Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Spain, &c.
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
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,        5
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        10
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,        15
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:        20
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        25
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        30
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.        35

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