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 Conde de Villamediana (1580–1622)

Translated by Edward Churton

A GRAND town-square, close streets, or rather straits;

A rich old bishop, traders poor as rats;

Fair horses, ambling slow, with such soft paces,

As well might teach the women better graces;

Women, whose gait and pace so strong and coarse is,

You ’d think they practised steps with stalking horses;

Rude shapeless houses, men like cornstalks tall,

Cobblers’ and stitchers’ work on every stall;

Stummed wine to drink, lean bread to feed upon;

A crowd of fools,—wise Góngora all alone,—

I found at Cordova;—if bad ’s the best,

Let him who finds aught better paint the rest.