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.
Introductory to Spain
George Eliot (1819–1880)
(From The Spanish Gypsy)

’T IS the warm South, where Europe spreads her lands
Like fretted leaflets, breathing on the deep:
Broad-breasted Spain, leaning with equal love
(A calm earth-goddess crowned with corn and vines)
On the mid sea that moans with memories,        5
And on the untravelled ocean, whose vast tides
Pant dumbly passionate with dreams of youth.
This river, shadowed by the battlements
And gleaming silvery towards the northern sky,
Feeds the famed stream that waters Andalus,        10
And loiters, amorous of the fragrant air,
By Córdova and Seville to the bay
Fronting Algarva and the wandering flood
Of Guadiana. This deep mountain-gorge
Slopes widening on the olive-pluméd plains        15
Of fair Granada: one far-stretching arm
Points to Elvira, one to eastward heights
Of Alpujarras, where the new-bathed day
With oriflamme uplifted o’er the peaks
Saddens the breasts of northward-looking snows        20
That loved the night, and soared with soaring stars;
Flashing the signals of his nearing swiftness
From Almería’s purple-shadowed bay
On to the far-off rocks that gaze and glow,—
On to Alhambra, strong and ruddy heart        25
Of glorious Morisma, gasping now,
A maiméd giant in his agony.
This town that dips its feet within the stream,
And seems to sit a tower-crowned Cybele,
Spreading her ample robe adown the rocks,        30
Is rich Bedmar; ’t was Moorish long ago,
But now the Cross is sparkling on the Mosque,
And bells make Catholic the trembling air.

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