Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Spain, &c.
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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: Cuenca
Hard Fare at Cuenca
Luis de Góngora (1561–1627)
 
Translated by Edward Churton

TO Cuenca, town of rocks and stony valleys,
A wanderer came, with hunger sore bestead;
And gained dry biscuit, when he asked for bread,
Hard as afflicts poor martyrs in the galleys:
An angel brought this dole, refined in malice,        5
Cruel as fair; she might as soon have fed
His need with fragments from the flint-worn bed,
Where Jucar tumbles down through greenwood alleys.
“No more of biscuit; give me stones,” he said;
“Perchance your townsmen live upon such commons;        10
Time scarce could do with cliffs what they have done;
Or have these headlands seen Medusa’s head,
Like Atlas old, and thou, whose form is woman’s,
Art some rock-fairy, in and out all stone?”
 
 
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