1809.10 - "The Battle of Talavera"

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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1809.10
The Battle of Talavera[1]
William Tucker
The Universal Magazine, XII (September 1809), 224-225

                         A Song.

Britons arise! the voice of glory brings
    Illustrious tidings from Iberia's shore!
The Gauls are fled! the land with triumph rings—
    Their eagles bathe their broken wings in gore

                        CHORUS.

Britons rejoice! your valiant sons have wrought
    A mighty deed which breaks the Gaul's decree;
Britons rejoice! your sons have nobly fought,
    Have won the cause, and made Iberia free!

When Gallia sent her lawless bands afar,
    To trample laws, or make some throne a prize;
By spoil allur'd, the ravenous hounds of war,
    On Spain's rich climate fix'd their greedy eyes.
                              Britons rejoice, &c.

The guardian genius of Britannia's isle
    Frown'd to behold a kindred nation's woe,
On Britons call'd to avenge a deed so vile,
    And bade their souls with godlike fury glow.
                             Britons rejoice, &c.

Soon as brave Wellesley on the shores of Spain
    Arrives, and leads to war his dauntless few,
The Gauls, subdued by Albion's valiant train,
    Crown'd with disgrace, their backward flight pursue.
                             Britons rejoice, &c.

When Gallia's guns shall roar in foreign air,
    And fate once more present so bright a chance,
For victory's sake, may Wellesley's arm be there,
    And Albion's lions crush the wolves of France!
                             Britons rejoice, &c.

Tilshead, Wiltshire Downs,
Sept. 1st, 1809.


Notes

1. The Battle of Talavera (July 28, 1809) was an indecisive engagement in which the forces of Wellesley succeeded in protecting Portugal from further invasion by the French.

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Published @ RC

September 2004