Rafael Alberti: “What I Left For You”

What I Left For You

I left my sacred woods for you,
my secret grove, my sleepless hounds.
I ran my best years into the ground,
almost into the winter of the life I knew.

I left a trembling, a sudden cry,
the flash of unending conflagration.
I left my fevered illumination
on the blood-stained eyes of a last goodbye.

I left sad doves where the river unwinds,
horses waiting in the sun-drenched dirt.
I turned from the sea to face your view.

I left all that, all that was mine …
So give me Rome for all I’ve hurt,
for I’ve left that much to be with you.

Rafael Alberti

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2013

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