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This legend, grim and wild yet rich in truth,
Was framed in Cordova in Gothic days:
By Guadalquivir's water dwelt a youth
Who loved a woman fair beyond all praise;
Yet deeply foul, a Lamia in disguise,
To win whose poisoned kiss he periled all--
His wealth, his faith, whatever she might prize
That would he give and vow the gift too small.
One day in guileful hate she cried, "Alack,
Thy mother grieves me; slay her; bring me straight
Her heart!"--He did her will; and, hasting back,
Fell headlong down before the witch's gate.
How sweetly spake unto that erring one
The Mother's heart: "Oh, art thou hurt, my son?"