs.
Lo! from his trunk upturn'd, aloft he flings

The grateful shower; and now

Plucking the broad-leaved bough
Of yonder plane, with wavey motion slow,

Fanning the languid air,

He moves it to and fro. But when that form of beauty meets his sight,

The trunk its undulating motion stops, From his forgetful hold the plane-branch drops, Reverent he kneels, and lifts his rational eyes

To her as if in prayer ; And when she pours her angel voice in song

Entranced he listens to the thrilling notes, Till his strong temples, bathed with sudden dews,

Their fragrance of delight and love diffuse.

Lo! as the voice melodious floats around,

The Antelope draws near, The Tigress leaves her toothless cubs to hear ; The Snake comes gliding from the secret brake,

Himself in fascination forced along

By that enchanting song ;
The antic Monkeys, whose wild gambols late,
When not a breeze waved the tall jungle grass,
Shook the whole wood, are hush'd, and silently

Hang on the cluster'd tree.
All things in wonder and delight are still ;

Only at times the Nightingale is heard,
Not that in emulous skill that sweetest bird

Her rival strain would try, A mighty songster, with the Maid to vie ; She only bore her part in powerful sympathy.

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