For the Walls of Ciudad Rodrigo

Robert Southey

Here Cranfurd fell, victorious, in the breach,
Leading his countrymen in that assault
"Which won from haughty France these rescued walls;
And here entombed, far from his native land
And kindred dust, his honored relics rest.
Well was he versed in war, in the Orient trained
Beneath Cornwallis; then, for many a year,
Following through arduous and ill-fated fields
The Austrian banners; on the sea-like shores
Of Plata next, still by malignant stars
Pursued; and in that miserable retreat,
For which Coruna witnessed on her hills
The pledge of vengeance given. At length he saw,
Long wooed and well deserved, the brighter face
Of Fortune, upon Coa's banks vouchsafed,
Before Almeida, when Massena found
The fourfold vantage of his numbers foiled.
Before the Briton and the Portugal,
There vindicating first his old renown.
And Craufurd's mind that day presiding there.
Again was her auspicious countenance
Upon Busaco's holy heights revealed;
And when by Torres Yedras, Wellington,
Wisely secure, defied the boastful French,
With all their power; and when Onoro's springs
Beheld that execrable enemy
Again chastised beneath the avenging arm.
Too early here his honorable course
He closed, and won his noble sepulchre.
Where should the soldier rest so worthily
As where he fell? Be thou his monument,
O City of Rodrigo! yea, be thou,
To latest time, his trophy and his tomb!
Sultans, or Pharaohs of the elder world,
Lie not in mosque or pyramid enshrined
Thus gloriously, nor in so proud a grave.

Main Location:

Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain