El Ultimo Suspiro del Moro

This poem is written in ottava rima, a verse form dating from 14th century Italy. Used by Boccaccio and later translated by Elizabethan poets, ottava rima was adopted by Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, William Butler Yeats, Anthony Burgess (`A Clockwork Orange’) who wrote an entire novel, `Byrne’ in ottava rima. In the US, long epic poems were written in it by Richard Henry Wilde and Emma Lazurus. The form was, also, widely used in Poland, Germany, Sweden, Portugal, and Brazil.

The last sigh of the Moor, King Boabdil
as he flees the triumphant Ferdinand
echoes round slopes of a mist-shrouded hill
He looks back for the last time at the land
that he once ruled. `Weep as a woman will,’
his mother jeers behind her jewelled hand
`For what you would not defend as a man!’
He stares northwards as long as he can

Painting of the Alhambra by Alexander Blackie

marvelling at the distant snow-capped hills
gently cradling the Alhambra’s walls
its towers, placid ponds, and sparkling rills
treasuring them. Later, when he recalls
this scene, he deems its loss the worst of ills
that ever befell him, and, saddened, falls
to yearning for water from those mountains
and the Generalife’s dancing fountains

A vision romantic from days of old
this Moorish palace of earthly pleasure
its red stone, now mellowed to pink and gold
is a wonder of the world to treasure
Like Boabdil, I want to hoard and hold
its magical light, and, for good measure,
the sound of Granada’s gurgling streams
in my mind to recall in pleasant dreams

If you would like to learn more about ottava rima and how to craft it, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will be happy to help.
Very Best Regards