Page:Tale of Paraguay - Southey.djvu/24

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18
PROEM.


 Impatient for relief, toward the fight
 The hungry garrison their eye-balls strain:
 Vain was the Frenchman's skill, his valour vain;
 And even then, when eager hope almost
 Had moved their irreligious lips to prayer,
 Averting from the fatal scene their sight,
 They breathed the imprecations of despair.
 For Wellesley's star hath risen ascendant there;
 Once more he drove the host of France to flight,
And triumph'd once again for God and for the right.

 That was a day, whose influence far and wide
 The struggling nations felt; it was a joy
 Wherewith all Europe rung from side to side.
 Yet hath Pamplona seen in former time
 A moment big with mightier consequence,
 Affecting many an age and distant clime.
 That day it was which saw in her defence,
 Contending with the French before her wall,
 A noble soldier of Guipuzcoa fall,
 Sore hurt, but not to death. For when long care
 Restored his shatter'd leg and set him free,