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      A BOHEMIAN TOAST

Around a cantina table
on a winter’s night
rejoicefully were sharing
six happy bohemians

The echos of their laughter were escaping
and, from that quiet town
they were going to interrupt the imposing
and profund silence

The smoke of aromatic cigarettes
in spirals was raising to the sky
symbolizing, as it dissipated into nothing
the life of dreams … the dreams of life

[...]

I neglected to tell you, in that evening
this bohemian group
among laughter and sorrow, were celebrating
the happy arrival of the new year

Suddenly, a manly voice said
It is Midnight, comrades
Let us all toast for the year
that has become part of the Dead
Let us toast to the year that starts

May it brings us sweet dreams
not sour grief
Let us toast this time to the hope
that Life throws at us and the pains alleviate

I toast that, in my existence
already riddled with violence and vengeance
if, in my heaven, from yours – clean and divine
would shine but
a star … my hope

I drink and toast to my past,
which was of light, of love, and happiness,
and in which the gorgeous foreheads
of seductive ladies
had joined mine

I toast to Yesterday that, with sorrow
today covers with darkness my poor heart
scatters its comfort
bringing into my mind the sweetness
of joy, of tenderness, of good fortune, and concerns

I toast that in my mind
sprout a torrent of divine inspiration,
that the chords of my lyre vibrate
the verse that yearns, sings, and fall in love

I toast that my verses
reach the center of the woman that I love
for that with interest my passion pays off
for that I get intoxicated with the nectar of her kisses
Continued the barrage of meaningless phrases
of those so human
and, after each phrase of ardent enthusiasm
applause would grow

They toasted to the Motherland, to the flowers
to the chaste loves and to heated passions
that fill with roses the mud of pleasure
Only one toast was missing, Arturo’s
the pure bohemian of noble heart
he stated that he only wanted
to steal the inspiration from Sadness

And this way he spoke, with inspired intensity
I toast to the woman, yet not to the one
in which you find solace in sadness
not to the one that gives us her charms
when you kiss her soft and scented curls

I do not toast to her … No, comrades
Sorry that this time I don’t please you
I toast to the woman, but only to one
to the one that offered me delights
and engulfed me with her kisses

I toast to the woman that tucked me in the crib
I toast to the woman that taught me from childhood
the value of profound and truthful love
I toast to the woman who cuddled me in her arms
and that bit by bit gave me her entire heart

To that golden and blessed old lady
that with her blood she offered me life
to the one that was the light of my soul
today I toast to my Mother, to my darling Mother

To that sad old woman that lives and cries
and to Heavens implores that I return
to my Mother, bohemians, who is the sweetness
poured into my sorrow and, in this night, a star
who wishes that I soon be with her

The bohemian became silent
and not a word spoiled the sentiment
born from pain and tenderness
and it appeared that, over that atmosphere,
was immensely floating …
A Poem of Love and Sorrow

El Paso, Texas 1915

Guillermo Aguirre y Fierro
Translation by Heart Bitz


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