AQUEL ROMOR DE CÁNTIGAS ... NOW ALL THAT SOUND ...
Rosalía de Castro John Frederick Nims - (from Galician)
Aquel romor de cántigas e risas,
ir, vir, algarear;
aquel falar de cousas que pasaron
y outras que pasarán;
aquela, en fin, vitalidade inquieta
xuvenil, tanto mal
me fixo, que lles dixen:
"Ivos e non volvás."

Un a un desfilaron silenciosos
por aquí, por alá,
tal como cando as contas d'un rosario
s'espallan pol-o chán:
y ò romor d'os seus pasos, mentres s'iñan,
de tal modo hastra min veu resoar,
que non máis tristemente
resoará quisáis
n'ò fondo d'os sepulcros
ò último adiós qu'un vivo ôs mortos dá.

Y ô fin soya quedéi, pero tan soya,
qu'oyo d'a mosca ò inquieto revoar,
d'o ratiño ò roer terco e constante,
e d'o lume ò "chis chas,"
cando d'a verde pónla
o fresco zugo devorando vai,
parece que me falan, qu' os entendo,
que compaña me fan;
y este meu coraçón lles di tembrando:
"¡Por Dios, ... non vos vayáis!"

¡Qué doçe, mais que triste,
tamén é a soedad!
Now all that sound of laughter, sound of singing,
going, coming, happy stir!
that talk of Know what happened? What's about to?
the breathless Have you heard?
all of that bright vitality, so restless,
of boys and girls
- too much to bear. I begged
"Please leave me. Don't return."

So one by one they left me, left in silence
this way or that. Alone.
Beads of a broken rosary rolled and scattered
across the floor.
And as they left, the brush of footsteps moving
away, went softly eddying round me, so
softly who'd ever heard
such lonely tones?
No, not the last farewell
the living give their hollow dead below.

And finally left alone here, so alone
I heard the restless fly buzz to and fro,
heard the rat gnaw, his purpose one thing only,
heard the thin sticks aglow
hiss on the hearth, the fire protest, consuming
raw logs of greener oak.
I dream they're talking to me, dream I listen,
know I've no other folk,
and so I urge them one and all, heart skipping,
"Don't you leave. Don't you go."

All's well with me. No grieving.
This solitude's my home.

Trans. Copyright © Mrs. Bonnie Nims 1971


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