The Port of Refuge

Luis de Gongora

Three Corsairs from Algier
Came flying o'er the sea,
As though the Wind their fatlier were.
And these his children three:

And, darting throngh the brine,
The pirates' bunted prey,
A Genoese swift brigantine
Before them fled away.

A prize of noble worth
That flying vessel bore,
Sent in our Viceroy's convoy forth
To Naples' sunny shore.

It was a knight of Spain
From Leon's town and tower,
And with him maiden daughters twain,
A bud, and opening flower;

From Leon's mountain-seat,
The garden where they grew;—
When, parting wide the gallant fleet,
The thwarting tempest blew;

And worse than storm that howled
From Afrie's capes afar,
Morat, the renegado, prowled,
Foul hawk of pirate war;

Calabrian harpy rude,
The rifler fierce and fell,
Who fain in Spanish egret's blood
Would dye his beak and bell.

On sounding wings he flew;
But, ere the chase had closed.
The storm with slackening gale withdrew,
And Mercy interposed.

To low Denia's bay
They sailed, to port and tower,
Pride of a Marquess yesterday,
Now graced with Ducal power.

A glance the warder cast,
And spied far off from shore
The crescent on the Moorish mast,
The cross the Christians bore.

The fort its cannon fired;
Dark vapors filled the skies;
The baffled Corsair warned retired.
The port received his prize.

The port's broad arms between,
Torespent with eager joy,
The tempest-shattered brigantine
Breathed free from past annoy.

The grateful Leonese
With garlands wreathed his brow,
And glad at heart in words like these
To Heaven poured forth his vow:

"O port and temple blest,
Safe home from wayward sea,
Which Time must whelm, ere souls distressed
Shall cease to fly to thee;

"Strong fort, of misereant Moors
The terror and disdain;
Firm shield, and sword of royal force
Right judgment to maintain;

"Long live thy princely halls
Their titled lord to greet;
Low as the waves that bathe thy walls,
May Envy kiss his feet!

"And lasting be the grace
He from our King hath won;
For well hath merit held the place
In favor first begun!

"Such service Honor gives;
Then, while in Mantuan lays
The praise of good Achates lives,
Live faithful Lerma's praise!"

Main Location:

Denia, Spain