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THE SPANISH CHAMPION." The warrior bow'd his crested head, and tamed

his heart of fire, And sued” the haughty king to free his long

imprisoned sire : “I bring thee here my fortress keys, I bring

my captive train, I pledge thee faith, my liege, my lord !-oh,

break my father's chain!” “Rise, rise! even now thy father comes, a

ransom'd man this day ; Mount thy good horse, and thou and I will

meet him on his way." Then lightly rose that loyal son, and bounded

on his steed, And urged, as if with lance in hand, the

charger's foamy speed. And lo! from far, as on they pressed, there

came a glittering band, With one that 'midst them stately rode, as a

leader in the land. Now haste, Bernardo, haste, for there in very

truth is he, The father whom thy faithful heart hath

yearned so long to see.” His dark eye flash’d, his proud breast heaved,

his cheeks' blood came and went ; He reached that grey-hair'd chieftain's side,

and then, dismounting, bent



A lowly knee to earth he bent, his father's

hand he took : What was there in its touch that all his fiery.

spirit shook ?

That hand was cold -- a frozen thing - it

dropped from his like lead ; He look'd up to the face above-the face was

of the dead !! A plume waved o'er the noble brow—the brow

was fixed and white : He met at last his father's eyes, but in them

was no sight.


Up from the ground he sprang, and gazed, but

who could paint that gaze ?" They hush'd their very hearts that saw its

horror and amaze; They might have chained him as before that

stony form he stood, For the power was stricken from his arms, and

from his lips the blood.


“Father!” at length he murmured low, and

wept like childhood thenTalk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears

of warlike men ! He thought on all his glorious hopes, and all

his young renown; He flung the falchion from his side, and in the

dust sate down.

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Then covering with his steel-gloved hands his

darkly mournful brow, “No more, there is no more," he said, “ to lift

the sword for now; My king is false, my hope betray'd, my father

-oh! the worth, The glory, and the loveliness, are pass’d away

from earth!


“I thought to stand where banners waved, my

sire, beside thee yet. I would that there our kindred blood on Spain's

free soil had met: Thou wouldst have known my spirit then. For

thee my fields were won; And thou hast perish'd in thy chains, as though

thou hadst no son!”


Then, starting from the ground once more, he

seiz'd the monarch's rein, Amidst the pale and wildered looks of all the

courtier train, And, with a fierce o'ermastering, the rearing

war-house led, And sternly set them face to face—the king

before the dead !


“ Came I not forth upon thy pledge, my father's

hand to kiss ? Be still and gaze thou on, false king, and tell

me what is this;


The voice, the glance, the heart I sought, give

answer, where are they? If thou wouldst clear thy perjured 'soul, send

life through this cold clay! “Into these glassy eyes put light—be still !

keep down thine ireBid these white lips a blessing speak—this earth is not my

sire ! Give me back him for whom I strove, for whom

my blood was shed. Thou canst not—and, Oking! bis dust be

mountains on thy head !” He loosed the steed; his slack hand fell ; upon

the silent face He cast one long, deep, troubled look—then

turned from that sad place; His hope was crush'd, his after-fate untold in

martial strain His banner led the spears no more amidst the

hills of Spain.



1 Champion, a hero, one who fights in 5 Liege, lord, a feudal superior; one

single combat for himself or for having vassals or liegemen. another.

6 The dead. In order to deceive the 2 Sued, begged, implored.

son, his father's dead body was 3 Long-imprisoned Šire. Don Sancho, placed on horseback by command Count Saldana of Spain, had been

of the king. kept in prison for many years by 7 Paint that gaze, describe or tell the king. At length his son, exactly how he looked. Bernardo del Carpio, took up 8 Falchion, a short curved sword. arms to effect his release.

9 Perjurer, one who knowingly takes 4 Captive train, prisoners taken in a false oath.


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