Sunday, October 07, 2018

This Deed of Peerless Valor's Highest Strain

Sonnet on Lepanto
by Fernando de Herrera
tr. by E. Churton


Deep sea, whose thundering waves in tumult roar,
Call forth thy troubled spirit, — bid him rise,
And gaze, with terror pale, and hollow eyes,
On floods all flashing fire, and red with gore.
Lo! as in lists enclosed, on battle-floor
Christian and Sarzan, life and death the prize,
Join conflict: lo! the battered Paynim flies;
The din, the smouldering flames, he braves no more.
Go, bid thy deep-toned bass with voice of power
Tell of this mightiest victory under sky,
This deed of peerless valor's highest strain;
And say a youth achieved the glorious hour,
Hallowing thy gulf with praise that ne'er shall die, —
The youth of Austria, and the might of Spain.

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