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By his unrivalled skill, — by great
And veteran service to the state,
By worth adored,
He stood, in his high dignity,
He found his villas and domains
But, by fierce battle and blockade,
By the tried valor of his hand,
His monarch and his native land
Were nobly served :
Let Portugal repeat the story,
And proud Castile, who shared the glory
His arms deserved.
And when so oft, for weal or woe,
He had cast down ;
When he had served, with patriot zeal, Beneath the banner of Castile,
His sovereign's crown;
And done such deeds of valor strong, That neither history nor song
Can count them all;
Then, on Ocaña's castled rock,
Death at his portal came to knock,
Saying, "Good Cavalier, prepare
With joyful mien ;
Let thy strong heart of steel this day Put on its armour for the fray,
The closing scene.
"Since thou hast been, in battle-strife,
So prodigal of health and life,
For earthly fame,
Let virtue nerve thy heart again ;
They call thy name.
"Think not the struggle that dra nor fear
Too terrible for man,
To meet the foe;
Nor let thy noble spirit grieve,
Its life of glorious fame to leave
"A life of honor and of worth
Has no eternity on earth,
"T is but a name;
And yet its glory far exceeds
That base and sensual life, which leads
To want and shame.
"The eternal life, beyond the sky, Wealth cannot purchase, nor the high
And proud estate;
The soul in dalliance laid, the spirit
Corrupt with sin, — shall not inherit
A joy so great.
"But the good monk, in cloistered cell, Shall gain it by his book and bell,
His prayers and tears;
And the brave knight, whose arm endures
Fierce battle, and against the Moors
His standard rears.
"And thou, brave knight, whose hand has
The life-blood of the Pagan horde
O'er all the land,
In heaven shalt thou receive, at length,
"Cheered onward by this promise sure, Strong in the faith entire and pure
Thou dost profess,
The third, the better life on high
Shalt thou possess."
- thy hope is certainty, –
"O Death, no more, no more delay; My spirit longs to flee away,
And be at rest;
The will of Heaven my will shall be,
I bow to the divine decree,
To God's behest.
My soul is ready to depart,
No thought rebels, the obedient heart
Breathes forth no sigh ;
The wish on earth to linger still
Were vain, when 't is God's sovereign will
That we shall die.