At night, moon, your brightness
mirrors the white lake of sorrow
in this valley of tears; its greenness
is reflected in the waters, and its rocks
are small islands where outcast souls await
their freedom. Frozen stiff, the poor things
tremble like the dry leaves of poplar trees
in November on the banks of the river,
and when they fall, it gathers them
in its bosom and carries them to the sea.
Pressed against the wood of the cross
these poor souls tremble in the cold wind
and rain from the dark and gloomy chasm
which threatens with its deep rumbling;
like a miserere of dry leaves, there are
sobs of passion which cannot be contained.
The cluster of souls forms the dark foliage
of the tree of the cross and, united by it
in the brotherhood of love, they tremble
in unison when they see the head
of the white Nazarene which is crowned
with hair as black as the night; and when
the north wind from the abyss finally
blows them out of the mysterious tree,
they fall down over the white breast
of the Christ, and at his feet they disappear
into the river of blood which carries them
to an eternal life in the unfathomable sea.
In the bright moonlight, a river of blood
from the heart of the Christ flows through
this valley of tears and carries,
in a rippling and sorrowful eddy,
a throng of souls like scorched leaves.
And your blood destroys the foundations
of the stronghold of that archenemy
of the human family, and who is the mother
of weariness and desperation.
Miguel de Unamuno
Translation by Armand F. Baker