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“ Think not the struggle that draws near
Too terrible for man,-nor fear
To meet the foe;
Nor let thy noble spirit grieve,
Its life of glorious fame to leave
On earth below.
"A life of honor and of worth
Has no eternity on earth,
'Tis but a name ;
And yet its glory far exceeds
That base and sensual life, which leads
To want and shame.
“ The eternal life, beyond the sky,
Wealth cannot purchase, nor the high
The proud estate ;
The soul in dalliance laid,—the spirit
Corrupt with sin,-shall not inherit
A joy so great.
“But the good monk, in cloistered cell,
Shall gain it by his book and bell,
His prayers and tears ;
And the brave knight, whose arm endures
Fierce battle, and against the Moors
His standard rears.
“And thou, brave knight, whose hand has poured
The life-blood of the Pagan horde
O'er all the land,
In heaven shalt thou receive, at length,
The guerdon of thine earthly strength
And dauntless hand.
“ Cheered onward by this promise sure,
Strong in the faith entire and pure
Thou dost profess,
Depart, -thy hope is certainty,-
The third—the better life on high
Shalt thou possess."
“O Death, no more, no more delay ;
My spirit longs to flee away,
And be at rest;
The will of Heaven my will shall be,-
I bow to the divine decree,
To God's behest.
“My soul is ready to depart,
No thought rebels, the obedient heart
Breathes forth no sigh ;
The wish on earth to linger still
Were vain, when 'tis God's sovereign will
That we shall die.
“ 0 Thou, that for our sins didst take
A human form, and humbly make
Thy home on earth ;
Thou, that to thy divinity
A human nature didst ally
By mortal birth,
“ And in that form didst suffer here
Torment, and agony, and fear,
By thy redeeming grace alone,
And not for merits of my own,
0, pardon me!"
As thus the dying warrior prayed,
Without one gathering mist or shade
Upon his mind;
Encircled by his family,
Watched by affection's gentle eye
So soft and kind ;
His soul to Him, who gave it, rose;
God lead it to its long repose,
Its glorious rest!
And though the warrior's sun has set,
Its light shall linger round us yet,
Bright, radiant, blest. *
* This poem of Manrique is a great favourite in Spain. No less than four poetic Glosses, or running commentaries, upon it have been published, no one of which, however, possesses great poetic merit. That of the Carthusian monk, Rodrigo de Valdipeñas, is the best. It is known as the Glosa del Cartujo. There is also a prose Coinmentary by Luis de Aranda.
The following stanzas of the poem were found in the author's pocket, after his death on the field of battle.
“O world! so sew the years we live,
Would that the life that thou dost give
Were life indeed!
Alas ! thy sorrows fall so fast,
Our happiest hour is when at last
The soul is freed.
“Our days are covered o'er with grief,
And sorrows neither few nor brief
Veil all in gloom;
Left desolate of real good,
Within this cheerless solitude
No pleasures bloom.
* Thy pilgrimage begins in tears,
And ends in bitter doubts and fears,
Or dark despair;
Midway so many toils appear,
That he who lingers longest here
Knows most of care.
“ Thy goods are bought with many a groan,
By the hot sweat of toil alone,
And weary hearts;
Fleet-footed is the approach of woe,
But with a lingering step and slow
Its form departs.”
SHEPHERD ! that with thine amorous, sylvan song
Hast broken the slumber which encompassed me,-
That mad'st thy crook from the accursed tree,
On which thy powerful arms were stretched so long!
Lead me to mercy's ever-flowing fountains ;
For thou my shepherd, guard, and guide shalt be;
I will obey thy voice, and wait to see
Thy feet all beautiful upon the mountains.
Hear, Shepherd !—Thou who for thy flock art dying, 0, wash away these scarlet sins, for thou Rejoicest at the contrite sinner's vow. 0, wait !—to thee my weary soul is crying, Wait for me !-Yet why ask it when I see, With feet nailed to the cross, thou’rt waiting still for me!
FROM THE SPANISH OF LOPE DE VEGA.
LORD, what am I, that, with unceasing care,
Thou didst seek after me,—that thou didst wait,
Wet with unhealthy dews, before my gate,
And pass the gloomy nights of winter there ?
O strange delusion !--that I did not greet
Thy blest approach, and O, to Heaven how lost,
If my ingratitude's unkindly frost
Has chilled the bleeding wounds upon thy feet.
How oft my guardian angel gently cried,
"Soul, from thy casement look, and thou shalt see
How he persists to knock and wait for thee !”
And, O! how often to that voice of sorrow,
“ To-morrow we will open,” I replied,
And when the morrow came I answered still, “ To-morrow.”
FROM THE SPANISH OF FRANCISCO DE ALDANA,
CLEAR fount of light ! my native land on high,
Bright with a glory that shall never fade !
Mansion of truth! without a veil or shade,
Thy holy quiet meets the spirit's eye.