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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: Sierra Nevada

In the Sierra

By Théophile Gautier (1811–1872)

Translated by C. F. Bates

WILD is my passion for these summits proud!

Their shivering feet plants never dare to set

Where lofty heads hide ’neath a silver shroud;

On these sharp peaks how blunt the plough would get!

No wanton vine, no golden grain is here;

Naught hints of man or of his curse of care;

An eagle-host sails their free atmosphere,

And echo hisses back the bandits’ air.

Their dower, beauty, only pleasure yields,

They are not useful, send no gifts abroad,

But I prefer them to the fertile fields,

So far from heaven we never can see God!