The Alcayde Of Molina
FROM THE SPANISH.
by William Cullen Bryant
To the town of Atienza, Molina's brave Alcayde,
The courteous and the valorous, led forth his bold brigade.
The Moor came back in triumph, he came without a wound,
With many a Christian standard, and Christian captive bound.
He passed the city portals, with swelling heart and vein,
And towards his lady's dwelling he rode with slackened rein;
Two circuits on his charger he took, and at the third,
From the door of her balcony Zelinda's voice was heard.
'Now if thou wert not shameless,' said the lady to the Moor,
'Thou wouldst neither pass my dwelling, nor stop before my door.
Alas for poor Zelinda, and for her wayward mood,
That one in love with peace should have loved a man of blood!
Since not that thou wert noble I chose thee for my knight,
But that thy sword was dreaded in tournay and in fight.
Ah, thoughtless and unhappy! that I should fail to see
How ill the stubborn flint and the yielding wax agree.
Boast not thy love for me, while the shrieking of the fife
Can change thy mood of mildness to fury and to strife.
Say not my voice is magic--thy pleasure is to hear
The bursting of the carbine, and shivering of the spear.
Well, follow thou thy choice--to the battle-field away,
To thy triumphs and thy trophies, since I am less than they.
Thrust thy arm into thy buckler, gird on thy crooked brand,
And call upon thy trusty squire to bring thy spears in hand.
Lead forth thy band to skirmish, by mountain and by mead,
On thy dappled Moorish barb, or thy fleeter border steed.
Go, waste the Christian hamlets, and sweep away their flocks,
From Almazan's broad meadows to Siguenza's rocks.
Leave Zelinda altogether, whom thou leavest oft and long,
And in the life thou lovest forget whom thou dost wrong.
These eyes shall not recall thee, though they meet no more thine own,
Though they weep that thou art absent, and that I am all alone.'
She ceased, and turning from him her flushed and angry cheek,
Shut the door of her balcony before the Moor could speak.