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

Previous Poem    -    Next Poem

1809.5
First Siege of Saragossa[1]
Anon
The Morning Chronicle (April 27, 1809)

While prostrate slaves, to virtue dead,
Kiss the foul track where tyrant's tread,
Still Freedom lifts her dauntless head
                      In sacred Saragossa.

The practis'd tools of grasping power
Around her walls in legions lour,
Walls little fit in trying hour
                      To profit Saragossa.

But native valour, noble pride,
Arrange her heroes side by side,
A rampart that defies the tide,
                     Which threatens Saragossa.

Each house a fortress to defend,
Father and Son refuse to bend,
And sights are seen which hearts might rend,
                      In struggling Saragossa.

Not so with thee, thou pride of Spain!
Carnage and ruin spread in vain;
Still Sons of Arragon[2] remain
                     To fight for Saragossa.

In house by house, in street by street,
The Franks a brave resistance meet;
Hopeless and baffled they retreat—
                     Huzza! for Saragossa.

             Second Siege.[3]

Again returns NAPOLEON'S horde
With all the horrors of the sword,
The Thunder-cloud, with havoc stor'd,
                    Hangs over Saragossa.

Arragonese! so brave, so true,
If ever branch of laurel grew,
That branch should form a wreath for you,
                    Who fought in Saragossa.

Again to vast exertion call'd,
By shot, shell, and explosion gall'd,
Firm stood thy Sons and unappall'd,
                    Unequall'd Saragossa!

Though wasting flames around thee curl'd,
Thou bursting mines to ruin hurled,
Defiance still her flag unfurled,
                    In gallant Saragossa.

O'erwhelm'd by numbers and o'ercome,
No hand to parley beat the drum,
Still true at heart, sullen and dumb,
                    Fell, glorious, Saragossa.

Banks of Lugar.

See Vaughan's Account of the Siege of Saragossa, where a picture of devoted patriotism is exhibited which must make every heart beat quicker that is not base or torpid.


Notes

1. The first siege of Saragossa was in 1710, during the War of the Spanish Succession when the British and Austrian armies defeated the forces of Philip V.

2. Saragossa was capital of the former kingdom of Aragon.

3. From June 15 to August 15, 1808, a group of Spanish citizens resisted the French army at Saragossa. The French renewed their siege on December 20 and on January 27, 1809, the city fell to the invading army. Resistance was kept up by small groups until February 20, 1809 when the guerilla forces capitulated.

Previous Poem    -    Next Poem

About this Page

Published @ RC

September 2004