Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WITH CORTEZ IN MEXICO, by WILLIAM WILFRED CAMPBELL



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WITH CORTEZ IN MEXICO, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Mater a dios, preserve us
Last Line: Trolling an old moorish song.
Alternate Author Name(s): Campbell, W. W.
Subject(s): Cortes, Hernando (1485-1547); Mexico


"MATER a Dios, preserve us
And give us the Mexican gold,
Viva Espana forever!"
Light-hearted, treacherous, bold,
With clashing of drums and of cymbals,
With clatter of hoofs and of arms,
Into the Tezcucan city,
Over the Tezcucan farms;
In through the hordes of Aztecs,
Past glitter of city and lake,
Brave for death or for conquest,
And the Mother of God's sweet sake.

Perchance from distant Granada,
Perchance from the Danube's far blue,
He had fought with Moor and Saracen,
Where the death hail of battle-fields flew.
Down through the smoke and the battle,
Trolling an old Moorish song,
Chanting an Ave or Pater,
To whiten the red of his wrong,
Dreaming of Seville, Toledo,
And dark, soft catholic eyes,
Light-hearted, reckless, and daring,
He rides under Mexican skies.

Child of valor and fortune,
Nurtured to ride and to strike,
Fearless in defeat or in conquest,
Of man and of devil alike;
Out through the clamor of battle,
Up through rivers of blood,
"Viva Espana forever!
God and the bold Brotherhood!
Strike for the memories left us,
Strike for the lives that we keep,
Strike for the present and future,
In the name of our comrades who sleep;
Strike! for Jesus' sweet Mother,
For the arms and the vows that we hold;
Strike for fortune and lover,
God, and the Mexican gold!"

At morning gay, careless in battle,
With love on his lips, in his eyes;
At even stretched pallid and silent,
Out under Mexican skies.
And far in some old Spanish city,
Two dark eyes wait patient and long
For a lover who sailed to the westward,
Trolling an old Moorish song.





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