Final Sonnet

For stealing feathers from archangels’ wings,
snow, dainty-toothed and flowery, must pay,
hearing the fountains weeping as they spray,
and the sad murmur of the running springs.
Fire, for mingling its bright essence with
metals, igniting iron with its dawn,
is harshly punished, dragged to and beaten on
the ruthless anvil by some brutal smith.
Now to the punishment of thorns that sting,
to the doomed rose and its mortality,
to death, what its corrosive course can do,
I find myself condemned, all for one thing
and nothing else but this charged against me:
my love for you, only my love for you.


[Translated from the Spanish by Rhina P. Espaillat]