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Where Lusitania and her Sister meet,
Deem ye what bounds the rival realms divide ?
Or ere the jealous queens of nations greet,
Doth Tayo interpose his mighty tide ?
Or dark Sierras rise in craggy pride ?
Or fence of art, like China's vasty wall ?
Ne barrier wall, ne river deep and wide,
Ne horrid crags, nor mountains dark and tall,
Rise like the rocks that part Hispania's land from Gaul :
But these between a silver streamlet glides,
And scarce a name distinguisheth the brook,
Though rival kingdoms press its verdant sides.
Here leans the idle shepherd on his crook,
And vacant on the rippling waves doth look,
That peaceful still ’twixt bitterest foemen flow;
For proud each peasant as the noblest duke:
Well doth the Spanish hind the difference know 'Twixt him and Lusian slave, the lowest of the low.52
But ere the mingling bounds have far been pass’d,
Dark Guadiana rolls his power along 33
In sullen billows, murmuring and vast,
So noted ancient roundelays among.
Whilome upon his banks did legions throng
Of Moor and Knight, in mailed splendour drest :
Here ceased the swift their race, here sunk the strong;
The Paynim turban and the Christian crest
Mix'd on the bleeding stream, by floating hosts oppress’d.
Oh, lovely Spain ! renown'd, romantic land!
Where is that standard which Pelagio bore,
When Cava's traitor-sire first call'd the band
That dyed thy mountain streams with Gothic gore ? 34
Where are those bloody banners which of yore
Waved o'er thy sons, victorious to the gale,
And drove at last the spoilers to their shore ?
Red gleam'd the cross, and waned the crescent pale, While Afric's echoes thrill'd with Moorish matrons' wail.
Teems not each ditty with the glorious tale ?
Ah! such, alas! the hero's amplest fate!
When granite moulders and when records fail,
A peasant's plaint prolongs his dubious date.
Pride! bend thine eye from heaven to thine estate,
See how the Mighty shrink into a song !
Can Volume, Pillar, Pile preserve thee great ?
Or must thou trust Tradition's simple tongue,
When Flattery sleeps with thee, and History does thee
Awake, ye sons of Spain ! awake! advance !
Lo! Chivalry, your ancient goddess, cries,
But wields not, as of old, her thirsty lance,
Nor shakes her crimson plumage in the skies :
Now on the smoke of blazing bolts she flies,
And speaks in thunder through yon engine's roar :
In every peal she calls — “Awake! arise !"
Say, is her voice more feeble than of yore,
When her war-song was heard on Andalusia's shore ?
Hark! heard you not those hoofs of dreadful note ?
Sounds not the clang of conflict on the heath?
Saw ye not whom the reeking sabre smote,
Nor saved your brethren ere they sank beneath
Tyrants and tyrants' slaves ?—the fires of death,
The bale-fires flash on high from rock to rock
Each volley tells that thousands cease to breathe ;
Death rides upon the sulphury Siroc,3
Red Battle stamps his foot, and nations feel the shock.
Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice ;
Three tongues prefer strange orisons on high ;
Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue skies ;
The shouts are France, Spain, Albion, Victory!
The foe, the victim, and the fond ally
That fights for all, but ever fights in vain,
Are met—as if at home they could not die-