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To Rafael Méndez

In mid-ravine
the Albacete knives
lovely with enemy blood
shine like fishes.
A hard light of playing-cards
silhouettes on the sharp green
angry horses
and profiles of riders.
In the heart of an olive-tree
two old women grieve.
The bull of the quarrel
climbs the walls.
Black angels bring
wet snow and handkerchiefs.
Angels with vast wings
like Albacete knives.
Juan Antonio of Montilla,
dead, rolls down the slope,
his corpse covered with lilies
and a pomegranate on his brow.
Now he mounts a cross of fire
on the roadway of death.


The judge, with the civil guard,
comes through the olives.
The slippery blood moans
a mute serpent song.
«Gentlemen of the civil guard:
here it is as always.
We have four dead Romans
and five Carthaginians».


The afternoon delerious
with figs and heated murmurs,
fainted on the horsemens’
wounded thighs.
And black angels flew
on the west wind.
Angels with long tresses
and hearts of oil.


Federico García Lorca, 1928
Translated by A. S. Kline

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Ilustración Ilustración
Voz: Margarita Xirgú Voz: Margarita Xirgú
inglés Translated by Will Kirkland
español Original version