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Lady of the dark head-dress,
    And monkish vest of purple hue,
Gladly would Boabdil give
    Granada for a kiss of you.

He would give the best adventure
    Of the bravest horseman tried,
And with all its verdant freshness
    A whole bank of Darro’s tide.

He would give rich carpets, perfumes,
    Armours of rare price and force,
And so much he values you,
    A troop, ay, of his favourite horse.

«Because thine eyes are beautiful,
    Because the morning’s blushing light
From them arises to the East,
    And gilds the whole world bright.

»From thy lips smiles are flowing,
    From thy tongue gentle peace,
Light and aërial as the course
    Of the purple morning’s breeze.

»O! lovely Nazarene, how choice!
    For an Eastern harem’s pride,
Those dark locks waving freely
    Thy crystal neck beside.

»Upon a couch of velvet,
    I n a cloud of perfumed air,
Wrapp’d in the white and flowing veil
    Of Mahomet’s daughters fair.

»O, Lady! come to Cordova,
    There Sultana thou shalt be,
And the Sultan there, Sultana,
    Shall be but a slave for thee.

»Such riches he will give thee,
    And such robes of Tunisine,
That thou wilt judge thy beauty,
    To repay him for them, mean».

                * * *

O! Lady of the dark head-dress!
That him a kiss of thee might bless,
    Resign a realm Boabdil would!
But I for that, fair Christian, fain
Would give of heavens, and think it gain,
    A thousand if I only could.


José Zorrilla
Translation by James Kennedy

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James Kennedy. "Modern poets and poetry of Spain" (1860). Produced by Cornell University Library, 1992.