La alucinada / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Hallucinating Girl

The jungle had grown over the ruins of a nameless city. Through the weeds emerged, at each step, the vestige of an astonishing civilization.
     Farmers and fishermen lived off the watery land, making the most of the primitive equipment of their trade.
     More than one advanced society had succumbed, in an unexpected manner, in that morbid spot.
     I experienced, through a demented virgin, the strangest event. She would cry once in a while, when the intervals of reason suppressed her serene madness.
     She called herself a daughter of the ancient gentlemen of the place. They had thrown from their lavish mansion a bearded, repugnant old lady.
     That rejection motivated successive calamities, vengeance from the harpy. She circumvented their only daughter, almost an infant, and persuaded her to toss, with her pure hands, ashen herbs into the canorous sea.
     Ever since then its diminished waves play in silence. The region’s prosperity disappeared amidst a clamor. Bushes and herbage are born from the swamps and cover the rubble.
     But the virgin watches, during her delirium, a magic grove, wrapped in a blue and trembling light, originating from an opening in the sky. She hears the insistent trilling of an invisible bird, and celebrates the pirouettes of winged elves.
     The unhappy girl smiles within her disgrace, and moves away from me, speaking through her teeth a delirious song.

La torre de Timón (1925)

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

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