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

Spain: Corunna (La Coruña)

Battle of Coruña

By William Lisle Bowles (1762–1850)

THE TIDE of fate rolls on!—heart-pierced and pale,

The gallant soldier lies, nor aught avail

The shield, the sword, the spirit of the brave,

From rapine’s armed hand thy vales to save,

Land of illustrious heroes, who, of yore,

Drenched the same plains with the invader’s gore,

Stood frowning, in the front of death, and hurled

Defiance to the conquerors of the world!

O, when we hear the agonizing tale

Of those who, faint and fugitive and pale,

Saw hourly, harassed through their long retreat,

Some worn companion sinking at their feet,

Yet even in danger and from toil more bold,

Back on their gathering foes the tide of battle rolled;—

While tears of pity mingle with applause,

On the dread scene in silence let us pause;

Yes, pause, and ask, Is not thy awful hand

Stretched out, O God, o’er a devoted land,

Whose vales of beauty Nature spread in vain,

Where Misery moaned on the uncultured plain,

Where Bigotry went by with jealous scowl,

Where Superstition muttered in his cowl;

Whilst o’er the Inquisition’s dismal holds,

Its horrid banner waved in bleeding folds!