Epicedio / José Antonio Ramos Sucre


     It is difficult on any occasion for the solidarity that service in arms brings with it to manifest itself in such an eloquent manner as it does now, when the disappearance of captain Lucena Borges opens a considerable clearing in our ranks. We all surround him dead with more sympathy than if fortune smiled upon him in life, and we are all disturbed by the same dour and silent pain. Were we to manifest that pain, we would discard the complaint for being scarce of virile dignity and because men of arms are to be lamented only in the stampede of the funeral blast, and we would express it rather in voices of accusation and protest against the bitter destiny that has punished our companion with the saddest of ends for his intense youth, his ineffable kindness and his perennial joy.

     I will insist on his kindness by recalling his qualities as a very loving son and brother. He was a good friend and a good soldier because of these. His virtues as a man of the home were the reasons why he stood out so much as a man of that other home that is the barracks. In the first he exhibited himself with a burning devotion for his very loving mother, in the second he consecrated himself to the fatherland with the same filial affection. Because of his goodness and his patriotism, he lent the army the inestimable concourse of his person, from the moment the Venezuelan barracks ceased being a house of parties and torture, to become what it is today, a place of austerity and seclusion. He was among the officers who, wearing the uniform, knew how to resume the noble tradition of our arms, and who gathered the sword from the ground upon which it lay humiliated, to wield it with pure hands, for the clean task of the warrior.

     In thanks for so many virtues the sky should have awarded him a glorious death, if it reserved a premature one for him, perfected his life with a brilliant finish, that could be like a crown of triumph for it all, and he turn out to be definitively heroic. He left our side young and amid the unanimous mourning of the army, just as a hundred years ago Anzoátegui disappeared from among our liberators, unexpectedly, but with the fortune of having accomplished before the age of thirty that Roman vow from his adolescence, to consecrate his life to great deeds. And this pain of your frustrated life, oh companion, is the strongest motive that congregates us all in the worship of your memory and in the lament for your unfortunate end.

La torre de Timón (1925)

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

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