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

Spain: Cordova


By Robert Southey (1774–1843)

(From Roderick and Siverian)

THUS they pursued

Their journey, each from other gathering store

For thought, with many a silent interval

Of mournful meditation, till they saw

The temples and the towers of Cordoba

Shining majestic in the light of eve.

Before them Betis rolled his glittering stream,

In many a silvery winding traced afar

Amid the ample plain. Behind the walls

And stately piles which crowned its margin, rich

With olives, and with sunny slope of vines,

And many a lovely hamlet interspersed,

Whose citron bowers were once the abode of peace,

Height above height, receding hills were seen

Imbued with evening hues; and over all

The summits of the dark sierra rose,

Lifting their heads amid the silent sky.

The traveller who with a heart at ease

Had seen the goodly vision, would have loved

To linger, seeking with insatiate sight

To treasure up its image, deep impressed,

A joy for years to come. “O Cordoba,”

Exclaimed the old man, “how princely are thy towers,

How fair thy vales, thy hills how beautiful!

The sun who sheds on thee his parting smiles

Sees not in all his wide career a scene

Lovelier, nor more exuberantly blest

By bounteous earth and heaven.”