The Vega

M. Sabiston

Many a league from end to end
That lovely vega doth extend;
Many a mile from side to side
Its fair expanse doth open wide,
Engirt by mountain walls that bound
The glorious landscape spread around,
Which, canopied by cloudless skies,
A scene of matchless beauty lies,
Where Nature hath with lavish hand
Strewed all the gifts at her command,
And fruits and flowers of every clime
Spontaneous revel in their prime,
And all around, below, above,
Seems formed for beauty, peace, and love.
Alas that ever ruthless war
So fair a spot of earth should mar,
Or that an Eden such as this
Should witness aught but scenes of bliss!
Here, where a thousand fragrant flowers
Adorn the shady, vine-clad bowers;
Here, where the nightingale's soft note
Doth on the perfumed zephyr float,
And where the lover's lute alone
Should breathe the only passion known.
Yet of the vega not a rood
But hath been drenched with Moorish blood,
Nor is there rock or height around
That hath not rung with battle's sound.
The last of tliat heroic race
Here made their chosen dwelling-place,
And here, for centuries, defied
Their ancient foemen's strength and pride.
Many and many a time again
Had Christians sought to reach that plain,
And found their utmost efforts vain;
Aud many a valiant man lay dead
Bofore their tents were on it spread.
But discord brought the unhappy hour
Deprived the Moslem arm of power;
The fatal issue, long forecast,
In common ruin came at last.