Poems of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, II

Translated from the Spanish by Mason Carnes

Flying arrow that darts astray,
   Shot at misfortune unforeseen,
   Without divining where its keen
Quivering edge will find its way;

Leaf that from the sapless tree
   Is ravished by the wild south wind,
   With none to know or care to find
The furrow where its end will be;

Gigantic wave,—which the tempest hurls
   And fiercely tosses upon the sea—
   That rolling and raging wantonly
Knows not the shore towards which it whirls;

Light that shines though death be nigh
   And burns in flickering circles small,
   Not knowing which among them all
Will flicker the last and trembling die;

Such am I. By chance I flow
   Into this troubled world unsought;
   I ebb away without a thought
Of whence I come or where I go.

From Poems of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1891) by Gustavo Adolfo Becquer. Translated from the Spanish by Mason Carnes. This poem is in the public domain.