Last updated Sept. 5, 2000
Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas
I saw the ramparts of my native land
One time so strong, now dropping decay,
Their strength destroyed by this new age's way
That has worn out and rotted what was grand.
I went into the fields; there I could see
The sun drink up the waters new thawed;
And on the hills the moaning cattle pawed,
Their miseries robbed the light of day for me.
I went into my house; I saw how spotted,
Decaying things made that old home their prize;
My withered walking-staff had come to bend.
I felt the age had won; my sword was rotted;
And there was nothing on which to set my eyes
That was not a reminder of the end.
John Masefield (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.