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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

Her dwelling was a sepulchre. She loosed
The mask, and from her feathery bier uprose,
Casting away the robe, which like long alb
Wrapped her; and with it many an aloe-leaf
(Inscribed with Azteque characters and signs,
To guide the spirit where the serpent hissed,
Hills towered, and deserts spread, and keen winds blew),
And many a
"flower of death;" though their frail


Were yet unwithered.

For the living warmth

Which in her dwelt their freshness had preserved;
Else, if corruption had begun its work,

The emblems of quick change would have survived
Her beauty's semblance. What is beauty worth,
If the cropped flower retains its tender bloom
When foul decay has stolen the latest lines
Of loveliness in death? Yet even now
Papantzin knew that her exuberant locks-
Which unconfined had round her flowed to earth,
Like a stream rushing down some rocky steep,
Threading ten thousand channels-had been shorn
Of half their waving length,-and liked it not.

But through a crevice soon she marked a gleam
Of rays uncertain; and, with staggering steps,
But strong in reckless dreaminess, while still
Presided o'er the chaos of her thoughts
The revelation that upon her soul

Dwelt with its power, she gained the cavern's throat,
And pushed the quarried stone aside, and stood
In the free air, and in her own domain.

But now obscurely o'er her vision swam
The beauteous landscape, with its thousand tints
And changeful views :-long alleys of bright trees
Bending beneath their fruits; espaliers gay

With tropic flowers, and shrubs that filled the breeze
With odorous incense; basins vast where birds
With shining plumage sported; smooth canals

Leading the glassy wave; or towering grove

Of forest veterans.

On a rising bank,

Her seat accustomed, near a well hewn out
From ancient rocks, into which waters gushed
From living springs, where she was wont to bathe,
She threw herself to muse. Dim on her sight
The imperial city and its causeways rose,
With the broad lake and all its floating isles
And glancing shallops, and the gilded pomp
Of princely barges, canopied with plumes
Spread fan-like, or with tufted pageantry
Waving magnificent. Unmarked around
The frequent huitzilin, with murmuring hum
Of ever-restless wing, and shrill sweet note,
Shot twinkling, with the ruby star that glowed
Over his tiny bosom, and all hues

That loveliest seem in heaven, with ceaseless change,
Flashing from his fine films. And all in vain
Untiring, from the rustling branches near,
Poured the centzontli all his hundred strains
Of imitative melody. Not now

She heeded them. Yet pleasant was the shade
Of palms and cedars; and through twining boughs
And fluttering leaves the subtle god of air,

The serpent armed with plumes, most welcome crept,
And fanned her cheek with kindest ministry.

A dull and dismal sound came booming on;
A solemn, wild, and melancholy noise,
Shaking the tranquil air; and afterward
A clash and jangling, barbarously prolonged,
Torturing the unwilling ear, rang dissonant.
Again the unnatural thunder rolled along,
Again the crash and clamour followed it.

Shuddering she heard; who knew that every peal
From the dread gong announced a victim's heart
Torn from his breast,-and each triumphant clang,
A mangled corse down the great temple's stairs
Hurled headlong. And she knew, as lately taught,
How vengeance was ordained for cruelty;

How pride would end; and uncouth soldiers tread

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