Translated from the Spanish by Mason Carnes

When the sleepless fever comes
And the hours creep slowly by,
On the border of my bed
      Who will sit beside me?

When my thin and trembling hand
I stretch out—about to die—
Longing for a friendly hand,
      Who will grasp it tightly?

When my eyes are glazed by death
Eyes that ne’er again will see—
Should my eyelids open stay,
      Who will close them kindly? 

When they sound the funeral bell
(If a knell be tolled for me),
Hearing it, a gentle prayer
      Who will murmur softly?

When my body lies at rest
In the bosom of the earth,
O’er the soon-forgotten grave
      Who will come to mourn me?

When the sun returns to shine
On the morrow, in their mirth
That I passed once through this world
      Who will e’er remember?

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.