LORD, I ASK A GARDEN
by: Alfonso Guillén
I ask a garden in a quiet spot
- Where there may be a brook with a good flow,
- An humble little house covered with bell-flowers
- And a woman and a son who shall resemble Thee.
- I should wish to live many years, free from hates,
- And make my verses, as the rivers
- That moisten the earth, fresh and pure.
- Lord, give me a path with trees and birds.
- I wish that you would never take my mother,
- For I should wish to tend her as a child
- And put her to sleep with kisses, when somewhat old,
- She may need the sun.
- I wish to sleep well, to have a few books,
- An affectionate dog that will spring upon my knees,
- A flock of goats, all things rustic,
- And to live of the soil tilled by my own hand.
- To go into the field and flourish with it;
- To seat myself at evening under the rustic eaves,
- To drink in the fresh mountain perfumed air
- And speak to my little one of humble things.
- At night to relate to him some simple tale,
- Teach him to laugh with the laughter of water
- And put him to sleep thinking that he may later on
- Keep that freshness of the moist grass.
- And afterwards, the next day, rise with dawn,
- Admiring life, bathe in the brook,
- Milk my goats in the happiness of the garden
- And add a strophe to the poem of the world.
--Translated by William G. Williams
MORE POEMS BY ALFONSO GUILLÉN ZELAYA
"Lord, I ask a Garden"
is reprinted from Hispanic Anthology: Poems Translated from
the Spanish by English and North American Poets. Ed. Thomas
Walsh. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1920.