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            SUN AND MOON

Between my aged mother's hands gleam bright
Her grandson's locks; they seem a handful fair
Of wheat, a golden sheaf beyond compare—
The sun's gold, stolen from the dawn's clear light.

Meanwhile her own white tresses in my sight
Shed brightness all around her in the air—
Foam of Time's wave, a sacred glory rare,
Like spotless eucharistic wafers white.

O flood of gold and silver, full and free!
You make my heart with gladness overrun.
If hatred barks at me, what need I care?

To light my days and nights, where'er I be,
In my child's curls I always have the sun,
The moon in my dear mother's silver hair!


José Santos Chocano
Translation by Alice Stone Blackwell

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