VOICE OF THE MIRROR
So life passes, like an odd mirage.
The blue rose that illuminates and gives being
to the thistle! United to the dogma of the killing
burden, the sophism of Good and of Reason!
What was grasped, by chance, has wounded the hand;
the perfumes took flight, and, among them, was sensed
the mold, that in mid-course, has grown
into the withered apple tree of the dead Illusion.
So life passes by,
with a parched bacchante's treacherous song of songs.
And, completely rattled, I go, onward....on,
muttering my funeral march.
They proceed at the feet of royal, brahmanical elephants,
and to the sordid droning of a mercurial fervor —
those couples who raise toasts sculpted of rock
and forgotten twilights, a cross to the lips.
So life passes by, vast orchestra of Sphinxes
that vomits its funeral march into the Void.
César Vallejo, 1918
Translated by Rebecca Seiferle