A Forgotten Tale

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

[The scene of this ancient fight, recorded by Froissart, is still called 'Altura de los Inglesos.' Five hundred years later Wellington's soldiers were fighting on the same ground.]

'Say, what saw you on the hill,
      Campesino Garcia?'
'I saw my brindled heifer there,
A trail of bowmen, spent and bare,
And a little man on a sorrel mare
      Riding slow before them.'

'Say, what saw you in the vale,
      Campesino Garcia?'
'There I saw my lambing ewe
And an army riding through,
Thick and brave the pennons flew
      From the lances o'er them.'

'Then what saw you on the hill,
      Campesino Garcia?'
'I saw beside the milking byre,
White with want and black with mire,
The little man with eyes afire
      Marshalling his bowmen.'

'Then what saw you in the vale,
      Campesino Garcia?'
'There I saw my bullocks twain,
And amid my uncut grain
All the hardy men of Spain
      Spurring for their foemen.'

'Nay, but there is more to tell,
      Campesino Garcia!'
'I could not bide the end to view;
I had graver things to do
Tending on the lambing ewe
      Down among the clover.'

'Ah, but tell me what you heard,
      Campesino Garcia!'
'Shouting from the mountain-side,
Shouting until eventide;
But it dwindled and it died
      Ere milking time was over.'

'Nay, but saw you nothing more,
      Campesino Garcia?'
'Yes, I saw them lying there,
The little man and sorrel mare;
And in their ranks the bowmen fair,
      With their staves before them.'

'And the hardy men of Spain,
      Campesino Garcia?'
'Hush! but we are Spanish too;
More I may not say to you:
May God's benison, like dew,
      Gently settle o'er them.'


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.


The author died in 1930, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.