El culpable / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Guilty One

I agonized in the ruined summer mansion, forgotten in a deep valley.
     Fauns and other garden simulacra were lying on the ground.
     The steam from the humidity was clouding the air.
     The thickets were decaying the trees of classical lineage.
     Some rubble was stagnating, in front of my retreat, an exhausted river.
     My voices of pain were prolonging themselves in the dark valley. A strange evil was disfiguring my organism.
     The doctors were using, amidst their uncertainty, the cruelest resources of their art. They were lavishing scarification and cautery.
     I recall the happy occasion, when I felt the start of the illness. We were celebrating, after midnight, the arrival of a foreigner and her arrogant beauty. The heavy bronze lamp suddenly fell on the banquet table.
     I was glimpsing in the course of my dreams, a pause in the desperation, a maiden of seraphic countenance, fugitive in the whirlwind of the sendals of her garb. I was imploring her on my knees and with my hands clasped together.
     My nature triumphed, after a long time, over the ferocious evil. I emerged thin and tremulous.
     As soon as I recovered, I visited a family of my affection, and I found the virgin of the candid face, solace of my past bitterness.
     She was paying attention to a crepuscular melody.
     The memory of my misplacement was filling me with confusion and making me blush. I was contemplating her respectfully.
     She dismissed me, indignant, from her presence.

La torre de Timón (1925)

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

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