Tell then, my Seer, from what dire sons of earth The brutal people drew their ancient birth; If these forgotten shores and useless tides Have form'd them different from the world besides, Born to subjection, when in happier time A nobler race should reach their fruitful clime; Or, if a common source all nations claim, Their lineage, form and faculties the same, What sovereign secret cause, yet undisplay'd, This wondrous change in nature's work has made; Why various powers of soul and tints of face In different lands diversify the race; To whom the Guide: Unnumbered causes lie, In earth and sea, in climate, soil and sky, That fire the soul, or damp the genial flame, And work their wonders on the human frame. See beauty, form and color change with place; Here charms of health the lively visage grace; There pale diseases float in every wind, Deform the figure, and degrade the mind.
From earth's own elements thy race at first Rose into life, the children of the dust; These kindred elements, by various use, Nourish the growth and every change produce; In each ascending stage the man sustain, His breath, his food, his physic and his bane. In due proportions where these atoms lie, A certain form their equal aids supply; And while unchanged the efficient causes reign, Age following age the certain form maintain. But where crude atoms disproportion'd rise, And cast their sickening vapors round the skies, Unlike that harmony of human frame, That moulded first and reproduce the same, The tribes ill form'd, attempering to the clime, Still vary downward with the years of time; More perfect some, and some less perfect yield Their reproductions in this wondrous field; Till fixt at last their characters abide, And local likeness feeds their local pride. The soul too, varying with the change of clime, Feeble or fierce, or groveling or sublime, Forms with the body to a kindred plan, And lives the same, a nation or a man.
Yet think not clime alone the tint controls, On every shore, by altitude of poles; A different cast the glowing zone demands, In Paria's groves, from Tombut's burning sands, Unheeded agents, for the sense too fine, With every pulse, with every thought combine, Thro air and ocean, with their changes run, Breathe from the ground, or circle with the sun. Where these long continents their shores outspread, See the same form all different tribes pervade; Thro all alike the fertile forests bloom, And all, uncultured, shed a solemn gloom; Thro all great nature's boldest features rise, Sink into vales or tower amid the skies; Streams darkly winding stretch a broader sway, The groves and mountains bolder walks display; A dread sublimity informs the whole, And rears a dread sublimity of soul.
Yet time and art shall other changes find, And open still and vary still the mind. The countless clans that tread these dank abodes, Who glean spontaneous fruits and range the woods, Fixt here for ages, in their swarthy face Display the wild complexion of the place. Yet when the hordes to happy nations rise, And earth By culture warms the genial skies, A fairer tint and more majestic grace Shall flush their features and exalt the race; While milder arts, with social joys refined, Inspire new beauties in the growing mind.
Thy followers too, old Europe's noblest pride, When future gales shall wing them o'er the tide, A ruddier hue and deeper shade shall gain, And stalk, in statelier figures, on the plain. While nature's grandeur lifts the eye abroad O'er these last labors of the forming God, Wing'd on a wider glance the venturous soul Bids greater powers and bolder thoughts unrol; The sage, the chief, the patriot unconfined, Shield the weak world and meliorate mankind. But think not thou, in all the range of man, That different pairs each different cast began; Or tribes distinct, by signal marks confest, Were born to serve or subjugate the rest.
The Hero heard, and thus resumed the strain: Who led these wanderers o'er the dreary main? Could their weak sires, unskill'd in human lore, Build the bold bark, to seek an unknown shore? A shore so distant from the world beside, So dark the tempests, and so wild the tide, That Greece and Tyre, and all who tempt the sea, Have shunn'd the task, and left the fame to me.
When first thy roving race, the Power replied, Learn'd by the stars the devious sail to guide, From stormy Hellespont explored the way, And sought the limits of the Midland sea; Before Alcides form'd his impious plan To check the sail, and bound the steps of man, This hand had led them to this rich abode, And braved the wrath of that strong demigod.
Driven from the Calpian strait, a hapless train Roll'd on the waves that sweep the western main; Storms from the orient bhcken'd heaven with shade, Nor sun nor stars could yield their wonted aid. For many a darksome day o'erwhelm'd and tost, Their sails, their oars in swallowing surges lost, At length, the clouds withdrawn, they sad descry Their course directing from their native sky. No hope remains; far onward o'er the zone The trade wind bears them with the circling sun; Till wreck'd and stranded here, the sylvan coast Receives to lonely seats the suffering host. The fruitful vales invite their steps to roam, Renounce their sorrows and forget their home; Revolving years their ceaseless wanderings led, And from their sons descending nations spread.
These in the torrid tracts began their sway, Whose cultured fields their growing arts display; The northern tribes a later stock may boast, A race descended from the Asian coast. High in the Arctic, where Anadir glides, A narrow strait the impinging worlds divides; There Tartar fugitives from famine sail, And migrant tribes these fruitful shorelands hail.
He spoke; when Behren's pass before them lay, And moving nations on the margin stray, Thick swarming, venturous; sail and oar they ply, Climb on the surge and o'er the billows fly. As when autumnal storms awake their force. The storks foreboding tempt their southern course; From all the fields collecting throngs arise, Mount on the wing and crowd along the skies: Thus, to his eye, from bleak Tartaria's shore, Thro isles and seas, the gathering people pour, Change their cold regions for a happier strand, Leap from the wave and tread the welcome land; In growing tribes extend their southern sway, And wander wide beneath a warmer day.
But why, the Chief replied, if ages past Led the bold vagrants to so mild a waste; If human souls, for social compact given, Inform their nature with the stamp of heaven. Why the wild woods for ever must they rove, Nor arts nor social joys their passions move? Long is the lapse of ages, since thy hand Conducted here thy first adventurous band. On other shores, in every eastern clime, Since that unletter'd, distant tract of time, What arts have sprung, imperial powers to grace! What sceptres sway'd the many-master'd race! Guilt, grandeur, glory from their seats been hurl'd, And dire divulsions shook the changing world!
Ere Rome's first Eagle clave the frighted air, Ere Sparta form'd her deathlike sons of war, Ere Tyre and Ilion saw their towers arise, Or Memphian pyramids usurp'd the skies, These tribes have forester'd the fruitful zone, Their seats unsettled, and their name unknown.
Hesper to this replied: A scanty train, In that far age, approach'd the wide domain; The wide domain, with game and fruitage crown'd, Supplied their food uncultured from the ground. By nature form'd to rove, the humankind, Of freedom fond, will ramble unconfined, Till all the region fills, and rival right Restrains their steps, and bids their force unite; When common safety builds a common cause, Conforms their interest and inspires their laws; By mutual checks their different manners blend, Their fields bloom joyous, and their walls ascend. Here to the vagrant tribes no bounds arose, They form'd no union, as they fear'd no foes; Wandering and wild, from sire to son they stray, A thousand ages, scorning every sway. And what a world their seatless nations led! A total hemisphere around them spread; See the lands lengthen, see the rivers roll, To each far main, to each extended pole!
But lo, at last the destined course is run, The realms are peopled and their arts begun. Where yon mid region elevated lies, A few famed cities glitter to the skies; There move, in eastern pomp, the toils of state, And temples heave, magnificently great.
The Hero turn'd to greet the novel sight; When three far splendors, yet confusedly bright, Rose like a constellation; till more near, Distinctly mark'd their different sites appear; Diverging still, beneath their roofs of gold, Three cities gay their mural towers unfold. So, led by visions of his guiding God, The seer of Patmos o'er the welkin trod, Saw the new heaven its flamy cope unbend, And walls and gates and spiry domes descend; His well known sacred city grows, and gains Her new built towers, her renovated fanes; With golden skies and suns and rainbows crown'd, Jerusalem looks forth and lights the world around.
Bright on the north imperial Mexic rose; A mimic morn her sparkling vanes disclose, Her opening streets concentred hues display, Give back the sun, and shed internal day; The circling wall with guardian turrets frown'd, And look'd defiance to the realms around; A glimmering lake without the wall retires, Inverts the towers, and seems a grove of spires.
Proud o'er the midst, on columns lifted high, A giant structure claims a loftier sky; O'er the tall gates sublimer arches bend, Courts larger lengthen, bolder walks ascend, Starr'd with superior gems the porches shine, And speak the royal residence writhin. There, deck'd in state robes, on his golden throne, Mid suppliant kings, dread Montezuma shone; Mild in his eye a temper'd grandeur sate, High seem'd his soul, with conscious power elate; In aspect open, social and serene, Enclosed by favorites, and of friends unseen.
Round the rich throne, in various lustre dight, Gems undistinguished cast a changing light; Sapphire and emerald soften down the scene, Cold azure mingling with the vernal green, Pearl, amber, ruby warmer flames unfold, And diamonds brighten from the burning gold; Thro all the dome the living blazes blend, And shoot their rainbows where the arches bend. On every ceiling, painted light and gay, Symbolic forms their graphic art display; Recording, confident of endless fame, Each feat of arms, each patriarchal name; Like Memphian hieroglyphs, to stretch the span Of memory frail in momentary man.
Pour'd thro the gates a hundred nations greet, Throng the rich mart and line each ample street, Ply different labors, walls and structures rear, Or till the fields, or train the ranks of war. Thro spreading states the skirts of empire bend, New temples rise and other plains extend; Thrice ten wide provinces, in culture gay, Bless the same king, and daily firm the sway.
A smile benignant kindling in his eyes, O happy realm! the glad Columbus cries, Far in the midland, safe from every foe, Thy arts shall flourish as thy virtues grow, To endless years thy rising fame extend, And sires of nations from thy sons descend. May no gold-thirsty race thy temples tread, Insult thy rites, nor heap thy plains with dead; No Bovadilla seize the tempting spoil, No dark Ovando, no religious Boyle, In mimic priesthood grave, or robed in state, Overwhelm thy glories in oblivious fate!
Vain are thy hopes, the sainted Power replied, These rich abodes from Spanish hordes to hide, Or teach hard guilt and cruelty to spare The guardless prize of sacrilegious war. Think not the vulture, mid the field of slain, Where base and brave promiscuous strow the plain, Where the young hero in the pride of charms Pours brighter crimson o'er his spotless arms, Will pass the tempting prey, and glut his rage On harder flesh, and carnage black with age; O'er all alike he darts his eager eye, Whets the blunt beak and hovers down the sky, From countless corses picks the dainty food, And screams and fattens in the purest blood. So the vile hosts, that hither trace thy way, On happiest tribes with fiercest fury prey. Thine the dread task, O Cortez, here to show What unknown crimes can heighten human woe, On these fair fields the blood of realms to pour, Tread sceptres down, and print thy steps in gore, With gold and carnage swell thy sateless mind, And live and die the blackest of mankind.
He gains the shore. Behold his fortress rise, His fleet high flaming suffocates the skies. The march begins; the nations in affright Quake as he moves, and wage the fruitless fight; Thro the rich provinces he bends his way, Kings in his chain, and kingdoms for his prey; Full on the imperial town infuriate falls, And pours destruction o'er its batter'd walls.
In quest of peace great Montezuma stands, A sovereign supplicant with lifted hands, Brings all his treasure, yields the regal sway, Bids vassal millions their new lord obey; And plies the victor with incessant prayer, Thro ravaged realms the harmless race to spare. But treasures, tears and sceptres plead in vain, Nor threats can move him, nor a world restrain; While blind religion's prostituted name And monkish fury guide the sacred flame. O'er crowded fanes their fires unhallow'd bend, Climb the wide roofs, the lofty towers ascend, Pour thro the lowering skies the smoky flood, And stain the fields, and quench the blaze in blood.
Columbus heard; and, with a heaving sigh, Dropt the full tear that started in his eye: O hapless day! his trembling voice replied, That saw my wandering pennon mount the tide. Had but the lamp of heaven to that bold sail Ne'er mark'd the passage nor awoke the gale, Taught foreign prows these peopled shores to find, Nor led those tigers forth to fang mankind; Then had the tribes beneath these bounteous skies Seen their walls widen and their harvests rise; Down the long tracts of time their glory shone, Broad as the day and lasting as the sun. The growing realms, behind thy shield that rest, Paternal monarch, still thy power had blest, Enjoy'd the pleasures that surround thy throne, Survey'd thy virtues and improved their own.
Forgive me, prince; this luckless arm hath led The storm unseen that hovers o'er thy head; Taught the dark sons of slaughter where to roam, To seize thy crown and seal the nation's doom. Arm, sleeping empire, meet the murderous band, Drive back the invaders, save the sinking land.— But vain the call! behold the streaming blood! Forgive me, Nature! and forgive me, God!
While sorrows thus his patriarch pride control, Hesper reproving sooths his tender soul: Father of this new world, thy tears give o'er, Let virtue grieve and heaven be blamed no more. Enough for man, with persevering mind, To act his part and strive to bless his kind; Enough for thee, o'er thy dark age to soar, And raise to light that long-secluded shore. For this my guardian care thy youth inspired, To virtue rear'd thee, and with glory fired, Bade in thy plan each distant world unite, And wing'd thy vessel for the venturous flight.
Nor think the labors vain; to good they tend; Tyrants like these shall ne'er defeat their end; Their end that opens far beyond the scope Of man's past efforts and his present hope. Long has thy race, to narrow shores confined, Trod the same round that fetter'd fast the mind; Now, borne on bolder plumes, with happier flight, The world's broad bounds unfolding to the sight, The mind shall soar; the coming age expand Their arts and lore to every barbarous land; And buried gold, drawn copious from the mine, Give wings to commerce and the world refine.
Now to yon southern cities turn thy view, And mark the rival seats of rich Peru. See Quito's airy plains, exalted high, With loftier temples rise along the sky; And elder Cusco's shining roofs unfold, Flame on the day, and shed their suns of gold. Another range, in these pacific climes, Spreads a broad theatre for unborn crimes; Another Cortez shall their treasures view, His rage rekindle and his guilt renew; His treason, fraud, and every fell design, O curst Pizarro, shall revive in thine.
Here reigns a prince, whose heritage proclaims A long bright lineage of imperial names; Where the brave roll of Incas love to trace The distant father of their realm and race, Immortal Capac. He, in youthful pride, With young Oella his illustrious bride, Announced their birth divine; a race begun From heaven, the children of their God the Sun; By him sent forth a polish'd state to frame, Crush the fiend Gods that human victims claim, With cheerful rites their pure devotions pay To the bright orb that gives the changing day.
On this great plan, as children of the skies, They plied their arts and saw their hamlets rise. First of their works, and sacred to their fame. Yon proud metropolis received its name, Cusco the seat of states, in peace design'd To reach o'er earth, and civilize mankind. Succeeding sovereigns spread their limits far, Tamed every tribe, and sooth'd the rage of war; Till Quito bow'd; and all the heliac zone Felt the same sceptre, and confirm'd the throne.
Near Cusco's walls, where still their hallow'd isle Bathes in its lake and wears its verdant smile, Where these prime parents of the sceptred line Their advent made, and spoke their birth divine, Behold their temple stand; its glittering spires Light the glad waves and aid their father's fires. Arch'd in the walls of gold, its portal gleams With various gems of intermingling beams; And flaming from the front, with borrow'd ray, A diamond circlet gives the rival day; In whose bright face forever looks abroad The labor'd image of the radiant God. There dwells the royal priest, whose inner shrine Conceals his lore; tis there his voice divine Proclaims the laws; and there a cloister'd quire Of holy virgins keep the sacred fire.
Columbus heard; and curious to be taught What pious fraud such wondrous changes wrought, Ask'd by what mystic charm, in that dark age, They quell'd in savage souls the barbarous rage, By leagues of peace combined a wide domain, And taught the virtues in their laws to reign.
Long is the tale; but tho their labors rest By years obscured, in flowery fiction drest, My voice, said Hesper, shall revive their name, And give their merits to immortal fame. Led by his father's wars, in early prime Young Capac left his native northern clime; The clime where Quito since hath rear'd her fanes, And now no more her barbarous rites maintains. He saw these vales in richer blooms array'd, And tribes more numerous haunt the woodland shade, Saw rival clans their local Gods adore, Their altars staining with their children's gore, Yet mark'd their reverence for the Sun, whose beam Proclaims his bounties and his power supreme; Who sails in happier skies, diffusing good, Demands no victim and receives no blood.
In peace return'd with his victorious sire, New charms of glory all his soul inspire; To conquer nations on a different plan, And build his greatness on the good of man.
By nature form'd for hardiest deeds of fame, Tall, bold and full-proportion'd rose his frame; Strong moved his limbs, a mild majestic grace Beam'd from his eyes and open'd in his face; O'er the dark world his mind superior shone, And seem'd the semblance of his parent Sun. But tho fame's airy visions lift his eyes, And future empires from his labors rise; Yet softer fires his daring views control, And mixt emotions fill his changing soul. Shall genius rare, that might the world improve, Bend to the milder voice of careless love, That bounds his glories, and forbids to part From bowers that woo'd his fluctuating heart? Or shall the toils imperial heroes claim Fire his brave bosom with a patriot flame, Bid sceptres wait him on Peruvia's shore, And loved Oella meet his eyes no more?
Still unresolved he sought the lonely maid, Who plied her labors in the silvan shade; Her locks loose rolling mantle deep her breast, And wave luxuriant round her slender waist, Gay wreaths of flowers her pensive brows adorn, And her white raiment mocks the light of morn. Her busy hand sustains a bending bough, Where cotton clusters spread their robes of snow, From opening pods unbinds the fleecy store, And culls her labors for the evening bower.
For she, the first in all Hesperia, fed The turning spindle with the twisting thread; The woof, the shuttle follow'd her command, Till various garments grew beneath her hand. And now, while all her thoughts with Capac rove Thro former scenes of innocence and love, In distant fight his fancied dangers share, Or wait him glorious from the finish'd war; Blest with the ardent hope, her sprightly mind A vesture white had for the prince design'd; And here she seeks the wool to web the fleece, The sacred emblem of returning peace.
Sudden his near approach the maid alarms; He flew enraptured to her yielding arms, And lost, dissolving in a softer flame, His distant empire and the fire of fame. At length, retiring thro the homeward field, Their glowing souls to cooler converse yield; O'er various scenes of blissful life they ran, When thus the warrior to the maid began:
Long have we mark'd the inauspicious reign That waits our sceptre in this rough domain; A soil ungrateful and a wayward race, Their game but scanty, and confined their space. Where late my steps the southern war pursued, The fertile plains grew boundless as I view'd; More numerous nations trod the grassy wild, And joyous nature more delightful smiled. No changing seasons there the flowers deform, No dread volcano and no mountain storm; Rains ne'er invade, nor livid lightnings play, Nor clouds obscure the radiant King of day. But while his orb, in ceaseless glory bright, Rolls the rich day and fires his stars by night, Unbounded fulness flows beneath his reign, Seas yield their treasures, fruits adorn the plain; His melting mountains spread their annual flood, Night sheds her dews, the day-breeze fans the God. Tis he inspires me with the vast design To form those nations to a sway divine; Destroy the rites of every demon Power, Whose altars smoke with sacrilegious gore; To laws and labor teach the tribes to yield, And richer fruits to grace the cultured field.
But great, my charmer, is the task of fame, Their faith to fashion and their lives to tame; Full many a spacious wild these eyes must see Spread dreary bounds between my love and me; And yon bright Godhead circle thrice the year, Each lonely evening number'd with a tear. Long robes of white my shoulders must embrace, To speak my lineage of ethereal race; That simple men may reverence and obey The radiant offspring of the Power of day.
When these my deeds the faith of nations gain, And happy millions bless thy Capac's reign, Then shall he feign a journey to the Sun, To bring the partner of his well-earn'd throne; So shall descending kings the line sustain, Till earth's whole regions join the vast domain.
Will then my fair, at my returning hour, Forsake these wilds and hail a happier bower? Will she consenting now resume her smiles, Send forth her warrior to his glorious toils; And, sweetly patient, wait the flight of days, That crown our labors with immortal praise?
Silent the damsel heard; her moistening eye Spoke the full soul, nor could her voice reply; Till softer accents sooth'd her wounded ear, Composed her tumult and allay'd her fear: Think not, heroic maid, my steps would part While silent sorrows heave that tender heart. Oella's peace more dear shall prove to me Than all the realms that bound the raging sea; Nor thou, bright Sun, shalt bribe my soul to rest, And leave one struggle in her lovely breast.
Yet think in tribes so vast, my gentle fair, What millions merit our instructive care; How age to age leads on their joyless gloom, Habitual slaughter their poor piteous doom; No social ties their wayward passions prove, Nor peace nor pleasure treads the howling grove; Mid thousand heroes and a thousand fair No fond Oella meets her Capac there. Yet, taught by thee domestic joys to prize, With softer charms the virgin race shall rise, Awake new virtues, every grace improve, And form their minds for happiness and love.
Ah think, as future years thro time descend, What wide creations on thy voice depend; And, like the Sun, whose all-delighting ray To those mild regions gives his purest day, Diffuse thy bounties, let me instant fly; In three short moons the generous task I'll try; Then swift returning, I'll conduct my fair Where realms submissive wait her fostering care.
And will my prince, my Capac, borne away, Thro those dark wilds in quest of empire stray, Where tigers fierce command the shuddering wood, And men like tigers thirst for human blood? Think'st thou no dangerous deed the course attends, Alone, unaided by thy sire and friends? Even chains and death may meet my hero there, Nor his last groan could reach Oella's ear.
But no! nor death nor chains shall Capac prove Unknown to her, while she has power to rove. Close by thy side, where'er thy wanderings stray, My equal steps shall measure all the way; With borrow'd soul each chance of fate I'll dare, Thy toils to lessen and thy dangers share. Quick shall my ready hand two garments weave, Whose sunny whiteness shall the tribes deceive; Thus clad, their homage shall secure our sway. And hail us children of the God of day.
The lovely counsel pleased. The smiling chief Approved her courage and dispell'd her grief; Then to their homely bower in haste they move. Begin their labors and prepare to rove. Soon grow the robes beneath her forming care, And the fond parents wed the wondrous pair; But whelm'd in grief beheld the following dawn, Their joys all vanish'd and their children gone. Nine days they march'd; the tenth effulgent morn Saw their white forms that sacred isle adorn. The work begins; they preach to every band The well-form'd fiction, and their faith demand; With various miracles their powers display, To prove their lineage and confirm their sway. They form to different arts the hand of toil, To whirl the spindle and to spade the soil, The Sun's bright march with pious finger trace, And his pale sister with her changing face; Show how their bounties clothe the labor'd plain, The green maize shooting from its golden grain, How the white cotton tree's expanding lobes File into threads, and swell to fleecy robes; While the tamed Llama aids the wondrous plan, And lends his garment to the loins of man.
The astonish'd tribes believe, with glad surprise, The Gods descended from the favoring skies, Adore their persons robed in shining white. Receive their laws and leave each horrid rite, Build with assisting hands the golden throne, And hail and bless the sceptre of the Sun.
Actions of the Inca Capac. A general invasion of his dominions threatened by the mountain savages. Rocha, the Inca's son, sent with a few companions to offer terms of peace. His embassy. His adventure with the worshippers of the volcano. With those of the storm, on the Andes. Falls in with the savage armies. Character and speech of Zamor, their chief. Capture of Rocha and his companions. Sacrifice of the latter. Death song of Azonto. War dance. March of the savage armies down the mountains to Peru. Incan army meets them. Battle joins. Peruvians terrified by an eclipse of the sun, and routed. They fly to Cusco. Grief of Oella, supposing the darkness to be occasioned by the death of Rocha. Sun appears. Peruvians from the city wall discover Roch an altar in the savage camp. They march in haste out of the city and engage the savages. Exploits of Capac. Death of Zamor. Recovery of Rocha, and submission of the enemy.
Now twenty years these children of the skies Beheld their gradual growing empire rise. They ruled with rigid but with generous care, Diffused their arts and sooth'd the rage of war, Bade yon tall temple grace their favorite isle, The mines unfold, the cultured valleys smile, Those broad foundations bend their arches high, And rear imperial Cusco to the sky; Wealth, wisdom, force consolidate the reign From the rude Andes to the western main.
But frequent inroads from the savage bands Lead fire and slaughter o'er the labor'd lands; They sack the temples, the gay fields deface, And vow destruction to the Incan race. The king, undaunted in defensive war, Repels their hordes, and speeds their flight afar; Stung with defeat, they range a wider wood, And rouse fresh tribes for future fields of blood.
Where yon blue ridges hang their cliffs on high, And suns infulminate the stormful sky, The nations, temper'd to the turbid air, Breathe deadly strife, and sigh for battle's blare; Tis here they meditate, with one vast blow, To crush the race that rules the plains below. Capac with caution views the dark design, Learns from all points what hostile myriads join. And seeks in time by proffer'd leagues to gain A bloodless victory, and enlarge his reign.
His eldest hope, young Rocha, at his call, Resigns his charge within the temple wall; In whom began, with reverend forms of awe, The functions grave of priesthood and of law,
In early youth, ere yet the ripening sun Had three short lustres o'er his childhood run, The prince had learnt, beneath his father's hand, The well-framed code that sway'd the sacred land; With rites mysterious served the Power divine, Prepared the altar and adorn'd the shrine, Responsive hail'd, with still returning praise, Each circling season that the God displays, Sooth'd with funereal hymns the parting dead, At nuptial feasts the joyful chorus led; While evening incense and the morning song Rose from his hand or trembled on his tongue.
Thus form'd for empire ere he gain'd the sway, To rule with reverence and with power obey, Reflect the glories of the parent Sun, And shine the Capac of his future throne, Employed his docile years; till now from far The rumor'd leagues proclaim approaching war; Matured for active scenes he quits the shrine, To aid in council or in arms to shine.
Amid the chieftains that the court compose, In modest mien the stripling pontiff rose, With reverence bow'd, conspicuous o'er the rest, Approach'd the throne, and thus the sire addrest: Great king of nations, heaven-descended sage, Thy second heir has reach'd the destined age To take these priestly robes; to his pure hand I yield them pure, and wait thy kind command. Should foes invade, permit this arm to share The toils, the triumphs, every chance of war; For this dread conflict all our force demands, In one wide field to whelm the brutal bands, Pour to the mountain gods their wonted food, And save thy realms from future leagues of blood. Yet oh, may sovereign mercy first ordain Propounded compact to the savage train! I'll go with terms of peace to spread thy sway, And teach the blessings of the God of day.
The sire return'd: My great desire you know, To shield from slaughter and preserve the foe, In bands of concord all their tribes to bind, And live the friend and guardian of mankind. Should strife begin, thy youthful arm shall share The toils of glory thro the walks of war; But o'er their hills to seek alone the foes, To gain their confidence or brave their blows, Bend their proud souls to reason's voice divine, Claims hardier limbs and riper years than thine. Yet one of heavenly race the task requires, Whose mystic rites control the solar fires; So the sooth'd Godhead proves to faithless eyes His love to man, his empire of the skies.
Some veteran chief, in those rough labors tried, Shall aid thee on, and go thy faithful guide; O'er dreary heights thy sinking limbs sustain. Teach the dark wiles of each insidious train, Thro all extremes of life thy voice attend, In counsel lead thee, or in arms defend. And three firm youths, thy chosen friends, shall go To learn the climes and meditate the foe; That wars of future years their skill may find, To serve the realm and save the savage kind.
Rise then, my son, first partner of my fame, With early toils to build thy sacred name; In high behest, for his own legate known, Proclaim the bounties of our sire the Sun. Tell how his fruits beneath our culture rise, His stars, how glorious, gem our cloudless skies; And how to us his hand hath kindly given His peaceful laws, the purest grace of heaven, With power to widen his terrestrial sway, And give our blessings where he gives the day. Yet, should the stubborn nations still prepare The shaft of slaughter for the barbarous war, Tell them we know to tread the crimson plain, And God's own children never yield to man.
But ah, my child, with steps of caution go, The ways are hideous, and enraged the foe; Blood stains their altars, all their feasts are blood, Death their delight, and darkness reigns their God; Tigers and vultures, storms and earthquakes share Their rites of worship and their spoils of war. Shouldst thou, my Rocha, tempt too far their ire, Should those dear relics feed a murderous fire, Deep sighs would rend thy wretched mother's breast, The pale Sun sink in clouds of darkness drest, Thy sire and mournful nations rue the day That drew thy steps from these sad walls away.
Yet go; tis virtue calls; and realms unknown, Won by these works, may bless thy future throne; Millions of unborn souls in time may see Their doom reversed, and owe their peace to thee, Deluded sires, with murdering hands, no more Feed fancied demons with their children's gore, But, sway'd by happier sceptres, here behold The rites of freedom and the shrines of gold. Be wise, be mindful of thy realm and throne; God speed thy labors and preserve my son!
Soon the glad prince, in robes of white array'd, Call'd his attendants and the sire obey'd. A diamond broad, in burning gold imprest, Display'd the sun's bright image on his breast; A pearl-dropt girdle bound his waist below, And the white lautu graced his lofty brow. They journey'd forth, o'ermarching far the mound That flank'd the kingdom on its Andean bound; Ridge after ridge thro vagrant hordes they past, Where each new tribe seem'd wilder than the last; To all they preach and prove the solar sway, And climb fresh mountains on their tedious way.
At length, as thro disparting clouds they rise, And hills above them still obstruct the skies, While a dead calm o'er all the region stood? And not a leaf could fan its parent wood, Sudden a strange portentous noise began; The birds fled wild, the beasts for shelter ran; Slow, sullen, loud, with deep astounding blare, Swell the strong tones of subterranean war; Behind, before, beneath them groans the ground, Earth heaves and labors with the shuddering sound; Columns of smoke, that cap the rumbling height, Roll reddening far thro heaven, and choke the light; From tottering steeps descend their cliffs of snow, The mountains reel, the valleys rend below; The headlong streams forget their usual round, And shrink and vanish in the gaping ground. The sun descends; but night recals in vain Her silent shades, to recommence her reign; The bursting mount gapes high, a sudden glare Coruscates wide, till all the purpling air Breaks into flame, and wheels and roars and raves And wraps the welkin in its folding waves; Light sailing cinders, thro its vortex driven, Stream high and brighten to the midst of heaven; And, following slow, full floods of boiling ore Swell, swoop aloft and thro the concave roar. Torrents of molten rocks, on every side, Lead o'er the shelves of ice their fiery tide; Hills slide before them, skies around them burn, Towns sink beneath and heaving plains upturn; O'er many a league the flaming deluge hurl'd, Sweeps total nations from the staggering world.
Meanwhile, at distance thro the livid light, A busy concourse met their wondering sight; The prince drew near; where lo! an altar stood, Rude in its form, and fill'd with burning wood; Wrapt in the flames a youth expiring lay, And the fond father thus was heard to pray: Receive, O dreadful Power, from feeble age, This last pure offering to thy sateless rage; Thrice has thy vengeance on this hated land Claim'd a dear infant from my yielding hand; Thrice have those lovely lips the victim prest, And all the mother torn that tender breast; When the dread duty stifled every sigh, And not a tear escaped her beauteous eye. Our fourth and last now meets the fatal doom; Groan not, my child, thy God remands thee home; Attend once more, thou dark infernal Name, From yon far streaming pyramid of flame; Snatch from his heaving flesh the blasted breath. Sacred to thee and all the fiends of death; Then in thy hall, with spoils of nations crown'd, Confine thy walks beneath the rending ground; No more on earth the embowel'd flames to pour, And scourge my people and my race no more.
Thus Rocha heard; and to the trembling crowd Turn'd the bright image of his beaming God. The afflicted chief, with fear and grief opprest, Beheld the sign, and thus the prince addrest: From what far land, O royal stranger, say, Ascend thy wandering steps this nightly way? From plains like ours, by holy demons fired? Have thy brave people in the flames expired? And hast thou now, to stay the whelming flood, No son to offer to the furious God?
From happier lands I came, the prince returns, Where no red flaming flood the concave burns, No furious God bestorms our soil and skies, Nor yield our hands the bloody sacrifice; But life and joy the Power delights to give, And bids his children but rejoice and live. Thou seest thro heaven the day-dispensing Sun In living radiance wheel his golden throne, O'er earth's gay surface send his genial beams, Force from yon cliffs of ice the vernal streams; While fruits and flowers adorn the cultured field, And seas and lakes their copious treasures yield; He reigns our only God. In him we trace The friend, the father of our happy race. Late the lone tribes, on those unlabor'd shores, Ran wild and served imaginary Powers; Till he, in pity, taught their feuds to cease, Devised their laws, and fashion'd all for peace. My sacred parents first the reign began, Sent from his courts to guide the paths of man, To plant his fruits, to manifest his sway, And give their blessings where he gives the day.
The sachem proud replied: Thy garb and face Proclaim thy lineage of superior race; And our progenitors, no less than thine, Sprang from a God, and own a birth divine. From that sky-scorching mount, on floods of flame, In elder times my great forefathers came; There dwells the Sire, and from his dark abode Oft claims, as now, the tribute of a God. This victim due when willing mortals pay, His terrors lessen and his fires decay; While purer sleet regales the mountain air, And our glad hosts are fired for fiercer war.
Yet know, dread chief, the pious youth rejoin'd, Some one prime Power produced all human kind: Some Sire supreme, whose ever-ruling soul Creates, preserves, and regulates the whole. That Sire supreme must roll his radiant eye Round the wide earth and thro the boundless sky; That all their habitants, their gods and men, May rise unveil'd beneath his careful ken. Could thy dark fiend, that hides his blind abode, And cauldrons in his cave that fiery flood, Yield the rich fruits that distant nations find? Or praise or punish or behold mankind? But when my God, resurging from the night, Shall gild his chambers with the morning light, By mystic rites he'll vindicate his throne, And own thy servant for his duteous son.
Meantime, the chief replied, thy cares releast, Rest here the night and share our scanty feast; Which, driven in hasty rout, our train supplied, When trembling earth foretold the boiling tide. They fared, they rested; till with lucid horn All-cheering Phosphor led the lively morn; The prince arose, an altar rear'd in haste, And watch'd the splendors of the reddening east.
As o'er the mountain flamed the sun's broad eye, He call'd the host, his holy rites to try; Then took the loaves of maize, the bounties brake, Gave to the chief, and bade them all partake; The hallow'd relics on the pile he placed, With tufts of flowers the simple offering graced, Held to the sun the image from his breast, Whose glowing concave all the God exprest; O'er the dried leaves the rays concentred fly, And thus his voice ascends the listening sky: O thou, whose splendors kindle heaven with fire. Great Soul of nature, man's immortal Sire, If e'er my father found thy sovereign grace, Or thy blest will ordain'd the Incan race, Give these lorn tribes to learn thy awful name, Receive this offering, and the pile inflame; So shall thy laws o'er wider bounds be known, And earth's whole race be happy as thy own.
Thus pray'd the prince; the focal flames aspire, The mute beholders tremble and retire, Gaze on the miracle, full credence own, And vow obedience to the sacred Sun.
The legates now their farther course descried, A young cazique attending as a guide, O'er craggy cliffs pursued their eastern way, Trod loftier champaigns, meeting high the day, Saw timorous tribes, in these sublime abodes, Adore the blasts and turn the storms to gods; While every cloud that thunders thro the skies Claims from their hands a human sacrifice. Awhile the youth, their better faith to gain, Strives with his usual art, but strives in vain; In vain he pleads the mildness of the sun; A gale refutes him ere his speech be done; Continual tempests from their orient blow, And load the mountains with eternal snow. The sun's own beam, the timid clans declare, Drives all their evils on the tortured air; He draws the vapors up their eastern sky, That sail and centre round his dazzling eye; Leads the loud storms along his midday course, And bids the Andes meet their sweeping force; Builds their bleak summits with an icy throne, To shine thro heaven, a semblance of his own; Hence the sharp sleet, these lifted lawns that wait, And all the scourges that attend their state.
Two toilsome days the virtuous Inca strove To social life their savage minds to move; When the third morning glow'd serenely bright, He led their elders to an eastern height; The world unlimited beneath them lay, And not a cloud obscured the rising day. Vast Amazonia, starr'd with twinkling streams, In azure drest, a heaven inverted seems; Dim Paraguay extends the aching sight, Xaraya glimmers like the moon of night, Land, water, sky in blending borders play, And smile and brighten to the lamp of day. When thus the prince: What majesty divine! What robes of gold! what flames about him shine! There walks the God! his starry sons on high Draw their dim veil and shrink behind the sky; Earth with surrounding nature's born anew, And men by millions greet the glorious view! Who can behold his all-delighting soul Give life and joy, and heaven and earth control, Bid death and darkness from his presence move, Who can behold, and not adore and love? Those plains, immensely circling, feel his beams, He greens the groves, he silvers gay the streams, Swells the wild fruitage, gives the beast his food, And mute creation hails the genial God. But richer boons his righteous laws impart, To aid the life and mould the social heart, His arts of peace thro happy realms to spread, And altars grace with sacrificial bread; Such our distinguish'd lot, who own his sway, Mild as his morning stars and liberal as the day.
His unknown laws, the mountain chief replied, May serve perchance your boasted race to guide; And yon low plains, that drink his partial ray, At his glad shrine their just devotions pay. But we nor fear his frown nor trust his smile; Vain as our prayers is every anxious toil; Our beasts are buried in his whirls of snow, Our cabins drifted to his slaves below. Even now his placid looks thy hopes beguile, He lures thy raptures with a morning smile; But soon (for so those saffron robes proclaim) His own black tempest shall obstruct his flame, Storm, thunder, fire, against the mountains driven, Rake deep their sulphur'd sides, disgorging here his heaven.
He spoke; they waited, till the fervid ray High from the noontide shot the faithless day; When lo, far gathering under eastern skies, Solemn and slow, the dark red vapors rise; Full clouds, convolving on the turbid air, Move like an ocean to the watery war. The host, securely raised, no dangers harm, They sit unclouded and o'erlook the storm; While far beneath, the sky-borne waters ride, Veil the dark deep and sheet the mountain's side; The lightning's glancing fires, in fury curl'd, Bend their long forky foldings o'er the world; Torrents and broken crags and floods of rain From steep to steep roll down their force amain, In dreadful cataracts; the bolts confound The tumbling clouds, and rock the solid ground.
The blasts unburden'd take their upward course, And o'er the mountain top resume their force. Swift thro the long white ridges from the north The rapid whirlwinds lead their terrors forth; High walks the storm, the circling surges rise, And wild gyrations wheel the hovering skies; Vast hills of snow, in sweeping columns driven, Deluge the air and choke the void of heaven; Floods burst their bounds, the rocks forget their place, And the firm Andes tremble to their base.
Long gazed the host; when thus the stubborn chief, With eyes on fire, and fill'd with sullen grief: Behold thy careless god, secure on high, Laughs at our woes and peaceful walks the sky, Drives all his evils on these seats sublime, And wafts his favors to a happier clime; Sire of the dastard race thy words disclose, There glads his children, here afflicts his foes. Hence! speed thy flight! pursue him where he leads; Lest vengeance seize thee for thy father's deeds, Thy immolated limbs assuage the fire Of those curst Powers, who now a gift require.
The youth in haste collects his scanty train, And, with the sun, flies o'er the western plain; The fading orb with plaintive voice he plies, To guide his steps and light him down the skies. So when the moon and all the host of even Hang pale and trembling on the verge of heaven, While storms ascending threat their nightly reign, They seek their absent sire, and sink below the main.
Now to the south he turns; where one vast plain Calls from a hundred hordes the warrior train; Of various dress and various form they show'd; Each wore the ensign of his local god.
From eastern hills a grisly troop descends, Whose war song wild the shuddering concave rends; Cloak'd in a tiger's hide their grim chief towers, And apes the brinded god his tribe adores. The tusky jaws grin o'er the sachem's brow, The bald eyes glare, the paws depend below, From his bored ears contorted serpents hung, And drops of gore seem'd rolling on his tongue. The northern glens pour forth the Vulture-race; Brown tufts of quills their shaded foreheads grace; The claws branch wide, the beak expands for blood, And all the armor imitates the god. The Condor, frowning from a southern plain, Borne on a standard, leads a numerous train: Clench'd in his talons hangs an infant dead, His long bill pointing where the sachems tread, His wings, tho lifeless, frighten still the wind, And his broad tail o'ershades the file behind. From other plains and other hills afar, The tribes throng dreadful to the promised war; Some twine their forelock with a crested snake, Some wear the emblems of a stream or lake; All from the Power they serve assume their mode, And foam and yell to taste the Incan blood.
The prince incautious with his men drew near, Known for an Inca by his dress and air; Till coop'd and caught amid the warrior trains, They bow in silence to the victor's chains. When now the gather'd thousands throng the plain, And echoing skies the rending shouts retain; Zamor, the chieftain of the Tiger-band, By choice appointed to the first command, Shrugg'd up his brinded spoils above the rest, And grimly frowning thus the crowd addrest:
Warriors, attend! tomorrow leads abroad Our sacred vengeance for our brothers' blood. On those scorch'd plains for ever must they lie, Their bones still naked to the burning sky? Left in the field for foreign hawks to tear, Nor our own vultures can the banquet share. But soon, ye mountain gods, yon dreary west Shall sate your hunger with an ampler feast; When the proud Sun, that terror of the plain, Shall grieve in heaven for all his children slain, As o'er his realm our slaughtering armies roam, And give to your sad Powers a happier home. Meanwhile, ye tribes, these men of solar race, Food for the flames, your bloody rites shall grace; Each to a different god his panting breath Resigns in fire; this night demands their death: All but the Inca; him reserved in state These conquering hands ere long shall immolate To all the Powers at once that storm the skies, A grateful gift, before his mother's eyes.
The sachem ceased; the chiefs of every race Lead the bold captives to their destined place; The sun descends, the parting day expires, And earth and heaven display their sparkling fires. Soon the raised altars kindle round the gloom, And call the victims to their vengeful doom; Led to their pyres, in sullen pomp they tread, And sing by turns the triumphs of the dead. Amid the crowd beside his altar stood The youth devoted to the Tiger-god; A beauteous form he rose, of noble grace, The only hope of his illustrious race. His aged sire, for numerous years, had shone The first supporter of the Incan throne; Wise Capac loved the youth, and graced his hand With a fair virgin from a neighboring band; And him the legate prince, in equal prime, Had chose to share his mission round the clime. He mounts the pyre, the flames approach his breath. And thus he wakes the dauntless song of death:
Dark vault of heaven, that greet his daily throne. Where flee the glories of your absent Sun? Ye starry hosts, who kindle from his eye, Can you behold him in the western sky? Or if unseen beneath his watery bed, The wearied God reclines his radiant head, When next his morning steps your courts inflame, And seek on earth for young Azonto's name, Then point these ashes, mark the smoky pile, And say the hero suffer'd with a smile. So shall the Power in vengeance view the place, In crimson clothe his terror-beaming face, Pour swift destruction on these curst abodes, Whelm the grim tribes and all their savage gods.
But ah, forbear to tell my stooping sire His darling hopes have fed a coward fire; Why should he know the tortures of the brave? Why fruitless sorrows bend him to the grave? Nor shalt thou e'er be told, my bridal fair, What silent pangs these panting vitals tear; But blooming still the patient hours employ On the blind hope of future scenes of joy. Now haste, ye fiends of death; the Sire of day In absent slumber gives your malice way; While fainter light these livid flames supply, And short-lived thousands learn of me to die,
He ceased not speaking; when the yell of war Drowns all their death songs in a hideous jar; The cries rebounding from the hillsides pour, And wolves and tigers catch the distant roar. Now more concordant all their voices join, And round the plain they form the festive line; When, to the music of the dismal din, Indignant Zamor bids the dance begin. Dim thro the shadowy fires each changing form Moves like a cloud before an evening storm, When o'er the moon's pale face and starry plain The shifting shades lead on their broken train; The mingling tribes their mazy gambols tread, Till the last groan proclaims the victims dead, Then part the smoky flesh, enjoy the feast, And lose their labors in oblivious rest.
Soon as the western hills announced the morn, And falling fires were scarcely seen to burn, Grimm'd by the horrors of the dreadful night, The hosts woke fiercer for the promised fight; And dark and silent thro the frowning grove The different tribes beneath their standards move.
Meantime the solar king collects from far His martial bands, to meet the expected war, Camps on the confines of an eastern plain That skirts the steep rough limit of his reign; He trains their ranks, their pliant force combines, To close in columns or extend in lines, To wheel, change front, in broken files dispart, And draw new strength from all the warrior's art.
But now the rising sun relumes the plain, And calls to arms the well-accustom'd train. High in the front imperial Capac strode, In fair effulgence like the beaming God; A golden girdle bound his snowy vest, A mimic sun hung sparkling on his breast; The lautu's horned wreath his temples twined, The bow, the quiver shade his waist behind; Raised high in air his golden sceptre burn'd, And hosts surrounding trembled as he turn'd.
O'er eastern hills he cast his watchful eye, Thro the broad breaks that lengthen down the sky; In whose blue clefts the sloping pathways bend, Where annual floods from melting snows descend. Now dry and deep, they lead from every height The savage files that headlong rush to fight; They throng and thicken thro the smoky air, And every breach pours down the dusky war. So when a hundred streams explore their way, Down the same slopes, convolving to the sea, They boil, they bend, they force their floods amain, Swell o'er obstructing crags, and sweep the plain.
Capac beholds and waits the coming shock, As for the billows waits the storm-beat rock; And while for fight his ardent troops prepare, Thus thro the ranks he breathes the soul of war: Ye tribes that flourish in the Sun's mild reign, Long have your flocks adorn'd the peaceful plain, As o'er the realm his smiles persuasive flow'd, And conquer'd all without the stain of blood; But lo, at last that wild infuriate band With savage war demands your happy land. Beneath the dark immeasurable host, Descending, swarming, how the crags are lost! Already now their ravening eyes behold Your star-bright temples and your gates of gold; And to their gods in fancied goblets pour The warm libation of your children's gore. Move then to vengeance, meet the sons of blood, Led by this arm and lighted by that God; The strife is fierce, your fanes and fields the prize, The warrior conquers or the infant dies.
Fill'd with his fire, the troops in squared array Wait the wild hordes loose huddling to the fray; Their pointed arrows, rising on the bow, Look up the sky and chide the lagging foe.
Dread Zamor leads the homicidious train, Moves from the clefts and stretches o'er the plain. He gives the shriek; the deep convulsing sound The hosts reecho, and the hills around Retain the rending tumult; all the air Clangs in the conflict of the clashing war; But firm undaunted as a shelvy strand That meets the surge, the bold Peruvians stand, With steady aim the sounding bowstring ply, And showers of arrows thicken thro the sky; When each grim host, in closer conflict join'd, Clench the dire ax and cast the bow behind; Thro broken ranks sweep wide their slaughtering course. Now struggle back, now sidelong swray the force. Here from grim chiefs is lopt the grisly head; All gride the dying, all deface the dead; There scattering o'er the field in thin array, Man tugs with man, and clubs with axes play; With broken shafts they follow and they fly, And yells and groans and shouts invade the sky; Round all the shatter'd groves the ground is strow'd With sever'd limbs and corses bathed in blood. Long raged the strife; and where, on either side, A friend, a father or a brother died, No trace remain'd of what he was before, Mangled with horrid wounds and black with gore.
Now the Peruvians, in collected might, With one wide stroke had wing'd the savage flighty But their bright Godhead, in his midday race, With glooms unusual veil'd his radiant face, Quench'd all his beams, tho cloudless, in affright, As loth to view from heaven the finish'd fight. A trembling twilight o'er the welkin moves, Browns the dim void, and darkens deep the groves; The waking stars, embolden'd at the sight, Peep out and gem the anticipated night; Day-birds, and beasts of light to covert fly, And owls and wolves begin their evening cry. The astonish'd Inca marks, with wild surprise, Dead chills on earth, no cloud in all the skies, His host o'ershaded in the field of blood, Gored by his foes, deserted by his God. Mute with amaze, they cease the war to wage, Gaze on their leaders and forget their rage; When pious Capac to the listening crowd Raised high his wand and pour'd his voice aloud: Ye chiefs and warriors of Peruvian race, Some sore offence obscures my father's face; What moves the Numen to desert the plain, Nor save his children, nor behold them slain? Fly! speed your course, regain the guardian town, Ere darkness shroud you in a deeper frown; The faithful walls your squadrons shall defend, While my sad steps the sacred dome ascend, To learn the cause, and ward the woes we fear: Haste, haste, my sons! I guard the flying rear.
The hero spoke; the trembling tribes obey, While deeper glooms obscure the source of day. Sudden the savage bands collect amain, Hang on the rear and sweep them o'er the plain; Their shouts, redoubling with the flying war. Drown the loud groans and torture all the air. The hawks of heaven, that o'er the field had stood, Scared by the tumult from the scent of blood, Cleave the far gloom; the beasts forget their prey, And scour the waste, and give the war its way.
Zamor elate with horrid joy beheld The Sun depart, his children fly the field, And raised his rending voice: Thou darkening sky, Deepen thy damps, the fiend of death is nigh; Behold him rising from his shadowy throne, To veil this heaven and drive the conquer'd Sun; The glaring Godhead yields to sacred night, And his foil'd armies imitate his flight. Confirm, infernal Power, thy rightful reign, Give deadlier shades and heap the piles of slain; Soon the young captive prince shall roll in fire, And all his race accumulate the pyre. Ye mountain vultures, here your food explore, Tigers and condors, all ye gods of gore, In these rich fields, beneath your frowning sky, A plenteous feast shall every god supply. Rush forward, warriors, hide the plains with dead; Twas here our friends in former combat bled; Strow'd thro the waste their naked bones demand This tardy vengeance from our conquering hand.
He said; and high before the Tiger-train With longer strides hangs forward o'er the slain, Bends like a falling tree to reach the foe, And o'er tall Capac aims a forceful blow. The king beheld the ax, and with his wand Struck the raised weapon from the sachem's hand; Then clench'd the falling helve, and whirling round, Fell'd a close file of heroes to the ground; Nor stay'd, but follow'd where his people run, Fearing to fight, forsaken by the Sun; Till Cusco's walls salute their longing sight, And the wide gates receive their rapid flight. The folds are barr'd, the foes in shade conceal'd, Like howling wolves, rave round the frighted field.
The monarch now ascends the sacred dome; The Sun's fixt image there partakes the gloom; Thro all the shrines, where erst on new-moon day Swell'd the full quires of consecrated praise, A tomb-like silence reigns; till female cries Burst forth at last, and these sad accents rise: Was it for this, my son to distant lands Must trace the wilds, and tempt those lawless bands? And does the God obscure his golden throne In mournful darkness for my slaughter'd son? Oh, had his beam; ere that disastrous day That call'd the youth from these fond arms away, Received my spirit to its native sky, That sad Oella might have seen him die!
Where slept thy shaft of vengeance, O my God, When those fell tigers drank his sacred blood? Did not the pious prince, with rites divine, Feed the pure flame in this thy hallow'd shrine; And early learn, beneath his father's hand, To shed thy blessings round the favor'd land? Form'd by thy laws the royal seat to grace, Son of thy son, and glory of his race. Where, my lost Rocha, rests thy lovely head? Where the rent robes thy hapless mother made? I see thee, mid those hideous hills of snow, Pursued and slaughter'd by the wildman foe; Or, doom'd a feast for some pretended god, Drench his black altar with celestial blood. Snatch me, O Sun, to happier worlds of light— No: shroud me, shroud me with thyself in night. Thou hear'st me not, thou dread departed Power, Thy face is dark, and Rocha lives no more.
Thus heard the silent king; his equal heart Caught all her grief, and bore a father's part. The cause, suggested by her tender moan, The cause perchance that veil'd the midday sun, And shouts that spoke the still approaching foe, Fixt him suspense, in all the strength of woe. A doubtful moment held his changing choice; Now would he sooth her, half assumes his voice; But greater cares the rising wish control, And call forth all his energy of soul. Why should he cease to ward the coming fate? Or she be told the foes besiege the gate? He turn'd in haste; and now their image-god High on the spire with newborn lustre glow'd; Swift thro the portal flew the hero's eye, And hail'd the growing splendor in the sky.
The troops courageous at return of light Throng round the dome, impatient for the fight; The king descending in the portal stood, And thus addrest the all-delighting God: O sovereign Soul of heaven, thy changing face Makes or destroys the glory of thy race. If from this mortal life my child he fled, First of thy line that ever graced the dead; If thy bright splendor ceased on high to burn For that loved youth who never must return. Forgive thine armies, when in fields of blood They lose their strength and fear the frowning God. As now thy glory, with superior day, Glows thro the field and leads the warrior's way, May our exalted souls, to vengeance driven, Burn with new brightness in the cause of heaven! For thy slain son the murderous horde shall bleed; We mourn the hero, but avenge the deed.
He said; and from the battlement on high A watchful warrior raised a sudden cry: "An Inca white on yonder altar tied— Tis Rocha's self—the flame ascends his side."
In sweeping haste the bursting gates unbar, And flood the champaign with a tide of war; A cloud of arrows leads the rapid train, They shout, they swarm, they hide the dusty plain; Bows, quivers, girdles strow the field behind, And the raised axes cleave the passing wind. The prince, confest to every warrior's sight, Inspires each soul and centres all the fight; Each hopes to snatch him from the kindling pyre, Each fears his breath already flits in fire. Here Zamor ranged his ax-men deep and wide, Wedged like a wall, and thus the king defied: Haste, son of Light, pour fast the winged war, The prince, the dying prince demands your care; Hear how his death song chides your dull delay, Lift longer strides, bend forward to the fray, Ere flames infolding suffocate his groan, Child of your beaming God, a victim to our own.
This said, he raised his shaggy shoulders high, And bade the shafts glide thicker thro the sky. Like the broad billows of the lifted main, Rolls into sight the long Peruvian train; A white sail bounding, on the billows tost, Is Capac towering o'er the furious host.
Now meet the dreadful chiefs, with eyes on fire; Beneath their blows the parting ranks retire; In whirlwind-sweep their meeting axes bound, Wheel, crash in air, and plow the trembling ground; Their sinewy limbs in fierce contortions bend, And mutual strokes with equal force descend, Parried with equal art, now gyring prest High at the head, now plunging for the breast. The king starts backward from the struggling foe, Collects new strength, and with a circling blow Rush'd furious on; his flinty edge, whirl'd wide, Met Zamor's helve, and glancing grazed his side And settled in his groin; so plunged it lay, That scarce the king could tear his ax away. The savage fell; when thro the Tiger-train The driving Inca turns his force amain; Where still compact they hem the murderous pyre, And Rocha's voice seems faltering to expire. The phrensied father rages, thunders wild, Hews armies down, to save the sinking child; The ranks fall staggering where he lifts his arm, Or roll before him like a billowy storm; Behind his steps collecting warriors close; Deep centred in a circling ridge of foes He cleaves his wasting way; the prince unties, And thus his voice: Dread Sovereign of the skies. Accept my living son, again bestow'd To grace with rites the temple of his God. Move, heroes, move; complete the work begun. Crush the grim race, avenge your injured Sun.
The savage host, that view'd the daring deed, And saw their nations with their leader bleed, Raised high the shriek of horror; all the plain Is trod with flight and cover'd with the slain. The bold Peruvians compass round the field, Confine their flight, and force the rest to yield; When Capac raised his placid voice again; Ye conquering troops, collect the vanquish'd train; The Sun commands to stay the rage of war, He knows to conquer, but he loves to spare.
He ceased; and where the savage leader lay Weltering in gore, directs his eager way, Unwraps the tiger's hide, and strives in vain To close the wound, and mitigate the pain; And while compassion for a foe distrest Mixt with reproach, he thus the chief addrest: Too long, proud prince, thy fearless heart withstood Our sacred arms, and braved the living God; His sovereign will commands all feuds to cease, His realm is concord and his pleasure peace; This copious carnage, spreading far the plain, Insults his bounties, but confirms his reign. Enough! tis past; thy parting breath demands The last sad office from my yielding hands. To share thy pains and feel thy hopeless woe, Are rites ungrateful to a fallen foe: Yet rest in peace; and know, a chief so brave, When life departs, shall find an honor'd grave; Myself in princely pomp thy tomb shall rear, And tribes unborn thy hapless fate declare.
Insult me not with tombs! the monster cried, Let closing clods thy coward carcase hide; But these brave bones, unburied on the plain, Touch not with dust, nor dare with rites profane; Let no curst earth conceal this gory head, Nor songs proclaim the dreadful Zamor dead, Me, whom the hungry gods from plain to plain Have follow'd, feasting on thy slaughter'd train, Me wouldst thou cover? No! from yonder sky, The wide-beak'd hawk, that now beholds me die, Soon with his cowering train my flesh shall tear, And wolves and tigers vindicate their share. Receive, dread Powers (since I can slay no more), My last glad victim, this devoved gore.
Thus pour'd the vengeful chief his fainting breath, And lost his utterance in the gasp of death. The sad remaining tribes confess the Power, That sheds his bounties round Peruvia's shore; All bow obedient to the Incan throne, And blest Oella hails her living son.
Destruction of Peru foretold. Grief of Columbus. He is comforte the promise of a vision of future ages. All Europe appears in vision. Effect of the discovery of America upon the affairs of Europe. Improvement in commerce; government. Revival of letters. Order of the Jesuits. Religious persecution. Inquisition. Rise and progress of more liberal principles. Character of Raleigh; who plans the settlement of North America. Formation of the coast by the gulph stream. Nature of the colonial establishments, the first great asylum and infant empire of Liberty. Liberty the necessary foundation of morals. Delaware arrives with a reinforcement of new settlers, to consolidate the colony of Virginia. Night scene, as contemplated by these patriarchs, while they are sailing up the Chesapeak, and are saluted by the river gods. Prophetic speech of Potowmak. Fleets of settlers from seyeral parts of Europe steering for America.
In one dark age, beneath a single hand, Thus rose an empire in the savage land. Its wealth and power with following years increase, Its growing nations spread the walks of peace; Religion here, that universal name, Man's proudest passion, most ungovern'd flame, Erects her altars on the same bright base, That dazzled erst, and still deludes the race; Sun, moon, all powers that forceful strike his eyes, Earth-shaking storms and constellated skies.
Yet all the pomp his labors here unfold, The vales of verdure and the towers of gold, Those infant arts and sovereign seats of state, In short-lived glory hasten to their fate. Thy followers, rushing like an angry flood, Too soon shall drench them in the nation's blood; Nor thou, Las Casas, best of men, shalt stay The ravening legions from their guardless prey. O hapless prelate! hero, saint and sage, Foredoom'd with crimes a fruitless war to wage, To see at last (thy life of virtue run) A realm unpeopled and a world undone! While pious Valverde mock of priesthood stands, Guilt in his heart, the gospel in his hands, Bids, in one field, their unarm'd thousands bleed, Smiles o'er the scene and sanctifies the deed. And thou, brave Gasca, with persuasive strain, Shalt lift thy voice and urge thy power in vain; Vain are thy hopes the sinking land to save, Or call her slaughter'd millions from the grave.
Here Hesper paused. Columbus with a sigh Cast o'er the continent his moisten'd eye, And thus replied: Ah, hide me in the tomb; Why should I live to see the impending doom? If such foul deeds the scheme of heaven compose, And virtue's toils induce redoubled woes, Unfold no more; but grant a kind release; Give me, tis all I ask, to rest in peace.
And thou shalt rest in peace, the Saint rejoin'd, Ere these conflicting shades involve mankind. But broader views shall first thy mind engage, Years far advanced beyond this darksome age Shall feast thee here; the fruits of thy long care A grateful world beneath thy ken shall share. Europe's contending kings shall soon behold These fertile plains and hills of treasured gold; And in the path of thy adventurous sail Their countless navies float on every gale, For wealth and commerce search the western shore. And load each ocean with the shining ore.
As up the orient heaven the dawning ray Smiles o'er the hills and gives the promised day, Drives fraud and rapine from their nightly spoil, And social nature wakes to various toil; So from the blazing mine the golden store Mid rival states shall spread from shore to shore, Unite their force, its opulence to share, Extend the pomp but sooth the rage of war; Wide thro the world while genius unconfined Tempts loftier flights, and opens all the mind, Dissolves the slavish bands of monkish lore, Wakes the bold arts and bids the Muses soar. Then shall thy northern climes their seats display United nations there commence their sway; O'er earth and ocean spread their peerless fame, And send thro time thy patriarchal name.
Now turn thy view to Europe; see the rage Of feudal faction every court engage; All honest labor, all commercial ties Their kings discountenance, their lords despise. The naked harbors, looking to the main, Rear their kind cliffs and break the storms in vain, The willing wave no foreign treasures lade, Nor sails nor cities cast a watery shade; Save, where yon opening gulph the strand divides, Proud Venice bathes her in the broken tides, Weds her tamed sea, shakes every distant throne, And deems by right the naval world her own.
Yet must we mark, the bondage of the mind Spreads deeper glooms, and subj ugates mankind; The zealots fierce, whom local creeds enrage, In holy feuds perpetual combat wage, Support all crimes by full indulgence given, Usurp the power and wield the sword of heaven,
But lo, where future years their scenes unrol, The rising arts inspire the venturous soul. From all the ports that cleave the coast of Spain, New fleets ascending streak the western main; From Tago's bank, from Albion's rocky round, Commercing squadrons o'er the billows bound; Thro Afric's isles observe the sweeping sails, Full pinions tossing in Arabian gales, Indus and Ganges deep in canvass lost, And navies crowding round Cambodia's coast; New nations rise, all climes and oceans brave, And shade with sheets the immeasurable wave.
See lofty Ximenes with solemn gait Move from the cloister to the walks of state, And thro the factious monarchies of Spain, Curb the fierce lords and fix one royal reign. Behold dread Charles the imperial seat ascends, O'er Europe's thrones his conquering arm extends; While wealthier shores, beneath the western day, Unfold their treasures to confirm his sway.
Roused at false glory's fascinating call, See Francis train the gallant youths of Gaul, O'erstrain the strength of her extended states, Scale the proud Alps, or burst their granite gates, On Pavia's plain for Cesar's crown contend, Of arms the votary, but of arts the friend.
And see proud Wolsey rise, securely great, Kings at his call and mitres round him wait; From monkish walls the hoarded wealth he draws To aid the tyrant and restrain the laws, Wakes Albion's genius, neighboring princes braves, And shares with them the commonwealth of waves,
Behold dark Solyman, from eastern skies, With his grim host magnificently rise, Wave his broad crescent o'er the Midland sea, Thro vast Hungaria drive his conquering way, Crowd close the Christian powers, and carry far The rules of homicide, the lore of war.
The Tuscan dukes excite a nobler strife; Lorenzo calls the Fine Arts forth to life, Fair nature's mimic maids; whose powers divine Her charms develop and her laws define; From sire to son the splendid labors spread, And Leo follows where good Cosmo led. Waked from the ground that Gothic rovers trod, Starts the bronze hero and the marble god; Monks, prelates, pontiffs pay the reverence due To that bold taste their Grecian masters knew; Resurgent temples throng the Latian shore, The Pencil triumphs and the Muses soar.
O'er the dark world Erasmus rears his eye, In schoolman lore sees kings and nations lie, With strength of judgment and with fancy warm, Derides their follies and dissolves the charm, Tears the deep veil that bigot zeal has thrown On pagan books and science long unknown, From faith in senseless rites relieves mankind, And seats bold virtue in the conscious mind. But still the frightful task, to face alone The jealous vengeance of the papal throne, Restrains his hand: he gives the contest o'er, And leaves his hardier sons to curb that power.
Luther walks forth in yon majestic frame, Bright beam of heaven, and heir of endless fame, Born, like thyself, thro toils and griefs to wind, From slavery's chains to free the captive mind, Brave adverse crowns, control the pontiff sway, And bring benighted nations into day.
Remark what crowds his name around him brings, Schools, synods, prelates, potentates and kings, All gaining knowledge from his boundless store, And join'd to shield him from the papal power. First of his friends, see Frederic's princely form Ward from the sage divine the gathering storm, In learned Wittemburgh secure his seat, High throne of thought, religion's safe retreat. There sits Melancthon, mild as morning light, And feuds, tho sacred, soften in his sight; In terms so gentle flows his tuneful tongue, Even cloister'd bigots join the pupil throng; By all sectarian chiefs he lives approved, By monarchs courted and by men beloved.
And lo, where Europe's utmost limits bend, From this new source what various lights ascend! See haughty Henry from the papal tie His realms dissever, and the priest defy; While Albion's sons disdain a foreign throne, And learn to bound the oppressions of their own.
Then rises Loyola, a strange new name, By paths unseen to reach the goal of fame; Thro courts and camps he teaches how to wind, To mine whole states and overreach mankind. Train'd in his school, a bold and artful race Range o'er the world, and every sect embrace, All creeds and powers and policies explore, New seats of science raise on every shore; Till their wide empire gains a wondrous birth, Built in all empires o'er this ancient earth. Our wildmen too, the tribes of Paraguay, Receive their rites and bow beneath their sway.
The world of men thus moving in thy view Improve their state, more useful works pursue; Unwonted deeds in rival greatness shine, Call'd into life, and first inspired by thine. So while imperial Homer tunes the lyre, His living lays unnumber'd bards inspire; From age to age the kindling spirit flies, Sounds thro the earth and echoes to the skies.
Now roll the years, when Europe's ample space By peace and culture rears a wiser race, Men bred to labor, school'd in freedom's lore, And formed to colonize our favorite shore. To speed their course, the sons of bigot rage In persecution whelm the inquiring age; Myriads of martyr'd heroes mount the pyre, And blind devotion lights the sacred fire.
Led by the dark Dominicans of Spain, A newborn Fury walks the wide domain, Gaunt INQUISITION; mark her giant stride, Her blood-nursed vulture screaming at her side. Her priestly train the tools of torment brings. Racks, wheels and crosses, faggots, stakes and strings; Scaffolds and cages round her altar stand, And, tipt with sulphur, waves her flaming brand. Her imps of inquest round the Fiend advance, Suspectors grave, and spies with eye askance, Pretended heretics who worm the soul, And sly confessors with their secret scroll, Accusers hired, for each conviction paid, Judges retain'd and witnesses by trade.
Dragged from a thousand jails her victim trains, Jews, Moors and Christians, clank alike their chains, Read their known sentence in her fiery eyes, And breathe to heaven their unavailing cries; Lash'd on the pile their writhing bodies turn, And, veil'd in doubling smoke, begin to burn. Where the flames open, lo! their limbs in vain Reach out for help, distorted by the pain; Till folded in the fires they disappear, And not a sound invades the startled ear.
See Philip, throned in insolence and pride, Enjoy their wailings and their pangs deride; While o'er the same dread scenes, on Albion's isles, His well-taught spouse, the cruel Mary, smiles. What clouds of smoke hang heavy round the shore! What altars hecatomb'd with Christian gore! Her sire's best friends, the wise, the brave, the good, Roll in the flames or fly the land of blood.
To Gallia's plains the maddening phrensy turns. Religion raves and civil discord burns; Leaguers and Huguenots their vengeance pour, They swell Bartholemy's wide feast of gore, Alternate victors bid their gibbets rise, And the foul stench of victims chokes the skies.
Now cease the factions with the Valois line, And Bourbon's virtues every voice combine. Quell'd by his fame, the furious sects accord, Europe respires beneath his guardian sword; Batavia's states to independence soar, And curb the cohorts of Iberian power. From Albion's ports her infant navies heave, Stretch forth and thunder on the Flandrian wave; Her Howard there first foils the force of Spain, And there begins her mastery of the main.
The Seraph spoke; when full beneath their eye A new-form'd squadron rose along the sky. High on the tallest deck majestic shone Sage Raleigh, pointing to the western sun; His eye, bent forward, ardent and sublime, Seem'd piercing nature and evolving time; Beside him stood a globe, whose figures traced A future empire in each present waste; All former works of men behind him shone Graved by his hand in ever-during stone; On his calm brow a various crown displays The hero's laurel and the scholar's bays; His graceful limbs in steely mail were drest, The bright star burning on his lofty breast; His sword, high waving, flash'd the solar ray. Illumed the shrouds and rainbow'd far the spray; The smiling crew rose resolute and brave, And the glad sails hung bounding o'er the wave.
Storms of wild Hatteras, suspend your roar, Ye tumbling billows, cease to shake the shore; Look thro the doubling clouds, thou lamp of day, Teach the bold Argonauts their chartless way; Your viewless capes, broad Chesapeak, unfold, And show your promised Colchis fleeced with gold. No plundering squadron your new Jason brings; No pirate demigods nor hordes of kings From shore to shore a faithless miscreant steers, To steal a maid and leave a sire in tears. But yon wise chief conducts with careful ken The queen of colonies, the best of men, To wake to fruitful life your slumbering soil, And rear an empire with the hand of toil. Your fond Medea too, whose dauntless breast All danger braves to screen her hunted guest. Shall quit her native tribe, but never share The crimes and sufferings of the Colchian fair. Blest Pocahontas! fear no lurking guile; Thy hero's love shall well reward thy smile. Ah sooth the wanderer in his desperate plight, Hide him by day and calm his cares by night; Tho savage nations with thy vengeful sire Pursue their victim with unceasing ire, And tho their threats thy startled ear assail, Let virtue's voice o'er filial fears prevail. Fly with the faithful youth, his steps to guide, Pierce the known thicket, breast the fordless tide, Illude the scout, avoid the ambush'd line, And lead him safely to his friends and thine; For thine shall be his friends, his heart, his name; His camp shall shout, his nation boast thy fame.
But now the Bay unfolds a passage wide, And leads the squadron up the freshening tide; Where Pohatan spreads deep her sylvan soil, And grassy lawns allure the steps of toil. Here, lodged in peace, they tread the welcome land. An instant harvest waves beneath their hand, Spontaneous fruits their easy cares beguile, And opening fields in living culture smile.
With joy Columbus view'd; when thus his voice: Ye grove-clad shores, ye generous hosts, rejoice! Exchange your benefits, your gifts combine; What nature fashions, let her sons refine.
Be thou, my Seer, the people's guardian friend, Protect their virtues and their lives defend; May wealth and wisdom with their arts unfold, Yet save, oh, save them from the thirst of gold! Let the poor guardless natives never feel The flamen's fraud, the soldier's fateful steel; But learn the blessings that alone attend On civil rights where social virtues blend, In these brave leaders find a welcome guide, And rear their fanes and empires by their side. Smile, great Hesperia, smile; the star of morn Illumes thy heavens and bids thy day be born; Thy opening forests show the work begun, Thy plains unshaded drink a purer sun; Yield now thy bounties, load the laboring main, Give birth to nations, and begin thy reign.
The Hero spoke; when thus the Saint rejoin'd, Approved his joy, and feasted still his mind: Well may thy voice, with patriarch pride elate, Burst forth triumphant at a scene so great; Here springs indeed the day, since time began, The brightest, broadest, happiest morn of man. In these prime settlements thy raptures trace The germ, the genius of a sapient race, Predestined here to methodise and mould New codes of empire to reform the old.
A work so vast a second world required, By oceans bourn'd, from elder states retired; Where, uncontaminated, unconfined, Free contemplation might expand the mind, To form, fix, prove the well-adjusted plan, And base and build the commonwealth of man.
This arm, that leads the stellar host of even, That stretch'd o'er yon rude ridge the western heaven, That heal'd the wounded earth, when from her side The moon burst forth, and left the South Sea tide, That calm'd these elements, and taught them where To mould their mass and rib the crusted sphere, Line the closed continent with wrecks of life, And recommence their generating strife, That rear'd the mountain, spread the subject plain, Led the long stream and roll'd the billowy main, Stole from retiring tides the growing strand, Heaved the green banks, the shadowy inlets plann'd, Strow'd the wild fruitage, gave the beast his place, And form'd the region for thy filial race,— This arm prepared their future seats of state, Design'd their limits and prescribed their date.
When first the staggering globe its breach repair'd, And this bold hemisphere its shoulders rear'd, Back to those heights, whose hovering vapor shrouds My rock-raised world in Alleganian clouds, The Atlantic waste its coral kingdom spread, And scaly nations here their gambols led; Till by degrees, thro following tracts of time, From laboring ocean rose the sedgy clime, As from unloaded waves the rising sand Swell'd into light and gently drew to land. For, moved by trade winds o'er the flaming zone, The waves roll westward with the constant sun, Meet my firm isthmus, scoop that gulphy bed, Wheel to the north, and here their current spread. Those ravaged banks, that move beneath their force, Borne on the tide and lost along their course, Create the shore, consolidate the soil. And hither lead the enlighten'd steps of toil.
Think not the lust of gold shall here annoy, Enslave the nation and its nerve destroy. No useles mine these northern hills enclose, No ruby ripens and no diamond glows; But richer stores and rocks of useful mould Repay in wealth the penury of gold. Freedom's unconquer'd race, with healthy toil, Shall lop the grove and warm the furrow'd soil, From iron ridges break the rugged ore, And plant with men the man-ennobling shore; Sails, villas, towers and temples round them heave, Shine o'er the realms and light the distant wave. Nor think the native tribes shall rue the day That leads our heroes o'er the watery way. A cause like theirs no mean device can mar, Nor bigot rage nor sacerdotal war. From eastern tyrants driven, resolved and brave, To build new states or seek a distant grave, Our sons shall try a new colonial plan, To tame the soil, but spare their kindred man.
Thro Europe's wilds when feudal nations spread. The pride of conquest every legion led. Each fur-clad chief, by servile crowds adored, O'er conquer'd realms assumed the name of lord, Built the proud castle, ranged the savage wood, Fired his grim host to frequent fields of blood, With new-made honors lured his subject bands, Price of their lives, and purchase of their lands; For names and titles bade the world resign Their faith, their freedom and their rights divine.
Contending baronies their terrors spread, And slavery follow'd where the standard led; Till, little tyrants by the great o'erthrown, The spoils of nobles build the regal crown; Wealth, wisdom, virtue, every claim of man Unguarded fall to consummate the plan. Ambitious cares, that nature never gave, Torment alike the monarch and the slave, Thro all degrees in gradual pomp ascend, Honor the name, but tyranny the end.
Far different honors here the heart shall claim, Sublimer objects, deeds of happier fame; A new creation waits the western shore, And moral triumphs o'er monarchic power. Thy freeborn sons, with genius unconfined, Nor sloth can slacken nor a tyrant bind; With self-wrought fame and worth internal blest, No venal star shall brighten on their breast, Nor king-created name nor courtly art Damp the bold thought or desiccate the heart. Above all fraud, beyond all titles great, Truth in their voice and sceptres at their feet, Like sires of unborn states they move sublime, Look empires thro and span the breadth of time, Hold o'er the world, that men may choose from far, The palm of peace, or scourge of barbarous war; Till their example every nation charms, Commands its friendship and its rage disarms.
Here social man a second birth shall find, And a new range of reason lift his mind, Feed his strong intellect with purer light, A nobler sense of duty and of right, The sense of liberty; whose holy fire His life shall temper and his laws inspire, Purge from all shades the world-embracing scope That prompts his genius and expands his hope.
When first his form arose erect on earth, Parturient nature hail'd the wondrous birth, With fairest limbs and finest fibres wrought, And framed for vast and various toils of thought. To aid his promised powers with loftier flight, And stretch his views beyond corporeal sight, Prometheus came, and from the floods of day Sunn'd his clear soul with heaven's internal ray, The expanding spark divine; that round him springs, And leads and lights him thro the immense of things, Probes the dense earth, explores the soundless main, Remoulds their mass thro all its threefold reign, O'er great, o'er small extends his physic laws, Empalms the empyrean or dissects a gaz, Weighs the vast orbs of heaven, bestrides the sky, Walks on the windows of an insect's eye; Turns then to self, more curious still to trace The whirls of passion that involve the race, That cloud with mist the visual lamp of God, And plunge the poniard in fraternal blood. Here fails his light. The proud Titanian ray O'er physic nature sheds indeed its day; Yet leaves the moral in chaotic jars, The spoil of violence, the sport of wars, Presents contrasted parts of one great plan, Earth, heaven subdued, but man at swords with man; His wars, his errors into science grown, And the great cause of all his ills unknown.
But when he steps on these regenerate shores, His mind unfolding for superior powers, FREEDOM, his new Prometheus, here shall rise, Light her new torch in my refulgent skies, Touch with a stronger life his opening soul, Of moral systems fix the central goal, Her own resplendent essence. Thence expand The rays of reason that illume the land; Thence equal rights proceed, and equal laws, Thence holy Justice all her reverence draws; Truth with untarnish'd beam descending thence, Strikes every eye, and quickens every sense, Bids bright Instruction spread her ample page, To drive dark dogmas from the inquiring age, Ope the true treasures of the earth and skies, And teach the student where his object lies.
Sun of the moral world! effulgent source Of man's best wisdom and his steadiest force, Soul-searching Freedom! here assume thy stand, And radiate hence to every distant land; Point out and prove how all the scenes of strife, The shock of states, the impassion'd broils of life, Spring from unequal sway; and how they fly Before the splendor of thy peaceful eye; Unfold at last the genuine social plan, The mind's full scope, the dignity of man, Bold nature bursting thro her long disguise, And nations daring to be just and wise.
Yes! righteous Freedom, heaven and earth and sea Yield or withold their various gifts for thee; Protected Industry beneath thy reign Leads all the virtues in her filial train; Courageous Probity with brow serene, And Temperance calm presents her placid mien Contentment, Moderation, Labor, Art, Mould the new man and humanize his heart; To public plenty private ease dilates, Domestic peace to harmony of states. Protected Industry, careering far, Detects the cause and cures the rage of war, And sweeps, with forceful arm, to their last graves, Kings from the earth and pirates from the waves.
But slow proceeds the work. Long toils, my son, Must base the fabric of so vast a throne; Where Freedom founds her everlasting reign, And earth's whole empires form the fair domain. That great coloniarch, whose exalted soul Pervades all scenes that future years unrol, Must yield the palm, and at a courtier's shrine His plans relinquish and his life resign; His life that brightens, as his death shall stain, The fair, foul annals of his master's reign.
That feeble band, the lonely wilds who tread, Their sire, their genius in their Raleigh dead, Shall pine and perish in the savage gloom, Or mount the wave and seek their ancient home. Others in vain the generous task pursue, The dangers tempt and all the strife renew; While kings and ministers obstruct the plan, Unfaithful guardians of the weal of man.
At last brave Delaware, with his blithe host, Sails in full triumph to the well-known coast, Aids with a liberal hand the patriot cause, Reforms their policy, designs their laws; Till o'er Virginia's plains they spread their sway, And push their hamlets tow'rd the setting day. He comes, my Delaware! how mild and bland My zephyrs greet him from the long-sought land! From fluvial glades that thro my cantons run, From those rich mounds that mask the falling sun.
Borne up my Chesapeak, as first he hails The flowery banks that scent his slackening sails, Descending twilight mellows down the gleam That spreads far forward on the broad blue stream; The moonbeam dancing, as the pendants glide, Silvers with trembling tints the ripply tide; The sand-sown beach, the rocky bluff repays The faint effulgence with their amber'd rays; O'er greenwood glens a browner lustre flies, And bright-hair'd hills walk shadowy round the skies.
Profound solicitude and strong delight Absorb the chief, as thro the waste of night He walks the lonely deck, and skirts the lands That wait their nations from his guiding hands. Tall thro the tide the river Sires by turns Rise round the bark and blend their social urns; Majestic brotherhood! each feels the power To feed an empire from his future store. They stand stupendous, flooding full the bay, And pointing each thro different climes the way.
Resplendent o'er the rest, the regent god Potowmak towers, and sways the swelling flood; Vines clothe his arms, wild fruits o'erfill his horn, Wreaths of green maize his reverend brows adorn, His silver beard reflects the lunar day, And round his loins the scaly nations play. The breeze falls calm, the sails in silence rest, While thus his greetings cheer the stranger guest:
Blest be the bark that seized the promised hour To waft thee welcome to this friendly shore! Long have we learnt the fame that here awaits The future sires of our unplanted states; We all salute thee with our mingling tides, Our high-fenced havens and our fruitful sides. The hundred realms our myriad fountains drain Shall lose their limits in the vast domain; But my bold banks with proud impatience wait The palm of glory in a work so great; On me thy sons their central seat shall raise, And crown my labors with distinguish'd praise. For this, from rock-ribb'd lakes I forced my birth, And climb'd and sunder'd many a mound of earth, Rent the huge hills that yonder heave on high And with their tenfold ridges rake the sky, Removed whole mountains in my headlong way, Strow'd a strong soil around this branching Bay, Scoop'd wide his basins to the distant main, And hung with headlands every marsh they drain.
Haste then, my heroes, tempt the fearless toil, Enrich your nations with the nurturing spoil; O'er my vast vales let yellow harvests wave, Quay the calm ports and dike the lawns I lave. Win from the waters every stagnant fen, Where truant rills escape my conscious ken; And break those remnant rocks that still impede My current crowding thro the gaps I made.
So shall your barks pursue my branching bed, Slope after slope, to every fountain's head, Seat your contiguous towns on all my shores, And charge my channel with their seaward stores. Freedom and Peace shall well reward your care, My guardian mounds protect the friendly pair; Or if delirious War shall dare draw nigh, And eastern storms o'ercast the western sky, My soil shall rear the chief to guide your host, And drive the demon cringing from the coast; Yon verdant hill his sylvan seat shall claim, And grow immortal from his deathless fame.
Then shall your federal towers my bank adorn, And hail with me the great millennial morn That gilds your capitol. Thence earth shall draw Her first clear codes of liberty and law; There public right a settled form shall find, Truth trim her lamp to lighten humankind, Old Afric's sons their shameful fetters cast, Our wild Hesperians humanize at last, All men participate, all time expand The source of good my liberal sages plann'd.
This said, he plunges in the sacred flood; That closes calm and lulls the cradled god. Exulting at his words, the gallant crew Brace the broad canvass and their course pursue: For now the breathing airs, from ocean born, Breeze up the bay, and lead the lively morn That lights them to their port. Tis here they join Their bold precursors in the work divine; And here their followers, yet a numerous train, Wind o'er the wave and swell the new domain. For impious Laud, on England's wasted shore, Renews the flames that Mary fed before; Contristed sects his sullen fury fly, To seek new seats beneath a safer sky; Where faith and freedom yield a forceful charm, And toils and dangers every bosom warm.