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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: Gibraltar

The Castle of Al Waled

By William Gibson (1826–1887)

UPON Gibraltar’s steep ascent there stands

A castled ruin, built when first the Moor

Crossed conqueror to the European shore,—

Dashed helméd knighthood by his turbaned bands.

No longer from its height the pile commands

The face of the colossal Rock; but tower

And gate and partial battlements, though hoar,

Are massive-standing; while the builders’ hands

A thousand years ago were dust! The brunt

Of battle bearing, scores of shot and shell

Show the endurance in the old time wont.

What thronged romances in my bosom swell,

Once haughty fortress of the infidel,

O palpable millennium, front to front!