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

Introductory to Spain

To Spain

By Capel Lofft (1751–1824)

O GENEROUS nation! to whose noble boast,

Illustrious Spain, the providence of Heaven

A radiant sky of vivid power hath given,

A land of flowers, of fruits, profuse; an host

Of ardent spirits; when deprest the most,

By great, enthusiastic impulse driven

To deeds of highest daring! May no leaven

(If wisdom, justice, fail thee, thou art lost),

No treachery, no cruelty, disgrace,

No desperate rashness hopelessly deface,

Thy dawn of freedom,—if a dawn it be.

O, think of thy Cervantes! think that now

No palm invites thee of false chivalry,

But one his high-souled breast would hail with ardent vow.