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LAST NIGHT AS I LAY SLEEPING

from the Span­ish of Anto­nio Machado

Last night as I lay sleep­ing,
I dreamed –oh blessed art!–
of foun­tain water leap­ing
and flow­ing in my heart.
“Where is the hid­den chan­nel,“
I cried, “that was equipped
to bring to me this spring of life
from which I never sipped?“

Last night as I lay sleep­ing,
I dreamed –oh blessed art!–
a hive of bees was reap­ing
its nec­tar in my heart.
The worker bees so golden
were fill­ing up the cracks
with sor­rows they con­verted
into honey and white wax.

Last night as I lay sleep­ing,
I dreamed –oh blessed art!–
a burn­ing sun was steep­ing
the blood within my heart.

I know that it was burn­ing.
I felt its heat inside.
I know that it was sun­light.
It shone, and then I cried.

Last night as I lay sleep­ing,
I dreamed –oh blessed art!–
that God him­self was keep­ing
watch inside my heart.


(orig­i­nally pub­lished in First Things, June 2012)