To an Old Poet :: J. L. Borges

You walk the Castile countryside
As if you hardly saw that it was there.
A tricky verse of John’s your only care,
You scarcely notice that the sun has died

In a yellow glow. The light diffuses, trembles,
And on the borders of the East there spreads
That moon of mockery which most resembles
The mirror of Wrath, a moon of scarlet-reds.

You raise your eyes and look. You seem to note
A something of your own that like a bud
Half-breaks then dies. You bend your pallid head

And sadly make your way — the moment fled —
And with it, unrecalled, what once you wrote:
And for his epitaph a moon of blood.

[From Dreamtigers, by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Harold Morland]

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