Modern Poets and Poetry of Spain/Remembrances of Youth


Like a clear little stream,
That with scarcely a sound,
Through the plain among flowers,
Glides whirling around,

So the fugitive years
Of my easy life sped,
Amidst laughter and play,
Like a dream have fled.

On that dream to look back,
Oft in wonder I dwell;
Nor to tear me have power
From its pleasing spell.

On each side in soft ease,
With friends cherish'd and gay,
In diversions and dance,
In banquets and play,

With roses Cytheran
Sweet martyrdoms twine,
Of the blinded ring join'd
To deliriums of wine.

And hopes so fallacious,
Bright castles that shone
In the air as upraised,
By the winds overthrown.

With the Muses to crown
The grave tasks, that are born
Of wisdom, with laurel
Their sons to adorn:

Here a thousand retreats
Of charm'd leafy arcade,
That to slumber beguile,
In freshness and shade:

There beyond in the bowers
Of sweet Cnidus arise,
As of fear and desire,
Half mingled, the sighs:

There the broad river spreads,
Showing soft its delights,
To oblivion of all
Whose crystal invites;

With a gaze of desire
The fair banks I descend,
And to the false waters
My thirsty lips bend;

For a full draught I seek,
But feel suddenly by,
Disenchant me the call
Of a friendly cry:—

"Where impell'd dost thou go,
In such blind madness, where?
O, fool! round thy footsteps
Hid dangers are there!

"The wild fancy restrain,
Light ill-omen'd is this,
Where but lures thee to whelm
A fatal abyss.

"Of thy happier years
Is the verdure dispell'd,
And what were then graces
Now vices are held.

"Thou art man! it befits
Thee repenting in truth,
To gild virtuous with toils
The errors of youth!"

I yield, from the current
I tremblingly fly:
But with eyes looking back,
Repeat with a sigh,—

"If to fall be a sin,
What hast thou, Nature, meant?
The path made so easy,
So sweet the descent?

"How blest are the creatures,
With instincts secure,
Whom to swerve from the right
No perils allure!"