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The Siege and Conquest of Alhama

 The Moorish King rides up and down,
Through Granada's royal town;
From Elvira's gate 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, Albamal 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, Alhamal 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 art justly served, Good King! this thou hast deserved.
Woe is me, Alhama! 'By thee were slain, in evil hour, The Abencerrage, 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 crashed 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 thus 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 loveliest 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!

Poem by George (Lord) Byron
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Book: Shattered Sighs