Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957)


And shall it never be again, never? Not on nights filled
with trembling of stars, or by the pure light
of virginal dawns, or on afternoons of immolation?

Never, at the edge of any pale pathway
that borders the field, or beside any
tremulous fountain white under the moon?

Never, beneath the entangled tresses of the forest
where, calling out to him, night descended on me?
Nor in the cavern that returns my echoing outcry?

Oh, no! Just to see him again, no matter where--
in little patches of sky or in the seething vortex,
beneath placid moons or in a livid horror!

And, together with him, to be all springtimes
and all winters, entwined in one anguished knot
around his blood-stained neck! 

               (translated by Doris Dana)


He passed by with another;
I saw him pass by.
The wind ever sweet
and the path full of peace.
And these eyes of mine, wretched,
saw him pass by!

He goes loving another
over the earth in bloom.
The hawthorn is flowering
and a song wafts by.
He goes loving another
over the earth in bloom!

He kissed the other
by the shores of the sea.
The orange-blossom moon
skimmed over the waves.
And my heart's blood did not taint
the expanse of the sea!

He will go with another
through eternity.
Sweet skies will shine.
(God wills to keep silent.)
And he will go with another
through eternity!

               (translated by Doris Dana)

Return to:

Revised: March 9, 1997