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Pity, Lord, pity on my poor town
where my poor people will likely die of nothing.
That old notary who devotes his days
to his slow, detailed, rat's worries;
this fat mayor, huge his vacuous paunch,
dabbling in his life as if in a sauce;
that store with few customers, unchanged for ten centuries;
those goats frisking in the plaza sun,
a beggar, a bony horse, scabby and gray,
clomping along these wide streets;
the cold, grinding boredom of Sundays
shooting pool and playing cards in bars;
Everything, the whole tedious herd of these lives
in this old town where nothing happens,
all this dies, falls, collapses
from living easy and content with one's lot.

Pity, Lord, pity on my poor town.
Over these simple souls, unleash some rogue
who'd hurl against their dead-water lives
the liberating stone of an impulsive act...
Some thief to break open that Bank in the night,
some Don Juan to seduce that chaste young lady,
some professional cardshark to enter the town
and shuffle these honorable, docile people.

Pity, Lord, pity on my poor town
where my poor people will likely die of nothing.

Luis Palés Matos
English Translation: Julio Marzán

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