James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

April 23


By William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)

(Died at Madrid, April 23, 1616)

AS o’er the laughter-moving page

Thy readers, oh, Cervantes, bend,

What shouts of mirth, through age on age,

From every clime of earth ascend!

For not in thy fair Spain alone,

But in the sunny tropic isles,

And far, to either frozen zone,

Thy memory lives embalmed in smiles.

Dark woods, when thou didst hold the pen,

Clothed this great land from sea to sea,

Where millions of the sons of men

Now take delight in honoring thee.

To thy renown the centuries bring

No shadow of a coming night.

The keen, bright shafts which thou didst fling

At folly still are keen and bright.