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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: Valverde

To the Memory of Sir William Myers

By Robert Southey (1774–1843)

SPANIARD or Portuguese! tread reverently

Upon a soldier’s grave; no common heart

Lies mingled with the clod beneath thy feet.

To honors and to ample wealth was Myers

In England born; but leaving friends beloved,

And all allurements of that happy land,

His ardent spirit to the field of war

Impelled him. Fair was his career. He faced

The perils of that memorable day

When, through the iron shower and fiery storm

Of death, the dauntless host of Britain made

Their landing at Aboukir; then not less

Illustrated than when great Nelson’s hand,

As if insulted Heaven with its own wrath

Had armed him, smote the miscreant Frenchmen’s fleet,

And with its wreck, wide floating many a league,

Strewed the rejoicing shores. What then his youth

Held forth of promise, amply was confirmed

When Wellesley, upon Talavera’s plain,

On the mock monarch won his coronet:

There, when the trophies of the field were heaped,

Was he for gallant bearing eminent,

When all did bravely. But his valor’s orb

Shone brightest at its setting. On the field

Of Albuhera he the fusileers

Led to regain the heights, and promised them

A glorious day: a glorious day was given;

The heights were gained, the victory was achieved,

And Myers received from death his deathless crown.

Here to Valverde was he borne, and here

His faithful men, amid this olive grove,

The olive emblem here of endless peace,

Laid him to rest. Spaniard or Portuguese,

In your good cause the British soldier fell:

Tread reverently upon his honored grave.