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 Francisco Martinez de la Rosa (1787–1862)

Anonymous translation

COME to my bidding, gentle damsels fair,

That haunt the banks of Darro and Genil!

Come, crowned with roses in your fragrant hair,

More fresh and pure than April balms distil!

With long, dark locks adown your shoulders straying;

With eyes of fire, and lips of honeyed power;

Uncinctured robes, the bosom bare displaying,

Let songs of love escort me to the bower.

With love resounds the murmur of the stream;

With love the nightingale awakes the grove;

O’er wood and mountain love inspires the theme,

And Earth and Heaven repeat the strain of love.

Even there where, midst the Alcazar’s Moorish pride

Three centuries of ruin sleep profound,

From marble walls, with gold diversified,

The sullen echoes murmur love around.

Where are its glories now?—the pomps, the charms,

The triumph, the emprise of proud display,

The song, the dance, the feast, the deeds of arms,

The gardens, baths, and fountains,—where are they?

Round jasper columns thorns and ivy creep;

Where roses blossomed, brambles now o’erspread:

The mournful ruins bid the spirit weep;

The broken fragments stay the passing tread.

Ye nymphs of Darro! to my words give heed;

Behold how transient pride and glory prove;

Then, while the headlong moments urge their speed,

Taste happiness, and try the joys of love.