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

Spain: Saragossa (Zaragoza; Sansueña)


By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

(From Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage)

IS it for this the Spanish maid, aroused,

Hangs on the willow her unstrung guitar,

And, all unsexed, the anlace hath espoused,

Sung the loud song, and dared the deed of war?

And she, whom once the semblance of a scar

Appalled, an owlet’s larum chilled with dread,

Now views the column-scattering bayonet jar,

The falchion flash, and o’er the yet warm dead

Stalks with Minerva’s step where Mars might quake to tread.

Ye who shall marvel when you hear her tale,

O, had you known her in her softer hour,

Marked her black eye that mocks her coal-black veil,

Heard her light, lively tones in lady’s bower,

Seen her long looks that foil the painter’s power,

Her fairy form, with more than female grace,

Scarce would you deem that Saragoza’s tower

Beheld her smile in Danger’s Gorgon face,

Thin the closed ranks, and lead in Glory’s fearful chase.

Her lover sinks, she sheds no ill-timed tear;

Her chief is slain, she fills his fatal post;

Her fellows flee, she checks their base career;

The foe retires, she heads the sallying host:

Who can appease like her a lover’s ghost?

Who can avenge so well a leader’s fall?

What maid retrieve when man’s flushed hope is lost?

Who hang so fiercely on the flying Gaul,

Foiled by a woman’s hand, before a battered wall?