Constanza / José Antonio Ramos Sucre


     I’m startled by remorse when I fix the slender and seraphic image, leaning out from the limbo of oblivion. From the churches rose the prayer of the bronzes toward the infinity of the mist. I was defending the similarity of the faithful maiden to the passion flower.

     I would visit her at her ancient home, under the watch of her decrepit relatives and protectors. They would stop me with the object of referring me to elegant episodes, the apogee of the city converted into wretchedness, the pride of the notables and the virtue of the ladies in the presence of a conquering army, attentive to the honor and service of the crown of Castille. A woman of her lineage, of chaste beauty, came to die in those agitated days and the young men of one and another partiality united in grief. The elderly described for me, without realizing it, the funerals for Juliette.

     They were praising for me the love of a dreamer for a lady of solemn gestures, the writings of a vivacious pen and the bizarre release from affection upon receiving the report of his journey on the gravedigger’s cart, in the middle of a plague. I wanted to clear up the selfless man’s bravery by reciting in the senile committee Petrarch’s humble, tearful note in the orle of his Virgilian manuscript upon the occasion of the death of Laura, in its plenitude equal to an epidemic.

     I lived at my whim in the air of ruin and of legend and neglected to alleviate the maiden of innocent soul from her boredom. She limited herself to the sacrifice of mass at the first light of day, at a tenuous hour, and would travel to a visit of condolence in the tyrannical carriage of a sad virgin in the century of Cervantes.

     The tempest is born in the uncertainty of the ocean and for a few moments assaults her demolished tomb. I would not be able to count with certainty her ultimate sorrows, but more than once have I imagined her on her knees and with her hands clasped, overcoming by means of the voice the wall of a lugubrious confinement.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

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

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