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)


By Robert Southey (1774–1843)

HE who in this unconsecrated ground

Obtained a soldier’s grave hath left a name

Which will endure in history: the remains

Of Moore, the British General, rest below.

His early prowess Corsica beheld,

When at Mozello, bleeding, through the breach

He passed victorious; the Columbian isles

Then saw him tried; upon the sandy downs

Of Holland was his riper worth approved;

And, leaving on the Egyptian shores his blood,

He gathered there fresh palms. High in repute,

A gallant army last he led to Spain,

In arduous times; for moving in his strength,

With all his mighty means of war complete,

The tyrant Bonaparté bore down all

Before him; and the British Chief beheld,

Where’er he looked, rout, treason, and dismay,

All sides with all embarrassments beset,

And danger pressing on. Hither he came

Before the far-outnumbering hosts of France

Retreating to her ships, and close pursued;

Nor were there wanting men who counselled him

To offer terms, and from the enemy

Purchase a respite to embark in peace,

At price of such abasement,—even to this,

Brave as they were, by hopelessness subdued.

That shameful counsel Moore, in happy hour

Remembering what was due to England’s name,

Refused: he fought, he conquered, and he fell.