The girl of Cádiz

Cádiz ha servido de inspiración a múltiples artistas: escritores, poetas, pintores, músicos, han caído rendidos a los pies de la vieja villa para crear un compendio artístico que enriquece a la ciudad. Algunas de esas obras son de sobra conocidos por todos, como "Las Siete Palabras" de Hyden; las obras de los inmortales Alberti o Quiñones... Pero otros son menos conocidos, como el poema dedicado por Lord Byron a la mujer gaditana, escrito en agosto de 1809 mientras navegaba por las costas gaditanas tras haber visitado la ciudad y, según cuenta la leyenda, prendarse de una joven gaditana de 17 años, con el nombre de The girl of Cadiz.

Oh never talk again to me
Of northern climes and British ladies;
It has not been your lot to see,
Like me, the lovely girl of Cadiz
Although her eye be not of blue,
Nor fair her locks, like English lasses,
How far its own expressive hue
The languid azure eye surpasses!


1.2
Prometheus-like, from heaven she stole
The fire, that through those silken lashes
In darkest glances seem to roll,
From eyes that cannot hide their flashes:
And as along her bosom steal
In lengthen’d flow her raven tresses,
You’d swear each clustering lock could feel,
And curl’d to give her neck caresses.


1.3
Our English maids are long to woo,
And frigid even in possession;
And if their charms be fair to view,
Their lips are slow at Loves confession:
But, born beneath a brighter sun,
For love ordain’d the Spanish maid is,
And who,—when fondly, fairly won,—
Enchants you like the Girl of Cadiz?

1.4
The Spanish maid is no coquette,
Nor joys to see a lover tremble,
And if she love, or if she hate,
Alike she knows not to dissemble.
Her heart can ne’er be bought or sold—
Howe’er it beats, it beats sincerely;
And, though it will not bend to gold,
Twill love you long and love you dearly


1.5
The Spanish girl that meets your love
Ne’er taunts you with a mock denial,
For every thought is bent to prove
Her passion in the hour of trial.
When thronging foemen menace Spain,
She dares the deed and shares the danger;
And should her lover press the plain,
She hurls the spear, her love’s avenger.

1.6
And when, beneath the evening star,
She mingles in the gay Bolero,
Or sings to her attuned guitar
Of Christian knight or Moorish hero,
Or counts her beads with fairy hand
Beneath the twinkling rays of Hesper,
Or joins Devotion’s choral band,
To chaunt the sweet and hallow’d vesper;

1.7
In each her charms the heart must move
Of all who venture to behold her;
Then let not maids less fair reprove
Because her bosom is not colder:
Through many a clime ’tis mine to roam
Where many a soft and melting maid is,
But none abroad, and few at home,
May match the dark-eyed Girl of Cadiz.

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                                                                                                Héroes gaditanos: Diego Fernández de Herrera

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