Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV. 1876–79.

Portugal: Santarem

At Santarem

By Robert Southey (1774–1843)

FOUR months Massena had his quarters here,

When by those lines deterred where Wellington

Defied the power of France, but loath to leave

Rich Lisbon yet unsacked, he kept his ground,

Till from impending famine, and the force

Arrayed in front, and that consuming war

Which still the faithful nation, day and night

And at all hours, was waging on his rear,

He saw no safety save in swift retreat.

Then, of his purpose frustrated, this child

Of Hell—so fitlier than of Victory called—

Gave his own devilish nature scope, and let

His devilish army loose. The mournful rolls

That chronicle the guilt of human-kind

Tell not of aught more hideous than the deeds

With which this monster and his kindred troops

Tracked their inhuman way; all cruelties,

All forms of horror, all deliberate crimes,

Which tongue abhors to utter, ear to hear.

Let this memorial bear Massena’s name

For everlasting infamy inscribed.