The Flight from Granada

There was crying in Granada when the sun was going down, —
Some calling on the Trinity — some calling on Mahoun!
Here passed away the Koran, — there, in the Cross was borne, —
And here was heard the Christian bell, — and there the Moorish horn.

Te Deum Laudamus! was up the Alcala sung;
Down from the Alhambra's minarets were all the crescents flung;
The arms thereon of Aragon they with Castile's display;
One king comes in in triumph, — one weeping goes away.

Thus cried the weeper, while his hands his old white beard did tear,
" Farewell, farewell, Granada! thou city without peer!
Woe, woe, thou pride of Heathendom! seven hundred years and more
Have gone since first the faithful thy royal sceptre bore!

" Thou wert the happy mother of an high renowned race;
Within thee dwelt a haughty line that now go from their place;
Within thee fearless knights did dwell, who fought with mickle glee
The enemies of proud Castile — the bane of Christientie!

" The mother of fair dames wert thou, of truth and beauty rare,
Into whose arms did courteous knights for solace sweet repair;
For whose dear sakes the gallants of Africa made display
Of might in joust and battle on many a bloody day.

" Here gallants held it little thing for ladies' sake to die,
Or for the Prophet's honor and pride of Soldanry; —
For here did valor flourish and deeds of warlike might
Ennobled lordly palaces, in which was our delight.

" The gardens of thy Vega, its fields and blooming bowers, —
Woe, woe! I see their beauty gone, and scattered all their flowers!
No reverence can he claim, the King that such a land hath lost, —
On charger never can he ride, nor be heard among the host;

" But in some dark and dismal place, where none his face may see,
There weeping and lamenting, alone that King should be. " —

Thus spoke Granada's King as he was riding to the sea,
About to cross Gibraltar's Strait away to Barbary;
Thus he in heaviness of soul unto his Queen did cry
(He had stopped and ta'en her in his arms, for together they did fly).

" Unhappy King! whose craven soul can brook " (she made reply)
" To leave behind Granada — who hast not the heart to die!
Now for the love I bore thy youth, thee gladly could I slay!
For what is life to leave when such a crown is cast away? "
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