(from the Spanish of Antonio Machado)
THE CLOUD HAD BEEN TORN ASUNDER;
a rainbow shone in the sky
and the countryside was enveloped
in rain and sunshine.
I awoke. Who was muddying
the magical windows of my dream?
My heart thumped,
shocked and disoriented.
… The blossoming lemon tree,
the garden cyprus,
the green meadow, the sun, the water, the rainbow …
the water in your hair …
And everything fading in my memory
like a soap-bubble in the wind.
AND IT WAS THE DEVIL of my dream,
the most beautiful angel. His eyes,
triumphant, shone like steel,
the bloody flames of his torch
lit the deep crypt of my soul.
Will you come with me? No, never.
Tombs and the dead terrify me.
But his iron hand
gripped my right wrist.
You will come with me. And in my dream
I moved forward, blinded by the red altar-light.
And in the crypt I heard the clank of chains
and the stirring of caged beasts.
FROM THE THRESHOLD OF A DREAM they called …
It was the good voice, the voice I love …
Tell me, will you come with me to see the soul? …
A caress reached my heart.
‘With you, any time.’ And in my dream
I went down a long, empty corridor,
conscious of the rustle of her robe,
the soft pulse of her tender hand.
ONE FINE DAY, THE WIND summoned my heart
with the scent of jasmine.
In exchange for this aroma
I want all the aroma of your roses.
I have no roses; there are no flowers
in my garden: all have died.
I’ll take the teardrops from the fountains,
the yellow leaves and the withered petals.
And away the wind flew … My heart bled …
‘Soul, what have you done to your poor garden?’
MAYBE IN OUR DREAMS
the hand that scattered the stars
played – like one note of the immense lyre –
the forgotten music,
and the humble wave of a few words of truth
came to our lips.
THE BENCH OF GREENISH STONE
under the laurel is wet;
on the white wall, the rain has washed
the dusty leaves of the ivy.
Between the Devil – “You will come with me!” – and “the voice I love”, I drift, rudderless. “Soul, what have you done to your poor garden?” What, indeed?