O ESCRIBA THE SCRIBE
Ramiro Fonte tr. Richard Bramah, Helen Buffery, Benigno Fernández Salgado & John Rutherford
- (from Galician)
Levo neste apousento longos anos
Dando fin ó meu libro. Algunhas noites
Despértame o ruído dos xinetes
Polo caudal escuro - Traen sinais de loita -
. Son fermosas as escravas del Rei e nos segredos
Do seu corpo a vellez é efixie inútil.
Xa vai para dúas lúas que turbos mensaxeiros
Por boca de traición relataron aciagos
Momentos do meu pobo.
Amanuense son dunha historia terrible.
Rin os bufóns de min nas súas farsas
E circulan sucesos nas intrigas da corte.
Tarde é xa para buscar señor,
Para ler no futuro vencido dos onículos.
Prométeme, fortuna, algún doce epigrama
E derrama esas copas nas que bebo saudades.
Lene fai ese corpo de nena ou de muller
Que ennovela o seu soño na fronteira do albor.
Fai tamén que florezan para min as cerdeiras.

(from Pensar na tempestade, 1986)
I have been in this chamber for long years
Writing the last pages of my book.
Some nights I am awoken by the horsemen
By the dark river - they bear signs of fighting.
The girl-slaves of the King are beautiful and in the secrets
Of their bodies old age is a useless effigy.
Two moons ago it was that those dark heralds
With words of treason told of fateful moments
Of my people.
An amanuensis I am, of a terrible history.
I am laughed at by the jesters in their buffoonery
And gossip flies abroad amid the intrigues of the court.
It is now too late to seek a master,
To read in the defeated future of the oracles.
Vouch me, O Fortune, some sweet epigram
And fill these glasses where I drink dear memories.
Make light that body of a girl or of a woman
Which weaves its reverie around the borders of sunrise.
And bring the cherry trees into blossom for me.

(from Thinking in the Tempest, 1986)

Copyright © Ramiro Fonte 1986; Trans. Copyright © Richard Bramah, Helen Buffery,
Benigno Fernández Salgado & John Rutherford 1992 - publ. in 'Planet' by Berw Cyf.


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