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
The Alhambra
George Croly (1780–1860)
 
PALACE of beauty! where the Moorish lord,
King of the bow, the bridle, and the sword,
Sat like a genie in the diamond’s blaze.
O, to have seen thee in the ancient days,
When at thy morning gates the coursers stood.        5
The “thousand” milk-white, Yemen’s fiery blood,
In pearl and ruby harnessed for the king;
And through thy portals poured the gorgeous flood
Of jewelled sheik and emir, hastening,
Before the sky the dawning purple showed,        10
Their turbans at the caliph’s feet to fling.
Lovely thy morn, thy evening lovelier still
When at the waking of the first blue star
That trembled on the Atalaya hill,
The splendors of the trumpet’s voice arose,        15
Brilliant and bold, and yet no sound of war;
But summoning thy beauty from repose,
The shaded slumber of the burning noon.
Then in the slant sun all thy fountains shone,
Shooting the sparkling column from the vase        20
Of crystal cool, and falling in a haze
Of rainbow hues on floors of porphyry,
And the rich bordering beds of every bloom
That breathes to African or Indian sky,
Carnation, tuberose, thick anemone;        25
Then was the harping of the minstrels heard,
In the deep arbors, or the regal hall,
Hushing the tumult of the festival,
When the pale bard his kindling eyeball reared,
And told of Eastern glories, silken hosts,        30
Towered elephants, and chiefs in topaz armed;
Or of the myriads from the cloudy coasts
Of the far Western sea, the sons of blood,
The iron men of tournament and feud,
That round the bulwarks of their fathers swarmed,        35
Doomed by the Moslem scimitar to fall;
Till the Red Cross was hurled from Salem’s wall.
Where are thy pomps, Alhambra, earthly sun
That had no rival, and no second?—gone!
Thy glory down the arch of time has rolled,        40
Like the great day-star to the ocean dim,
The billows of the ages o’er thee swim,
Gloomy and fathomless; thy tale is told.
Where is thy horn of battle, that but blown
Brought every chief of Afric from his throne,        45
Brought every spear of Afric from the wall,
Brought every charger barded from the stall,
Till all its tribes sat mounted on the shore,
Waiting the waving of thy torch to pour
The living deluge on the fields of Spain?        50
Queen of earth’s loveliness, there was a stain
Upon thy brow,—the stain of guilt and gore;
Thy course was bright, bold, treacherous, and ’t is o’er.
The spear and diadem are from thee gone;
Silence is now sole monarch of thy throne!        55
 
 
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