Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 2.djvu/112

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Such be the sons of Spain, and strange her Fate!
They fight for Freedom who were never free,
A Kingless people for a nerveless state;[1]
Her vassals combat when their Chieftains flee,
True to the veriest slaves of Treachery:
Fond of a land which gave them nought but life,
Pride points the path that leads to Liberty;
Back to the struggle, baffled in the strife,
War, war is still the cry, "War even to the knife!"N18


Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know[2]

Go, read whate'er is writ of bloodiest strife:
  1. [Charles IV. abdicated March 19, 1808, in favour of his son Ferdinand VII.; and in the following May, Charles once more abdicated on his own behalf, and Ferdinand for himself and his heirs, in favour of Napoleon. Thenceforward Charles was an exile, and Ferdinand a prisoner at Valençay, and Spain, so far as the Bourbons were concerned, remained "kingless," until motives of policy procured the release of the latter, who re-entered his kingdom March 22, 1814.]
  2. {{block center|Ye, who would more of Spain and Spaniards know,
    Sights, Saints, Antiques, Arts, Anecdotes and War,
    Go hie ye hence to Paternoster Row—
    Are they not written in the Boke of Carr