Mundane Couplets

(Personal translation of Antonio Machado)

A poet yesterday, today sad and poor
sleepless philosopher,
I have in copper coins
yesterday’s exchanged gold.

Without pleasure and without fortune,
passed like a chimera
my youth, the first–
the sole, there’s none but one:
the insider is outside.

It swept like a whirlwind,
bohemian and stormy,
brimful of couplets and wine,
my well-loved youth.

And today I see the galleries
of remembrance, making
hallelujahs from elegies,
disheartened by yesterday.

Goodbye, singing tears,
tears that merrily
sprung, like in the fountain did
the booming clean waters!

Good tears shed
for a juvenile crush,
as fresh as the poured rain
in April’s plains!

The nightingale sings no more,
a certain serene night;
we healed from love’s bite,
which knows to weep without woe.

Poet yesterday, today sad and poor
sleepless philosopher,
I have in copper coins
yesterday’s exchanged gold.

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