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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: Denia

The Port of Refuge

By Luis de Góngora (1561–1627)

Translated by Edward Churton

THREE Corsairs from Algier

Came flying o’er the sea,

As though the Wind their father were,

And these his children three:

And, darting through the brine,

The pirates’ hunted prey,

A Genoese swift brigantine

Before them fled away.

A prize of noble worth

That flying vessel bore,

Sent in our Viceroy’s convoy forth

To Naples’ sunny shore.

It was a knight of Spain

From Leon’s town and tower,

And with him maiden daughters twain,

A bud, and opening flower;

From Leon’s mountain-seat,

The garden where they grew;—

When, parting wide the gallant fleet,

The thwarting tempest blew;

And worse than storm that howled

From Afric’s capes afar,

Morat, the renegado, prowled,

Foul hawk of pirate war;

Calabrian harpy rude,

The rifler fierce and fell,

Who fain in Spanish egret’s blood

Would dye his beak and bell.

On sounding wings he flew;

But, ere the chase had closed,

The storm with slackening gale withdrew,

And Mercy interposed.

To low Denia’s bay

They sailed, to port and tower,

Pride of a Marquess yesterday,

Now graced with Ducal power.

A glance the warder cast,

And spied far off from shore

The crescent on the Moorish mast,

The cross the Christians bore.

The fort its cannon fired;

Dark vapors filled the skies;

The baffled Corsair warned retired,

The port received his prize.

The port’s broad arms between,

Forespent with eager joy,

The tempest-shattered brigantine

Breathed free from past annoy.

The grateful Leonese

With garlands wreathed his brow,

And glad at heart in words like these

To Heaven poured forth his vow:

“O port and temple blest,

Safe home from wayward sea,

Which Time must whelm, ere souls distressed

Shall cease to fly to thee;

“Strong fort, of miscreant Moors

The terror and disdain;

Firm shield, and sword of royal force

Right judgment to maintain;

“Long live thy princely halls

Their titled lord to greet;

Low as the waves that bathe thy walls,

May Envy kiss his feet!

“And lasting be the grace

He from our King hath won;

For well hath merit held the place

In favor first begun!

“Such service Honor gives;

Then, while in Mantuan lays

The praise of good Achates lives,

Live faithful Lerma’s praise!”