Spain! ’tis with a swelling heart,
That I think on all thou mightst have been, and look at what thou art;
But the strife is over now, and all the good and brave,
That would have raised thee up, are gone, to exile or the grave.
Thy fleeces are for monks, thy grapes for the convent feast,
And the wealth of all thy harvest-fields for the pampered lord and priest.
“But I shall see the day—it will
come before I die—
I shall see it in my silver hairs, and with an age-dimmed eye;—
When the spirit of the land to liberty shall bound,
As yonder fountain leaps away from the darkness of the ground:
And to my mountain cell, the voices of the free
Shall rise, as from the beaten shore the thunders of the sea.”
A MEDITATION ON RHODE-ISLAND COAL.
Decolor, obscuris, vilis, non ille repexam
Cesariem regum, non candida virginis ornat
Colla, nec insigni splendet per cingula morsu.
Sed nova si nigri videas miracula saxi,
Tunc superat pulchros cultus et quicquid Eois
Indus litoribus rubra scrutatur in alga.
I sat beside the glowing grate, fresh heaped
With Newport coal, and as the flame grew bright
—The many-coloured flame—and played and leaped,
I thought of rainbows and the northern light,
Moore’s Lalla Rookh, the Treasury Report,
And other brilliant matters of the sort.
And last I thought of that fair isle which sent
The mineral fuel; on a summer day
I saw it once, with heat and travel spent,
And scratched by dwarf-oaks in the hollow way;
Now dragged through sand, now jolted over stone—
A rugged road through rugged Tiverton.
And hotter grew the air, and hollower grew
The deep-worn path, and horror-struck, I thought,
Where will this dreary passage lead me to?
This long dull road, so narrow, deep, and hot?
I looked to see it dive in earth outright;
I looked—but saw a far more welcome sight.
Like a soft mist upon the evening shore,
At once a lovely isle before me lay,
Smooth and with tender verdure covered o’er,
As if just risen from its calm inland bay;
Sloped each way gently to the grassy edge,
And the small waves that dallied with the sedge.
The barley was just reaped—its heavy sheaves
Lay on the stubble field—the tall maize stood
Dark in its summer growth, and shook its leaves—
And bright the sunlight played on the young wood—
For fifty years ago, the old men say,
The Briton hewed their ancient groves away.
I saw where fountains freshened the green land,
And where the pleasant road, from door to door,
With rows of cherry-trees on either hand,
Went wandering all that fertile region o’er—
Rogue’s Island once—but when the rogues were dead,
Rhode Island was the name it took instead.