Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IV / The Story of the Maid of Bogota >> Page 41

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Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription THE IMPROVVISATRICE. 41
and to see. She was of the party, and had done them service.
She was yet to do them more.
Concealed in an adjoining apartment�a sort of oratory, con-
nected by a gallery with the chamber in which the conspirators
were assembled�she was able to hear the earnest arguments
and passionate remonstrances of the Liberator. They confirmed
all her previous admiration of his genius and character. She
felt with indignation the humiliating position which the men of
Bogota held in his eyes. She heard their pleas and scruples,
and listened with a bitter scorn to the thousand suggestions of
prudence, the thousand calculations of doubt and caution, with
which timidity seeks to avoid precipitating a crisis. She could
listen and endure no longer. The spirit of the improvvisatrice
was upon her. Was it also that of fate and a higher Provi-
dence? She seized the guitar, of which she was the perfect
mistress, and sung even as her soul counselled and the exigency
of the event demanded. Our translation of her lyrical overflow
is necessarily a cold and feeble one.
It was a dream of freedom,
A mocking dream, though bright,
That showed the men of Bogota
All arming for the fight ;
All eager for the hour that wakes
The thunders of redeeming tear,
And rushing forth, with glittering steel,
To join the bands of Bolivar.
My soul, I said, it can not be
That Bogota shall be denied
Her Arismendi too�her chief
To pluck her honor up and pride ;
The wild Llanero boasts his braves
That, stung with patriot wrath and shame,
Rushed redly to the realm of graves,
And rose, through blood and death, to fame.
How glad mine ear with other sounds,
Of freemen worthy these that tell !
Ribas, who felt Caraccas' wounds,
And for her hope and triumph fell ;
And that young hero, well beloved,
Giraldat, still a name for song;
Marino, Piar, dying soon,
But, for the future, living long.