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: Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Robert Southey (1774–1843)
 
(From Roderick, the Last of the Goths)

AND like a cloud of locusts, whom the South
Wafts from the plains of wasted Africa,
The Musselmen upon Iberia’s shore
Descend. A countless multitude they came,
Syrian, Moor, Saracen, Greek renegade,        5
Persian and Copt and Tartar, in one bond
Of erring faith conjoined, strong in the youth
And heat of zeal,—a dreadful brotherhood,
In whom all turbulent vices were let loose;
While Conscience, with their impious creed accurst        10
Drunk as with wine, had sanctified to them
All bloody, all abominable things.
 
  Thou, Calpë, saw’st their coming; ancient rock
Renowned, no longer now shalt thou be called
From gods and heroes of the years of yore,        15
Kronos, or hundred-handed Briareus,
Bacchus or Hercules; but doomed to bear
The name of thy new conqueror, and thenceforth
To stand his everlasting monument.
Thou saw’st the dark-blue waters flash before        20
Their ominous way, and whiten round their keels;
Their swarthy myriads darkening o’er thy sands.
There on the beach the Misbelievers spread
Their banners, flaunting to the sun and breeze;
Fair shone the sun upon their proud array,        25
White turbans, glittering armor, shields engrailed
With gold, and cimeters of Syrian steel;
And gently did the breezes, as in sport,
Curl their long flags outrolling, and display
The blazoned scrolls of blasphemy. Too soon        30
The gales of Spain from that unhappy land
Wafted, as from an open charnel-house,
The taint of death; and that bright sun, from fields
Of slaughter, with the morning dew drew up
Corruption through the infected atmosphere.        35
 
 
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