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Legends, Tales and Poems

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314 pages
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Legends, Tales and Poemsby Gustavo Adolfo BecquerEdited with Introduction, Notes and Vocabulary, by Everett Ward OlmstedThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: Legends, Tales and PoemsAuthor: Gustavo Adolfo BecquerEdited with Introduction, Notes and Vocabulary, by Everett Ward OlmstedRelease Date: January 24, 2004 [EBook #10814]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LEGENDS, TALES AND POEMS ***Produced by Keren Vergon, Arno Peters and PG Distributed ProofreadersLegends, Tales and Poems[Illustration: After an etching by B. Maura]LEGENDS, TALES AND POEMSBYGUSTAVO ADOLFO BECQUEREDITEDWITH INTRODUCTION, NOTES AND VOCABULARYBYEVERETT WARD OLMSTED, PH.D.ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF THE ROMANCE LANGUAGES INCORNELL UNIVERSITY * * * * *TOMY MOTHERPREFACEIn preparing this collection of Becquer's legends, tales, and shortpoems, which is the only annotated edition of this author's works thathas been published as yet for English-speaking students, the editorhas aimed to give to our schools and colleges a book that may serve,not only as a reader for first or second year classes, but also as anintroduction to Spanish literature, through ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Legends, Tales and Poems by Gustavo Adolfo Becquer Edited with Introduction, Notes and Vocabulary, by Everett Ward Olmsted This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Legends, Tales and Poems Author: Gustavo Adolfo Becquer Edited with Introduction, Notes and Vocabulary, by Everett Ward Olmsted Release Date: January 24, 2004 [EBook #10814] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LEGENDS, TALES AND POEMS *** Produced by Keren Vergon, Arno Peters and PG Distributed Proofreaders Legends, Tales and Poems [Illustration: After an etching by B. Maura] LEGENDS, TALES AND POEMS BY GUSTAVO ADOLFO BECQUER EDITED WITH INTRODUCTION, NOTES AND VOCABULARY BY EVERETT WARD OLMSTED, PH.D. ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF THE ROMANCE LANGUAGES IN CORNELL UNIVERSITY * * * * * TO MY MOTHER PREFACE In preparing this collection of Becquer's legends, tales, and short poems, which is the only annotated edition of this author's works that has been published as yet for English-speaking students, the editor has aimed to give to our schools and colleges a book that may serve, not only as a reader for first or second year classes, but also as an introduction to Spanish literature, through the works of one of the most original and charming authors of the Spanish Romantic school. Fondness for good literature should be stimulated from the very first, and the quaint tales and legends of old Spain contained in this edition, told, as they are, in a most fascinating style, are well adapted to captivate the student's interest and to lead him to investigate further the rich mine of Spanish literature. Becquer's poetry is no less pleasing than his prose, and not much more difficult to read. With the aid of the ample treatise on Spanish versification contained in the introduction, the student will be enabled to appreciate the harmony and rhythm of Becquer's verse, and in all subsequent reading of Spanish poetry he will find this treatise a convenient and valuable work of reference. The Life of Becquer, though concise, is perhaps the most complete that has yet been published, for it embodies all the data given by previous biographers and a certain number of facts gathered by the writer at the time of his last visit to Spain (in 1905-1906), from friends of Becquer who were then living. The vocabulary has been made sufficiently complete to free the notes from that too frequent translation of words or phrases which often encumbers them. The notes have been printed in the only convenient place for them, at the bottom of each page, and will be found to be as complete and definite as possible on geographical, biographical, historical, or other points that may not be familiar to the student or the teacher. All grammatical or syntactical matter, unless of a difficult or peculiar character, has been omitted, while the literary citations that abound will, it is hoped, stimulate the student to do further reading and to make literary comparisons of his own. It remains for the editor to express his profound gratitude to the following gentlemen for their aid in collecting facts regarding Becquer and for their encouragement of this work: the Exc^{mo} Sr. Conde de las Navas, the Exc^{mo} Sr. Licenciado D. Jose Gestoso y Perez, and the Exc^{mo} Sr. D. Francisco de Laiglesia. It is his pleasure also to convey his thanks to Professor George L. Burr of Cornell University for aid in certain of the historical notes, and most especially to gratefully acknowledge his indebtedness to the aid, or rather collaboration, of Mr. Arthur Gordon of Cornell University, and Mr. W. R. Price of the High School of Commerce, New York City. EVERETT WARD OLMSTED CORNELL UNIVERSITY Ithaca, N.Y. CONTENTS INTRODUCTION LIFE OF BECQUER UNPUBLISHED LETTER OF BECQUER BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE SPANISH PROSODY DESDE MI CELDA--CARTA SEXTA LOS OJOS VERDES LA CORZA BLANCA LA AJORCA DEL ORO EL CRISTO DE LA CALAVERA EL BESO MAESE P�REZ EL ORGANISTA LA CRUZ DEL DIABLO CREED EN DROS LAS HOJAS SECAS RIMAS VOCABULARY INTRODUCTION LIFE OF BECQUER "In Seville, along the Guadalquivir, and close to the bank that leads to the convent of San Jer nimo, may be found a kind of lagoon, which � fertilizes a miniature valley formed by the natural slope of the bank, at that point very high and steep. Two or three leafy white poplars, intertwining their branches, protect the spot from the rays of the sun, which rarely succeeds in slipping through them. Their leaves produce a soft and pleasing murmur as the wind stirs them and causes them to appear now silver, now green, according to the point from which it blows. A willow bathes its roots in the current of the stream, toward which it leans as though bowed by an invisible weight, and all about are multitudes of reeds and yellow lilies, such as grow spontaneously at the edges of springs and streams. "When I was a boy of fourteen or fifteen, and my soul was overflowing with numberless longings, with pure thoughts and with that infinite hope that is the most precious jewel of youth, when I deemed myself a poet, when my imagination was full of those pleasing tales of the classic world, and Rioja in his _silvas_ to the flowers, Herrera in his tender elegies, and all my Seville singers, the Penates of my special literature, spoke to me continually of the majestic B tis, the � river of nymphs, naiads, and poets, which, crowned with belfries and laurels, flows to the sea from a crystal amphora, how often, absorbed in the contemplation of my childish dreams, I would go and sit upon its bank, and there, where the poplars protected me with their shadow, would give rein to my fancies, and conjure up one of those impossible dreams in which the very skeleton of death appeared before my eyes in splendid, fascinating garb! I used to dream then of a happy, independent life, like that of the bird, which is born to sing, and receives its food from God. I used to dream of that tranquil life of the poet, which glows with a soft light from generation to generation. I used to dream that the city that saw my birth would one day swell with pride at my name, adding it to the brilliant list of her illustrious sons, and, when death should put an end to my existence, that they would lay me down to dream the golden dream of immortality on the banks of the B tis, whose praises I should have sung in � splendid odes, and in that very spot where I used to go so often to hear the sweet murmur of its waves. A white stone with a cross and my name should be my only monument. "The white poplars, swaying night and day above my grave, should seem to utter prayers for my soul in the rustling of their green and silver leaves. In them the birds should come and nest, that they might sing at dawn a joyous hymn to the resurrection of the spirit to regions more serene. The willow, covering the spot with
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