Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
 
I. Admiration
The Girl of Cadiz
Lord Byron (1788–1824)
 
OH, never talk again to me
  Of northern climes and British ladies;
It has not been your lot to see
  Like me, the lovely girl of Cadiz.
Although her eyes be not of blue,        5
  Nor fair her locks, like English lasses’,
How far its own expressive hue
  The languid azure eye surpasses!
 
Prometheus-like, from heaven she stole
  The fire that through those silken lashes        10
In darkest glances seems to roll,
  From eyes that cannot hide their flashes;
And as along her bosom steal
  In lengthened flow her raven tresses,
You ’d swear each clustering lock could feel,        15
  And curled to give her neck caresses.
 
Our English maids are long to woo,
  And frigid even in possession;
And if their charms be fair to view,
  Their lips are slow at love’s confession;        20
But, born beneath a brighter sun,
  For love ordained the Spanish maid is,
And who, when fondly, fairly won,
  Enchants you like the girl of Cadiz?
 
The Spanish maid is no coquette,        25
  Nor joys to see a lover tremble;
And if she love, or if she hate,
  Alike she knows not to dissemble.
Her heart can ne’er be bought or sold—
  Howe’er it beats, it beats sincerely;        30
And, though it will not bend to gold,
  ’T will love you long, and love you dearly.
 
The Spanish girl that meets your love
  Ne’er taunts you with a mock denial;
For every thought is bent to prove        35
  Her passion in the hour of trial.
When thronging foemen menace Spain,
  She dares the deed and shares the danger;
And should her lover press the plain,
  She hurls the spear, her love’s avenger.        40
 
And when, beneath the evening star,
  She mingles in the gay bolero;
Or sings to her attuned guitar
  Of Christian knight or Moorish hero;
Or counts her beads with fairy hand        45
  Beneath the twinkling rays of Hesper;
Or joins devotion’s choral band
  To chant the sweet and hallowed vesper:
 
In each her charms the heart must move
  Of all who venture to behold her.        50
Then let no maids less fair reprove,
  Because her bosom is not colder;
Through many a clime ’t is mine to roam
  Where many a soft and melting maid is,
But none abroad, and few at home,        55
  May match the dark-eyed girl of Cadiz.
 
 
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