Vicious Circle

The firefly danced in the air impatiently:
"Oh how I wish that I could be that yellow,
That burns in the eternal blue, a candle far!"
And yet the star gazed on the moon with jealousy:

"If only I could copy such transparency,
Which, from the Grecian column to the Gothic sill,
Has contemplated lovers' faces sighingly!"
And yet the moon gazed on the sun with bitter will:

"Oh misery! If l could be that giant ball,
Immortal clarity, the sum of all that's light!"
The sun, though, leans his brilliant chaplet o´er the wall:

I´m burdened by this numen's aureole bright…
Pm wearied by this blue, unbounded parasol…
Why could I not be born a firefly at night?"

Translated by Frederic G. William
(Contributed by Rozita on Friday, February 18th, 2011)
 
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Also By Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis

 

Brazilian Literature