Last updated on Aug. 25, 2000
[Versión original]

Fray Luis de León

The Night Serene

When I contemplate o'er me
    The heaven of stars profound,
And mark the earth before me
    In darkness swathed around,—
    In careless slumber and oblivion bound;

Then love and longing waken
    The anguish of my soul;
Mine eyes with tears are taken
    Like founts beyond control,
    My voice sighs forth at last its voice of dole:—

O Temple-Seat of Glory,
    Of Beauteousness and Light,
To thy calm promontory
    My soul was born! What blight
    Holds it endungeoned here from such a height?

What mortal aberration
    Hath so estranged mankind
That from God's destination
    He turns, abandoned, blind,
    To follow mocking shade and empty rind?

No thought amid his slumber
    He grants impending fate,
While nights and dawns keep number
    In step apportionate,
    And life is filched away—his poor estate.

Alas!—arise, weak mortals,
    And measure all your loss!
Begirt for deathless portals,
    Can souls their birthright toss
    Aside, and live on shadows vain and dross?

Oh, let your eyes beholding
    Yon pure celestial sphere,
Unmask the wiles enfolding
    The life that flatters here—
    The little day of mingled hope and fear!

What more can base earth render
    Than one poor moment's pause,
Compared with that far Splendor
    Where in its primal cause
    Lives all that is—that shall be—and that was!

Who on yon constellation
    Eternal can set gaze,—
Its silvery gradation,
    Its majesty of ways,
    The concord and proportion it displays,—

In argent Wonder turning
    The moon doth nightly rove,
Squired by the Star of Learning
    And melting Star of Love,
    She trails with gentle retinue above—.

And lo! through outer spaces
    Where Mars is rolled aflame!
Where Jupiter retraces
    The calmed horizon's frame
    And all the heavens his ray beloved acclaim!

Beyond swings Saturn, father
    Of the fabled age of gold;
And o'er his shoulders gather
    Night's chantries manifold,
    In their proportioned grade and lustre stoled!—

Who can behold such vision
    And still earth's baubles prize?
Nor sob the last decision
    To rend the bond that ties
    His soul a captive from such blissful skies?

For there Content hath dwelling;
    And Peace, her realm; and there
Mid joys and glories swelling
    Lifts up the dais fair
    With Sacred Love enthroned beyond compare.

Immensurable Beauty
    Shows cloudless to that light;
And there a Sun doth duty
    That knows no stain of night;
    There Spring Eternal blossoms without blight.

O fields of Truth-Abiding!
    Green pasturelands and rills!
And mines of treasures hiding!
    O joyous-breasted hills!
    Re-echoing vales where every balm distils!


                —Thomas Walsh (translator)

From: Hispanic Anthology: Poems Translated from the Spanish by English and North American Poets, collected and arranged by Thomas Walsh. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1920.


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Texto electrónico por Fred F. Jehle
URL: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/poesia/nochesen.htm