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.
 
Portugal: Alcobaça
Gonzalo Hermiguez
Robert Southey (1774–1843)
 
IN arms and in anger, in struggle and strife,
Gonzalo Hermiguez won his wife;
He slew the Moor who from the fray
Was rescuing Fatima that day.
In vain she shrieked; Gonzalo pressed        5
The Moorish prisoner to his breast:
That breast in iron was arrayed;
The gauntlet was bloody that grasped the maid;
Through the beaver-sight his eye
Glared fierce and red and wrathfully;        10
And, while he bore the captive away,
His heart rejoiced, and he blest the day.
 
Under the lemon-walk’s odorous shade
Gonzalo Hermiguez wooed the maid:
The ringlets of his raven hair        15
Waved upon the evening air;
And gentle thoughts, that raise a sigh,
Softened the warrior’s dark-brown eye,
When he with passion and sweet song
Wooed her to forgive the wrong,        20
Till she no more could say him nay;
And the Moorish maiden blest the day
When Gonzalo bore her a captive away.
 
To the holy Church, with pomp and pride,
Gonzalo Hermiguez led his bride.        25
In the sacred font, that happy day,
Her stain of sin was washed away;
There did the Moorish maiden claim
Another faith, another name;
There, as a Christian convert, plight        30
Her faith unto the Christian Knight;
And Oriana blest the day
When Gonzalo bore her a captive away.
 
Of Affonso Henriques’ court the pride
Were Gonzalo Hermiguez and his bride:        35
In battle strongest of the strong,
In peace the master of the song,
Gonzalo of all was first in fame;
The loveliest she and the happiest dame:
But, ready for her heavenly birth,        40
She was not left to fade on earth;
In that dread hour, with Heaven in view,
The comfort of her faith she knew,
And blest on her death-bed the day
When Gonzalo bore her a captive away.        45
 
Through a long and holy life
Gonzalo Hermiguez mourned his wife:
The arms wherewith he won his bride,
Sword, shield, and lance were laid aside;
That head which the high-plumed helm had worn        50
Was now of its tresses shaven and shorn:
A Monk of Alcobaça he,
Eminent for sanctity.
Contented in his humble cell,
The meekest of the meek, to dwell,        55
His business was, by night and day,
For Oriana’s soul to pray.
Never day did he let pass
But scored to her account a Mass;
Devoutly for the dear one dead        60
With self-inflicted stripes he bled:
This was Gonzalo’s sole employ,
This was Gonzalo’s only joy;
Till love, thus purified, became
A holy, yea, a heavenly flame;        65
And now in Heaven both bless the day
When he bore the Moorish captive away.
 
 
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