Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Spain, &c.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV.  1876–79.
Spain: Manzanares, the River
The Flood of the Manzanares
Luis de Góngora (1561–1627)
Translated by Edward Churton

HAVE mercy, Manzanares! out, alas!
Have mercy on that bridge! For, people say,
A bridge so wide might let the Gulf-stream pass
While half an arch might give thy current way.
How proudly swoln comes down thy watery mass,        5
Which late, as in the dog-days, lowly lay!
Now, in the name of him whose scheme it was
To scour the town with chickory, and convey
The drench to thee,—why this unusual height?
Why this amazing change to bliss from bale,        10
Why now in glory, then in penal pain?
Well, if you ’ll keep the secret, yesternight
The laundry-nymphs up-stream each filled her pail,
To-day they ’ve thrown the soap-suds out again.

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