DISCOVERERS OF CHILE
From the North Almagro brought his train of scintillations.
And over the territories, between explosion and subsidence,
he bent himself day and night as if over a map.
Shadow of thorns, shadow of thistle and wax,
the Spaniard joined to his dry shape,
gazed at the ground’s sombre strategies.
Night, snow and sand make up the form of
my narrow country,
all the silence is in its long line,
all the foam rises from its sea beard
all the coal fills it with mysterious kisses.
Like a hot coal the gold burns in its fingers,
and the silver lights like a green moon
its hardened form of a gloomy planet.
The Spaniard seated next to the rose one day,
next to the oil, next to the wine, next to the ancient sky,
did not conceive of this place of furious stone
being born from under the ordure of the sea eagle.
Translated by A. S. Kline