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

Introductory to Spain

Count Arnaldos

By Spanish Ballad

Translated by J. G. Lockhart

WHO had ever such adventure,

Holy priest, or virgin nun,

As befell the Count Arnaldos

At the rising of the sun?

On his wrist the hawk was hooded,

Forth with horn and hound went he,

When he saw a stately galley

Sailing on the silent sea.

Sail of satin, mast of cedar,

Burnished poop of beaten gold,—

Many a morn you ’ll hood your falcon

Ere you such a bark behold.

Sails of satin, masts of cedar,

Golden poops may come again,

But mortal ear no more shall listen

To yon gray-haired sailor’s strain.

Heart may beat, and eye may glisten,

Faith is strong, and Hope is free,

But mortal ear no more shall listen

To the song that rules the sea.

When the gray-haired sailor chanted,

Every wind was hushed to sleep,—

Like a virgin’s bosom panted

All the wide reposing deep.

Bright in beauty rose the starfish

From her green cave down below,

Right above the eagle poised him,—

Holy music charmed them so.

“Stately galley! glorious galley!

God hath poured his grace on thee!

Thou alone mayst scorn the perils

Of the dread devouring sea!

“False Almeria’s reefs and shallows,

Black Gibraltar’s giant rocks,

Sound and sand-bank, gulf and whirlpool,

All, my glorious galley mocks!”

“For the sake of God, our Maker!”

(Count Arnaldos’ cry was strong,)

“Old man, let me be partaker

In the secret of thy song!”

“Count Arnaldos! Count Arnaldos!

Hearts I read, and thoughts I know,—

Wouldst thou learn the ocean secret,

In our galley thou must go.”