The Hero with No Name

Don Juan of Austria

This is a ballad I am working on to tell the tale of John of Austria (1547-1578), also known as Don Juan de Austria. Born out of wedlock, he was the son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the half-brother of King Phillip II of Spain. He was a brave and enduring man, scorned by many of his family and peers who were suspicious of him due to his illegitimate origins. He was raised as “Jerónimo” first by Francisco and Ana Massi, then by Luis and Doña Quijada. When he returned to his family of birth, he was denied his family name and instead given the title Don Juan de Austria.

His father wanted him to enter into service in the church, but Don Juan de Austria would find himself drawn to the life of a soldier. When in his half-brother’s service, he was often sent away and put under the command of others loyal to the king. Philip distrusted his brother, Juan, seemingly due to jealousy. Don Juan de Austria was described as very charming and athletic, making him popular with many. Despite Phillip’s attempts to stop his rise to prominence, Don Juan de Austria would be trusted with leading the Holy League at the Battle of Lepanto (1571).

An illigitimate union
A son born and hidden away
Concieved in shame, raised in secret
A knight to be who'll save the day
His father's wish to join the church
Guided his youth and early trends
But a soldier rises within
A hero and leader of men
Brought back into the family
Recognized as a bastard son
Denied his name, given one new
Don Juan de Austria has come
Eager to prove and make his name
A young lad full of strength and cheer
Keen to rise and stand in the light
And save the world from endless fear
Heretics raze and raid unhinged
Evil unleashed across the land
Knights of God called to meet the dark
Yet few there are willing to stand
The nations rage against their kin
Christendom does stand divided
Protestant and Catholic raise fists
Their true foes roaming unfettered

Yet men of honor still do rise
To stand against the dark they loath
Hence came Don Juan to lift his name
And meet the dark where it goeth
So he went without Phillip's faith
Though faith of man he needed not
For the Lord on high walked with him
To see him through this holy deed
Slavers spread fear across the land
The Ottoman horde comes anew
Terror rises, its reach unchecked
Consuming all where they pass through
A Holy Leage dawns upon them
A budding young lad at its head
The bastard son whose rise was scoffed
Yet whose mettle proved with blood shed
The dark horde raids and pillages
Its thirst for blood a ceaseless arc
The weak fall prey to their hunger
Those unprepared to face the dark
Brave warriors of Christendom
From lands on earth, sent by Heaven
The seas ripe to be filled with blood
The blood of the guilty beckons
Men who would have sooner crossed blades
Now wield as one the sword of God
The Holy Leageu does rise up strong
To show the world His iron rod
For God wills His people be free
Free from the chains of any man
And so His people raise their swords
As one against the Ottaman
The batsard son leads them with tact
Outnumbered, yes, but not outgunned
One by one, the enemy razed
Men of God are never outdone
Twelve thousand freed from chains of man
Dark foes of the Lord driven out
Righteous men proving once again
God's will be done, without a doubt

Creative Commons License

All posts by The Pen and Sword are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Published by Louis

I am a freelance writer from the United States.

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