To Him

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 205th birthday.

La Avellaneda
Cuban
1814 – 1873

 

There are no ties to bind us now; all ties are broken:
I asked that Heaven make it so; thanks be to God!
A bitter cup once filled with pleasure, is now empty;
My soul, at last, can find repose; it desires nothing.

I loved you once, I do not love you now; ponder on that, at least.
If I erred it was because I could not face that truth.
Let all these many years of bitterness and strife
Be swallowed in memory’s void; and let my heart breathe free.

You have battered and destroyed it without pity;
And madly trampled, once and again, my pride …
Yet never from these lips will you hear a murmur
To condemn the tyranny you wielded over me.

Terrible avenger of great wrongs, how meekly
You fulfilled your mission. Are you unaware of it?
It was not your irresistible power that caused me
To lay at your feet my unconquerable strength.

God willed it so; and so it was. Blessed be his name!
All’s over now; and I at last recover my own self.
All-avenging angel, you are now a man! …
And I behold you and feel nor love nor fear.

Your sceptre is shattered and your sword is broken …
And, oh, what melancholy freedom do I breathe!
I made a world of you; that world is gone;
In vast and profound loneliness, I dwell.

I wish you happiness; and if some day you chance
To read this, my eternal farewell, know even then
There will always be in my heart for you,
Generous pardon and tender affection.

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