Four steeds that spurn the rein, as swift as shy,
Hurl the dark bulk along, scarce seen in dashing by.
Such the ungentle sport that oft invites
The Spanish maid, and cheers the Spanish swain.
Nurtured in blood betimes, his heart delights
In vengeance, gloating on another's pain.
What private feuds the troubled village stain!
Though now one phalanxed host should meet the foe,
Enough, alas! in humble homes remain,
To meditate 'gainst friend the secret blow,
For some slight cause of wrath, whence Life's warm stream must flow.
- "The Spaniards are as revengeful as ever. At Santa Otella, I heard a young peasant threaten to stab a woman (an old one, to be sure, which mitigates the offence), and was told, on expressing some small surprise, that this ethic was by no means uncommon."—[MS.]
- [Byron's "orthodoxy" of the word "centinel" was suggested by the Spanish centinela, or, perhaps, by Spenser's "centonell" (Faërie Queene, bk. i. c. ix. st. 41, line 8).]
And all whereat the wandering soul revolts
Which that stern dotard dreamed he could encage.—[MS. erased.]