THE EYES

by Antonio Machado.  Translated by Alan S. Trueblood.

When his beloved died
he thought he'd just grow old,
shutting himself in the house
alone, with memories and the mirror
that she had looked in one bright day.
Like gold in the miser's chest,
he thought he'd keep all yesterday
in the clear mirror intact.
For him time's flow would cease.
Cuando murió su amada
pensó en hacerse viejo
en la mansión cerrada,
solo, con su memoria y el espejo
donde ella se miraba un claro día.
Como el oro en el arca del avaro,
pensó que guardaría
todo un ayer en el espejo claro.
Ya el tiempo para él no correría.
But after a year had passed,
he began to wonder about her eyes:
"Were they brown or black?  Or green?  ...Or grey?
What were they like?  Good God! I can't recall..."
Mas pasado el primer aniversario,
¿cómo eran--preguntó--, pardos o negros,
sus ojos?  ¿Glaucos?...¿Grises?
¿Cómo eran, ¡Santo Dios!, que no recuerdo?...

One day in spring he left the house
and took his double mourning down the street
in silence, his heart tight shut...
In the dim hollow of a window
he caught a flash of eyes.  He lowered his...
and walked right on...Like those! 

Salió a calle un día
de primavera, y paseó en silencio
su doble luto, el corazón cerrado...

De una ventana en el sombrío hueco
vio unos ojos brillar. Bajó los suyos
y siguió su camino...¡Como ésos!                                  

Return to Literature Page