Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Spain, &c.
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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: Madrid
Calderon’s Tomb
José Zorrilla (1817–1893)
 
Translated by S. Eliot

THERE is a chapel old,
Broken with years and poor,
Forgotten and obscure,
Buried in dust and mould,
  Where we read upon a stone,        5
More with hands than eyes,
“Here the body lies
Of Pedro Calderon.”
 
Bird whose feathers glow
With hundred changing colors,        10
Blushing bright as flowers,
Or pale as fleecy snow,—
  From the sun those eyes
Borrowed light and fire,
Spanish breaths inspire        15
Those swift wings to rise.
 
  This wide earth was thy home,
Fortune to thee was mild,
Yet thy soul flashed out wild,
And now the earth’s thy tomb;        20
  Thou, eagle-like, to soar,
King of the wind wast born,—
A phœnix of the morn,
Singing forevermore.
*        *        *        *        *
  But bound by mortal chains,        25
Thy gushing throat is dry,
And in thy hollow eye
No beaming sight remains.
  Sleep on beneath this stone,
Made sacred to thy glory        30
By one low cross, in memory
Of Pedro Calderon.
 
  Not in so vile a place
Hadst thou, a prince, been laid,
Then had thy grave been made        35
Before the altar’s face.
  Yet sleep here tranquilly,
Here in this corner dark,—
Let it the world’s shame mark,
Thy name ’s enough for thee.
*        *        *        *        *
        40
  Ill-summoned shade, forgive
The voice which breaks thy slumbers,
These rude yet earnest numbers
Are all my heart can give
  To thy great crown of wonders.        45
 
  Thy own bold inspiration
Lives in eternal history,—
  Rest, then, beneath the stone
Made sacred to thy glory
By one poor cross,—sad memory        50
  Of Pedro Calderon.
 
 
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