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: Guadalhorce, the River
The Lover’s Rock
Robert Southey (1774–1843)
 
THE MAIDEN, through the favoring night,
From Granada took her flight;
She bade her father’s house farewell,
And fled away with Manuel.
 
No Moorish maid might hope to vie        5
With Laila’s cheek or Laila’s eye;
No maiden loved with purer truth,
Or ever loved a lovelier youth.
 
In fear they fled, across the plain,
The father’s wrath, the captive’s chain;        10
In hope to Seville on they flee,
To peace and love and liberty.
 
Chiuma they have left; and now,
Beneath a precipice’s brow,
Where Guadalhorce winds its way,        15
There in the shade awhile they lay.
 
For now the sun was near its height,
And she was weary with her flight;
She laid her head on Manuel’s breast,
And pleasant was the maiden’s rest.        20
 
While thus the lovely Laila slept,
A fearful watch young Manuel kept;
Alas! her father and his train
He sees come speeding o’er the plain.
 
The maiden started from her sleep;        25
They sought for refuge up the steep;
To scale the precipice’s brow
Their only hope of safety now.
 
But them the angry father sees;
With voice and arm he menaces;        30
And now the Moors approach the steep:
Loud are his curses, loud and deep.
 
Then Manuel’s heart grew wild with woe:
He loosened stones, and rolled below;
He loosened crags; for Manuel strove        35
For life and liberty and love.
 
The ascent was perilous and high;
The Moors they durst not venture nigh:
The fugitives stood safely there;
They stood in safety and despair.        40
 
The Moorish chief unmoved could see
His daughter bend her suppliant knee;
He heard his child for pardon plead,
And swore the offenders both should bleed.
 
He bade the archers bend the bow,        45
And make the Christian fall below;
He bade the archers aim the dart,
And pierce the maid’s apostate heart.
 
The archers aimed their arrows there;
She clasped young Manuel in despair:        50
“Death, Manuel, shall set us free!
Then leap below, and die with me.”
 
He clasped her close, and cried, “Farewell!”
In one another’s arms they fell;
And, falling o’er the rock’s steep side,        55
In one another’s arms they died.
 
And side by side they there are laid,
The Christian youth and Moorish maid;
But never cross was planted there,
Because they perished for despair.        60
 
Yet every Moorish maid can tell
Where Laila lies, who loved so well;
And every youth who passes there
Says for Manuel’s soul a prayer.
 
 
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