Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  The Bridge of Alcantara

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

Portugal: Lisbon (Lisboa)

The Bridge of Alcantara

By William Julius Mickle (1734–1788)

OFT as at pensive eve I pass the brook

Where Lisboa’s Maro, old and suppliant stood,

Fancy his injured eld and sorrows rude

Brought to my view. ’T was night; with cheerless look

Methought he bowed the head in languid mood,

As pale with penury in darkling nook

Forlorn he watched. Sudden the skies partook

A mantling blaze, and warlike forms intrude.

Here Gama’s semblance braves the boiling main,

And Lusitania’s warriors hurl the spear;

But whence that flood of light that bids them rear

Their lofty brows! From thy neglected strain,

Camoens, unseen by vulgar eye it flows,

That glorious blaze to thee thy thankless country owes.