Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Onward, for here comes the Ronda,
And I hear their rifles crack !
Ay, jaléo ! Ay, ay, jaléo !

Ay, jaléo ! They cross our track. (Song dies away. Enter PRECIOSA, on horseback, attended by

VICTORIAN, HYPOLITO, Don Carlos, and CHISPA, on foot and armed.) Vict. This is the highest point. Here let us

rest.
See, Preciosa, see how all about us
Kneeling, like hooded friars, the misty mountains
Receive the benediction of the sun !
O glorious sight!
Prec.

Most beautiful indeed !
Hyp. Most wonderful !
Vict.

And in the vale below,
Where yonder steeples flash like lifted halberds,
San Ildefonso, from its noisy belfries,
Sends up a salutation to the morn,
As if an army smote their brazen shields,
And shouted victory!
Prec.

And which way lies Segovia?
Vict.

At a great distance yonder.
Dost thou not see it ?
Prec.

No. I do not see it.
Vict. The merest flaw that dents the horizon's

edge, There, yonder ! Hyp.

'T is a notable old town,
Boasting an ancient Roman aqueduct,
And an Alcázar, builded by the Moors,
Wherein, you may remember, poor Gil Blas
Was fed on Pan del Rey. Oh, many a time
Out of its grated windows have I looked

Hundreds of feet plumb down to the Eresma,
That, like a serpent through the valley creeping,
Glides at its foot.
Prec.
Oh yes ! I see it now,

,
Yet rather with my heart than with mine eyes,
So faint it is. And all my thoughts sail thither,
Freighted with prayers and hopes, and forward

urged Against all stress of accident, as in The Eastern Tale, against the wind and tide Great ships were drawn to the Magnetic Moun

tains, And there were wrecked, and perished in the sea !

(She weeps.) Vict. O gentle spirit! Thou didst bear un

moved Blasts of adversity and frosts of fate! But the first

ray

of sunshine that falls on thee Melts thee to tears! Oh, let thy weary heart Lean upon

mine ! and it shall faint no more, Nor thirst, nor hunger ; but be comforted And filled with

my

affection. Prec.

Stay no longer ! My father waits. Methinks I see him there, Now looking from the window, and now watching Each sound of wheels or footfall in the street, And saying, “ Hark! she comes ! ” O father !

father!

(They descend the pass. CHISPA remains behind.) Chispa. I have a father, too, but he is a dead

Alas and alack-a-day! Poor was I born, and poor do I remain. I neither win nor lose. Thus I wag through the world, half the time on

[ocr errors]

one.

(A pause.

foot, and the other half walking ; and always as merry as a thunder-storm in the night. And so we plough along, as the fly said to the ox. Who knows what may happen ? Patience, and shuffle the cards! I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains ; and perhaps, after all, I shall some day go to Rome, and come back Saint Peter. Benedicite !

[Erit. Then enter BARTOLOMÉ wildly, as if in pursuit, with a

carbine in his hand.) Bart. They passed this way.

I hear their horses' hoofs ! Yonder I see them! Come, sweet caramillo, This serenade shall be the Gypsy's last !

(Fires down the pass.) Ha ! ha! Well whistled, my sweet caramillo ! Well whistled ! - I have missed her! – my

God !

(The shot is returned. BARTOLOMÉ falls.)

THE BELFRY OF BRUGES AND

OTHER POEMS

INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

The Belfry of Bruges and other Poems was published December 23, 1845, but the greater part of the volume had already appeared in the illustrated edition of Mr. Longfellow's poems published earlier in the year in Philadelphia, as well as in the pages of Graham's Magazine, which at this time was the most frequent vehicle of his writing.

The poem which gives the title to the volume was the product of his excursion in Europe in the summer of 1842.

While on his way to the watercure at Marienberg on the Rhine, he spent a few days in Belgium, and here is the entry which he makes in his diary :

May 30. In the evening took the railway from Ghent to Bruges. Stopped at La Fleur de Blé, attracted by the name, and found it a good hotel. It was not yet night ; and I strolled through the fine old streets and felt myself a hundred years old. The chimes seemed to be ringing incessantly; and the air of repose and an

' tiquity was delightful. . . . Oh, those chimes, those chimes ! how deliciously they lull one to sleep! The little bells, with their clear, liquid notes, like the voices of boys in a choir, and the solemn bass of the great bell tolling in, like the voice of a friar !

a

a

May 31. Rose before five and climbed the high belfry which was once crowned by the gilded copper dragon now at Ghent. The carillon of forty-eight bells; the little chamber in the tower; the machinery, like a huge barrel-organ, with keys like a musical instrument for the carilloneur ; the view from the tower ; the singing of swallows with the chimes; the fresh morning air; the mist in the horizon ; the red roofs far below; the canal, like a silver clasp, linking the city with the sea, — how

much to remember!

The poem was probably begun here at this time and finished when, a little later, Mr. Longfellow passed through the place again on his return home by way of England. From some expressions in a letter to Freiligrath it would seem that this poem and Nuremberg formed part of a plan which the poet had formed of a series of travel-sketches in verse, a plan which in a desultory way he may be said to have been executing all his days and to have carried out systematically in another shape in his collection of Poems of Places. The Belfry of Bruges itself appeared in Graham's Magazine for January, 1843.

The contents of this division are the same as in the volume so entitled, except that a group of six translations has been withheld, to be placed with the other translated pieces in the sixth volume; except also that to the Sonnets is added the personal one entitled Mezzo Cammin, written at this time and first printed in the Life.

« НазадПродовжити »