The Lover's Rock

The Maiden, through the favoring night,
From Granada took her flight;
She bade her Father's house farewell,
And fled away with Manuel.

No Moorish maid might hope to vie
With Laila's cheek or Laila's eye;
No maiden loved with purer truth,
Or ever loved a lovelier youth.

In fear they fled, across the plain,
The father's wrath, the captive's chain,
In hope to Seville on they flee,
To peace, and love, and liberty.

Chiuma they have left, and now,
Beneath a precipice's brow,
Where Guadalhorce winds its way,
There in the shade awhile they lay; —

For now the sun was near its height,
And she was weary with her flight;
She laid her head on Manuel's breast,
And pleasant was the maiden's rest.

While thus the lovely Laila slept,
A fearful watch young Manuel kept.
Alas! her Father and his train
He sees come speeding o'er the plain.

The Maiden started from her sleep;
They sought for refuge up the steep;
To scale the precipice's brow
Their only hope of safety now.

But them the angry Father sees;
With voice and arm he menaces;
And now the Moors approach the steep;
Loud are his curses, loud and deep.

Then Manuel's heart grew wild with woe;
He loosen'd stones and roll'd below;
He loosen'd crags; for Manuel strove
For life, and liberty, and love.

The ascent was perilous and high;
The Moors they durst not venture nigh;
The fugitives stood safely there;
They stood in safety and despair.

The Moorish chief unmoved could see
His daughter bend her suppliant knee;
He heard his child for pardon plead,
And swore the offenders both should bleed.

He bade the archers bend the bow,
And make the Christian fall below;
He bade the archers aim the dart,
And pierce the Maid's apostate heart.

The archers aim'd their arrows there;
She clasp'd young Manuel in despair;
" Death, Manuel, shall set us free!
Then leap below, and die with me. "

He clasp'd her close, and cried, Farewell
In one another's arms they fell;
And falling o'er the rock's steep side,
In one another's arms they died.

And side by side they there are laid,
The Christian youth and Moorish maid;
But never Cross was planted there,
Because they perish'd for despair.

Yet every Moorish maid can tell
Where Laila lies, who loved so well;
And every youth, who passes there,
Says for Manuel's soul a prayer.
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