Hard Fare at Cuenca

Luis de Gongora

To Cuenca, town of rocks and stony valleys,
A wanderer came, with hunger sore bestead;
And gained dry biscuit, when he asked for bread,
Hard as afflicts poor martyrs in the galleys:
An angel brought this dole, refined in malice,
Cruel as fair; she might as soon have fed
His need with fragments from the flint-worn bed,
Where Jucar tumbles down through greenwood alleys.
"No more of biscuit; give me stones," he said;
"Perchance your townsmen live upon such commons;
Time scarce could do with cliffs what they have done:
Or have these headlands seen Medusa's head,
Like Atlas old, and thou, whose form is woman's,
Art some rock-fairy, in and out all stone?"