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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: Guadalquivir, the River

The Banks of Guadalquivir

By Luis de Góngora (1561–1627)

Translated by Edward Churton

I SAW at dawn a vision rare,

A maiden as the morning fair,

Who sate and dressed her golden hair

On the banks of Guadalquivir.

Her hand, as through her locks it strayed,

While with her ivory comb she played,

Threw the white ivory into shade,

On the banks of Guadalquivir.

What wonder? April ne’er could show

Such whiteness in the blooms that blow,

Where all his laughing lilies grow,

That fringe the crystal river.

The little birds in joyous throng

Sang o’er again their morning song

To that new sun; nor were they wrong

Such glad salute to give her:

For why? The Sun well pleased had paid

A thousand rays for one bright braid

Like those his envious glance surveyed

On the banks of Guadalquivir.