Antero Tarquinio de Quental

(1842-1891 / Portugal)

Redemption - Poem by Antero Tarquinio de Quental


Voices of trees, the wind, the sea!
When, in certain sorrowful dreams,
I’m lulled by your powerful melodies,
I sense that you’re distraught, like me.

Twilight words and secret breath
Of speechless things, mysterious psalm,
Wispy grieving, are you not
The world’s sighing and lament?

A spirit inhabits the immensity:
A cruel yearning to be free
Makes the fleeting forms rave.

I understand your strange tongues,
Voices of seas, mountains, jungles. . .
My soul’s sisters – souls enslaved!


Don’t cry, seas and trees and winds,
Ancient chorus of strident voices
Chanting ageless, mournful verses
Like a dirge of mortuary worms. . .

One day you will finally leave
The shade of twilight visions, emerging
Radiant from that dream and those yearnings
Born of all that makes you grieve.

Souls still in the limbo of existence,
One day you'll awake, in Consciousness,
Hovering already as pure thought.

You’ll see Forms, daughters of Illusion,
Crumble like a dream’s confusions. . .
And never again will you be distraught.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2010

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