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: Granada
Granada
Luis de Góngora (1561–1627)
 
Translated by Edward Churton

QUEEN of kingdoms proud in story,
  When thy lords of Paynim sway,
Zegries, Gomels, names of glory,
  Muzas, Reduans, ruled the day:
Whose twin rivers evermore        5
Pour their unexhausted store;
One in beauty bathes thy towers,
One the peopled city scours:
Thou, whose ruins witness bear
What thy palmy splendors were,        10
Where the wondering victor now
Veils to thee his laurelled brow;
I am come, no painful suitor
  To thy sages of the laws,
Not to bid some keen disputer        15
  Make the worse the better cause;
No poor strife for land or fee
Draws my spellbound steps to thee:
But those Towers uplifted high,
  Like the giant-king of yore,        20
Who Jove’s azure-vaulted sky
  On his patient shoulders bore:
And the Alhambra’s guarded fort,
  Kingly pile, and meet for kings,
Colonnade, and chequered Court,        25
  Where the Lion-Fountain springs;
Where the pavement’s ruddy stain
  Tells the Zegri’s hateful feud,
Where the Abencerrage was slain;
  Still the record lives in blood.        30
 
Brighter chambers call me soon,
Audience-hall, and wide saloon,
Stage for Beauty’s dark-eyed throng,
Frolic dance and mirth of song;
With sweet voice of waters round,        35
Heard with lulling, freshening sound,
Milk-white now in summer-flow,
Whiter yet in winter’s snow;
Walls, by Sculpture’s touch of power
Decked with clustering fruit or flower;        40
Greece, thy vaunted limners ne’er
Wrought in mazy wreaths so fair;
Fruits, whose semblance might prevail
To revive thy wondrous tale,
Cheating eager birds that fly,        45
Cheating man’s calm reasoning eye.
 
Shall I leave the baths unseen,
Solace of the Moorish queen,
Solace of her ladies bright,
Met in evening’s tender light?        50
Where on alabaster base
  Firm upheld, clear waters flow
Sparkling from their polished vase
  To the crystal pool below:
But the forms are gone, that played        55
Glancing through the mellow shade,
Or the beams, that fell subdued
On the foaming, sparkling flood.
 
But a holier summons calls
To thy Temple’s massive walls,        60
Pile of beauty, stern and solemn,
  O’er the Mosque’s old groundworks laid,
Pier, and arch, and stately column,
  Reared where once the Moslem prayed,
Where in majesty of stone        65
Nature yields by art outdone,
In the shafts of marble cold,
In the tall dome tricked with gold;
Where the flickering sunlight streaming,
  Through the louvered vault at play,        70
Wears a glow more brightly beaming
  Than the golden shafts of day;
Where the unfinished greatness more
  Draws the gaze of wondering eyes,
Than the fane which Rome of yore        75
  Reared to all her deities,
Or the pile of Eastern fame,
  Mightiest that the world had seen,
Raised anew from felon flame
  To the Ephesian Huntress-Queen.        80
 
Now the Tower hath caught my view;
Fair it springs through ether blue,
Chiming sweet with many a bell
From its airy citadel:
Fair the imperfect tiers, so fair,        85
That if mortals silent were,
Art might speak in tongues of stone,
Here a master’s power was shewn.
 
But again I turn, and bending,
  In the Royal Chauntry kneel,        90
On the sacred ground, defending
  Those dear memories of Castille;
Isabel, Fernando, lying
  Pale in marble, side by side,
Warrior Chief of fame undying,        95
  Faithful Victory’s dauntless bride.
 
Now thy studious bowers I see,
Learning’s fruitful nursery:
Here are wights that can unfold
Mystic lore of sages old;        100
Gray Bartolo, Avicen,
  Wizards, who outwatched the moon,
Clerks of never-wearied pen,
  Here might own their spells outdone:
Here are wranglers for degees,        105
  Who have mastered quite and clean
Galen and Hippocrates,
  Thomas wise, and Scotus keen:
Here the famous College stands,
  Thronged by Wisdom’s reverend forms,        110
Rivals of the thirsty bands
  By the Henares or the Tormes;
Crimson Hoods, well trained to guide
  Universities and schools,
Courts, where sharpest wits are tried,        115
  Chairs, where holiest Reason rules.
 
Now I stand on hallowed ground
In the Convent’s narrow round,
Where old Jerome’s brethren shew
Thy brave tomb, brave Gonzalo;        120
Where thy old heroic bones,
Hearsed beneath the pavement stones,
Wait till Heaven shall wake the clay
From the bondage of decay.
Let me boast thy dear renown,        125
Glory of my native town,
Cordova’s unrivalled knight:
Where thy banner led the fight,
Frenchman’s sword made idle war,
Vain was Moorish scimitar;        130
For thy arms were Victory’s own,
Battered oft, but ne’er o’erthrown.
Witness bear each warlike token,
  Helms, whose din in battle rung,
Turbans cleft, and targes broken,        135
  Blazoned banners, high uphung,
Spoils of fields, where fiercely banded
  Fiery Turk and Tartar stood;
Or where peers of France commanded,
  Heirs of Roland’s knightly blood;        140
Spoils of foes that swarmed in galleys
  O’er the surging Eastern Sea,
Or came down from Alpine valleys
  But to yield new wreaths to thee.
 
Now the Albaizin steep I climb,        145
Mindful of the dangerous time
When false Moors, with rebel cry,
Clamored, “Let Ximenes die.”
Calm as death amidst the brawl
Stood the fearless Cardinal.        150
Still is now the tumult’s roar;
Like a stranded wreck on shore,
From whose hulk all life is gone,
Stands the fort in ruin lone.
But, below the heights I tread,        155
  Lies the Vega’s champaign-ground,
Like a garden wide outspread,
  With its wall of mountains round:
Peaceful scene! how calm and fair!
  Peaceful now; but here of yore        160
Battles raged that would not spare
  Christian bold and stubborn Moor.
 
Lo! the pleasant Generalife;
  Tier on tier, green alleys rise,
Bowers of never fading leaf,        165
  Like the groves of paradise;
Royal myrtle, cypress tall,
  Where nice hands, in many a shade,
Sportful skill o’ermastering all,
  Many a wanton freak have played;        170
Shrubs, like masted ships, so true,
  That they seem to gazer’s eye,
If the breeze more strongly blew
  Prompt to spread their sails and fly.
 
Now the vine-clad farms I mark,        175
Bright in bowering foliage dark,
Lining banks where Darro wanders,
Gay as silk from loom of Flanders:
Where the graceful poplar pale,
Gently wooed by western gale,        180
Moves its tufts of silver sheen
Mixed with willow’s emerald green;
And the fruit-trees intertwined
Seem in sport to change their kind;
Such a tangled mass they shew,        185
Scarce the boughs their parent know.
 
Lo! through Dinadamar flowing
  Rills are murmuring: high o’erspread
Towering plants their branches throwing
  Veil the secret water’s head;        190
  Veil the roots and trunks upspringing
Round the dewy marge, whose screen
  Choirs of birds, their carols singing,
Fill with music’s power unseen.
Lo! Jaragui’s verdant valleys,        195
  Where the unfailing sweetness roves,
Breathed from Spring’s fresh flowery chalice,
  Breathed from Autumn’s citron-groves:
Tissues there of Flora’s twining
  India’s threads of gold might shame;        200
Strewn with April’s gems, outshining
  Emerald rays or ruby’s flame.
 
Have I told thy wonders all,
Seat of glory ancestral?
Are thy charms departed? No!        205
Could thy Paynim beauties shew
Face so fair, or glance so bright,
Step in mazy dance so light,
As the forms that linger still
Round thy old enchanted hill?        210
Such might tread the courts above,
Where the golden seraphs move.
Genil, boast; thy snowy wave
Ebro’s beauties may outbrave,
Or the shepherd-maids whose bands        215
Sport on Tayo’s ruddy sands.
And their words are so discreet,
Breathed in tones so low and sweet,
That the reasoning speech, that flows
From within those pearly rows,        220
Nectar seems, which Graces brew,
Steeped in Love’s own honey-dew.
 
These, fair seat, thy glories are,
Heralded by Fame afar,
From the realm which Douro laves        225
To Hydaspes’ Eastern waves.
For thou art Granada, thou
Brightest gem on Moslem brow,
Brightest wreath by Christian won,
Brightest shade of greatness gone.        230
And thou art Granada, where
Forms of beauty heavenly fair
Make thy evening splendor seem
Brighter than thy morning beam.
Greater ne’er to light upsprung,        235
Since the World and Time were young.
 
 
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