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Once in the dark of night
when love burned bright with yearning, I arose
(O windfall of delight!)
and how I left none knows
dead to the world my house, in dull repose;

in the dark, where all goes right,
by means of a secret ladder, other clothes
(O windfall of delight!)
in the dark, and hid from those
dead to the world my house, in dull repose.

There in the lucky dark,
none to observe me; darkness far and wide;
no sign for me to mark,
no other light, no guide
except for my heart - the fire, the fire inside!

That led me on
true as the very noon is - truer too!
to where there waited one
I knew - how well I knew! -
in a place where no one was in view.

O dark of night, my guide!
night dearer than anything all your dawns discover!
O night drawing side to side
the loved and lover -
she that the lover loves, lost in the lover!

On blossoms of my breast
kept for his pleasure garden, his alone,
the lover was sunk in rest;
I cherishing my own
there in air from plumes of the cedar blown.

Air from the castle wall,
as my hand in his hair moved lovingly at play,
let cool fingers fall
and it seared me where they lay!
All senses in oblivion drift away.

I stayed there, quite forgot me,
my forehead on the lover I reclined,
earth ending so. Was not me,
left all my care behind
among the lilies falling and out of mind.


Saint John of the Cross
Translation by John Frederick Nims

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enlace Federico García Lorca - Amor de mis entrañas, viva muerte
enlace Francisco Luis Bernárdez - NOCTURNO
inglés English translation (Kieran Kavanaugh & Otilio Rodriguez, OCD)
inglés Translation by Arthur Symons
inglés Translation by John A. Crow
ruso Перевод Л. Винаровой
ruso Перевод В. Васильева
español Original version