La Muerte

7 05 2008


—Soy la Muerte— me dijo. No sabía
que tan estrechamente me cercara,
al punto de volcarme por la cara
su turbadora vaharada fría.

Ya no intento eludir su compañía:
mis pasos sigue, transparente y clara
y desde entonces no me desampara
ni me deja de noche ni de día.

—¡Y pensar —confesé—, que de mil modos
quise disimularte con apodos,
entre miedos y errores confundida!

«Más tienes de caricia que de pena».
Eras alivio y te llamé cadena.
Eras la muerte y te llamé la vida.

Alfonso Reyes


“I am death,” she said. I did not behold

How closely she crept towards my guarded gate,

At the point of carrying to me my fate

With her breath so harsh and terribly cold.


I no longer labor to leave her side.

My steps she follows, transparent and clear,

And from then on I was without sorrow or fear;

She leaves me not by day nor at eventide.


“And to think,” I confessed, “that in a thousand ways,

I with false names tried to keep you at bay,

Confounded between fear and useless strife.”


“You have more of caress than you do of pain,

You were freedom and I called you ‘chain’,

You were death, and I called you life.”

-translated by Arturo Vasquez