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since first from Aztlan led to rove, Following, in quest of change, their kindred tribes, Where'er they rested, with foul sacrifice

They stained the shuddering earth. Their monuments, By blood cemented, after ages passed,

With idle wonder of fantastic guess

The traveller shall behold. For broken then,
Like their own ugly idols, buried, burned,
Their fragments spurned for every servile use,
Trampled and scattered to the reckless winds,
The records of their origin shall be

Still in their cruelty and untamed pride

They lived and died condemned; whether they dwelt
Outcasts, upon a soil that was not theirs,
All sterile as it was, and won by stealth
Food from the slimy margent of the lake,

And digged the earth for roots and unclean worms;
Or served in bondage to another race,

Who loved them not. Driven forth, they wandered then
In miserable want, until they came

Where from the thriftless rock the nopal grew,

On which the hungry eagle perched and screamed,—
And founded Tenochtitlan; rearing first,
With impious care, a cabin for their god
Huitzilopochtli, and with murderous rites
Devoting to his guardianship themselves
And all their issue. Quick the nopal climbed,
Its harsh and bristly growth towering o'er all
The vale of Anahuac. Far for his prey,

And farther still, the ravenous eagle flew ;

And still with dripping beak, but thirst unslaked,
With savage cries wheeled home. Nine kings have


Their records blotted and besmeared with blood

So thick that none may read them.

Down the stairs

And o'er the courts and winding corridors

Of their abominable piles, upreared

In the face of heaven, and naked to the sun,

More blood has flowed than would have filled the lakes

O'er which, enthroned midst carnage, they have sat,

Heaping their treasures for the stranger's spoil.
Prodigious cruelty and waste of life,

Unnatural riot and blaspheming pride,

All that God hates,—and all that tumbles down
Great kingdoms and luxurious commonwealths,
After long centuries waxing all corrupt,-
In their brief annals aggregated, forced,

And monstrous, are compressed. And now the cup
Of wrath is full; and now the hour has come.
Nor yet unwarned shall judgment overtake
The tribes of Aztlan, and in chief their lords,
Mexitlis' blind adorers. As to one
Who feels his inward malady remain,
Howe'er health's seeming mocks his destiny,
In gay or serious mood the thought of death
Still comes obtrusive; so old prophecy,
From age to age preserved, has told thy race
How strangers, from beyond the rising sun,
Should come with thunder armed, to overturn
Their idols, to possess their lands, and hold
Them and their children in long servitude.

"Thou shalt bear record that the hour is nigh; The white and bearded men whose grim array Swept o'er thy sight are those who are to come, And with strong arms, and wisdom stronger far, Strange beasts, obedient to their masters' touch. And engines hurling death, with Fate to aid, Shall wrest the sceptre from the Azteques' line, And lay their temples flat. Horrible war, Rapine, and murder, and destruction wild, Shall hurry like the whirlwind o'er the land. Yet with the avengers comes the word of peace; With the destroyers comes the bread of life; And, as the wind-god, in thine idle creed, Opens a passage with his boisterous breath Through which the genial waters over earth Shed their reviving showers, so, when the storm Of war has passed, rich dews of heavenly grace Shall fall on flinty hearts. And thou,-the flower

Which, when huge cedars and most ancient pines,
Coeval with the mountains, are uptorn,

The hurricane shall leave unharmed,-thou, then,
Shalt be the first to lift thy drooping head,
Renewed, and cleansed from every former stain.

"The fables of thy people teach that when
The deluge drowned mankind, and one sole pair,
In fragile bark preserved, escaped, and climbed
The steeps of Colhuacan, daughters and sons
Were born to them, who knew not how to frame
Their simplest thoughts in speech; till from the grove
A dove poured forth, in regulated sounds,
Each varied form of language. Then they spake,
Though neither by another understood.

But thou shalt then hear of that holiest Dove
Which is the Spirit of the eternal God.
When all was void and dark, he moved above
Infinity; and from beneath his wings
Earth and the waters and the islands rose;
The air was quickened, and the world had life.
Then all the lamps of heaven began to shine,
And man was made to gaze upon their fires.


Among thy fathers' visionary tales,

Thou'st heard how once near ancient Tula dwelt
A woman, holy and devout, who kept

The temple pure, and to its platform saw

A globe of emerald plumes descend from heaven,
Placing it in her bosom to adorn

Her idol's sanctuary, (so the tale

Runs) she conceived, and bore Mexitli. He,
When other children had assailed her life,
Sprang into being, all equipped for war;
His green plumes dancing in their circlet bright,
Like sheaf of sun-lit spray cresting the bed
Of angry torrents. Round, as Tonatiuh
Flames in mid-heaven, his golden buckler shone;
Like nimble lightning flashed his dreadful lance;
And unrelenting vengeance in his eyes

Blazed with its swarthy lustre. He, they tell,
Led-on their ancestors; and him, the god
Of wrath and terror, with the quivering hearts
And mangled limbs of myriads, and the stench
Of blood-washed shrines and altars, they appease.
But then shall be revealed to thee the name
And vision of a virgin undefiled,

Embalmed in holy beauty, in whose eyes,

She bore

Downcast and chaste, such sacred influence lived
That none might gaze in their pure spheres and feel
One earth-born longing. Over her the Dove
Hung, and the Almighty Power came down.
In lowliness, and as a helpless babe,
Heir to man's sorrows and calamities,
His great Deliverer, Conqueror of Death;
And thou shalt learn how when in years he grew
Perfect, and fairer than the sons of men,
And in that purifying rite partook

Which thou shalt share, as from his sacred locks
The glittering waters dropped, high overhead
The azure vault was opened, and that Dove,
Swiftly, serenely floating downwards, stretched
His silvery pinions o'er the anointed Lord,
Sprinkling celestial dews. And thou shalt hear
How, when the sacrifice for man had gone
In glory home, as his chief messengers
Were met in council, on a mighty wind

The Dove was borne among them; on each brow
A forked tongue of fire unquenchable lit,
And, as the lambent points shot up and waved,
Strange speech came to them; thence to every land,
In every tongue, they, with antiring steps,
Bore the glad tidings of a world redeemed "

Much more, which now it suits not to rehearse,
The princess heard. The historic prophet told
Past, present, future,-things that since have been,
And things that are to come. And, as he ceased,
O'er the black river and the desert plain,
As o'er the close of counterfeited scenes

Shown by the buskined Muse, a veil came down,
Impervious; and his figure faded swift

In the dense gloom. But then, in starlike light,
That awful symbol which adorned his brow
In size dilating showed: and up, still up,
In its clear splendour still the same, though still
Lessening, it mounted; and Papantzin woke.

She woke in darkness and in solitude.
Slow passed her lethargy away, and long
To her half-dreaming eye that brilliant sign
Distinct appeared. Then damp and close she felt
The air around, and knew the poignant smell
Of spicy herbs collected and confined.

As those awakening from a troubled trance
Are wont, she would have learned by touch if yet
The spirit to the body was allied.

Strange hindrances prevented.

O'er her face
A mask thick-plated lay and round her swathed
Was many a costly and encumbering robe,
Such as she wore on some high festival,

O'erspread with precious gems, rayless and cold,
That now pressed hard and sharp against her touch.
The cumbrous collar round her slender neck,
Of gold, thick studded with each valued stone
Earth and the sea-depths yield for human pride—
The bracelets and the many twisted rings
That girt her taper limbs, coil upon coil—
What were they in this dungeon's solitude?
The plumy coronal that would have sprung
Light from her fillet in the purer air,
Waving in mockery of the rainbow tints,
Now drooping low, and steeped in clogging dews,
Oppressive hung. Groping in dubious search,
She found the household goods, the spindle, broom,
Gicalli quaintly sculptured, and the jar

That held the useless beverage for the dead.
By these, and by the jewel to her lip
Attached, the emerald symbol of the soul,

In its green life immortal, soon she knew

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