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Oh love, oh mad light-beam, threat of violet,
you visit me, and climb, by your cool stairway
the tower that time has crowned with mist,
the ashen walls of an enclosed heart.

No one will know it was grace alone,
constructed crystals strong as citadels
and blood opened desolate tunnels
without its sovereignty dispelling winter.

So, love: your mouth, skin, light, sorrows,
were the bequest of life, the sacred
gifts of the rainfall, and of nature

that receives and lifts the weight of seed,
the hidden tumult of wine in casks,
the blaze of wheat under the ground.


Pablo Neruda, 1959
Translation by A. S. Kline

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