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   I tell myself: at last I have escaped the noise;

no one sees me on my way to the sacred nave.

Tall shadows attend,

and Darío who passes with lyre in mourning.

   With innumerable steps the gentle Muse emerges,

and my eyes go to her, like chicks to corn.

Ethereal tulles and sleeping titmice harass her,

while the blackbird of life dreams in her hand.

   My God, you are merciful, for you have bestowed this nave,

where these blue sorcerers perform their duties.

Darío of celestial Americas! They are so much

like you! And from your braids they make their hair shirts.

   Like souls seeking burials of absurd gold,

those wayward archpriests of the heart,

probe deeper, and appear ... and addressing us from afar,

bewail the monotonous suicide of God!


Clayton Eshleman, translation from
the Spanish written by Cesar Vallejo

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