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CANCION OF AUTUMN IN SPRINGTIME

To Gregorio Martínez Sierra

Days of youth, my sacred treasure,
Unreturning ye pass by!—
Would I weep?—no tears I measure;—
Then my tears—I know not why!—

My poor heart hath been divided
In its days celestial here;
There was a gentle maid, unguided
Through this world's affliction drear;

Like the white dawn was her vision;
Like the flower her gentle smile;
And her dusky locks elysian
Seemed of night and grief the style.

I was but a lad unknowing,—
She, as natural, would play
Through my love's fond ermine, showing
Herodias and Salomé.

Days of youth, my sacred treasure,
Unreturning ye pass by!—
Would I weep?—no tears I measure;—
Then my tears,—I know not why!—

There was another then, more tender,
More sensitive, more subtly kind,
More soothing, more delight to render
Than ever I had thought to find;

But 'neath her gentleness unceasing
A violent passion was concealed
And through her filmy robe releasing,
A wild Bacchante was revealed.

To breast she took my young ideal,
And nursed it softly as a child;
Then slew it, left it sad, unreal,
Of all its light and trust defiled.

Days of youth, my sacred treasure,
Unreturning ye pass by!—
Would I weep?—no tears I measure;—
Then my tears—I know not why!—

There was another took my kisses
To be the casket of her flame;
She laughed amid our wildest blisses,—
Her teeth against my heart-strings came!

Amid the maddest of her passion
She looked across with wilful eyes,—
As though our fond embrace could fashion
The essence of eternal skies;

As though our fragile flesh were tying
The boughs of endless Edens here;
Unmindful that with Springtime dying
The joys of body disappear.

Days of youth, my sacred treasure,
Unreturning ye pass by!—
Would I weep?—no tears I measure;—
Then my tears—I know not why!—

And all the others! In how many
Lands and climes,—they ever were!
Pretexts for a rhyme,—or any
Notion in my heart astir!—

Vain my search for that high lady
For whom I have awaited long.
But life is hard and grim and shady,—
There was no princess, save in song!

In spite of Time's unyielding measure,
My thirst for love has never died,—
My gray head bends to scent with pleasure
The roses of the garden-side—

Days of youth, my sacred treasure,
Unreturning ye pass by!—
Would I weep—no tears I measure;—
Then my tears—I know not why!—

Mine is still the Dawn of golden treasure!—

autógrafo

Rubén Darío, 1905
Translation by Thomas Walsh


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