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Altarpiece  (1918) 
by César Vallejo, translated from Spanish by Wikisource
From the collection The Black Heralds (Los heraldos negros)

 
I’m saying this for myself: Finally I’ve escaped the din;
no one sees that I’m going to the sacred nave.
Tall shadows accompany me,
and Darío who passes with his mournful lyre.

With innumerable steps emerges the sweet Muse,
and my eyes go toward her, as chicks toward grain.
Tulles of ether and sleeping lignites hound her,
while the blackbird of life dreams from her hand.

My God, you are merciful, because you granted us this nave,
where these blue sorcerers conduct their services.
Darío of the celestial Americas! They resemble you
so much! And with your braids they make their hair-shirts.

Like souls in search of burials of absurd gold,
those idle archpriests of the heart,
they enter, and appear... and speaking to us from afar,
they lament the monotonous suicide of God!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1924.


The author died in 1938, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.