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Behind him his four sisters, each wrapped in sable veil, Between the tambour's dismal strokes take up their doleful

tale ;

When stops the muffled drum, ye hear their brotherless

bewailing, And all the people, far and near, cry, “ Alas, alas for Celin!”

O, lovely lies he on the bier, above the purple pall,
The flower of all Granada's youth, the loveliest of them all;
His dark, dark eyes are closed, his rosy lip is pale,
The crust of blood lies black and dim upon his burnished

mail, And evermore the hoarse tambour breaks in upon their

wailing; Its sound is like no earthly sound “ Alas, alas for Celin!”

The Moorish maid at the lattice stands the Moor stands at

his door ; One maid is wringing of her hands, and one is weeping sore; Down to the dust men bow their heads, and ashes black they

strew Upon their broidered garments, of crimson, green, and blue ; Before each gate the bier stands still; then bursts the loud

bewailing, From door and lattice, high and low, “ Alas, alas for Celin!”

An old, old woman cometh forth, when she hears the people

cry ; Her hair is white as silver, like horn her glazéd eye; 'Twas she that nursed him at her breast — that nursed him

long ago.

She knows not whom they all lament; but soon she well shall

know! With one deep shriek, she throug) doth break, when her ears

receive their wailing : Let me kiss my Celin ere I die Alas, alas for Celin!”



(For a long period the south of Spain was occupied by the Moors, the city of Gra nada being their capital. They were finally conquered by Ferdinand the Catholic, to whom Granada was surrendered on the 25th day of November, 1491. But many of the inhabitants of the mountain regions received with great reluctance the Christian yoke; and in December, 1500, an insurrection broke out among them. Orders were issued to the principal chiefs and cities of Andalusia to concentrate their forces at the city of Ronda, in the south of Spain, and thence to march against the insurgent Moors, Several distinguished noblemen and officers of Spain accordingly assembled with their troops at that city Among them were Alonzo de Aguilar, the Conde de Ureña, and the Conde de Cifuentes. The historian's narrative then proceeds as follows:-)

It was determined by the chiefs to strike at once into the heart of the Red Sierra,* as it was called, from the color of its rocks, rising to the east of Ronda, and the principal theatre of insurrection. On the 18th of March, 1501, the little army encamped before Monarda, on the skirts of a mountain, where the Moors were understood to have assembled in considerable force. They had not been long in these quarters before parties of the enemy were seen hovering along the slopes of the mountain, from which the Christian camp was divided by a narrow river, the Rio Verde, probably, which has gained such mournful celebrity in Spanish song. Aguilar's † troops, who occupied the van, were so much roused by the sight of the enemy, that a small party, seizing a banner, rushed across the stream without orders, in pursuit of them. The odds, however, were so great, that they would have been severely handled, had not Aguilar, while he bitterly condemned their temerity, advanced promptly to their support with the remainder of his corps.

The Count of Ureña followed with the central division, leaving the Count of Cifuentes $ with the troops of Seville to protect the camp.

The Moors fell back as the Christians advanced, and retreating nimbly from point to point, led them up the rugged steep far into the recesses of the mountains. At length they reached an open level, encompassed on all sides by a natural rampart of rocks, where they had deposited their valuable effects, together with their wives and children. The latter, at sight of the invaders, uttered dismal cries, and fled into the remoter depths of the sierra.

* Sierra, literally, a saw, means a range of mountains, whose peaks at a distance resemble the teeth of a saw. + Pronounced A-ghe-lar.

| Pronounced U-rane'ya $ Pronounced Thee-fuen'tes.

The Christians were too much attracted by the rich spoil before them to think of following, and dispersed in every direction in quest of plunder, with all the heedlessness and insubordination of raw, inexperienced levies. It was in vain that Alonzo de Aguilar reminded them that their wily enemy was still unconquered; or that he endeavored to force them into the ranks again, and restore order. No one heeded his call, or thought of any thing beyond the present moment, and of securing as much booty to himself as he could carry.

The Moors, in the mean while, finding themselves no longer pursued, were aware of the occupation of he Christians, whom they not improbably had purposely decoyed into the snare. They resolved to return to the scene of action, and surprise their incautious enemy. Stealthily advancing, therefore, under the shadows of night, now falling thick around, they poured through the rocky defiles of the enclosure upon the astonished Spaniards. An unlucky explosion, at this crisis, of a cask of powder, into which a spark had accidentally fallen, threw a broad glare over the scene, and revealed for a moment the situation of the hostile parties — the Spaniards in the utmost disorder, many of them without arms,

and staggering under the weight of their fatal booty; while their enemies were seen gliding, like so many demons of darkness, through every crevice and avenue of the enclosure, in the act of springing on their devoted victims. This appalling spectacle, vanishing almost as soon as seen, and followed by the hideous yells and war cries of the assailants, struck a panic into the hearts of the soldiers, who fled, scarcely offering any resistance. The darkness of the night was as favorable to the Moors, familiar with all the intricacies of the ground, as


it was fatal to the Christians, who, bewildered in the mazes of the sierra, and losing their footing at every step, fell under the swords of their pursuers, or went down the dark gulfs and precipices which yawned all around.

Amidst this dreadful confusion, the Count of Ureña succeeded in gaining a lower level of the sierra, where he halted and endeavored to rally his panic-struck followers. His noble comrade, Alonzo de Aguilar, still maintained his position on the heights above, refusing all entreaties of his followers to attempt a retreat. When," said he proudly, was the banner of Aguilar ever known to fly from the field ?” His eldest son, the heir of his house and honors, Don Pedro de Cordova, a youth of great promise, fought at his side. He had received a severe wound on the head from a stone, and a javelin had pierced quite through his leg. With one knee resting on the ground, however, he still made a brave defence with his sword. The sight was too much for his father, and he implored him to suffer himself to be removed from the field. “Let not the hopes of our house be crushed at a single blow,” said he; “go, my son, live as becomes a Christian knightlive, and cherish your desolate mother." All his endeavors were fruitless, however, and the gallant boy refused to leave his father's side, till he was forcibly borne away by the attendants, who fortunately succeeded in bringing him in safety to the station occupied by the Count of Ureña.

Meantime, the brave little band of cavaliers, who remained true to Aguilar, had fallen one after another; and the chief, left almost alone, retreated to a huge rock which rose in the middle of the plain, and placing his back against it, still made fight, though weakened by loss of blood, like a lion at bay, against his enemies. In this situation he was pressed so hard by a Moor of uncommon size and strength, that he was compelled to turn and close with him in single combat. The strife was long and desperate, till Don Alonzo, whose corselet had become unlaced in the previous struggle, having received a severe wound in the breast, followed by another on the head, grappled closely with his adversary, and they came rolling on the ground together. The Moor remained uppermost; but the spirit of the Spanish cavalier had not sunk with his strength, and he proudly exclaimed, as if to intimidate his enemy, “I am Don Alonzo de Aguilar;” to which the other rejoined, “And I am the Feri de Ben Estepar, a well known name of terror to the Christians. The sound of his detested name roused all the vengeance of the dying hero; and, grasping his foe in mortal agony, he rallied his strength for a final blow; but it was too late — his hand failed, and he was soon despatched by the dagger of his more vigor ous rival.

Thus fell Alonzo Hernandez de Cordova, or Alonzo de Aguilan, as he is commonly called, from the land where his family estates lay. “He was of the greatest authority among the grandees of his time," says Father Abarca, “ for his lineage, personal character, large domains, and the high posts which he filled, both in peace and war. More than forty years of his life he served against the infidel; under the banner of his house in boyhood, and as leader of that same banner in later life, or as viceroy of Andalusia and commander of the royal armies. He was the fifth lord of his warlike and pious house who had fallen fighting for their country and religion against the accursed sect of Mahomet. And there is good reason to believe," continues the same orthodox authority, “that his soul has received the glorious reward of the Christian soldier; since he was armed on that very morning with the blessed sacraments of confes. sion and communion."

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