He was executed at Havana in the seventh month, 1844. According to the custom in Cuba with condemned criminals, he was conducted from prison to the Chapel of the Doomed. He passed thither with singular composure, amidst a great concourse of people, gracefully saluting his numerous acquaintances. The chapel was hung with black cloth, and dimly lighted. He was seated beside his coffin. Priests in long black robes stood around him, chanting in sepulchral voices the service of the dead. It is an ordeal under which the stoutest-hearted and most resolute have been found to sink. After enduring it for twenty-four hours he was led out to execution. He came forth calm and undismayed; holding a crucifix in his hand, he recited in a loud, clear voice a solemn prayer in verse, which he had composed amidst the horrors of the Chapel. The following is an imperfect rendering of a poem which thrilled the hearts of all who heard it:—
God of unbounded love and power eternal,
To Thee I turn in darkness and despair!
Stretch forth Thine arm, and from the brow infernal
Of Calumny the veil of Justice tear;
And from the forehead of my honest fame
Pluck the world's brand of infamy and shame!
O King of kings!—my fathers' God!—who only
Art strong to save, by whom is all controlled,
Who givest the sea its waves, the dark and lonely
Abyss of heaven its light, the North its cold,
The air its currents, the warm sun its beams,
Life to the flowers, and motion to the streams!
All things obey Thee, dying or reviving
As thou commandest; all, apart from Thee,