Poems of Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, XIV

Translated from the Spanish by Mason Carnes

I saw you but an instant, yet your eyes
Image themselves before mine own and rise
And float, like that dark spot, mantled in blaze
Which floats and blinds, when on the sun you gaze.

Wherever I may look, I do but turn
To see your glowing eyes that flash and burn;
But ’tis not you that I encounter, for
It is your look alone, your eyes—no more!

I see them in the corner of my room
Wildly and strangely shining in the gloom;
And even when I sleep I feel them there
Wide-open, fix’d on me with steady stare.

I know that there are will-o’-the-wisps that fly
Before the traveller, leading him to die;
Your eyes draw me along; I feel ’tis so,
But yet I know not whither they would 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.