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Ayayaca, his unbelieving Priest! At once all eager eyes were fixed on him, But he came forward calmly at the call; Lo! here am Il quoth he; and from his head Plucking the thin grey hairs, he dealt then round”— Countrymen, kinsmen, brethren, children, take These in remembrance of me! there will be No relic of your aged Priest but this. From manhood to old age, full threescore years, Have I been your true servant: fit it is That I, who witnessed Aztlan's first assault, Should perish her last victim —and he moved Towards the death. But then Erillyab Seized him, and by the garment drew him back!— By the Great Spirit, but he shall not die! The Queen exclaimed; nor shalt thou triumph thus, Liar and traitor! Hoamen, to your hounes! Madoc shall answer this? Irrcsolute They heard, and inobedient; to obey , Fearing, yet fearful to remain. Anon, The Queen repeats her bidding, To your homes, My people!—But when Neolin perceived The growing stir and motion of the crowd, As from the outward ring they moved away, He uttered a new cry, and disentangling The passive reptile's folds, rushed out among them, With outstretched hands, like one possessed, to seize His victim. Then they fled; for who could tell On whom the madman, in that hellish fit, Might cast the lot: An eight-years' boy he seized And held him by the leg, and, whirling him In ritual dance, till breath and sense were gone, Set up the death-song of the sacrifice. Amalahta, and what others rooted love Of evil leagued with him, accomplices In treason, joined the death-song and the dance. Some too there were, believing what they feared, Who yielded to their old idolatry, And mingled in the worship. Round and round The accursed minister of murder whirled His senseless victim; they, too, round and round In maddening motion, and with maddening cries Revolving, whirled and wheeled. At length, when now According to old rites he should have dashed On the stone Idol's head the wretch's brains, Neolin stopt, and once again began The long, shrill, piercing, modulated cry. The Serpent knew the call, and, rolling on, Wave above wave, his rising length, advanced His open jaws; then, with the expected prey, Glides to the dark recesses of his den.

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And brother cried the Queen. Even as thou saidst So hath it proved; and those accursed schemes

‘ Of treachery, which that wretched boy revealed

Under the influence of thy potent drink,
Have ripened to effect. From what a snare
The timely warning saved me! for, be sure,
What I had seen I else should have believed,
In utter fear confounded. The Great Spirit, -
Who taught thee to foresee the evil thing,
Will give thee power to quell it.
- On they went
Towards the dell, where now the Idolaters
Had built their dedicated fire, and still
With feast, and fits of song, and violent dance,
Pursued their rites. When Neolin perceived
The Prince approach, fearlessly he came forth,
And raised his arm, and cried, Strangers, away!
Away, profane! hence to your mother-land!
Hence to your waters! for the God is here;—
He came for blood, and he shall have his fill!
Impious, away!
Seize him, exclaimed the Prince:
Nor had he time for motion nor for flight,
So instantly was that command obeyed.
Hoamen, said Madoc, hear me!—I came here,
Stranger alike to Aztlan and to you;
I found ye an oppressed, wretched race,
Groaning beneath your chains; at your request,
For your deliverance, I unsheathed the sword,
Redeemed ye from your bondage, and preserved
Your children from the slaughter. With those focs
Whose burden ye for forty years endured,
This traitor hath conspired, against yourselves,
Your Queen, and me your friend; the solemn faith
Which in the face of yonder sun we pledged,
Each to the other, this accursed man
Hath broken, and hath stained his hands this day
With innocent blood. Life must atone for life:
Ere I destroy the Serpent, whom his wiles
Have trained so well, last victim, he shall glut
The monster's maw.
Strike, man' quoth Neolin.
This is my consummation the reward
Of my true faith ! the best that I could ask,
The best the God could give:—to rest in him,
Body with body be incorporate,
Soul into soul absorbed, and I and he
One life, inseparable, for evermore.
Strike, I am weary of this mortal part;
Unite me to the God!
Triumphantly
He spake; the assembled people, at his words,
With rising awe gazed on the miscreant;
Madoc himself, when now he would have given
The sign for death, in admiration paused,
Such power hath fortitude. And he perceived
The auspicious moment, and set up his cry.
Forth, from the dark recesses of the cave,
The serpent came: ” the Hoamen at the sight
Shouted, and they who held the Priest, appalled
lielaxed their hold. On came the mighty Snake,
And twined, in many a wreath, round Neolin,
Darting aright, aleft, his sinuous neck,
With searching eye, and lifted jaw and tongue
Quivering, and hiss as of a heavy shower
Upon the summer woods. The Britons stood

Astounded at the powerful reptile's bulk,
And that strange sight. His girth was as of man,
But easily could he have overtopped
Goliath's helmed head, or that huge King
Of Basan, hugest of the Anakim : *
What then was human strength, if once involved
Within those dreadful coils?— he multitude
Fell prone, and worshipped; pale Erillyab grew,
And turned upon the Prince a doubtful eye;
The Britons, too, were pale, albeit they held
Their spears protended; and they also looked
On Madoc, who the while stood silently,
Contemplating how wiseliest he might cope
With that surpassing strength.

But Neolin,
Well hoping now success, when he had awed
The general feeling thus, exclaimed aloud,
Blood for the God! give him the Stranger's blood!
Avenge him on his foes! and then, perchance,
Terror had urged him to some desperate deed,
Had Madoc pondered more, or paused in act
One moment. From the sacrificial flames
He snatched a fire-brand, and, with fire and sword,
Rushed at the monster: back the monster drew
His head, upraised recoiling, and the Prince
Smote Neolin; all circled as he was,
And clipt in his false Deity's embrace,
Smote he the accursed Priest; the avenging sword
Fell on his neck; through flesh and bone it drove
Deep in the chest: the wretched criminal,
Tottered, and those huge rings a moment held
His bloody corpse upright, while Madoc struck
The Serpent: twice he struck him, and the sword
Glanced from the impenetrable scales; nor more
Availed its thrust, though driven by that strong arm;
| For on the unyielding skin the tempered blade
| tent. He sprung upward then, and in the eyes
Of the huge monster flashed the fiery brand.
Impatient of the smoke and burning, back
The reptile wreathed, and from his loosening clasp
Dropt the dead Neolin, and turned, and fled
To his dark den.

The Hoamen, at that sight

Raised a loud wonder-cry, with one accord,
Great is the Son of Ocean, and his God
ls mightiest! But Erillyab silently
Approached the great Deliverer; her whole frame
Trembled with strong emotion, and she took
His hand, and gazed a moment earnestly,
Having no power of speech, till with a gush
of tears her utterance came, and she exclaimed,
Blessed art thou, my brother! for the power
Of God is in thee!—and she would have kissed
His hand in adoration; but he cried,
God is indeed with us, and in his name
Will we fulfil the work!—then to the cave
Advanced and called for fire. Bring fire! quoth he:
By his own element this spawn of hell
Shall perish! and he entered, to explore
The cavern depths. Cadwallon followed him,
bearing in either hand a flaming brand,
For sword or spear availed not.

Far in the hill,
ove within cave, the ample grotto pierced,
Three chambers in the rock. Fit vestibule
The first to that wild temple, long and low,

Shut out the outward day. The second vault
liad its own daylight from a central chasm
tligh in the hollow; here the Image stood,
Their rude idolatry, a sculptured snake, -
If term of art may such mis-shapen form
Beseem,-around a human figure coiled,
And all begrimed with blood. The inmost cell
Dark; and far up within its blackest depth
They saw the Serpent's still small eye of fire.
Not if they thinned the forest for their pile,
Could they, with flame or suffocating smoke,
Destroy him there; for through the open roof
The clouds would pass away. They paused not long:
Drive him beneath the chasm, Cadwallon cried,
And hem him in with fire, and from above
We crush him.
Forth they went and climbed the hill,
With all their people. Their united strength
Loosened the rocks, and ranged them round the brink,
Impending. With Cadwallon on the height
Ten Britons wait; ten with the Prince descend,
And with a firebrand each in either hand,
Enter the outer cave. Madoc advanced,
And at the entrance of the inner den,
Ile took his stand alone. A bow he bore,
And arrows, round whose heads dry tow was twined,
In pine-gum dipt; ” he kindled these, and shot
The fiery shafts. Upon his scaly skin,
As on a rock, the bone-tipt arrows fell;
But, at their bright and blazing light effrayed,
Out rushed the reptile. Madoc from his path
Retired against the side, and called his men,
And in they came and circled round the Snake,
And, shaking all their flames, as with a wheel
of fire, they ringed him in. From side to side
The monster turns;–where'er he turns, the flame
Flares in his mostrils and his blinking eyes;
Nor aught against the dreaded element
Did that brute force avail, which could have crushed
Milo's young limbs, or Theban Hercules,
Or old Alanoah's mightier son, ere yet
Shorn of his strength. They press him now, and now
Give back, here urging, and here yielding way,
Till right beneath the chasm they centre him.
At once the crags are loosed, and down they fall,
Thundering. They fell like thunder, but the crash
Of scale and bone was heard. In agony
The Serpent writhed beneath the blow; in vain,
From under the incumbent load essayed
To drag his mangled folds. One leavier stone
Fastened and flattened him; yet still, with tail
Ten cubits long, he lashed the air, and foined
From side to side, and raised his raging head
Above the height of man, though half his length
Lay mutilate. Who then had felt the force
Of that wild fury, little had to him
Buckler or corselet profited, or mail,
Or might of human arin. The Britons shrunk
Beyond its arc of motion; but the Prince
Took a long spear, and springing on the stone
Which fixed the monster down, provoked his rage.
Uplifts the Snake his head retorted, high
He lifts it over Madoc, then darts down
To seize his prey. The Prince, with foot advanced,
Inclines his body back, and points the spear,
With sure and certain aim, then drives it up,

Into his open jaws; two cubits deep
It pierced, the monster forcing on the wound.
He closed his teeth for anguish, and bit short
The ashen hilt. But not the rage which now
Clangs all his scales, can from its seat dislodge
The barbed shaft; nor those contortions wild,
Nor those convulsive shudderings, nor the throes
Which shake his in most entrails, as with the air
In suffocating gulps the monster now
Inhales his own life-blood. The Prince descends;
He lifts another lance; and now the Snake,
Gasping, as if exhausted, on the ground
Reclines his head one moment. Madoc seized
That moment, planted in his eye the spear,
Then, setting foot upon his neck, drove down
Through bone and brain and throat, and to the earth
Infixed the mortal weapon. Yet once more
The Snake essayed to rise; his dying strength
Failed him, nor longer did those mighty folds
Obey the moving impulse; crushed and scotched,
In every ring, through all his mangled length,
The shrinking muscles quivered, then collapsed
In death.

Cadwallon and his comrades now
Enter the den; they roll away the crag
Which fixed him down, pluck out the mortal spear,
Then drag him forth to day; the force conjoined
Of all the Britons difficultly drag
Ilis lifeless bulk. But when the Hoamen saw
That form portentous trailing in its gore,
The jaws which, in the morning, they had seen
Purpled with human blood, now in their own
Blackening.—aknee they fell before the Prince,
And in adoring admiration raised
Their hands with one accord, and all in fear
Worshipped the mighty Deicide. But he,
Recoiling from those sinful honours, cried,
Drag out the Idol now, and heap the fire,
That all may be consumed !

- Forthwith they heaped

The sacrificial fire, and on the pile
The Serpent and the Image and the corpse
Of Neolin were laid; with prompt supply
They feed the raging flames, hour after hour,
Till now the black and nauseous smoke is spent,
And mingled with the ruins of the pile,
The undistinguishable ashes lay.
Go! cried Prince Madoc, cast them in the stream,
And scatter them upon the winds, that so
No relic of this foul idolatry
Pollute the land. To-morrow meet me here,
Hoamen, and I will purify yon den
Of your abominations. Come ye here
With humble hearts; for ye, too, in the sight
Of the Great Spirit, the Beloved One,
Must be made pure, and cleansed from your offence,
And take upon yourselves his holy law.

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Of their Deliverer; ranged without their ring
The tribe look on, thronging the narrow vale,
And what of gradual rise the shelving combe
Displayed, or steeper eminence of wood,
Broken with crags and sunny slope of green,
And grassy platform. With the elders sate
The Queen and Prince, their rank's prerogative,
Excluded else for sex unfit, and youth
For counsel immature. Before the arch,
To that rude fane, rude portal, stands the Cross,
By Madoc's hand victorious planted there.
And lo, Prince Madoc comes! no longer mailed
In arms of mortal might; the spear and sword,
The hauberk and the helmet laid aside,
Gorget and gauntlet, greaves and shield,—he comes
In peaceful tunic clad, and mantle long;
Ilis hyacinthine locks now shadowing
That face, which late, with iron overbrowed,
Struck from within the aventayle such awe
And terror to the heart. Bareheaded he,
Following the servant of the altar, leads
The reverential train. Before them, raised
On high, the sacred images are borne.
There, in faint semblance, holiest Mary bends
In virgin beauty oer her babe divine,—
A sight which almost to idolatry
Might win the soul by love. But who can gaze
Upon that other form, which on the rood
In agony is stretched?—his hands transfixed,
And lacerate with the body's pendent weight;”
The black and deadly paleness of his face,
Streaked with the blood which from that crown of
scorn

Hath ceased to flow; the side wound streaming still;
And open still those eyes, from which the look
Not yet hath past away, that went to Heaven,
When, in that hour, the Son of Man exclaimed,
Forgive them, for they know not what they do
And now arrived before the cave, the train
Halt: to the assembled elders, where they sate
Ranged in half circle, Madoc then advanced,
And raised, as if in act to speak, his hand.
Thereat was every human sound suppressed;
And every quickened ear and eager eye
Were centered on his lips.

The Prince began,—
Hoamen, friends, brethren, friends we have been long
And brethren shall be, ere the day go down,
I come not here propounding doubtful things,
For counsel, and deliberate resolve
Of searching thought; but with authority
From Heaven, to bive the law, and to enforce
Obedience. Ye shall worship God alone,
The One Eternal. That Beloved One
Ye shall not serve with offered fruits, or smoke
Of sacrificial fire, or blood, or life;
Far other sacrifice he claims, a soul
Resigned, a will subdued, a heart made clean
From all offence. Not for your lots on earth,
Menial or mighty, slave or highly-born,
For cunning in the chase, or strength in war,
Shall ye be judged hereafter;”—as we keep
The law of love, as ye shall tame your wrath,
Forego revenge, forgive your enemies,
Do good to them that wrong ye, ye will find
Your bliss or bale. This law camc down from Heaven.

| Lo, ye behold him there by whom it came; Sons of the Cymry, Cadog, Deiniol, The Spirit was in Him, and for the sins Padarn, and Teilo!” ye whose sainted names of man He suffered thus, and by His death Your monumental temples still record; Must all mankind be blest. Not knowing Him, Thou, David,”7 still revered, who in the vale, Ye wandered on in error; knowing now, Where, by old Hatteril's wintry torrents swoln, And not obeying, what was error once Rude Hodney rolls his raging stream, didst chuse Is guilt and wilful wrong. If ever more Thy hermit home; and ye who by the sword Ye bow to your false deities the knee; Of the fierce Saxon, when the bloodier Monk If ever more ye worship them with feast, Urged on the work of murder, for your faith Or sacrifice or dance; whoso offends And freedom fell,—Martyrs and Saints, ye saw Shall from among the people be cut off, This triumph of the Cymry and the Cross, Like a corrupted member, lest he taint And struck your golden harps to hymns of joy. The whole with death. With what appointed rites Your homage must be paid, ye shall be taught; Your children, in the way that they shall go, IX. Ile trained from childhood up. Make ye, mean time, Your prayer to that Beloved One, who sces | The .. of all hearts; and set ye up Çlalasa. | This, the memorial of his chosen Son, As now the rites were ended, Caradoc o | And Her, who, blessed among women, fed Came from the ships, leading an Azteca i The Appointed at Her breast, and by His cross Guarded and bound. Prince Madoc, said the Bard, | Endured intenser anguish; therefore sharing Lo! the first captive of our arms I bring. | His glory now, with sunbeams roamed, the Moon Alone, beside the river I had strayed, | Her footstool, and a wreath of stars her crown. When, from his lurking place, the savage hurled A javelin. At the rustle of the reeds, Hoamen, ye deem us children of a race From whence the blow was aimed, I turned in time, | Mightier than ye, and wiser, and by heaven And heard it whiz beside me. Weil it was, Beloved and favoured more. From this pure law That from the ships they saw and succoured me; Hath all proceeded,—wisdom, power, whateer For, subtle as a serpent in my grasp, Here elevates the soul, and makes it ripe He seemed all joint and flexure; nor had I For higher powers, and more exalted bliss. Armour to ward, nor weapon to offend, Share then our law, and be with us, on earth, To battle all unused and unprepared; Partakers of these blessings, and, in Ileaven, Isut I too, here, upon this barbarous land, Co-heritors with us of endless joy. Like Elmur and like Aroman of old, Must lift the ruddy spear.” Ere yet one breath or motion had disturbed This is no day The reverential bush, Eriilyab rose. For vengeance, answered Madoc, else his deed My people, said the Queen, their God is best Had met no mercy. Freely let him go! | And mightiest. Him, to whom we offered up Perchance the tidings of our triumph here blood of our blood, and of our flesh the flesh, May yet reclaim his country.—Azteca, Wainly we deemed divine; no spirit he Go, let your Pabas know that we have crushed of good or evil, by the conquering arm Their complots here; beneath our righteous sword of Madoc mortal proved. what then remains The Priest and his false Deity have fallen, But that the blessing proffered thus in love, The Idols been consumed, and in their stead In love we take?–Deliverer, Teacher, Friend, The emblems of our holy faith set up, First in the fellowship of faith I claim Whereof the Hoamen have this day been made The initiatory rite. Partakers. Say to Artlan, when she too I also, cried Will make her temples clean, and put away The venerable Priest Ayayaca, Her foul abominations, and accept Old ..s I am. I also, like a child, The Christian Cross, that Madoc then accords Would learn this wisdom yet before I die. Forgiveness for the past, and peace to come. The Elders rose and answered, We and all ! This better part let her, of her free will And from the congregated tribe burst forth And wisdom, chuse in time. One universal shout, -Great is the God Till Madoc spake, of Madoc, worthy to be served is He! The captive reckless of his peril stood, Gazing with resolute and careless eye, Then to the mountain rivulet, which rolled As one in whom the lot of life or death Like amber over its dark bed of rock, Moved neither fear nor feeling; but that eye Did Madoc lead Erillyab, in the name Now glowing with defiance.—Seek ye peace? Of Jesus, to his Christian family He cried : O weak and woman-hearted man! ! Accepted now. On her and on her son, Already wouldst thou lay the sword to rest? : The Elders and the People, Llorien Not with the burial of the sword this strife Sprinkled the sanctifying waters. Day Must end, for never doth the Tree of Peace was scarcely two hours old when he began Strike root and flourish till the strong man's hand His work, and when he ceased, the sun had past Upon his enemy's grave hath planted it. | The heights of noon. Ye saw that blessed work, Come ye to Aztlan then in quest of peace? |

:

Ye feeble souls, if that be what ye seek
Fly hence! our Aztlan suffers on her soil
No living stranger.

Do thy bidding, Chief!
Calmly Cadwallon answered. To her choice
Let Azilan look, lest what she now reject
In insolence of strength, she take upon her,
In sorrow and in suffering and in shame,
By strong compulsion, penitent too late.
Thou hast beheld our ships with gallant men
Freighted, a numerous force—and for our arms-
Surely thy nation hath acquired of them
Disastrous knowledge.

Curse upon your arms!

Exclaimed the Savage:—Is there one among you

| Dare lay that cowardly advantage by,

And meet me, man to man, ... honest strifel
That I might grapple with him, weaponless,
On yonder rock, breast against breast, fair force
Of linb and breath and blood, till one, or both,
Dash'd down the shattering precipice, should feed
The mountain eagle!—Give me, I beseech you,
That joy!

As wisely, said Cynetha's son,
Thy foe might challenge thee, and bid thee let
Thy strong right hand hang idle in the fray;
That so his weakness with thy strength might cope
In equal battle!—Not in wrongful war,
The tyrants of our weaker bretheren,
Wield we these dreadful arms, but when assailed
By fraud and force, when called upon to aid
The feeble and oppressed, shall we not
Then put our terrors forth, and thunder-strike
The guilty?

Silently the Savage heard;

Joy brightened in his eyes, as they unloosed
His bonds; he stretched his arms at length, to feel

| His liberty, and, like a greyhound then

Slipt from the leash, he bounded o'er the hills.
What was from early morning till noon day
The steady travel of a well-Hirt man,
He, with fleet feet and unfatiguable,
In three short hours hath traversed; in the lake
He dashed, now shooting forth his pointed arms,
Arrow-like darting on; recumbent now,
Forces, with springing feet, his easier way;
Then, with new speed, as freshened by repose,
Again he breasts the waters. On the shore
Of Aztlan now he stands, and breathes at will,
And wrings his dripping locks; then through the gate
Pursued his way.

Green garlands deck the gate;
Gay are the temples with green boughs affixed;
The door-posts and the lintels hung with wreaths;
The fire of sacrifice, with Ilames bedimmed,
Burns in the sun-light, pale; the victims wait
Around, impatient of their death delayed.

# The Priest, before Tezcalipoca's shrine,

Watches the maize-strewn threshold, to announce
The footsteps of the God; for this the day,
When to his favoured city lie vouchsafes
His annual presence, 19 and, with unseen feet,
Imprints the maize-strewn threshold; followed soon
By all whose altars with eternal fires
Aztlan illumed, and fed with human blood;—
Mexitli, woman-born, 3o who from the womb,

Child of no morial sire, leapt terrible,
The armed avenger of his mother's fame;
And he whose will the subject winds obey,
Quetzalcoal; * and Tlaloc, * Water-God,
And all the host of Deities, whose power
Requites with bounty Aztlan's pious zeal,
Health and rich increase giving to her sons,
And withering in the war her enemies.
So taught the Priests, and therefore were the gates
Green-garlanded, the temples green with boughs,
The door-posts and the lintels hung with wreaths;
And yonder victims, ranged around the fire,
Are destined, with the steam of sacrifice,
To greet their cursed coming.

With the train
Of warrior Chiefs Coanacotzin stood,
That when the Priest proclaimed the entered God,
His lips before the present Deity
Might pour effectual prayer. The assembled Chiefs
Saw Tlalala 3° approach, more welcome now.
As one whose absence from the appointed rites
Had wakened fear and wonder.—Think not ye,
The youth exclaimed, careless impiety
Could this day lead me wandering. I went forth
To dip my javelin in the Strangers' blood,
A sacrifice, methought, our Gods had loved
To scent, and sooner hastened to enjoy.
I failed, and fell a prisoner; but their fear
Released me, coward fear, or idiot hope,
That, like Yuhidthiton, I might become
Their friend, and merit chastisement from Ileaven,
Pleading the Strangers' cause. They bade me go
And proffer peace.—Chiefs, were it possible
That tongue of mine could win you to that shame,
Up would I pluck the member, though my soul
Followed its bloody roots. The Stranger finds
No peace in Aztlan, but the peace of death!

T is bravely said! Yuhidthiton replied,
And fairly mayest thou boast, young Tlalala,
For thou art brave in battle. Yet 't were well
If that same fearless tongue were taught to check
Its boyish license now. No law forbade
Our friendship with the Stranger, when my voice
Pleaded for proffered peace; that fault I shared
In common with the King, and with the Chiefs,
The Pabas and the People, none foreseeing
Danger or guilt: but when at length the Gods
Made evident their wrath in prodigies,
I yielded to their manifested will
My prompt obedience.—Bravely hast thou said,
And brave thou art, young Tiger of the War! so
But thou hast dealt with other enemies
Than these impenetrable men, with foes,
Whose conquered Gods lie idle in their chains,
And with tame weakness brook captivity.”
When thou hast met the Strangers in the fight,
And in the doings of that fight outdone
Yuhidthiton, revile him then for one
Slow to defend his country and his faith:
Till then, with reverence, as beseems thy youth,
Respect thou his full fame!

I wrong it not!
I wrong it not! cried the young Azteca,
But truly, as I hope to equal it,
Honour thy well earned glory.—But this peace!-

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