For Chile, From Her Native Master, Pablo Neruda: "And the City Now Has Gone"
How the clock moves on, relentlessly,
with such assurance that it eats the years.
The days are small and transitory grapes,
the months grow faded, taken out of time.
It fades, it falls away, the moment, fired
by that implacable artillery-
and suddenly, only a year is left to us,
a month, a day, and death turns up in the diary.
No one could ever stop the water's flowing;
nor thought nor love has ever held it back.
It has run on through suns and other beings,
its passing rhythm signifying our death.
Until, in the end, we fall in time, exhausted,
and it takes us, and that's it. Then we are dead,
dragged off with no being left, no life, no darkness,
no dust, no words. That is what it comes to;
and in the city where we'll live no more,
all is left empty, our clothing and our pride.
-Pablo Neruda, trans. Alastair Reid