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I have committed the worst of sins
One can commit. I have not been
Happy. Let the glaciers of oblivion
Take and engulf me, mercilessly.

My parents bore me for the risky
And the beautiful game of life,
For earth, water, air and fire.
I failed them, I was not happy.

Their youthful hope for me unfulfilled.
I applied my mind to the symmetric
Arguments of art, its web of trivia.

They willed me bravery. I was not brave.
It never leaves me. Always at my side,
That shadow of a melancholy man.


Jorge Luis Borges, 1976
Translation by A. S. Kline

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