Julio Herrera y Reissig: The Garden


Here is my English translation of a sonnet by the Uruguayan poet Julio Herrera y Reissig (1875-1910). The Spanish original first appeared in the journal ‘El Diario Español’, Buenos Aires, on April 2, 1905, with the title ‘La huerta’ (‘The Garden’). The photograph above was taken in our hillside garden here in San Francisco.

The Garden

The hours fall in silence down the slant of tiles
Of reddish roofs…The sultry weather
Perfumes more richly than ever the haughty environs
With bucolic fragrances of showy vegetation.

Diligent Hecuba goes to light the lamps…
Songs of return waft in from the road.
Iris, barely seeing, abandons her staff
And respires in the evening, freed from cares.

It darkens. A mystical majesty anoints the pensive finger
On the lips of the night without fear…
Not an echo is heard of what astounds the world

On the pillow of roses where the garden sleeps…
And in their wholesome dwelling the shadows marvel
At a pride which growls like a dog at the gate.


2 comments on “Julio Herrera y Reissig: The Garden

  1. This is amazing! Thanks for translating and posting it.

  2. leifhendrik says:

    Thanks for appreciating it! I’m becoming quite fascinated by Herrera y Reissig, both his life and his poetry. This particular sonnet really caught my attention. The more I began to examine it, the more I realized it had to say.

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