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A VERY MOURNFUL BALLAD
ON THE SIEGE AND CONQUEST OF ALHAMA

Which, in the Arabic language, is to the following purport.
Translated by ~~
Lord Byron
1817



&/\&/\&

The Moorish King rides up and down

Through Granada's royal town;

From Elvira's gates to those

Of Bivarambla on he goes.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

Letters to the monarch tell

How Alhama's city fell;

In the fire the scroll he threw,

And the messenger he slew.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

He quits his mule, and mounts his horse,

And through the street directs his course;

Through the street of Zacatin

To the Alhambra spurring in.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

When the Alhambra walls he gain'd,

On the moment he ordain'd

That the trumpet straight should sound

With the silver clarion round.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

And when the hollow drums of war

Beat the loud alarm afar,

That the Moors of town and plain

Might answer to the martial strain,

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

Then the Moors, by this aware

That bloody Mars recall'd them there,

One by one, and two by two,

To a mighty squadron grew.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

Out then spake an aged Moor

In these words the king before:

"Wherefore call on us, oh King?

What may mean this gathering?"

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

"Friends !    Ye have, alas !    To know

Of a most disastrous blow,

That the Christians, stern and bold,

Have obtain'd Alhama's hold."

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

Out then spake old Alfaqui,

With his beard so white to see,

"Good King, thou are justly served,

Good King, this thou hast deserved.

Woe is me Alhama !
 

"By thee were slain, in evil hour,

The Abecerrage, Granada's flower;

And strangers were received by thee

Of Cordova the chivalry.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

"And for this, oh King !    Is sent

On thee a double chastisement,

Thee and thine, thy crown and realm,

One last wreck shall overwhelm,

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

"He who holds no laws in awe,

He must perish by the law;

And Granada must be won,

And thyself with her undone."

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

Fire flash'd from out the old Moor's eyes,

The Monarch's wrath began to rise,

Because he answer'd, and because

He spake exceeding well of laws.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

"There is no law to say such things

As may disgust the ear of kings:" ---

Thus, snorting with his choler, said

The Moorish King, and doom'd him dead.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

Moor Alfaqui    Moor Alfaqui !

Though thy beard so hoary be,

The King hath sent to have thee seized,

For Alhama's loss displeased.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

And to fix thy head upon

High Alhambra's loftiest stone;

That this for thee should be the law,

And others tremble when they saw.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

"Cavalier !    And man of worth !

Let these words of mine go forth;

Let the Moorish monarch know,

That to him I nothing owe:

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

"But on my soul Alhama weighs,

And on my inmost spirit preys;

And if the King his land hath lost,

Yet others may have lost the most.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

"Sires have lost their children, wives

Their lords, and valiant men their lives;

One what best his love might claim

Hath lost, another wealth or fame.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

"I lost a damsel in that hour,

Of all the land the lovliest flower;

Doubloons a hundred I would pay,

And think her ransom cheap that day."

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

And as these things the old Moor said,

They sever'd from the trunk his head;

And to the Alhambra's wall with speed

"Twas carried, as the King decreed..

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

And men and infants therein weep

Their loss, so heavy and so deep;

Granada's ladies, all she rears

Within her walls, burst into tears.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

And from the windows o'er the walls

The sable web of mourning falls;

The King weeps as a woman o'er

His loss, for it is much and sore.

Woe is me, Alhama !
 

&/\&/\&

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