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النشر الإلكتروني

FELIX AND MARIAQUITA.

AN EPISODE.

From the War of the Isles," a Poem, in Ten Cantos, now in the press.

Where Guadalquiver rolls its limpid stream,

Near to thy ancient Corduba, Oh! Spain,
Where nature showered its bounties, Sol his beam;

And all was smiling as the golden reign,
Which blessed the shepherds of Arcadia's plain,

Young Mariaquita dwelt, of Spanish girls
The fairest blossom in their lovely train;

The fairest of the land, where beauty twirls
The castanet, and love his silken flag unfurls,
Sweet are the days of youth, and sweet the hours

Of rural mirth, and innocence, and ease,
When hope leads faney to her sylvan bowers,

Where naught but fragrant perfumes fan the breeze;
And Time has not impregnated disease

Into the pores where care with age soon creeps-
And young desire with Iris-plumage fies,

As the brisk bee from flower to flower, and steeps
His lips, all honeyed o'er; then on as blithely leaps.
Such were the hours that Mariaquita knew;

And love had lately brushed her with his wing,
And whisper'd in her ear a tale more true

Than he attunes, oft, in his wandering;
And had infused his sweets without his sting,

Stealing upon her heart as summer's air,
Which stirs a bed of roses blossoming;

Pure as the orison of childhood's prayer ;
Fond as the mother's breast who clasps her infant care.
And, Oh! the blushing half-averted cheek,
When Felix met that lustre-gemed dark

eye,
Timidly tender. Then would its glance speak

Those thoughts of teeming sensibility,
Which o'er the aspect of the features fly

More strong than all that language could express ;-
Nor did the heart of Felix marvel, “why?”

At those soft tell-tales of her tenderness,-
He too had questioned love, whose soft reply was “yes."

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Among the many sorrowful tales, which the history of the Spanish war (when the country was invaded by Buonaparte) could furnish, I have selected the present. Every circumstance is as it too frequently happened. It was told me by a Spanish Hidalgo, at a small town, called Naval Moral, a short distance from the Bridge of Almaraz. To those who are unacquainted with the brutalities, which the army of France committed during the war in Spain, I would recommend the perusal of “Felix Alvarez,” wbich spirited and pleasing account has been much admired; and with whose accomplished author it was my good fortune to be during a great part of the campaign.--AUTH. Eur, Mag. Oct. 1823.

2Q

Oh! who can watch the eye where beauty shines,

Nor thrill in fondness 'neath its lovely gaze; Nor wish to bend him at so fair a shrine,

Adore the vision bright where Heaven's light rays, The cheek's pale rose-dyed sheen, the smile which plays

Sweetly impressive o'er the features' cast,
As the soft tender glow of autumn's days,

Leaving a sweeter memory as it passed,
As flowers, whose essence breathed, have fragrance to the last.
And in the vale they dwelt in, all was mirth;

Oft had they heard of, but ne'er dream'd that war, (Which had o'errun the fairest climes on earth)

Would shortly turn its hot malignant star Towards their peaceful liomes, and drive its car

Scorching, like Phaeton, the abodes of men;
Ah! then the drum would drown the soft guitar,

And anguish, death, and discord make a den
Of their now peaceful vale,-contentment's denizen.
Dark treason soon supplied what force could not;

Ambition's slave (whose curse had lately drown'd
Europe with blood and tears) with heinous plot

Now seized possession of Hesperia's ground: Little he deemed that some would there be found

Patient in woe, and patriot-like in mind; But that the portent of his name's dark sound

(Borne like the thunder-clap, upon the wind) Would awe their hearts to bend to slavery's yoke resign'd. But soon was leagued full many a mountain-band

What! though the foe had rush'd from East to West, And let his eagles loose upon the land,

Devouring and destroying ? some possessed
Of daring minds, and fired with freedom's zest,

Fled to their Sierra's fortresses and hold;
And, 'mongst the few, young Felix with the rest

Could not look tamely on, with spirit bold,
To see oppression's chain around his country rolled,
The vale he loved, the friends so softly dear,

And that fair form in which his heart delighted.-
Ah! luckless fate, how often dost thou sere

Oar fairest hopes ! how often hast thou blighted Youth's most devoted vision, too short-sighted ;

Gone, as a meteor or a summer's leaf; Tearing asunder those whom love united :

Who could have seen thee, in a space so brief, Turning those smiles to tears ! that' merriment to grief ! Oh! he who fosters hope will often find

The smile he coins but glistens to deceive; And he, who pictures pleasure in his mind,

Will often lack its joys; he who will weave Fair visions of the brain and can believe

The flitting colourings of his fancy's beam,
Will ever have a host of ills to grieve.

Joys are not lasting as their shadows seem,
And we oft stamp as fact what fancy did but dream.

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And oh! that farewell, parting hour was come,

Tears, sighs, and all that sorrow doth respire, Tokens of love were her's; even that home

She would have flown from ; but alas ! her sireGrown old, infirm with years as to require

All that a child's attention should bestow! Here filial love silenced at once desire,

Striving to soothe her tender heart of woe With thoughts, that happier days would recompence the blow! And two revolving moons had passed away,

Since Felix from his love and home had gone; Tidings were brought of feuds, each coming day,

Yet they were doubtful or but little known; At length the cloud of war came thickening on,

Darkening o'er Andalusia's verdant plain; Already were Morena's summits won,

And the loose foe, whom nothing could restrain, Bringing dismay, and death, and havock in his train. Brief be my tale, where grief it's burthen is;

One morn the foe broke in upon the vale,
Making that peaceful spot a dark abyss

Of every horror that can well assail;
The shriek of death, the matron's, virgin's wail,

The riot of intemperance and hate ;
A childless parent's or an orphan's tale
Soon had

to grieve at the dark deeds of fate, And curse the hardened fiends that could such scenes create.

But to my sequel-how shall words describe

What Mariaquita and her sire befell? Behold some ruffians of that lawless tribe

Broke in upon that bower where love did dwell, And seizing her with a lascivious yell

Tore her (while clinging) from her parent's arms;
He, in his frenzy rushing to repel,

Was struck to earth, and life's last spirit warms
To curse the hands that now defiled his daughter's charms.
And passion sated, there it left her form,

Pale, fallen, and faded-all but life now fled ;
Even as a rose-bad, blasted by the storm,

Struck by the whirlwind to its parent bed, Where yesterday it rose its lovely head

Fragrant and fresh, and glittering in the dew ;Ab! whither hope ? Ah! why deceit thus spread,

That, like the Dead Sea's fruit art fair in hue But inwardly all dust and ashes to the view. For oh! she never woke to reason more!

Sorrow and suffering had subdued her mind; That ray of nature's light was clouded o'er,

And left a frame all tenantless behind ; Even as a ruined structure, where the wind

Murmurs with strange and confused sound; devoid Of sense thus thought flits loose and unconfined,

"Till day on day left nature unsupplied ;This could not last-she sleeps by her loved parent's side.

Muse! twine a cypress garland round thy lyre';

Maids! weep the fairest of thy sister-band;
She, who could once the smile of mirth inspire,

In grace, in look the loveliest of the land,
Nipt like a flower by fate's uotimely hand!

And Felix'came to find a desert-spot
Where every charm once glowed, as if the warid

Of some destructive power had chosen to blot
Its charms from nature's face, and seal its mournful lot?'
O'er that green sod, which marked the tenement

Where she, he loved, in sleep eternal lay-
An oath of vengeance 'gainst the foes he sent,

Who tore her in her loveliness away!
By secret stealth, or contest's open fray,

Revenge looks only to the end it swore;
And well did he their deed of blood repay;

He lived to hurl the foe to Hades' shore,
To see Gaul fly his land and peace her smiles restore.

Canto V. Stanza 6.

HIGH LIFE.

Tae eccentric and dissipated Lord , spired him with an appetite for Baltimore had exhausted all the change. An opportunity of this pleasures of life, nearly ruined his nature soon presented itself. Fifteen constitution, and involved his estates successive nights of deep play, and in great difficulties before he reached the loss of thirty thousand pounds, the age of thirty. His friends saw. were followed by a consciousness, that nothing could save him from that neither his constitution nor his ruin and an early dissolution, but a fortune could for any length of time marriage, which might unite the sustain such debilitating efforts. double advantage of weaning his. While he was in this temper of mind from the love of pleasure by mind, and on a certain morning the prospect of domestic felicity; after he had spent the whole night and repair the injury, sustained by at a gambling house, he was visited his fortune, by a great addition by his uncle, who had been the chief of wealth. The immensely rich negociator of the marriage. He daughter of a London banker was. found him sitting at his breakfast the lady, whom his friends selected table, pale, emaciated, dejected in to reform his manners and repair his spirits, and evidently under the infortune. Negociations were secretly fluence of great uneasiness. As opened between the friends of Lord soon as his uncle beheld him, he Baltimore, and the father of his in was conscious that no opportunity, tended bride, some time before that more favourable than the one then nobleman or the lady were made present, was likely to occur ; and he acquainted with their views; and prepared himself to eoter upon a nothing was wanting to complete the course of friendly admonition. The match, but an opportunity of placing young Lord soon gave him an oo the wealthy heiress before his Lord casion of developing his schemes, ship's eyes at a moment, when con- by representing to him the great siderable losses at play and a long losses which he had lately sustained; course of exhausting pleasure should the trouble and uneasiness of his have left his mind in a state of aliena. mind; the disgust he felt for those tion from his follies, and have in- dissipated habits, by which he had

been, for such a length of time, en- alted rank: you hold in society, thralled; the absolute necessity of which cannot be supported without repose to his constitution, and of an income adequate to its dignity. economy to his finances. “ These Forget not the duty you owe to are mere trifles, my dear boy," said your posterity, to transmit to them his uncle," and may all be repaired your title and estates as perfect and by a successful marriage,”—“Speak unincnmbered as they were when not to me on that subject,” said you received them from your ances. Lord Baltimore, “Lam tired of the tors.” Lord Baltimore felt the force sight of women. The very name of of his uncle's reasoning, and remarriage alarms me with the appre: quested to have three days and hension of some overwhelming evils, nights to consider of it. The nights from which no exertion or good were passed in the deepest play, and fortune could ever extricate me. If the days, or at least the greater you wish to make me happy, inform part of them, in bed. He could not me of some one, who will lend me a make up his mind to marry. The hundred thousand pounds to enable thought of it was horrible. He me to surmount my present difficule could not continue in the same ties, and make one final attempt to course of irregular pleasures and recover those vast sums of which the expensive habits without the prosbetter fortune of my friends has pect of endless and irretrievadeprived me.”_"I know such a ble difficulties.' Some retiremeot person,” replied his uncle," who from the frequency of debilitating will not only lend you one, but two, pleasures was necessary to preserve three, or even more hundred thou- him from an early grave. Marriage, sands, if you will give me a com ruin, death, were three monsters mission to treat with him."_“You which continually haunted his ima. make me the happiest of men,” re gination; he was obliged to emplied Lord Baltimore, rising up brace one; and marriage, notwith: and seizing him by the hand. “I standing all its disadvantages, ap. consign to you the power of nego- peared the least dreadful of the ciating the business for me. Con- three. In a moment of impatience sent to any interest, any terms, any and vexation, be wrote a note to conditions, provided I can have the his uncle, and empowered him to money immediately."-" The con- negociate for the hand of the wealthy ditions, my dear Lord,” replied his banker's daughter. He professed uncle, "are extremely favourable himself prepared to sacrifice his to yourself: you have only to con- liberty to the welfare and dignity sent to "I will consent to of his family; and demean liimself any thing," added Lord Baltimore by a marriage with a citizen's hastily: -“ You have only to con- daughter, bringing him three hun, sent,' rejoined his uncle, " to marry dred thousand pounds as a dowry, his daughter, and the sum of three that the ancient estates of the Balti. hundred thousand pounds will be mores might continue whole and paid as the dowry of the lady.”- unincumbered to his descendants : * Death !" cried 'Lord Baltimore; but he begged to be relieved from * are these the conditions? Is there the toil and tediousness of making no way of obtaining the money love, and hoped that, no farther without being subjected to the con- courtship would be expected from straint of a repulsive marriage ? him than just to ask the lady's.conPerhaps the old fellow will take sent. The whole business was soon fifteen, twenty, or thirty per cent; arranged. The banker thought the any, thing, any thing, my dear words “my Lady Baltimore," were uncle, but the marriage." “ Re each of them worth a hundred thoumember your difficulties," said the sand pounds, and his daughter was uncle. “The marriage! the mar: captivated wiih the thought of being riage !" replied Lord Baltimore. united to one of the most exalted " Recollect," said his uncle," how titles of the kingdom, and charmed enormous are your debts, and how with the prospect of the merit of deeply you are engaged in honour being able to reforın one of the most to pay them. Remember the ex- dissipated of nobleinen. Lord Bal

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