Love That Endures Beyond Death
When the last shadow comes to douse the white
radiance of day, it well may close my eyes;
it may unbind my soul, so that it flies
free, toward its eager wish, full of delight;
but soul will not abandon in its flight
memory, where it burned: my flame is wise,
knows how to swim the icy stream, and rise
to disobey the law more stern than right.
My soul, for whom the cell god’s will has been;
veins that have, for so long, nurtured such fire;
my very core, gloriously lit within,
will let the body go, but not desire;
will be ashes, but sentient as when skin;
will be dust, but dust in love upon the pyre.
-Francisco de Quevedo, translated by Rhina P. Espaillat