Antero Tarquinio de Quental

(1842-1891 / Portugal)

Divina Comedia (Divine Comedy)

Erguendo os braços para o ceu distante
E invectivando os deuses invisiveis,
Os homens clamam:--«Deuses impassiveis,
A quem serve o destino triumphante,

Porque é que nos creastes?! Incessante
Corre o tempo e só géra, inextinguiveis,
Dôr, peccado, illusão, luctas horriveis,
Num turbilhão cruel e delirante...

Pois não era melhor na paz clemente
Do nada e do que ainda não existe,
Ter ficado a dormir eternamente?

Porque é que para a dôr nos evocastes?»
Mas os deuses, com voz ainda mais triste,
Dizem:--«Homens! porque é que nos creastes?»

Lifting their arms to the heavens on high
And addressing the invisible gods,
The men cry out, “Immovable gods,
Who gains from invincible fate? Why

Did you create us?! Time unfurls
Relentlessly, and all it breeds
Is pain, illusion, strife, foul deeds,
In a cruel and delirious whirl. . .

Wouldn’t it have been better for us
To remain in the peace of pre-matter,
In the eternal sleep of nothingness?

Why were we made, if pain is our greatest
End?” But the gods, with a voice yet sadder,
Say, “Why, O men, did you create us?”

Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2010

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