Helen of troy
When you are old, little girl (Ronsard already told you so),
You'll remember those distant verses I spoke.
You'll have breasts made mirthless by the nursing of your children,
The final sprigs of your vacant life…
I will be so far away that your hands of wax
Will plow away all record of my naked ruins.
You'll see how snow can come in spring
And how spring's snow is cruelest.
I will be so far away that the love and the pain,
Which I once poured into your life like a cruet brimming,
Will be condemned to die in my own hands…
And it will be evening, for my youth is leaving,
Evening, for only once do flowers share their essence,
For although you may call on me, I will be so far away.
By Pablo Neruda
Translated by Martin Bemberg