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Exercises Level 3: Rosalía de Castro

  Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, Volverán las oscuras golondrinas (Dark swallows will return)




  Volverán las oscuras golondrinas
Author: Gustavo Adolfo Becquer
Gustavo Adolfo Becquer is known as the best known author of the Spanish romanticism.
Born in Sevilla 1836
Died in Madrid 1870
The poem is about a separation. Who wants to can read it as a personal experience of Becquer, who separated from his wife Casta Esteban y Navarro in 1868.

Spanish  Text
English Text
 
Volverán las oscuras golondrinas

 
Dark swallows will return
Volverán las oscuras golondrinas
en tu balcón sus nidos a colgar,
y otra vez con el ala a sus cristales,
jugando llamarán;

pero aquellas que el vuelo refrenaban
tu hermosura y mi dicha al contemplar;
aquellas que aprendieron nuestros nombres,
esas... ¡no volverán!
...........................

 
Dark swallows will return
to hang their nests on your balcony
and again with their wings will rap playfully
      on its windows.

But those who checked their flight
to contemplate your beauty and my happiness,
those who memorized our names,
      those... will not return!
...........................
Volverán las tupidas madreselvas
de tu jardín las tapias a escalar,
y otra vez a la tarde, aun mas hermosas,
sus flores abrirán;

pero aquellas cuajadas de rocío,
cuyas gotas mirábamos temblar
y caer, como lágrimas del día...
esas... ¡no volverán!
...........................

 
Dense honeysuckles will return
to climb the adobe walls of your garden
and again in the afternoon even more lovely
      will open their flowers.

But those drops of dew
that we watched tremble
and fall like tears of the day...
those... will not return!
...........................
Volverán del amor en tus oídos
las palabras ardientes a sonar;
tu corazón, de su profundo sueño
tal vez despertará;

pero mudo y absorto y de rodillas
como se adora a Dios ante su altar,
como yo te he querido... desengáñate,
¡así no te querrán!
...........................

 

Ardent words of love will return
to sound in your ear,
your heart will perhaps awaken
      from its deep slumber.

But mute and entranced and kneeling,
like worshiping God at an altar,
like I desired you..., don't kid yourself,
      no one will desire you like that!
.................................

* translation by Howard A. Landman (1902)
vocabulary  
  la golondrina = die Schwalbe
  oscuro = dunkel
  refrenar = innehalten
  la madreselva = das Geißblatt
  tupido = dicht
  la tapia = die Gartenmauer
  cuajado= benetzt
  el rocío = der Tau
  la lágrima = die Träne
  el oído = das Ohr
  ardiente = glühend
  profundo = tief
  volver = previouskehren
  absorto = andächtig
  desengañarse = einen Irrtum einsehen
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