SYMPHONY IN WHITE
by: Luis Muñoz Marín
- 'WAS midnight
when she died; her body lay
- White as the wheaten wafer of the priest,
- What time the heavens were weeping. Let us pray,
- O friend and servant, for her soul released!
- Good Chaplain, seeing thus her body fair
- And white as was the maiden soul it hid,
- How shall they know in heaven, the angels there,
- If welcome to her soul or flesh they bid?
- Her hair was as the gold on sunset heights;
- Her body framed as vaguely as the dawn;
- It seemed that God to form its pure delights
- Merely a copy of her soul had drawn.
- There in her casket-boards I saw her lie,
- The purer even without Ophelia's love,
- Stretched all agaze upon the star-lit sky
- In the close shaft that shuts me from above.
- Now it is morning, Padre, and the sun
- Is up -- the sun that hid behind the rain,--
- The sun that yester's holocaust has done,--
- The sun you know so well, -- my sun again--
- I fall to meditation, how whene'er
- Some bureaucrat or alms-dispensing dame
- Passes away, the sun is always there
- With share of gold the same!--
- If justice be in God, as light in stars,
- Green in the fields, and in the heavens blue,--
- Why for her death across the morning bars
- Comes not a double dawn or sun in view?
- The Padre bowed his forehead white and old
- Into the breast of his soutane of black,
- And on his eyelids a slow tear unrolled
- And hung, reflecting the new sunlight back.
--Translated by Thomas Walsh
POEMS BY LUIS MUÑOZ MARÍN
"Symphony in White" 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.