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: Cuenca
The Highland Maids of Cuenca
Luis de Góngora (1561–1627)
 
Translated by Edward Churton

IN Jucar’s pinewood alleys,
  Where Jucar’s floods are thrown
Deep down the mountain-valleys
  O’er sounding beds of stone,
I saw the highland-daughters        5
  Troop forth to dance and play
To music of bright waters,
  And winds that swept the spray:
Fair as the fabled wan ones,
  That dwell in haunted flood,        10
Or Huntress Queen’s companions,
  That range the wild green wood.
But these were Cuenca’s daughters;
  By Cuenca’s mountain-seat
Proud were the mingling waters.        15
  To kiss their fairy feet.
And O, with what fresh gladness
  Their fair young hands they twined,
Fast friends, unvexed by sadness,
  Or fears of change unkind.        20
They came, their stores to gather
  Of pine-cones from the spray,
With freedom and fair weather
  To light them on their way,
Where through dark branches straying        25
  Came gleams from sunny skies,
As though blind Love were playing
  With Day’s ten thousand eyes.
Dance on, ye highland-daughters,
  In youth and joy, as now,        30
To music of the waters,
  Beneath the pinewood-bough.
 
Their flower-inwoven tresses,
  That with the breezes played,
Or held with silver laces,        35
  As Art had twined the braid,
In auburn ringlets waving,
  Were glorious to behold,
The sunny rays outbraving,
  Or rich Arabia’s gold.        40
Their flowing skirts around them,
  And bodice green or blue,
With Hope’s gay cincture bound them,
  Or Heaven’s own sapphire hue:
And ever in their dancing,        45
  By glimpses high or low,
Some pearly foot was glancing
  More white than driven snow.
Then one with lily fingers
  Her castanets would try;        50
Her voice was like the Singers
  Of dewy Castaly;
It charmed each feathered chorist
  That sings in wild green wood,
It stilled the waving forest,        55
  And stayed the falling flood.
Still through dark branches straying
  Glance gleams from sunny skies,
As though blind Love were playing
  With Day’s ten thousand eyes;        60
And dance, ye highland-daughters,
  With joy and song, as now,
To music of the waters,
  Beneath the pinewood-bough.
 
 
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