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

Spain: Lerida (Ilerda)


By Lucan (39–65 A.D.)

(From Pharsalia, Book IV)
Translated by Nicholas Rowe

WHERE rising grounds the fruitful champaign end,

And unperceived by soft degrees ascend,

An ancient race their city chose to found,

And with Ilerda’s walls the summit crowned.

The Sicoris, of no ignoble name,

Fast by the mountain pours his gentle stream.

A stable bridge runs cross from side to side,

Whose spacious arch transmits the passing tide,

And jutting piers the wintry floods abide.

Two neighboring hills their heads distinguished raise:

The first great Pompey’s ensigns high displays;

Proud Cæsar’s camp upon the next is seen;

The river interposing glides between.

Wide spread beyond, an ample plain extends,

Far as the piercing eye its prospect sends:

Upon the spacious level’s utmost bound,

The Cinga rolls his rapid waves around.

But soon in full Iberus’ channel lost,

His blended waters seek Iberia’s coast;

He yields to the superior torrent’s fame,

And with the country takes his nobler name.