A una desposada / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

To A Bride

     Any invention from my infirm numen would tarnish the pages of this album. It would offend them with the discord of an accidental spiderweb in a regal mansion. The tale of venturous nuptials is more alluring.
     I dream that I hear it from a pleasant virgin in a region of improbable Asia; that it was nighttime, and I was intoxicated by the placid expiration of murmurs, songs and perfumes; that the exotic landscape was crowned by the moon and with the retinue of the major stars, because the minor ones couldn’t manage to shine amidst the irradiation of they, their sisters; and I dream that, above the earth and in front of my eyes, a fantastic city of cupolas and towers was sleeping beside the mirror of a fabulous river; and I remember the virgin recounted for me this pleasant fable: I met a princes promised in marriage to the sultan of a remote country. She saw the nuptials as the start of a captivity, because she was discreet and easily frightened, she imitated the jungle gazelles. She sought out my company and later wanted to contemplate herself in the mirror of an ornamental fountain. She was thin, firm and with thick hair that fell down to tough with the water in the shaded marble bowl. A certain errant poet came here one afternoon, a precursor to the nuptial courtship that was closer day by day. He spoke of himself as having departed from his friends so he might entertain the princess during her journey to the fiancé’s capital city. They all gather the next day and depart, when the princess finally accepts the poet’s attention and loves him without manifesting it. The retinue travels through jungles and deserts, amid the murmuring rain and the slow summer, when the sun prefers its cart with white oxen. The poet wields, in his way, a sense of bravery, of being a good conversationalist and of piety. He offends the tiger of regal lineage; he mocks the shameless monkey; he takes to the bland butterfly, made of silk and wool; he reveres the absorbed ascetic. He proves to be a friendly courtesan and a hardened rider. She approaches the end of the journey and glimpses the palaces disposed to welcome her, and notices that she’d rather stay in the desert with the wonderfully nice bard. Meanwhile, he’s disappeared from her side, and she is presented, with her face looking down, to the presence of her owner; but a hidden and very well-known voice exhorts her to happiness. The princess looks up and notices the courteous poet was the promised husband, who had left his monarch’s regalia in order to affectionately win the hand of the beloved, omitting the prestige of his high position.
     This is what the pleasant virgin told me in a distant country, beneath a musical tree; and her tale and my one fortunate dream ended when dawn called, enamored, at my window.

La torre de Timón (1925)

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

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