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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: Guadalhorce, the River

The Guadalhorce

By Luis Martín de la Plaza (1577–1625)


Translated by Robert Southey

ON the green margin of the land

Where Guadalhorce winds his way,

My lady lay:

With golden key Sleep’s gentle hand

Had closed her eyes so bright,—

Her eyes two suns of light,—

And bade his balmy dews

Her rosy cheeks suffuse.

The river god in slumber saw her laid:

He raised his dripping head,

With weeds o’erspread,

Clad in his watery robes approached the maid,

And with cold kiss, like death,

Drank the rich perfume of the maiden’s breath.

The maiden felt that icy kiss;

Her suns unclosed, their flame

Full and unclouded on the intruder came.

Amazed the intruder felt

His frothy body melt,

And heard the radiance on his bosom hiss;

And, forced in blind confusion to retire,

Leaped in the water to escape the fire.