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: Ocaña
Rodrigo Manrique
Don Jorge Manrique (c. 1440–1479)
 
(From Coplas de Manrique)
Translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

AND when so oft, for weal or woe,
His life upon the fatal throw
Had been cast down;
When he had served, with patriot zeal,
Beneath the banner of Castile,        5
His sovereign’s crown;
 
And done such deeds of valor strong,
That neither history nor song
Can count them all;
Then, on Ocaña’s castled rock,        10
Death at his portal came to knock,
With sudden call,
 
Saying, “Good Cavalier, prepare
To leave this world of toil and care
With joyful mien;        15
Let thy strong heart of steel this day
Put on its armor for the fray,
The closing scene.
 
“Since thou hast been, in battle-strife,
So prodigal of health and life,        20
For earthly fame,
Let virtue nerve thy heart again;
Loud on the last stern battle-plain
They call thy name.”
*        *        *        *        *
“My soul is ready to depart,        25
No thought rebels, the obedient heart
Breathes forth no sigh;
The wish on earth to linger still
Were vain, when ’t is God’s sovereign will
That we shall die.        30
 
“O thou, that for our sins didst take
A human form, and humbly make
Thy home on earth;
Thou, that to thy divinity
A human nature didst ally        35
By mortal birth,
 
“And in that form didst suffer here
Torment and agony and fear
So patiently,—
By thy redeeming grace alone,        40
And not for merits of my own,
O, pardon me!”
 
As thus the dying warrior prayed,
Without one gathering mist or shade
Upon his mind,        45
Encircled by his family,
Watched by affection’s gentle eye
So soft and kind,
 
His soul to Him, who gave it, rose;
God lead it to its long repose,        50
Its glorious rest!
And, though the warrior’s sun has set,
Its light shall linger round us yet,
Bright, radiant, blest.
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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