translated from the Spanish by Muna Lee
The dungeon crushes me—over my restless spirit
Pass dark thoughts unspoken.
My poet’s wings, even in unfolding,
Against four walls are broken.
Entombed and alive! The nights are eternal,
And eternal are the days.
Sorrows companion me, spies are about me,
The fetter upon me weighs.
But on closing my eyes—(light, sky, and meadow!)—
Broken I see my chain.
With my love on my arm I breathe deep in the garden
Of magnolia and vervain.
I delight in the air, in the running water,
Fresh as my belovèd one.
There is still something good despots cannot imprison,
Nor heap chains upon!
From Poetry, Vol. XXVI (June 1925). This poem is in the public domain.