Federico García Lorca: “Sonnet of Sweet Complaint”

Sonnet of Sweet Complaint

I am afraid of witnessing the death
of the wonder that lies in your statue-like eyes,
or losing the kiss the lonely rose of your breath
presses to my cheek each night before I rise.

I am afraid of becoming a branchless tree,
and what I most fear, here on this shore,
is to lack flower, substance, or materiality
into which the worm of my suffering can bore.

So if it is you who are my secret reward,
if you are my cross, my dampened pain,
if I am a dog and you my lord,

don’t let me lose in this exchange.
Decorate the river waters you have poured
with the leaves of an autumn that has now grown strange.

Federico García Lorca

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2014

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