John Gardiner Calkins Brainard

(1796-1828 / the United States)

Ā;Es Alienum - Poem by John Gardiner Calkins Brainard

HISPANIA! O, Hispania! once my home —
How hath thy fall degraded every son
Who owns thee for a birth-place. They who walk
Thy marbled courts and holy sanctuaries,
Or tread thy olive groves, and pluck the grapes
That cluster there — or dance the saraband
By moonlight, to some Moorish melody —
Or whistle with the Muleteer, along
Thy goat-climbed rocks and awful precipices;
How do the nations scorn them and deride!
And they who wander where a Spanish tongue
Was never heard, and where a Spanish heart
Had never beat before, how poor, how shunned,
Avoided, undervalued, and debased,
Move they among the foreign multitudes!
Once I was bright to the world's eye, and passed
Among the nobles of my native land
In Spain's armorial bearings, decked and stampt
With Royalty's insignia, and I claimed
And took the station of my high descent;
But the cold world has cut a cantle out
From my escutcheon— and now here I am,
A poor, depreciated pistareen.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 18, 2010

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