Semíramis / José Antonio Ramos Sucre


     The lady, of gentle disposition, was demanding from me at the start of that morning the accustomed tribute of a gallantry.

     I was registering the pages of a breviary, soliciting the devotions indicated for that holiday and disdainfully censuring the inelegant diction of the pious authors, imitating the discontent of my councilor cardinal Bembo, scrupulous Venetian humanist.

     I spoke a daring flattery to her, taking advantage of the reminiscences of a rhetorical and libertine century. An abbé, of sharp wit, had taught me to sculpt in a captious Latin the excesses of depravation. I had written, in my own hand, the eulogy of his inverecund epigrams.

     The lady reclined on her bed, image of the classic berth. Her forehead revealed the accent of an anxious night and she was directing a fixed glance on the plain of her dominion.

     More than once she had envied, in front of me, a cruel queen’s authority over a country with an abundance of thirsty and flavid lions. Those lions would have been the supporters of her shield.

     The lady, of variable humor, needed to conceive and follow, at that moment, the figures of her fabulous ambition.

     I would see her dictating orders to the most faithful of her ministers, an Ethiopian tyrant, raised in the deserts of Nubia, according to the exaggerations of a chivalric romance.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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