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THE LITTLE BALLAD OF THE THREE RIVERS

For Salvador Quintero

The Guadalquivir’s river
runs past oranges and olives.
The two rivers of Granada,
fall, to wheatfields, out of snow.

Ay, Love, that goes,
and never returns!

The Guadalquivir’s river
has a beard of clear garnet.
The two rivers of Granada
one of sorrow, one of blood.

Ay, Love,
vanished down the wind!

For the sailing-boats,
Seville keeps a roadway:
Through the waters of Granada
only sighs can row.

Ay, Love, that went,
and never returned!

Guadalquivir — high tower,
and breeze in the orange-trees.
Dauro, Genil — dead turrets,
dead, above the ponds.

Ay, Love,
vanished down the wind!

Who can say, if water carries
a ghost-fire of cries?

Ay, Love, that went,
and never returned!

Take the orange petals,
take the leaves of olives,
Andalusia, down to your sea.

Ay, Love,
vanished on the wind!

autógrafo

Federico García Lorca, 1922
Translation by A. S. Kline


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