BY THE SPANIARDS
BY JOHN DRYDEN
THE FIRST PART
Major rerum miki nascitur ordo;
Majus opus moveo.1
VIRGIL, Æneid, vii [44, 45].
BOABDELIN, ABENAMAR, ABDELMELECH, Guards.
BOAB. Thus, in the triumphs of soft peace, I
And, from my walls, defy the pow'rs of Spain:
With pomp and sports my love I celebrate,
While they keep distance, and attend my state. --
|Parent to her, whose eyes my soul enthral,||5|
Of which thy age is now spectator grown:
Judge-like thou sit'st, to praise, or to arraign
|The flying skirmish of the darted cane:2||10|
And our bold Moors their loves with danger grace,
Then heat new-bends thy slackened nerves again,
And a short youth runs warm through every vein.
|ABEN. I must confess th' encounters of this day||15|
To see the glories of my youthful age
So far outdone.
|ABDELM. Castile could never boast, in all its|
Gave room to the fierce bulls, which wildly ran
In Sierra Ronda, ere the war began:
Who, with high nostrils snuffing up the wind,
|Now stood the champions of the savage kind.||25|
(Each brandishing his bull-spear in his hand)
Did their proud jennets3 gracefully command.
|On their steeled heads their demi-lances wore||30|
Each lady, as he rode, saluting low;
At the chief stands, with reverence more profound,
His well-taught courser, kneeling, touched the
BOAB. You praise him like a friend, and I confess
His brave deportment merited no less.
ABDELM. Nine bulls were launched4 by his victori-
Meanwhile, his dext'rous rider, when he spied
The beast just stooping, 'twixt the neck and head
|His lance, with never-erring fury, sped.||45|
ABEN. My son did well, and so did Hamet too;
Yet did no more than we were wont to do;
But what the stranger did was more than man: --
ABDELM. He finished all those triumphs we began.
|One bull, with curled black head, beyond the rest,||50|
And with his jetty hoof spurned back the sand:
Then, leaping forth, he bellowed out aloud:
|Th' amazed assistants back each other crow'd,||55|
Th' ignobler Moors, from far, his rage provoke,
With woods of darts, which from his sides he shook.
|Meantime your valiant son, who had before||60|
'A larger scene of action is displayed;
And, rising hence, a greater work is weighed.'