Discoverers of Chile by Pablo Neruda, translated by Angel Flores
From the north Almagro brought his wrinkled lightning,
and over the territory, amid explosion and twilight
he bent day and night as over a chart.
Shadow of thorns, shadow of thistle and wax
the Spaniard united with his dry figure,
watching the wounded strategies of earth.
Night, snow and sand make the form
of my slim fatherland,
all silence is in its long line,
all foam emerges from its marine beard,
all coal fills it with mysterious kisses.
Like an ember, gold burns in its fingers
and silver illumines, like a green moon,
its hardened shadow of grave planet.
The Spaniard seated near the rose, one day,
near the oil, near the wine, near the old sky,
could not conceive this spot of angry stone
rising from the dung of the marine eagle.
“Discoverers of Chile” by Pablo Neruda. As published in Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, Volume LXIX, No. 1 (Chicago, October 1946).