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And under the satanic deluge,
The fury methodically
The result was
An almost total destruction.
And the minutes, the months, the years, fell.
And among the ruins
The yellow mustard did not grow alone,
Yellow with time, An empty solitary time.
The days, the weeks rose higher,
And towering, new,
The old name ascended.
Again Rotterdam is Rotterdam.

I believe in the will
Of this human planet:
Planet of predators,
Of shaggy brutes up on two feet
Who light their drunken hours with fires their
Have kindled,
Ambiguous fires—
Twin sisters of destruction and creation...

Submitting to this coarse animal
Or rebelling, while he,
Surrounded by forests,
Hops from idea to idea transforming
What is real—and at times
Fashioning it perfectly.

Glory to the beast changed to man.
A candidate for manhood
In his trials and testings,
He ascends to the peak of his spirit:
A mere spark.
And he shines.
He is happy and he is terrible. What bonfires,
What fiery sputterings, nocturnal
Jets, gaudy splendors!
Waves and earth and wind,
Once named, now submit,
And even the gruff neighbor turns to trace
His own dominating shape
On mountains, rivers, borders.
"To do" will reach farther than "To dream."

On this pier, before ships,
Cranes, horizons,
I feel that Europe is immortal,
That the planet is one.
History is simply the will of man.


Jorge Guillén
Translated by Reginald Gibbons

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Segunda serie. Clamor. Tiempo de historia
3. A la altura de las circustancias. II
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