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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ode to Arthur Wellesley

This is a partial transcript of a poem written in 1808 in honor of Arthur Wellesley that I found in the Military Archives in Lisbon. The images you see are digitized from the original document (only 4 pages) which I wrote neatly translated below (at, least tried).
I chose these particular pages because, firstly, it was a very, very long poem (a document of 15 pages) and these verses where the most interesting to me, and secondly, if I had asked to digitize it all I would have found a hole in my pocket where there should have been money.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Tacky Ode
to the
Illustrious and his Excellence Mr.
Arthur Wellesley
Marquis of Wellington, Duke
of Victoria
António Soares d'Azevedo
Bachelor graduated in Canons
by the University of Coimbra

5th Antistrophe
Like a daring Philipon* he presented himself
Of the unfortunate Badajoz, above the battlements,
These words, full of arrogance,
Of the full breast poured:
Oh great Arthur who waits,
that to Mars* La Albuera not unites?
That he moves the troops to fight with me,
Finding himself in Badajoz he sees Rodrigo* :
Then come, then he will see how much lightnings will rain,
If Philipon rules her, like Jove's Eagle.”

Notes: *Armand Philipon was an officer in the Legion d'Honeur and took part in Soult's army in the 1st siege of the fortress town of Badajoz; Mars, the Roman god of war; Ciudad Rodrigo, the Spanish city;
Jove is another name for the Roman God Jupiter and the eagle is commonly linked to him in ancient mythology.

8th Epode
Oh! If of the slender plant he takes advantage
When the raging eyebrow Faith wrinkles,
Still the French troops are on the run
believing the land to be to small for the flight
But Arthur reaches them...
Unleashes Death the fateful scale
And of the frenzy, the preceded damage,
The lifted sickle*, against the roosters* flies,
Sign given by the resounding bugle.”

Notes: * The sickle, an argricultural tool representing all the civilians fighting the French occupation; the rooster, a symbol of France.

And on the next page, being it the last, it says:
N.B. The author, unfortunately, couldn't finish this Ode because, at this point, he was taken down by a cruel disease of which he died.

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