Canto De Esperanza (With English Translation)

Un gran vuelo de cuervos mancha el azul celeste.
Un soplo milenario trae amagos de peste.
Se asesinan los hombres en el extremo Este.

!Ha nacido el apocalíptico Anticristo?
Se han sabido presagios y prodigios se han visto
y parece inminente el retorno de Cristo.

La tierra está preñada de dolor tan profundo
que el soñador imperial, meditabundo,
sufre con las angustias del corazón del mundo.

Verdugos de ideales afligieron la tierra:
en un pozo de sombra la humanidad se encierra
con los rudos molosos del odio y de la guerra.

¡Oh, Señor Jesucristo! ¿Por qué tardas, qué esperas
para tender tu mano de la luz sobre las fieras
y hacer brillar al sol tus divinas banderas?

Surge de pronto y vierte la esencia de la vida
sobre tanta alma loca, triste o emperdernida
que, amante de tinieblas, tu dulce aurora olvida.
Vén, Señor, para hacer la gloria de ti mismo.
Vén con temblor de estrellas y horror de cataclismo,
vén a traer amor y paz sobre el abismo.

Y tu caballo blanco, que miró el visionario,
pase. Y suene el divino clarín extraordinario.
Mi corazón será brasa de tu incensario.

English Translation

Song of Hope

Vultures a-wing have sullied the glory of the sky;
The winds bear on their pinions the horror of Death's
Assassinating one another, men rage and fall and die.

Has Antichrist arisen whom John at Patmos saw?
Portents are seen and marvels that fill the world with awe,
And Christ's return seems pressing, come to fulfill the Law.

The ancient Earth is pregnant with so profound a smart,
The royal dreamer, musing, silent and sad apart,
Grieves with the heavy anguish that rends the world's great

Slaughterers of ideals with the violence of fate
Have cast man in the darkness of labyrinths intricate
To be the prey and carnage of hounds of war and hate.

Lord Christ! for what art waiting to come in all Thy might
And stretch Thy hands of radiance over these wolves of
And spread on high Thy banners and lave the world with

Swiftly arise and pour Life's essence lavishly
On souls that crazed with hunger, or sad, or maddened be,
Who tread the paths of blindness forgetting the dawn
and Thee.

Come Lord, to make Thy glory, with lightnings on Thy

With trembling stars around Thee and cataclysmal woe,
And bring Thy gifts of justice and peace and love below!

Let the dread horse John visioned devouring stars, pass by;
And angels sound the clarion of Judgment from on high.
My heart shall be an ember and in thy censer lie

by Ruben Dario

Comments (4)

The poet admits to having given away, or to having lost, a notebook which was a gift to him from the youth. The insignificance of the event has led commentators to believe that the detail must be biographical, for it is too trivial to be part of a traditional sonnet sequence of lofty sentiments, and therefore probably relates to an actual incident. The idea of tables (a notebook) to record the loved one's perfections had already been used by Ronsard in one of his sonnets. The difference seems to be that Ronsard's sonnet expresses the ideal of a sublime love, whereas Shakespeare seems to relate much more to the untidiness of lived experience.
He has committed a serious fault in carelessly giving away a gift which he appears not to have used. Yet this was from the beloved whom he claimed to love more than anything else in the world. He can only excuse this fault by claimimg that all is retained forever in the security of his mind, or, if not forever, for as long as he lives and breathes. This is something of a descent from the heights of immortality. But what else can be done - the fault has been found out and an excuse must be invented? In the circumstances this is not a bad one, and the youth has the additional satisfaction of being told that he will always be at the forefront of his lover's thoughts.
It is possible that the poem is the result of a gradual cooling off over a longish period. The youth was away, (perhaps imprisoned in the Tower) and the lack of contact led to forgetfulness, a disregard of the past and the discarding of the notebook. On his unexpected return the youth enquired after it, and had to be met with evasions and excuse. It seems unlikely that the notebook is the one referred to in sonnet 77, now filled with the youth's own memoranda. For the giving away of such a treasure would be an unforgivable act, rather like the loss of Desdemona's handkerchief.
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