Here is a poem full of melancholy and sadness from Rosalia de Castro, a poem in which the sense of coming to the end of life dominates, and end of life in which the poet, following the examples of other creatures only wishes to find lone refuge in a hidden place. The hope of the title is in its final phases of decline…
Ya que de la esperanza…
Ya que de la esperanza, para la vida mía,
triste y descolorido ha llegado el ocaso,
a mi morada oscura, desmantelada y fría,
tornemos paso a paso,
porque con su alegría no aumente mi amargura
la blanca luz del día.
Contenta el negro nido busca el ave agorera;
bien reposa la fiera en el antro escondido,
en su sepulcro el muerto, el triste en el olvido
y mi alma en su desierto.
It is a touching poem, with the poet seeking solitude as her hop ebbs away. She wants to return to her dark, untidy and cold house, fleeing the light of day, so that it doesn’t cheer her up. Just as the bird goes back to its dark nest, just as the wild animal curls up in its hidden burrow, just as the corpse rests in its vault, the poet’s soul seeks its deserted place. This is a poem of the end of hope, of renunciation and the realisation that nothing really matters outside one’s own state of mind.
The Poetry Dude