Destruction cowers, to mark what deeds are done;
For on this morn three potent Nations meet,
To shed before his Shrine the blood he deems most sweet.
By Heaven! it is a splendid sight to see
(For one who hath no friend, no brother there)
Their rival scarfs of mixed embroidery,
Their various arms that glitter in the air!
What gallant War-hounds rouse them from their lair,
And gnash their fangs, loud yelling for the prey!
All join the chase, but few the triumph share;
The Grave shall bear the chiefest prize away,
And Havoc scarce for joy can number their array.
Three hosts combine to offer sacrifice;
- [The battle of Talavera began July 27, 1809, and lasted two days. As Byron must have reached Seville by the 21st or 22nd of the month, he was not, as might be inferred, a spectator of any part of the engagement. Writing to his mother, August 11, he says, "You have heard of the battle near Madrid, and in England they would call it a victory—a pretty victory! Two hundred officers and five thousand men killed, all English, and the French in as great force as ever. I should have joined the army, but we have no time to lose before we get up the Mediterranean."—Letters, 1898, i. 241.]
- Their rival scarfs that shine so gloriously.—[MS. erased.]
Their rural scarfs ——.— [MS. D.]
- [Compare Campbell's "Hohenlinden"—
"Few, few shall part where many meet."]