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

Spain: Seville


By Lord Byron (1788–1824)

(From Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage)

FULL swiftly Harold wends his lonely way

Where proud Sevilla triumphs unsubdued:

Yet is she free,—the spoiler’s wished-for prey!

Soon, soon shall Conquest’s fiery foot intrude,

Blackening her lovely domes with traces rude.

Inevitable hour! ’Gainst fate to strive

Where Desolation plants her famished brood

Is vain, or Ilion, Tyre, might yet survive,

And virtue vanquish all, and murder cease to thrive.

But all unconscious of the coming doom,

The feast, the song, the revel here abounds;

Strange modes of merriment the hours consume,

Nor bleed these patriots with their country’s wounds:

Nor here War’s clarion, but Love’s rebeck sounds;

Here Folly still his votaries inthralls;

And young-eyed Lewdness walks her midnight rounds:

Girt with the silent crimes of capitals,

Still to the last kind Vice clings to the tottering walls.

Not so the rustic,—with his trembling mate

He lurks, nor casts his heavy eye afar,

Lest he should view his vineyard desolate,

Blasted below the dun hot breath of war.

No more beneath soft eve’s consenting star

Fandango twirls his jocund castanet:

Ah, monarchs! could ye taste the mirth ye mar,

Not in the toils of glory would ye fret;

The hoarse dull drum would sleep, and man be happy yet!