The Highland Maids of Cuenca

Luis de Gongora

In Juear's pinewood alleys,
Where Juear's floods are thrown
Deep down the mountain-valleys
O'er sounding beds of stone,
I saw the highland-daughters
Troop forth to dance and play
To music of bright waters,
And winds that swept the spray:
Fair as the fabled wan ones,
That dwell in haunted flood,
Or Huntress Queen's companions,
That range the wild green wood.
But these were Cueuca's daughters;
By Cuenca's mountain-seat
Proud were the mingling waters
To kiss their fairy feet.
And 0, with what fresh gladness
Their fair young hands they twined,
Fast friends, unvexed by sadness,
Or fears of change unkind.
They caine, their stores to gather
Of pine-cones from the spray,
With freedom and fair weather
To light them on their way.
Where through dark branches straying
Came gleams from sunny skies,
As though blind Love were playing
With Day's ten thousand eyes.
Dance on, ye highland-daughters,
In youth and joy, as now,
To music of the waters.
Beneath the pinewood-bough.

Their flower-inwoven tresses,
That with the breezes played,
Or held with silver laces,
As Art had twined the braid,
In auburn ringlets waving,
Were glorious to behold,
The sunny rays outbraving,
Or rich Arabia's gold.
Their flowing skirts around them,
And bodice green or blue,
With Hope's gay cincture bound them.
Or Heaven's own sapphire hue:
And ever in their dancing,
By glimpses high or low.
Some pearly foot was glancing
More white than driven snow.
Then one with lily fingers
Her castanets would try;
Her voice was like the Singers
Of dewy Castaly;
It charmed each feathered chorist
That sings in wild green wood,
It stilled the waving forest,
And stayed the falling flood.
Still through dark branches straying
Glance gleams from sunny skies.
As though blind Love were playing
With Day's ten thousand eyes;
And dance, ye highland-daughters,
With joy and song, as now,
To music of the waters,
Beneath the pinewood-bough.