Las virtudes / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Virtues

I remember the wedding festivities in the transparent night. A nomadic artist was brushing the metallic chords of an instrument of his invention with a feather. The sound was seconding the effluvium of the jasmines. I was dreaming of a caliph’s immediate arrival.
     The cortège of the virgins dissipated the troubles of my pensive childhood in an instant. Their musical names, of Italian origin, circulated amid praises. No mortal save Dante could have referred a case of such happiness. I was sighing and smiling at once.
     The party was following the mourning of war and demonstrating an immune vitality. The neighbors had sacrificed themselves haughtily and were honoring the example of their martyrs. I barely noticed the vestige of the conflict in the city’s mountains, on the day I was to retire forever. The breeze was straightening out the red glow and the ship of absence within the same path.
     The cortège of the virgins, with timid smiles, has disappeared from the world. I have divined their voices, gathered in a canticle, while losing myself voluntarily in hope’s limbo. A river of silver divides a prairie of eternity at a slant and a deer, the one belonging to Saint Hubert, displays the sorrow of Good Friday. I recreate myself in the episode of my childhood and in the illusion of voices and trust I will die within view of the diamantine eyes.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

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

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