Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV. 1876–79.

Spain: Barcelona


By George Croly (1780–1860)

(From Sebastian)

’T WAS evening as they reached the mountain’s brow

That showed them Barcelona in the vale,

And long they paused to see that lovely show;

The sun low levelled on the city pale,

Montjuif’s bright brow, its lily standard hung,

Like rising flame, on heaven; the port’s thick sail,

The clouds upon the sea of sapphire flung,

The white tents scattered o’er the fields, like snow

That winter leaves upon the green of spring,

The squadron’s distant charge, that seemed the flow

Of trickling streams, the verdure crimsoning.

The mighty sun sank down. The citadel

Sent from its battlements the evening peal.

Slow in its smoke the Bourbon banner fell:

From England’s twilight camp the answering gun

Sent up its solemn roar, and ere ’t was done

A flourish of bold music, drum and horn,

Followed its white, fierce incense up the air;

But from the city other sounds were borne,

Cathedral chants, and bells that rang for prayer.