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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: Madrid

Calderon’s Tomb

By José Zorrilla (1817–1893)

Translated by S. Eliot

THERE is a chapel old,

Broken with years and poor,

Forgotten and obscure,

Buried in dust and mould,

Where we read upon a stone,

More with hands than eyes,

“Here the body lies

Of Pedro Calderon.”

Bird whose feathers glow

With hundred changing colors,

Blushing bright as flowers,

Or pale as fleecy snow,—

From the sun those eyes

Borrowed light and fire,

Spanish breaths inspire

Those swift wings to rise.

This wide earth was thy home,

Fortune to thee was mild,

Yet thy soul flashed out wild,

And now the earth’s thy tomb;

Thou, eagle-like, to soar,

King of the wind wast born,—

A phœnix of the morn,

Singing forevermore.


But bound by mortal chains,

Thy gushing throat is dry,

And in thy hollow eye

No beaming sight remains.

Sleep on beneath this stone,

Made sacred to thy glory

By one low cross, in memory

Of Pedro Calderon.

Not in so vile a place

Hadst thou, a prince, been laid,

Then had thy grave been made

Before the altar’s face.

Yet sleep here tranquilly,

Here in this corner dark,—

Let it the world’s shame mark,

Thy name ’s enough for thee.


Ill-summoned shade, forgive

The voice which breaks thy slumbers,

These rude yet earnest numbers

Are all my heart can give

To thy great crown of wonders.

Thy own bold inspiration

Lives in eternal history,—

Rest, then, beneath the stone

Made sacred to thy glory

By one poor cross,—sad memory

Of Pedro Calderon.