On a background of pale gold I would trace with quaint design, Penciled fine, Brilliant-colored, Moorish scenes, Mosques and crescents, pages, queens, Line on line, That the prose-world of to-day Might the gorgeous Past's array Once behold. On the magic painted shield Rich Granada's Vega green Should be seen; Crystal fountains, coolness flinging, Hanging gardens' skyward springing Emerald sheen; Ruddy when the daylight falls, Crowned Alhambra's beetling walls Stand revealed; Balconies that overbrow Field and city, vale and stream. In a dream Lulled the drowsy landscape basks; Mark the gleam Silvery of each white-swathed peak! Mountain-airs caress the cheek, Fresh from the snow. Here in Lindaraxa's bower The immortal roses bloom; In the room Lion-guarded, marble-paven, Still the fountain leaps to heaven. But the doom Of the banned and stricken race Overshadows every place, Every hour. Where fair Lindaraxa dwelt Flits the bat on velvet wings; Mute the strings Of the broken mandoline; The Pavilion of the Queen Widely flings Vacant windows to the night; Moonbeams kiss the floor with light Where she knelt. Through these halls that people stepped Who through darkling centuries Held the keys Of all wisdom, truth, and art, In a Paradise apart, Lapped in ease, Sagely pondering deathless themes, While, befooled with monkish dreams, Europe slept. Where shall they be found today? Yonder hill that frets the sky "The last Sigh Of the Moor" is named still. There the ill-starred Boabdil Bade good-by To Granada and to Spain, Where the Crescent ne'er again Holdeth sway. Vanished like the wind that blows, Whither shall we seek their trace On earth's face? The gigantic wheel of fate, Crushing all things soon or late, Now a race, Now a single life o'erruns, Now a universe of suns, Now a rose.
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