Las ruinas / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Ruins

I was feeling under my feet the softness of rust-colored moss, which thrives in humidity. It was proliferating on the roof tiles and in the cracks of the walls and of the cantilevers.
     A mob of winged horses with iron clogs had run on the solid staircase, spurred on by the voice of a beardless hero, flattered by victory. He would inflict wounds with a light and usual mace like a scepter, with a round head armed with metallic points.
     I was visiting, after a decade, the palace with the sunken roof. The rain, perpetually unleashed in torrents, had stripped, from its thin carpet of dirt, the granite boulder situated in front of the building at its feet. Accessing it had become a hard slope.
     I bowed in front of an image of a saint, lodged in its ancient vaulted niche, decorated with pellitories, and descended to lose myself in a trail of oaks. From their branches the pendulum vine shoots of an adventitious flora were hanging to the sand on the ground.
     I continued on that path, alone and without laying down my sword, and I came to sit, anxious to meditate and read, on a stone bench, wedged at the foot of an unexpected tree.
     Its yellow leaves with their grayish reverse were vibrating to the single sound of the indolent sea and one of them, flying at random, grazed my head and came to fill with fragrance the pages of my book of Amadis.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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