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CRUZ, San Juan de la

Dark Night of the Soul / En una noche obscura

One dark night,

fired with love’s urgent longings

— ah, the sheer grace! —

I went out unseen,

my house being now all stilled.

In darkness, and secure,

by the secret ladder, disguised,

— ah, the sheer grace! —

in darkness and concealment,

my house being now all stilled.

On that glad night,

in secret, for no one saw me,

nor did I look at anything,

with no other light or guide

than the one that burned in my heart.

This guided me

more surely than the light of noon

to where he was awaiting me

— him I knew so well —

there in a place where no one appeared.

O guiding night!

O night more lovely than the dawn!

O night that has united

the Lover with his beloved,

transforming the beloved in her Lover.

Upon my flowering breast

which I kept wholly for him alone,

there he lay sleeping,

and I caressing him

there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

When the breeze blew from the turret,

as I parted his hair,

it wounded my neck

with its gentle hand,

suspending all my senses.

I abandoned and forgot myself,

laying my face on my Beloved;

all things ceased; I went out from myself,

leaving my cares

forgotten among the lilies.

O flame of living love / Llama de amor viva

O flame of living love,

that at its deepest centre

wounds now my soul with tenderness!

Since you no more remove,

end then, if you intend to;

tear now the veil of mutual sweetness!

O cautery so sweet!

O wound’s caress!

O soothing hand! O delicate the touching,

that signals life complete,

pays every debt,

changes death to life in its ending!

O fiery light,

in whose resplendencies

deep caves of purest feeling,

that once were eyeless night,

with rarest beauties

shed warmth and light on the loving.

How lovingly, how gently

you return now to my breast

where you live all secret and alone

and filled with virtue’s glory

how your sweetest breath

delicately pierces to the bone!

Aunque es de noche / Though it is Night

¡Qué bien sé yo la fonte que mana y corre,

aunque es de noche!.

Aquella eterna fonte está ascondida.

¡Que bien sé yo do tiene su manida

aunque es de noche!

Su origen no lo sé pues no le tiene

mas sé que todo origen della viene

aunque es de noche.

Sé que no puede ser cosa tan bella,

y que cielos y tierra beben della

aunque es de noche.

Bien sé que suelo en ella no se halla

y que ninguno puede vadealla

aunque es de noche.

Su claridad nunca es escurecida

y sé que toda luz de ella es venida

aunque es de noche.

Sée ser tan caudalosos sus corrientes,

que infiernos cielos riegan y a las gentes

aunque es de noche.

El corriente que nace desta fuente

bien sé que es tan capaz y omnipotente

aunque es de noche.

El corriente que de estas dos procede

sé que ninguna de ellas le precede

aunque es de noche.

Aquesta eterna fonte está escondida

en este vivo pan por darnos vida

aunque es de noche.

Aquí se está llamando a las criaturas

y de esta agua se hartan, aunque a escuras

porque es de noche.

Aquesta viva fuente que deseo

en este pan de vida yo la veo

aunque es de noche.

How well I know the fountain that flows and runs

Though it's night

That eternal fountain is hidden

How well I know where it has its lair

Though it's night

I don't know its origin, well it has none

But I know that everything's origin comes from it

Though it's night

I know that there can’t be anything so beautiful

And that heavens and earth drink from it

Though it's night

I know well that there is no soil in it

And that no one can cross through it

Though it's night

Its brightness is never darkened

And all light comes from it

Though it's night

And so plentiful are its streams

That heavens, hells water, and people

Evеn though it is night

The stream that rises from this fountain

I know wеll that it is easily able and omnipotent

Though it's night

The stream that from these two proceeds

I know that neither of them precedes it

Though it is night

That eternal fountain is hidden

In this living bread to give us life

Though it is night

Here the creatures are being called

And of this water they fill themselves, though in the dark

Because it is night

In this living fountain of desire

In this bread of life, I see her

Though it is night