Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Spain, &c.
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV.  1876–79.
 
Spain: Santa Maria Rábida, the Convent
Rábida
From a Castilian MS
 
Translated by Samuel Rogers

IN Rábida’s monastic fane
I cannot ask, and ask in vain.
The language of Castile I speak;
Mid many an Arab, many a Greek,
Old in the days of Charlemagne,        5
When minstrel-music wandered round,
And Science, waking, blessed the sound.
 
No earthly thought has here a place,
The cowl let down on every face;
Yet here, in consecrated dust,        10
Here would I sleep, if sleep I must.
From Genoa when Columbus came
(At once her glory and her shame),
’T was here he caught the holy flame,
’T was here the generous vow he made;        15
His banners on the altar laid.
 
Here, tempest-worn and desolate,
A pilot journeying through the wild,
Stopped to solicit at the gate
A pittance for his child;        20
’T was here, unknowing and unknown,
He stood upon the threshold-stone.
But hope was his, a faith sublime,
That triumphs over place and time:
And here, his mighty labor done,        25
And his course of glory run,
Awhile as more than man he stood,
So large the debt of gratitude!
 
 
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