“Estranxeira n´a súa patria”, by Rosalía de Castro

On the old veranda,
Upholstered with ivy and irises,
She sat, silent and sad
In front of the old temple.

Never ending procession of the dead,
Some only in body, others in spirit,
Little by little appeared at the height
Of the straight path
That, monotonous and white, shone brilliantly
Like a canvass spread out in a field.

She watched as they passed by
Moving towards the infinite
Without glancing at her
those dead and sunk eyes
showed no sign whatsoever
Of having ever known her.

And some had been her lovers in other times
Most were debtors to her and others friends,
Childhood companions
Servants and neighbors.
But as they went past
The dead continued their march
Their indifferent march
Towards the infinite,
While the silent night closed
its sad, sad mourning
Around the foreign girl in her own land,
Who, without house nor home,
Sitting on the veranda, watched
How the fugitive fires shone.

Galician experienced its “Rexurdimento” or resurgence during the 19th century. Well known personalities like Rosalía de Castro, one of our most universal writers, played a fundamental role in this rebirth. This poem, published in 1880 in her book Follas novas, is very representative of the poetic standard of the time. Written Galician from the time is similar to that of today, although some letters such as <y> and apostrophes are no longer used.


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