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          LADY DEATH

For dead friends

Lady Death who goes on taking
all the good that she meets by chance!...
Alone —in a comer— left standing

the rest of us, miserable lot of troopers!
The selfish, perverse and foolish
with souls of cloth and heart of stuffing...;

manufacturers of futile verse;
poets of ruler and balance,
to all the sorrow, to each lover adverse...;

those who whisper songs of pathetic romance;
weepish fops who strut their plumes;
well versed in parlor-talk and contra-dance;

songsters of “the parched summer day”;
of “the freezing pole” or “the agingWinter”.
lyrists of exanimate and ridiculous souls!

Minstrels who pollute the eternal
garden, and blossoming madrigals
with somniferous and superficial smells...

Those who no wisp of truth impassions
those ultra-sensitive and banal bards...
Solemn and lethal Grammaticians...

Legerdemains of studied technique!
...Oh what perennial pain for the things
that have no flavor,—made of plastic!

...In a comer we are left, the tedious
people with no emotion, empty and vain...
Let bose the dismal and nocturnal

flies, and let the bells sing their lament...!
This boathing of which I’am dying...
Where are the intimate souls, my sisters...?

Lady Death goes on taking!

Mayo, 1919

León de Greiff
Translated by Marianne Borgardt

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