Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Southward Ho! A Spell of Sunshine >> Chapter IV / The Story of the Maid of Bogota >> Page 57

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Page 57

Novel (Romance) | Redfield | 1854
Transcription VIVE LA PATRIA. 57

'Tis the grief that ye may not remove the disgrace,
That brands with the blackness of hell all your race,
'Tis the sorrow that nothing may cleanse ye of shame,
That has wrought us to madness, and filled us with flame.
Years may pass, but the memory deep in our souls,
Shall make the tale darker as Time onward rolls
And the future that grows from our ruin shall know
Its own, and its country's, and liberty's foe.
And still, in the prayer at its altars shall rise,
Appeal for the vengeance of earth and of skies;
Men shall pray that the curse of all time may pursue,
And plead for the curse of eternity too!
Nor wantonly vengeful in spirit their prayer,
Since the weal of the whole world forbids them to spare;
What hope would there be for mankind if' our race,
Through the rule of' the brutal, is robbed by the base?
What hope for the future, what hope for the free,
And where would the promise of liberty be,
If Time had no terror, no doom for the slave,
Who would stab his own mother, and shout o'er her grave !

Such a response as this effectually silenced all those cunning agents of the viceroy who urged their arguments in behalf of their country. Nothing, it was seen, could be done with a spirit so inflexible ; and in his fury Zamano ordered the couple forth to instant execution. Bogota was in mourning. Its people covered their heads, a few only excepted, and refused to be seen or comforted. The priests who attended the victims received n satisfaction as concerned the secrets of the patriots ; and they retired in chagrin, and without granting absolution to either victim. The firing party made ready. Then it was, for the first time, that the spirit of this noble maiden seemed to shrink from the approach of death.
"Butcher !" she exclaimed to the viceroy, who stood in his balcony, overlooking the scene of execution. " Butcher ! you have then the heart to kill a woman !"
These were the only words of weakness. She recovered her-self instantly, and, preparing for her fate, without looking for any effect from her words, she proceeded to cover her face with the saga, or veil, which she wore. Drawing it aside for the pur-
pose, the words Vive la Patria !" embroidered in letters of