FRAY LUIS DE LEON
The air sweetens,
Through clarity bestows more space,
Master, when that lyre
Sounds which to your Horace
Was not more true, nor gave more fame to Thrace.
You heard the concord
Reserved for your soul in the utter
Silence of the stars,
Or you shared music, in a peaceful
Moment with your friends.
All is number, silent or sounded.
Pythagoras and Plato guide you
Through their harmonies.
And above, Christ,
The Center, no longer suffering.
The suffering one is you, below,
In your daily fray
With the pedant's strict frown,
With the grim hypocrite,
Through cloisters of an envy
Which transforms your colleagues into
A surrounding, devouring plague.
So many colleagues beneath the spheres!
Those essential numbers, which you hear
Among the subtle theologians
Always struggling hand to hand
With evil and its masks,
Will never be abolished.
Does the idiot torment you,
Does the dullard—so robust!—sadden you?
All the senseless jabber
Ends in silence.
A silence, smooth and plain, from which
The music springs—music of mental
Ciphers, or of the stars,
Or of the sacred rebeck.
And there will be no confusion,
Although it tears
Cruelly at your entrails,
That does not at last remain immersed in the world,
The great world that embraces all—
Filth, flowers, the good poem,
The ceaseless swirling rabble
Of Creation, in creation.
Oh life Everlasting even here!
The air sweetens. An unaccustomed light.
Translated by Reginald Gibbons