Earth’s famous fields, how lost how won,

From first Time saw the unchanging sun

O’er hostile ranks preside,

The poet’s voice hath given to fame—

But Ayachuco’s glorious name

Still sleeps on Andes’ side.

Where Condorkanki’s battlement

With the steep tropic sky is blent

The tide of war had rolled.

The Spanish tents along its base

Look’d down upon a kindred race,

By many wrongs made bold.

La Serna from his tent that morn

Counted the Chilian hosts with scorn—

Scorn ’twere not wise to show;

As condors close their wings, his flanks

Drew up their far-distended ranks,

And swooped upon the foe.

Strange sight on Ayachuco’s plain,

Spain smiting down the sons of Spain—

The nurslings of her breast!

Untaught by Britain’s past defeat,

How Freedom guards her last retreat,

In the unfetter’d West.

The Andes, with their crowns of snow,

Crowns crested with the fiery glow

Of the volcanic flood;

The condor, sailing stiffly by,

The oak trees struggling to the sky

Beyond the palm-tree wood—

These, Chili, were thy witnesses!

Long may ’t be till scenes like these

Thy mountains see again,

But if, beneath the glowing Line,

Such warfare must again be thine,

God send thee more such men!

As bend and break before the shower

The loaded wheat and scarlet flower,

So broke the Spanish host!

As strikes the sail before the squall,

I see the Viceroy’s standard fall—

The day is won and lost!

A day is won that dates anew

Thy story Chili! thine Peru!

And vast Pacific thine!

By native skill and foreign aid

Young Freedom hath securely made

A lodgment at the Line.

Of Sucre’s skill, O’Connor’s aid,

Cordova’s flashing, ruddy blade,

The Chilian muse will boast;

And seldom can the muse essay

The story of a nobler day

Than that La Serna lost.

The Andean echoes yet shall take

The burden from De Sangre’s Lake

Of the heroic lay—

And Condorkanki’s passes drear

Age after age the tale shall hear

Of Ayachuco’s day!

Thomas D’Arcy McGee.