El derrotero de Camoens / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

Camoen’s Course

We were proposing to visit a timorous kinglet. He depended on the assent of Great Britain.
     He ordered, to facilitate our journey, an escort of his ministers, dressed in yellow silk. They were riding a fluvial boat, war canoe, similar to an unfurled butterfly. The adornment of its sails was so original!
     We always had in view some pagoda in the shape of a bell situated in a forest clearing. Tropical nature was releasing the chorus of its innumerable voices and was governed by the scream of a monkey hanging by a single hand. The kinglet’s ministers were increasing the racket by sounding a music of rattle and drum.
     We overcame the detours of the majestic caudal of water and arrived at the palace of our character, a building of chimerical style, amid a salvo of disused cannons. The scarecrows of sleep and the beasts of the desert constituted the architecture’s ornamental motives. The king was incorporating to his own name, a series of sanguinary epithets and attributes, idleness of his ingenuous vanity.
     He received us courteously and was satisfied with our prostrated greeting. He recited for us, during the first interview, the precepts relative to anger and pride, so as to give us an idea of the doctrines of his race.
     He invited us, the following evening, to the pastime of a drama. The decoration possessed a forgotten liturgical sense and the parliaments, similar and prolific, were composing the story of a vengeance. The conflict was unfolding by means of an unlikely accident and dramatic illusion was yielding to an actual outrage. A woman of the seraglio, abhorred by the king, was playing the most odious role and was buried alive.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

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

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