BETA

The Contrabandist.

One of the most favourite occupations of the Spanish mountaineer, is the
irregular trade which is carried on along the whole frontier, from Biscay to Ca-
talonia, and, in general, round the whole circuit of Spain. The almost total
want of manufactures in the country, and the vexatious and barbarian nature
of the prohibitory laws, engender the appetite for foreign luxuries. The smug-
glers have thus for ages constituted a very numerous, active, and even pros-
perous body in Spain ; and, in fact, are the depositaries not only of a large
portion of the national wealth, but of such virtues as have survived the national
degeneracy. They are brave, industrious, and patriotic ; and in the French
war formed some of the most gallant defenders of their country. Their supe-
rior general intelligence, their knowledge of French, their practice in the use
of arms, and their habits of combination, made them singularly dangerous ta
the enemy ; and some of the most extraordinary achievements of the Guerillas
were said to be due to the roving but vigorous spirit of the “ Contrabandista.” The following lines are set to a highly characteristic and popular native
air : —
Yo soy Contrabandista1
Y campo por mis réspetos.”2
De todos los hombres me desafio,3
De ningun’ tengo miedo.”4
&c. &c. &c.5

I.

I’m a bold smuggler ;6
I don’t care who knows7
That I’m always the slave8
Of the ladies.9
For the customhouse rogues10
I have bullets and blows ;11
But the service of beauty12
My trade is.13
Come, my sweet Spanish roses !14
Come buy, come buy ;15
I have goods for all fancies,16
Come try, come try.17
Here are earrings and bracelets,18
Like woman’s bright glance,19
Here are sandals so light,20
Of themselves they might dance.21
All the beauties are longing22
To come to my stall ;23
I have rings for the wedding24
And wreaths for the ball.25
See these gossamer veils !26
Mechlin has no such laces,27
Though I own ’ twere a pity28
To hide your sweet faces.29
At Loretto, these beads30
Round “ Our Lady” were hung.31
See these mirrors ! they’d make32
Your grandmothers look young.33
In short, such a cargo34
In Spain was ne’er seen ;35
’Tis in friendship I show it,36
’Twas made for the Queen.37

II.

I’m a bold smuggler ;38
I don’t care who knows ;39
I’m a fav’rite from 40
Bilboa to Cadiz.41
I’d take the Grand Turk42
Any day by the nose ;43
For your smuggler44
A true Spanish blade is.45
Come, bold Caballeros !46
Come buy, come buy ;47
The sun’s going down,48
I must fly, I must fly.49
Come, my heroes of Spain !50
What’s the use of these pearls51
But to hang round the necks52
Of those diamond-eyed girls ?53
Hark ! the Ronda* are riding—54
I’ll swear ’ twas a shot !55
Would you have me stand here56
To be kill’d on the spot ?57
Here are meerschaums from Turkey,58
And cameos from Greece59
I’m ruin’d by their sale :60
They’re for nothing a-piece.61
See this ring—the Mogul62
Never wore such a stone,63
I’m mounting my mule :64
You’ll repent when I’m gone65
In short, such a cargo66
In Spain was ne’er seen ;67
’Tis high treason to sell it, 68
’Twas made for the Queen.69

III.

I’m a bold smuggler ; 70
I don’t care who knows ;71
I can take down a bull72
With my lance, sir.73
I have powder and shot74
For Frenchmen and crows,75
And have oft led76
Napoleon a dance, sir.77
What cares the Guerilla78
For sunshine or snow ?79
His heart’s in his hand80
When he follows the foe.81
We laugh at their columns,82
We laugh at their lines,83
When we sharpen our knives84
And unsling our carbines.85
The Frenchman is coming.86
Hillo ! hillo !87
The true Spanish style88
Is no word—but a blow.89
He may plunge in our valleys—90
We’ll wait for him there,91
He shall find the Guerilla92
A wolf in his lair.93
He may climb up our hills,94
The Guerilla is nigh,95
To make his last bed96
With his face to the sky.97
His bones shall be dust,98
And his blood shall be rain,99
Before he shall trample100
The heroes of Spain.101

* The custom house patrols.