Magical Palace on a Hill: Palacio de Pena in Sintra


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King Afonso thrashed his mom, and then went seeking Moors.
And when he came to Sintra town, the signs upon the doors
Were in the heathen’s Arab tongue. The King said, “This looks right.
“I think I’ve found the perfect place to show some Christian might.
“And when I’m done, I swear to God,
I’ll plant some piece of holy sod
Upon yon hilltop, bleak and dead,
Where Mary dropped in once, it’s said.”

It happened as Afonso said; the Arabs lost their pants
And all around the city square, the pious people danced.
Upon the hill where Mary stopped, a lovely shrine was tossed
To thank the Lord and show those heathen rascals who was boss.
And from that dedicating prayer,
The Monks of St. Jerome were there
With no one else for quite a while
(It took a while to come in style.)

Ferdinand came into town, and simply loved the place.
He took an obscure little shrine and gave it a new face.
Damage from the Lisbon Quake was fixed, the shrine expanded
Into a getaway from all the stress the crown demanded.
A place of charm and beauty rare
So fanciful, the fairies there
Walk softly as they gaze around
At all the wonders they have found.

Today, the people go there still, taking lots of pictures
The Palace of the kings restored, with all the trim and fixtures
UNESCO said it must be saved, and put it on the list
Visitors are all amazed that it could still exist.
It’s one of Europe’s brightest lights
Come take the tour and see the sights,
See the gardens, fern and bower
Cool and quiet with scent of flower.

The pink and golden towers are reaching toward the sky,
The arches and the balustrades are simply for to die
And when you think you’ve reached the end, just take another door
You’ll find something else to see, and then there’s something more.
The views will take your breath away,
The sky grows bigger every day,
Some things change, but never fear,
This magic place is always here.

09 October 2013, Moira G Gallaga©

© Moira G. Gallaga

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