to be

A fathomless abyss is human pain!
Whose eye has ever pierced to its black depths?
To the shadowy gulf of times that are no more
incline your ear… Within there falls
the eternal tear! To the defenceless mouths
that in another age life such as ours
inspired, curious draw nigh…. A groan
arises trembling from the whitened bones!

Life is pain. And life persists,
obscure, but life for all that, even in the tomb.
Matter disintegrates and is dispersed;
the eternal spirit, the underlying essence
suffers without pause. It were in vain
to wield the suicidal steel.
Suicide is unavailing. The form is changed,
the indestructible being endures.

In thee, Pain, we live and have our being!
The supreme yearning of all existing things
is to be lost in nothingness, annulled,
deep in dreamless sleep… And life continues
beyond the frozen confines of the tomb.

There is no death. In vain you clamour for death,
souls destitute of hope. And the implacable
purveyor of suffering creatures ravishes
us to another world. There is no pause.
We crave a single instant of respite
and a voice in the darkness urges: ,,On!”

Yes, life is an evil
and an evil that never ends. The creating God
is the creature of another terrible God
whose name is pain. And the immortal
Saturn is insatiate. And space,
the nursery of suns, the infinite,
are the mighty prison, issueless,
of souls that suffer and that cannot die.

Oh implacable Saturn, make an end at last,
devour created things and then,
since we are immortal, ruminate our lives!
We are thine, Pain, thine for evermore!

but pity for the beings that are not yet,
save in thy mind that hunger stimulates. . .
Pity, oh God, have pity on nothingness!
At last be sated, that the eternal womb,
begetter of the seed of humankind,
turn barren and that life come to an end. . .
And let the world like a dead planet whirl
amid the waveless oceans of the void!

Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera

when the day comes

I want to die when day is fading,
on the high seas and with my face to the sky;
where the agony may seem like a dream
and the soul a mew on soaring wing.

At the last, to hear no other voice,
alone already with the sky and sea,
no other voice, no other sobbing knell,
than the mighty heaving of the deep..

To die when the melancholy light
withdraws its golden nets from the green waves,
and be as yonder slowly expiring sun,
a thing of exceeding brightness, perishing.

To die, and young; before the pleasant crown
is brought to nothing by perfidious time;
while life is still saying ,,I’m yours’’,
although we know well that she is betraying us.

Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera