Verses to the Moon

translated from the Spanish by William George Williams

Oh moon, who now look over the roof
of the church, in the tropical calm
to be saluted by him who has been out all night,
to be barked at by the dogs of the suburbs,

Oh moon who in your silence have laughed at
all things! In your sidereal silence 
when, keeping carefully in the shadow, the
municipal judge steals from some den.

But you offer, saturnine traveler,
with what eloquence in mute space
consolation to him whose life is broken,

while there sing to you from a drunken brawl
long-haired, neurasthenic bards,
and lousy creatures who play dominos.



Versos a la luna 


¡Oh, luna, que hoy te asomas al tejado
de la iglesia, en la calma tropical,
para que te salude un trasnochado
y te ladren los perros de arrabal!

¡Oh, luna! . . . ¡En tu silencio te has burlado
de todo! . . . En tu silencio sideral,
viste anoche robar en despoblado
. . . ¡y el ladrón era un Juez municipal!

Mas tú ofreces, viajera saturnina,
con qué elocuencia en los espacios mudos,
consuelo al que la vida laceró,

mientras te cantan, en cualquier cantina,
neurasténicos bardos melenudos
y piojosos, que juegan dominó. . .

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 2, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.