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Oh, Albuera! glorious field of grief!

As o'er thy plain the Pilgrim pricked his steed,
Who could foresee thee, in a space so brief,

A scene where mingling foes should boast and bleed!
Peace to the perished! may the warrior's meed
And tears of triumph their reward prolong!
Till others fall where other chieftains lead

Thy name shall circle round the gaping throng, And shine in worthless lays, the theme of transient song.


Enough of Battle's minions! let them play
Their game of lives, and barter breath for fame :
Fame that will scarce reanimate their clay,
Though thousands fall to deck some single name.
In sooth 'twere sad to thwart their noble aim
Who strike, blest hirelings! for their country's good
And die, that living might have proved her shame ;
Perished, perchance, in some domestic feud,

Or in a narrower sphere wild Rapine's path pursued.


Full swiftly Harold wends his lonely way
Where proud Sevilla 2 triumphs unsubdued!
Yet is she free-the spoiler's wished-for prey!
Soon, soon shall Conquest's fiery foot intrude,
Blackening her lovely domes with traces rude.
Inevitable hour! 'Gainst fate to strive

Where Desolation plants her famished brood
Is vain, or Ilion,3 Tyre might yet survive,
And Virtue vanquish all, and Murder cease to thrive.


But all unconscious of the coming doom

The feast, the song, the revel here abounds;

1 Albuera.] May 15, 1811. The British and Portuguese under Beresford, the French commanded by Soult. Sir William Napier says, that in this terrible struggle was seen with what a strength and majesty the British soldier fights.' Albuera is south of Badajoz.

2 Sevilla.] The French entered Seville in 1810, and retired from it in 1812. Under the name Hispalis, she was one of the most important towns in ancient Spain. It stands on the Guadalquivir. 3 Ilion.] Troy, NW. of Asia Minor.


Strange modes of merriment the hours consume,
Nor bleed these patriots with their country's wounds;
Nor here War's clarion, but Love's rebeck1 sounds;
Here Folly still his votaries inthralls ;

And young-eyed 2 Lewdness walks her midnight rounds ;
Girt with the silent crimes of Capitals,

Still to the last kind Vice clings to the tottering walls.


Not so the rustic-with his trembling mate
He lurks, nor casts his heavy eye afar,
Lest he should view his vineyard desolate,
Blasted below the dun hot breath of war.
No more beneath soft Eve's consenting star
Fandango 3 twirls his jocund castanet :


Ah, monarchs! could ye taste the mirth ye mar,
Not in the toils of Glory would ye fret ;

The hoarse dull drum would sleep, and Man be happy yet


How carols now the lusty muleteer?
Of love, romance, devotion is his lay,

As whilome he was wont the leagues to cheer,
His quick bells wildly jingling on the way?
No! as he speeds, he chants Viva el Rey !'
And checks his song to execrate Godoy,5

The royal wittol® Charles, and curse the day

When first Spain's queen beheld the black-eyed boy, And gore-faced Treason sprung from her adulterate joy.

1 Rebeck.] L'Allegro, And the jocund rebecks sound.' A stringed instrument.

2 Young-eyed.] Conf. pale-eyed priest' (Milton in the ‘Ode ou the Nativity), and green-eyed jealousy' in Shakspeare.

3 Fandango.] A Spanish dance, supposed to be of Moorish origin.

Monarchs.] See Cowper

'What are ye monarchs, laureled heroes, say,
But Etnas of the suff'ring world ye sway?'

5 Godoy.] Don Manuel Godoy, the Duke of Alcudia, a creature of Maria Louisa of Parma, the wife of Charles IV. of Spain, alluded to in the next line as the royal wittol,' signifying that he knew his wife's infamy. Godoy was entitled by Charles IV. Prince of Peace' (El Principe de la Paz '), because he concluded in 1795 the Treaty of Basle, which rendered his country subservient to France. 6 Wittol.] See Glossary.

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On yon long, level plain, at distance crowned
With crags, whereon those Moorish turrets rest,
Wide scattered hoof-marks dint the wounded ground;
And, scathed by fire, the greensward's darkened vest
Tells that the foe was Andalusia's guest:

Here was the camp, the watch-flame, and the host,
Here the bold peasant stormed the dragon's nest :
Still does he mark it with triumphant boast;

And points to yonder cliffs, which oft were won and lost.


And whomsoe'er along the path you meet

Bears in his cap the badge of crimson hue,1
Which tells you whom to shun and whom to greet :
Woe to the man that walks in public view
Without of loyalty this token true:
Sharp is the knife, and sudden is the stroke;
And sorely would the Gallic foeman rue,

If subtle poniards, wrapt beneath the cloke,

Could blunt the sabre's edge, or clear the cannon's smoke.


At every turn Morena's 2 dusky height
Sustains aloft the battery's iron load;
And, far as mortal eye can compass sight,
The mountain-howitzer, the broken road,
The bristling palisade, the fosse o'erflowed,
The stationed bands, the never-vacant watch,
The magazine in rocky durance stowed,

The holstered steed beneath the shed of thatch,
The ball-piled pyramid, the ever blazing-match,


Portend the deeds to come :-but he whose nod
Has tumbled feebler despots from their sway,

1 The badge of crimson hue.] The red cockade of Ferdinand VII., in whose favour Charles IV. had abdicated, though he subsequently withdrew his abdication. Both father and son were puppets in the hands of Napoleon.

2 Morena.] The Sierra Morena, a mountain chain separating the valleys of the Tagus and Guadalquivir.

Howitzer.] See Glossary.

A moment pauseth ere he lifts the rod ;
A little moment deigneth to delay:

Soon will his legions sweep through these their way ;
The West must own the Scourger of the world.1
Ah! Spain! how sad will be thy reckoning-day,
When soars Gaul's Vulture, with his wings unfurled,
And thou shalt view thy sons in crowds to Hades2 hurled.


And must they fall? the young, the proud, the brave,
To swell one bloated Chief's unwholesome reign ?
No step between submission and a grave ?
The rise of rapine and the fall of Spain ?
And doth the Power that man adores ordain
Their doom, nor heed the suppliant's appeal }
Is all that desperate Valour acts in vain ?
And Counsel sage, 3 and patriotic Zeal,

The Veteran's skill, Youth's fire, and Manhood's heart of steel?


Is it for this the Spanish maid,a aroused, Hangs on the willow 5 her unstrung guitar, And, all unsexed, the anlace hath espoused, Sung the loud song, and dared the deed of war? And she, whom once the semblance of a scar Appalled, an owlet's larum chilled with dread, Now views the column-scattering bayonet jar, The falchion flash, and o'er the yet warm dead Stalks with Minerva's step where Mars might quake to tread.

1 The Scourger of the World.] Implies a comparison between Napoleon and Attila, king of the Huns, called The Scourge of God.'

2 To Hades.] 'Atdei mрolayev in Homer's

Iliad,' bk. i. 3. And Counsel sage.] An exaggerated praise for the ever divided counsels of the Provincial Juntas.

The Spanish maid.] Augustina, the Maid of Saragoza. The siege of Saragoza was commenced June 15, and raised August 4, 1808. The exploits of the Maid of Saragoza inspired as much courage into the besieged as Joan of Arc had inspired at the siege of Orleans. 5 Willow. Abandoned love. Dido with the Willow.' Willow is ever associated with unhappy love. Instead of poppies, willows,' Don Juan.'

Anlace.] See Glossary.


Ye who shall marvel when you hear her tale, Oh! had you known her in her softer hour, Marked her black eye that mocks her coal-black veil, Heard her light, lively tones in Lady's bower, Seen her long locks that foil the painter's power, Her fairy form, with more than female grace, Scarce would you deem that Saragoza's tower Beheld her smile in Danger's Gorgon face,1 Thin the closed ranks, and lead in Glory's fearful chase.


Her lover sinks-she sheds no ill-timed tear;
Her chief is slain-she fills his fatal post;
Her fellows flee-she checks their base career;
The foe retires-she heads the sallying host :
Who can appease like her a lover's ghost?
Who can avenge so well a leader's fall ?

What maid retrieve when man's flushed hope is lost?
Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul,
Foiled by a woman's hand, before a battered wall?


Yet are Spain's maids no race of Amazons,
But formed for all the witching arts of love:
Though thus in arms they emulate her sons,
And in the horrid phalanx dare to move,
"Tis but the tender fierceness of the dove,
Pecking the hand that hovers o'er her mate:
In softness as in firmness far above

Remoter females, famed for sickening prate;
Her mind is nobler sure, her charms perchance as great.


The seal Love's dimpling finger hath impressed
Denotes how soft that chin which bears his touch:
Her lips, whose kisses pout to leave their nest,
Bid man be valiant ere he merit such :

1 Gorgon face.] On the shield or ægis of Pallas Athene, which petrified every beholder-see Canto ii. 14,

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