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: Cadiz
The Winning of Cales
Percy’s Reliques
 
          This is one of many exulting effusions which were called forth by the taking of Cadiz (vulgarly called Cales). The town was captured on the 21st of June, 1596, the Earl of Effingham being high-admiral of the fleet, and Essex general of the land forces.

LONG had the proud Spaniards
  Advancèd to conquer us,
Threatening our country
  With fire and sword;
Often preparing        5
  Their navy most sumptuous,
With all the provision
  That Spain could afford.
    Dub a-dub, dub,
      Thus strike the drums,        10
    Tan-ta-ra, ta-ra-ra,
      The Englishman comes.
 
To the seas presently
  Went our lord admiral,
With knights courageous,        15
  And captains full good;
The earl of Essex,
  A prosperous general,
With him preparèd
  To pass the salt flood.        20
    Dub a-dub, etc.
 
At Plymouth speedily,
  Took they ships valiantly;
Braver ships never
  Were seen under sail;        25
With their fair colours spread,
  And streamers o’er their head;
Now, bragging Spaniards,
  Take heed of your tail.
    Dub a-dub, etc.        30
 
Unto Cales cunningly,
  Came we most happily,
Where the kings navy
  Did secretly ride;
Being upon their back,        35
  Piercing their buts of sack,
Ere that the Spaniards
  Our coming descry’d.
    Tan-ta-ra, ta-ra-ra,
      The Englishman comes;        40
    Bounce a-bounce, bounce a-bounce,
      Off went the guns.
 
Great was the crying,
  Running and riding,
Which at that season        45
  Was made at that place;
Then beacons were firèd,
  As need was requirèd;
To hide their great treasure,
  They had little space:        50
    “Alas!” they cryèd,
      “English men comes.”
 
There you might see the ships,
  How they were firèd fast,
And how the men drown’d        55
  Themselves in the sea;
There you may hear them cry,
  Wail and weep piteously;
When as they saw no shift
  To escape thence away.        60
    Dub a-dub, etc.
 
The great Saint Philip,
  The pride of the Spaniards,
Was burnt to the bottom,
  And sunk in the sea;        65
But the Saint Andrew,
  And eke the Saint Matthew,
We took in fight manfully,
  And brought them away.
    Dub a-dub, etc.        70
 
The earl of Essex,
  Most valiant and hardy,
With horsemen and footmen
  March’d towards the town;
The enemies which saw them,        75
  Full greatly affrighted,
Did fly for their safeguard,
  And durst not come down.
    Dub a-dub, etc.
 
“Now,” quoth the noble earl,        80
  “Courage, my soldiers all!
Fight and be valiant,
  And spoil you shall have;
And well rewarded all,
  From the great to the small;        85
But look that the women
  And children you save.”
    Dub a-dub, etc.
 
The Spaniards at that sight,
  Saw ’t was in vain to fight,        90
Hung up their flags of truce,
  Yielding the town;
We march’d in presently,
  Decking the walls on high
With our English colours,        95
  Which purchas’d renown.
    Dub a-dub, etc.
 
Ent’ring the houses then,
  And of the richest men,
For gold and treasure        100
  We searchèd each day;
In some places we did find
  Pye baking in the oven,
Meat at the fire roasting,
  And men run away.        105
    Dub a-dub, etc.
 
Full of rich merchandise,
  Every shop we did see,
Damask and sattins
  And velvet full fair;        110
Which soldiers measure out
  By the length of their swords:
Of all commodities,
  Each one hath share.
    Dub a-dub, etc.        115
 
Thus Cales was taken,
  And our brave general
March’d to the market-place,
  There he did stand;
There many prisoners        120
  Of good account were took;
Many crav’d mercy,
  And mercy they found.
    Dub a-dub, etc.
 
When as our general        125
  Saw they delayèd time,
And would not ransom
  The town as they said,
With their fair wainscots,
  Their presses and bedsteads,        130
Their joint-stools and tables,
  A fire we made:
And when the town burnt in a flame,
  With tan-ta-ra, tan-ta-ra-ra,
    From thence we came.        135
 
 
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