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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: Madrid

The Growth of Madrid

By Luis de Góngora (1561–1627)

Translated by Edward Churton

THE NILE endures no shores; Madrid no walls:

Mark, stranger, how the flood is on its way,

The flood of houses; scarcely will it stay,

Where Manzanares into Tagus falls.

It is a sight that back to memory calls

The glory of Egyptian Memphis; nay,

More great the wonder; to a later day

Shall stand these firm and rock-built palace-halls;

Imperial seat of monarchs throned on high,

Birthplace of princes, Beauty’s beaming sphere,

And scene of proudest Fortune’s pageantry;

Whose state shall Envy’s venomed fangs outwear,

Howe’er she chafe in secret. Homeward hie

In peace, and bid thy land the tidings hear.