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But after many a proof of matchless might,
And oft as vigour fiiiPd, by steadfast haste
But fierce desire of blood, and scorn of pain, With tenfold rage enflam'd the sons of Spain; Onward they rush'd, impetuous in their course, And scarce created might could stand their force. Slowly the Araucanians first retreat, But soon in squadrons turn, and trust their feet. "Triumph to Spain," the conquering legions cry; "Triumph to Spain," the neighb'ring vales reply; * But dire mischance, or Fate's resistks sway, Gave a dread sequel to this signal day.
An Indian Chieftain's son, in arms renown'd, To great Valdivia by allegiance bound, For many an instance of paternal care, Follow'd his patron to the field of war; But when he saw his friends resign the field, Commotion strange his looks and words reveal'd; And as they fled, pursu'd by wild alarms, He thus recall'd their broken bands to arms; "O blind to glory, whither would ye run, "Where do you think impending fate to shun? "And is it thus your antient fame expires, "The Sage's honour, and the Patriot's fires? "Are all your laws and rights forever lost, "Your father's freedom, and your country's boast? '' Once ye were independent, fear'd, and bold, '* Now, for degrading bonds your claims are sold.
* Tlie»» twe liuei are taken partly from Mr. Hayley's translation.
"The vigour of your antient stem decays,
"Each drooping bough a latent plague betrays;
"That, deep within, its vernal sap consumes,
"And withering blights invade its tarnish'd blooms.
"Do you not see yon squadrons spent with toil;
"They scarce can drag their limbs along the soil;
"While their tir'd coursers draw their breath in pain,
"And bathe with sweat and blood the dusty plain.
"O let not yonder sun behold your name
"Sunk in the dungeon of eternal shame;
"Fly from the yoke that hovers o'er your heads,
"Rally, and charge, where lasting glory leads:
"Nor thus be seen to shun a feeble foe,
"And turn your shoulders to the mortal blow;
"Let memory fix this truth in every mind,
"That dastard fears the light of reason blind;'
"Then to the world a legacy bequeath
"Of Freedom, purchas'd in the field of Death.
"Yet listen to my warning voice! Return,"Nor thus your glorious hopes ignobly spurn.
"O turn upon your foes! renew the fight,
"Or check, at least, your ignominious flight.
"Hut, if my words are vain, observe my deed,
"And learn of me in Freedom's cause to bleed." Exclaiming thus, among the crowd he prest,
One he o'erturns: another warrior's side
Feels thro' his ribs the deadly weapon gride,
Tho' long and large; then lancing thro' the throng,
He turns and winds at will, or darts along;
Now springing to the blow, a soldier's thigh
He pierc'd, as on his steed he past him by;
The shock, as o'er the field his courser flew,
With headlong fury snapt the beam in two;
In his strong hand remain'd the shatter'd wood,
Fixt in the lawn the pointed truncheon stood.
Flinging the fragments of his spear away,
An huge two-handed mace, with furious sway,
Caught from the field, around the warrior swung,
And fell'd the bravest of the fighting throng.
Before the tempest of his arm afar
At distance due retir'd the baffled war;
But rallying soon the martial tide returns,
And round his dauntless head the battle burns.
No more they pour upon the flying crew,
But 'gainst a single youth the fight renew.
With active bound he shuns the levell'd lance,
Keen falchions round his helm innocuous glance,
Thro' tilting spears, and many a random blow,
He vaults, or springs aloof, or lurks below;
And like a Demon, in the shades of night,
Eludes the touch, tho' visible to sight.
What far-fam'd ages ever yet supplied
A name like his, who left the victor's side,
And with the vanquish'd host, at Honour's call,
Resolv'd to wake their hopes, or share their fall?
What eye had ever seen beneath the sun,
Since he began his daily race to run,
A young barbarian's solitary hand,
Extort a trophy from the victor band i
Tho' Rome, exulting, give the Decian name
With their sad offering to eternal fame;
Tho' Curtius past the gloomy gulf below,
And Mutius' burning hand amaz'd the foe,
Tho' Codes long maintain'd the bloody post,
And with his single arm repell'd an host,
Tho' in the pass Leonidas was seen
Tinging with Median gore the fatal green,
Since first the world was shook by war's alarms,
His equal ne'er was known in deeds of arms.
Let Furius, with Marcellus, join his claim,
Fulvius and Quintus with the Sergiau name,
And noble Sceva with Dentatus vye,
The young barbarian's fame shall mount a loftier sky.
What glory have they won, ye sages tell,
When match'd with his, altho' they fought and fell I
Did e'er their trumpet wake the deadly fray,
But selfish hope illum'd the doubtful day?
'Twas pride, ambition, thirst of boundless rule,
That led them thro' Bellona's bloody school;
E'en sacred lust of gold has oft inspir'd
Prone souls, by sense of glory never fir'd.
False Honour's claims her duteous slaves incite
To try their valour in the dubious fight:
But when their fortune turns, their hopes decay,
Their idol like a phantom fleets away,
And all at once their energy of mind
Evaporates, nor leaves a wreck behind.
The heady current of a nation's fate