by: Luis Muñoz Marín (1898-1980)

      '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

"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.




[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z ]

Home · Poetry Store · Links · Email · © 2002