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

Spain: Granada

The Alhambra

By Magnus Sabiston

(From Granada)

COEVAL with Granada’s state

The proud Alhambra hath its date;

Founded by him, the first and best

That there the royal name possessed:

At once a palace and a fort,—

The monarch’s stronghold and his court,

Though ruthless war and vandal hands

And wasting time and Frankish bands

Have done their wonted work, yet still

It rises o’er Granada’s hill,

And from its height looks proudly down,—

The guard and glory of the town.

But there no more in splendor reign

The sons of those who conquered Spain,

And there no more do turbaned hosts

Ride forth to silence Christian boasts,

And there no more at close of day

The children of the prophet pray.

The courts in which they knelt to God

By Moslem feet are now untrod;

And from the battlements on high,

No more doth Moslem standard fly,

And proudly Christian strength defy.


Though high doth rise the Alhambra’s hill,

A neighboring summit, higher still,

Adorned with terraces and bowers,

Looks down upon its ruddy towers.


Above, a winding path doth creep

To the high summit of the steep.

O Heaven! how beautiful and fair

The scene that greets the eye from there!

A lovely plain lies spread below,

Girdled by mountains crowned with snow;

Its surface like an emerald gleams,

Bright with a thousand silver streams;

And countless gardens, groves, and bowers,

And fields and foliage, fruits and flowers,

Fill the beholder with delight,

A very Eden to the sight.

There the pomegranate, tinged with red,

Its flowering branches wide doth spread;

The myrtle, fadeless there, perfumes

The gardens where the almond blooms;

Beside the olive’s dusky green,

The citron and the fig are seen;

The golden orange scents the air,

And vines their luscious clusters bear;

And the rose, the queen of flowers,

Flourishes amid the bowers:

If earth contains a paradise,

It is beneath Granada’s skies.