Katharine Lee Bates

(1859-1929 / United States)

Spain - Poem by Katharine Lee Bates

Across New England snows
Flash visions from afar,
Lithe gipsies on their toes
Dancing to gay guitar;
With gesture fierce, bizarre,
They lilt some old refrain
In whose wild measures are
The witcheries of Spain.
The stinging north wind blows,
But with a ruddy jar
Poised on her proud head goes
A maiden like a star
While, biting his cigar,
Her lover, scorned again,
Loads on his ass-drawn car
The oranges of Spain.
As keen as cameos
Against yon gray cloud-bar
Shine out a tower of rose,
A spire like flaming spar,
Gold shrines whose candles char
The world to ashes, train
Of pilgrims, globular
Pomegranates flushed with Spain.
What freak of calendar,
What frostwork on the pane,
What angry sleet can mar
My picture-book of Spain?


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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010



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