The Dusky Swallows Will Return

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 185th birthday.

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
1836 – 1870

The dusky swallows will return
To hang their nests beneath thy eaves,
And playing to their nestlings call
As once they called of old.

But those who checked their flight
To gaze upon the beauty and my joy,
Who learnt our names—Ah Love!
They—will return no more!

The twining honeysuckles once again
Shall scale thy garden walls;
And once again at eve, more beautiful,
Their flowers will unfold.

But those of yore, begemmed with dews
Whose drops we watched together
Tremble and fall like tears of bright day,
They—will return no more!

Once more within thine ears, the words
Of burning love shall sound,
And from its slumber deep, perchance
Thy heart will wake.

But spellbound, speechless, kneeling low,
As saints before their altars are adored,
As I have loved thee—oh! deceive thee not!
Thus shall none love thee more!

Translation by Mary A. Ward

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