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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: Montiel

The Death of Don Pedro

By Spanish Ballad

Translated by Sir Walter Scott

HENRY and King Pedro, clasping,

Hold in straining arms each other;

Tugging hard, and closely grasping,

Brother proves his strength with brother.

Harmless pastime, sport fraternal,

Blends not thus their limbs in strife;

Either aims, with rage infernal,

Naked dagger, sharpened knife.

Close Don Henry grapples Pedro,

Pedro holds Don Henry strait,

Breathing, this, triumphant fury,

That, despair and mortal hate.

Sole spectator of the struggle,

Stands Don Henry’s page afar,

In the chase who bore his bugle,

And who bore his sword in war.

Down they go in deadly wrestle,

Down upon the earth they go,

Fierce King Pedro has the vantage,

Stout Don Henry falls below.

Marking then the fatal crisis,

Up the page of Henry ran,

By the waist he caught Don Pedro,

Aiding thus the fallen man.

“King to place, or to depose him,

Dwelleth not in my desire,

But the duty which he owes him,

To his master pays the squire.”

Now Don Henry has the upmost,

Now King Pedro lies beneath,

In his heart his brother’s poniard

Instant finds its bloody sheath.

Thus with mortal gasp and quiver,

While the blood in bubbles welled,

Fled the fiercest soul that ever

In a Christian bosom dwelled.