VI. So farewell! . . . Yonder, austere and dark

So farewell! . . . Yonder, austere and dark,
you retreat across the sun-scorched plain,
and all down your shoulders your ardent tresses,
verberating, like a malediction.

In my desolation what awaits me? . . .
—already I scarce can see your dragging skirt—
a drifting down of spring’s young foliage
and endless longing for emerald past and gone.

The human cataclysm has destroyed
my heart and all expires that it holds . . .
perish memory and oblivion perish!

I glimpse you still and already forget your brow;
your back alone alas! I see, as that
is seen which flees eternity and recedes.

Manuel José Othón

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lyric monody

In spring time the Kydonian
quinces, watered by running streams,
there where the maiden nymphs have
their secret garden, and grapes that grow
round in shade of the tendriled vine,
ripen.

Now in this season for me
there is no rest from love.
Out of the hard bright sky,
a Thracian north wind blowing
with searing rages and hurt—dark,
pitiless, sent by Aphrodite—Love
rocks and tosses my heart.

Ibycus

pax animae

Speak to me no more of earthly pleasures
which I do not wish to savor. My heart
is already dead, and only the ravens of death
will enter its opened chambers.

I have no traces of the past upon me,
and sometimes I am not sure of whether I exist,
since to me life is a desert
peopled with spectral figures.

I see only a planet darkened
by the mists of drizzling twilight,
and, in the silence of profound drowsiness,

My ears only discern something
strange, indistinct, mysterious,
which drags me very far from this world.

José Julián Herculano del Casal y de la Lastra

nocturne

Silence of the night, painful silence,
Nocturne . . . Why does my soul tremble like this?
I hear the low hum of my blood.
I watch a calm storm pass inside my skull.
Insomnia! Not to sleep, and perchance
to dream. To be the whole soliloquy
of spiritual dissection, my Hamlet-I!
To dissolve my sadness
in one night’s wine,
in the marvelous crystal darkness . . .
And then I wonder: When will it be dawn?
A door just closed . . .
Someone is passing on the street . . .
The clock strikes three … It must be Her!

Rubén Darío

there is weeping in my heart …

It rains gently on the town.
Arthur Rimbaud

There is weeping in my heart
as it rains on the town.
What languor is this
that pierces my heart?

O gentle noise of the rain
on the ground and the roofs!
For a heart that is troubled,
O the song of the rain!

There is no cause for weeping
in this sickened heart.
What! No treason?
This sorrow has no cause.

Indeed, it is the worst grief
not to know why,
without love or hate,
my heart has so much grief.

Paul Verlaine

sensibility

Why is a heart
attached to cherry blossoms
still in this body
which, I thought,
had forsaken the world?

Saigyô

emperor

In the tranquil sun of spring
A lark soars singing;
Sad is my burdened heart,
Thoughtful and alone…

Yakamochi