Undying Love Beyond the Grave

Translation of Francisco de Quevedo’s “Amor constante más allá de la muerte.”

Perhaps the last shade that will take me
one white day may close my eyes,
and time, acquiescing to its pressing desire
may unmoor this soul of mine;

but it won’t leave love’s memory there
where it burned on that far shore, the other side:
my flame knows how to brave icy water
and ignore laws that pretend to confine.

A soul whose prison no less than divine has been,
veins that entertained the spread of so much fire,
marrow that smoldered gloriously in its pyre—

their body will leave them, but not their passion;
they will be ashes, but it will mean something;
dust they will be, but dust that keeps loving.

 

Amor constante más allá de la muerte

Cerrar podrá mis ojos la postrera
sombra que me llevare el blanco día,
y podrá desatar esta alma mía
hora a su afán ansioso lisonjera;

mas no, de esotra parte, en la ribera,
dejará la memoria, en donde ardía:
nadar sabe mi llama la agua fría,
y perder el respeto a ley severa.

Alma a quien todo un dios prisión ha sido,
venas que humor a tanto fuego han dado,
médulas que han gloriosamente ardido:

su cuerpo dejará, no su cuidado;
serán ceniza, mas tendrá sentido;
polvo serán, mas polvo enamorado.

Leslie Harkema

Leslie Harkema

Leslie Harkema is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Yale University. Her first book, Spanish Modernism and the Poetics of Youth: From Miguel de Unamuno to La Joven Literatura, is forthcoming in 2018 from University of Toronto Press.
Leslie Harkema

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Author: Leslie Harkema

Leslie Harkema is Assistant Professor of Spanish at Yale University. Her first book, Spanish Modernism and the Poetics of Youth: From Miguel de Unamuno to La Joven Literatura, is forthcoming in 2018 from University of Toronto Press.