Modern Poets and Poetry of Spain/The Christian Lady and the Moor

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Hastening to Granada's gates,
Came o'er the Vega's land,
Some forty Gomel horsemen,
And the Captain of the band.

He, entering in the city,
Check'd his white steed's career;
And to a lady on his arm,
Borne weeping many a tear,

Said, "Cease your tears, fair Christian,
That grief afflicting me,
I have a second Eden,
Sultana, here for thee.

"A palace in Granada,
With gardens and with flowers,
And a gilded fountain playing
More than a hundred showers.

"And in the Henil's valley
I have a fortress gray,
To be among a thousand queen
Beneath thy beauty's sway.

"For over all yon winding shore
Extends my wide domain,
Nor Cordova's, nor Seville's lands,
A park like mine contain.

"There towers the lofty palm-tree,
The pomegranate 's glowing there,
And the leafy fig-tree, spreading
O'er hill and valley fair.

"There grows the hardy walnut,
The yellow nopal tall,
And mulberry darkly shading
Beneath the castle wall;

"And elms I have in my arcades
That to the skies aspire,
And singing birds in cages
Of silk, and silver wire.

"And thou shalt my Sultana be,
My halls alone to cheer;
My harem without other fair,
Without sweet songs my ear.

"And velvets I will give thee,
And eastern rich perfumes,
From Greece I 'll bring thee choicest veils,
And shawls from Cashmere's looms:

"And I will give thee feathers white,
To deck thy beauteous brow,
Whiter than ev'n the ocean foam
Our eastern waters know.

"And pearls to twine amid thy hair,
Cool baths when heat 's above,
And gold and jewels for thy neck,
And for thy lips be—love!"

"O! what avail those riches all,"
Replied the Christian fair,
"If from my father and my friends,
My ladies, me you tear?

"Restore me, O! restore me, Moor,
To my father's land, my own;
To me more dear are Leon's towers
Than thy Granada's throne."

Smoothing his beard, awhile the Moor
In silence heard her speak;
Then said as one who deeply thinks,
With a tear upon his cheek,

"If better seem thy castles there
Than here our gardens shine,
And thy flowers are more beautiful,
Because in Leon thine;

"And thou hast given thy youthful love
One of thy warriors there,
Houri of Eden! weep no more,
But to thy knights repair!"

Then giving her his chosen steed,
And half his lordly train,
The Moorish chieftain turn'd him back
In silence home again.