Robert Southey

The Spanish Armada

CLEAR shone the morn, the gale was fair,
When from Corunna's crowded port,
With many a cheerful shout and loud acclaim,
The huge Armada past.

To England's shores their streamers point,
To England's shores their sails are spread;
They go to triumph o'er the sea-girt land,
And Rome has blest their arms.

Along the ocean's echoing verge,
Along the mountain range of rocks
The clustering multitudes behold their pomp
And raise the votive prayer.

Commingling with the ocean's roar
Ceaseless and hoarse their murmurs rise,
And soon they trust to see the winged bark
That bears good tidings home.

The watch-tower now in distance sinks,
And now Galicia's mountain rocks
Faint as the far-off clouds of evening lie,
And now they fade away.

Each like some moving citadel,
On through the waves they sail sublime;
And now the Spaniards see the silvery cliffs,
Behold the sea-girt land!

O fools! to think that ever foe
Should triumph o'er that sea-girt land!
O fools! to think that ever Britain's sons
Should wear the stranger's yoke!

For not in vain hath nature rear'd
Around her coast those silvery cliffs;
For not in vain old Ocean spreads his waves
To guard his favourite isle!

On come her gallant mariners!
What now avail Rome's boasted charms?
Where are the Spaniard's vaunts of eager wrath?
His hopes of conquest now?

And hark! the angry winds arise,
Old Ocean heaves his angry waves;
The winds and waves against the invaders fight,
To guard the sea-girt land.

Howling around his palace towers
The Spanish despot hears the storm
He thinks upon his navies far away,
And boding doubts arise.

Long over Biscay's boisterous surge
The watchman's aching eye shall strain!
Long shall he gaze, but never winged bark
Shall bear good tidings home.

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