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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.

Spain: Seville

Garcia Perez de Vargas

By Spanish Ballad

Translated by J. G. Lockhart

KING FERDINAND alone did stand one day upon the hill,

Surveying all his leaguer, and the ramparts of Seville;

The sight was grand, when Ferdinand by proud Seville was lying,

O’er tower and tree far off to see the Christian banners flying.

Down chanced the king his eye to fling, where far the camp below

Two gentlemen along the glen were riding soft and slow;

As void of fear each cavalier seemed to be riding there,

As some strong hound may pace around the roebuck’s thicket lair.

It was Don Garcia Perez, and he would breathe the air,

And he had ta’en a knight with him, that as lief had been elsewhere;

For soon this knight to Garcia said, “Ride, ride we, or we ’re lost!

I see the glance of helm and lance,—it is the Moorish host.”


The Moors from forth the greenwood came riding one by one,

A gallant troop with armor resplendent in the sun;

Full haughty was their bearing, as o’er the sward they came,

While the calm Lord of Vargas his march was still the same.

They stood drawn up in order, while past them all rode he,

For when upon his shield they saw the Red Cross and the Tree,

And the wings of the Black Eagle, that o’er his crest were spread,

They knew it was Garci Perez, and never a word they said.