Translation:The Poet

For works with similar titles, see The Poet.
The Poet (El poeta)  (1907) 
by Antonio Machado, translated from Spanish by Wikisource

For the book “The House of Springtime” by Gregorio Martínez Sierra.

   Cursing his destiny
like Glaucus, god of the seas,
he watches, his pupils cloudy
from weeping, the sea which owes him its white virgin Scylla.
   He knows that a stronger God
of immortal substance is playing with death,
like a savage child. He thinks
that he must fall like a branch floating on the waters,
before losing himself, a drop
of sea, in the immense sea.
   In dreams he heard the accent of a divine word;
in dreams he was shown the harsh diamantine law,
with neither hate nor love, and the cold
whisper of forgotten knowledge over the weary sands.
   Beneath the palms of the oasis, he saw
the good water springing from the sand;
and he drank among the sweet gazelles, and among the wild carnivorous animals.
   And he knew just how much life was made of thirst and pain.
And he felt compassion for the deer and the hunter,
for the thief and the robbed,
for the hunted bird,
for the vicious goshawk.
   With bitter wisdom he said: Vanity of vanities,
all is black vanity;
and he heart another voice cry out, the soul of his solitudes:
it was only you, light that shines in my heart, truth.
   And seeing how thousands
of white stars glow,
he thought that they were all
burning in his heart.
Oh, night of love!
   And on another night
he felt the evil sadness
that clouds the pure flame,
and the yawning heart,
and the reciting actor.
   And he said: the galleries
of the waiting soul are
deserted, mute, empty:
the white shadows disappear.
   And the demon of dreams opened the charming garden
of yesterday. How beautiful it was!
How beautifully did the past
imitate the spring,
when in the tree of autumn there was the hanging fruit,
the miserable rotting fruit,
which holds the hidden worm
in the bitter hollow!
Oh soul, which wished in vain to be younger every day,
tear out your flower, the humble flower of melancholy!