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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

The Captivity of Francis the First

By From the French

Translated by L. S. Costello

WHEN the king, from France departing,

Other lands to conquer sought,

’T was at Pavia he was taken,

By the wily Spaniard caught.

“Yield thee, yield thee straight, King Francis,

Death or prison is your lot.”

“Wherefore call you me King Francis?

Such a monarch know I not.”

Then the Spaniards raised his mantle,

And they saw the fleur-de-lys;

They have chained him, and, full joyous,

Bore him to captivity.

In a tower where sun nor moon light

Came but by a window small,

There he lies, and as he gazes

Sees a courier pass the wall.

“Courier! who art letters bringing,

Tell me what in France is said?”

“Ah! my news is sad and heavy,

For the king is ta’en or dead.”

“Back with speed, O courier, hasten,—

Haste to Paris back with speed,

To my wife and little children;

Bid them help me at my need.

“Bid them coin new gold and silver,

All that Paris has to bring,

And send here a heap of treasure,

To redeem the captive king.”