La balada del transeúnte / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Ballad of the Passerby

     How I remember the village cemetery! Inside the walls tarnished by inclemency, a few crosses nailed to the ground, and also above burial mounds and occasional marble. The pile of unburied coffins leaned against a corner of the building, broken into rotten pieces and splinters. Dense vegetation was unrolling a carpet trampled noiselessly by the walker.

     From that damp earth, packed with human remains, the insect was sprouting in masses for the laborious march or the quick flight. The trees of dark foliage, weighed down by the drops of frequent rain, were blowing rumors of prayers, a reflection of the oracle of the Greek holm oaks. One or another distant voice was growing sharp in the half-dead afternoon, foundering in the pale silence with the solemnity of the errant star, precipitated into the sea.

     The clouds spread across the sky, like a procession of angelical novices, turned golden by the occidental sun, that inundates the sanctuary with fantastic light through the Gothic stained glass windows. Mountains of docile slope, disposed at either side of the valley of repose, dressed in thin fog, that frolics in fast Valkyrian horses, leaving a sudden rainbow as a sign and remnant of the escape.

     Afflictive abandonment enhanced the horror of the place, advised an attachment to life, drove away the sickly delectation of the image in the grave, displaying in this the terrible misfortune, according to the pagan reason. The light of the colorless day was seconding the strength of that appearance, being the same one that in Hellenic fables instigates nostalgia for the earth in the cortege of sighing spirits through the vain asphodels.

La torre de Timón (1925)

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

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