Julio Herrera y Reissig: The Council

Image

Julio Herrera y Reissig (1875-1910) appears at top left in this photo taken on a country estate near Montevideo on 17 November, 1901. Biblioteca Nacional de Uruguay.

Here is my English translation of a poem which was first published in the literary journal ‘El Diario Español’ in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 16 December, 1906. Herrera y Reissig’s Spanish original follows.

The Council

The astronomer, the poet and the seer have met…
The mountain assembles the rustic dispute;
And in the sonorous air of the celestial vault,
The three voices resound as a single refrain.

They feverishly guess at the hidden source…
Then the seer predicts both misery and plague;
While the poet composes, turned toward the West,
The astronomer announces it has rained in Spain.

Drunk with the godlike majesty of the wind,
The discourses deepen…Night has fallen. Soon
A star flames in flight…They examine its wake

As many thousands of eyes into infinite enigma:
The silence of the erudite council is tripled…
Fingers in the shadows advance toward the stars.

El consejo

El astrónomo, el vate y el mentor se han reunido…
La montaña recoge la polémica agreste;
Y en el aire sonoro de campana celeste,
Las tres voces retumban como un solo latido.

Conjeturan fiebrosos del principio escondido…
Luego el mago predice la miseria y la peste;
El poeta improvisa, mientras, vuelto al oeste,
El astrónomo anuncia que en Hispania ha llovido.

Ebrios de la divina majestad del tramonto,
Los discursos se agravan…Es ya noche. De pronto,
Arde en fuga una estrella…Interrogan sus rastros

Cual mil ojos abiertos al enigma infinita:
Se hace triple el silencio del consejo erudito…
Dedos entre la sombra se alzan hacia los astros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s