San Lorenzo
By James Stanley Gilbert, c. 1900


Cloud-crested San Lorenzo guards The Chagres' entrance still,
Tho' o'er each stone dense moss hath grown And earth his moat dothfill.
His bastions, feeble with decay,
Steadfastly view the sea,
And sternly wait the certain fate The ages shall decree.

His reservoir is filled with slime, Where noxious insects breed;
Corroding rust its greedy lust On shot and gun doth feed;
The moaning wind sobs dismally Through crumbling port and hold;
The staring owl and reptile foul Thrive on his donjon's mold.

Left there, a sentry lone to strive Against some Morgan's crew -
To guard our wives' and children's lives Should the past itself renew;
To breast and buffet every storm, To falter not nor fail;
His charge to keep; nor toil nor sleep Against him to prevail.

Still standeth San Lorenzo there, Aye faithful at his post,
Tho' scoffing trees in every breeze Their prime and vigor boast.
His garrison is but the shades Of soldiers of the past,
But it pleaseth him, alone and grim, To watch until the last.


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Last Update: October 20, 1998
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