Garcia Lorca:


The unfaithful married woman


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(translated by Rolfe Humphries)

I have to shut my windows.
I do not want to hear the weeping.
But from behind the grey walls.
Nothing is heard but the weeping.

There are few angels that sing.
There are few dogs that bark.
A thousand violins fit in the palm of the hand.
But the weeping is an immense angel.
The weeping is an immense dog.
The weeping is an immense violin.
Tears strangle the wind.
Nothing is heard but the weeping.

The unfaithful married woman
(translated by Rolfe Humphries)

I took her to the river,
believing her unwed;
the fact she had a husband
was something left unsaid.
St. Jame's night is timely--
She would not let me wait--
The lights are put out early,
the fireflies light up late.

I roused her sleeping bosom
right earily in our walk;
her heart unfolded for me
like hyacinths on the stalk.
Her starchy skirts kept rustling
and crackled in my ears
like sheets of silk cut crosswise
at once by twenty shears.

The dark unsilvered treetops
grew tall, as on we strode;
dogs barked, a whole horizon,
far from the river road.

When we had passed the brambles
and the thickets on our round,
her colied hair made a pillow
in a hollow on the ground:
As I undid my necktie,
her petticoats left their place;
I shed my leather holster,
and she, four layers of lace.

Not nard nor snail had ever
texture of skin so fine,
nor crystal in the moonlight
glimmered with purer shine:
Her thighs slipped from beneath me
like little trout in fright,
half chilly (but not frigid),
half full of shining light.

The whole night saw me posting
Upon my lovely mare;
mother-of-pearl the saddle,
no need for bridle and spur;
and what her whispers told me
a man should not repeat
when perfect understanding
has made the mind discreet.

Dirty with sand and kisses
I brought her from the shore
as the iris poised green sabres
at the night wind once more.

To act in decent fashion
as loyal gypsy should,
I gave her a sewing-basket,
satin and straw, and good;
and yet I would not love her
in spite of what she said
when I took her to the river,
for she was not unwed.



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