Now, through the crowded amphitheater,
Sounded a herald flourish loud and clear.
A breeze of expectation seemed to stir.
The unkempt sunnyside sent up a cheer.
With wicked-looking horns and sullen mien,
The black bull, Moro, entered on the scene.
This was the bull of which the placards said,
A maiden would subdue his utmost rage,
Unless, in the attempt, her blood were shed.
Did not all Cadiz know the formal page?
And Moro greeted, with a thundrous roar,
The ruthless, living hill he lowered before.
And once by his tormentors he was met:
Capas before him shook their teasing cloth;
Banderillëros in his shoulders set
Their cruel darts; and when he rushed, right wroth,
Upon a yellow challenge waved with jeers,
The picadorës pricked him with their spears.
Against the nearest picador he turned
And lifted horse and rider from the ground.
Thus three good horses had he gored, and spurned
Infuriate, when quietly around
Withdrew the fighters, proud of courage shown,
And left the bull, in his fierce rage, alone.
Then fell a rill of music, pearl on pearl,
And straightway into the arena sprang
A tawny, Andalusian peasant-girl,
Pretty and breathing charm; she sweetly sang,
Advancing toward the bull with fearless joy,
Then, pausing, ceased and cried, "Moro! Ya voy!"
Of glad Espara she, and she had fed,
Petted and cared for Moro happy years.
But when of late she heard it lightly said
That he must grace th' arena, full of tears
She sought authority and gained the right
To save his life, if in this wise she might.
Amidst the wide, hushed amphitheater,
At the first piping of the bird-like voice,
Moro had quelled his fury, and seeing her,
The girl, his friend, he seemed quite to rejoice.
And when beside him she had come to stand,
With his mute tongue he licked her loving hand.
Her voice and presence soothing every smart,
He knelt before her as she stroked his head.
She, bending over, soon removed each dart,
With tearful pity; then, joy-garlanded,
Her arm around his neck, and all elate,
She, smiling, led him toward the torril's gate.