Antonio Machado

(26 July 1875 – 22 February 1939 / Seville)

Last Night As I Was Sleeping - Poem by Antonio Machado

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.


Comments about Last Night As I Was Sleeping by Antonio Machado

  • (3/23/2017 8:50:00 PM)

    Please credit the translator as well. This version is from Times Alone: Selected Poems of Antonio Machado, Translated by Robert Bly.
    There is a good discussion and video reading at http: //writingandhealing.org/last-night-as-i-lay-sleeping
    There are other possible translations. The blogger says: The original Spanish word translated as error is illusion and can also be translated as vision. I dreamt – a marvelous vision! – a blessed vision! – that a spring was breaking out in my heart.
    But Bly's translation is best known, and adds depth and mystery with the contradiction marvelous error.
    (Report)Reply

    (3/23/2017 8:56:00 PM)

    Sorry about the duplicate. First-timer's error. I had so much trouble signing on, I didn't think the first one went through.

    2 person liked.
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  • (3/23/2017 8:49:00 PM)

    Please credit the translator as well. This version is from Times Alone: Selected Poems of Antonio Machado, Translated by Robert Bly.
    There is a good discussion and video reading at http: //writingandhealing.org/last-night-as-i-lay-sleeping - There are other possible translations. The blogger says: The original Spanish word translated as error is illusion and can also be translated as vision. I dreamt – a marvelous vision! – a blessed vision! – that a spring was breaking out in my heart.
    But Bly's translation is best known, and adds depth and mystery with the contradiction marvelous error.
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (12/7/2016 11:15:00 AM)

    This is one of the best poem I have read in the recent days, I takes you to the reality from dreams and back to it.. (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (12/7/2016 9:44:00 AM)

    I will try to translate this poem in Hindi.....Loved it...10+++ (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (4/22/2016 3:59:00 AM)

    So simple but so grand. The contradiction - marvelous error - forces us back on on ourselves, and back on his line, (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (12/15/2015 12:04:00 AM)

    we all dream...this one for me is scary one but nice poem (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rajnish Manga (12/15/2014 12:16:00 AM)

    Only a blessed one has so many beautiful things in his or her heart that the God too is tempted to make it an abode for himself. (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Sossi Khachadourian (12/14/2014 12:03:00 PM)

    I dreamt—marvelous error! —
    that I had a beehive
    here inside my heart.
    And the golden bees
    were making white combs
    and sweet honey
    from my old failures.
    (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Augusto Lunedi (12/14/2014 11:58:00 AM)

    Does anyone know where I can find a copy of the original poem? I would like to read in Spanish, the way it was originally written.
    Also, why isn't the translator given credit here? Surely Machado didn't write it in English, did he?
    (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Savita Tyagi (12/14/2014 9:53:00 AM)

    Beautiful poem. D Sacks two verses add more beauty and completion. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Pranab K Chakraborty (12/14/2014 12:17:00 AM)

    Beautiful ending and the dream becomes the dream universal. Excellent. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Savita Tyagi (12/14/2013 12:13:00 PM)

    Beautiful poem. Appreciate the effort of translators who bring so much from other language literatures. (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/24/2013 2:55:00 PM)

    Missing last two verses:

    Is my soul asleep?
    Have those beehives that labor
    at night stopped? And the water
    wheel of thought,
    is it dry, the cups empty,
    wheeling, carrying only shadows?

    No my soul is not asleep.
    It is awake, wide awake.
    It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches,
    its clear eyes open,
    far-off things, and listens
    at the shores of the great silence.
    (Report)Reply

    (3/23/2017 8:54:00 PM)

    Thank you for this. I have not seen two other verses before.

    8 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (2/25/2012 10:57:00 PM)

    This is my favorite blog which i like most.http: //poemhunter.com/poem/last-night-as-i-was-sleeping/ (Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (5/5/2006 2:05:00 PM)

    Thank you, whoever did, for having sent such a beautiful poem, specially in Spanish, though the translation is good. Don´t miss all Antonio Machado, readers. (Report)Reply

    7 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
Read all 17 comments »




What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: water, spring, sun, night, light, heart, god, dream, sleep



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

Poem Edited: Thursday, December 1, 2011


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