Three mysterious rejoicers

Tres misteriosos gozosos, Luis Cernuda

El cantar de los pájaros, al alba,
cuando el tiempo es más tibio,
alegres de vivir, ya se desliza
entre el sueño, y de gozo
contagia a quien despierta al nuevo día

Alegre sonriendo a su juguete
pobre y roto, en la puerta
de la casa juega solo el niñito
consigo, y en dichosa
ignorancia, goza de hallarse vivo.

El poeta, sobre el papel soñando
su poema inconcluso,
hermoso le parece, goza y piensa
con razón y locura
que nada importa: existe su poema.

Three mysterious rejoicers, translated by Denise DeVries

The song of birds at daybreak
happy to be alive,
when the weather begins to warm,
slips amid sleep and infects
with joy the one waking to the new day.

Only the little boy plays alone
at the door of his house,
cheerful, smiling at his
poor, broken toy
and in happy ignorance, enjoys being alive.

The poet, dreaming of her unfinished
poem on paper, seeming beautiful
to her, rejoices and thinks
with reason and madness
that nothing matters: her poem exists.


Luis Cernuda Bidón was born in Spain in 1902 and moved to the U.K. in 1938. He was a member of the avant-garde poets called the Generation of ’27, which was eventually influenced by Surrealism.
In addition to writing his own poems, he also translated the poetry of Yeats into Spanish. One of these was Ephemera, which includes the line “Ah, do not mourn,’ he said,/’That we are tired, for other loves await us.”

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