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

Spain: Guadalquivir, the River


By From the Spanish

Anonymous translation

ONE eve of beauty, when the sun

Was on the streams of Guadalquivir,

To gold converting, one by one,

The ripples of the mighty river,

Beside me on the bank was seated

A Seville girl, with auburn hair,

And eyes that might the world have cheated,—

A wild, bright, wicked, diamond pair!

She stooped, and wrote upon the sand,

Just as the loving sun was going,

With such a soft, small, shining hand,

I could have sworn ’t was silver flowing.

Her words were three, and not one more,—

What could Diana’s motto be?

The siren wrote upon the shore,—

“Death, not inconstancy!”

And then her two large, languid eyes

So turned on mine, that, devil take me!

I set the air on fire with sighs,

And was the fool she chose to make me.

Saint Francis would have been deceived

With such an eye and such a hand;

But one week more, and I believed

As much the woman as the sand.