Almagro's expedition to Chili - his troops suffer great hardships from cold, in crossing the Andes - they reach Chili - the Chilese make a brave resistance - the revolt of the Peruvians in Cuzco - they are led on by Manco-Capac, the successor of Ataliba - his parting with Cora, his wife - the Peruvians regain half their city - Almagro leaves Chili - to avoid the Andes, he crosses a vast desert - his troops can find no water - the rest divide in two bands - Alphonso leads the second band, which soon reaches a fertile valley - the Spaniards observe the natives are employed in searching the streams for gold - they resolve to attack them.



Now the stern partner of Pizarro's toils,
Almagro, lur'd by hope of golden spoils,
To distant Chili's ever-verdant meads,
Thro' paths untrod, a band of warriors leads;
O'er the high Andes' frozen steeps they go,
And wander mid' eternal hills of snow:
In vain the vivifying orb of day
Darts on th' impervious ice his fervent ray;
Cold, keen as chains the oceans of the Pole,
Numbs the shrunk frame, and chills the vig'rous soul -
At length they reach luxuriant Chili's plain,
Where ends the dreary bound of winter's reign;
Where spring sheds odours thro' th' unvaried year,
And bathes the flower of summer, with her tear.

When first the brave Chilese, with eager glance,
Behold the hostile sons of Spain advance;
Heard the loud thunder of the cannon crash,
And view'd the light'ning of the instant flash,
The threat'ning sabre red with purple streams,
The lance that quiver'd in the solar beams;
With pale surprise they saw the lowring storm,
Where hung dark danger, in an unknown form:
But soon their spirits, stung with gen'rous shame,
Renounce each terror, and for vengeance flame;
Pant high with sacred freedom's ardent glow,
And met intrepid, the superiour foe.
Long unsubdu'd by stern Almagro's train,
Their valiant tribes unequal fight maintain;
Long victory hover'd doubtful o'er the field,
And oft she forc'd Iberia's band to yield;
Oft tore from Spain's proud head her laurel bough,
And bade it blossom on Peruvia's brow;
When sudden tidings reach'd Almagro's ear
That shook the warrior's soul with doubt and fear.

Of murder'd Ataliba's royal race
There yet remain'd a youth of blooming grace,
Who pin'd, the captive of relentless Spain,
And long in Cusco dragg'd her galling chain;
Capac his name, whose soul indignant bears
The rankling fetters, and revenge prepares.
But since his daring spirit must forego
The hope to rush upon the tyrant foe,
Led by his parent orb, that gives the day,
And fierce as darts the keen, meridian ray,
He vows to bend unseen his hostile course,
Then on the victors rise with latent force,
As sudden from its cloud the brooding storm,
Bursts in the thunder's voice, the lightning's form -
For this, from stern Pizarro he obtains
The boon, enlarg'd, to seek the neighb'ring plains,
For one bless'd day, and with his friends unite
To crown with solemn pomp an ancient rite;
Share the dear pleasures of the social hour,
And mid' their fetters twine one festal flower.
So spoke the Prince - far other thoughts possest,
Far other purpose animates his breast:
For now Peruvia's nobles he commands
To lead, with silent step, her martial bands
Forth to the destin'd spot, prepar'd to dare
The fiercest shock of dire, unequal war;
While every tender, human interest pleads,
And urges the firm soul to lofty deeds.
Now Capac hail'd th' eventful morning's light,
Rose with its dawn, and panted for the fight;
But first with fondness to his heart he prest
The tender Cora, partner of his breast;
Who with her lord, had sought the dungeon's gloom,
And wasted there in grief, her early bloom.
"No more, he cried, no more my love shall feel
"The mingled agonies I fly to heal;
"I go, but soon exulting shall return,
"And bid my faithful Cora cease to mourn:
"For oh, amid' each pang my bosom knows,
"What wastes, what wounds it most, are Cora's woes.
"Sweet was the love that crown'd our happier hours,
"And shed new fragrance o'er a path of flowers;
"But sure divided sorrow more endears
"The tie, that passion seals with mutual tears" -
He paus'd - fast-flowing drops bedew'd her eyes,
While thus in mournful accents she replies:
"Still let me feel the pressure of thy chain,
"Still share the fetters which my love detain;
"Those piercing irons to my soul are dear,
"Nor will their sharpness wound while thou art near.
"Oh think not, when in thee alone I live,
"This breast can bear the pain thy dangers give,
"Look on our helpless babe in mis'ry nurst -
"My child - my child, thy mother's heart will burst!
"Methinks I see the raging battle rise,
"And hear this harmless suff'rer's feeble cries;
"I view the blades that pour a sanguine flood,
"And plunge their cruel edge in infant blood." -
She could no more; her falt'ring accents die,
Yet her soul spoke expressive in her eye;
Her lord beholds her grief, with tender pain,
And leads her breathless, to a shelt'ring fane.
Now high in air his feather'd standard waves,
And soon from shrouding woods, and hollow caves,
A num'rous host along the plain appear,
And hail their monarch with a gen'rous tear:
To Cusco's gate now rush th' increasing throngs,
And such their ardor, rouz'd by sense of wrongs,
That vainly would Pizarro's vet'ran force
Arrest the torrent in its raging course;
In vain his murd'ring bands terrific stood,
And plung'd their sabres in a sea of blood;
Danger and death Peruvia's sons disdain,
And half their captive city soon regain.
With such pure joy the natives view their lord
To the warm wishes of their souls restor'd,
As feels the tender child whom force had torn
From his lov'd home, and bruis'd the flower of morn,
When his fond searching eye again beholds
His mother's form, when in her arms she folds
The long lost child, who bathes with tears her face,
And finds his safety in her dear embrace. -

Soon as Almagro heard applauding fame
The triumphs of Peruvia, loud proclaim,
Unconquer'd Chili's vale he swift forsakes,
And his bold course to distant Cusco takes;
Shuns Andes' icy shower, its chilling snows,
The arrowy gale that on its summit blows;
A burning desart undismay'd he past,
And meets the ardours of the fiery blast.
Now as along the sultry waste they move,
The keenest pang of raging thirst they prove:
No cooling fruit its grateful juice distils,
Nor flows one balmy drop from crystal rills;
For nature sickens in th' oppressive beam,
That shrinks the vernal bud, and dries the stream;
While horror, as his giant stature grows,
O'er the drear void his spreading shadow throws.

Almagro's band now pale, and fainting stray,
While death oft barr'd the sinking warrior's way:
At length the chief divides his martial force,
And bids Alphonso, by a sep'rate course,
Lead o'er the hideous desart half his train -
"And search, he cried, this drear, uncultur'd plain:
"Perchance some fruitage withering in the breeze,
"The pains of lessen'd numbers may appease;
"Or Heav'n in pity, from some genial shower,
"On the parch'd lip one precious drop may pour."

Not far the troops of young Alphonso went,
When sudden, from a rising hill's ascent,
They view a valley, fed by fertile springs,
Which Andes from his lofty summit flings;
Where summer's flowers their mingled odours shed,
And wildly bloom, a waste by beauty spread -
To the charm'd warrior's eye, the vernal scene
That 'mid the howling desart, smil'd serene,
Appear'd like nature rising from the breast
Of chaos, in her infant graces drest;
When warbling angels hail'd the lovely birth,
And stoop'd from heav'n to bless the new-born earth.

And now Alphonso, and his martial band,
On the rich border of the valley stand;
They quaff the limpid stream with eager haste,
And the pure juice that swells the fruitage taste;
Then give to balmy rest the night's still hours,
Fann'd by the sighing gale that shuts the flowers.
Soon as the purple beam of morning glows,
Refresh'd from all their toils, the warriors rose;
And saw the gentle natives of the mead
Search the clear currents for the golden seed;
Which from the mountain's height with headlong sweep
The torrents bear, in many a shining heap -
Iberia's sons beheld with anxious brow
The tempting lure, then breathe th' unpitying vow
O'er those fair lawns to pour a sanguine flood,
And dye those lucid streams with waves of blood.
Thus, while the humming bird in beauty drest,
Enchanting offspring of the ardent West,
Attunes his soothing song to notes of love,
Mild as the murmurs of the mourning dove;
While his soft plumage glows with brighter hues,
And while with tender bill he sips the dews,
The savage Condor, on terrific wings,
From Andes' frozen steep relentless springs;
And quiv'ring in his fangs, his hapless prey
Drops his gay plume, and sighs his soul away.