There were men from wilds where the death-wind


There were spears from hills where the lion sleeps, There were bows from sands where the ostrich


For the shrill horn of Afric had call'd her sons
To the battles of the West.

The midnight bell o'er the dim seas heard,
Like the roar of waters, the air had stirr'd;
The stars were shining o'er tower and wave,
And the camp lay hush'd as a wizard's cave,

But the Christians woke that night.

deed. The Cid insisted that, before taking possession of the vacant throne, Alphonso should take an oath of his innocence of his brother's murder; and when the other nobles hung back, Rodrigo alone exacted the oath and made him repeat it three times. After such a step, he could expect little court favour; and he retired from Castile, and occupied himself in expeditions against the Moors. He defeated five Moorish

kings, and imposed upon them a tribute in the name of the king of Castile. Recalled to court, he received, in the presence of Alphonso, the Moorish deputies, who saluted him with the title of Seid, by which he was afterwards designated. Again banished by the unforgiving Alphonso, he attacked the Moors in Aragon, and there fixed himself in a strong fortress in a rock, which is still called "La Peña de el Cid," (The Rock of the Cid.) After a long siege, he took Valencia, where he established himself, and held it till his death, 1099. Too modest to take the title of king, he never forgot that he was born a subject to the king of Castile, and never ceased to give homage to Alphonso, although he had exiled him. The love of military renown never made him insensible to the dictates of justice, and he must ever be considered as a model of a true knight and of a faithful subject. On the news of his death the Moors besieged Valencia, but were repulsed by his widow, and the troops sent by Alphonso to her assistance; but, according to the legend which forms the subject of this ballad, the Moors besieged the town while he lay on his death-bed, and he directed that his corpse should be led out, in the manner described, when the garrison should make a sally.

They rear'd the Cid on his barbed steed,
Like a warrior mail'd for the hour of need,
And they fix'd the sword in the cold right hand,
Which had fought so well for his fathers' land,

And the shield from his neck hung bright.

There was arming heard in Valencia's halls,
There was vigil kept on the rampart walls;
Stars had not faded, nor clouds turn'd red,
When the knights had girded the noble dead,
And the burial train mov'd out.

With a measur'd pace, as the pace of one,
Was the still death-march of the host begun;
With a silent step went the cuirass'd bands,
Like a lion's tread on the burning sands,
And they gave no battle shout.

When the first went forth, it was midnight deep,
In heaven was the moon, in the camp was sleep;
When the last through the city's gates had gone,
O'er tent and rampart the bright day shone,

With a sun-burst from the sea.

There were knights five hundred went arm'd before,
And Bermudez the Cid's green standard bore;
To its last fair field, with the break of morn,
Was the glorious banner in silence borne,
On the glad wind streaming free.

And the Campeador 1 came stately then,
Like a leader circled with steel-clad men !
The helmet was down o'er the face of the dead,
But his steed went proud, by a warrior led,
For he knew that the Cid was there. 2

1 A title of the Cid.

2 Bavieca, the favourite charger of the Cid, is scarcely less celebrated than Bucephalus. He is mentioned in almost every one of the hundred ballads concerning the Cid, and was buried near his master under the trees in front of the convent of San Pedro de Cardeña.

He was there, the Cid, with his own good sword,
And Ximena following her noble lord;
Her eye was solemn, her step was slow,
But there rose not a sound of war or woe,
Not a whisper on the air.

The halls in Valencia were still and lone,
The churches were empty, the masses done;
There was not a voice through the wide streets far,
Not a foot-fall heard in the Alcazar 2,

So the burial train mov'd out.

With a measur'd pace, as the pace of one,
Was the still death-march of the host begun;
With a silent step went the cuirass'd bands,
Like a lion's tread on the burning sands,
And they gave no battle shout.

But the hills peal'd with a cry ere long,
When the Christians burst on the Paynim throng!
With a sudden flash of the lance and spear,
And a charge of the war-steed in full career.
It was Alvar Fanez 3 came!

He that was wrapt with no funeral shroud,
Had pass'd before, like a threat'ning cloud!
And the storm rush'd down on the tented plain,
And the Archer Queen 4 with her bands lay slain,
For the Cid upheld his fame.

1 The Cid's wife. The Chimène of Corneille's celebrated tragedy of " Le Cid."

2 The market-place.

3 One of the Cid's bravest warriors, and governor of Valencia after his death.

A Moorish princess, who accompanied King Bucar with a band of female archers.

Then a terror fell on the king Bucar 1,

And the Libyan 2 kings who had join'd his war: And their hearts grew heavy and died away, And their hands could not wield an assagay 3, For the dreadful things they saw !

For it seem'd where Minaya 4 his onset made,
There were seventy thousand knights array'd,
All white as snow, on Nevada's 5 steep,
And they came like the foam of a roaring deep;
'Twas a sight of fear and awe!

And the crested form of a warrior tall,
With a sword of fire went before them all;
With a sword of fire and a banner pale,
And a blood-red cross on his shadowy mail,
He rode in the battle's van.

There was fear in the path of his dim white horse, There was death in the giant-warrior's course! Where his banner stream'd with its ghastly light, Where his sword blaz'd out, there was hurrying flight, For it seem'd not the sword of man!

The field and the river grew darkly red,
As the kings and leaders of Afric fled;

There was work for the men of the Cid that day!
They were weary at eve, when they ceas'd to slay,
As reapers whose task is done!

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The kings and the leaders of Afric fled!
The sails of their galleys in haste were spread;
But the sea had its share of the Paynim slain,
And the bow of the desert was broke in Spain,
So the Cid to his grave pass'd on.



ALAS! - how light a cause may move
Dissension between hearts that love!
Hearts that the world in vain had tried,

And sorrow but more closely tied;

That stood the storm, when waves were rough,
Yet in a sunny hour fall off,

Like ships that have gone down at sea,
When heav'n was all tranquillity!
A something light as air- a look,

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A word unkind or wrongly taken -
Oh! love, that tempests never shook,
A breath, a touch like this hath shaken.
And ruder words will soon rush in
To spread the breach that words begin;
And eyes forget the gentle ray
They wore in courtship's smiling day;
And voices lose the tone that shed
A tenderness round all they said;
Till fast declining, one by one,
The sweetnesses of love are gone,
And hearts so lately mingled, seem
Like broken clouds.
That smiling left the mountain's brow,
As though its waters ne'er could sever,
Yet, ere it reach the plain below,

or like the stream,

Breaks into floods that part for ever.


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