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Poems About Spain

Table of Contents

  1. The Quest by Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz
  2. To Spain by Capel Lofft
  3. Cadiz by Maria Lowell
  4. Cadiz by William Gibson
  5. Madrid by Hans Christian Andersen
  6. Mountains of Spain by Robert Southey
  7. In Seville by Lord Byron
  8. Sevilla by Joseph Ellis
  9. To Seville by Clemens Brentano
  10. The Cathedral by William Congreve

  1. The Quest

    by Ellen Mackay Hutchinson Cortissoz

    It was a heavenly time of life
    When first I went to Spain,
    The lovely land of silver mists,
    The land of golden grain.

    My little ship through unknown seas
    Sailed many a changing day;
    Sometimes the chilling winds came up
    And blew across her way;

    Sometimes the rain came down and hid
    The shining shores of Spain,
    The beauty of the silver mists
    And of the golden grain.

    But through the rains and through the winds,
    Upon the untried sea,
    My fairy ship sailed on and on,
    With all my dreams and me.

    And now, no more a child, I long
    For that sweet time again,
    When on the far horizon bar
    Rose up the shores of Spain.

    O lovely land of silver mists,
    O land of golden grain,
    I look for you with smiles, with tears,
    But look for you in vain!

  2. To Spain

    by Capel Lofft

    O generous nation! to whose noble boast,
    Illustrious Spain, the providence of Heaven
    A radiant sky of vivid power hath given,
    A land of flowers, of fruits, profuse; an host
    Of ardent spirits; when deprest the most,
    By great, enthusiastic impulse driven
    To deeds of highest daring! May no leaven
    (If wisdom, justice, fail thee, thou art lost),
    No treachery, no cruelty, disgrace,
    No desperate rashness hopelessly deface,
    Thy dawn of freedom,—if a dawn it be.
    O, think of thy Cervantes! think that now
    No palm invites thee of false chivalry,
    But one his high-souled breast would hail with ardent vow.

  3. Cadiz

    by Maria Lowell

    We saw fair Cadiz gleam out suddenly,
    White as if builded of the foam of Ocean;
    White as a bride with orange blossoms free
    Scattered upon her; and it seemed to me
    Her sweet breath met us with the wind’s least motion.

    And by her side a cloudy mountain rose,
    Its top enfolding soft a purple tower;
    Such shapes sometimes our new-world sunset shows,
    But thou, old mountain! on thy sides still flower
    The very blooms of poor Zarifa’s bower.

    And from thy purple turrets leaning low,
    Thy course is seen, O shining Guadalquivir!
    Rushing towards the sea, its waves to strew
    With leaves of old Romance,
    And blend with Ocean’s flow
    Fresh sighs for youth and beauty gone forever.

    Fade once again on the horizon’s rim,
    Take back the vision and the sweet emotion,
    O lovely Cadiz! bride so fair and dim!
    Drained is the cup thou filled’st me to the brim,
    And dropped within the bluest wave of Ocean!

  4. Cadiz

    by William Gibson

    Fair Cadiz, with thy wall of whitest stone,
    Thy graceful mansions more than marble white,
    Art thou a city of alabaster bright,
    Hewn from one rock? From the Czarina flown
    Are icy palaces these? But, like thine own
    Queen votive rising, ravishing the sight,
    From ocean,—hail, O Summer of Delight,
    Loosed for no frost-couch the voluptuous zone!
    Dangerous the blush of Andalusian even
    To youth, that on thine Alameda loiters,
    Where, warm as Houris of an Eastern heaven,
    Through flower-walks undulate thy dark-eyed daughters,
    A glow more mantling by the sea-breeze given,
    As love’s sweet star stoops rosy to the conscious waters!

  5. Madrid

    by Hans Christian Andersen, translated by Anonymous

    The capital of Spain,—O no!
    For in thee there is nothing seen
    Of what characterizes her,—
    There is no likeness left, I ween.

    One is in Paris, or Vienna,
    But sure no longer in bright Spain;
    Here the sharp northern blasts prevail,—
    Here there is cold and snow and rain.

    Our dark November days no more,
    Our northern climate, will I blame;
    For—to the rest of Spain unlike—
    Dreary Madrid has just the same!

  6. Mountains of Spain

    by Robert Southey

    (From Count Pedro’s Castle)

    Lo, there the Asturian hills! Far in the west,
    Huge Rabanal and Foncebadon huge,
    Pre-eminent, their giant bulk display,
    Darkening with earliest shade the distant vales
    Of Leon, and with evening premature.
    Far in Cantabria eastward, the long line
    Extends beyond the reach of eagle’s eye,
    When buoyant in mid-heaven the bird of Jove
    Soars at his loftiest pitch. In the north, before
    The travellers the Erbasian mountains rise,
    Bounding the land beloved, their native land.

  7. In Seville

    by Lord Byron

    (From Don Juan)

    In Seville was he born, a pleasant city,
    Famous for oranges and women,—he
    Who has not seen it will be much to pity,
    So says the proverb, and I quite agree;
    Of all the Spanish towns is none more pretty,
    Cadiz perhaps, but that you soon may see.

  8. Sevilla

    by Joseph Ellis

    In after-days I oft shall praise
    The towers and flowers of fair Sevilla;
    Her sun and shade and busy ways
    Graced by the Doñas in mantilla;
    Her grand Cathedral’s solemn gloom:
    Her zephyrs sweet with orange-bloom;
    Her patios cool with pure azúl,
    And all her Moorish maravilla;
    But chief in memory will rule
    (As far above as great Orion!)
    A sprite or bird
    Which there I heard;
    An English tongue,
    That spake or sung
    In simple sooth
    Or careless truth,—
    The clear, frank laugh of Dame Carlyon!

  9. To Seville

    by Clemens Brentano

    To sweet Seville, to sweet Seville,
    Where the stately mansions raise
    Marble fronts in street and square,
    Where the rich from windows gaze,
    Donnas gayly decked and fair,
    There my heart longs not to go!

    To sweet Seville, to sweet Seville,
    Where the scattered houses end,
    Friendly neighbors smile and greet,
    Maidens from their windows bend,
    Watering their flowers sweet,
    Thither longs my heart to go!

    In sweet Seville, in sweet Seville,
    Know I too a room so neat,
    Chamber silent, kitchen bright,
    In that house resides my sweet,
    On the door a knocker bright,
    When I knock the maiden opes.

    To sweet Seville, to sweet Seville,
    To my best beloved I hie,
    At her feet to sink in bliss,
    To converse with speaking eye,
    To caress her with a kiss,
    There my heart so longs to go.

  10. The Cathedral

    by William Congreve

    (From The Mourning Bride, Act II. Scene III)

    How reverend is the face of this tall pile
    Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads
    To bear aloft its arched and ponderous roof,
    By its own weight made steadfast and immovable,
    Looking tranquillity! It strikes an awe
    And terror on my aching sight. The tombs
    And monumental caves of death look cold,
    And shoot a dullness to my trembling heart!

  11. The Dying Warrior

    by Anonymous

    The stars looked down on the battle-plain,
    Where the night-winds were deeply sighing,
    And with shattered lance, near his war-steed slain,
    Lay a youthful warrior dying.

    He had folded around his gallant breast
    The banner, once o’er him streaming,
    For a noble shroud, as he sunk to rest
    On the couch that knows no dreaming.

    Proudly he lay on his broken shield,
    By the rushing Guadalquivir,
    While, dark with the blood of his last red field,
    Swept on the majestic river.

    There were hands that came to bind his wound,
    There were eyes o’er the warrior weeping;
    But he raised his head from the dewy ground,
    Where the land’s hearts were sleeping.

    And “Away!” he cried, “your aid is vain,
    My soul may not brook recalling:
    I have seen the stately flower of Spain
    Like autumn vine-leaves falling.

    “I have seen the Moorish banners wave
    O’er the halls where my youth was cherished;
    I have drawn a sword that could not save;
    I have stood where my king hath perished.

    “Leave me to die, with the free and the brave,
    On the banks of my own bright river;
    Ye can give me naught but a warrior’s grave
    By the chainless Guadalquivir.”

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