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

Spain: Xerez

The Pounder

By Spanish Ballad

Translated by J. G. Lockhart

THE CHRISTIANS have beleaguered the famous walls of Xerez;

Among them are Don Alvar and Don Diego Perez,

And many other gentlemen, who, day succeeding day,

Give challenge to the Saracen and all his chivalry.

When rages the hot battle before the gates of Xerez,

By trace of gore ye may explore the dauntless path of Perez;

No knight like Don Diego,—no sword like his is found

In all the host, to hew the boast of paynims to the ground.

It fell, one day, when furiously they battled on the plain,

Diego shivered both his lance and trusty blade in twain;

The Moors that saw it shouted; for esquire none was near,

To serve Diego at his need with falchion, mace, or spear.

Loud, loud he blew his bugle, sore troubled was his eye,

But by God’s grace before his face there stood a tree full nigh,—

An olive-tree with branches strong, close by the wall of Xerez:

“Yon goodly bough will serve, I trow,” quoth Don Diego Perez.

A gnarled branch he soon did wrench down from that olive strong,

Which o’er his headpiece brandishing, he spurs among the throng:

God wot, full many a pagan must in his saddle reel!

What leech may cure, what beadsman shrive, if once that weight ye feel?

But when Don Alvar saw him thus bruising down the foe,

Quoth he, “I ’ve seen some flail-armed man belabor barley so;—

Sure, mortal mould did ne’er infold such mastery of power:

Let ’s call Diego Perez the Pounder, from this hour.”