On the Effigy of a Captain in Cromwell’s Armies :: J. L. Borges

The battlements of Mars no longer yield
To him whom choiring angels now inspire;
And from another light (and age) entire
Those eyes look down that viewed the battlefield.
Your hand is on the metal of your sword.
And through the green shires war stalks on his way;
They wait beyond that gloom with England still,
Your mount, your march, your glory of the Lord.
Captain, your eager cares were all deceits,
Vain was your armor, vain the stubborn will
Of man, whose term is but a little day;
Time has the conquests, man has the defeats.
The steel that was to wound you fell to rust;
And you (as we shall be) are turned to dust.

[From Dreamtigers, by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Harold Morland]

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