translated from the Spanish by Roderick Gill

O faint remembrances of vanished days
    That stole away on such a velvet wing
O’er meads and groves, o’er plains and mountain ways,
    What grief and sorrow to my heart you bring!

Come back without the shadow of your care,
    Come back in silence and without a moan,
As the birds cross the unregarding air
    Till none may tell the whence or whither flown.

Come back amid the pallor of the moon
    That silvers all the azure rifts at sea,
Or in the deadly mist that in a swoon
    Engulfs afar the green palm’s royal tree.

Bring back the murmur of the doves that made
    Their little nests so neighborly to mine;
The vibrant airs––the fragrances that played
     Around the peaks that saw my cradle shine.

Sing in my ear the melodies of old,
    So sweet and joyous to my inmost heart;
O faint remembrances two breasts should hold,
    Two breasts that Destiny was loath to part!

What matter if a sigh steals through the dream
    That shows the withered vine in flower again?––
So that remembrances in singing seem,
    O tremulous lyre, to speak my endless pain!

From Hispanic Notes & Monographs: Essays, Studies, and Brief Biographies Issued by the Hispanic Society of America (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1920) edited by Thomas Walsh. This poem is in the public domain.