John Hay

(8 October 1838 – 1 July 1905 / Salem, Indiana)

The Surrender of Spain


I

Land of unconquered Pelayo! land of the Cid Campeador!
Sea-girdled mother of men! Spain, name of glory and power;
Cradle of world-grasping Emperors, grave of the reckless invader,
How art thou fallen, my Spain! how art thou sunk at this hour!

II

Once thy magnanimous sons trod, victors, the portals of Asia,
Once the Pacific waves rushed, joyful thy banners to see;
For it was Trajan that carried the battle-flushed eagles to Dacia,
Cortés that planted thy flag fast by the uttermost sea.

III

Hast thou forgotten those days illumined with glory and honor,
When the far isles of the sea thrilled to the tread of Castile?
When every land under Heaven was flecked by the shade of thy banner,
When every beam of the sun flashed on thy conquering steel?

IV

Then through red fields of slaughter, through death and defeat and
disaster,
Still flared thy banner aloft, tattered, but free from a stain,
Now to the upstart Savoyard thou bendest to beg for a master!
How the red flush of her shame mars the proud beauty of Spain!

V

Has the red blood run cold that boiled by the Xenil and Darro?
Are the high deeds of the sires sung to the children no more?
On the dun hills of the North hast thou heard of no plough-boy
Pizarro?
Roams no young swine-herd Cortés hid by the Tagus' wild shore?

VI

Once again does Hispania bend low to the yoke of the stranger!
Once again will she rise, flinging her gyves in the sea!
Princeling of Piedmont! unwitting thou weddest with doubt and with
danger,
King over men who have learned all that it costs to be free.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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