Not much vnlike the wondrer haue ye another figure called the doubtfull, because oftentimes we will seeme to cast perils, and make doubt of things when by a plaine manner of speech wee might affirme or deny him.

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Salvador Espriu, two poems (for a wedding)

Both from La Pell de Brau (1960), “The Bull-Hide.” With much special thanks to N. for the reading.

XXX

Diversos són els homes i diverses les parles,
i han convingut molts noms a un sol amor.

La vella i fràgil plata esdevé tarda
parada en la claror damunt els camps.
La terra, amb paranys de mil fines orelles,
ha captivat els ocells de las cançons de l’aire.

Sí, comprèn-la i fes-la teva, també,
des de les oliveres,
l’alta i senzilla veritat de la presa veu del vent:
« Diverses són les parles i diversos els homes,
i convindran molts noms a un sol amor.»

XXX

Men differ, and speech differs,
And many names have fit a single love.

The old, fragile silver becomes afternoon
halted in light over the fields.
The earth, with snares of a thousand fine ears,
has trapped the birds of airy song.

Yes, understand and take too, as yours,
from the olive groves,
the high, simple truth in the wind’s captive voice:
“Speech differs, and men differ,
And many names will fit a single love.”

LI

Hem caminat i avui ens emparàvem
en la crescuda serenor de l’arbre,
contra el gran vent del llindar de la nit.
Hem estimat la terra
i el nostre somni de la nova casa
alçada en el solar de la llibertat.
No una segura flor, però sí l’esperança
de la segura flor hem collit i portàvem
al llarg d’aquesta pols de la peregrinació.
Ara deixem les paraules
i ens hem sentit arribats al silenci,
per la remor d’una llunyana cavalcada.

LI

We’ve walked, and today we shelter
in the still growth of the tree,
against the great wind at night’s edge.
We’ve loved the earth and loved our dream
of the new house raised over free soil.
Not a safe flower, but the hope, yes,
of a safe flower, we’ve picked and we carry
down the length of this wandering dust.
Now we quit words
and feel ourselves come to silence,
through the sound of a distant galloping.

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