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Count Julian by Walter Savage Landor

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I rose--Roderigo lords o'er Spain no more.

ROD. Now to a traitor's add a boaster's name.

JUL. Shameless and arrogant, dost thou believe
I boast for pride or pastime? forced to boast,
Truth costs me more than falsehood e'er cost thee.
Divested of that purple of the soul,
That potency, that palm of wise ambition,
Cast headlong by thy madness from that height,
That only eminence 'twixt earth and heaven,
Virtue, which some desert, but none despise,
Whether thou art beheld again on earth,
Whether a captive or a fugitive,
Miner or galley-slave, depends on me:
But he alone who made me what I am
Can make me greater, or can make me less.

ROD. Chance, and chance only, threw me in thy power;
Give me my sword again and try my strength.

JUL. I tried it in the front of thousands.

ROD. Death
At least vouchsafe me from a soldier's hand.

JUL. I love to hear thee ask for it--now my own
Would not be bitter; no, nor immature.

ROD. Defy it, say thou rather.

JUL. Death itself
Shall not be granted thee, unless from God;
A dole from his and from no other hand.
Thou shalt now hear and own thine infamy -

ROD. Chains, dungeons, tortures--but I hear no more.

JUL. Silence, thou wretch, live on--ay, live--abhorred.
Thou shalt have tortures, dungeons, chains, enough -
They naturally rise and grow around
Monsters like thee, everywhere, and for ever.

ROD. Insulter of the fallen! must I endure
Commands as well as threats? my vassal's too?
Nor breathe from underneath his trampling feet?

JUL. Could I speak patiently who speak to thee,
I would say more--part of thy punishment
It should be to be taught.

ROD. Reserve thy wisdom
Until thy patience come, its best ally:
I learn no lore, of peace or war, from thee.

JUL. No, thou shalt study soon another tongue,
And suns more ardent shall mature thy mind.
Either the cross thou bearest, and thy knees
Among the silent caves of Palestine
Wear the sharp flints away with midnight prayer;
Or thou shalt keep the fasts of Barbary,
Shalt wait amid the crowds that throng the well
From sultry noon till the skies fade again,
To draw up water and to bring it home
In the cracked gourd of some vile testy knave,
Who spurns thee back with bastinadoed foot
For ignorance or delay of his command.

ROD. Rather the poison or the bowstring.

JUL. Slaves
To other's passions die such deaths as those:
Slaves to their own should die -

ROD. What worse?

JUL. Their own.

ROD. Is this thy counsel, renegade?

JUL. Not mine;
I point a better path, nay, force thee on.
I shelter thee from every brave man's sword
While I am near thee: I bestow on thee
Life: if thou die, 'tis when thou sojournest
Protected by this arm and voice no more;
'Tis slavishly, 'tis ignominiously,
'Tis by a villain's knife.

ROD. By whose?

JUL. Roderigo's.

ROD. O powers of vengeance! must I hear? endure?

JUL. Call thy vassals? no! then wipe the drops
Of froward childhood from thy shameless eyes.
So! thou canst weep for passion--not for pity.

ROD. One hour ago I ruled all Spain! a camp
Not larger than a sheepfold stood alone
Against me: now, no friend throughout the world
Behold the turns of fortune, and expect
Follows my steps or hearkens to my call.
No better; of all faithless men, the Moors
Are the most faithless: from thy own experience
Thou canst not value nor rely on them.

JUL. I value not the mass that makes my sword,
Yet while I use it I rely on it.
Rod. Julian, thy gloomy soul still meditates -
Plainly I see it--death to me--pursue
The dictates of thy leaders, let revenge
Have its full sway, let Barbary prevail,
And the pure creed her elders have embraced:
Those placid sages hold assassination
A most compendious supplement to law.

JUL. Thou knowest not the one, nor I the other,
Torn hast thou from me all my soul held dear!
Her form, her voice, all, hast thou banished from me;
Nor dare I, wretched as I am! recall
Those solaces of every grief, erewhile.
I stand abased before insulting crime -
I falter like a criminal myself.
The hand that hurled thy chariot o'er its wheels,
That held thy steeds erect and motionless
As molten statues on some palace-gates,
Shakes, as with palsied age, before thee now.
Gone is the treasure of my heart, for ever,
Without a father, mother, friend, or name.
Daughter of Julian--such was her delight -
Such was mine too! what pride more innocent,
What, surely, less deserving pangs like these,
Than springs from filial and parental love!
Debarred from every hope that issues forth
To meet the balmy breath of early life,
Her saddened days, all, cold and colourless,
Will stretch before her their whole weary length
Amid the sameness of obscurity.
She wanted not seclusion, to unveil
Her thoughts to heaven, cloister, nor midnight bell;
She found it in all places, at all hours:
While, to assuage my labours, she indulged
A playfulness that shunned a mother's eye,
Still, to avert my perils, there arose
A piety that, even from ME, retired.

ROD. Such was she! what am I! those are the arms
That are triumphant when the battle fails.
O Julian, Julian! all thy former words
Struck but the imbecile plumes of vanity;
These, through its steely coverings, pierce the heart.
I ask not life nor death; but, if I live,
Send my most bitter enemy to watch
My secret paths, send poverty, send pain -
I will add more--wise as thou art, thou knowest
No foe more furious than forgiven kings.
I ask not then what thou wouldst never grant:
May heaven, O Julian, from thy hand receive
A pardoned man, a chastened criminal.

JUL. This further curse hast thou inflicted; wretch,
I cannot pardon thee.

ROD. Thy tone, thy mien,
Refute those words.

JUL. No--I can NOT forgive.

ROD. Upon my knee, my conqueror, I implore -
Upon the earth, before thy feet--hard heart!

JUL. Audacious! hast thou never heard that prayer
And scorned it? 'tis the last thou shouldst repeat.
Upon the earth! upon her knees! O God!

ROD. Resemble not a wretch so lost as I:
Be better; Oh! be happier; and pronounce it.

JUL. I swerve not from my purpose: thou art mine,
Conquered; and I have sworn to dedicate,
Like a torn banner on my chapel's roof,
Thee to that power from whom thou hast rebelled.
Expiate thy crimes by prayer, by penances.

ROD. Hasten the hour of trial, speak of peace.
Pardon me not, then--but with purer lips
Implore of God, who WOULD hear THEE, to pardon.

JUL. Hope it I may--pronounce it--O Roderigo!
Ask it of him who can; I too will ask,
And, in my own transgressions, pray for thine.

ROD. One name I dare not -

JUL. Go--abstain from that,
I do conjure thee: raise not in my soul
Again the tempest that has wrecked my fame;
Thou shalt not breathe in the same clime with her.
Far o'er the unebbing sea thou shalt adore
The eastern star, and--may thy end be peace.



HER. From the prince Tarik I am sent, my lord.

JUL. A welcome messager, my brave Hernando.
How fares it with the gallant soul of Tarik?

HER. Most joyfully; he scarcely had pronounced
Your glorious name, and bid me urge your speed,
Than, with a voice as though it answered heaven,
"He shall confound them in their dark designs,"
Cried he, and turned away with that swift stride
Wherewith he meets and quells his enemies.

JUL. Alas, I cannot bear felicitation,
Who shunned it even in felicity.

HER. Often we hardly think ourselves the happy
Unless we hear it said by those around.
O my lord Julian, how your praises cheered
Our poor endeavours! sure, all hearts are ope
Lofty and low, wise and unwise, to praise.
Even the departed spirit hovers round
Our blessings and our prayers; the corse itself
Hath shined with other light than the still stars
Shed on its rest, or the dim taper, nigh.
My father, old men say, who saw him dead
And heard your lips pronounce him good and happy,
Smiled faintly through the quiet gloom, that eve,
And the shroud throbbed upon his grateful breast.
Howe'er it be, many who tell the tale
Are good and happy from that voice of praise.
His guidance and example were denied
My youth and childhood: what I am I owe -

JUL. Hernando, look not back: a narrow path
And arduous lies before thee; if thou stop
Thou fallest; go right onward, nor observe
Closely and rigidly another's way,
But, free and active, follow up thy own.

HER. The voice that urges now my manly step
Onward in life, recalls me to the past,
And from that fount I freshen for the goal.
Early in youth, among us villagers
Converse and ripened counsel you bestowed.
O happy days of (far departed!) peace,
Days when the mighty Julian stooped his brow
Entering our cottage door; another air
Breathed through the house; tired age and lightsome youth
Beheld him, with intensest gaze: these felt
More chastened joy; those, more profound repose.
Yes, my best lord, when labour sent them home
And midday suns, when from the social meal
The wicker window held the summer heat,
Praised have those been who, going unperceived,
Opened it wide, that all might see you well:
Nor were the children blamed, upon the mat,
Hurrying to watch what rush would last arise
From your foot's pressure, ere the door was closed,
And not yet wondering how they dared to love.
Your counsels are more precious now than ever,
But are they--pardon if I err--the same?
Tarik is gallant, kind, the friend of Julian,
Can he be more? or ought he to be less?
Alas! his faith!

JUL. In peace or war, Hernando?

HER. Oh, neither--far above it; faith in God -

JUL. 'Tis God's, not thine--embrace it not, nor hate it.
Precious or vile, how dare we seize that offering,
Scatter it, spurn it, in its way to heaven,
Because we know it not? the Sovereign Lord
Accepts his tribute, myrrh and frankincense
From some, from others penitence and prayer:
Why intercept them from his gracious hand?
Why dash them down? why smite the supplicant?

HER. 'Tis what they do?

JUL. Avoid it thou the more.
If time were left me, I could hear well-pleased
How Tarik fought up Calpe's fabled cliff,
While I pursued the friends of Don Roderigo
Across the plain, and drew fresh force from mine.
Oh! had some other land, some other cause,
Invited him and me, I then could dwell
On this hard battle with unmixed delight.

HER. Eternal is its glory, if the deed
Be not forgotten till it be surpassed:
Much praise by land, by sea much more, he won;
For then a Julian was not at his side,
Nor led the van, nor awed the best before;
The whole, a mighty whole, was his alone.
There might be seen how far he shone above
All others of the day: old Muza watched
From his own shore the richly laden fleet,
Ill-armed and scattered, and pursued the rear
Beyond those rocks that bear St. Vincent's name,
Cutting the treasure, not the strength, away;
Valiant, where any prey lies undevoured
In hostile creek or too confiding isle:
Tarik, with his small barks, but with such love
As never chief from rugged sailor won,
Smote their high masts and swelling rampires down;
And Cadiz wept in fear o'er Trafalgar.
Who that beheld our sails from off the heights,
Like the white birds, nor larger, tempt the gale
In sunshine and in shade, now almost touch
The solitary shore, glance, turn, retire,
Would think these lovely playmates could portend
Such mischief to the world, such blood, such woe;
Could draw to them from far the peaceful hinds,
Cull the gay flower of cities, and divide
Friends, children, every bond of human life;
Could dissipate whole families, could sink
Whole states in ruin, at one hour, one blow.

JUL. Go, good Hernando--who WOULD think these things?
Say to the valiant Tarik, I depart
Forthwith: he knows not from what heaviness
Of soul I linger here; I could endure
No converse, no compassion, no approach,
Other than thine, whom the same cares improved
Beneath my father's roof, my foster-brother,
To brighter days and happier end, I hope;
In whose fidelity my own resides
With Tarik and with his compeers and chief.
I cannot share the gladness I excite,
Yet shall our Tarik's generous heart rejoice.


EGILONA enters: HERNANDO goes.

EGI. Oh, fly me not because I am unhappy,
Because I am deserted fly me not.
It was not so before, it cannot be
Ever from Julian.

JUL. What would Egilona
That Julian's power with her new lords can do?
Surely her own must there preponderate.

EGI. I hold no suit to them--restore, restore Roderigo.

JUL. He no longer is my prisoner.

EGI. Escapes he then?

JUL. Escapes he--dost thou say?
O Egilona! what unworthy passion -

EGI. Unworthy, when I loved him, was my passion;
The passion that now swells my heart is just.

JUL. What fresh reproaches hath he merited?

EGI. Deeprooted hatred shelters no reproach.
But whither is he gone?

JUL. Far from the walls.

EGI. And I knew nothing!

JUL. His offence was known
To thee at least.

EGI. Will it be expiated?

JUL. I trust it will.

EGI. This withering calm consumes me.
He marries then Covilla! 'twas for this
His people were excited to rebel,
His sceptre was thrown by, his vows were scorned,
And I--and I -

JUL. Cease, Egilona!

EGI. Cease?
Sooner shalt thou to live, than I to reign.


Tent of MUZA.


MUZA. To have first landed on these shores appears
Transcendent glory to the applauded Tarik.

TARIK. Glory, but not transcendent, it appears,
What might in any other.

MUZA. Of thyself
All this vain boast?

TARIK. Not of myself--'twas Julian.
Against his shield the refluent surges rolled,
While the sea-breezes threw the arrows wide,
And fainter cheers urged the reluctant steeds.

MUZA. That Julian, of whose treason I have proofs,
That Julian, who rejected my commands
Twice, when our mortal foe besieged the camp,
And forced my princely presence to his tent.

TARIK. Say rather, who without one exhortation,
One precious drop from true believer's vein,
Marched, and discomfited our enemies.
I found in him no treachery. Hernando,
Who, little versed in moody wiles, is gone
To lead him hither, was by him assigned
My guide, and twice in doubtful fight his arm
Protected me: once on the heights of Calpe,
Once on the plain, when courtly jealousies
Tore from the bravest and the best his due,
And gave the dotard and the coward command:
Then came Roderigo forth--the front of war
Grew darker--him, equal in chivalry,
Julian alone could with success oppose.

ABD. I doubt their worth who praise their enemies.

TAR. And theirs doubt I who persecute their friends.

MUZA. Thou art in league with him.

TAR. Thou wert, by oaths,
I am without them; for his heart is brave.

MUZA. Am I to bear all this?

TAR. All this, and more:
Soon wilt thou see the man whom thou hast wronged,
And the keen hatred in thy breast concealed
Find its right way, and sting thee to the core.

MUZA. Hath he not foiled us in the field; not held
Our wisdom to reproach?

TAR. Shall we abandon
All he hath left us in the eyes of men?
Shall we again make him our adversary
Whom we have proved so, long and fatally?
If he subdue for us our enemies,
Shall we raise others, or, for want of them,
Convert him into one against his will?


HERNANDO enters. TARIK continues.

Here comes Hernando from that prince himself -

MUZA. Who scorns himself to come.

HER. The queen detains him.

ABD. How? Egilona?

MUZA. 'Twas my will.

TAR. At last
He must be happy; for delicious calm
Follows the fierce enjoyment of revenge.

Her. That calm was never his, no other will be!
Thou knowest not, and mayst thou never know,
How bitter is the tear that fiery shame
Scourges and tortures from the soldier's eye.
Whichever of these bad reports be true,
He hides it from all hearts, to wring his own,
And drags the heavy secret to the grave.
Not victory, that o'ershadows him, sees he!
No airy and light passion stirs abroad
To ruffle or to soothe him; all are quelled
Beneath a mightier, sterner stress of mind:
Wakeful he sits, and lonely and unmoved,
Beyond the arrows, views, or shouts of men;
As oftentimes an eagle, when the sun
Throws o'er the varying earth his early ray,
Stands solitary, stands immovable
Upon some highest cliff, and rolls his eye,
Clear, constant, unobservant, unabased,
In the cold light, above the dews of morn.
He now assumes that quietness of soul
Which never but in danger have I seen
On his staid breast.

TAR. Danger is past, he conquers;
No enemy is left him to subdue.

HER. He sank not, while there was, into himself.
Now plainly see I from his altered tone,
He cannot live much longer--thanks to God!

TAR. What! wishest thou thy once kind master dead?
Was he not kind to thee, ungrateful slave!

HER. The gentlest, as the bravest, of mankind.
Therefore shall memory dwell more tranquilly
With Julian, once at rest, than friendship could,
Knowing him yearn for death with speechless love.
For his own sake I could endure his loss,
Pray for it, and thank God; yet mourn I must
Him above all! so great, so bountiful,
So blessed once! bitterly must I mourn.
'Tis not my solace that 'tis his desire;
Of all that pass us in life's drear descent
We grieve the most for those that wished to die.
A father to us all, he merited,
Unhappy man! all a good father's joy
In his own house, where seldom he hath been,
But, ever mindful of its dear delights,
He formed one family around him, ever.

TAR. Yes, we have seen and known him--let his fame
Refresh his friends, but let it stream afar,
Nor in the twilight of home scenes be lost.
He chose the best, and cherished them; he left
To self-reproof the mutinies of vice;
Avarice, that dwarfs ambition's tone and mien;
Envy, sick nursling of the court; and pride
That cannot bear his semblance nor himself;
And malice, with blear visage half-descried
Amid the shadows of her hiding-place.

HER. What could I not endure, O gallant man,
To hear him spoken of as thou hast spoken!
Oh! I would almost be a slave to him
Who calls me one.

MUZA. What? art thou not? begone.

TAR. Reply not, brave Hernando, but retire.
All can revile, few only can reward.
Behold the meed our mighty chief bestows!
Accept it, for thy services, and mine.
More, my bold Spaniard, hath obedience won
Than anger, even in the ranks of war.

HER. The soldier, not the Spaniard, shall obey.


MUZA to TAR. Into our very council bringest thou
Children of reprobation and perdition?
Darkness thy deeds and emptiness thy speech,
Such images thou raisest as buffoons
Carry in merriment on festivals;
Nor worthiness nor wisdom would display
To public notice their deformities,
Nor cherish them nor fear them; why shouldst thou?

TAR. I fear not them nor thee.


EGILONA enters.

ABD. Advance, O queen.
Now let the turbulence of faction cease.

MUZA. Whate'er thy purpose, speak, and be composed.

EGI. He goes; he is afar; he follows her;
He leads her to the altar, to the throne.
For, calm in vengeance, wise in wickedness,
The traitor hath prevailed, o'er him, o'er me,
O'er you--the slaves, the dupes, the scorn, of Julian.
What have I heard! what have I seen!

MUZA. Proceed.

ABD. And I swear vengeance on his guilty head
Who intercepts from thee the golden rays
Of sovereignty; who dares rescind thy rights;
Who steals upon thy rest, and breathes around
Empoisoned damps o'er that serenity
Which leaves the world, and faintly lingers here.

MUZA. Who shuns thee -

ABD. Whose desertion interdicts
Homage, authority, precedency -

MUZA. Till war shall rescue them -

ABD. And love restore.

EGI. O generous Abdalazis! never! never!
My enemies--Julian alone remains -
The worst, in safety, far beyond my reach,
Breathe freely on the summit of their hopes;
Because they never stopped, because they sprang
From crime to crime, and trampled down remorse.
Oh! if her heart knew tenderness like mine!
Grant vengeance on the guilty; grant but that,
I ask no more; my hand, my crown, is thine.
Fulfil the justice of offended heaven,
Assert the sacred rights of royalty,
Come not in vain, crush the rebellious crew,
Crush, I implore, the indifferent and supine.

MUZA. Roderigo thus escaped from Julian's tent.

EGI. No, not escaped, escorted, like a king.
The base Covilla first pursued her way
On foot; but after her the royal car,
Which bore me from San Pablos to the throne,
Empty indeed, yet ready at her voice,
Rolled o'er the plain, amid the carcases
Of those who fell in battle or in flight:
She, a deceiver still, to whate'er speed
The moment might incite her, often stopped
To mingle prayers with the departing breath,
Improvident! and those with heavy wounds
Groaned bitterly beneath her tottering knee.

TAR. Now, by the clement and the merciful!
The girl did well: when I breathe out my soul,
Oh! if compassion give one pang the more,
That pang be mine; here be it, in this land.
Such women are they in this land alone.

EGI. Insulting man!

MUZA. We shall confound him yet.
Say, and speak quickly, whither went the king?
Thou knewest where was Julian.

ABD. I will tell
Without his answer: yes, my friends; yes, Tarik,
Now will I speak, nor thou, for once, reply.
There is, I hear, a poor half-ruined cell
In Xeres, whither few indeed resort;
Green are the walls within, green is the floor
And slippery from disuse; for Christian feet
Avoid it, as half-holy, half accursed.
Still in its dark recess fanatic sin
Abases to the ground his tangled hair,
And servile scourges and reluctant groans
Roll o'er the vault uninterruptedly,
Till, such the natural stillness of the place
The very tear upon the damps below
Drops audible, and the heart's throb replies.
There is the idol maid of Christian creed,
And taller images, whose history
I know not, nor inquired--a scene of blood,
Of resignation amid mortal pangs,
And other things, exceeding all belief.
Hither the aged Opas of Seville
Walked slowly, and behind him was a man
Barefooted, bruised, dejected, comfortless,
In sackcloth; the white ashes on his head
Dropped as he smote his breast; he gathered up,
Replaced them all, groaned deeply, looked to heaven,
And held them, like a treasure, with clasped hands.

EGI. Oh! was Roderigo so abased?

MUZA. 'Twas he.
Now, Egilona, judge between your friends
And enemies; behold what wretches brought
The king, thy lord, Roderigo, to disgrace.

EGI. He merited--but not from them--from me
This, and much worse: had I inflicted it,
I had rejoiced--at what I ill endure.

MUZA. For thee, for thee alone, we wished him here,
But other hands released him -

ABD. With what aim
Will soon appear to those discerning eyes.

EGI. I pray thee, tell what passed until that hour.

ABD. Few words, and indistinct; repentant sobs
Filled the whole space, the taper in his hand,
Lighting two small dim lamps before the altar,
He gave to Opas; at the idol's feet
He laid his crown, and wiped his tears away:
The crown reverts not, but the tears return.

EGI. Yes, Abdalazis! soon, abundantly.
If he had only called upon my name,
Seeking my pardon ere he looked to heaven's,
I could have--no! he thought not once on me!
Never shall he find peace or confidence;
I will rely on fortune and on thee,
Nor fear my future lot: sure, Abdalazis,
A fall so great can never happen twice,
Nor man again be faithless, like Roderigo.

ABD. Faithless he may be still, never so faithless.
Fainter must be the charms, remote the days,
When memory and dread example die,
When love and terror thrill the heart no more,
And Egilona is herself forgotten.


JULIAN enters.

TAR. Turn, and behold him! who is now confounded?
Ye who awaited him, where are ye? speak.
Is some close comet blazing o'er your tents?
Muza! Abdalazis! princes, conquerors,
Summon, interrogate, command, condemn.

MUZA. Justly, Don Julian--but respect for rank
Allays resentment, nor interrogates
Without due form--justly may we accuse
This absence from our councils, from our camp:
This loneliness in which we still remain
Who come invited to redress your wrongs.
Where is the king?

JUL. The people must decide.

MUZA. Imperfectly, I hope, I understand
Those words, unworthy of thy birth and age.

JUL. O chieftain, such have been our Gothic laws.

MUZA. Who then amid such turbulence is safe?

JUL. He who observes them: 'tis no turbulence,
It violates no peace: 'tis surely worth
A voice, a breath of air, thus to create
By their high will the man, formed after them
In their own image, vested with their power,
To whom they trust their freedom and their lives.

MUZA. They trust! the people! God assigns the charge:
Kings open but the book of destiny
And read their names, all that remains for them
The mystic hand from time to time reveals.
Worst of idolaters! idolater
Of that refractory and craving beast
Whose den is in the city, at thy hand
I claim our common enemy, the king.

JUL. Sacred from justice then! but not from malice!

TAR. Surrender him, my friend: be sure his pains
Will not be softened.

JUL. 'Tis beyond my power.

TAR. To-morrow--if in any distant fort
He lies to-night: send after him.

JUL. My faith
Is plighted, and he lives--no prisoner.

EGI. I knew the truth.

ABD. Now, Tarik, hear and judge.
Was he not in thy camp? and in disguise?

TAR. No: I will answer thee.

MUZA. Audacious man!
Had not the Kalif Walid placed thee here,
Chains and a traitor's death should be thy doom.
Speak, Abdalazis! Egilona, speak.
Were ye not present? was not I myself?
And aided not this Julian his escape?

JUL. 'Tis true.

TAR. Away then friendship; to thy fate
I leave thee: thou hast rendered Muza just,
Me hostile to thee. Who is safe! a man
Armed with such power and with such perfidy!

JUL. Stay, Tarik! hear me; for to thee alone
Would I reply.

TAR. Thou hast replied, already. [Goes.

MUZA. We, who were enemies, would not inquire
Too narrowly what reasons urged thy wrath
Against thy sovereign lord: beneath his flag
The Christians first assailed us from these shores,
And we seized gladly the first aid we found
To quell a wealthy and a warlike king.
We never held to thee the vain pretence
That 'twas thy quarrel our brave youth espoused,
Thine, who hast wrought us much disgrace and woe.
From perils and from losses, here we rest
And drink of the fresh fountain at our feet,
Not madly following such illusive streams
As overspread the dizzy wilderness,
And vanish from the thirst they have seduced.
Ours was the enterprise, the land is ours:
What gain we by our toils if he escape
Whom we came hither solely to subdue?

JUL. Is there no gain to live in amity?

MUZA. The gain of traffickers and idle men:
Courage and zeal expire upon such calms.
Further, what amity can Moors expect
When you have joined your forces?

JUL. From the hour
That he was vanquished I have laid aside
All power, all arms.

MUZA. How can we trust thee, once
Deceived, and oftener than this once despised?
Thou camest hither with no other aim
Than to deprive Roderigo of his crown
For thy own brow.

EGI. Julian, base man, 'tis true.
He comes a prince, no warrior, at this hour.

MUZA. His sword, O queen, would not avail him now.

ABD. Julian, I feel less anger than regret.
No violence of speech, no obloquy,
No accusation shall escape my lips:
Need there is none, nor reason, to avoid
My questions: if thou value truth, reply.
Hath not Roderigo left the town and camp?
Hath not thy daughter?

EGI. Past the little brook
Toward the Betis--from a tower I saw
The fugitives, far on their way; they went
Over one bridge, each with armed men--not half
A league of road between them--and had joined
But that the olive-groves along the path
Concealed them from each other--not from me:
Beneath me the whole level I surveyed,
And, when my eyes no longer could discern
Which track they took, I knew it from the storks
Rising in clouds above the reedy plain.

MUZA. Deny it, if thou canst.

JUL. I ordered it.

ABD. None could besides: lo! things in such a mass
Falling together on observant minds,
Create suspicion and establish proof:
Wanted there fresh--why not employ our arms?
Why go alone?

MUZA. To parley, to conspire,
To reunite the Spaniards, which we saw,
To give up treaties, close up enmities,
And ratify the deed with Moorish blood.

JUL. Gladly would Spain procure your safe return,
Gladly would pay large treasures, for the aid
You brought against oppression -

MUZA. Pay she shall -
The treasures of her soil, her ports, her youth:
If she resist, if she tumultuously
Call forth her brigands and we lose a man,
Dreadful shall be our justice; war shall rage
Through every city, hamlet, house, and field,
And, universal o'er the gasping land,

JUL. They shall rue the day
Who dare these things.

MUZA. Let order then prevail.
In vain thou sendest far away thy child,
Thy counsellor the metropolitan,
And Sisabert--prudence is mine no less.
Divide with us our conquests, but the king
Must be delivered up.

JUL. Never by me.

MUZA. False then were thy reproaches, false thy grief.

JUL. O Egilona! were thine also feigned?

ABD. Say, lovely queen, neglectful of thy charms
Turned he his eyes toward the young Covilla?
Did he pursue her to the mad excess
Of breaking off her vows to Sisabert,
And marrying her, against the Christian law?

MUZA. Did he prefer her so?

ABD. Could he prefer
To Egilona -

EGI. Her! the child Covilla?
Eternal hider of a foolish face,
Incapable of anything but shame,
To me? old man! to me? O Abdalazis!
No: he but followed with slow pace my hate.
And cannot pride check these unseemly tears.


MUZA. The most offended, an offended woman,
A wife, a queen, is silent on the deed.

ABD. Thou disingenuous and ignoble man,
Spreading these rumours! sending into exile
All those their blighting influence injured most:
And whom? thy daughter and adopted son,
The chieftains of thy laws and of thy faith.
Call any witnesses, proclaim the truth,
And set, at last, thy heart, thy fame, at rest.

JUL. Not, if I purposed or desired to live,
My own dishonour would I e'er proclaim
Amid vindictive and reviling foes.

MUZA. Calling us foes, avows he not his guilt?
Condemns he not the action we condemn,
Owning it his, and owning it dishonour?
'Tis well my cares pressed forward, and struck home.

JUL. Why smilest thou? I never saw that smile
But it portended an atrocious deed.

MUZA. After our manifold and stern assaults,
With every tower and battlement destroyed,
The walls of Ceuta still were strong enough -

JUL. For what? who boasted now her brave defence,
Or who forbade your entrance, after peace?

MUZA. None: for who could? their engines now arose
To throw thy sons into the arms of death.
For this erect they their proud crests again.
Mark him at last turn pale before a Moor.

JUL. Imprudent have they been, their youth shall plead.

ABD. O father, could they not have been detained?

MUZA. Son, thou art safe and wert not while they lived.

ABD. I feared them not.

MUZA. And therefore wert not safe:
Under their star the blooming Egilona
Would watch for thee the nuptial lamp in vain.

JUL. Never, oh never, hast thou worked a wile
So barren of all good! speak out at once,
What hopest thou by striking this alarm?
It shocks my reason, not my fears or fondness.

MUZA. Be happy then as ignorance can be;
Soon wilt thou hear it shouted from our ranks.
Those who once hurled defiance o'er our heads,
Scorning our arms, and scoffing at our faith,
The nightly wolf hath visited, unscared,
And loathed them as her prey; for famine first,
Achieving in few days the boast of year;
Sank their young eyes and opened us the gates:
Ceuta, her port, her citadel, is ours.

JUL. Blessed boys! inhuman as thou art, what guilt
Was theirs?

MUZA. Their father's.

JUL. Oh, support me, Heaven!
Against this blow! all others I have borne.
Ermenegild! thou mightest, sure, have lived!
A father's name awoke no dread of thee!
Only thy mother's early bloom was thine!
There dwelt on Julian's brow--thine was serene -
The brightened clouds of elevated souls,
Feared by the most below: those who looked up
Saw, at their season, in clear signs, advance
Rapturous valour, calm solicitude,
All that impatient youth would press from age,
Or sparing age sigh and detract from youth:
Hence was his fall! my hope! myself! my Julian!
Alas! I boasted--but I thought on him,
Inheritor of all--all what? my wrongs -
Follower of me--and whither? to the grave -
Ah, no: it should have been so years far hence!
Him at this moment I could pity most,
But I most prided in him; now I know
I loved a name, I doted on a shade.
Sons! I approach the mansions of the just,
And my arms clasp you in the same embrace,
Where none shall sever you--and do I weep!
And do they triumph o'er my tenderness!
I had forgotten my inveterate foes
Everywhere nigh me, I had half forgotten
Your very murderers, while I thought on you:
For, O my children, ye fill all the space
My soul would wander o'er--O bounteous heaven!
There is a presence, if the well-beloved
Be torn from us by human violence,
More intimate, pervading, and complete,
Than when they lived and spoke like other men;
And there pale images are our support
When reason sinks, or threatens to desert us.
I weep no more--pity and exultation
Sway and console me: are they--no!--both dead?

MUZA. Ay, and unsepulchred.

JUL. Nor wept nor seen
By any kindred and far-following eye?

MUZA. Their mother saw them, if not dead, expire.

JUL. O cruelty--to them indeed the least!
My children, ye are happy--ye have lived
Of heart unconquered, honour unimpaired,
And died, true Spaniards, loyal to the last.

MUZA. Away with him.

JUL. Slaves! not before I lift
My voice to heaven and man: though enemies
Surround me, and none else, yet other men
And other times shall hear: the agony
Of an oppressed and of a bursting heart
No violence can silence; at its voice
The trumpet is o'erpowered, and glory mute,
And peace and war hide all their charms alike.
Surely the guests and ministers of heaven
Scatter it forth through all the elements;
So suddenly, so widely, it extends,
So fearfully men breathe it, shuddering
To ask or fancy how it first arose.

MUZA. Yes, they shall shudder--but will that, henceforth,
Molest my privacy, or shake my power?

JUL. Guilt hath pavilions, but no privacy.
The very engine of his hatred checks
The torturer in his transport of revenge,
Which, while it swells his bosom, shakes his power
And raises friends to his worst enemy.

MUZA. Where now are thine? will they not curse the day
That gave thee birth, and hiss thy funeral!
Thou hast left none who could have pitied thee.

JUL. Many, nor those alone of tenderer mould,
For me will weep--many alas through me!
Already I behold my funeral.
The turbid cities wave and swell with it,
And wrongs are lost in that day's pageantry:
Oppressed and desolate, the countryman
Receives it like a gift; he hastens home,
Shows where the hoof of Moorish horse laid waste
His narrow croft and winter garden-plot,
Sweetens with fallen pride his children's lore,
And points their hatred; but applauds their tears.
Justice, who came not up to us through life,
Loves to survey our likeness on our tombs,
When rivalry, malevolence, and wrath,
And every passion that once stormed around,
Is calm alike without them as within.
Our very chains make the whole world our own,
Bind those to us who else had passed us by,
Those at whose call brought down to us, the light
Of future ages lives upon our name.

MUZA. I may accelerate that meteor's fall,
And quench that idle ineffectual light
Without the knowledge of thy distant world.

JUL. My world and thine are not that distant one.
Is age less wise, less merciful, than grief,
To keep this secret from thee, poor old man?
Thou canst not lessen, canst not aggravate
My sufferings, canst not shorten nor extend
Half a sword's length between my God and me.
I thank thee for that better thought than fame,
Which none, however, who deserve, despise,
Nor lose from view till all things else are lost.

ABD. Julian, respect his age, regard his power.
Many who feared not death have dragged along
A piteous life in darkness and in chains.
Never was man so full of wretchedness
But something may be suffered after all,
Perhaps in what clings round his breast, and helps
To keep the ruin up, which he amid
His agony and frenzy overlooks,
But droops upon at last, and clasps, and dies.

JUL. Although a Muza send far underground,
Into the quarry whence the palace rose,
His mangled prey, climes alien and remote
Mark and record the pang. While overhead
Perhaps he passes on his favourite steed,
Less heedful of the misery he inflicts
Than of the expiring sparkle from a stone;
Yet we, alive or dead, have fellow men
If ever we have served them, who collect
From prisons and from dungeons our remains,
And bear them in their bosom to their sons.
Man's only relics are his benefits;
These, be there ages, be there worlds, between,
Retain him in communion with his kind:
Hence is our solace, our security,
Our sustenance, till heavenly truth descends -
Losing in brightness and beatitude
The frail foundations of these humbler hopes -
And, like an angel guiding us, at once
Leaves the loose chain and iron gate behind.

MUZA. Take thou my justice first, then hope for theirs.
I, who can bend the living to my will,
Fear not the dead, and court not the unborn:
Their arm will never reach me, nor shall thine.

ABD. Pity, release him, pardon him, my father.
Forget how much thou hatest perfidy;
Think of him, once so potent, still so brave,
So calm, so self-dependent in distress -
I marvel at him--hardly dare I blame,
When I behold him fallen from so high,
And so exalted after such a fall.
Mighty must that man be who can forgive
A man, so mighty; seize the hour to rise,
Another never comes. Oh, say, my father,
Say, "Julian, be my enemy no more."
He fills me with a greater awe than e'er
The field of battle, with himself the first,
When every flag that waved along our host
Drooped down the staff, as if the very winds
Hung in suspense before him--bid him go
And peace be with him, or let me depart.
Lo! like a god, sole and inscrutable,
He stands above our pity.

JUL. For that wish -
Vain as it is, 'tis virtuous--oh, for that,
However wrong thy censure and thy praise,
Kind Abdalazis, mayst thou never feel
The rancour that consumes thy father's breast,
Nor want the pity thou hast sought for me.

MUZA. Now hast thou sealed thy doom.

JUL. And thou thy crimes.

ABD. O father, heed him not: those evil words
Leave neither blight nor blemish--let him go.

MUZA. A boy, a very boy, art thou indeed!
One who in early day would sally out
To chase the lion, and would call it sport,
But, when more wary steps had closed him round,
Slink from the circle, drop the toils, and blanch
Like a lithe plant from under snow in spring.

ABD. He who ne'er shrank from danger might shrink now,
And ignominy would not follow here.

MUZA. Peace, Abdalazis! how is this? he bears
Nothing that warrants him invulnerable:
Shall I then shrink to smite him? shall my fears
Be greatest at the blow that ends them all?
Fears? no! 'tis justice--fair, immutable,
Whose measured step, at times, advancing nigh,
Appalls the majesty of kings themselves.
Oh, were he dead! though then revenge were o'er.


OFF. Thy wife, Count Julian -

JUL. Speak!

OFF. --Is dead.

JUL. Adieu,
Earth, and the humblest of all earthly hopes,
To hear of comfort, though to find it vain.
Thou murderer of the helpless! shame of man!
Shame of thy own base nature! 'tis an act
He who could perpetrate could not avow,
Stained, as he boasts to be, with innocent blood,
Deaf to reproach, and blind to retribution.

OFF. Julian, be just; 'twill make thee less unhappy.
Grief was her end: she held her younger boy
And wept upon his cheek; his naked breast
By recent death now hardening and inert,
Slipped from her knee; again with frantic grasp
She caught it, and it weighed her to the ground:
There lay the dead.

JUL. She?

OFF. And the youth her son.

JUL. Receive them to thy peace, eternal God!
O soother of my hours, while I beheld
The light of day, and thine! adieu, adieu!
And, my Covilla! dost thou yet survive?
Yes, my lost child, thou livest yet--in shame!
Oh, agony past utterance! past thought!
That throwest death, as some light idle thing,
With all its terrors, into dust and air,
I will endure thee; I, whom heaven ordained
Thus to have served beneath my enemies,
Their conqueror, thus to have revisited
My native land with vengeance and with woe.
Henceforward shall she recognise her sons,
Impatient of oppression or disgrace,
And rescue them, or perish; let her hold
This compact, written with her blood, and mine.
Now follow me--but tremble--years shall roll,
And wars rage on, and Spain at last be free.


{1} "Ah, what avails the sceptred race,
Ah, what the form divine!
What every virtue, every grace!
Rose Aylmer, all were thine.

"Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes
May weep, but never see,
A night of memories and sighs
I consecrate to thee."

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