The Project Gutenberg EBook of El Estudiante de Salamanca and Other
Selections, by George Tyler Northup

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Title: El Estudiante de Salamanca and Other Selections

Author: George Tyler Northup

Contributor: Don Jose de Espronceda y Lara

Release Date: May 7, 2005 [EBook #15781]

Language: Spanish / English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Stan Goodman, Miranda van de Heijning, Renald
Levesque and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.







The selections from Espronceda included in this volume have been edited for the benefit of advanced Spanish classes in schools and universities. The study of Espronceda, Spain's greatest Romantic poet, offers the best possible approach to the whole subject of Romanticism. He is Spain's "representative man" in that movement. Furthermore, the wealth of meters he uses is such that no other poet provides so good a text for an introduction to the study of Spanish versification. The editor has therefore treated the biography of Espronceda with some degree of completeness, studying his career as one fully representative of the historical and literary movements of the period. A treatment of the main principles of Spanish versification was also considered indispensable. It is assumed that the text will be used only in classes where the students are thoroughly familiar with the rudiments of Spanish grammar. Therefore only the more difficult points of grammar are dealt with in the notes, and little help, outside of the vocabulary, is given the student in the translating of difficult passages.

The editor makes no pretense to having established critical texts of the poems here printed, although he hopes that some improvement will be noted over previous editions. A critical edition of Espronceda's works has never been printed. Espronceda himself gave little attention to their publication. Hartzenbusch and others intervened as editors in some of the earliest editions. Their arbitrary changes have been repeated in all subsequent editions. The text of "El Estudiante de Salamanca" has been based upon the "Poesías de D. José de Espronceda," Madrid, 1840, the so-called editio princeps. This edition, however, cannot be regarded as wholly authoritative. It was not prepared for the press by the poet himself, but by his friend José García de Villalta. Though far more authentic in its readings than later editions, it abounds in inaccuracies. I have not followed its capricious punctuation, and have studied it constantly in connection with other editions, notably the edition of 1884 ("Obras Poéticas y Escritos en Prosa," Madrid, 1884). To provide a really critical text some future editor must collate the 1840 text with that version of the poem which appeared in La Alhambra, an obscure Granada review, for the year 1839. "El Mendigo" and "El Canto del Cosaco" I also base upon the 1840 edition, although the former first appeared in La Revista Española, Sept. 6, 1834. I base the "Canción del Pirata" upon the original version published in El Artista, Vol. I, 1835, p. 43. I take the "Soneto" from "El Liceo Artístico y Literario Español," 1838. For "A Teresa, Descansa en Paz," I follow the Madrid edition of 1884. The text of this, as for the whole of "El Diablo Mundo," is more reliable than that of the earlier poems.

I desire to thank Professors Rudolph Schevill, Karl Pietsch, and Milton A. Buchanan for helpful suggestions, and the latter more particularly for the loan of rare books. The vocabulary is almost entirely the work of my wife Emily Cox Northup, whose collaboration is by no means restricted to this portion of the book. More than to any other one person I am indebted to Mr. Steven T. Byington of the staff of Ginn and Company, by whose acute and scholarly observations I have often profited.


















Don José de Espronceda y Lara, Spain's foremost lyric poet of the nineteenth century, was born on the 25th of March, 1808, the year of his country's heroic revolt against the tyranny of Napoleon. His parents were Lieutenant-Colonel Don Juan de Espronceda y Pimentel and Doña María del Carmen Delgado y Lara. Both were Andalusians of noble stock, and, as we learn from official documents, were held to be Christians of clean blood "without taint of Jews, heretics, Moors, or persons punished by the Holy Inquisition, and who neither were nor had been engaged in mean or low occupations, but in highly honorable ones." This couple of such highly satisfactory antecedents had been married four years previously. In 1804 Don Juan, a mature widower of fifty-three, was still mourning his first wife when he obtained the hand of Doña María, a young widow whose first husband, a lieutenant in the same regiment, was recently deceased. The marriage was satisfactory in a worldly way, for Doña María brought as a dower four hundred thousand reales to be added to the two hundred thousand which Don Juan already possessed. By his first marriage Don Juan had had a son, Don José de Espronceda y Ramos, who became ensign in his father's regiment, then studied in the Artillery School at Segovia, and later entered the fashionable Guardia de Corps regiment. He died in 1793 at the early age of twenty-one, soon after joining this regiment. By the second marriage there were two other children, both of whom died in infancy: Francisco, born in 1805, and María, born in 1807. During the early months of 1808 the Bourbon cavalry regiment in which Don Juan served was stationed in the little hamlet of Villafranca de los Barros, Estremadura, and there the future poet was born. We do not know where the mother and son found refuge during the stormy years which followed. The father was about to begin the most active period of his career. We learn from his service record that he won the grade of colonel on the field of Bailén; that a year later he recaptured the cannon named Libertad at the battle of Consuegra (a feat which won him the rank of brigadier), and fought gallantly at Talavera as a brother-in-arms of the future Duke of Wellington. The mere enumeration of the skirmishes and battles in which he participated would require much space. In 1811 he distinguished himself at Medina Sidonia and Chiclana, and sought promotion to the rank of field-marshal, which was never granted. After the Peninsular War he seems to have been stationed in Madrid between 1815 and 1818. His family were probably permanently established in that city, for we know that mother and son resided there during the time that the brigadier was doing garrison duty in Guadalajara (1820-1828), and there is no evidence that they followed him to Coruña during his term of service in that city (1818-1820). Possibly the old soldier preferred the freedom of barrack life, where his authority was unquestioned, to the henpecked existence he led at home. "Ella era él y él era ella," says Patricio de Escosura in speaking of this couple; for Doña María was something of a shrew. She was a good business woman who combined energy with executive ability, as she later proved by managing successfully a livery-stable business. But, however formidable she may have been to her hostlers, her son José found her indulgent. He, the only surviving son of a mature couple, rapidly developed into a niño consentido, the Spanish equivalent of a spoiled child. Parallels are constantly being drawn between Byron and Espronceda. It is a curious fact that both poets were reared by mothers who were alternately indulgent and severe.

In 1820 the Espronceda family occupied an apartment in the Calle del Lobo. It was there and then that Patricio de Escosura firmed his intimacy with the future poet. He describes graphically his first meeting with the youth who was to be his lifelong friend. He first saw José sliding down from a third-story balcony on a tin waterspout. In the light of later years Escosura felt that in this boyish prank the child was father of the man. The boy who preferred waterspouts to stairways, later in life always scorned the beaten path, and "the illogical road, no matter how venturesome and hazardous it was, attracted him to it by virtue of that sort of fascinating charm which the abyss exercises over certain eminently nervous temperaments." The belief that Espronceda studied at the Artillery School of Segovia in 1821 appears to rest upon the statement of Solís alone. Escosura, who studied there afterwards, never speaks of his friend as having attended the same institution. Solís may have confused the younger José with his deceased, like-named brother, who, we know, actually was a cadet in Segovia. On the other hand, Solís speaks with confidence, though without citing the source of his information, and nothing would have been more natural than for the boy to follow in his elder brother's footsteps, as he did later when he joined the Guardia de Corps. However, the matter is of slight moment, for if he studied in Segovia at all he cannot have remained there for more than a few weeks.

What little education Espronceda was able to acquire in the course of his stormy life was gained mostly in the Colegio de San Mateo between the years 1820 and 1830. This was a private school patronized by sons of the nobility and wealthy middle class. Two of the masters, José Gómez Hermosilla and Alberto Lista, were poets of repute. Lista was the best teacher of his time in Spain. The wide range of his knowledge astonished his pupils, and he appeared to them equally competent in the classics, modern languages, mathematics, philosophy and poetics, all of which subjects he knew so well that he never had to prepare a lecture beforehand. Plainly Lista was not a specialist of the modern stamp; but he was something better, a born teacher. In spite of an unprepossessing appearance, faulty diction, and a ridiculous Andalusian accent, Lista was able to inspire his students and win their affection. It is no coincidence that four of the fellow students of the Colegio de San Mateo, Espronceda, Felipe Pardo, Ventura de la Vega, and Escosura, afterwards became famous in literature.

Espronceda's school reports have been preserved. We learn that he studied sacred history, Castilian grammar, Latin, Greek, French, English, mythology, history, geography, and fencing, which last he was later to turn to practical account. He showed most proficiency in French and English, and least in Greek and mathematics. His talent was recognized as unusual, his industry slight, his conduct bad. Calleja, the principal, writes in true schoolmaster's fashion: "He is wasting the very delicate talent which nature gave him, and is wasting, too, the opportunity of profiting by the information of his distinguished professors." It cannot be denied that Espronceda's conduct left much to be desired. According to Escosura he was "bright and mischievous, the terror of the whole neighborhood, and the perpetual fever of his mother." He soon gained the nickname buscarruidos, and attracted the notice of police and night watchmen. "In person he was agreeable, likable, agile, of clear understanding, sanguine temperament inclined to violence; of a petulant, merry disposition, of courage rash even bordering upon temerity, and more inclined to bodily exercise than to sedentary study." The two friends were much influenced by Calderón at this time. The height of their ambition was to be like the gallants of a cape-and-sword play, equally ready for a love passage or a fight. Lista's influence upon his pupils was not restricted to class exercises. In order to encourage them to write original verse and cultivate a taste for literature, he founded in April, 1823, the Academy of the Myrtle, modeled after the numerous literary academies which throve in Italy and Spain during the Renaissance period and later. Lista himself presided, assuming the name Anfriso. Was Delio, the name Espronceda assumed in his "Serenata" of 1828, his academic designation? The models proposed for the youthful aspirants were the best poets of antiquity and such modern classicists as Meléndez, Cienfuegos, Jovellanos, and Quintana. Two of Espronceda's academic exercises have been preserved. They are as insipid and jejune as Goethe's productions of the Leipzig period. As an imitator of Horace he was not a success. What he gained from the Academy was the habit of writing.

The Academy lasted until 1826, when many of its members had been driven into exile; but its later meetings must have seemed tame to spirited boys engrossed in the exciting political events of those times. The year 1823 is famous in Spanish history for the crushing out of liberalism. This was effected by means of the Holy Alliance, an infamous association of tyrants whose main object was to restore absolutism. Louis XVIII, the Bourbon king of France, sent a force of one hundred thousand men under the Duke of Angoulême who met with little resistance, and in short order nullified all that had been accomplished by the Spanish liberals. Before the end of the year Ferdinand VII, who had been virtually deposed, was restored to his throne, and the constitution of 1820 had been abolished. Espronceda, the son of a hero of the War of Liberation, felt that the work of the men of 1808 had been undone. They had exchanged a foreign for a domestic tyrant. What his feelings were we may gather from his ode in commemoration of the uprising of the Madrid populace against the troops of Murat, "Al Dos de Mayo":

¡Oh de sangre y valor glorioso día!

Mis padres cuando niño me contaron

Sus hechos, ¡ay! y en la memoria mía

Santos recuerdos de virtud quedaron.

But, as he says later in the poem,

El trono que erigió vuestra bravura,

Sobre huesos de héroes cimentado,

Un rey ingrato, de memoria impura,

Con eterno baldón dejó manchado.

¡Ay! para herir la libertad sagrada,

El Príncipe, borrón de nuestra historia,

Llamó en su ayuda la francesa espada,

Que segase el laurel de vuestra gloria.

These verses were written in later life; but already in 1827 he dates a poem "fourth year after the sale of Spanish liberty."

It was an age of political conspiracy and secret societies. Many liberals were members of Masonic lodges, and in addition there were circles like the Friends of Liberty, the Friends of the Constitution, the Cross of Malta, the Spanish Patriot, and others. Nothing more natural than that boys whose age made them ineligible to join these organizations should form one of their own. The result was La Sociedad de los Numantinos. The prime movers were Miguel Ortiz Amor and Patricio de Escosura, who drew up its Draconic constitution. Other founders were Espronceda, Ventura de la Vega, and Núñez de Arenas. All told, the society had about a dozen members. Their first meetings were held in a sand-pit, until the curiosity of the police forced them to seek safer quarters. One of the members was an apothecary's apprentice, who, unknown to his master, installed the club in the shop cellar. There they built an altar bearing all the romantic paraphernalia of skull and cross-bones, swords, and pistols. The members stood wrapped in black garments, their faces muffled with their long Spanish capes, wearing Venetian masks, each one grasping a naked dagger. There they swore binding oaths and delivered fiery orations. Red paper lanterns cast a weird light over the scene. How tame the sessions of the Myrtle must have seemed by comparison! Yet the two organizations throve simultaneously.

With the return of Ferdinand in September the persecution of the liberals began. The boys witnessed the judicial murder of Riego, the hero of the constitutional movement, November 8, 1823. This made the impression upon them that might have been expected. That night an extraordinary session of the Numantinos was held at which Espronceda delivered an impassioned oration. Then all signed a document in which the king's death was decreed. Some of the members' parents seem to have learned what was happening. The father of Ortiz, the club's first president, prudently sent him away to Oñate. Escosura became the second president, and held office until September of 1824, when his father sent him to France. Espronceda then became the club's third president, but his term was brief. The boys had made the mistake of admitting one member of mature years whose name we do not know; for, in spite of his treachery, the Numantinos even in their old age chivalrously refrained from publishing it. This Judas betrayed the secrets of his fellow-members, and placed incriminating documents, among them the king's "death warrant," in the hands of the police. The latter, however, displayed less rigor and more common sense than usual. While all the youths implicated were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment in various monasteries scattered throughout Spain, nothing more was intended than to give the conspirators a salutary scare. They were all released after a few weeks of nominal servitude. Ortiz and Escosura, the ringleaders, were sentenced to six years of seclusion, and Espronceda received a term of five years to be served in the Monastery of San Francisco de Guadalajara in the city of Guadalajara. His term was pronounced completed after a very few weeks of confinement. That he had a father prominent in the government service stood him in good stead, and this probably accounts for the fact that his place of confinement was in the city where Don Juan was garrisoned. The latter, as an old soldier in the wars against Napoleon, sympathized in a general way with liberal ideas; yet, placed as he was in a very difficult position, he must have found his son's escapades compromising. His record shows that he was "purified," that is his loyalty to the crown was certified to, on August 8, 1824. He seems to have maintained a "correct" attitude toward his rulers to the end, with all the unquestioning obedience of a military man.

While undergoing this easy martyrdom Espronceda improved his time by beginning what was to be a great patriotic epic, his Pelayo. Like many another ambitious project, this was never completed. The few fragments of it which have been printed date mostly from this time. The style is still classic, but it is the pseudo-classicism of his model, Tasso. The poet had taken the first step leading to Romanticism. Hence this work was not so sterile as his earlier performances. Lista, on seeing the fragments, did much to encourage the young author. Some of the octaves included in the published version are said on good authority to have come from the schoolmaster's pen. Lista's classicism was of the broadest. He never condemned Romanticism totally, though he deplored its unrestrained extravagances and the antireligious and antidynastic tendencies of some of its exponents. He long outlived his brilliant pupil, and celebrated his fame in critical articles. After his return from exile Espronceda continued to study in a private school which Lista had started in the Calle de Valverde. Calleja's Colegio de San Mateo had been suppressed by a government which was the sworn enemy of every form of enlightenment. The new seminary, however, continued the work of the old with little change: While there José carried his mathematical studies through higher algebra, conic sections, trigonometry, and surveying, and continued Latin, French, English, and Greek. If we may judge from later results, a course in rhetoric and poetics must have been of greatest benefit to him.

Espronceda's schooling ended in 1826, when he began what Escosura terms "his more or less voluntary exile." Escosura thinks he may have been implicated in a revolutionary uprising in Estremadura, and this conjecture is all but confirmed by a recently found report of the Spanish consul in Lisbon, who suspected him of plotting mischief with General Mina. If Espronceda was not a revolutionary at this time, he was capable of enlisting in any enterprise however rash, as his past and subsequent record proves all too clearly, and the authorities were not without justification in watching his movements. In a letter dated Lisbon, August 24, 1827, he writes to his mother: "Calm yourselves and restore papa to health by taking good care of him, and you yourself stop thinking so sadly, for now I am not going to leave Portugal." In these words the boy seems to be informing his parents that he has given up the idea of making a foray from Portugal into Spain as Mina was then plotting to do. He had left home without taking leave of his parents, made his way to Gibraltar, and taken passage thence to Lisbon on a Sardinian sloop. The discomforts of this journey are graphically described in one of his prose works, "De Gibraltar a Lisboa: viaje histórico." The writer describes with cynical humor the overladen little boat with its twenty-nine passengers, their quarrels and seasickness, the abominable food, a burial at sea, a tempest. When the ship reached Lisbon the ill-assorted company were placed in quarantine. The health inspectors demanded a three-peseta fee of each passenger. Espronceda paid out a duro and received two pesetas in change. Whereupon he threw them into the Tagus, "because I did not want to enter so great a capital with so little money." A very similar story has been told of Camoens, so that Espronceda was not only a poseur but a very unoriginal one at that. Some biographers suspect that while parting with his silver he was prudent enough to retain a purse lined with good gold onzas. This is pure speculation, but it is certain that he knew he could soon expect a remittance from home.

Portugal was at the time rent with civil war. The infanta Isabel María was acting as regent, and her weak government hesitated to offend the king of Spain. The liberal emigrants were kept under surveillance; some were imprisoned, others forced to leave the kingdom. Espronceda was forced to Live with the other Spanish emigrants in Santarem. There is no evidence that he was imprisoned in the Castle of St. George, as has so frequently been stated. He appears to have been free to go and come within the limits assigned him by the police; but he was constantly watched and at last forced to leave the country. It was in Portugal that the nineteen-year-old boy made the acquaintance of the Mancha family. Don Epifanio Mancha was a colonel in the Spanish army who, unlike the elder Espronceda, had been unable to reconcile himself to existing conditions. He had two daughters, one of whom, Teresa, was to play a large part in Espronceda's life. He undoubtedly made her acquaintance at this time. We are told that she embroidered for him an artillery cadet's hat; but the acquaintance probably did not proceed far. The statement that vows were exchanged, that the Mancha family preceded Espronceda to London, that on disembarking he found his Teresa already the bride of another, all this is pure legend. As a matter of fact, Espronceda preceded the Manchas to London and his elopement with Teresa did not take place until 1831, not in England but in France. All this Señor Cascales y Muñoz has shown in his recent biography.

Espronceda's expulsion from Portugal was determined upon as early as August 14, 1827; but the execution of it was delayed. He must have reached England sometime within the last four months of 1827. The first of his letters written from London that has been preserved is dated December 27 of that year. What his emotions were on passing "the immense sea ... which chains me amid the gloomy Britons" may be observed by reading his poem entitled "La Entrada del Invierno en Londres." In this poem he gives full vent to his homesickness in his "present abode of sadness," breathes forth his love for Spain, and bewails the tyrannies under which that nation is groaning. It is written in his early classic manner and exists in autograph form, dedicated by the "Citizen" José de Espronceda to the "Citizen" Balbino Cortés, his companion in exile. The date, London, January 1, 1827, is plainly erroneous, though this fact has never before been pointed out. We can only suppose that, like many another, Espronceda found it difficult to write the date correctly on the first day of a new year. We should probably read January 1, 1828. When he assures us in the poem: "Four times have I here seen the fields robbed of their treasure," he is not to be taken literally. Who will begrudge an exiled poet the delight of exaggerating his sufferings?

Five letters written from London to his parents have been preserved, thanks to the diligence of the Madrid police who seized them in his father's house in their eagerness to follow the movements of this dangerous revolutionary. They are the typical letters of a schoolboy. The writer makes excuses for his dilatoriness as a correspondent, expresses solicitude for the health of his parents, and suggests the need of a speedy remittance. In fact la falta de metálico is the burden of his song. Living is excessively dear in London. So much so that a suit of clothes costs seventeen pounds sterling; but there will be a reduction of three pounds if the draft is promptly sent. He asks that the manuscript of his "Pelayo" be sent to him, as he now has abundant leisure to finish the poem. He asks that the remittances be sent to a new agent whom he designates. The first agent was a brute who refused to aid him to get credit. He wonders that his father should suggest a call upon the Spanish ambassador. Not one word as to his political plans, a discretion for which Don Juan must have thanked him when these interesting documents fell into the hands of the police.

We have information that in London Espronceda became a fencing-master, as many a French émigré had done in the century before. This calling brought him in very little. He may have profited by the charity fund which the Duke of Wellington had raised to relieve the Spanish emigrados. His more pressing needs were satisfied by Antonio Hernáiz, a friend with whom he had made the journey from Lisbon; but the remittances from home came promptly and regularly, and Espronceda must have been one of the most favored among the refugees of Somers Town. If we may take as autobiographical a statement in "Un Recuerdo," he was entertained for a time at the country seat of Lord Ruthven, an old companion-in-arms of his father's. Ruthven is not a fictitious name, as a glance into the peerage will show. During all this time he was improving his acquaintance with Shakespeare, Milton, Byron, and other English poets. What is more surprising is that, if we may judge from his subsequent speeches as a deputy, he gained at least a superficial acquaintance with English political thought and became interested in economics. He was a convert to the doctrine of free trade.

Meanwhile the parents, who appear to have formed a bad opinion of a land where a suit of clothes cost seventeen pounds, were urging the son to go to France. He himself thought of Holland as a land combining the advantages of liberty and economy. But before leaving London he required a remittance of four thousand reales. This bad news was broken to the family bread-winner, not by José himself, but by his banker Orense. The debt, it was explained, had been incurred as the result of a slight illness. The four thousand reales were duly sent in December, but Espronceda lingered in London a few months longer; first because he was tempted by the prospect of a good position which he failed to secure, and second on account of the impossibility of obtaining a passport to France direct. He finally made his way to Paris via Brussels, from which city he writes, March 6, 1829. All this effectually dispels the legend that he eloped from England with Teresa by way of Cherbourg. The arrival in Paris of the revolutionary fencing-master put the Madrid police in a flutter. On the seventeenth of that same month the consul in Lisbon had reported that Espronceda was planning to join General Mina in an attack upon Navarra; and by the middle of April the ambassador to France had reported his arrival in Paris. It was then that the brigadier's papers were seized. Measures were taken to prevent Espronceda's receiving passports for the southern provinces of France, and for any other country but England. The friendly offices of Charles X, who had succeeded Louis XVIII on the throne of France, checked for a time the efforts of the patriotic filibusters. The latter, therefore, must have felt that they were aiding their own country as well as France when they participated in the July revolution of 1830. Espronceda fought bravely for several days at one of the Paris barricades, and wreaked what private grudge he may have had against the house of Bourbon. After the fall of Charles X, Louis Philippe, whom Espronceda was in after years to term el rey mercader, became king of France. As Ferdinand refused to recognize the new government, the designs of Spanish patriots were not hindered but even favored. Espronceda was one of a scant hundred visionaries who followed General Joaquín de Pablo over the pass of Roncevaux into Navarra. The one hope of success lay in winning over recruits on Spanish soil. De Pablo, who found himself facing his old regiment of Volunteers of Navarra, started to make a harangue. The reply was a salvo of musketry, as a result of which De Pablo fell dead. After some skirmishing most of his followers found refuge on French soil, among them Espronceda. De Pablo's rout, if less glorious than that of Roland on the same battlefield, nevertheless inspired a song. Espronceda celebrated his fallen leader's death in the verses "A la Muerte de D. Joaquín de Pablo (Chapalangarra) en los Campos de Vera." This poem, which purports to have been written on one of the peaks of the French Pyrenees which commanded a view of Spanish soil, and when the poet was strongly impressed by the events in which he had just participated, is nevertheless a weak performance; for Espronceda in 1830 was still casting his most impassioned utterances in the classic mold. Ferdinand had now been taught a lesson and lost little time in recognizing the new régime in France. This bit of diplomacy was so cheap and successful that Louis Philippe tried it again, this time on Russia. His government favored a plot, hatched in Paris, for the freeing of Poland. Espronceda, who had not yet had his fill of crack-brained adventures, enlisted in this cause also, desiring to do for Poland what Byron had done for Greece; but the czar, wilier than Ferdinand, immediately recognized Louis Philippe. The plot was then quietly rendered innocuous. Espronceda must have felt himself cruelly sold by the "merchant king."

Espronceda's literary activity was slight during these events, but his transformation into a full-fledged Romanticist begins at this time. Hugo's "Orientales," which influenced him profoundly, appeared in 1829, and the first performance of "Hernani" was February 25, 1830. There is no record that he formed important literary friendships in either England or France, but, clannish as the emigrados appear to have been, an impressionable nature like Espronceda's must have been as much stirred by the literary as by the political revolution of 1830; the more so as the great love adventure of his life occurred at this time. The Mancha family followed the other emigrados to London, just when we cannot say. In course of time Teresa contracted a marriage of convenience with a Spanish merchant domiciled in London, a certain Gregorio de Bayo. Churchman has discovered the following advertisement in El Emigrado Observador, London, February,1829: "The daughters of Colonel Mancha embroider bracelets with the greatest skill, gaining by this industry the wherewithal to aid their honorable indigence." From this it is argued that the marriage to Don Gregorio and the consequent end of the family indigence must have come later than February, 1829. Espronceda had met the girl in Lisbon, he may later have resumed the acquaintance in London. She may or may not be the Elisa to whom Delio sings in the "Serenata." According to Balbino Cortés in an interview reported by Solís, Teresa and her husband, while on a visit to Paris in October, 1831, happened to lodge at the hotel frequented by Espronceda. Shortly afterwards Teresa deserted her husband and an infant son and eloped with Espronceda. She followed him to Madrid in 1833, where a daughter, Blanca, was born to them in 1834. Within a year Teresa abandoned Espronceda and her second child. She sank into the gutter and died a pauper in 1839. This sordid romance occupied only about three years of Espronceda's life, a much shorter time than had been supposed. Churchman was the first to break the long conspiracy of silence which withheld from the world Teresa's full name. Cascales y Muñoz has since thrown more light upon this episode. But these gentlemen have done nothing more than to tell an open secret. Escosura, long ago, all but betrayed it in the following pun: "Tendamos el velo de olvido sobre esa lamentable flaqueza de un gran corazón," he says, referring to the affair with Teresa, "y recordemos, de paso, que el sol mismo, ese astro de luz soberano, tan sublimemente cantado por nuestro vate, manchas tiene que si una parte de su esplendor anublan, a eclipsarlo no bastan." Señor Cascales publishes a reproduction of Teresa's portrait. We see a face of a certain hard beauty. We are struck with the elaborate coiffure, the high forehead, the long nose, the weak mouth. The expression is unamiable. It is the face of a termagant ready to abandon husband and child. Espronceda seems to have returned to England for a brief period in 1832, as we may infer from the fact that the poem "A Matilde" is dated London, 1832. Corroboration of this belief was discovered by Churchman, who found that the paper on which "Blanca de Borbón" was written shows the water-mark of an English firm of that date.

In 1833 Ferdinand VII died, and his daughter Isabel II ascended to the throne under the regency of her mother Cristina. As the conservatives espoused the cause of the pretender, Don Carlos, the regency was forced to favor the liberals. The rigid press censorship was abolished, and a general amnesty was granted all the victims of Ferdinand's tyranny. In politics the year 1833 marks the beginning of the Carlist war, and in literature of Spanish Romanticism. Espronceda was one of many emigrados who returned to Spain, bringing with them new ideas for the revitalizing of Spanish literature. He did not arrive soon enough to see his aged father. Brigadier Espronceda's death certificate is dated January 10, 1833.

Shortly after José's arrival he joined the fashionable Guardia de Corps or royal guard regiment. This step, apparently so inconsistent with his revolutionary activities, has puzzled all his biographers. But Espronceda was only following the family tradition. His elder brother had done the same. Doubtless he believed, in his first enthusiasm, that Spain was now completely liberalized. Besides, he was a dandy always eager for social distinction, and he had to live down the fact that his mother was proprietress of an establecimiento de coches. The conduct of his fellow-Numantino, Escosura, who had found it possible to accept a commission under Ferdinand, is far more surprising. Espronceda's snobbishness, if he had any, cannot have been extreme, for he took up residence with his mother over the aforementioned livery stable, in the Calle de San Miguel. Teresa was prudently lodged under another roof. Doña Carmen was as indulgent as ever, and especially desirous that her son dress in the most fashionable clothes procurable. What with her rent from the house, her widow's pension, and the yield of her business venture, she was comfortably circumstanced. When Teresa abandoned the child Blanca, Doña Carmen became a mother to her. When Doña Carmen died in 1840 everything went to her son.

Espronceda's career as a guardsman was brief. As a result of reading a satirical poem at a public banquet, he was cashiered and banished to the town of Cuéllar in Old Castile. There he wrote his "Sancho Saldaña o el Castellano de Cuéllar," a historical novel in the manner of Walter Scott, describing the quarrels of Sancho el Bravo with his father Alfonso X. This six-volume work was contracted for in 1834 and completed and published the same year. For writing it the author received six thousand reales. Many writers in Spain were striving to rival the Wizard of the North at this time. Ramón López Soler had set the fashion in 1830 with "Los Bandos de Castilla." Larra's "Doncel de Don Enrique el Doliente" appeared in the same year with "Sancho Saldaña." But Espronceda was probably most influenced by his friend Escosura, who had printed his "Conde de Candespina" in 1832. The latter's best effort in this genre, "Ni Rey ni Roque," 1835, was written when its author was undergoing banishment for political reasons in a corner of Andalusia. To employ the enforced leisure of political exile in writing a historical novel was quite the proper thing to do. The banishment to Cuéllar must have taken place in late 1833 or early 1834, for Espronceda's novel is unquestionably inspired by his enforced visit to that town, and the contract with his publisher is dated in Madrid, February 5, 1834. On reading the contract it is apparent that the novel had hardly been begun then, as it was to be paid for in installments. Whether it was written mostly in Cuéllar or Madrid we do not know and care little. In January of that year El Siglo was founded, a radical journal with which Espronceda was prominently connected. During the brief existence of this incendiary sheet (January 21 until March 7) Espronceda contributed to it several political articles. The last issue came out almost wholly blank as an object lesson of the censor's activity. There follow a few months of agitation and political intrigue, the upshot of which was Espronceda's imprisonment for three weeks without trial. After protesting in the press and appealing to the queen regent, he was released and banished to Badajoz. How long he was absent from the capital we do not know, except that this banishment, like the others, was of short duration. During all this commotion there was produced at the Teatro de la Cruz, in April, an indifferent play, "Ni el Tío ni el Sobrino," whose authors were Espronceda and his friend Antonio Ros y Olano. It is difficult to paint anything but a confused picture of Espronceda's life during the remaining years of this decade. We catch glimpses of him debating questions of art and politics at cafés and literary tertulias like the Parnasillo, where Mesonero Romanos saw him faultlessly attired and "darting epigrams against everything existing, past, and future." Córdoba in his memoirs bears witness that he was still the buscarruidos of old. Espronceda with Larra, Escosura, Ros De Olano, and Córdoba constituted the "Thunder Band" of the Parnasillo (partida del trueno). After a long literary discussion they would sally forth into the streets, each armed with a peashooter and on mischief bent. A favorite prank was to tie a chestnut vender's table to a waiting cab and then watch the commotion which followed when the cab started to move. On one occasion, finding the Duke of Alba's coachman asleep on the box, they painted the yellow coach red, so altering it that the very owner failed to recognize it when he left the house where he had been calling. In politics Espronceda is always a leader in revolt, fighting with pen and sword for his none-too-clearly-defined principles. Even the Mendizábal ministry, the most advanced that Spain has ever had, does not satisfy him. His ideal is a republic and the downfall of "the spurious race of Bourbon." His love affairs are equally stormy. In literature he is attempting everything, plays, a novel, polemical articles, lyric poems, and one supreme work which is to be the very epic of humanity.

In 1835 Espronceda became an officer in the National Militia. In August of that year the militiamen were defeated in an unsuccessful revolt against the Toreno ministry. In 1836 he was equally unfortunate in a revolt against the Istúriz ministry. It was then, when pursued by the police, that a friend secreted him in the safest possible place, the home of a high police official. Espronceda employed his leisure hours in this refuge by writing "El Mendigo" and "El Verdugo." Two years later he traveled extensively through Andalusia engaged in revolutionary propaganda. He was probably trying to bring about a republican form of government. In September, 1838, his play "Amor venga sus agravios," written in collaboration with Eugenio Moreno López, was produced at the Teatro del Príncipe. Its success was moderate. The next year, while in Granada, he and his friend Santos Álvarez were guests of honor at a literary soirée. Espronceda's contribution was the reading of "El Estudiante de Salamanca." This poem was first printed, at least in part, in La Alhambra for 1839. The great political event of this year was the ending of the first Carlist war. The victories of the national troops were celebrated by a huge public demonstration in Madrid on the national holiday, May 2, 1840. For this occasion Espronceda wrote his patriotic poem "El Dos de Mayo." Only three days later his volume of "Poesías" was placed on sale, and, like Byron, he awoke to find himself famous. His old teacher Lista wrote a favorable review. From then on Espronceda was a man of note. The Madrid revolution of September 1 forced an unwilling regent to make Espartero, hero of the Carlist war, prime minister. A radical sheet, El Huracán, was accused of attacking Cristina and of advocating republicanism. Espronceda, though not a lawyer, was chosen to defend the journal. This he did with complete success. His speech has not come down to us, but we are told that in it he appeared in the rôle of an uncompromising republican.

Nevertheless he was soon to compromise. He was now a man of mark, and the liberal régime in power were not slow to see that it would be advantageous to enlist his services. In November, 1841, he accepted an appointment to serve as secretary to the Spanish legation at the Hague. He served in this capacity exactly five days. Arriving at the Hague on January 29, 1842, he departed for Madrid on February 3. A certain Carrasco had been elected deputy of the province of Almería. He was now urged to resign to make room for Espronceda. This he did, and Espronceda was elected and served in his stead. Of course all this had been prearranged. After his return he continued to hold his diplomatic position and receive pay for it, a not very honorable course on the part of one who pled so eloquently for the abolition of useless offices and the reform of the diplomatic service. In this way the Espartero government conciliated Espronceda with two offices. Henceforth his republicanism was lukewarm. Escosura tells us that concern for his daughter Blanca's financial future had rendered him prudent.

I am inclined to think that Espronceda's biographers underrate his services in the Chamber of Deputies. The trouble is that in his rôle of deputy their hero failed to justify preconceived notions regarding his character. Those who looked for revolution in his speeches found only sound finance. We seek in vain for anything subversive. There is nothing suggestive of the lyric poet or even of the fiery defender of El Huracán. As a poet he had praised the destructive fury of the Cossacks who swept away decadent governments. In defending El Huracán he had used the word Cossack as a term of reproach, applying it to those self-seeking politicians who were devouring the public funds. By this time he had himself become a Cossack on a small scale. Yet we must do him the justice to point out that he had had sufficient firmness of principle to refuse office under Mendizábal, Istúriz, and the Duque de Rivas. Fitzmaurice-Kelly is possibly going too far in intimating that he was degenerating into a hidebound conservative and opportunist. Something of the old reforming zeal survived. Though many disillusionments may have rendered him less eager for a republican form of government, his latest utterances show him zealous as ever for social and economic reform. Espronceda's parliamentary career lasted less than three months (March 1 to May 23, 1842). One can only wonder that in so brief a time a man already stricken with a fatal illness should have taken so able a part in an assembly in which he was a newcomer. Nor should we complain that his speeches lack eloquence. It is fairer to give him credit for not falling into the abuse of palabrería, the besetting sin of most diputados.

His views were sober and sound. Travel had given him a wider outlook than most of his colleagues possessed. He was the enemy of españolismo, wanted his nation to take a prominent part in European affairs, and no longer to lead the life of a hermit nation. But he is no jingo. He speaks against the bill to add fifty thousand to the standing army. Spain had passed through too many upheavals. What she needed to make her a European power was tranquility and opportunity to develop financial strength. Give the producing classes their long-awaited innings. But he is bitter against the magnates of the bourse and those politicians who legislate to produce an artificial rise in values. The true policy is to better the condition of the masses, to encourage agriculture and manufactures: even the construction of railways should wait until there is first something to haul over them. But manufactures should not be protected by a tariff. In his speech against the tariff on cotton he shows himself an out and out free-trader. He praises the English for their policy of free trade, enlightened self-interest he deems it, which tends to make the world one large family. As a writer he had inveighed against commercialism. But he now discerns a future where commerce shall replace war. He was unable to foresee that in the future trade was to be a chief cause of war.

That he was a ready debater is shown by his neat rejoinder to Deputy Fontán. This gentleman had made sneering allusions to men of letters who dabbled in diplomacy. Far from accepting the remark as a thrust at himself, as it was intended, Espronceda resented it as an insult to the then American minister Washington Irving, "novelist of the first rank, known in Europe through his writings even more than through the brilliancy of his diplomatic career."

Espronceda's health had been failing for some months. It is said that chronic throat trouble had so weakened his voice as to make his remarks in the Cortés scarcely audible. On May 18, 1842, he journeyed on horseback to Aranjuez to visit Doña Bernarda Beruete, a young lady to whom he was then engaged. Hastily returning to Madrid on the afternoon of the same day, so as not to miss a night session of the Cortés, he contracted a cold which soon turned into a fatal bronchitis. Others say he was taken ill at a reception given by Espartero. He died May 23, 1842, at the early age of 34. He was honored with a public funeral in keeping with his position as deputy and distinguished man of letters. His first place of burial was the cemetery of San Nicolás; but in 1902 his remains, together with those of Larra, were exhumed and reburied in the Pantheon for Distinguished Men of the Nineteenth Century, situated in the Patio de Santa Gertrudis in the Cementerio de la Sacramental de San Justo.

In forming our estimate of the man, we must carefully distinguish between the Espronceda of legend and the Espronceda of fact; for a legend sprang up during his own lifetime, largely the result of his own self-defamation. Like many other Romanticists, Espronceda affected a reputation for diabolism. He loved to startle the bourgeois, to pose as atheist, rake, deposer of tyrants. Escosura sums up this aspect of his character by branding him "a hypocrite of vice." Many have been led astray by Ferrer del Río's statement that in drawing the character of the seducer, Don Félix de Montemar, Espronceda was painting his own portrait. Such criticism would have delighted Espronceda, but the imputation was indignantly denied by his close friend Escosura. Modern critics are careful to avoid this extreme; but, in the delight of supporting a paradox, some are disposed to go too far in the opposite direction. Señor Cascales, for instance, is unconvincing when he seeks to exonerate Espronceda from all blame in the Teresa episode. Like the devil, Espronceda was not so black as he was painted, not so black as he painted himself; but he was far from being a Joseph. It is easy to minimize the importance of the part he played in the national militia. Doubtless much of his plotting was puerile and melodramatic. His activities as a revolutionist cannot have greatly affected the course of events. But it is unfair to deny him credit for constant willingness to risk his life in any cause which seemed noble. That his conduct was inconsistent merely proves that he followed no calmly reasoned political system. He reflects in his conduct the heated sentiment of the time, varying as it did from day to day. He sometimes compromised with his ideals, his sense of honor was not always of the highest, but he never seems to have grown lukewarm in his desire to serve the people. He is a liberal to the last, a liberal with notions of political economy and English constitutional practice. His quarrel with the church seems to have been political rather than theological. He hated the friars and the church's alliance with Carlism. That the last rites were administered to him shows that he died a professing Catholic. In appearance Espronceda was handsome, if somewhat too effeminate-looking to suggest the fire-eater. He never cultivated slovenliness of attire like most members of the Romantic school; on the contrary, he was the leading representative in Spain of dandyism. To sum up, Espronceda's was a tempestuous and very imperfect character. "Siempre fuí el juego de mis pasiones," is his own self-analysis. The best that can be said of him is that he was a warm, affectionate nature, generous, charitable to the poor, a loyal friend, and one actuated by noble, if sometimes mistaken, ideals. Years afterward, when Escosura passed in review the little circle of the Colegio de San Mateo, Espronceda was the only one of them whom he could truly say he loved.


Of all the Spanish poets of the period of Romanticism, Espronceda is the most commanding figure. Piñeyro, adopting Emerson's phrase, calls him the Representative Man of that age of literary and political revolt. More than that, criticism is unanimous in considering him Spain's greatest lyric poet of the nineteenth century.

First of all he interests as the poet of democracy. The Romantic poets were no more zealous seekers for political liberalism than the classic poets of the previous generation had been; but their greater subjectivity and freedom of expression rendered their appeal more vigorous. Espronceda's hatred for absolutism was so intense that in moments of excitement he became almost anti-social. The pirate, the beggar, the Cossack, were his heroes. The love of this dandy for the lower classes cannot be dismissed as mere pose. He keenly sympathized with the oppressed, and felt that wholesale destruction must precede the work of construction. We look in vain for a reasoned political philosophy in his volcanic verse. His outpourings were inspired by the irresponsible ravings of groups of café radicals, and the point of view constantly changed as public sentiment veered. According to his lights he is always a patriot. Liberty and democracy are his chief desires.

Like most Romanticists, Espronceda was intensely subjective. He interests by his frank display of his inner moods. Bonilla, in his illuminating article "El Pensamiento de Espronceda," states that the four essential points in the philosophy of Romanticism were: doubt, the first principle of thought; sorrow, the positive reality of life; pleasure, the world's illusion; death, the negation of the will to live. Espronceda shared all of these ideas. It is often impossible to say how much of his suffering is a mere Byronic pose, and how much comes from the reaction of an intensely sensitive nature to the hard facts of existence. There is evidence that he never lost the zest of living; but in his writings he appears as one who has been completely disillusionized by literature, love, politics, and every experience of life. Truth is the greatest of evils, because truth is always sad; "mentira," on the other hand, is merciful and kind. He carries doubt so far that he doubts his very doubts. Such a philosophy should logically lead to quietism. That pessimism did not in the case of Espronceda bring inaction makes one suspect that it was largely affected. There is nothing profound in this very commonplace philosophy of despair. It is the conventional attitude of hosts of Romanticists who did little but re-echo the Vanitas vanitatum of the author of Ecclesiastes. Espronceda's thought is too shallow to entitle him to rank high as a philosophic poet. In this respect he is inferior even to Campoamor and Núñez de Arce. Genuine world-weariness is the outgrowth of a more complex civilization than that of Spain. Far from being a Leopardi, Espronceda may nevertheless be considered the leading Spanish exponent of the taedium vitae. He has eloquently expressed this commonplace and conventional attitude of mind.

Like so many other writers of the Latin race, Espronceda is more admirable for the form in which he clothed his thoughts than for those thoughts themselves. He wrote little and carefully. He is remarkable for his virtuosity, his harmonious handling of the most varied meters. He never, like Zorrilla, produces the effect of careless improvisation. In the matter of poetic form Espronceda has been the chief inspiration of Spanish poets down to the advent of Rubén Darío. Fitzmaurice-Kelly, with his happy knack of hitting off an author's characteristics in a phrase, says: "He still stirs us with his elemental force, his resonant musical potency of phrase, his communicative ardor for noble causes."

Much harm has been done Espronceda's reputation for originality by those critics who fastened upon him the name of "the Spanish Byron." Nothing could be more unjust than to consider him the slavish imitator of a single author. In literature, as in love, there is safety in numbers, and the writer who was influenced by Calderón, Tasso, Milton, Goethe, Béranger, Hugo, Shakespeare, and Scott was no mere satellite to Byron. Señor Cascales is so sensitive on the point that he is scarcely willing to admit that Byron exerted any influence whatsoever upon Espronceda. The truth is that Byron did influence Espronceda profoundly, as Churchman has sufficiently proved by citing many instances of borrowings from the English poet, where resemblance in matters of detail is wholly conclusive; but it is another matter to assert that Espronceda was always Byronic or had no originality of his own.

In considering Espronceda's writings in detail, we need concern ourselves little with his dramatic and prose writings. The quickest road to literary celebrity was the writing of a successful play. Espronceda seems never to have completely relinquished the hope of achieving such a success. His first attempt was a three-act verse comedy, "Ni el Tío ni el Sobrino" (1834), written in collaboration with Antonio Ros de Olano. Larra censured it for its insipidity and lack of plan. A more ambitious effort was "Amor venga sus agravios" (1838), written in collaboration with Eugenio Moreno López. This was a five-act costume play, in prose, portraying the life at the court of Philip IV. It was produced without regard to expense, but with indifferent success. Espronceda's most ambitious play was never staged, and has only recently become easily accessible: this was "Blanca de Borbón," a historical drama of the times of Peter the Cruel in five acts, in verse. The first two acts were written in Espronceda's early Classic manner; the last three, written at a later period, are Romantic in tone. The influence of "Macbeth" is apparent. "Blanca de Borbón" could never be a success on the stage. The verse, too, is not worthy of the author. Espronceda was too impetuous a writer to comply with the restrictions of dramatic technique. The dramatic passages in "El Estudiante de Salamanca" and "El Diablo Mundo" are his best compositions in dialogue.

"Sancho Saldaña" is Espronceda's most important prose work. It is a historical novel of the thirteenth century, written frankly in imitation of Walter Scott's Waverley Novels. The romance contains many tiresome descriptions of scenery, and drags along tediously as most old-fashioned novels did. But Espronceda had none of Sir Walter's archaeological erudition, none of his ability to seize the characteristics of an epoch, and above all none of his skill as a creator of interesting characters. The personages in "Sancho Saldaña" fail to interest. The most that can be said of the work is that among the numerous imitations of Scott's novels which appeared at the time it is neither the best nor the worst. Of his shorter prose works only two, "De Gibraltar a Lisboa, viaje histórico" and "Un Recuerdo," are easily accessible. They are vivid portrayals of certain episodes of his exile, and may still be read with interest. His most important polemical work is "El Ministerio Mendizábal" (Madrid, 1836). In this screed we find the fiery radical attacking as unsatisfactory the ultra-liberal Mendizábal. This and shorter political articles interest the historian and the biographer, but hardly count as literature. His rare attempts at literary criticism have even less value.

Espronceda shows true greatness only as a lyric poet. For spirit and perfection of form what could be more perfect than the "Canción del Pirata"? Like Byron in the "Corsair," he extols the lawless liberty of the buccaneer. Byron was here his inspiration rather than Hugo. The "Chanson de Pirates" cannot stand comparison with either work. But Espronceda's indebtedness to Byron was in this case very slight. He has made the theme completely his own. "El Mendigo" and "El Canto del Cosaco," both anarchistic in sentiment, were inspired by Béranger. Once more Espronceda has improved upon his models, "Les Gueux" and "Le Chant du Cosaque." Compare Espronceda's refrain in the "Cossack Song" with Béranger's in the work which suggested it:

¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto! ¡Hurra!

La Europa os brinda espléndido botín

Sangrienta charca sus campiñas sean,

De los grajos su ejército festín.

Hennis d'orgueil, o mon coursier fidèle!

Et foule aux pieds les peuples et les rois.

The "Canto del Cosaco" was a prime favorite with the revolutionary youth of Spain, who thundered out the "hurras" with telling effect. "El Reo de Muerte" and "El Verdugo" are in a similar vein, though much inferior. "Serenata," "A la Noche," "El Pescador" (reminiscent of Goethe), "A una Estrella," and "A una Rosa, soneto" are lighter works. They make up in grace what they lack in vigor. "El Himno al Sol" is the most perfect example of Espronceda's Classic manner, and is rightly considered one of his masterpieces. It challenges comparison with the Duque de Rivas' very similar poem. Of the numerous patriotic poems "Al Dos de Mayo" and "A la Patria" deserve especial mention. He attempted satire in "El Pastor Clasiquino," recently reprinted by Le Gentil from "El Artista." In this poem he assails academic poetry like that produced by his old fellow-academicians of the Myrtle. It betrays the peevishness of a Romanticist writing when Romanticism was already on the wane.

"El Diablo Mundo," Espronceda's most ambitious work, is commonly considered his masterpiece; an unfinished masterpiece, however. Even if death had spared him, it is doubtful if he could have finished so all-embracing a theme as he proposed:

Nada menos te ofrezco que un poema

Con lances raros y revuelto asunto,

De nuestro mundo y sociedad emblema....

Fiel traslado ha de ser, cierto trasunto

De la vida del hombre y la quimera

Tras de que va la humanidad entera.

Batallas, tempestades, amoríos,

Por mar y tierra, lances, descripciones

De campos y ciudades, desafíos,

Y el desastre y furor de las pasiones,

Goces, dichas, aciertos, desvaríos,

Con algunas morales reflexiones

Acerca de la vida y de la muerte,

De mi propia cosecha, que es mi fuerte.

Adam, hero of the epic, is introduced in Canto I as an aged scholar disillusioned with life, but dreading the proximity of Death, with whom he converses in a vision. The Goddess of Life grants him the youth of Faust and the immortality of the Wandering Jew. Unlike either, he has the physical and mental characteristics of an adult joined to the naïveté of a child. In Canto III Adam appears in a casa de huéspedes, naked and poor, oblivious of the past, without the use of language, with longings for liberty and action. Here his disillusionment begins. His nakedness shocks public morality; and the innocent Adam who is hostile to nobody, and in whom the brilliant spectacle of nature produces nothing but rejoicing, receives blows, stonings, and imprisonment from his neighbors. Childlike he touches the bayonet of one of his captors, and is wounded. This symbolizes the world's hostility to the innocent. In Canto IV we find Adam in prison. His teachers are criminals. He was born for good; society instructs him in evil. In Canto V he experiences love with the manola Salada, but sees in this passion nothing but impurity. He longs for higher things. Circumstances abase him to crime. He joins a band of burglars, and, falling in love with the lady whose house they are pillaging, protects her against the gang. In Canto VI he continues along his path of sorrow. He enters a house where a beautiful girl is dying, while in another room revelers are making merry. This leads him to speculate on life's mysteries and to reason for himself. The poem ends where Adam has become thoroughly sophisticated. He is now like any other man.

Evidently it was the poet's intention to make Adam go through a series of adventures in various walks of life, everywhere experiencing disillusionment. In spite of the elaborate prospectus quoted above, we may agree with Piñeyro that the poet started writing with only the haziest outline planned beforehand. Espronceda frankly reveals to us his methods of poetic composition:

¡Oh cómo cansa el orden! no hay locura

Igual a la del lógico severo.

And again:

Terco escribo en mi loco desvarío

Sin ton ni són, y para gusto mío....

Sin regla ni compás canta mi lira:

Sólo mi ardiente corazón me inspira!

"El Diablo Mundo" is no mere imitation of Byron's "Don Juan" and Goethe's "Faust," though the influence of each is marked. It has numerous merits and originalities of its own. Inferior as Espronceda is to Byron in wit and to Goethe in depth, he can vie with either as a harmonious versifier.

The philosophy of "El Diablo Mundo" is the commonplace pessimism of Romanticism. The following excerpt shows how the author's skepticism leads him to doubt his very doubts; hence his return to a questioning acceptance of Christianity:

Las creencias que abandonas,

Los templos, las religiones

Que pasaron, y que luego

Por mentira reconoces,

¿Son quizá menos mentira

Que las que ahora te forges?

¿No serán tal vez verdades

Los que tú juzgas errores?

Canto II of "El Diablo Mundo" consists of the poem "A Teresa. Descansa en Paz." This has not the slightest connection with the rest of the poem, and can only be understood as a separate unity. It is included in the present collection because it is the supreme expression of our poet's subjective method. As such it stands in excellent contrast to "El Estudiante de Salamanca," which is purely objective. No reader knows Espronceda who has read merely his objective poems. For self-revelation "A Jarifa en una Orgía" alone may be compared with "A Teresa." We may agree with Escosura that Espronceda is here giving vent to his rancor rather than to his grief, that it is the menos hidalgo of all his writings. But for once we may be sure that the poet is writing under the stress of genuine emotion. For once he is free from posing.


"El Estudiante de Salamanca" represents the synthesis of two well-known Spanish legends, the Don Juan Tenorio legend and the Miguel Mañara legend. The first of these may be briefly stated as follows: Don Juan Tenorio was a young aristocrat of Seville famous for his dissolute life, a gambler, blasphemer, duelist, and seducer of women. Among numerous other victims, he deceives Doña Ana de Ulloa, daughter of the Comendador de Ulloa. The latter challenges Don Juan to a duel, and falls. Later Don Juan enters the church where the Commander lies buried and insults his stone statue, after which he invites the statue to sup with him that night. At midnight Don Juan and his friends are making merry when a knock is heard at the door and the stone guest enters. Don Juan, who does not lose his bravery even in the presence of the supernatural, plays the host, maintaining his air of insulting banter. At the end of the evening the guest departs, offering to repay the hospitality the following night if Don Juan will visit his tomb at midnight. Though friends try to dissuade him, Don Juan fearlessly accepts the invitation. At the appointed hour he visits the tomb. Flames emerge from it, and Don Juan pays the penalty of his misdeeds, dying without confession.

This is the outline of the story as told by Tirso de Molina in "El Burlador de Sevilla o el Convidado de Piedra." The same theme has been treated by Molière, Goldoni, Mozart, Byron, and Zorrilla, to mention but a few of the hundreds of writers who have utilized it. In the hands of non-Spanish writers the character of Don Juan loses the greater part of its essential nobility. To them Don Juan is the type of libertine and little more. He was a prime favorite with those Romanticists who, like Gautier, felt "Il est indécent et mauvais ton d'être vertueux." But as conceived in Spain Don Juan's libertinage is wholly subsidiary and incidental. He is a superman whose soaring ambition mounts so high that earth cannot satisfy it. The bravest may be permitted to falter in the presence of the supernatural; but Don Juan fears neither heaven nor hell. His bravery transcends all known standards, and this one virtue, though it does not save him from hell, redeems him in popular esteem.

Don Félix de Montemar is the typical Don Juan type, a libertine, gambler, blasphemer, heartless seducer, but superhumanly brave. Yet the plot of Espronceda's poem bears closer resemblance to the story told of Miguel Mañara.

Miguel Mañara (often erroneously spelled Maraña) Vicentelo de Leca (1626-1679) was an alderman (veintecuatro) of Seville and a knight of Calatrava. As a youth his character resembled that of Don Juan. One day some hams sent to him from the country were intercepted by the customs. He started out to punish the offending officers, but on the way repented and thenceforth led a virtuous life. In 1661, after his wife's death, he entered the Hermandad de la Caridad, later becoming superior of that order. In his will he endowed the brotherhood with all his wealth and requested that he be buried under the threshold of the chapel of San Jorge. His sole epitaph was to be "Here repose the bones and ashes of the worst man who ever existed in the world." Don Miguel's biography was written by his friend the Jesuit Juan de Cardeñas and was added to by Diego López de Haro, "Breve relación de la muerte, de la vida y virtudes de Don Miguel de Mañara," Seville, 1680.

There soon sprang up a legend around the name of Mañara. He is said to have fallen in love with the statue on the Giralda tower. On one occasion the devil gave him a light for his cigar, reaching across the Guadalquivir to do so. Again, he pursued a woman into the very cathedral, forcibly pulled aside her mantilla and discovered a skeleton. Yet more surprising, he was present, when still alive, at his own funeral in the Church of Santiago. But these stories associated with the name of Mañara are much older than he. Antonio de Torquemada, "Jardín de Flores Curiosas," Salamanca, 1570, tells of an unnamed knight who fell in love with a nun. He enters her convent with false keys only to find a funeral in progress. On inquiring the name of the deceased, he is told that it is himself. He then runs home pursued by two devils in the form of dogs who tear him to pieces after he has made pious repentance. Cristóbal Bravo turned this story into verse, Toledo, 1572. One or other of these versions appears to have been the source of Zorrilla's "El Capitán Montoya." Gaspar Cristóbal Lozano, "Soledades de la Vida y Desengaños del Mundo" (Madrid, 1663), tells the same story, and is the first to name hero and heroine, Lisardo and Teodora. Lozano, too, is the first to make the male protagonist a Salamanca student. Lozano's version inspired two ballads entitled "Lisardo el Estudiante de Córdova." These were reprinted by Durán, Romancero general, Vol. I, pp. 264-268, where they are readily accessible.

This ballad of Lisardo the Student of Cordova was undoubtedly Espronceda's main source in writing "The Student of Salamanca," and to it he refers in line 2 with the words antiguas historias cuentan. Yet the indebtedness was small. Espronceda took from the ballad merely the idea of making the hero of the adventure a Salamanca student, and the episode of a man witnessing his own funeral. Needless to say Espronceda's finished versification owed nothing to the halting meter of the original. Lisardo, a Salamanca student, though a native of Cordova, falls in love with Teodora, sister of a friend, Claudio. Teodora is soon to become a nun. One night he makes love to her and is only mildly rebuked. But a ghostly swordsman warns him that he will be slain if he does not desist. Nevertheless he continues his wooing in spite of the fact that Teodora has become a nun. She agrees to elope. While on his way to the convent to carry out this design, his attention is attracted by a group of men attacking an individual. This individual proves to be himself, Lisardo. Lisardo, then, witnesses his own murder and subsequent funeral obsequies. This warning is too terrible not to heed. He gives over his attempt at seduction and leads an exemplary life.

There are many other examples in the literature of Spain of the man who sees his own funeral. Essentially the same story is told by Lope de Vega, "El Vaso de Elección. San Pablo." Bévotte thinks that Mérimée in "Les Ames du purgatoire" was the first to combine the Don Juan and the Miguel de Mañara legends, so closely alike in spirit, into a single work. But Said Armesto finds this fusion already accomplished in a seventeenth-century play, "El Niño Diablo." Dumas owed much to Mérimée in writing his allegorical play "Don Juan de Maraña," first acted April 30, 1836. This became immediately popular in Spain. A mutilated Spanish version appeared, Tarragona, 1838, Imprenta de Chuliá. It is doubtful whether Espronceda owes anything to either of these French works, although both works contain gambling scenes very similar to that in which Don Félix de Montemar intervened. In the Dumas play Don Juan stakes his mistress in a game, as Don Félix did his mistress's portrait. It seems likely that Espronceda derived his whole inspiration for this scene from Moreto's "San Franco de Sena," which he quotes.

The legend of the man who sees his own funeral belongs to the realm of folk-lore. Like superstitions are to be found wherever the Celtic race has settled. In Spain they are especially prevalent in Galicia and Asturias. There the estantigua or "ancient enemy" appears to those soon to die. These spirits, or almas en pena, appear wearing winding-sheets, bearing candles, a cross, and a bier on which a corpse is lying. Don Quijote in attacking the funeral procession probably thought he had to do with the estantigua. Furthermore, Said Armesto in his illuminating study "La Leyenda de Don Juan" proves that the custom of saying requiem masses for the living was very ancient in Spain. One recalls, too, how Charles V in his retirement at Yuste rehearsed his own funeral, actually entering the coffin while mass was being said.

Of all Espronceda's poems "El Estudiante de Salamanca" is the most popular. It has a unity and completeness lacking in both the "Pelayo" and "El Diablo Mundo." Every poet of the time was busy composing leyendas. Espronceda attempted this literary form but once, yet of all the numerous "legends" written in Spain this is the most fitted to survive. Nowhere else has the poet shown equal virtuosity in the handling of unusual meters. Nowhere among his works is there greater variety or harmony of verse. Though not the most serious, this is the most pleasing of his poems. Espronceda follows the Horatian precept of starting his story "in the middle of things." In the first part he creates the atmosphere of the uncanny, introduces the more important characters, and presents a striking situation. Part Second, the most admired, is elegiac in nature. It pleases by its simple melancholy. This part and the dramatic tableau of Part Three explain the cause of the duel with which Part One begins. Part Four resumes the thread of the narration where it was broken off in Part One, and ends with the Dance of Death which forms the climax of the whole. The character of Don Félix de Montemar is vigorously drawn. Originality cannot be claimed for it, as it is the conventional Don Juan Tenorio type. The character of Doña Elvira hardly merits the high praise of Spanish critics. She is a composite portrait of Ophelia, Marguerite, and two of Byron's characters, Doña Julia and Haidée, a shadowy, unreal creation, as ghostly in life as in death. "The Student of Salamanca" tells a story vigorously and sweetly. It does not abound in quotable passages like the "Diablo Mundo." It is neither philosophic nor introspective. It teaches no lesson. Its merit is its perfection of form.


The best biography of Espronceda is that of José Cascales y Muñoz, "D. José de Espronceda, su época, su vida y sus obras," Madrid, 1914. This is an expansion of the same author's "Apuntes y Materiales para la Biografía de Espronceda," Revue hispanique, Vol. XXIII, pp. 5-108. See also a shorter article by the same author in La España Moderna, Vol. CCXXXIV, pp. 27-48. Less critical, but useful, is Antonio Cortón, "Espronceda," Madrid, 1906. The very uncritical book by E. Rodríguez Solís, "Espronceda: su tiempo, su vida y sus obras," Madrid, 1883, is chiefly valuable now as the best source for Espronceda's parliamentary speeches. J. Fitzmaurice-Kelly's "Espronceda," The Modern Language Review, Vol. IV, pp, 20-39, is admirable as a biography and a criticism, though partially superseded by later works containing the results of new discoveries. P.H. Churchman, "Byron and Espronceda," Revue hispanique, Vol. XX, pp. 5-210, gives a short biography, though the study is in the main a penetrating investigation of Espronceda's sources. E. Piñeyro has written two articles on Espronceda: "Poetas Famosos del Siglo XIX," Madrid, 1883, and "El Romanticismo en España," Paris, 1904. This last was first printed in the Bulletin hispanique for 1903. The older biography of D.A. Ferrer del Río, "Galería de la Literatura," Madrid, 1846, still has a certain value; but the most important source for Espronceda's youthful adventures is "El Discurso del Excmo. Señor D. Patricio de la Escosura, individuo de número de la Academia Española, leído ante esta corporación en la sesión pública inaugural de 1870," Madrid, 1870. This matter is expanded in five very important articles which appeared in "La Ilustración Española y Americana" for 1876 (February 8, February 22, June 22, July 8, September 22), partially reproduced in the book of Cascales y Muñoz. See also López Núñez, "José de Espronceda, Biografía Anecdótica," Madrid, 1917 and A. Donoso, "La Juventud de Espronceda," Revista Chilena, July, 1917. The best study of Espronceda's philosophy is Bonilla y San Martín's, "El Pensamiento de Espronceda," La España Moderna, Vol. CCXXXIV. For a recent short article see Cejador y Frauca, "Historia de la Lengua y Literatura Castellana," VII, Madrid, 1917, PP. 177-185.

The best bibliography of Espronceda's writings is that of Churchman, "An Espronceda Bibliography," Revue hispanique, XVII, pp. 741-777. This should be supplemented by reference to Georges Le Gentil, "Les Revues littéraires de l'Espagne pendant la première moitié du XIXe siècle," Paris, 1909. The least bad edition of Espronceda's poems is "Obras Poéticas y Escritos en Prosa," Madrid, 1884. (The second volume, which was to contain the prose writings, never appeared.) See also the "Obras Poéticas de Espronceda," Valladolid, 1900, and "Espronceda," Barcelona, 1906. Also "Páginas Olvidadas de Espronceda," Madrid, 1873. There has been a recent reprint of "Sancho Saldaña," Madrid, 1914, Repullés. Churchman has published "Blanca de Borbón," Revue hispanique, Vol. XVII, and also "More Inedita" in the same volume. There is said to be an English translation of "The Student of Salamanca," London, 1847. An excellent French version is that of R. Foulché-Delbosc, "L'Étudiant de Salamanque," Paris, 1893. Mary J. Serrano has made splendid translations of "The Pirate" and "To Spain: An Elegy," Warner's Library of the World's Best Literature, Vol. XIV.

For a very full treatment and bibliography of the Don Juan Tenorio legend see G.G. de Bévotte, "La Légende de Don Juan," Paris, 1911. Also Farinelli, Giornale Storico, XXVII, and "Homenaje a Menéndez y Pelayo," Vol. I, p. 295; A.L. Stiefel, Jahresberichte für neuere deutsche Litteraturgeschichte, 1898-1899, Vol. I, 7, pp. 74-79.



To enjoy the work of so musical an artist as Espronceda, the student must be able to read his verse in the original. This cannot be done without some knowledge of the rules which govern the writing of Spanish poetry. It therefore becomes necessary to give some account of the elementary principles of Spanish prosody. This is not the place for a complete treatment of the subject: only so much will be attempted as is necessary for the intelligent comprehension of our author's writings. A knowledge of English prosody will hinder rather than help the student; for the Spanish poet obeys very different laws from those which govern the writer of English verse.

The two essentials of Spanish poetry are (1) a fixed number of syllables in each verse (by verse we mean a single line of poetry); (2) a rhythmical arrangement of the syllables within the verse. Rime and assonance are hardly less important, but are not strictly speaking essential.



When a verse is stressed on the final syllable, it is called a verso agudo or masculine verse.

When a verse is stressed on the next to the last syllable, it is called a verso llano or feminine verse.

When a verse is stressed on the second from the last syllable, the antepenult, it is called a verso esdrújulo.

For the sake of convenience, the verso llano is considered the normal verse. Thus, in an eight-syllable verse of this type the final stress always falls on the seventh syllable, in a six- syllable verse on the fifth syllable, etc., always one short of the last. In the case of the verso agudo, where the final stress falls on the final syllable, a verse having actually seven syllables would nevertheless be counted as having eight. One syllable is always added in counting the syllables of a verso agudo, and, contrariwise, one is always subtracted from the total number of actual syllables in a verso esdrújulo. These three kinds of verses are frequently used together in the same strophe (copla or stanza) and held to be of equal length. Thus:

Turbios sus ojos,

Sus graves párpados

Flojos caer.

Theoretically these are all five-syllable verses. The first is a verso llano, the normal verse. It alone has five syllables. The second is a verso esdrújulo. It actually has six syllables, but theoretically is held to have five. The third is a verso agudo. It actually has but four syllables, but in theory is designated a five-syllable verse. All three verses agree in having the final stress fall upon the fourth syllable.

It would be simpler if, following the French custom, nothing after the final stress were counted; but Spaniards prefer to consider normal the verse of average length. It follows from this definition that a monosyllabic verse is an impossibility in Spanish. Espronceda writes:




He is not here dropping from dissyllabic to monosyllabic verse, but the last verse too must be considered a line of two syllables.

Espronceda never uses a measure of more than twelve syllables in the selections included in this book. Serious poets never attempt anything longer than a verse of sixteen syllables.


Spanish vowels are divided into two classes: the strong vowels, a, o, e, and the weak vowels, u, i. According to the Academy rules, followed by most grammarians, there can be no diphthongization of two strong vowels in the proper pronunciation of prose; only when a strong unites with a weak or two weaks unite can diphthongization take place. In verse, on the other hand, diphthongization of two strong vowels is not only allowable but common. This would probably not be the case if the same thing did not have considerable justification in colloquial practice. As a matter of fact we frequently hear ahora pronounced áora with diphthongization and shift of stress.

Of the three strong vowels, a is "dominant" over o and e; o is dominant over e; and any one of the three is dominant over u or i. A dominant vowel is one which has the power of attracting to itself the stress which, except for diphthongization, would fall on the other vowel with which it unites. The vowel losing the stress is called the "absorbed" vowel. This principle, which we find exemplified in the earliest poetic monuments of the language, must be thoroughly understood by the student of modern Spanish verse.


Syneresis is the uniting of two or three vowels, each of which is ordinarily possessed of full syllabic value, into a diphthong or a triphthong, thereby reducing the number of syllables in the word; h does not interfere with syneresis. Thus, aérea is normally a word of four syllables. In this verse it counts as three.

Mística y aérea dudosa visión (12)

(The numbers in parentheses indicate the syllables in the verse. Remember that the figure represents the theoretical number of syllables in the line, and indicates the actual number only in the case of the verso llano. Furthermore, the figure has been determined by a comparison with adjacent lines in the same stanzas, verses which offer no metrical difficulties.) So likewise in:

Y en aérea fantástica danza (10)

In the following we have double syneresis, and the word has but two syllables:

Aerea como dorada mariposa (11)

Examples of syneresis after the tonic stress:

Rechinan girando las férreas veletas (12)

Todos atropellándoos en montón (11)

Palpa en torno de sí, y el impio jura (11)

Impio, usually impío, is one of a number of words admitting of two stresses. Such are called words of double accentuation. The principle is different from that governing the stress-shift explained above. The word has its ordinary value in the following:

«Bienvenida la luz,» dijo el impío (11)

Examples of syneresis before the tonic stress:

Se siente con sus lágrimas ahogar (11)

Tu pecho de roedor remordimiento (11)

¡Ay! El que la triste realidad palpó! (12)

Toda la sangre coagulada envía (11)

¿Quién en su propia sangre los ahogó? (11)

Tanto delirio a realizar alcanza (11)

Ahogar me siento en infernal tortura (11)

Examples of syneresis under stress:

El blanco ropaje que ondeante se ve (12)

Las piedras con las piedras se golpearon (11)

Ahora adelante?» Dijo, y en seguida (11)

In the first two examples there is no stress-shift. In the third, the stress travels from the o of Ahora to the initial a. In the following example ahora has three syllables:

Será más tarde que ahora (8)

The rule regarding syneresis under stress is that it is allowable, with or without resulting stress-shift, except when the combinations éa, éo, óa, are involved. Espronceda violates the rule in this instance:

Veame en vuestros brazos y máteme luego (12)

This is a peculiarly violent and harsh syneresis. The stress shifts from the first e to the a, giving a pronunciation very different from that of the usual véame. Such a syneresis is more pardonable at the beginning of a verse than in any other position; but good modern poets strive to avoid such harshnesses. Espronceda sometimes makes río monosyllabic:

Los rios su curso natural reprimen (11)

In the poetry of the Middle Ages and Renaissance such pronunciations as teniá for tenía are common.


Dieresis is the breaking up of vowel-combinations in such a way as to form an additional syllable in the word. It is the opposite of syneresis. Dieresis never occurs in the case of the diphthongs ie and ue derived from Latin (e), and (o), in words like tierra, bueno, etc. and are regularly dissyllabic except after c, g, and j. Examples:

Y en su blanca luz süave (8)

En la playa un adüar (8)

En vez de desafïaros (8)

Compañero eterno su dolor crüel (12)

Grandïosa, satánica figura (11)

El carïado, lívido esqueleto (11)

La Luna en el mar rïela (8)

Cólera, impetuoso torbellino (11)

Horas de confianza y de delicias (11)

En cárdenos matices cambiaban (11)

Rüido de pasos de gente que viene (12)

The same word without dieresis:

Por las losas deslízase sin ruido (11)

In certain words, such as cruel, metrical custom preserves a pronunciation in which the adjacent vowels have separate syllabic value. Traditional grammar, represented by the Academy, asserts that such is the correct pronunciation of these words to this day; but the actual speech of the best speakers diphthongizes these vowels, and their separation in poetry must rank as a dieresis. In printing poetry it is customary to print the mark of dieresis on many words in which dieresis is regular as well as on those in which it is exceptional.


Synalepha is the combining into one syllable of two or more adjacent vowels or diphthongs of different words. It is the same phenomenon as syneresis extended beyond the single word. H does not prevent synalepha. The number of synalephas possible in a single verse is theoretically limited only by the number of syllables in that verse. A simple instance:

De alguna arruinada iglesia (8)

The number of vowels entering into a synalepha is commonly two or three; rarely four, and, by a tour de force, even five:

Ni envidio a Eudoxia ni codicio a Eulalia (11)

Synalepha is not prevented by any mark of punctuation separating the two words nor by the caesural pause (see below). In dramatic verse a synalepha may even be divided between two speakers. In the short lines of "El Mendigo," Espronceda mingles four- with five-syllable verses. But as the five-syllable verses begin with vowels and the preceding four-syllable verses end with vowels, the former sound no longer than the rest. In very short lines synalepha may occur between one verse and another following it. See also line 1389 of "El Estudiante de Salamanca."

1. The simplest case is where both vowels entering into synalepha occur in unstressed syllables:

Informes, en que se escuchan (8)

When the two vowels coming together are identical, as here, they fuse into a single sound (s'escuchan), with only a slight gain in the quantity of the vowel. Se here has no individual accent in the stress-group. Where the vowels in synalepha are different, each is sounded, but the stronger or more dominant is the one more distinctly heard:

Vagar, y aúllan los perros (8)

2. The second case is where the vowel or diphthong ending the first word in the synalepha bears the stress, and the initial vowel or diphthong of the second word is unstressed. Examples which do not involve stress-shift:

Del que mató en desafío (8)

Que no he seguido a una dama (8)

(He is without stress in the group.)


No tardará.




Quiero. (8)

In the following examples stress-shift occurs, because the unstressed vowel is dominant while the stressed vowel is absorbed. Such stress-shifts as these are sanctioned only when they do not coincide with a strong rhythmic stress (see below) in the verse. They are less offensive at the beginning than at the end:

Allí en la triste soledad se hallaron (11)

Tú el aroma en las flores exhalas (10)

Al punto aquí castigaré al medroso (11)

The following are disagreeably harsh:

Que estas torres llegué a ver (8)

¿De inciertos pesares por qué hacerla esclava (12)

3. The third case is where the second vowel or diphthong bears the stress, while the first is unstressed:

Teñida de ópalo y grana (8)

In cases like these we are dealing with a form of synalepha which, if not true elision, approaches it closely. According to Benot, the pronunciation is not quite d'ópalo, but "there is an attempt at elision." In other words, the second vowel or diphthong, if dominant, so predominates over the first that it is scarcely audible. Under this case, too, there may arise stress-shift:

Se hizo el bigote, requirió la espada (11)

This is a very bad verse. But such instances are rare in Espronceda and good modern poets. They are never sanctioned in connection with a strong rhythmic stress. In such a case hiatus (see below) is favored as the lesser of two evils.

4. The fourth case is where each of the two vowels bears the stress:

Así, ante nosotros pasa en ilusión (12)

What happens here is that one of the two stresses becomes subordinate to the other, the stress being wholly assumed by the more dominant of the two.

Where three or more vowels unite in a synalepha, two things must be borne in mind: (1) Stress-shift is not harsh to the Spanish ear, and is always permissible, if more than two vowels are involved. This is Espronceda's justification in the following:

Si se murió, a lo hecho, pecho (8)

Necesito ahora dinero (8)

Su pecho ahogado (5)

(2) The vowels of three words may not combine if the middle word is y, e, he, o, or u. Examples:

¡Pues no ha hecho mal disparate! (8)

Que conduce a esta mansión (8)

But: Cuando en sueño | y en silencio (8)

Si tal vez suena | o está (8)

Alma fiera | e insolente (8)

There is one case in the text where he as middle word does enter into synalepha, but this is merely the fusion of three identical vowels:

Yo me he echado el alma atrás (8)


Hiatus is the breaking up into two syllables of vowel combinations in adjacent words capable of entering into synalepha. It is an extension to the word-group of dieresis, which applies only to a single word.

Many authorities on Spanish versification recognize as hiatus various cases which should not be so classified. In words like yo, yerro, hierro, huevo, etc., the first phonetic element is in each case a semi-vowel, and these semi-vowels have the value of consonants in the words cited. To classify the following as examples of hiatus is to be phonetically unsound:

Perdida tengo | yo el alma (8)

Ponzoñoso lago de punzante | hielo (12)

Me he de quejar de este | yerro (8)

Levantóse en su cóncavo | hueco (10)

Cual témpanos de | hielo endurecidos (11)

Tierno quejido que en el alma | hiere (11)

In none of these cases could there possibly be synalepha. Consequently by definition there can be no hiatus.

Hiatus most frequently occurs to avoid the greater cacophony which would arise from stress-shift under case 3 of synalepha:

Era la hora | en que acaso (8)

Lack of hiatus would here produce a stress-shift resulting in an unharmonious stressing of two successive syllables.

Reposaba, y tumba | era (8)

The same principle applies here as in the above, except that the effect would be even worse, because the stress shift would come under the rhythmic stress. (See below.)

Su mejilla; es una | ola (8) (Ditto.)

¡Pobres flores de tu | alma! (8)

Probably to give the pronominal adjective greater emphasis.

Y huyó su | alma a la mansión dichosa (11)

Probably to avoid two successive stresses, though possibly there may be dieresis in mansión.

Don Félix, a buena | hora (8)

Again to avoid stress-shift under the rhythmic stress.

¡El as! ¡el as! aquí está (8)

Y si Dios aquí os envia (8)

In these two examples instead of hiatus there is synalepha with stress-shift, but we have to do with case 2 of synalepha, not case 3.

Que un alma, una vida, | es (8)

Cuando | hacia él fatídica figura (11)

Y el otro ¡Dios santo! y el otro era | él! (12)

¡Villano! mas esto | es (8)

En cada | hijo a contemplar un rey (11)

In some instances hiatus seems to occur for no other reason than to preserve the verse-measure:

Resonando cual lúgubre | eco (10)

Y palacios de | oro y de cristal (11)

¡Y tú feliz, que | hallaste en la muerte (11)

In general hiatus is most likely to occur before the principal rhythmic stress in a verse; that is, before the final stress.


In English poetry the foot, rather than the syllable, is the unit. The number of feet to a verse is fixed, but the number of syllables varies. In Spanish poetry the number of syllables to a verse is fixed, subject only to the laws of syllable-counting given above. But if in this respect the Spanish poet has less freedom than the English versifier, he has infinitely greater liberty in the arrangement of his rhythms. The sing-song monotony of regularly recurring beats is intolerable to Latin ears. The greater flexibility of Spanish rhythm can best be shown by illustrations:

The Assy'rian came do'wn like the wo'lf on the fo'ld,

And his co'horts were gle'aming in pu'rple and go'ld;

And the she'en of their spe'ars was like sta'rs on the se'a,

When the blu'e wave rolls ni'ghtly on de'ep Galile'e.

Having chosen to write this poem in the anapestic tetrameter, Byron never varies the rhythm except to substitute an occasional iambic at the beginning of a verse:

And the're lay the ste'ed with his no'stril all wi'de.

Notice how much more freely Espronceda handles this meter in Spanish:

Su fo'rma galla'rda dibu'ja en las so'mbras

El bla'nco ropaj'e que ondea'nte se ve',

Y cua'l si pisa'ra mulli'das alfo'mbras,

Deslí'zase le've sin rui'do su pie'.

Tal vi'mos al ra'yo de la lu'na lle'na

Fugiti'va ve'la de le'jos cruza'r

Que ya' la' hinche en po'pa la bri'sa sere'na,

Que ya' la confu'nde la espu'ma del ma'r.

The first of these stanzas has the true Byronic swing. But note how freely the rhythm is handled in the second. Spanish rhythm is so flexible and free that little practical advantage is gained by counting feet. We distinguish only two sorts of verse-measure, the binary, where in general there is stress on one syllable out of two—that is there are trochees (__' __) or iambics (__ __') in the verse, or the two intermingled—and second the ternary measure, where one of a group of three syllables receives the stress. Such a verse is made up of dactyls (__' __ __), anapests (__ __ __'), or amphibrachs (__ __' __), or some combination of these. Of course, a three-syllable foot is often found in binary verse, and, vice versa a two-syllable foot in ternary measure. By binary verse we mean only a form of verse in which the twofold measure predominates, and by ternary one in which the threefold measure predominates. The extract last quoted is an example of ternary verse. The following will serve as a specimen of the binary movement:

En de'rredo'r de u'na me'sa

Ha'sta se'is ho'mbres está'n,

Fi'ja la vi'sta' en los na'ipes,

Mie'ntras jue'gan a'l para'r;

Every word in Spanish has its individual word-accent: habí'a, habla'do. Now if we join these two words in a phrase, habí'a habla'do, we note that while each of the words still retains its individual word-accent, hablado is more strongly stressed than había. In addition to its word-accent hablado bears what we term a phrase-accent. In any line of verse some of the word-stresses are stronger than others, and these stronger stresses are termed rhythmic stresses. They correspond to the phrase-stresses of prose. The principal rhythmic stress is the last stress of the line. In general the rhythmic stress must coincide with a word-stress. It always does except where stress-shift comes into play. We have already seen that a stress-shift coinciding with the rhythmic stress is intolerable, and hiatus is preferred. It is very unharmonious for two stresses to fall together at the end of a verse:

Que estas torres llegué a ver (8)

This is a very bad verse, because a is dominant over é and brings about stress-shift, and the two consecutive syllables a and ver are both stressed. The result is unharmonious. A syllable bearing stress and standing immediately before the final stress is called an obstructing syllable (una sílaba obstruccionista). Every effort is made by a good poet to avoid such a cacophony. The above is a good example of one. I have emended llegué to llegue in the text.

A short verse can easily be spoken without pause, but above ten syllables it becomes necessary for the reader to rest somewhere within the line. The resting-place is called the caesural pause. The longer the verse, the greater its importance. It does not prevent synalepha. The stress immediately before the caesura must be the second most important rhythmic stress of the verse.


The regularity of the beats in English verse is of itself sufficient to indicate when a line of poetry is ended, even though there be no rime to mark that end. Hence blank verse has been highly developed by English poets, and many, like Milton, have held it to be the noblest form of verse. Blank verse is impossible in French, because French with its lack of verbal stress has no other device than rime to mark the end of a verse. Without rime French blank verse would be indistinguishable from rhythmic prose. In Spanish the stress is not so heavy as in the Germanic languages, but, on the other hand, is much stronger than in French. Spanish blank verse is not unknown, but has never been cultivated with great success. It is evident that in this language too, lacking as it does regular rhythm in its versification, rime is much more necessary than in English. However, an occasional verso suelto, or blank verse, intermingled with rimed ones, is very common.

Two words rime with one another when there is identity of sound between the last stressed vowels and between any letters which may follow these vowels. Rime is masculine (in Spanish rima aguda) when the last syllables bear the stress: malcristal; or feminine when an unstressed vowel follows the stressed one (in Spanish rima llana): hermosuralocura. Inasmuch as b and v represent the same sound, they rime. The weak vowel of a diphthong is ignored for riming purposes; thus vuelo rimes with cielo. Good poets avoid obvious or easy rimes such as those yielded by flexional endings and suffixes. It is permissible to rime two identically-spelled words if they are in fact different words in meaning: ven (they see) rimes with vén (come).

Assonance is the identity of sound of two or more stressed vowels and the final following vowels, if there are any. In case consonants stand after the stressed vowel they are disregarded.

Assonance is of two sorts: single assonance (asonante agudo), estánvapararjamás, etc.; and double assonance (asonante llano), cuentantierradejan or coronadagasabaña. In assonanced verse the assonanced words end the even lines. The odd are usually blank, though sometimes rimed. A voz aguda cannot assonate with a voz llana, but there is no objection to the introduction of voces esdrújulas into asonante llano. In this case only the stressed and the final vowels of the esdrújula are counted; for example, América assonances with crea. When diphthongs enter into assonance, the weak vowel is ignored: pleita assonances with pliega.

Assonance is not unknown in English, especially in popular or folk verse; but we generally regard it as a faulty rime. Thus in the British national anthem we read:

Send him victorious,

Happy and glorious,

Long to reign over us,

God save the king!

"Over us" plainly assonates, rather than rimes, with "glorious," but this is dangerously close to doggerel. Assonance is unsuited to the genius of any language possessed of a rich vowel-system. This is evident to any one who has read Archbishop Trench's attempt to render Calderon's verse into English assonance.


I shall not attempt to list the innumerable verse-forms to be found in Spanish poetry, but shall only indicate the forms used by Espronceda in the selections contained in this volume. Some of these are fixed and conventional, and others are of his own contrivance. Spanish uses the terms estrofa and copla to designate an arrangement of verses in a stanza. Copla must not be confused with English "couplet." These are general terms; most verse-forms are designated by special names. The following verse-forms are found in the selections contained in this book:


Lines 1-40. Ballad meter or verso de romance (8 syllables) with assonance in é-a.

Lines 41-48. Verso de romance with assonance in ó.

Lines 49-63. Irregular 3-syllable meter with assonance in ó occurring irregularly; lines 53 and 55 rime, and 59 and 61 assonate in é-a.

Lines 64-75. Verso de romance with assonance in ó.

Lines 76-99. Quatrains or cuartetas of 12-syllable verse; rime-scheme abab (this arrangement of the rime is called rima cruzada); alternation of masculine and feminine rime.

Lines 100-139. Octavillas italianas (8-syllable verse); lines 2 and 3, 6 and 7, 4 and 8 rime; lines 1 and 5 either assonate or are blank (sueltos).

Lines 140-179. Octavas reales (11-syllable verse); rime-scheme abababcc; the rimes must be feminine.

Lines 180-257. Verso de romance, printed in the form of cuartetas; assonance in á-a.

Lines 258-302. Quintillas (8-syllable verse); the rime-scheme varies; the rule is that there shall be two rimes to a quintilla, and the same rime must not occur in three consecutive verses.

Lines 303-330. Cuartetas (11-syllable verse); rime-scheme abab; occasionally assonance replaces rime in the even verses.

Lines 331-338. Octava real.

Lines 339-370. Cuartetas (11-syllable verse).

Lines 371-418. Octavas reales.

Lines 419-434. Cuartetas (11-syllable verse).

Lines 435-454. Verso de romance, printed as cuartetas; assonance in á.

Lines 455-558. Redondillas (8-syllable verse); rime-scheme abba; this arrangement of rimes is called versos pareados en el centro.

Lines 559-578. Cuartetas (11-syllable verse); rima cruzada.

Lines 579-590. Redondillas.

Lines 591-600. Décima (8-syllable verse); rime-scheme abbaaccddc.

Lines 601-692. Redondillas.

Lines 693-792. Cuartetas (12-syllable verse); odd verses rime; the even either form a masculine rime or are in assonance.

Lines 793-820. Cuartetas (8-syllable verse); the rime-scheme varies: some coplas are redondillas; others have the crossed rime.

Lines 821-884. Cuartetas of 12-syllable verse resumed; same rime-scheme as above.

Lines 885-894. Quintillas (8-syllable verse); rime-scheme abaab.

Lines 895-910. Cuartetas (11-syllable verse); rime-scheme either abba or abab.

Lines 911-938. Cuartetas of 12-syllable verse; rime-scheme abab; even verses form either a masculine rime or assonance.

Lines 939-942. Cuarteta (11-syllable verse); even verses in assonance; the odd verses rime.

Lines 943-961. Irregular meter (6-syllable verse); a mixture of rime, assonance, and blank verse.

Lines 962-1033. Verso de romance; assonance in á.

Lines 1034-1063. Quintillas.

Lines 1064-1115. Cuartetas (12-syllable verse); rime in the odd verses; assonance or masculine rime in the even.

Lines 1116-1145. Quintillas.

Lines 1146-1149. Cuarteta (11-syllable verse); rime-scheme abab.

Lines 1150-1164. Quintillas.

Lines 1165-1196. Cuartetas (11-syllable verse); rime-scheme abab; feminine rime.

Lines 1197-1364. Octavas reales.

Lines 1365-1384. Quintillas.

Lines 1385-1390. Irregular blending of 2-and 3-syllable meter; assonance and rime; the crescendo effect begins here.

Lines 1391-1399. Irregular 4-syllable meter; assonance and rime.

Lines 1400-1412. Irregular 5-syllable meter; assonance, rime, and blank verse.

Lines 1413-1439. Irregular 6-syllable meter; assonance, rime, blank verse.

Lines 1440-1447. Irregular 7-syllable meter; assonance, rime, blank verse.

Lines 1448-1469. Verso de romance; assonance in é-o.

Lines 1470-1485. Irregular 9-syllable meter; assonance in ó.

Lines 1486-1501. Cuartetas (10-syllable verse); rime-scheme abab; even verses assonate or form a masculine rime.

Lines 1502-1521. Cuartetas (11-syllable verse); rime-scheme abab; even verses assonate or form a masculine rime.

Lines 1522-1553. Cuartetas (12-syllable verse); rime-scheme abab; even verses assonate or form a masculine rime; the crescendo is now at its height.

Lines 1554-1569. Octavillas italianas (11-syllable verse); see above for description of this verse form.

Lines 1570-1585. Octavillas italianas (10-syllable verse).

Lines 1586-1601. Octavillas italianas (9-syllable verse).

Lines 1602-1617. Octavillas italianas (8-syllable verse).

Lines 1618-1633. Octavillas italianas (7-syllable verse).

Lines 1634-1649. Octavillas italianas (6-syllable verse).

Lines 1650-1661. An irregular 12-verse stanza of 5-syllable verse in which verses 3 and 4, 8 and 9 rime as couplets; 6 and 12 also rime; the other verses are blank.

Lines 1662-1669. Variant of the octavilla italiana; 4-syllable verse; verse 6 is blank instead of 5.

Lines 1670-1677. Octavilla italiana; 3-syllable verse; rime-scheme normal.

Lines 1678-1680. Irregular meter of 2-syllable verse; rime and blank; the diminuendo effect ends here.

Lines 1681-1704. Octavas reales.


Lines 1-16. Octavillas italianas (8-syllable verse).

Lines 17-22. Sextina (8-syllable verse, except that verse 2 is a verso quebrado or "broken verse" of 4 syllables). The sextina admits of the greatest variety of form; those in this poem are all of the same pattern; rime-scheme abaccb.

Lines 23-30. Octavilla italiana (4-syllable verse).

Lines 31-34. Cuarteta (8-syllable verse); verses 1 and 3 are blank; 2 and 4 assonate.

Lines 35-40. Sextina.

Lines 41-48. Octavilla italiana, same as above.

Lines 50-55. Sextina.

Lines 56-63. Octavilla italiana.

Lines 65-70. Sextina.

Lines 71-78. Octavilla italiana.

Lines 80-85. Sextina.

Lines 86-93. Octavilla italiana.

Lines 94-97. Cuarteta.


This poem is written in cuartetas of 11-syllable verse with rima cruzada. Verses 1 and 3 rime and 2 and 4 assonate, except in the refrain, where 1 and 3 are blank.


Lines 1-4. Cuarteta (11-syllable verse); verses 1 and 3 are blank; 2 and 4 assonate.

Lines 5-10. Sextina (8-syllable verse, except 2, the verso quebrado, which has 4 syllables); rime-scheme abcaac; the verso quebrado is blank.

Lines 11-28. Irregular 4-syllable meter; a wholly irregular arrangement of rime, assonance, and blank verse.

Lines 29-32. Irregular cuarteta of two 8-syllable verses followed by two of 11; verses 1 and 3 are blank; 2 and 4 assonate.

Lines 34-39. Sextina, same as above.

Lines 40-57. Irregular 4-syllable meter, same as above.

Lines 58-61. Cuarteta, same as the irregular one above.

Lines 63-68. Sextina, same as above.

Lines 69-88. Irregular 4-syllable meter, same as above.

Lines 89-92. Cuarteta, same as the irregular ones above.

Lines 94-99. Sextina, same as above.

Lines 100-117. Irregular 4-syllable meter, same as above.

Lines 118-121. Cuarteta, same as the irregular ones above.

Lines 122-125. Cuarteta, like the normal one above.


Lines 1-14. Sonnet. 11-syllable verse. Rime-scheme abba, abba, cde, cde.


Written throughout in octavas reales (11-syllable verse); rime-scheme abababcc.


For a fuller treatment of Spanish prosody the student may profitably consult the following works:

BENOT. "Prosodía Castellana y Versificación," 3 vols., Madrid, no date.

ROBLES DÉGANO. "Ortología Clásica de la Lengua Castellana," Madrid, 1905.

BELLO. "Ortología y Arte Métrica" (Vol. 4 of "Obras Completas"), Madrid, 1890.

For more or less summary treatments of the subject the American student may profitably consult:

OLMSTED. "Legends, Tales, and Poems by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer" (Ginn and Company).

FORD. "A Spanish Anthology" (Silver, Burdett and Company).

HILLS and MORLEY. "Modern Spanish Lyrics" (Henry Holt and Company).





Sus fueros, sus bríos; sus premáticas, su
voluntad.—"Quijote", Parte Primera

Era más de media noche,

Antiguas historias cuentan,

Cuando, en sueño y en silencio

Lóbrego envuelta la tierra,


Los vivos muertos parecen,

Los muertos la tumba dejan.

Era la hora en que acaso

Temerosas voces suenan

Informes, en que se escuchan


Tácitas pisadas huecas,

Y pavorosas fantasmas

Entre las densas tinieblas

Vagan, y aúllan los perros

Amedrentados al verlas;


En que tal vez la campana

De alguna arruinada iglesia

Da misteriosos sonidos

De maldición y anatema,

Que los sábados convoca


A las brujas a su fiesta.

El cielo estaba sombrío,

No vislumbraba una estrella,

Silbaba lúgubre el viento,

Y allá en el aire, cual negras


Fantasmas, se dibujaban

Las torres de las iglesias,

Y del gótico castillo

Las altísimas almenas,

Donde canta o reza acaso


Temeroso el centinela

Todo en fin a media noche

Reposaba, y tumba era

De sus dormidos vivientes

La antigua ciudad que riega


El Tormes, fecundo río,

Nombrado de los poetas,

La famosa Salamanca,

Insigne en armas y letras,

Patria de ilustres varones,


Noble archivo de las ciencias.

Súbito rumor de espadas

Cruje, y un «¡ay!» se escuchó;

Un «¡ay!» moribundo, un «¡ay!»

Que penetra el corazón,


Que hasta los tuétanos hiela

Y da al que lo oyó temblor;

Un «¡ay!» de alguno que al mundo

Pronuncia el último adiós.

El ruido



Un hombre



Y el sombrero



A los ojos

Se caló.

Se desliza

Y atraviesa


Junto al muro

De una iglesia,

Y en la sombra

Se perdió.

Una calle estrecha y alta,


La calle del Ataúd,

Cual si de negro crespón

Lóbrego eterno capuz

La vistiera, siempre oscura

Y de noche sin más luz


Que la lámpara que alumbra

Una imagen de Jesús,

Atraviesa el embozado,

La espada en la mano aún,

Que lanzó vivo reflejo


Al pasar frente a la cruz.

Cual suele la luna tras lóbrega nube

Con franjas de plata bordarla en redor,

Y luego si el viento la agita, la sube

Disuelta a los aires en blanco vapor,


Así vaga sombra de luz y de nieblas,

Mística y aérea dudosa visión,

Ya brilla, o la esconden las densas tinieblas,

Cual dulce esperanza, cual vana ilusión.

La calle sombría, la noche ya entrada,


La lámpara triste ya pronta a espirar,

Que a veces alumbra la imagen sagrada,

Y a veces se esconde la sombra a aumentar,

El vago fantasma que acaso aparece,

Y acaso se acerca con rápido pie,


Y acaso en las sombras tal vez desparece,

Cual ánima en pena del hombre que fué,

Al más temerario corazón de acero

Recelo inspirara, pusiera pavor;

Al más maldiciente feroz bandolero


El rezo a los labios trajera el temor.

Mas no al embozado, que aun sangre su espada

Destila, el fantasma terror infundió,

Y el arma en la mano con fuerza empuñada,

Osado a su encuentro despacio avanzó.


Segundo Don Juan Tenorio,

Alma fiera e insolente,

Irreligioso y valiente,

Altanero y reñidor:

Siempre el insulto en los ojos,


En los labios la ironía,

Nada teme y todo fía

De su espada y su valor.

Corazón gastado, mofa

De la mujer que corteja,


Y hoy, despreciándola, deja

La que ayer se le rindió.

Ni el porvenir temió nunca,

Ni recuerda en lo pasado

La mujer que ha abandonado,


Ni el dinero que perdió.

Ni vió el fantasma entre sueños

Del que mató en desafío,

Ni turbó jamás su brío

Recelosa previsión.


Siempre en lances y en amores,

Siempre en báquicas orgías,

Mezcla en palabras impías

Un chiste a una maldición.

En Salamanca famoso


Por su vida y buen talante,

Al atrevido estudiante

Le señalan entre mil;

Fueros le da su osadía,

Le disculpa su riqueza,


Su generosa nobleza,

Su hermosura varonil.

Que su arrogancia y sus vicios,

Caballeresca apostura,

Agilidad y bravura


Ninguno alcanza a igualar;

Que hasta en sus crímenes mismos,

En su impiedad y altiveza,

Pone un sello de grandeza

Don Félix de Montemar.


Bella y más pura que el azul del cielo,

Con dulces ojos lánguidos y hermosos,

Donde acaso el amor brilló entre el velo

Del pudor que los cubre candorosos;

Tímida estrella que refleja al suelo


Rayos de luz brillantes y dudosos,

Ángel puro de amor que amor inspira,

Fué la inocente y desdichada Elvira.

Elvira, amor del estudiante un día,

Tierna y feliz y de su amante ufana,


Cuando al placer su corazón se abría,

Como al rayo del sol rosa temprana,

Del fingido amador que la mentía

La miel falaz que de sus labios mana

Bebe en su ardiente sed, el pecho ajeno


De que oculto en la miel hierve el veneno.

Que no descansa de su madre en brazos

Más descuidado el candoroso infante

Que ella en los falsos lisonjeros lazos

Que teje astuto el seductor amante:


Dulces caricias, lánguidos abrazos,

Placeres ¡ay! que duran un instante,

Que habrán de ser eternos imagina

La triste Elvira en su ilusión divina.

Que el alma virgen que halagó un encanto


Con nacarado sueño en su pureza

Todo lo juzga verdadero y santo,

Presta a todo virtud, presta belleza.

Del cielo azul al tachonado manto,

Del sol radiante a la inmortal riqueza,


Al aire, al campo, a las fragantes flores,

Ella añade esplendor, vida y colores.

Cifró en Don Félix la infeliz doncella

Toda su dicha, de su amor perdida;

Fueron sus ojos a los ojos de ella


Astros de gloria, manantial de vida.

Cuando sus labios con sus labios sella,

Cuando su voz escucha embebecida,

Embriagada del dios que la enamora,

Dulce le mira, extática le adora.


No dirge except the hollow sea's
Mourns o'er the beauty of the Cyclades.
BYRON, "Don Juan," Canto 4


Está la noche serena

De luceros coronada,

Terso el azul de los cielos

Como trasparente gasa.

Melancólica la luna


Va trasmontando la espalda

Del otero, su alba frente

Tímida apenas levanta,

Y el horizonte ilumina,

Pura virgen solitaria,


Y en su blanca luz süave

El cielo y la tierra baña.

Deslízase el arroyuelo.

Fúlgida cinta de plata,

Al resplandor de la luna,


Entre franjas de esmeralda.

Argentadas chispas brillan

Entre las espesas ramas,

Y en el seno de las flores

Tal vez aduermen las auras,


Tal vez despiertas susurran,

Y al desplegarse sus alas

Mecen el blanco azahar,

Mueven la aromosa acacia,

Y agitan ramas y flores,


Y en perfumes se embalsaman.

Tal era pura esta noche

Como aquélla en que sus alas

Los ángeles desplegaron

Sobre la primera llama


Que amor encendió en el mundo,

Del Edén en la morada.

¡Una mujer! ¿Es acaso

Blanca silfa solitaria,

Que entre el rayo de la luna


Tal vez misteriosa vaga?

Blanco es su vestido, ondea

Suelto el cabello a la espalda,

Hoja tras hoja las flores

Que lleva en su mano arranca.


Es su paso incierto y tardo,

Inquietas son sus miradas,

Mágico ensueño parece

Que halaga engañosa el alma.

Ora, vedla, mira al cielo,


Ora suspira, y se pára;

Una lágrima sus ojos

Brotan acaso y abrasa

Su mejilla; es una ola

Del mar que en fiera borrasca


El viento de las pasiones

Ha alborotado en su alma.

Tal vez se sienta, tal vez

Azorada se levanta;

El jardín recorre ansiosa,


Tal vez a escuchar se pára.

Es el susurro del viento,

Es el murmullo del agua,

No es su voz, no es el sonido

Melancólico del arpa.


Son ilusiones que fueron:

Recuerdos ¡ay! que te engañan,

Sombras del bien que pasó....

Ya te olvidó el que tú amas.

Esa noche y esa luna


Las mismas son que miraran

Indiferentes tu dicha,

Cual ora ven tu desgracia.

¡Ah! llora, sí, ¡pobre Elvira!

¡Triste amante abandonada!


Esas hojas de esas flores

Que distraída tú arrancas,

¿Sabes adónde, infeliz,

El viento las arrebata?

Donde fueron tus amores,


Tu ilusión y tu esperanza.

Deshojadas y marchitas,

¡Pobres flores de tu alma!

Blanca nube de la aurora,

Teñida de ópalo y grana,


Naciente luz te colora,

Refulgente precursora

De la cándida mañana.

Mas ¡ay! que se disipó

Tu pureza virginal,


Tu encanto el aire llevó

Cual la ventura ideal

Que el amor te prometió.

Hojas del árbol caídas

Juguete del viento son;


Las ilusiones perdidas

¡Ay! son hojas desprendidas

Del árbol del corazón!

¡El corazón sin amor!

Triste páramo cubierto


Con la lava del dolor,

Oscuro, inmenso desierto

Donde no nace una flor!

Distante un bosque sombrío,

El sol cayendo en la mar,


En la playa un adüar,

Y a lo lejos un navío,

Viento en popa navegar,

Óptico vidrio presenta

En fantástica ilusión,


Y al ojo encantado ostenta

Gratas visiones que aumenta

Rica la imaginación.

Tú eres, mujer, un fanal

Trasparente de hermosura;


¡Ay de ti! si por tu mal

Rompe el hombre en su locura

Tu misterioso cristal!

Mas ¡ay! dichosa tú, Elvira,

En tu misma desventura,


Que aun deleites te procura,

Cuando tu pecho suspira,

Tu misteriosa locura:

Que es la razón un tormento,

Y vale más delirar


Sin juicio, que el sentimiento

Cuerdamente analizar,

Fijo en él el pensamiento.

Vedla, allí va, que sueña en su locura

Presente el bien que para siempre huyó;


Dulces palabras con amor murmura,

Piensa que escucha al pérfido que amó.

Vedla, postrada su piedad implora

Cual si presente le mirara allí;

Vedla, que sola se contempla y llora,


Miradla delirante sonreír.

Y su frente en revuelto remolino

Ha enturbiado su loco pensamiento,

Como nublo que en negro torbellino

Encubre el cielo y amontona el viento;


Y vedla cuidadosa escoger flores,

Y las lleva mezcladas en la falda,

Y, corona nupcial de sus amores,

Se entretiene en tejer una guirnalda.

Y en medio de su dulce desvarío


Triste recuerdo el alma le importuna,

Y al margen va del argentado río,

Y allí las flores echa de una en una;

Y las sigue su vista en la corriente

Una tras otra rápidas pasar,


Y, confusos sus ojos y su mente,

Se siente con sus lágrimas ahogar;

Y de amor canta, y en su tierna queja

Entona melancólica canción,

Canción que el alma desgarrada deja,


Lamento ¡ay! que llaga el corazón:

«¿Qué me valen tu calma y tu terneza,

Tranquila noche, solitaria luna,

Si no calmáis del hado la crudeza,

Ni me dais esperanza de fortuna?


¿Qué me valen la gracia y la belleza,

Y amar como jamás amó ninguna,

Si la pasión que el alma me devora,

La desconoce aquél que me enamora?»

Lágrimas interrumpen su lamento,


Inclina sobre el pecho su semblante,

Y de ella en derredor susurra el viento

Sus últimas palabras, sollozante.

Murió de amor la desdichada Elvira,

Cándida rosa que agostó el dolor,


Süave aroma que el viajero aspira

Y en sus alas el aura arrebató.

Vaso de bendición, ricos colores

Reflejó en su cristal la luz del día,

Mas la tierra empañó sus resplandores,


Y el hombre lo rompió con mano impía.

Una ilusión acarició su mente,

Alma celeste para amar nacida,

Era el amor de su vivir la fuente,

Estaba junta a su ilusión su vida.


Amada del Señor, flor venturosa,

Llena de amor murió y de juventud;

Despertó alegre una alborada hermosa,

Y a la tarde durmió en el ataúd.

Mas despertó también de su locura


Al término postrero de su vida,

Y al abrirse a sus pies la sepultura,

Volvió a su mente la razón perdida.

¡La razón fría! ¡la verdad amarga!

¡El bien pasado y el dolor presente!...


¡Ella feliz! ¡que de tan dura carga

Sintió el peso al morir únicamente!

Y conociendo ya su fin cercano,

Su mejilla una lágrima abrasó;

Y así al infiel, con temblorosa mano,


Moribunda su víctima escribió:

«Voy a morir: perdona si mi acento

Vuela importuno a molestar tu oído;

Él es, Don Félix, el postrer lamento

De la mujer que tanto te ha querido.


La mano helada de la muerte siento....

Adiós: ni amor ni compasión te pido....

Oye y perdona si al dejar el mundo,

rranca un ¡ay! su angustia al moribundo.

«¡Ah! para siempre adiós. Por ti mi vida


Dichosa un tiempo resbalar sentí,

Y la palabra de tu boca oída

Éxtasis celestial fué para mí.

Mi mente aun goza en la ilusión querida

Que para siempre ¡mísera! perdí....


¡Ya todo huyó, despareció contigo!

¡Dulces horas de amor, yo las bendigo!

«Yo las bendigo, sí, felices horas,

Presentes siempre en la memoria mía,

Imágenes de amor encantadoras


Que aun vienen a halagarme en mi agonía.

Mas ¡ay! volad, huíd, engañadoras

Sombras, por siempre; mi postrero día

Ha llegado, perdón, perdón, ¡Dios mío!

Si aun gozo en recordar mi desvarío.


«Y tú, Don Félix, si te causa enojos

Que te recuerde yo mi desventura,

Piensa están hartos de llorar mis ojos

Lágrimas silenciosas de amargura.

Y hoy, al tragar la tumba mis despojos,


Concede este consuelo a mi tristura:

Estos renglones compasivo mira,

Y olvida luego para siempre a Elvira.

«Y jamás turbe mi infeliz memoria

Con amargos recuerdos tus placeres;


Goces te dé el vivir, triunfos la gloria,

Dichas el mundo, amor otras mujeres;

Y si tal vez mi lamentable historia

A tu memoria con dolor trajeres,

Llórame, sí; pero palpite exento


Tu pecho de roedor remordimiento.

«Adiós, por siempre, adiós: un breve instante

Siento de vida, y en mi pecho el fuego

Aun arde de mi amor; mi vista errante

Vaga desvanecida ... ¡calma luego,


Oh muerte, mi inquietud!... ¡Sola ... espirante!...

Ámame; no, perdona; ¡inútil ruego!

Adiós, adiós, ¡tu corazón perdí

—¡Todo acabó en el mundo para mí!»

Así escribió su triste despedida


Momentos antes de morir, y al pecho

Se estrechó de su madre dolorida,

Que en tanto inunda en lágrimas su lecho.

Y exhaló luego su postrer aliento,

Y a su madre sus brazos se apretaron


Con nervioso y convulso movimiento,

Y sus labios un nombre murmuraron.

Y huyó su alma a la mansión dichosa

Do los ángeles moran.... Tristes flores

Brota la tierra en torno de su losa;


El céfiro lamenta sus amores.

Sobre ella un sauce su ramaje inclina,

Sombra le presta en lánguido desmayo,

Y allá en la tarde, cuando el sol declina,

Baña su tumba en paz su último rayo....



¿Tenéis más que parar?
                        Paro los ojos.
Los ojos, sí, los ojos: que descreo
Del que los hizo para tal empleo.
MORETO, "San Franco de Sena"




En derredor de una mesa

Hasta seis hombres están,

Fija la vista en los naipes,

Mientras juegan al parar;

Y en sus semblantes se pintan


El despecho y el afán:

Por perder desesperados,

Avarientos por ganar.

Reina profundo silencio,

Sin que lo rompa jamás


Otro ruido que el del oro,

O una voz para jurar.

Pálida lámpara alumbra

Con trémula claridad

Negras de humo las paredes


De aquella estancia infernal.

Y el misterioso bramido

Se escucha del huracán,

Que azota los vidrios frágiles

Con sus alas al pasar.




El caballo aun no ha salido.


¿Qué carta vino?


La sota.


Pues por poco se alborota.


Un caudal llevo perdido.

¡Voto a Cristo!


No juréis,


Que aun no estáis en la agonía.


No hay suerte como la mía.


¿Y como cuánto perdéis?


Mil escudos y el dinero

Que Don Félix me entregó.


¿Dónde anda?



¡Qué sé yo!

No tardará.






Galán de talle gentil,

La mano izquierda apoyada

En el pomo de la espada,


Y el aspecto varonil,

Alta el ala del sombrero

Porque descubra la frente,

Con airoso continente

Entró luego un caballero.

JUGADOR PRIMERO (al que entra)


Don Félix, a buena hora

Habéis llegado.




El dinero que me disteis

Y esta bolsa pecadora.


Don Félix de Montemar


Debe perder. El amor

Le negara su favor

Cuando le viera ganar.

D. FÉLIX (con desdén)

Necesito ahora dinero,

Y estoy hastiado de amores.

(Al corro con altivez)


Dos mil ducados, señores,

Por esta cadena quiero.

(Quítase una cadena que lleva al pecho.)


Alta ponéis la tarifa.

D. FÉLIX (con altivez)

La pongo en lo que merece.

Si otra duda se os ofrece,


Decid. (Al corro)

Se vende y se rifa.


¿Y hay quien sufra tal afrenta?


Entre cinco están hallados.

A cuatrocientos ducados

Os toca, según mi cuenta.


Al as de oros. Allá va.

(Va echando cartas que toman los jugadores en silencio.)

Una, dos ... (Al perdidoso)

Con vos no cuento.


Por el motivo lo siento.


¡El as! ¡el as! aquí está.


Ya ganó.


Suerte tenéis.


A un solo golpe de dados

Tiro los dos mil ducados.


¿En un golpe?


Los perdéis.


Perdida tengo yo el alma,

Y no me importa un ardite.





Al primer envite.


Tirad pronto.


Tened calma:

Que os juego más todavía,

Y en cien onzas hago el trato,

Y os lleváis este retrato


Con marco de pedrería.


¿En cien onzas?


¿Qué dudáis?

JUGADOR PRIMERO (tomando el retrato)

¡Hermosa mujer!


No es caro.


¿Queréis pararlas?


Las paro.

Más ganaré.


Si ganáis, (Se registra todo.)


No tengo otra joya aquí.

JUGADOR PRIMERO (mirando el retrato)

Si esta imagen respirara....


A estar aquí, la jugara

A ella, al retrato y a mí.


Vengan los dados.





Por Don Félix cien ducados.


En contra van apostados.


Cincuenta más. Esperad,

No tiréis.


Van los cincuenta.


Yo, sin blanca, a Dios le ruego

Por Don Félix.



Hecho el juego.




Tirad con sesenta

De a caballo.

(Todos se agrupan con ansiedad al rededor de la mesa. El tercer jugador tira los dados.)


¿Qué ha salido?


¡Mil demonios, que a los dos

Nos lleven!

D. FÉLIX (con calma al primero)

¡Bien, vive Dios,


Vuestros ruegos me han valido!

Encomendadme otra vez,

Don Juan, al diablo; no sea

Que si os oye Dios, me vea

Cautivo y esclavo en Fez.



Don Félix, habéis perdido

Sólo el marco, no el retrato;

Que entrar la dama en el trato

Vuestra intención no habrá sido.


¿Cuánto dierais por la dama?



Yo, la vida.


No la quiero.

Mirad si me dais dinero,

Y os la lleváis.


¡Buena fama

Lograréis entre las bellas,

Cuando descubran altivas


Que vos las hacéis cautivas

Para en seguida vendellas!


Eso a vos no importa nada.

¿Queréis la dama? Os la vendo.


Yo de pinturas no entiendo.

D. FÉLIX (con cólera)


Vos habláis con demasiada

Altivez e irreverencia

De una mujer ... ¡y si no....!


De la pintura hablé yo.


Vamos, paz; no haya pendencia.

D. FÉLIX (sosegado)


Sobre mi palabra os juego

Mil escudos.


Van tirados.


A otra suerte de esos dados;

Y el diablo les prenda fuego.


Pálido el rostro, cejijunto el ceño,


Y torva la mirada, aunque afligida,

Y en ella un firme y decidido empeño

De dar la muerte o de perder la vida,

Un hombre entró embozado hasta los ojos,

Sobre las juntas cejas el sombrero;


Víbrale al rostro el corazón enojos,

El paso firme, el ánimo altanero.

Encubierta fatídica figura.—

Sed de sangre su espíritu secó,

mponzoñó su alma la amargura,


La venganza irritó su corazón.

Junto a Don Félix llega, y, desatento,

No habla a ninguno, ni aun la frente inclina;

Y en pie y delante de él y el ojo atento,

Con iracundo rostro le examina.


Miró también Don Félix al sombrío

Huésped que en él los ojos enclavó,

Y con sarcasmo desdeñoso y frío,

Fijos en él los suyos, sonrïó.


Buen hombre, ¿de qué tapiz


Se ha escapado—el que se tapa—

Que entre el sombrero y la capa

Se os ve apenas la nariz?


Bien, Don Félix, cuadra en vos

Esa insolencia importuna.

D. FÉLIX (al tercer jugador sin hacer caso de Don Diego)




Sí. La fortuna

Se trocó; tiro y van dos. (Vuelven a tirar.)


Gané otra vez. (Al embozado)

No he entendido

Qué dijisteis, ni hice aprecio

De si hablasteis blando o recio


Cuando me habéis respondido.


A solas hablar querría.


Podéis, si os place, empezar,

Que por vos no he de dejar

Tan honrosa compañía;


Y si Dios aquí os envía

Para hacer mi conversión,

No despreciéis la ocasión

De convertir tanta gente,

Mientras que yo humildemente


Aguardo mi absolución.

D. DIEGO (desembozándose con ira)

Don Félix, ¿no conocéis

A Don Diego de Pastrana?


A vos no, mas sí a una hermana

Que imagino que tenéis.



¿Y no sabéis que murió?


Téngala Dios en su gloria.


Pienso que sabéis su historia,

Y quién fué quien la mató.

D. FÉLIX (con sarcasmo)

¡Quizá alguna calentura!


¡Mentís vos!



Calma, Don Diego,

Que si vos os morís luego,

Es tanta mi desventura

Que aun me lo habrán de achacar,

Y es en vano ese despecho.


Si se murió, a lo hecho, pecho.

Ya no ha de resucitar.


Os estoy mirando y dudo

Si habré de manchar mi espada

Con esa sangre malvada,


O echaros al cuello un nudo

Con mis manos, y con mengua,

En vez de desafïaros,

El corazón arrancaros

Y patearos la lengua;


Que un alma, una vida, es

Satisfacción muy ligera,

Y os diera mil si pudiera

Y os las quitara después.

Jugo a mi labio han de dar


Abiertas todas tus venas,

Que toda tu sangre apenas

Basta mi sed a calmar.


(Tira de la espada; todos los jugadores se interponen.)


Fuera de aquí

A armar quimera.

D. FÉLIX (con calma levantándose)



Don Diego, la espada, y ved

Que estoy yo muy sobre mí,

Y que me contengo mucho,

No sé por qué, pues tan frío

En mi colérico brío


Vuestras injurias escucho.

D. DIEGO (con furor reconcentrado y con la espada desnuda)

Salid de aquí; que a fe mía,

Que estoy resuelto a mataros,

Y no alcanzara a libraros

La misma Virgen María.


Y es tan cierta mi intención,

Tan resuelta está mi alma,

Que hasta mi cólera calma

Mi firme resolución.

Venid conmigo.


Allá voy;


Pero si os mato, Don Diego,

Que no me venga otro luego

A pedirme cuenta. Soy

Con vos al punto. Esperad

Cuente el dinero ... uno ... dos....

(A Don Diego)


Son mis ganancias; por vos

Pierdo aquí una cantidad

Considerable de oro

Que iba a ganar ... ¿y por qué?

Diez ... quince ... por no sé qué


Cuento de amor ... ¡un tesoro

Perdido! ... voy al momento.

Es un puro disparate

Empeñarse en que yo os mate:

Lo digo como lo siento.



Remiso andáis y cobarde

Y hablador en demasía.


Don Diego, más sangre fría.

Para reñir nunca es tarde.

Y si aun fuera otro el asunto,


Yo os perdonara la prisa.

Pidierais vos una misa

Por la difunta, y al punto....


¡Mal caballero!...


Don Diego,

Mi delito no es gran cosa.


Era vuestra hermana hermosa;

La vi, me amó, creció el juego,

Se murió, no es culpa mía;

Y admiro vuestro candor,

Que no se mueren de amor


Las mujeres hoy en día.


¿Estáis pronto?


Están contados.

Vamos andando.

D. DIEGO (con voz solemne)

¿Os reís?

Pensad que a morir venís.

D. FÉLIX (sale tras de él, embolsándose el dinero con indiferencia)

Son mil trescientos ducados.





Este Don Diego Pastrana

Es un hombre decidido.

Desde Flandes ha venido

Sólo a vengar a su hermana.


¡Pues no ha hecho mal disparate!


Me da el corazón su muerte.


¿Quién sabe? acaso la suerte....


Me alegraré que lo mate.


Salió, en fin, de aquel estado, para caer en el
dolor más sombrío, en la más desalentada desesperación
y en la mayor amargura y desconsuelo
que pueden apoderarse de este pobre corazón
humano, que tan positivamente choca y se quebranta
con los males, como con vaguedad aspira
en algunos momentos, casi siempre sin conseguirlo,
a tocar los bienes ligeramente y de pasada.—"La
protección de un sastre," novela original


Vedle, Don Félix es, espada en mano,

Sereno el rostro, firme el corazón;


También de Elvira el vengativo hermano

Sin piedad a sus pies muerto cayó.

Y con tranquila audacia se adelanta

Por la calle fatal del Ataúd;

Y ni medrosa aparición le espanta,


Ni le turba la imagen de Jesús.

La moribunda lámpara que ardía

Trémula lanza su postrer fulgor,

Y, en honda oscuridad, noche sombría

La misteriosa calle encapotó.


Mueve los pies el Montemar osado

En las tinieblas con incierto giro,

Cuando, ya un trecho de la calle andado,

Súbito junto a él oye un suspiro.

Resbalar por su faz sintió el aliento,


Y a su pesar sus nervios se crisparon;

Mas, pasado el primero movimiento,

A su primera rigidez tornaron.

«¿Quién va?» pregunta con la voz serena.

Que ni finge valor, ni muestra miedo,


El alma de invencible vigor llena,

Fïado en su tajante de Toledo.

Palpa en torno de sí, y el impio jura,

Y a mover vuelve la atrevida planta,

Cuando hacia él fatídica figura


Envuelta en blancas ropas se adelanta.

Flotante y vaga, las espesas nieblas

Ya disipa, y se anima, y va creciendo

Con apagada luz, ya en las tinieblas

Su argentino blancor va apareciendo.


Ya leve punto de luciente plata,

Astro de clara lumbre sin mancilla,

El horizonte lóbrego dilata

Y allá en la sombra en lontananza brilla.

Los ojos, Montemar, fijos en ella,


Con más asombro que temor la mira;

Tal vez la juzga vagorosa estrella

Que en el espacio de los cielos gira;

Tal vez engaño de sus propios ojos,

Forma falaz que en su ilusión creó,


O del vino ridículos antojos

Que al fin su juicio a alborotar subió.

Mas el vapor del néctar jerezano

Nunca su mente a trastornar bastara,

Que ya mil veces embriagarse en vano


En frenéticas orgias intentara.

«Dios presume asustarme; ¡ojalá fuera»,

Dijo entre sí riendo, «el diablo mismo!

Que entonces ¡víve Dios! quién soy supiera

El cornudo monarca del abismo.»


Al pronunciar tan insolente ultraje

La lámpara del Cristo se encendió,

Y una mujer, velada en blanco traje,

Ante la imagen de rodillas vió.

«Bienvenida la luz,» dijo el impío,


«Gracias a Dios o al diablo;» y, con osada,

Firme intención y temerario brío,

El paso vuelve a la mujer tapada.

Mientras él anda, al parecer se alejan

La luz, la imagen, la devota dama;


Mas si él se pára, de moverse dejan;

Y lágrima tras lágrima derrama

De sus ojos inmóviles la imagen.

Mas sin que el miedo ni el dolor que inspira

Su planta audaz, ni su impiedad atajen,


Rostro a rostro a Jesús Montemar mira.

—La calle parece se mueve y camina,

Faltarle la tierra sintió bajo el pie;

Sus ojos la muerta mirada fascina

Del Cristo, que intensa clavada está en él.


Y en medio el delirio que embarga su mente,

Y achaca él al vino que al fin le embriagó,

La lámpara alcanza con mano insolente

Del ara do alumbra la imagen de Dios;

Y al rostro la acerca, que el cándido lino


Encubre, con ánimo asaz descortés;

Mas la luz apaga viento repentino,

Y la blanca dama se puso de pie.

Empero un momento creyó que veía

Un rostro que vagos recuerdos quizá


Y alegres memorias confusas traía

De tiempos mejores que pasaron ya,

Un rostro de un ángel que vió en un ensueño,

Como un sentimiento que el alma halagó,

Que anubla la frente con rígido ceño,


Sin que lo comprenda jamás la razón.

Su forma gallarda dibuja en las sombras

El blanco ropaje que ondeante se ve,

Y cual si pisara mullidas alfombras,

Deslízase leve sin ruido su pie.


Tal vimos al rayo de la luna llena

Fugitiva vela de lejos cruzar,

Que ya la hinche en popa la brisa serena,

Que ya la confunde la espuma del mar.

También la esperanza blanca y vaporosa


Así ante nosotros pasa en ilusión,

Y el alma conmueve con ansia medrosa

Mientras la rechaza la adusta razón.


«¡Qué! ¿sin respuesta me deja?

¿No admitís mi compañía?


¿Será quizá alguna vieja

Devota?... ¡Chasco sería!

En vano, dueña, es callar,

Ni hacerme señas que no;

He resuelto que sí yo,


Y os tengo de acompañar.

Y he de saber dónde vais

Y si sois hermosa o fea,

Quién sois y cómo os llamáis,

Y aun cuando imposible sea,


Y fuerais vos Satanás

Con sus llamas y sus cuernos,

Hasta en los mismos infiernos,

Vos delante y yo detrás,

Hemos de entrar; ¡vive Dios!


Y aunque lo estorbara el cielo,

Que yo he de cumplir mi anhelo

Aun a despecho de vos;

Y perdonadme, señora,

Si hay en mi empeño osadía,


Mas fuera descortesía

Dejaros sola a esta hora;

Y me va en ello mi fama,

Que juro a Dios no quisiera

Que por temor se creyera


Que no he seguido a una dama.»

Del hondo del pecho profundo gemido,

Crujido del vaso que estalla al dolor,

Que apenas medroso lastima el oído,

Pero que punzante rasga el corazón,


Gemido de amargo recuerdo pasado,

De pena presente, de incierto pesar,

Mortífero aliento, veneno exhalado

Del que encubre el alma ponzoñoso mar,

Gemido de muerte lanzó, y silenciosa


La blanca figura su pie resbaló,

Cual mueve sus alas sílfide amorosa

Que apenas las aguas del lago rizó.

¡Ay! el que vió acaso perdida en un día

La dicha que eterna creyó el corazón,


Y en noche de nieblas y en honda agonía

En un mar sin playas muriendo quedó!...

Y solo y llevando consigo en su pecho,

Compañero eterno su dolor crüel,

El mágico encanto del alma deshecho,


Su pena, su amigo y su amante más fiel;

¡Miró sus suspiros llevarlos el viento,

Sus lágrimas tristes perderse en el mar,

Sin nadie que acuda ni entienda su acento,

Insensible el cielo y el mundo a su mal!


Y ha visto la luna brillar en el cielo

Serena y en calma mientras él lloró,

Y ha visto los hombres pasar en el suelo

Y nadie a sus quejas los ojos volvió!

Y él mismo, la befa del mundo temblando,


Su pena en su pecho profunda escondió,

Y dentro en su alma su llanto tragando

Con falsa sonrisa su labio vistió!!...

¡Ay! quien ha contado las horas que fueron,

Horas otro tiempo que abrevió el placer,


Y hoy solo y llorando piensa como huyeron

Con ellas por siempre las dichas de ayer;

Y aquellos placeres, que el triste ha perdido,

No huyeron del mundo, que en el mundo están;

Y él vive en el mundo do siempre ha vivido,


Y aquellos placeres para él no son ya!

¡Ay del que descubre por fin la mentira!

¡Ay del que la triste realidad palpó!

Del que el esqueleto de este mundo mira,

Y sus falsas galas loco le arrancó!...


¡Ay de aquel que vive sólo en lo pasado!

¡Ay del que su alma nutre en su pesar!

Las horas que huyeron llamará angustiado,

Las horas que huyeron jamás tornarán!...

Quien haya sufrido tan bárbaro duelo,


Quien noches enteras contó sin dormir

En lecho de espinas, maldiciendo al cielo,

Horas sempiternas de ansiedad sin fin....

Quien haya sentido quererse del pecho

Saltar a pedazos roto el corazón,


Crecer su delirio, crecer su despecho,

Al cuello cien nudos echarle el dolor,

Ponzoñoso lago de punzante hielo,

Sus lágrimas tristes que cuajó el pesar,

Reventando ahogarle, sin hallar consuelo,


Ni esperanza nunca, ni tregua en su afán.

Aquél, de la blanca fantasma el gemido,

Única respuesta que a Don Félix dió,

Hubiera, y su inmenso dolor, comprendido,

Hubiera pesado su inmenso valor.



«Si buscáis algún ingrato,

Yo me ofrezco agradecido;

Pero o miente ese recato,

O vos sufrís el mal trato

De algún celoso marido.


¿Acerté? ¡Necia manía!

Es para volverme loco,

Si insistís en tal porfía;

Con los mudos, reina mía,

Yo hago mucho y hablo poco.»


Segunda vez importunada en tanto,

Una voz de süave melodía

El estudiante oyó que parecía

Eco lejano de armonioso canto,

De amante pecho lánguido latido,


Sentimiento inefable de ternura,

Suspiro fiel de amor correspondido,

El primer sí de la mujer aun pura.

«Para mí los amores acabaron;

Todo en el mundo para mí acabó;


Los lazos que a la tierra me ligaron

El cielo para siempre desató,»

Dijo su acento misterioso y tierno,

Que de otros mundos la ilusión traía,

Eco de los que ya reposo eterno


Gozan en paz bajo la tumba fría.

Montemar, atento sólo a su aventura,

Que es bella la dama y aun fácil juzgó,

Y la hora, la calle y la noche oscura

Nuevos incentivos a su pecho son.


«—Hay riesgo en seguirme.—Mirad ¡qué reparo!

—Quizá luego os pese.—Puede que por vos.

—Ofendéis al cielo.—Del diablo me amparo.

—Idos, caballero, no tentéis a Dios.

—Siento me enamora más vuestro despego,


Y si Dios se enoja, pardiez que hará mal;

Veame en vuestros brazos y máteme luego.

—¡Vuestra última hora quizá ésta será!...

Dejad ya, Don Félix, delirios mundanos.

—¡Hola, me conoce!—¡Ay! ¡temblad por vos!


¡Temblad no se truequen deleites livianos

En penas eternas!—Basta de sermón,

Que yo para oírlos la cuaresma espero;

Y hablemos de amores, que es más dulce hablar;

Dejad ese tono solemne y severo,


Que os juro, señora, que os sienta muy mal.

La vida es la vida: cuando ella se acaba,

Acaba con ella también el placer.

¿De inciertos pesares por qué hacerla esclava?

Para mí no hay nunca mañana ni ayer.


Si mañana muero, que sea en mal hora

O en buena, cual dicen, ¿qué me importa a mí?

Goce yo el presente, disfrute yo ahora,

Y el diablo me lleve siquiera al morir.

—¡Cúmplase en fin tu voluntad, Dios mío!—»


La figura fatídica exclamó;

Y en tanto al pecho redoblar su brío

Siente Don Félix y camina en pos.

Cruzan tristes calles,

Plazas solitarias,


Arruinados muros,

Donde sus plegarias

Y falsos conjuros,

En la misteriosa

Noche borrascosa,


Maldecida bruja

Con ronca voz canta,

Y de los sepulcros

Los muertos levanta,

Y suenan los ecos


De sus pasos huecos

En la soledad;

Mientras en silencio

Yace la ciudad,

Y en lúgubre són


Arrulla su sueño

Bramando Aquilón.

Y una calle y otra cruzan,

Y más allá y más allá;

Ni tiene término el viaje,


Ni nunca dejan de andar.

Y atraviesan, pasan, vuelven,

Cien calles quedando atrás,

Y paso tras paso siguen,

Y siempre adelante van;


Y a confundirse ya empieza

Y a perderse Montemar,

Que ni sabe a dó camina,

Ni acierta ya dónde está;

Y otras calles, otras plazas


Recorre, y otra ciudad,

Y ve fantásticas torres

De su eterno pedestal

Arrancarse, y sus macizas,

Negras masas caminar,


Apoyándose en sus ángulos,

Que en la tierra en desigual,

Perezoso tranco fijan;

Y a su monótono andar,

Las campanas sacudidas


Misteriosos dobles dan,

Mientras en danzas grotescas,

Y al estruendo funeral,

En derredor cien espectros

Danzan con torpe compás;


Y las veletas sus frentes

Bajan ante él al pasar,

Los espectros le saludan,

Y en cien lenguas de metal,

Oye su nombre en los ecos


De las campanas sonar.

Mas luego cesa el estrépito,

Y en silencio, en muda paz

Todo queda, y desparece

De súbito la ciudad:


Palacios, templos, se cambian

En campos de soledad,

Y en un yermo y silencioso,

Melancólico arenal,

Sin luz, sin aire, sin cielo,


Perdido en la inmensidad.

Tal vez piensa que camina,

Sin poder parar jamás,

De extraño empuje llevado

Con precipitado afán;


Entretanto que su guía,

Delante de él sin hablar,

Sigue misteriosa, y sigue

Con paso rápido, y ya

Se remonta ante sus ojos


En alas del huracán,

Visión sublime, y su frente

Ve fosfórica brillar

Entre lívidos relámpagos

En la densa oscuridad,


Sierpes de luz, luminosos

Engendros del vendaval;

Y cuando duda si duerme,

Si tal vez sueña o está

Loco, si es tanto prodigio,


Tanto delirio verdad,

Otra vez en Salamanca

Súbito vuélvese a hallar,

Distingue los edificios,

Reconoce en dónde está,


Y en su delirante vértigo

Al vino vuelve a culpar,

Y jura, y siguen andando,

Ella delante, él detrás.

«¡Vive Dios! dice entre sí,


O Satanás se chancea,

O no debo estar en mí,

O el Málaga que bebí

En mi cabeza aun humea.

«Sombras, fantasmas, visiones....


Dale con tocar a muerto,

Y en revueltas confusiones,

Danzando estos torreones

Al compás de tal concierto.

«Y el juicio voy a perder


Entre tantas maravillas.

¡Que estas torres llegue a ver,

Como mulas de alquiler,

Andando con campanillas!

«¿Y esta mujer quién será?


Mas si es el diablo en persona,

¿A mí qué diantre me da?

Y más que el traje en que va

En esta ocasión le abona.

«Noble señora, imagino


Que sois nueva en el lugar:

Andar así es desatino;

O habéis perdido el camino,

O esto es andar por andar.

«Ha dado en no responder,


Que es la más rara locura

Que puede hallarse en mujer,

Y en que yo la he de querer

Por su paso de andadura.»

En tanto Don Félix a tientas seguía,


Delante camina la blanca visión,

Triplica su espanto la noche sombría,

Sus hórridos gritos redobla Aquilón.

Rechinan girando las férreas veletas,

Crujir de cadenas se escucha sonar,


Las altas campanas, por el viento inquietas,

Pausados sonidos en las torres dan.

Rüido de pasos de gente que viene

A compás marchando con sordo rumor,

Y de tiempo en tiempo su marcha detiene,


Y rezar parece en confuso són,

Llegó de Don Félix luego a los oídos,

Y luego cien luces a lo lejos vió,

Y luego en hileras largas divididos,

Vió que murmurando con lúgubre voz


Enlutados bultos andando venían;

Y luego más cerca con asombro ve

Que un féretro en medio y en hombros traían

Y dos cuerpos muertos tendidos en él.

Las luces, la hora, la noche, profundo,


Infernal arcano parece encubrir.

Cuando en hondo sueño yace muerto el mundo,

Cuando todo anuncia que habrá de morir

Al hombre que loco la recia tormenta

Corrió de la vida, del viento a merced,


Cuando una voz triste las horas le cuenta,

Y en lodo sus pompas convertidas ve,

Forzoso es que tenga de diamante el alma

Quien no sienta el pecho de horror palpitar,

Quien como Don Félix, con serena calma,


Ni en Dios ni en el diablo se ponga a pensar.

Así en tardos pasos, todos murmurando,

El lúgubre entierro ya cerca llegó,

Y la blanca dama, devota rezando,

Entrambas rodillas en tierra dobló.


Calado el sombrero y en pie, indiferente

El féretro mira Don Félix pasar,

Y al paso pregunta con su aire insolente

Los nombres de aquellos que al sepulcro van.

Mas ¡cuál su sorpresa, su asombro cuál fuera,


Cuando horrorizado con espanto ve

Que el uno Don Diego de Pastrana era,

Y el otro ¡Dios santo! y el otro era él!...

Él mismo, su imagen, su misma figura,

Su mismo semblante, que él mismo era en fin;


Y duda, y se palpa, y fría pavura

Un punto en sus venas sintió discurrir.

Al fin era hombre, y un punto temblaron

Los nervios del hombre, y un punto temió;

Mas pronto su antiguo vigor recobraron,


Pronto su fiereza volvió al corazón.

«Lo que es, dijo, por Pastrana,

Bien pensado está el entierro;

Mas es diligencia vana

Enterrarme a mí, y mañana


Me he de quejar de este yerro.

«Diga, señor enlutado,

¿A quién llevan a enterrar?»

«—Al estudiante endiablado

Don Félix de Montemar,»


Respondió el encapuchado.

«—Mientes, truhán.—No por cierto.

—Pues decidme a mí quién soy,

Si gustáis, porque no acierto

Cómo a un mismo tiempo estoy


Aquí vivo y allí muerto.

«—Yo no os conozco.—Pardiez,

Que si me llego a enojar,

Tus burlas te haga llorar

De tal modo que otra vez


Conozcas ya a Montemar.

«¡Villano!... mas esto es

Ilusión de los sentidos,

El mundo que anda al revés,

Los diablos entretenidos


En hacerme dar traspiés.

«¡El fanfarrón de Don Diego!

De sus mentiras reniego,

Que cuando muerto cayó,

Al infierno se fué luego


Contando que me mató.»

Diciendo así, soltó una carcajada,

Y las espaldas con desdén volvió;

Se hizo el bigote, requirió la espada,

Y a la devota dama se acercó.


«Conque, en fin, ¿dónde vivís?

Que se hace tarde, señora.

—Tarde, aun no; de aquí a una hora

Lo será.—Verdad decís,

Será más tarde que ahora.


«Esa voz con que hacéis miedo

De vos me enamora más.

Yo me he echado el alma atrás;

Juzgad si me dará un bledo

De Dios ni de Satanás.


«—Cada paso que avanzáis

Lo adelantáis a la muerte,

Don Félix. ¿Y no tembláis

Y el corazón no os advierte

Que a la muerte camináis?»


Con eco melancólico y sombrío

Dijo así la mujer, y el sordo acento,

Sonando en torno del mancebo impío,

Rugió en la voz del proceloso viento.

Las piedras con las piedras se golpearon,


Bajo sus pies la tierra retembló,

Las aves de la noche se juntaron,

Y sus alas crujir sobre él sintió;

Y en la sombra unos ojos fulgurantes

Vió en el aire vagar que espanto inspiran,


Siempre sobre él saltándose anhelantes,

Ojos de horror que sin cesar le miran.

Y los vió y no tembló; mano a la espada

Puso y la sombra intrépido embistió;

Y ni sombra encontró ni encontró nada,


Sólo fijos en él los ojos vió.

Y alzó los suyos impaciente al cielo,

Y rechinó los dientes y maldijo,

Y, en él creciendo el infernal anhelo,

Con voz de enojo blasfemando dijo:


«Seguid, señora, y adelante vamos:

Tanto mejor si sois el diablo mismo,

Y Dios y el diablo y yo nos conozcamos,

Y acábese por fin tanto embolismo.

«Que de tanto sermón, de farsa tanta,


Juro, pardiez, que fatigado estoy;

Nada mi firme voluntad quebranta:

Sabed, en fin, que, donde vayáis, voy.

«Un término no más tiene la vida:

Término fijo; un paradero el alma:


Ahora adelante.» Dijo, y en seguida

Camina en pos con decidida calma.

Y la dama a una puerta se paró,

Y era una puerta altísima, y se abrieron

Sus hojas en el punto en que llamó,


Que a un misterioso impulso obedecieron;

Y tras la dama el estudiante entró;

Ni pajes ni doncellas acudieron;

Y cruzan a la luz de unas bujías

Fantásticas, desiertas galerías.


Y la visión, como engañoso encanto,

Por las losas deslízase sin ruido,

Toda encubierta bajo el blanco manto

Que barre el suelo en pliegues desprendido;

Y por el largo corredor en tanto


Sigue adelante, y síguela atrevido,

Y su temeridad raya en locura,

Resuelto Montemar a su aventura.

Las luces, como antorchas funerales,

Lánguida luz y cárdena esparcían,


Y en torno, en movimientos desiguales,

Las sombras se alejaban o venían

Arcos aquí ruinosos, sepulcrales,

Urnas allí y estatuas se veían,

Rotas columnas, patios mal seguros,


Yerbosos, tristes, húmedos y oscuros.

Todo vago, quimérico y sombrío,

Edificio sin base ni cimiento,

Ondula cual fantástico navío

Que anclado mueve borrascoso viento.


En un silencio aterrador y frío

Yace allí todo: ni rumor, ni aliento

Humano nunca se escuchó: callado,

Corre allí el tiempo, en sueño sepultado.

Las muertas horas a las muertas horas


Siguen en el reloj de aquella vida,

Sombras de horror girando aterradoras,

Que allá aparecen en medrosa huída;

Ellas solas y tristes moradoras

De aquella negra, funeral guarida,


Cual soñada fantástica quimera,

Vienen a ver al que su paz altera.

Y en él enclavan los hundidos ojos

Del fondo de la larga galería,

Que brillan lejos cual carbones rojos,


Y espantaran la misma valentía;

Y muestran en su rostro sus enojos

Al ver hollada su mansión sombría;

Y ora en grupos delante se aparecen,

Ora en la sombra allá se desvanecen.


Grandïosa, satánica figura,

Alta la frente, Montemar camina,

Espíritu sublime en su locura,

Provocando la cólera divina:

Fábrica frágil de materia impura,


El alma que la alienta y la ilumina

Con Dios le iguala, y con osado vuelo

Se alza a su trono y le provoca a duelo.

Segundo Lucifer que se levanta

Del rayo vengador la frente herida,


Alma rebelde que el temor no espanta,

Hollada sí, pero jamás vencida:

El hombre, en fin, que en su ansiedad quebranta

Su límite a la cárcel de la vida,

Y a Dios llama ante él a darle cuenta,


Y descubrir su inmensidad intenta.

Y un báquico cantar tarareando,

Cruza aquella quimérica morada,

Con atrevida indiferencia andando,

Mofa en los labios, y la vista osada;


Y el rumor que sus pasos van formando,

Y el golpe que al andar le da la espada,

Tristes ecos, siguiéndole detrás,

Repiten con monótono compás.

Y aquel extraño y único rüido


Que de aquella mansión los ecos llena,

En el suelo y los techos repetido,

En su profunda soledad resuena;

Y espira allá cual funeral gemido

Que lanza en su dolor la ánima en pena,


Que al fin del corredor largo y oscuro

Salir parece de entre el roto muro.

Y en aquel otro mundo y otra vida,

Mundo de sombras, vida que es un sueño,

Vida que, con la muerte confundida,


Ciñe sus sienes con letal beleño;

Mundo, vaga ilusión descolorida

De nuestro mundo y vaporoso ensueño,

Son aquel ruido y su locura insana

La sola imagen de la vida humana.


Que allá su blanca, misteriosa guía,

De la alma dicha la ilusión parece,

Que ora acaricia la esperanza impía,

Ora al tocarla ya se desvanece;

Blanca, flotante nube que en la umbría


Noche en alas del céfiro se mece

Su airosa ropa, desplegada al viento,

Semeja en su callado movimiento;

Humo süave de quemado aroma

Que al aire en ondas a perderse asciende;


Rayo de luna que en la parda loma

Cual un broche su cima al éter prende;

Silfa que con el alba envuelta asoma

Y al nebuloso azul sus alas tiende,

De negras sombras y de luz teñidas,


Entre el alba y la noche confundidas.

Y ágil, veloz, aérea y vaporosa,

Que apenas toca con los pies al suelo,

Cruza aquella morada tenebrosa

La mágica visión del blanco velo:


Imagen fiel de la ilusión dichosa

Que acaso el hombre encontrará en el cielo,

Pensamiento sin fórmula y sin nombre

Que hace rezar y blasfemar al hombre.

Y al fin del largo corredor llegando,


Montemar sigue su callada guía,

Y una de mármol negro va bajando

De caracol torcida gradería,

Larga, estrecha y revuelta, y que girando

En torno de él y sin cesar veía


Suspendida en el aire y con violento,

Veloz, vertiginoso movimiento.

Y en eterna espiral y en remolino

Infinito prolóngase y se extiende,

Y el juicio pone en loco desatino


A Montemar que en tumbos mil desciende,

Y, envuelto en el violento torbellino,

Al aire se imagina, y se desprende,

Y sin que el raudo movimiento ceda,

Mil vueltas dando, a los abismos rueda;


Y de escalón en escalón cayendo,

Blasfema y jura con lenguaje inmundo,

Y su furioso vértigo creciendo,

Y despeñado rápido al profundo,

Los silbos ya del huracán oyendo,


Ya ante él pasando en confusión el mundo,

Ya oyendo gritos, voces y palmadas,

Y aplausos y brutales carcajadas,

Llantos y ayes, quejas y gemidos,

Mofas, sarcasmos, risas y denuestos;


Y en mil grupos acá y allá reunidos,

Viendo debajo de él, sobre él enhiestos,

Hombres, mujeres, todos confundidos,

Con sandia pena, con alegres gestos,

Que con asombro estúpido le miran


Y en el perpetuo remolino giran.

Siente por fin que de repente pára,

Y un punto sin sentido se quedó;

Mas luego valeroso se repara,

Abrió los ojos y de pie se alzó;


Y fué el primer objeto en que pensara

La blanca dama, y alredor miró,

Y al pie de un triste monumento hallóla

Sentada en medio de la estancia, sola.

Era un negro solemne monumento


Que en medio de la estancia se elevaba,

Y, a un tiempo a Montemar ¡raro portento!

Una tumba y un lecho semejaba:

Ya imaginó su loco pensamiento

Que abierta aquella tumba le aguardaba;


Ya imaginó también que el lecho era

Tálamo blando que al esposo espera.

Y pronto, recobrada su osadía,

Y a terminar resuelto su aventura,

Al cielo y al infierno desafía


Con firme pecho y decisión segura:

A la blanca visión su planta guía,

Y a descubrirse el rostro la conjura,

Y a sus pies Montemar tomando asiento

Así la habló con animoso acento:


«Diablo, mujer o visión,

Que, a juzgar por el camino

Que conduce a esta mansión,

Eres puro desatino

O diabólica invención,


«Siquier de parte de Dios,

Siquier de parte del diablo,

¿Quién nos trajo aquí a los dos?

Decidme, en fin, ¿quién sois vos?

Y sepa yo con quién hablo:


«Que más que nunca palpita

Resuelto mi corazón,

Cuando en tanta confusión,

Y en tanto arcano que irrita,

Me descubre mi razón


«Que un poder aquí supremo,

Invisible se ha mezclado,

Poder que siento y no temo,

A llevar determinado

Esta aventura al extremo.»




De amor


En tanto


En son

Flébil, blando

Cual quejido


Que del alma


Se arrancó:

Cual profundo

¡Ay! que exhala




Música triste

Lánguida y vaga,

Que a par lastima

Y el alma halaga;

Dulce armonía


Que inspira al pecho


Como el murmullo

De algún recuerdo

De antiguo amor,


A un tiempo arrullo

Y amarga pena

Del corazón.

Mágico embeleso,

Cántico ideal,


Que en los aires vaga

Y en sonoras ráfagas

Aumentado va;

Sublime y oscuro,

Rumor prodigioso,


Sordo acento lúgubre,

Eco sepulcral,

Músicas lejanas,

De enlutado parche

Redoble monótono,


Cercano huracán,

Que apenas la copa

Del árbol menea

Y bramando está;

Olas alteradas


De la mar bravía

En noche sombría,

Los vientos en paz,

Y cuyo rugido

Se mezcla al gemido


Del muro que trémulo

Las siente llegar;

Pavoroso estrépito,

Infalible présago

De la tempestad.


Y, en rápido crescendo,

Los lúgubres sonidos

Más cerca vanse oyendo

Y en ronco rebramar;

Cual trueno en las montañas


Que retumbando va,

Cual rugen las entrañas

De horrísono volcán.

Y algazara y gritería,

Crujir de afilados huesos,


Rechinamiento de dientes

Y retemblar los cimientos,

Y en pavoroso estallido

Las losas del pavimento

Separando sus junturas


Irse poco a poco abriendo,

Siente Montemar; y el ruido

Más cerca crece, y a un tiempo

Escucha chocarse cráneos,

Ya descarnados y secos,


Temblar en torno la tierra,

Bramar combatidos vientos,

Rugir las airadas olas,

Estallar el ronco trueno,

Exhalar tristes quejidos


Y prorrumpir en lamentos:

Todo en furiosa armonía,

Todo en frenético estruendo,

Todo en confuso trastorno,

Todo mezclado y diverso.


Y luego el estrépito crece

Confuso y mezclado en un són,

Que ronco en las bóvedas hondas

Tronando furioso zumbó;

Y un eco que agudo parece


Del ángel del juicio la voz,

En tiple, punzante alarido

Medroso y sonoro se alzó;

Sintió, removidas las tumbas,

Crujir a sus pies con fragor,


Chocar en las piedras los cráneos

Con rabia y ahinco feroz,

Romper intentando la losa,

Y huir de su eterna mansión,

Los muertos, de súbito oyendo


El alto mandato de Dios.

Y de pronto en horrendo estampido

Desquiciarse la estancia sintió,

Y al tremendo tartáreo ruido

Cien espectros alzarse miró:


De sus ojos los huecos fijaron

Y sus dedos enjutos en él;

Y después entre sí se miraron,

Y a mostrarle tornaron después;

Y, enlazadas las manos siniestras,


Con dudoso, espantado ademán

Contemplando, y, tendidas sus diestras,

Con asombro al osado mortal,

Se acercaron despacio, y la seca

Calavera, mostrando temor,


Con inmóvil, irónica mueca

Inclinaron, formando en redor.

Y entonces la visión del blanco velo

Al fiero Montemar tendió una mano,

Y era su tacto de crispante hielo,


Y resistirlo audaz intentó en vano:

Galvánica, crüel, nerviosa y fría,

Histérica y horrible sensación,

Toda la sangre coagulada envía

Agolpada y helada al corazón....


Y a su despecho y maldiciendo al cielo,

De ella apartó su mano Montemar,

Y temerario alzándola a su velo,

Tirando de él la descubrió la faz.

¡Es su esposo!! los ecos retumbaron,


¡La esposa al fin que su consorte halló!!

Los espectros con júbilo gritaron:

¡Es el esposo de su eterno amor!!

Y ella entonces gritó: ¡Mi esposo!! ¡Y era

(¡Desengaño fatal! ¡triste verdad!)


Una sórdida, horrible calavera,

La blanca dama del gallardo andar!...

Luego un caballero de espuela dorada,

Airoso, aunque el rostro con mortal color,

Traspasado el pecho de fiera estocada,


Aun brotando sangre de su corazón,

Se acerca y le dice, su diestra tendida,

Que impávido estrecha también Montemar:

«—Al fin, la palabra, que disteis, cumplida,

Doña Elvira, vedla, vuestra esposa es ya;


«Mi muerte os perdono.—Por cierto, Don Diego,

Repuso Don Félix tranquilo a su vez,

Me alegro de veros con tanto sosiego,

Que a fe no esperaba volveros a ver.

«En cuanto a ese espectro que decís mi esposa,


Raro casamiento venísme a ofrecer:

Su faz no es por cierto ni amable ni hermosa;

Mas no se os figure que os quiera ofender.

«Por mujer la tomo, porque es cosa cierta,

Y espero no salga fallido mi plan,


Que, en caso tan raro y mi esposa muerta,

Tanto como viva no me cansará.

«Mas antes decidme si Dios o el demonio

Me trajo a este sitio, que quisiera ver

Al uno u al otro, y en mi matrimonio


Tener por padrino siquiera a Luzbel:

«Cualquiera o entrambos con su corte toda,

Estando estos nobles espectros aquí,

No perdiera mucho viniendo a mi boda....

Hermano Don Diego, ¿no pensáis así?»


Tal dijo Don Félix con fruncido ceño,

En torno arrojando con fiero ademán

Miradas audaces de altivo desdeño,

Al Dios por quien jura capaz de arrostrar.

El carïado, lívido esqueleto,


Los fríos, largos y asquerosos brazos,

Le enreda en tanto en apretados lazos,

Y ávido le acaricia en su ansiedad;

Y con su boca cavernosa busca

La boca a Montemar, y a su mejilla


La árida, descarnada y amarilla

Junta y refriega repugnante faz.

Y él, envuelto en sus secas coyunturas,

Aun más sus nudos que se aprietan siente,

Baña un mar de sudor su ardida frente,


Y crece en su impotencia su furor.

Pugna con ansia a desasirse en vano,

Y cuanto más airado forcejea,

Tanto más se le junta y le desea

El rudo espectro que le inspira horror.


Y en furioso, veloz remolino,

Y en aérea fantástica danza,

Que la mente del hombre no alcanza

En su rápido curso a seguir,

Los espectros su ronda empezaron,


Cual en círculos raudos el viento

Remolinos de polvo violento

Y hojas secas agita sin fin.

Y elevando sus áridas manos,

Resonando cual lúgubre eco,


Levantóse en su cóncavo hueco

Semejante a un aullido una voz

Pavorosa, monótona, informe,

Que pronuncia sin lengua su boca,

Cual la voz que del áspera roca


En los senos el viento formó.

«Cantemos, dijeron sus gritos,

La gloria, el amor de la esposa,

Que enlaza en sus brazos dichosa

Por siempre al esposo que amó;


Su boca a su boca se junte,

Y selle su eterna delicia,

Süave, amorosa caricia

Y lánguido beso de amor.

«Y en mútuos abrazos unidos,


Y en blando y eterno reposo,

La esposa enlazada al esposo,

Por siempre descansen en paz;

Y en fúnebre luz ilumine

Sus bodas fatídica tea,


Les brinde deleites, y sea

La tumba su lecho nupcial.»

Mientras, la ronda frenética,

Que en raudo giro se agita,

Más cada vez precipita


Su vértigo sin ceder;

Más cada vez se atropella,

Más cada vez se arrebata,

Y en círculos se desata

Violentos más cada vez;


Y escapa en rueda quimérica;

Y negro punto parece

Que en torno se desvanece

A la fantástica luz,

Y sus lúgubres aullidos


Que pavorosos se extienden

Los aires rápidos hienden

Más prolongados aún.

Y a tan continuo vértigo,

A tan funesto encanto,


A tan horrible canto,

A tan tremenda lid,

Entre los brazos lúbricos

Que aprémianle sujeto

Del hórrido esqueleto,


Entre caricias mil,

Jamás vencido el ánimo,

Su cuerpo ya rendido

Sintió desfallecido

Faltarle Montemar;


Y a par que más su espíritu

Desmiente su miseria,

La flaca, vil materia

Comienza a desmayar.

Y siente un confuso,


Loco devaneo,

Languidez, mareo

Y angustioso afán;

Y sombras y luces,

La estancia que gira,


Y espíritus mira

Que vienen y van.

Y luego a lo lejos,

Flébil en su oído,

Eco dolorido


Lánguido sonó,

Cual la melodía

Que el aura amorosa

Y el agua armoniosa

De noche formó;


Y siente luego

Su pecho ahogado

Y desmayado,

Turbios sus ojos,

Sus graves párpados,

Flojos caer;

La frente inclina

Sobre su pecho,

Y, a su despecho,

Siente sus brazos


Lánguidos, débiles


Y vió luego

Una llama

Que se inflama


Y murió;

Y perdido

Oyó el eco

De un gemido

Que espiró.


Tal, dulce


La lira

Que hirió

En blando



Del viento

La voz,





En tanto en nubes de carmín y grana

Su luz el alba arrebolada envía,

Y alegre regocija y engalana

Las altas torres el naciente día:


Sereno el cielo, calma la mañana,

Blanda la brisa, trasparente y fría,

Vierte a la tierra el sol con su hermosura

Rayos de paz y celestial ventura.

Y huyó la noche y con la noche huían


Sus sombras y quiméricas mujeres,

Y a su silencio y calma sucedían

El bullicio y rumor de los talleres;

Y a su trabajo y a su afán volvían

Los hombres y a sus frívolos placeres,


Algunos hoy volviendo a su faena.

De zozobra y temor el alma llena;

¡Que era pública voz, que llanto arranca

Del pecho pecador y empedernido,

Que en forma de mujer y en una blanca


Túnica misteriosa revestido,

Aquella noche el diablo a Salamanca

Había, en fin, por Montemar venido!...

Y si, lector, dijerdes ser comento,

Como me lo contaron, te lo cuento.


Con diez cañones por banda,

Viento en popa, a toda vela,

No corta el mar sino vuela

Un velero bergantín:


Bajel pirata que llaman

Por su bravura el Temido,

En todo mar conocido

Del uno al otro confín.

La luna en el mar rïela,


En la lona gime el viento,

Y alza en blando movimiento

Olas de plata y azul;

Y ve el capitán pirata,

Cantando alegre en la popa,


Asia a un lado, al otro Europa,

Y allá a su frente Stambul.1

[Nota 1: Nombre que dan los Turcos a Constantinopla]

«Navega, velero mío,

Sin temor,

Que ni enemigo navío,


Ni tormenta, ni bonanza

Tu rumbo a torcer alcanza,

Ni a sujetar tu valor.

«Veinte presas

Hemos hecho


A despecho

Del Inglés,

Y han rendido

Sus pendones

Cien naciones


A mis pies.

«Que es mi barco mi tesoro,

Que es mi Dios la libertad,

Mi ley la fuerza y el viento,

Mi única patria la mar.


«Allá muevan feroz guerra

Ciegos reyes

Por un palmo más de tierra;

Que yo tengo aquí por mío

Cuanto abarca el mar bravío,


A quien nadie impuso leyes.

«Y no hay playa,

Sea cualquiera,

Ni bandera

De esplendor,


Que no sienta

Mi derecho

Y dé pecho

A mi valor.

«Que es mi barco mi tesoro....


«A la voz de '¡barco viene!'

Es de ver

Cómo vira y se previene

A todo trapo a escapar;

Que yo soy el rey del mar,


Y mi furia es de temer.

«En las presas

Yo divido

Lo cogido

Por igual:


Sólo quiero

Por riqueza

La belleza

Sin rival.

«Que es mi barco mi tesoro....


«¡Sentenciado estoy a muerte!

Yo me río.

No me abandone la suerte,

Y al mismo que me condena

Colgaré de alguna entena,


Quizá en su propio navío.

«Y si caigo,

¿Qué es la vida?

Por perdida

Ya la di,


Cuando el yugo

Del esclavo,

Como un bravo,


«Que es mi barco mi tesoro....


«Son mi música mejor


El estrépito y temblor

De los cables sacudidos;

Del negro mar los bramidos


Y el rugir de mis cañones.

«Y del trueno

Al són violento,

Y del viento

Al rebramar,


Yo me duermo



Por el mar.

«Que es mi barco mi tesoro,


Que es mi Dios la libertad,

Mi ley la fuerza y el viento,

Mi única patria la mar.»


Donde sienta mi caballo los pies no vuelve
a nacer yerba.—Palabras de Átila


¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto! ¡Hurra!

La Europa os brinda espléndido botín:

Sangrienta charca sus campiñas sean,

De los grajos su ejército festín.


¡Hurra! a caballo, hijos de la niebla!

Suelta la rienda, a combatir volad.

¿Veis esas tierras fértiles? las puebla

Gente opulenta, afeminada ya.

Casas, palacios, campos y jardines,


Todo es hermoso y refulgente allí;

Son sus hembras celestes serafines,

Su sol alumbra un cielo de zafir.

¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto....

Nuestros sean su oro y sus placeres,


Gocemos de ese campo y de ese sol;

Son sus soldados menos que mujeres,

Sus reyes viles mercaderes son.

Vedlos huír para esconder su oro,

Vedlos cobardes lágrimas verter....


¡Hurra! volad: sus cuerpos, su tesoro

Huellen nuestros caballos con sus pies.

¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto....

Dictará allí nuestro capricho leyes,

Nuestras casas alcázares serán,


Los cetros y coronas de los reyes

Cual juguetes de niños rodarán.

¡Hurra! volad a hartar nuestros deseos;

Las más hermosas nos darán su amor,

Y no hallarán nuestros semblantes feos,


Que siempre brilla hermoso el vencedor.

¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto....

Desgarraremos la vencida Europa

Cual tigres que devoran su ración;

En sangre empaparemos nuestra ropa


Cual rojo manto de imperial señor.

Nuestros nobles caballos relinchando

Regias habitaciones morarán;

Cien esclavos, sus frentes inclinando,

Al mover nuestros ojos temblarán.


¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto....

Venid, volad, guerreros del desierto,

Como nubes en negra confusión,

Todos suelto el bridón, el ojo incierto,

Todos atropellándoos en montón.


Id, en la espesa niebla confundidos,

Cual tromba que arrebata el huracán,

Cual témpanos de hielo endurecidos

Por entre rocas despeñados van.

¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto....


Nuestros padres un tiempo caminaron

Hasta llegar a una imperial ciudad;

Un sol más puro es fama que encontraron,

Y palacios de oro y de cristal.

Vadearon el Tibre sus bridones,


Yerta a sus pies la tierra enmudeció;

Su sueño con fantásticas canciones

La fada de los triunfos arrulló.

¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto....

¡Qué! ¿No sentís la lanza estremecerse,


Hambrienta en vuestras manos de matar?

¿No veis entre la niebla aparecerse

Visiones mil que el parabién nos dan?

Escudo de esas míseras naciones

Era ese muro que abatido fué;


La gloria de Polonia y sus blasones

En humo y sangre convertidos ved.

¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto....

¿Quién en dolor trocó sus alegrías?

¿Quién sus hijos triunfante encadenó?


¿Quién puso fin a sus gloriosos días?

¿Quién en su propia sangre los ahogó?

¡Hurra, Cosacos! ¡Gloria al más valiente!

Esos hombres de Europa nos verán.

¡Hurra! nuestros caballos en su frente


Hondas sus herraduras marcarán.

¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto....

A cada bote de la lanza ruda,

A cada escape en la abrasada lid,

La sangrienta ración de carne cruda


Bajo la silla sentiréis hervir.

Y allá después en templos suntüosos,

Sirviéndonos de mesa algún altar,

Nuestra sed calmarán vinos sabrosos,

Hartará nuestra hambre blanco pan.


¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto....

Y nuestras madres nos verán triunfantes,

Y a esa caduca Europa a nuestros pies,

Y acudirán de gozo palpitantes,

En cada hijo a contemplar un rey.


Nuestros hijos sabrán nuestras acciones,

Las coronas de Europa heredarán,

Y a conquistar también otras regiones

El caballo y la lanza aprestarán.

¡Hurra, Cosacos del desierto! ¡Hurra!


La Europa os brinda espléndido botín.

Sangrienta charca sus campiñas sean,

De los grajos su ejército festín.


Mío es el mundo: como el aire libre,

Otros trabajan porque coma yo;

Todos se ablandan si doliente pido

Una limosna por amor de Dios.


El palacio, la cabaña

Son mi asilo,

Si del ábrego el furor

Troncha el roble en la montaña,

O que inunda la campaña


El torrente asolador.

Y a la hoguera

Me hacen lado

Los pastores

Con amor,


Y sin pena

Y descuidado

De su cena

Ceno yo;

O en la rica



Que recrea

Con su olor,

Me regalo



Del banquete


Con las sobras

De un señor.

Y me digo: el viento brama,


Caiga furioso turbión;

Que al són que cruje de la seca leña,

Libre me duermo sin rencor ni amor.

Mío es el mundo: como el aire libre....

Todos son mis bienhechores,


Y por todos

A Dios ruego con fervor;

De villanos y señores

Yo recibo los favores

Sin estima y sin amor.


Ni pregunto

Quiénes sean,

Ni me obligo

A agradecer;

Que mis rezos


Si desean,

Dar limosna

Es un deber.

Y es pecado

La riqueza,


La pobreza


Dios a veces

Es mendigo,

Y al avaro


Da castigo,

Que le niegue


Yo soy pobre y se lastiman

Todos al verme plañir,


Sin ver son mías sus riquezas todas,

Que mina inagotable es el pedir.

Mío es el mundo: como el aire libre....

Mal revuelto y andrajoso,

Entre harapos


Del lujo sátira soy;

Y con mi aspecto asqueroso

Me vengo del poderoso,

Y adonde va, tras él voy.

Y a la hermosa


Que respira

Cien perfumes,

Gala, amor,

La persigo

Hasta que mira,


Y me gozo

Cuando aspira

Mi punzante

Mal olor.

Y las fiestas


Y el contento

Con mi acento

Turbo yo,

Y en la bulla

Y la alegría



La armonía

Mis harapos

Y mi voz,

Mostrando cuán cerca habitan


El gozo y el padecer,

Que no hay placer sin lágrimas, ni pena

Que no transpire en medio del placer.

Mío es el mundo: como el aire libre....

Y para mí no hay mañana,


Ni hay ayer;

Olvido el bien como el mal,

Nada me aflije ni afana;

Me es igual para mañana

Un palacio, un hospital.


Vivo ajeno

De memorias,

De cuidados

Libre estoy;

Busquen otros


Oro y glorias,

Yo no pienso

Sino en hoy.

Y doquiera

Vayan leyes,


Quiten reyes,

Reyes den;

Yo soy pobre,

Y al mendigo,

Por el miedo


Del castigo,

Todos hacen

Siempre bien.

Y un asilo dondequiera

Y un lecho en el hospital


Siempre hallaré, y un hoyo donde caiga

Mi cuerpo miserable al espirar.

Mío es el mundo: como el aire libre,

Otros trabajan porque coma yo;

Todos se ablandan, si doliente pido


Una limosna por amor de Dios.


Fresca, lozana, pura y olorosa,

Gala y adorno del pensil florido,

Gallarda puesta sobre el ramo erguido,

Fragrancia esparce la naciente rosa.


Mas si el ardiente sol lumbre enojosa

Vibra del can en llamas encendido,

El dulce aroma y el color perdido,

Sus hojas lleva el aura presurosa.

Así brilló un momento mi ventura


En alas del amor, y hermosa nube

Fingí tal vez de gloria y de alegría.

Mas ¡ay! que el bien trocóse en amargura,

Y deshojada por los aires sube

La dulce flor de la esperanza mía.


Bueno es el mundo, ¡bueno! ¡bueno! ¡bueno!
Como de Dios al fin obra maestra,
Por todas partes de delicias lleno,
De que Dios ama al hombre hermosa muestra;
Salga la voz alegre de su seno
A celebrar esta vivienda nuestra;
¡Paz a los hombres! ¡gloria en las alturas!
¡Cantad en vuestra jaula, crïaturas!

¿Por qué volvéis a la memoria mía,

Tristes recuerdos del placer perdido,

A aumentar la ansiedad y la agonía

De este desierto corazón herido?


¡Ay! que de aquellas horas de alegría,

Le quedó al corazón sólo un gemido,

Y el llanto que al dolor los ojos niegan

Lágrimas son de hiel que el alma anegan!

¿Dónde volaron ¡ay! aquellas horas


De juventud, de amor y de ventura,

Regaladas de músicas sonoras,

Adornadas de luz y de hermosura?

Imágenes de oro bullidoras,

Sus alas de carmín y nieve pura,


Al sol de mi esperanza desplegando,

Pasaban ¡ay! a mi alredor cantando.

Gorjeaban los dulces ruiseñores,

El sol iluminaba mi alegría,

El aura susurraba entre las flores,


El bosque mansamente respondía,

Las fuentes murmuraban sus amores....

¡Ilusiones que llora el alma mía!

¡Oh! ¡cuán süave resonó en mi oído

El bullicio del mundo y su ruïdo!


Mi vida entonces cual guerrera nave

Que el puerto deja por la vez primera,

Y al soplo de los céfiros süave,

Orgullosa despliega su bandera,

Y al mar dejando que a sus pies alabe


Su triunfo en roncos cantos, va velera

Una ola tras otra bramadora

Hollando y dividiendo vencedora;

¡Ay! en el mar del mundo, en ansia ardiente

De amor volaba, el sol de la mañana


Llevaba yo sobre mi tersa frente,

Y el alma pura de su dicha ufana.

Dentro de ella el amor cual rica fuente,

Que entre frescura y arboledas mana,

Brotaba entonces abundante río


De ilusiones y dulce desvarío.

Yo amaba todo: un noble sentimiento

Exaltaba mi ánimo, y sentía

En mi pecho un secreto movimiento,

De grandes hechos generoso guía:


La libertad con su inmortal aliento,

Santa diosa, mi espíritu encendía,

Contino imaginando en mi fe pura

Sueños de gloria al mundo y de ventura:

El puñal de Catón, la adusta frente


Del noble Bruto, la constancia fiera

Y el arrojo de Scévola valiente,

La doctrina de Sócrates severa,

La voz atronadora y elocuente

Del orador de Atenas, la bandera


Contra el tirano macedonio alzando,

Y al espantado pueblo arrebatando;

El valor y la fe del caballero,

Del trovador el arpa y los cantares,

Del gótico castillo el altanero,


Antiguo torreón, do sus pesares

Cantó tal vez con eco lastimero

¡Ay! arrancada de sus patrios lares,

Joven cautiva, al rayo de la luna,

Lamentando su ausencia y su fortuna;


El dulce anhelo del amor que aguarda,

Tal vez inquieto y con mortal recelo,

La forma bella que cruzó gallarda,

Allá en la noche entre el medroso velo,

La ansiada cita que en llegar se tarda


Al impaciente y amoroso anhelo,

La mujer y la voz de su dulzura,

Que inspira al alma celestial ternura,

A un tiempo mismo en rápida tormenta

Mi alma alborotaban de contino,


Cual las olas que azota con violenta

Cólera, impetüoso torbellino;

Soñaba al héroe ya, la plebe atenta

En mi voz escuchaba su destino;

Ya al caballero, al trovador soñaba,


Y de gloria y de amores suspiraba.

Hay una voz secreta, un dulce canto,

Que el alma sólo recogida entiende,

Un sentimiento misterioso y santo,

Que del barro al espíritu desprende,


Agreste, vago y solitario encanto,

Que en inefable amor el alma enciende,

Volando tras la imagen peregrina

El corazón de su ilusión divina.

Yo, desterrado en extranjera playa,


Con los ojos, extático seguía

La nave audaz que argentada raya

Volaba al puerto de la patria mía;

Yo cuando en Occidente el sol desmaya,

Solo y perdido en la arboleda umbría,


Oír pensaba el armonioso acento

De una mujer, al suspirar del viento.

¡Una mujer! En el templado rayo

De la mágica luna se colora,

Del sol poniente al lánguido desmayo


Lejos entre las nubes se evapora;

Sobre las cumbres que florece el mayo

Brilla fugaz al despuntar la aurora,

Cruza tal vez por entre el bosque umbrío,

Juega en las aguas del sereno río.


¡Una mujer! Deslízase en el cielo

Allá en la noche desprendida estrella;

Si aroma el aire recogió en el suelo,

Es el aroma que le presta ella.

Blanca es la nube que en callado vuelo


Cruza la esfera y que su planta huella,

Y en la tarde la mar olas la ofrece

De plata y de zafir donde se mece.

Mujer que amor en su ilusión figura,

Mujer que nada dice a los sentidos,


Ensueño de suavísima ternura,

Eco que regaló nuestros oídos;

De amor la llama generosa y pura,

Los goces dulces del placer cumplidos,

Que engalana la rica fantasía,


Goces que avaro el corazón ansía;

¡Ay! aquella mujer, tan sólo aquella

Tanto delirio a realizar alcanza,

Y esa mujer, tan cándida y tan bella,

Es mentida ilusión de la esperanza;


Es el alma que vívida destella

Su luz al mundo cuando en él se lanza,

Y el mundo con su magia y galanura

Es espejo no más de su hermosura;

Es el amor que al mismo amor adora,


El que creó las sílfides y ondinas,

La sacra ninfa que bordando mora

Debajo de las aguas cristalinas;

Es el amor que recordando llora

Las arboledas del Edén divinas,


Amor de allí arrancado, allí nacido,

Que busca en vano aquí su bien perdido.

¡Oh llama santa! ¡celestial anhelo!

¡Sentimiento purísimo! ¡memoria

Acaso triste de un perdido cielo,


Quizá esperanza de futura gloria!

¡Huyes y dejas llanto y desconsuelo!

¡Oh mujer! que en imagen ilusoria

Tan pura, tan feliz, tan placentera,

Brindó el amor a mi ilusión primera...!


¡Oh Teresa! ¡Oh dolor! Lágrimas mías,

¡Ah! ¿dónde estáis que no corréis a mares?

¿Por qué, por qué como en mejores días

No consoláis vosotras mis pesares?

¡Oh! los que no sabéis las agonías


De un corazón, que penas a millares

¡Ay! desgarraron, y que ya no llora,

¡Piedad tened de mi tormento ahora!

¡Oh! ¡dichosos mil veces! sí, dichosos,

Los que podéis llorar y ¡ay! sin ventura


De mí, que, entre suspiros angustiosos,

Ahogar me siento en infernal tortura!

Retuércese entre nudos dolorosos

Mi corazón, gimiendo de amargura!...

También tu corazón, hecho pavesa,


¡Ay! llegó a no llorar, ¡pobre Teresa!

¿Quién pensara jamás, Teresa mía,

Que fuera eterno manantial de llanto

Tanto inocente amor, tanta alegría,

Tantas delicias y delirio tanto?


¿Quién pensara jamás llegase un día,

En que, perdido el celestial encanto,

Y caída la venda de los ojos,

Cuanto diera placer causara enojos?

Aun parece, Teresa, que te veo


Aerea como dorada mariposa,

Ensueño delicioso del deseo,

Sobre tallo gentil temprana rosa,

Del amor venturoso devaneo,

Angélica, purísima y dichosa,


Y oigo tu voz dulcísima, y respiro

Tu aliento perfumado en tu suspiro.

Y aun miro aquellos ojos que robaron

A los cielos su azul, y las rosadas

Tintas sobre la nieve, que envidiaron


Las de mayo serenas alboradas;

Y aquellas horas dulces que pasaron

Tan breves ¡ay! como después lloradas,

Horas de confïanza y de delicias,

De abandono, y de amor y de caricias.


Que así las horas rápidas pasaban,

Y pasaba a la par nuestra ventura;

Y nunca nuestras ansias las contaban,

Tú embriagada en mi amor, yo en tu hermosura;

Las horas ¡ay! huyendo nos miraban,


Llanto tal vez vertiendo de ternura,

Que nuestro amor y juventud veían,

Y temblaban las horas que vendrían.

Y llegaron en fin.... ¡Oh! ¿quién impío

¡Ay! agostó la flor de tu pureza?


Tú fuiste un tiempo cristalino río,

Manantial de purísima limpieza;

Después torrente de color sombrío,

Rompiendo entre peñascos y maleza,

Y estanque, en fin, de aguas corrompidas,


Entre fétido fango detenidas.

¿Cómo caíste despeñado al suelo,

Astro de la mañana luminoso?

Ángel de luz, ¿quién te arrojó del cielo

A este valle de lágrimas odioso?


Aun cercaba tu frente el blanco velo

Del serafín, y, en ondas fulgoroso,

Rayos al mundo tu esplendor vertía,

Y otro cielo el amor te prometía.

Mas ¡ay! que es la mujer ángel caído


O mujer nada más y lodo inmundo,

Hermoso ser para llorar nacido,

O vivir como autómata en el mundo.

Sí, que el demonio en el Edén perdido

Abrasara con fuego del profundo


La primera mujer, y ¡ay! aquel fuego

La herencia ha sido de sus hijos luego.

Brota en el cielo del amor la fuente

Que a fecundar el universo mana,

Y en la tierra su límpida corriente


Sus márgenes con flores engalana;

Mas ¡ay! huíd: el corazón ardiente

Que el agua clara por beber se afana

Lágrimas verterá de duelo eterno,

Que su raudal lo envenenó el infierno.


Huíd, si no queréis que llegue un día,

En que, enredado en retorcidos lazos

El corazón, con bárbara porfía

Luchéis por arrancároslo a pedazos:

En que al cielo en histérica agonía


Frenéticos alcéis entrambos brazos,

Para en vuestra impotencia maldecirle,

Y escupiros, tal vez, al escupirle.

Los años ¡ay! de la ilusión pasaron;

Las dulces esperanzas que trajeron


Con sus blancos ensueños se llevaron,

Y el porvenir de oscuridad vistieron:

Las rosas de amor se marchitaron,

Las flores en abrojos convirtieron,

Y de afán tanto y tan soñada gloria


Sólo quedó una tumba, una memoria.

¡Pobre Teresa! al recordarte siento

Un pesar tan intenso...! embarga impío

Mi quebrantada voz mi sentimiento,

Y suspira tu nombre el labio mío:


Pára allí su carrera el pensamiento,

Hiela mi corazón punzante frío,

Ante mis ojos la funesta losa,

Donde vil polvo tu beldad reposa.

¡Y tú feliz, que hallaste en la muerte


Sombra a que descansar en tu camino,

Cuando llegabas, mísera, a perderte,

Y era llorar tu único destino:

Cuando en tu frente la implacable suerte

Grababa de los réprobos el sino...!


¡Feliz! la muerte te arrancó del suelo,

Y otra vez ángel te volviste al cielo.

Roída de recuerdos de amargura,

Árido el corazón sin ilusiones,

La delicada flor de tu hermosura


Ajaron del dolor los Aquilones:

Sola, y envilecida y sin ventura,

Tu corazón secaron las pasiones,

Tus hijos, ¡ay! de ti se avergonzaran,

Y hasta el nombre de madre te negaran.


Los ojos escaldados de tu llanto,

Tu rostro cadavérico y hundido,

Único desahogo en tu quebranto,

El histérico ¡ay! de tu gemido:

¿Quién, quién pudiera, en infortunio tanto,


Envolver tu desdicha en el olvido,

Disipar tu dolor y recogerte

En su seno de paz? ¡Sólo la muerte!

¡Y tan joven, y ya tan desgraciada!

Espíritu indomable, alma violenta,


En ti, mezquina sociedad, lanzada

A romper tus barreras turbulenta.

Nave contra las rocas quebrantada,

Allá vaga, a merced de la tormenta,

En las olas tal vez náufraga tabla,


Que sólo ya de sus grandezas habla.

Un recuerdo de amor que nunca muere

Y está en mi corazón; un lastimero

Tierno quejido que en el alma hiere,

Eco süave de su amor primero:


¡Ay! de tu luz en tanto yo viviere

Quedará un rayo en mí, blanco lucero,

Que iluminaste con tu luz querida

La dorada mañana de mi vida.

Que yo como una flor que en la mañana


Abre su cáliz al naciente día,

¡Ay! al amor abrí tu alma temprana,

Y exalté tu inocente fantasía:

Yo inocente también: ¡oh! ¡cuán ufana

Al porvenir mi mente sonreía,


Y en alas de mi amor con cuánto anhelo

Pensé contigo remontarme al cielo!

Y alegre, audaz, ansioso, enamorado,

En tus brazos en lánguido abandono,

De glorias y deleites rodeado,


Levantar para ti soñé yo un trono:

Y allí, tú venturosa y yo a tu lado,

Vencer del mundo el implacable encono,

Y en un tiempo sin horas y medida

Ver como un sueño resbalar la vida.


¡Pobre Teresa! Cuando ya tus ojos

Áridos ni una lágrima brotaban,

Cuando ya su color tus labios rojos

En cárdenos matices cambïaban,

Cuando de tu dolor tristes despojos


La vida y su ilusión te abandonaban,

Y consumía lenta calentura

Tu corazón al par de tu amargura,

Si en tu penosa y última agonía

Volviste a lo pasado el pensamiento,


Si comparaste a tu existencia un día

Tu triste soledad y tu aislamiento;

Si arrojó a tu dolor tu fantasía

Tus hijos ¡ay! en tu postrer momento,

A otra mujer tal vez acariciando,


Madre tal vez a otra mujer llamando,

Si el cuadro de tus breves glorias viste

Pasar como fantástica quimera,

Y si la voz de tu conciencia oíste

Dentro de ti gritándote severa,


Si, en fin, entonces tú llorar quisiste,

Y no brotó una lágrima siquiera

Tu seco corazón, y a Dios llamaste,

Y no te escuchó Dios, y blasfemaste,

¡Oh! ¡crüel! ¡muy crüel! ¡martirio horrendo!


¡Espantosa expiación de tu pecado!

¡Sobre un lecho de espinas maldiciendo,

Morir el corazón desesperado!

¡Tus mismas manos de dolor mordiendo,

Presente a tu conciencia lo pasado,


Buscando en vano con los ojos fijos,

Y extendiendo tus brazos a tus hijos!!

¡Oh! ¡crüel! ¡muy crüel!... ¡Ah! yo entre tanto,

Dentro del pecho mi dolor oculto,

Enjugo de mis párpados el llanto


Y doy al mundo el exigido culto:

Yo escondo con vergüenza mi quebranto,

Mi propia pena con mi risa insulto,

Y me divierto en arrancar del pecho

Mi mismo corazón pedazos hecho.


Gocemos, sí; la cristalina esfera

Gira bañada en luz: ¡bella es la vida!

¿Quién a parar alcanza la carrera

Del mundo hermoso que al placer convida?

Brilla radiante el sol, la primavera


Los campos pinta en la estación florida:

Truéquese en risa mi dolor profundo....

¡Que haya un cadáver más! ¿Qué importa al mundo?




Instead of Cuento, later editions read Leyendas.

The introductory quotation is taken from the "Don Quijote," Part I, chap. 45. The words were addressed by Don Quijote to members of the rural police who were arresting him for depredations committed on the highway. The full sentence in Ormsby's translation reads: "Who was he that did not know that knights-errant are independent of all jurisdictions, that their law is their sword, their charter their prowess, and their edicts their will?" This Spanish declaration of independence was frequently used as a slogan by the Romanticists. Espronceda is here making the quotation apply more particularly to his lawless hero.

1. Era más de media noche: the poet begins with a characteristic Romantic landscape, gloomy, medieval, fantastic, uncanny. He is trying to create a mood of horror. He follows the Horatian precept of beginning the plot in the middle (in medias res). The situation here introduced is not resumed until Part Four is reached. Parts Two and Three supply the events leading up to the duel. The Duque de Rivas's "Candil" begins in similar fashion:

Más ha de quinientos años

En una torcida calle,

Que de Sevilla en el centro

Da paso a otras principales;

Cerca de la media noche,

Cuando la ciudad más grande

Es de un grande cementerio

En silencio y paz imagen;

De dos desnudas espadas

Que trababan un combate

Turbó el repentino encuentro

Las tinieblas impalpables.

El crujir de los aceros

Sonó por breves instantes

Lanzando azules centellas,

Meteoro de desastres.

Y al gemido ¡Dios me valga!

¡Muerto soy! y al golpe grave

De un cuerpo que a tierra vino

El silencio y paz renacen, etc.

This was first published in "El Liceo," 1838. The Duque de Rivas may have been influenced by our text, but such introductions were a Romantic commonplace. See M. Fernández y González, "Crónicas romanescas de España. Don Miguel de Mañara, memorias del tiempo de Carlos V," Paris, 1868. The story begins "Era la media noche"; and, later, "Hacía mucho tiempo que Sevilla estaba entregada al sueño y al silencio." Espronceda is here following his sources closely.

2. antiguas historias: not a mere rhetorical statement. These old stories actually existed. See the study of sources in the Introduction.

4. lóbrego: I follow the reading of the 1840 edition. Later editions changed to lóbrega, making the adjective agree with tierra instead of silencio. Either reading makes good sense, but in cases of doubt I follow the Editio Princeps.

11. fantasmas: this noun is usually masculine, but is often feminine in popular speech. The distinction between the masculine and feminine meanings given in most dictionaries does not apply in Espronceda. He uses both genders indifferently.

19. sábados: Saturday was the usual day when, according to popular belief, witches attended their yearly aquelarre or sabbath. The favorite meeting-place for Spanish witches was said to be the plain around Barahona (Soria).

27. gótico: admiration for the Gothic was a characteristic of Romanticism.

37. Salamanca: the famous university city of Spain. Its founding antedates the Carthaginians and the Romans. The university of Palencia was transferred to Salamanca by Fernando III in 1239. Neither the university nor the city retains much of its ancient importance. See Gustave Reynier, "La Vie universitaire dans l'ancienne Espagne," Paris, 1902.

38. armas y letras: these words summarize the Renaissance ideal of culture. The perfect gentleman must combine literature and arms. Letters were not considered to be apart from active life. Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo, and many others of Spain's great writers of the classic period exemplify this ideal.

53. embozado: to avoid breathing the cool mountain air of his country, a Spaniard frequently draws the corner of his cape over his face, concealing it. He is then embozado, 'muffled.' When a woman is heavily veiled she is tapada. This national custom has been effectively used by Spanish poets, novelists, and dramatists. It offered a plausible excuse for the concealment or confusion of identity.

64. calle: this word is the object of atraviesa, l. 72.

65. la calle del Ataúd: this dismal name does not seem to be of Espronceda's own invention. It is found in José Gutiérrez de la Vega's "Don Miguel de Mañara," 1851. Espronceda probably used some earlier edition of the prose romance of Don Miguel de Mañara.

96. que: a relative adverb used with the force of a genitive Translate 'whose.'

100. Segundo Don Juan Tenorio: see the Introduction.


The quotation is taken from Byron's "Don Juan," Canto IV, stanza 72, the description of Haidée's tomb. I restore the first two words, omitted in all previous editions, without which the passage is devoid of meaning. The way in which this passage has been garbled was pointed out by Piñeyro, "El Romanticismo en España," Paris, 1904.

181. de luceros coronada: this verse occurs also in Meléndez Valdés' "Rosana en los fuegos." See Foulché-Delbosc, "Quelques Réminiscences dans Espronceda," Revue Hispanique, XXI, p. 667.

218. hoja tras hoja, etc.: in the first part of "Faust," Margarete pulls out one by one the petals of a daisy to determine whether or not Faust loves her. Is this a reminiscence of Margarete's Er liebt mich—liebt mich nicht?

242. pasó: translate by the English perfect tense. There are many other cases in these poems where the preterit had best be rendered by the perfect.

245. miraran: here and elsewhere the second (-ra) tense of the imperfect subjunctive is equivalent to a simple past. This use of the tense is frequent. At other times this tense is better rendered by a pluperfect indicative, when the common subjunctive meaning does not serve.

268. These verses are the most frequently quoted of the whole poem.

268. juguete: I retain, though with some doubt, the reading of the original. Later editions have changed to juguetes.

278. The thought of these verses is that mean objects may present a beautiful appearance when viewed through a telescope. "Distance lends enchantment." So woman when viewed through the illusion of fancy is better than the woman of reality. This thought is developed farther in "A Teresa."

298. A frequently recurring thought in Espronceda, typical of Romantic pessimism. Truth is man's greatest enemy, he holds. Illusion is friendly.

318. In this and what follows, Elvira is plainly a copy of Ophelia. The influence of Hamlet cannot be doubted. Churchman has pointed out that Elvira is a composite of Goethe's Margarete, Shakespeare's Ophelia, and the Haidée and Doña Julia of Lord Byron. See "Byron and Espronceda," Revue Hispanique, Vol. XX, p. 164.

324. otra: I retain the original reading. Later editions erroneously read otras.

347. Vaso de bendición: `blessed vessel,' i.e. an individual peculiarly favored with the divine blessing. The phrase vaso de elección is commoner, meaning one chosen for a particular mission or appointed task. The latter term is frequently applied to the Apostle Paul (Acts ix, 15).

359. Mas despertó también de su locura, etc.: Ophelia did not recover her reason before dying. Likewise she was drowned, while Elvira dies of love.

364. El bien pasado y el dolor presente: an obvious reminiscence of Dante's:

Nessun maggior dolore

Che ricordarsi del tempo felice

Nella miseria.—"Inferno," Canto V, ll. 121-123.

There is no greater sorrow than to recall the happy time in the midst of misery.

371. The letter which follows represents Espronceda's most important borrowing from Byron. It is based upon Doña Julia's letter of adieu to Don Juan: see "Don Juan," Canto I, stanzas 192-197. The circumstances attending the writing of the two letters are entirely different. The tone of Doña Julia's letter is cynical; she is a married woman whose sin has been discovered and whose husband is forcing her to enter a convent. Doña Elvira's letter, written with death in view, is tender and pathetic. For details see Churchman, "Byron and Espronceda," Revue Hispanique, Vol. XX, p. 161.


In giving this quotation from the second act of Moreto's "El Lego del Carmen o San Franco de Sena," Espronceda is either quoting erroneously or following some edition not known to me. In the Rivadeneyra edition the passage is as follows:


¿Tiene más que parar?


Tengo los ojos,

Y los juego en lo mismo; que descreo

De quien los hizo para tal empleo.

As this play influenced Espronceda, it is well to give a synopsis of it. Like the "Rufián dichoso" of Cervantes, the "San Franco de Sena" deals with the sinful life and conversion of one who was destined to be a saint. Franco of Siena, a youth noted for his wild conduct, falls in love with the inappropriately named Lucrecia. He kills her lover Aurelio in a duel, and, passing himself off for Aurelio, elopes with her and gets possession of her jewels. A cross with a lighted lamp before it is placed on a wall to mark the spot where Aurelio fell. One night, as he is passing, Franco sacrilegiously attempts to extinguish the light. A hand issues from the wall and seizes him by the wrist. Words of warning accompany this action. Franco shows neither fear nor compunction. He kills all the officers of justice who try to arrest him. Again passing the wall, he hears a ghostly voice urge him to try his hand at play, for by losing he will win. Franco hopes to win in a material way, and decides to follow this advice. He loses all and then stakes his eyes, making the blasphemous remark quoted above. He loses and is stricken blind. His conversion follows immediately. In the weak third act he becomes a Carmelite monk, and his companions in sin experience a like change of heart.

The legend of the saint of Siena has many points of similarity with the legends of Don Juan Tenorio, Don Miguel de Mañara, and Lisardo the Student; but Espronceda has been only slightly influenced by Moreto's play. If he gained from it, rather than from Dumas or Mérimée, the idea of his gambling scene, he does not follow his model closely. In each case a chain is played for, but in Moreto the game is pintas, not parar or dice, and the other details are different. Moreto (1618-1659) was one of the most graceful but least original of the dramatists of the classic period.

438. The game of parar, carteta, or andaboba, as it was variously called, was played as follows: The dealer, who also serves as banker, places two cards face up at his left. The third card he places in front of himself. The fourth card, called the réjouissance card in the French form of the game, he places in the middle of the table. The players stake on this card whatever bets they desire to make, and these the banker is obliged to cover. He then deals a fifth. If this matches his own card, he wins all the money staked. If, on the contrary, it matches the réjouissance card, those who have staked money upon it win from the bank. If it matches neither, it is laid face up on the table, and money may be staked upon it precisely as upon the réjouissance card. So with all successive cards. The deal ends as soon as the banker's card is matched. He then surrenders the bank to the winner, unless the two cards laid to his left are matched before the third card dealt, his own, is duplicated. In this latter case he is privileged to keep the bank for another deal. This game, by reason of its swift action and the large number of players who could engage in it, was called el juego alegre. As results depended upon the turn of a single card, it lent itself readily to cheating. It is mentioned in a pragmática of Philip II, 1575, among a list of games to be prohibited. The modern games of monte and baccarat have points of similarity. In France and England the game is known as lansquenet, and is supposed to have been invented by the German Landsknechte, mercenary foot-soldiers of the sixteenth century. For further information see Hazañas y la Rúa, "Los Rufianes de Cervantes," Sevilla, 1906, p. 44, and Monreal, "Cuadros Antiguos," Sevilla, 1906, p. 342. For a similar gambling scene see Tirso de Molina, "Tanto es lo de más como lo de menos," Act II, sc. vii.

455. El Caballo: to understand what follows some knowledge of Spanish playing-cards is necessary. In Spain the baraja, or deck, consists, according to the game played, of 48 or 40 cards (cartas, naipes, cartones), and not of 52 as with us. The ten spot is unknown, and when the deck consists of but 40 the eight and nine spots are also wanting. The palos, or suits, are four: oros (gold coins, corresponding to our diamonds), copas (cups, corresponding to our hearts), espadas (swords, corresponding to our spades), and bastones (clubs). These figures are not conventionalized. The face cards are three: el rey (the king), el caballo (representing a mounted cavalryman, and corresponding in value to our queen), and la sota (a standing infantryman, sometimes called also el infante, and corresponding in value to our knave). These figures are unreversible. The First Gambler is dealer and banker, as is shown by the fact that he covers the bets (line 466). He is losing in spite of the fact that the banker had an advantage. The caballo is clearly the card that has turned up in front of the dealer. The turning up of a second caballo would end the deal.

457. Pues por poco, etc.: the Second Gambler is mocking the First. "You want the caballo, and the sota, the card next under it in the suit, has turned up. This is so close that you should be satisfied." All this is implied in his remark.

459. The Second Gambler strikes an irreligious note by pretending to believe that the First Gambler's oath is a pious remark. He suggests that prayer and repentance should be deferred until one is dying. Gentlemen of equal rank formerly addressed each other in the second person plural.

466. The Third Gambler stakes upon the sota. Each new card, not matching previous ones, was the occasion for new bets.

480. An allusion to the world-wide superstition that he who is lucky at love is unlucky at cards and vice versa.

490. Se vende y se rifa: Don Félix, who has no ready cash, raffles off his chain. He places on it a value of 2000 ducats, and announces that each of the five gamblers who are in funds must contribute 400 ducats to the raffle. The First Gambler, a heavy loser, does not engage in the play; and Don Félix, too, enters into this first transaction merely as a seller. The chain is to go to the player to whom he deals the ace of oros, and he himself will get the 2000 ducats. After this he will begin to gamble on his own account. The game of parar ceased upon the entrance of Don Félix.

491. afrenta: the affront lies in Don Félix's insolent manner and the masterful way in which he forces them to accept his terms without question. Indignant as the Fourth Gambler is, he dares not offer open objection.

496. I restore una from the 1840 edition instead of uno, found in the later prints. The agreement is with carta, understood, not with naipe. So likewise when the cards are dealt out in Moreto's "San Franco de Sena," the first numeral is una.

498. Three is the lucky number. The third card falls to the Third Gambler, who wins. The grief of the First Gambler is increased by the fact that the winning card would have fallen to him, if he had been in the game. Line 496 indicates that D. Félix passes him in dealing.

500. Having now come into possession of his 2000 ducats, Don Félix, always a reckless gambler, proposes to stake them all upon a single throw of the dice.

516. Si esta imagen respirara: the First Gambler is so unlucky at cards that he may be supposed to be lucky in love. Hence sentimental remarks are placed in his mouth.

520. The Second Gambler makes a side bet with the Fourth and then a second one with the Fifth. These bets will be decided by the same throw that decides the bet between Don Félix and the Third Gambler.

526. Tirad con sesenta, etc.: "Throw in the name of sixty horsemen." Some word like hombres or demonios needs to be supplied.

529. Don Félix, who has again lost, speaks with ironic blasphemy. He blames the First Gambler for addressing his prayer to God rather than to the devil.

546. vendellas: for venderlas. In Old Spanish the final r of the infinitive frequently assimilates to the initial l of the enclitic pronoun.

550. Don Félix's perverted sense of honor will not brook the most trivial verbal slight to Elvira on the part of another, although he has cruelly wronged her himself by his deeds.

558. The First Gambler is not sufficiently blasphemous to invoke the devil, and Don Félix does so himself. This invocation changes his luck.

567. Encubierta fatídica figura: one of those threadbare phrases abused by Spain's romantic poets. Valera in his "Del Romanticismo en España y de Espronceda" instances some of these, such as negro capuz, lúgubre són, fúnebre ciprés, etc. Mesonero Romanos in his "Románticos y Romanticismo" ridicules the abuse of the word fatídica. Espronceda was less frequently guilty of this sort of unoriginality than other less gifted poets were.

610. Mentís vos: the usual formula for picking a quarrel.

625, 631. Que: equivalent to porque.

653. vos: antiquated for vosotros. Don Diego alone is addressed. After Esperad, que may be understood; such omissions of the conjunction are common in poetry. Punctuating differently, we might place a period after Esperad, in which case Cuente might be taken as a first person imperative.

676. juego: such is the reading of the 1840 edition. Some later editor emended to fuego. Though this emendation is plausible, the change seems to me both unnecessary and unhappy. It is characteristic of Don Félix's cool insolence that he should refer to his affair with Elvira as a "game" rather than as a "passion."

692. The Fourth Gambler's remark is somewhat ambiguous, but the sense demands that we take lo as referring to Don Félix. Remember that it was the Fourth Gambler who had resented Don Félix's overbearing conduct. He acted the coward and now talks like a coward. The Third Gambler is the most skeptical regarding changes of luck, because he himself has experienced the greatest ups and downs of fortune in the game just finished.


Miguel de los Santos Álvarez (1818-1892) was a friend and imitator of Espronceda and the last surviving member of his school. He was one of several who attempted the vain task of completing the "Diablo Mundo." He was a guest of honor with Espronceda at the first reading of "El Estudiante de Salamanca" at Granada in 1837. His verse is mediocre, and he is best known for the Cuento en prosa here quoted. This Fitzmaurice-Kelly terms "a charming tale," and Piñeyro praises it for the grace and naturalness of its irony. Rubén Darío gives some interesting reminiscences of Santos Álvarez in his old age, "La vida de Rubén Darío escrita por él mismo", Barcelona, n.d., chap. xxvii. Apparently Santos Álvarez never outgrew the bohemianism of his youth.

The second quotation is from Mark xiv, 38: "The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak."

693. The narrative begun in Part First is now resumed at the point where it was interrupted. We now know that it was Don Diego Pastrana who lost his life in the duel described in the opening lines.

717. The omission of the usual accent of impio is intentional and indicates how the word should be stressed in this verse. Impío is a "word of double accentuation". See Introduction.

729. Notice how the absolute phrase Los ojos fijos is broken by the insertion of the proper name. Poets depart from the usual word-order with the utmost freedom.

737. néctar jerezano: sherry wine.

738, 740. bastara, intentara: to be translated as pluperfects.

766. It is necessary to supply a que to serve as the object of achaca. This is readily to be inferred from the que in the verse before, which is, however, used as a subject.

793. In this speech of Don Felix's there is rapid alternation between direct address, in the second person, and side remarks in the third person about the person addressed.

800. tengo de: we would have he de in modern prose.

811. The que in this verse is the que regularly following oaths and asseverations. Cf. Tobler, "Vermischte Beiträge zur französischen Grammatik," Leipzig, 1912, Article 17, pp. 57 f. Tobler gives the following example from Calderón: ¡Vive Dios! que no he salido. ("El Mágico Prodigioso," Act III, v. 387.) In these examples, the ¡vive dios! is hardly more than an emphatic digo, and is followed by que just as digo would be. Verse 810 is parenthetical.

828. del: construe with mar.

833. For the conclusion of the sentence here begun it is necessary to turn to line 883. We have to do with a sentence of 54 lines.

840. The 1840 edition lacks the third su.

853. fueron: 'are past and gone.'

861. del: the later editions read el. Ditto in lines 862, 863, 866. De is also omitted in 865.

868. jamás: I restore the 1840 reading. Later editions read y no.

916. que: a conjunction introducing a clause, the verb of which (pese) has to be supplied.

921. The usual accent is intentionally omitted from veame. To read this verse correctly the second syllable, and not the first, must bear the stress. The bad prosody of this verse is discussed in the Introduction.

943. The Dance of Death begins.

1012. misteriosa: late editors wrongly change to misterioso. Espronceda is using guía as a feminine.

1040. Dale, etc.: 'plague take the tolling of the passing bell and these towers dancing in tangled confusion to the measure of such a concert.'

1046. llegue: I have emended llegué (which I believe Espronceda did not intend on account of the "obstructing syllable" which that accentuation would give to the verse) to llegue. I take llegue to be the subjunctive of emphatic asseveration. See Bello-Cuervo, "Gramática Castellana," paragraph 463. Other editors are perhaps right in interpreting the passage differently. They suppress the period after maravillas, the exclamation point before Que, and write llegué. This makes equally good sense and is just as grammatical, but the verse is less harmonious. This last point, however, is not a vital objection. The two ways of editing this passage seem to me to offer little choice.

1062. Construe en que with ha dado, above.

1112. The quotation from Mark xiv, 38 applies especially to this passage. Also to ll. 1626-1633.

1121. The three forms of address used by Don Félix in addressing el enlutado indicate his change of manner from politeness to insolence. He begins with the polite third person singular form. Then, enraged by the answer, he is intentionally insulting in verse 1126, wishing to provoke a duel. As the other puts up a brave front, he next addresses him as an equal (verse 1127) by using the second person plural. This was the usual form of address between gentlemen of equal standing during the Renaissance period. But, again losing his temper, he relapses into the insulting second person singular (verse 1133 and following).

1133. haga: an instance of the use of the subjunctive after oaths and asseverations. See Bello-Cuervo, "Gramática Castellana," paragraph 463.

1311. una: goes with gradería in the following verse.

1385. Beginning with this verse and ending with l. 1680, the poet attempts to indicate the gathering and abating fury of the ghostly revel by the successive lengthening and shortening of the verses. The final verses also express Don Félix's waning strength. This device is an attempt to imitate the crescendo and diminuendo effect of music. This whole passage is an obvious imitation of Victor Hugo's "Les Djinns," a poem included in "Les Orientales." Nowhere has Espronceda shown greater virtuosity in the handling of meter.

1448. The nouns and infinitives in this and the following lines are objects of siente, l. 1456.

1703. Y si, lector, etc.: 'And if, reader, you say it is a fabrication, I tell it to you as they told it to me.' León Medina, "Frases literarias afortunadas," Revue hispanique, Vol. XVIII, p. 226, states that these two verses are a quotation from Juan de Castellanos, an obscure poet of the sixteenth century, author of Elegías de Varones Ilustres de Indias. (The first three parts of this work may be found in Vol. IV of the Biblioteca de Autores Españoles; Part IV has been edited by Paz y Melia for the Colección de Escritores Castellanos, Vols. XLIV and XLIX. The passage in question may be found in Canto II, octave 8.) Churchman, "Byron and Espronceda," Revue hispanique, Vol. XX, p. 210, adds the information that Espronceda probably took the lines directly from Villalta, who had quoted them in his historical novel El Golpe en Vago, Madrid, 1835. This is made probable by the fact that whereas Castellanos had written correctly os lo cuento, Villalta wrote te lo cuento, Espronceda following him in this grammatical error.

The form dijerdes, an old form for the second plural of the future subjunctive (modern dijereis), represents the syncopation of a still older dijéredes. Grammatically the pronoun os should have been used. Evidently both Villalta and Espronceda considered dijerdes to be a second singular form. A modern editor cannot undertake to correct a mistake made by the author. In Old Spanish infinitives could be very loosely used. It was not necessary that the subject of a dependent infinitive should be the same as that of the verb on which it depended.

The word comento here has the meaning "fiction," "fabrication." I find this meaning given in none of the dictionaries, but it can readily be inferred from the word comentador, which had as one of its meanings "an inventor of false reports." Comento, like Latin commentum, has as one of its meanings "fiction," "fabrication."

The writers of leyendas were fond of stressing the traditional nature of their poems. Thus Zorrilla concludes his "Capitán Montoya":

El pueblo me lo contó

Sin notas ni aclaraciones,

Con sus mismas espresiones

Se lo cuento al pueblo yo.


7. en todo mar conocido: I follow the reading of the text as it originally appeared in El Artista. The later version of 1840 is peculiar in the reading en todo el mar conocido. We cannot be certain that this is a change made by Espronceda himself.

84. Instead of negro the 1840 edition reads ronco.


Attila, king of the Huns, reigned from 433 until his death 453 A.D. He is noted for the barbaric ferocity of his campaigns against the Eastern and Western Roman Empires and the Germanic kingdoms of the West. In 447 he ravaged seventy cities in Thrace, Macedonia, and Greece, and all but captured Constantinople. In 451 he crossed the Rhine and sacked the cities of Belgic Gaul. He was decisively defeated at Troyes by the Gothic leader Theodoric in league with the Roman general Aëtius. He then entered northern Italy, where he continued his depredations and advanced upon Rome. The Emperor Valentinianus II saved the city by paying tribute. Legend has it that while in Gaul a hermit called Attila to his face the "scourge of God." Attila accepted the designation and replied with the remark quoted in the text. This story is not found in Jordanes, Priscus, or any of the contemporary historians. Gibbon says: "It is a saying worthy of the ferocious pride of Attila that the grass never grew on the spot where his horse had trod" ("Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," London, 1897, III, p. 469). This poem is a magnificent expression of barbaric battle-lust. Espronceda felt as a youth that wholesale destruction must precede the new order of things in Spain and Europe.

50. The poet hopelessly confuses the exploits of the Huns, the Goths, and the Cossacks. Neither the Cossacks nor the Huns ever captured Rome. Alaric the Goth took Rome in 410 A.D.

65. The principal Cossack invasion of Poland was in the first half of the seventeenth century, when Chmielnicki, hetman of the Cossacks, with the aid of his Tartar allies ruthlessly devastated the Polish provinces. This war has been vividly described by Sienkiewicz in his novel "With Fire and Sword."

79. The Huns are said to have carried raw meat beneath their saddles as they rode. At the end of the day's ride they would eat it.


108. The poet has paraphrased the proverb Allá van leyes do quieren reyes, the idea of which is that a tyrant can twist the law to serve the purposes of his tyranny.


For an account of Teresa, see the Introduction. For Miguel de los Santos Álvarez, see the note to "El Estudiante de Salamanca," Part IV.

41. The poet describes his three youthful passions: liberty, romantic literature, and love.

49. Catón: Caius Porcius Cato (95-46 B.C.), commonly called Cato of Utica, was a stalwart defender of Roman republicanism against Caesar and his party. His suicide after the defeat of the republican cause at Thapsus was regarded as an act of stoic heroism.

50. Bruto: it is not clear whether the poet refers to Lucius Junius Brutus, who drove from power Tarquinius Superbus, founded the Roman republic, and displayed his rigid justice by condemning to death his own sons, or Marcus Junius Brutus, who assassinated Cæsar in the name of liberty.

51. Scévola: a hero of early Rome who was captured by the enemy and threatened with death by fire if he refused to give important information. He replied by deliberately holding his hand in a flame.

52. Sócrates (469-400 B.C.): the celebrated Grecian philosopher. He believed in the immortality of the soul.

54. Del orador de Atenas: Demosthenes (385-322 B.C.), especially famous for his Philippics, a series of twelve orations directed against Philip of Macedon, the tirano macedonio here alluded to. All these classical allusions seem to show that Espronceda, like most of the leaders of the French Revolution, was influenced by Plutarch.

57. In this octave the poet voices his enthusiasm for the Middle Ages and romantic literature in general. In his desire to embrace in his own life the careers of knight and troubadour, Espronceda is harking back to the "arms and letters" ideal of many of Spain's greatest writers.

77. Soñaba al héroe: con is the usual complement of soñar in prose.

89. Espronceda's first meeting with Teresa took place in Portugal in the beautiful region around Cintra.

131. La sacra ninfa que bordando, etc.: according to Menéndez y Pelayo, these two verses are taken from the "Fábula de Genil" of Pedro Espinosa, an author whom he says Espronceda knew by heart. (See "Discursos leídos ante la Real Academia Española en la recepción del excmo. señor D. Francisco Rodríguez Marín, el día 27 de octubre de 1907," Madrid, 1907, p. 86). The verses in question are:

Corta las aguas con los blancos brazos

La ninfa, que con otras ninfas mora

Debajo de las aguas cristalinas

En aposentos de esmeraldas finas.

And farther down,

El despreciado dios su dulce amante

Con las náyades vido estar bordando.

This in turn, it seems to me, may be reminiscent of Garcilaso de la Vega's Égloga Tercera. Apparently P. Henríquez Ureña has made this discovery independently. See Revista de Filología Española, IV, 3, p. 292.

170. The usual accent has been intentionally omitted from aerea.

201. "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning." Isaiah xiv, 12.

232. The story of the man who spits upon himself while trying to spit upon the sky is as old as Berceo in Spanish literature.

238. One has to supply a se with convirtieron. This may readily be inferred from the preceding verse.

352. Foulché-Delbosc thinks that this last verse was suggested by Hugo, "Les Feuilles d'automne, XXXV, Soleils couchants." See Revue hispanique, XXI, p. 667.


The sign "-" means the word which stands in black type at the head of the paragraph; thus, -se under abrir means abrirse.

acc. = accusative.

adj. = adjective.

adv. = adverb.

art. = article.

card. = cardinal numeral.

cf. = compare.

conj. = conjunction.

dat. = dative.

dem. = demonstrative.

f. = feminine.

impers. = impersonal.

inf. = infinitive.

interj. = interjection.

interrog. = interrogation, interrogative.

Ital. = Italian.

m. = masculine.

neut. = neuter.

p.p. = past participle.

pers. = person, personal.

pl. = plural.

poss. = possessive.

pr. n. = proper noun.

prep. = preposition.

pron. = pronoun.

refl. = reflexive.

rel. = relative.

sc. = to wit.

sing. = singular.

viz. = namely.

a prep. to, at, on, upon, over, in, towards, with, from, for, around, by, of, when, as; as sign of the accusative, not to be translated; —— + inf. if (—— estar aquí if she were here); al + inf. upon, on, at, when.

abandonar abandon, forsake, leave.

abandono m. abandonment, surrender, yielding.

abarcar embrace, contain.

abatir overthrow, lay low.

abierto, -a open.

abismo m. abyss, hell, bottomless pit.

ablandarse soften, relent, give.

abonar improve, warrant, favor, become.

abrasado, -a burning, hot.

abrasar burn.

abrazo m. embrace.

ábrego m. southwest wind.

abreviar shorten.

abrir open, expand, cut; —se open, yawn, unfold, split.

abrojo m. thistle, thorn.

absolución f. absolution.

abundante adj. abundant, abounding, teeming.

acá adv. here, hither.

acabar end, cease; —se come to an end.

acacia f. acacia.

acariciar cherish, soothe, caress.

acaso adv. perchance, perhaps.

acción f. action, feat.

acento m. accent, voice, words, tone.

acercar approach, bring near; —se approach.

acero m. steel.

acertar guess aright, tell certainly, ascertain, divine.

acompañar accompany, follow.

acudir assist, hasten to assistance, come, appear.

achacar blame, impute, attribute.

adelantar(se) advance, proceed, hasten.

adelante adv. onward, on, farther, forward.

ademán m. gesture, attitude, look, manner.

adiós m. adieu, farewell.

admirar wonder at, admire.

admitir admit, accept, permit.

adónde adv. where? whither?

adorar adore.

adormir drop to sleep.

adornar adorn.

adorno m. ornament, adornment.

aduar m. camp, camp of gypsies, horde of gypsies.

adusto, -a austere, sullen, gloomy, solemn.

advertir warn.

aéreo, -a ethereal, aerial, airy.

afán m. eager desire, longing, anxiety, effort, toil, difficulty, bustle.

afanar distress; —se desire eagerly, struggle for.

afeminado, -a effeminate.

afilado, -a sharp, slender, thin, tapering.

afligido, -a troubled, distressed.

afligir pain, grieve.

afrenta f. insult, affront.

ágil adj. nimble, light.

agilidad f. quickness, nimbleness, activity.

agitar agitate, move, stir, stir up, sway, shake, disturb.

agolpado, -a curdled.

agolpar rush, gather.

agonía f. agony, death struggle, pangs of death.

agostar parch, wither.

agradecer be grateful, render thanks, be grateful for.

agradecido, -a thankful, grateful.

agreste adj. wild, rude, rough.

agrupar(se) cluster.

agua f. water.

aguardar await, expect.

agudo, -a sharp, keen.

¡ah! interj. ah!

ahinco m. energy, determination.

ahogar stifle, smother, drown.

ahora adv. now, at present.

airado, -a angry.

aire m. air, atmosphere, wind, breeze, manner.

airoso, -a airy, lively, easy, genteel, elegant, graceful.

aislamiento m. isolation.

ajar spoil, crumple, fade.

ajeno, -a of another, ignorant, unaware; —— de free from.

ala f. wing, brim.

alabar praise, extol.

alarido m. cry, shout, shriek.

alba f. dawn.

albo, -a white.

alborada f. dawn.

alborotar stir up, agitate, arouse, excite, disturb, confuse; —se get excited.

alcanzar attain, succeed, achieve, reach, obtain, take; —— a hacer succeed in doing, be capable of doing.

alcázar m. castle, fortress.

alegrarse rejoice, be glad.

alegre adj. happy, joyful, merry, beautiful, fair, clear.

alegría f. joy, merriment.

alejarse move away, recede.

alentar animate, foster, cherish.

alfombra f. carpet.

algazara f. shout, shouting, hubbub.

alguno, -a adj. pron. some, some one.

aliento m. breath, spirit, exhalation.

alma f. soul, heart, person.

almena f. battlement.

almo, -a holy.

alquiler m. hire; de —— hired, let for hire.

alredor adv. around; a mi —— around me.

altanero, -a soaring, haughty, arrogant, overbearing, proud.

altar m. altar.

alterar change, disturb, stir up.

altísimo, -a very high, lofty.

altivez f. arrogance, presumption.

altiveza f. arrogance, haughtiness.

altivo, -a haughty, proud, lofty.

alto, -a high, steep, tall, raised, lofty, erect, loud.

altura f. height; ——s heavens, on high.

alumbrar light, shed light, illumine.

Álvarez pr. n. Álvarez.

alzar raise, lift, hoist; —se rise; —se de pie rise to one's feet.

allá adv. there, yonder, thither; —— va here goes; —— voy I am coming; más —— farther on, beyond.

allí adv. there.

amable adj. pleasing, lovely, kind.

amado, -a beloved, loved (one).

amador m. lover.

amante adj. loving.

amante m. f. lover, sweetheart.

amar love.

amargo, -a bitter.

amargura f. bitterness, sorrow.

amarillo, -a yellow.

amedrentar frighten, terrify.

amigo m. friend.

amontonar gather, pile up.

amor m. love, lady-love, sweetheart; ——es love affairs, amours, intrigues.

amoroso, -a loving, amorous, gentle.

amparar protect; —se be protected, enjoy protection.

analizar analyze.

anatema m. f. anathema.

anclar anchor.

andado, -a traversed.

andadura f. amble; paso de —— ambling gait.

andar go, move, walk, be; vamos andando let us be off.

andar m. gait, walk.

andrajoso, -a tattered.

anegar drown.

ángel m. angel.

angélico, -a angelic, heaven-born.

ángulo m. corner.

angustia f. anguish.

angustiado, -a anguished, distressed.

angustioso, -a full of anguish, miserable, painful.

anhelante adj. covetous, longing.

anhelo m. desire, longing, yearning.

ánima f. soul.

animarse take courage, become animated.

ánimo m. spirit, courage, mind, intention.

animoso, -a spirited, gallant, brave.

ansia f. longing, eagerness, anxiety, anguish.

ansiar desire, yearn for, long for, crave.

ansiedad f. anxiety, eagerness, longing, anguish.

ansioso, -a anxious.

ante prep. before.

antes adv. before; —— de prep. before.

antiguo, -a old, ancient, former.

antojo m. fancy, caprice.

antorcha f. torch, taper.

anublar becloud, darken.

anunciar announce, proclaim.

añadir add.

año m. year.

apagado, -a extinguished, softened.

apagar extinguish.

aparecer(se) appear.

aparición f. apparition, ghost.

apartar remove, withdraw.

aparte adv. aside.

apenas adv. hardly, barely.

aplauso m. applause.

apoderarse de take possession of.

apostar bet, wager, stake.

apostura f. neatness, spruceness, appearance.

apoyar rest, support.

aprecio m. regard; hacer —— de note.

apremiar press.

aprestar make ready, prepare.

apretado, -a tight, close.

apretar press, clutch, tighten.

aquel, -la adj. dem. that.

aquél, -la, aquello pron. dem. that one.

aquí adv. here, now; de —— a una hora an hour hence.

Aquilón m. north wind.

ara f. altar.

árbol m. tree.

arboleda f. grove.

arcano m. secret, mystery.

arco m. arch.

archivo m. archive, repository.

arder burn, glow.

ardido, -a burning.

ardiente adj. ardent, burning.

ardite m. ardite (an ancient coin); farthing.

arenal m. sandy place.

argentado, -a silvery, silvered.

argentino, -a silvery.

árido, -a dry, dried up, barren.

arma f. arms, weapon.

armar arm, start.

armonía f. harmony, music, rhythm, concord, peace.

armonioso, -a harmonious, melodious.

aroma m. aroma, fragrance, scent, perfume.

aromoso, -a aromatic, fragrant.

arpa f. harp.

arrancar tear out, pluck out, wring, wrest, tear away, take away.

arrebatar bear away, catch, snatch up, attract, captivate, charm; —se grow furious, rush headlong, give way to passion.

arrebolar redden.

arrogancia f. arrogance.

arrojar throw, cast, cast off.

arrojo m. daring, fearlessness.

arrostrar face, fight, encounter.

arroyuelo m. little brook, brooklet.

arruinado, -a ruinous, crumbling.

arrullar lull.

arrullo m. lullaby.

as m. ace.

asaz adv. enough, sufficiently, very.

ascender ascend, rise.

así adv. so, thus.

Asia f. Asia.

asiento m. seat.

asilo m. refuge, protection, shelter, haven, asylum.

asolador, -a destroying, devastating.

asomar appear.

asombro m. amazement, wonder.

aspecto m. aspect, appearance, sight.

áspero, -a rough, rugged.

aspirar breathe, inhale, aspire.

asqueroso, -a loathsome, filthy.

astro m. heavenly body, orb, star.

astuto, -a cunning, crafty.

asunto m. affair, business.

asustar frighten.

atajar head off, stop, check, confound.

ataúd m. coffin.

Atenas pr. n. f. Athens.

atento, -a attentive, watchful, heedful, intent.

aterrador, -a frightening, terrible.

Átila pr. n. m. Attila.

atrás adv. behind, backward.

atravesar pass through, cross.

atrevido, -a bold, daring.

atronador, -a thundering.

atropellar trample under foot, strike down; —se hasten, crowd.

audacia f. audacity.

audaz adj. bold, fearless.

aullar howl.

aullido m. howl, cry of horror.

aumentar increase, enlarge, magnify.

aún, aun adv. yet, still, even, nevertheless.

aunque conj. although.

aura f. breeze, zephyr.

aurora f. dawn, break of day, aurora.

ausencia f. absence.

autómata m. automaton, mere machine, puppet.

avanzar advance, go forward.

avariento, -a avaricious.

avaro, -a avaricious, covetous.

avaro m. miser.

ave f. bird.

aventura f. adventure, affair.

avergonzarse de be ashamed of, blush for.

ávido, -a eager, covetous.

ay interj. alas, oh; —— de alas for.

ay m. groan.

ayer adv. yesterday, lately.

azahar m. orange blossom.

azorar terrify.

azotar lash, flog, whip.

azul adj. blue, azure.

bajar lower, descend, bow, hang down.

bajel m. ship.

bajo prep. under, beneath.

baldón m. reproach, insult.

banda f. side of a ship.

bandera f. banner, flag.

bandolero m. bandit.

banquete m. banquet.

bañar bathe.

báquico, -a Bacchanalian.

bárbaro, -a barbarous, cruel, fierce.

barco m. vessel, ship; —— viene a sail!

barrer sweep.

barrera f. barrier.

barro m. clay, mud.

base f. base, foundation.

bastar suffice, be enough.

beber drink, imbibe.

befa f. scoff, ridicule, taunt.

beldad f. beauty.

beleño m. henbane, poison.

belleza f. beauty.

bello, -a beautiful, fair.

bendecir bless, praise.

bendición f. blessing.

bergantín m. brigantine.

beso m. kiss.

bien adv. well, indeed, all right.

bien m. good, good thing, treasure, beloved one, blessing; hacer —— give alms, aid.

bienhechor, -a m. f. benefactor.

bienvenido, -a welcome.

bigote m. mustache; hacerse el —— curl one's mustache.

blanca f. blanca (old copper coin).

blanco, -a white, fair.

blancor m. whiteness.

blando, -a soft, tender, gentle, pleasing.

blasfemar blaspheme, curse.

blasón m. blazon, armorial bearings, honor, glory.

bledo m. blite, pigweed; dar un —— de care a straw for.

boca f. mouth, lips.

boda f. marriage, wedding.

bolsa f. purse, money.

bonanza f. fair weather.

bordar embroider, embellish.

borrasca f. storm, tempest.

borrascoso, -a tempestuous, stormy.

borrón m. blot, stigma.

bosque m. forest, wood, bosk.

bote m. thrust.

botín m. booty, spoils.

bóveda f. arch, vault, cavern.

bramador, -a roaring, bellowing, raging.

bramar roar, rage, bluster, bellow.

bramido m. howling, roaring.

bravío, -a wild, fierce.

bravo, -a brave.

bravura f.. bravado, fierceness, ferocity, boasting.

brazo m. arm, embrace.

breve adj. brief, short.

bridón m. steed, bridle.

brillante adj. brilliant, bright.

brillar glisten, shine.

brindar drink to one's health, offer, pledge.

brío m. strength, courage, mettle, spirit, resolution.

brisa f. breeze.

broche m. clasp, brooch.

brotar bud, bring forth, put forth, gush forth, shed.

bruja f. witch.

brutal adj. brutal.

Bruto pr. n. m. Brutus.

bueno, -a good, fine, pleasant.

bujía f. candle, taper.

bulto m. dim form.

bulla f. bustle, throng, noise.

bullicio m. tumult, bustle.

bullidor, -a restless, merry.

burla f. joke.

buscar seek, hunt, look for.

buscarruidos m. quarrelsome fellow.

caballeresco, -a gentlemanly.

caballero m. knight, gentleman, nobleman, sir; ¡mal ——! scoundrel!

caballo m. horse, steed, figure on horseback in Spanish pack of cards, equivalent to the queen; a —— on horseback; ¡a ——! to horse!

cabaña f. cottage, hut, hovel.

cabello m. hair, locks.

cabeza f. head.

cable m. cable.

cada adj. every, each.

cadáver m. corpse, dead body.

cadavérico, -a cadaverous.

cadena f. chain.

caduco, -a worn out, decrepit, broken down.

caer(se) fall, set, sink, droop.

calar penetrate; —se pull down; —se el sombrero pull down one's hat.

calavera f. skull.

calentura f. fever.

caliz m. chalice, calyx.

calma f. calm, quiet, calmness, coolness; en —— calm.

calmar calm, mitigate, soften, still, quiet, slake, cool.

calmo, -a calm, still.

callado, -a silent, quiet.

callar be silent.

calle f. street.

cambiar(se) change, turn.

caminar move, walk, go, go on, travel, march.

camino m. road, way, path, journey.

campana f. bell.

campanilla f. little bell.

campaña f. country.

campiña f. field.

campo m. field, country.

can m. dog, dog-star.

canción f. song.

cándido, -a white, bright, pure.

candor m. ingenuousness.

candoroso, -a candid, pure, innocent.

cansar weary, bore.

cantar sing, chant, sing of.

cantar m. song.

cántico m. canticle, song of praise.

cantidad f. amount, sum.

canto m. singing, song.

cañón m. cannon.

capa f. cape, cloak.

capaz adj. capable.

capitán m. captain.

capricho m. caprice, whim, fancy.

capuz m. cloak, hood, cape.

caracol m. snail, winding staircase; gradería de —— torcida spiral staircase.

carbón m. coal.

carcajada f. burst of laughter; soltar una —— burst out laughing.

cárcel f. prison.

cárdeno, -a livid.

carga f. burden.

cariado, -a rotten, putrid.

caricia f. caress.

caridad f. charity, alms.

carmín m. carmine.

carne f. flesh.

caro, -a dear, expensive.

carrera f. course.

carta f. card.

casa f. house, home, building; —— de huéspedes lodging-house.

casamiento m. marriage, wedding.

casi adv. almost.

caso m. case, matter, event; hacer —— de take notice of, heed.

castigo m. punishment; dar ——punish.

castillo m. castle.

Catón pr. n. m. Cato.

caudal m. fortune, abundance.

causar cause.

cautivo, -a m. f. captive.

cavernoso, -a cavernous.

ceder decrease, slacken, abate, diminish.

céfiro m. zephyr, breeze.

ceja f. eyebrow.

cejijunto, -a close-knit.

celebrar celebrate, praise.

celeste adj. celestial, heavenly.

celestial adj. celestial, heavenly.

celoso, -a jealous.

cena f. supper.

cenar sup.

centinela m. f. sentinel.

ceñir gird.

ceño m. frown.

cerca adv. near, close.

cercano, -a close by, near, approaching.

cercar encircle, surround.

cesar cease; sin —— incessantly, constantly.

cetro m. scepter.

ciego, -a blind.

cielo m. sky, heaven.

ciencia f. science, knowledge.

ciento, cien, card. hundred.

cierto, -a certain, sure, assured; por —— certainly, indeed.

cifrar en place in, fix upon.

cima f. crest, summit, top.

cimiento m. foundation.

cinco card. five.

cincuenta card. fifty.

cinta f. ribbon, band, belt, girdle.

círculo m. circle, circling.

cita f. appointment, meeting, rendezvous.

ciudad f. city.

claridad f. light.

claro, -a bright, clear, pure.

clavar nail, fasten, fix.

coagular coagulate, curdle.

cobarde adj. cowardly.

cobarde m. coward.

codicioso, -a greedy, eager.

coger seize, take, catch.

cogido (lo) booty, plunder.

cólera f. anger, wrath.

colérico, -a choleric, angry.

colgar hang.

color m. color, hue, complexion.

colorar color, tinge; —se become colored, color.

columna f. column, pillar.

combatido, -a contending, struggling.

combatir combat, attack, contend, fight.

comento m. comment, fiction, fabrication.

comenzar commence.

comer eat, dine.

como adv. like, as, how, about; tan ... —— as ... as; —— cuánto about how much.

cómo interrog. how.

compañero m. companion.

compañía f. company, companionship.

comparar compare.

compás m. measure, time; a —— in time; al —— de in the time of.

compasión f. pity.

compasivo, -a compassionate, sympathetic.

comprender comprehend, understand.

con prep. with, in, against, on.

cóncavo, -a concave, hollow.

cóncavo m. concavity.

conceder grant, give.

contento m. harmony.

conciencia f. conscience, consciousness.

concierto m. harmony.

condenar condemn, sentence.

conducir lead.

confianza f. confidence, intimacy.

confín m. confine, limit, border.

confundir overwhelm, engulf, confuse, confound, mingle, heap up; —se be bewildered, be perplexed.

confusión f. confusion, disorder.

confuso, -a confused, dim, indistinct, bewildering.

conjurar conjure, implore.

conjuro m. conjuration, incantation.

conmigo pron. pers. with me.

conmover stir, affect.

conocer know, be acquainted with, recognize; —se know each other.

conque conj. so then, and so.

conquistar conquer, subdue.

conseguir attain, obtain, gain.

consentido, -a spoiled.

considerable adj. considerable.

consigo pron. pers. with one's self, with himself, etc..

consolar console, comfort.

consorte m. f. husband, wife.

constancia f. constancy, firmness, determination.

Constantinopla pr. n. f. Constantinople.

consuelo m. consolation.

consumir consume, burn out.

contar recount, relate, tell, tell off, count, consider, look upon; —— con count upon, reckon with; con vos no cuento I pass you by.

contemplar contemplate, behold, gaze at, look at, meditate.

contenerse restrain one's self, keep one's temper.

contento m. contentment, joy, mirth.

contigo pron. pers. with thee.

continente m. manner, mien, gait.

contino adv. constantly, continually; de —— continually.

continuo, -a continual, constant.

contra prep. against; en —— against.

conversión f. conversion, reform.

convertir convert, reform, change; —se en change to, become.

convidar invite, entice, allure.

convocar convoke, summon.

convulso, -a convulsive.

copa f. foliage, branches.

corazón m. heart, breast, love, courage, spirit.

cornudo, -a horned.

coro m. chorus.

corona f. crown.

coronar crown.

corredor m. corridor, gallery.

correr run, meet with, pass, pass away, flow.

corresponder return, requite, reciprocate.

corriente f. current, stream.

corro m. group, circle.

corromper pollute.

corrompido, -a polluted, foul.

cortar cut.

corte f. court, retinue.

cortejar court, woo.

cosa f. thing, matter; gran —— much.

Cosaco m. Cossack.

cosecha f. harvest; de mi —— of my invention.

coyuntura f. joint.

cráneo m. skull.

crear create.

crecer grow, rage, increase.

creer believe, think.

crescendo Ital. crescendo.

crespón m. crape.

criatura f. creature, being, man.

crimen m. crime.

crispante adj. shivery.

crisparse twitch.

cristal m. crystal, glass.

cristalino, -a crystalline, transparent, bright.

Cristo pr. n. m. Christ, image of Christ.

crudeza f. severity, cruelty.

crudo, -a raw.

cruel adj. cruel, intolerable.

crujido m. crackling.

crujir clash, click, clank, crack, crackle, creak, rustle.

cruz f. cross.

cruzar cross, pass, pass through, cruise.

cuadrar befit, suit.

cuadro m. picture, scene.

cuajar coagulate, coat over.

cual adv. like, as.

cuál pron. interrog. which, which one, what, what one.

cualquier, -a any whatever; —— ... que whoever, whichever, whatever.

cualquiera pron. any one, either one.

cuán adv. how.

cuando conj. when, if, in case; —— ... —— now ... now, at one time ... at another.

cuanto adv. as much as, all that; en —— a with regard to, as to; —— más ... tanto más the more ... the more.

cuánto, -a prop. interrog. how much; como —— about how much.

cuaresma f. Lent.

cuarto, -a fourth.

cuatrocientos, -as four hundred.

cubrir cover, veil, shroud.

cuello m. neck, throat.

cuenta f. count, reckoning, account; dar —— explain, report, give account; pedir —— bring to account, demand account of.

cuento m. tale, story.

cuerdamente adv. sensibly.

cuerno m. horn.

cuerpo m. body; —— muerto corpse.

cuidado m. care, anxiety.

cuidadoso, -a careful.

culpa f. fault.

culpar blame, accuse.

culto m. worship, homage, veneration, respect.

cumbre f. summit, crest, peak.

cumplir fulfill, accomplish, satisfy, keep; cúmplase tu voluntad thy will be done.

curso m. course.

cuyo, -a pron. rel. whose.

chancearse joke, jest.

charca f. pool.

chasco m. joke, fiasco, disappointment.

chimenea f. fireplace, hearth, stove.

chispa f. spark, flash.

chiste m. jest.

chocar strike, combat, clash, encounter, collide.

dado m. die.

dale interj. (expressive of displeasure) hang it, come, again; —— con tocar a muerto plague take this funeral tolling.

dama f. lady.

danza f. dance.

danzar dance.

dar give, give out, strike, cause, tell, make, grant, pay, render, forebode; —— en persist in; —— por perdida consider lost; qué diantre me da what the deuce do I care.

de prep. of, than, from, by, with, at, to, in, on account of, for, about, on, as; más —— past.

debajo de prep. under, underneath.

deber have to, must, ought, can.

deber m. duty.

débil adj. feeble, weak.

decidido, -a decided, devoted, determined.

decir say, speak, tell, call.

decisión f. decision, determination, resolution.

declinar decline, sink.

dedo m. finger.

dejar leave, quit, abandon, forsake; —— de stop, cease.

delante adv. before, in front, ahead; —— de prep. in front of, before.

deleite m. pleasure, delight.

delicado, -a delicate, sweet.

delicia f. delight.

delicioso, -a delicious, delightful.

delirante adj. delirious, raving.

delirar rave, dote.

delirio m. delirium, madness, rapture, rant, idle talk.

delito m. crime.

demasía f. excess.

demasiado, -a too much, too great.

demonio m. devil, demon.

denso, -a dense, thick.

dentro adv. within; —— de prep. within.

denuesto m. insult, abuse.

derecho m. right.

derramar shed.

derredor m. circuit; en —— de round about, around.

desafiar challenge, defy.

desafío m. duel, combat.

desahogo m. relief, alleviation, comfort.

desalentado, -a discouraged, abject.

desasirse disengage one's self, break loose, extricate one's self.

desatar untie, undo, loosen, let loose; —se break loose, break out.

desatento, -a unmindful, heedless, rude.

desatino m. folly, wildness, reeling.

descansar rest, repose, sleep.

descarnado, -a emaciated, fleshless, bare.

descender descend, go down, sink.

descolorido, -a colorless, pale.

desconocer not know, be ignorant of, ignore.

desconsuelo m. trouble, affliction.

descortés adj. discourteous, ill-bred, impudent.

descortesía f. discourtesy.

descreer disbelieve, deny, discredit, disown.

descubrir discover, reveal, expose, uncover, make known.

descuidado, -a care-free.

desde prep. from.

desdén m. disdain, scorn, contempt.

desdeño m. disdain, scorn.

desdeñoso, -a scornful, contemptuous.

desdicha f. unhappiness, wretchedness, misery.

desdichado, -a unhappy, unfortunate, wretched.

desear desire, covet.

desembozar unmuffle.

desengaño m. disillusion.

deseo m. desire, longing.

desesperación f. despair.

desesperado, -a desperate, despairing, hopeless.

desfallecer weaken, swoon, fail, give way.

desgarrar rend.

desgracia f. misfortune, sorrow, unhappiness.

desgraciado, -a unfortunate, hapless, miserable.

deshacer undo, break.

deshojado, -a leafless, petalless, blighted.

desierto, -a deserted, lonely.

desierto m. desert.

desigual adj. uneven, dissimilar.

deslizarse glide along, slip along.

desmayado, -a faint, swooning.

desmayar be discouraged, be faint, swoon.

desmayo m. drooping, swooning, faltering.

desmentir belie, deny, dissemble.

desnudo, -a naked, unsheathed, drawn.

despacio adv. slowly.

desparecer disappear, vanish.

despecho m. spite, insolence, anger, despair, dismay; a —— de in spite of; a su —— in spite of himself.

despedida f. farewell.

despego m. indifference, coldness, coyness.

despeñado, -a headlong.

despeñar precipitate, fling down.

despertar awaken, arouse, break, dawn.

despierto, -a awake, brisk.

desplegado, -a flowing.

desplegar unfold, unfurl, hoist; —se unfold, spread.

despojos m. pl. remains.

despreciar spurn, neglect, reject.

desprender(se) fall, tear, separate, issue from, arise, relax one's hold, let go.

desprendido, -a loosened, falling, torn, broken.

después adv. afterward, then.

despuntar begin to dawn.

desquiciarse be unhinged, shake.

destellar flash, twinkle.

desterrar banish, exile.

destilar drip.

destino m. destiny, fate, lot.

devanecerse vanish, disappear, fade away.

desvanecido, -a dizzy, vague, faint.

desvarío m. delirium, raving.

desventura f. misfortune, misery.

detener detain, stop, halt.

detenido, -a stagnant.

determinado, -a determined, resolute, resolved.

detrás adv. behind, after.

devaneo m. giddiness, frenzy, mad passion.

devorar devour, consume.

devoto, -a devout, pious.

día m. day; ——s life; hoy en —— nowadays; un —— some day, once.

diablo m. devil.

diabólico, -a diabolical.

diamante m. diamond, adamant.

diantre m. deuce.

dibujar outline, delineate; —se be outlined, throw a shadow, be visible.

dictar dictate, prescribe.

dicha f. happiness, delight.

dichoso, -a happy, fortunate, precious, blessed.

Diego pr. n. m. James.

diente m. tooth.

diestra f. right hand.

diez card. ten.

difunto, -a deceased (one), dead (one).

dilatar overspread, suffuse, expand.

diligencia f. assiduity, effort, haste, business, affair.

dinero m. money.

Dios m. God.

diosa f. goddess.

disculpar excuse, exonerate.

discurrir flow, course.

disfrutar enjoy, profit, reap the benefit.

disipar dissipate, scatter, put to flight, drive away; —se be dissipated, be scattered.

disolver dissolve, dissipate, scatter, disperse.

disparate m. folly, piece of folly, blunder.

distante adj. distant, afar.

distinguir distinguish, see clearly.

distraído, -a distracted, absentminded.

diverso, -a various, dissimilar, different.

divertir amuse.

dividir divide, separate, cut, cleave.

divino, -a divine, heavenly.

do adv. where; a —— whither, where.

adv. interrog. where.

doblar bend.

doble m. tolling; dar ——s toll.

doctrina f. doctrine, wisdom, teaching.

doliente adj. suffering, sorrowful.

dolor m. grief, sorrow, pain, anguish.

dolorido, -a afflicted, grief-stricken, painful, doleful, heart-sick.

doloroso, -a painful.

don m. Don, sir.

doncella f. maiden.

donde adv. where.

dónde adv. interrog. where, whither; en —— where.

dondequiera adv. everywhere, anywhere.

doquiera adv. wherever, everywhere.

dorado, -a golden.

dormido, -a sleeping, slumbering.

dormir sleep; —se go to sleep.

dos card. two; los —— both.

dramático, -a dramatic.

ducado m. ducat (former coin worth about $3).

duda f. doubt.

dudar doubt, hesitate.

dudoso, -a doubtful, uncertain, indistinct, nebulous, hesitating.

duelo m. sorrow, grief, duel, combat.

dueña f. duenna.

dulce adj. sweet, soft, gentle, pleasant.

dulcísimo, -a very sweet.

dulzura f. sweetness.

durar last, endure.

duro, -a hard, cruel, unbearable, heavy.

e conj. and.

eco m. echo.

echar throw, cast, cast away, deal, put.

Edén pr. n. m. Eden.

edificio m. building, edifice.

ejército m. army.

el, la, lo, los, las, art. the; —— que, etc., pron. rel. he who(m), the one who(m), who, that which.

él, ella, ello, pron. pers. he, him; she, her; it.

elevar raise; —se rise.

elocuente adj. eloquent.

Elvira pr. n. f. Elvira.

ella pron. pers. she, her, it.

ellas pron. pers. they, them.

embalsamarse be perfumed.

embargar overwhelm, seize, overcome, impede.

embebecido, -a absorbed, enraptured.

embeleso m. rapture.

embestir assail, attack.

embolismo m. confusion, maze, embarrassment, falsehood.

embolsarse pocket.

embozado m. muffled one.

embozar cloak, muffle.

embriagar intoxicate, transport, enrapture; —se get intoxicated.

empañar dim, tarnish.

empapar soak, steep.

empedernido, -a hard-hearted.

empeñarse persist, insist.

empeño m. determination, desire.

empero adv. however, notwithstanding.

empezar begin.

empleo m. employment, use.

emponzoñar poison, taint.

empuje m. impulse.

empuñar grasp, grip.

en prep. in, into, at, for, among, on, upon, with, of, to, against, by, over, like; —— que when.

enamorado, -a enamored, loving, in love.

enamorar inspire love, woo; —se de fall in love with.

encadenar enchain, shackle.

encantador, -a enchanting, delightful.

encantar charm, delight, fascinate.

encanto m. charm, fascination, enchantment, spell.

encapotar cloak, cover.

encapuchado, -a hooded one.

encender light, kindle, enkindle; —se glow.

enclavar nail, fasten.

encomendar commend.

encono m. rancor, ill-will, malevolence.

encontrar meet, meet with, find.

encubrir cover, conceal, hide.

encuentro m. meeting, encounter; a su —— to meet him.

endiablado, -a diabolical, bedeviled.

endurecer harden, cake.

enemigo, -a hostile, unfriendly.

engalanar adorn.

engañador, -a deceiving.

engañar deceive, beguile.

engaño m. deception, illusion.

engañoso, -a deceptive, false.

engendro m. abortion, monster, progeny.

enhiesto, -a upright, erect.

enjugar wipe.

enjuto, -a lean, wasted, dried up.

enlazar join, clasp.

enlutado, -a in mourning, veiled, muffled.

enmudecer grow dumb, grow silent.

enojarse be angry, be displeased, get angry.

enojo m. anger, vexation, displeasure, annoyance.

enojoso, -a troublesome.

enredar entangle, ensnare.

ensueño m. dream, fantasy, illusion.

entena f. yard, spar.

entender understand, know, hear; —— de be familiar with, be interested in.

entero, -a entire, whole.

enterrar bury.

entierro m. funeral, burial, funeral procession.

entonar sing.

entonces adv. then.

entrada f. entrance, coming, beginning.

entrambos, -as both.

entrañas f. pl. entrails, bowels, recesses.

entrar enter, come in, advance, begin.

entre prep. between, among, in, amid, within, to; —— sí to himself; —— tanto meanwhile; de —— out of; por —— through, between, among.

entregar hand over, give, pay.

entretanto adv. meanwhile; —— que conj. while.

entretener entertain, divert, amuse, occupy.

enturbiar disturb, derange, cloud.

envenenar poison.

enviar send.

envidar stake, open a game of cards by staking a sum.

envidiar envy.

envilecido, -a degraded, disgraced.

envite m. stake, bet.

envolver envelop, enwrap, enfold.

erguido, -a erect, straight.

errante adj. wandering.

escaldar scald.

escalón m. step.

escapar(se) escape, flee.

escape m. escape, flight.

escena f. scene.

esclavo, -a m. f. slave.

escoger choose, select, cull.

esconder conceal, veil, hide.

escribir write.

escuchar hear, listen to, listen; —se be heard.

escudo m. escudo (a coin); shield, protection.

escupir spit upon.

ese, -a adj. dem. that.

ése, -a, eso, pron. dem. that one, that.

esfera f. sphere, heaven, orb.

esmeralda f. emerald.

espacio m. space.

espada f. sword.

espalda f. back, shoulder; ——s back.

espantado, -a frightened, astonished.

espantar frighten, terrify, intimidate.

espanto m. fright, consternation, fear.

espantoso, -a frightful, horrible.

esparcir scatter, shed, spread.

espectro m. specter, ghost.

espejo m. mirror.

esperanza f. hope.

esperar await, wait for, expect, hope.

espeso, -a thick, dense.

espina f. thorn.

espiral f. spiral line.

espirante adj. dying.

espirar expire.

espíritu m. spirit, mind, soul, courage; ——s spirits, demons.

espléndido, -a splendid.

esplendor m. splendor, magnificence, glory; de —— glorious.

esposa f. wife, spouse, betrothed.

esposo m. husband, spouse, betrothed.

espuela f. spur.

espuma f. foam, froth.

esqueleto m. skeleton, framework.

estación f. season.

estado m. state, condition.

estallar burst, crack, detonate.

estallido m. crackling.

estampido m. report, crash.

estancia f. room, mansion, abode.

estanque m. pond, pool.

estar be; —— en sí be in one's senses.

estatua f. statue.

este, -a adj. dem. this.

éste, -a, esto, pron. dem. this one, this.

estima f. esteem, respect.

estocada f. stab.

estorbar forbid, hinder.

estrechar press, clasp.

estrecho, -a narrow.

estrella f. star.

estremecerse shake, tremble.

estrépito m. din, clamor, noise.

estruendo m. din, pomp, turmoil, clatter.

estudiante m. student.

estúpido, -a stupid, dull.

éter m. ether, sky.

eterno, -a eternal, everlasting.

Europa f. Europe.

evangelio m. gospel.

evaporarse evaporate, pass away, vanish.

exaltar exalt, praise.

examinar examine, scrutinize.

exclamar exclaim.

exento, -a free.

exhalar breathe forth, exhale, emit, utter.

exigir demand, exact, require.

existencia f. existence, life.

expiación f. expiation, atonement.

éxtasis m. ecstasy.

extático, -a ecstatic.

extender(se) extend, stretch out, spread, prolong.

extranjero, -a foreign.

extraño, -a strange.

extremo m. end; llevar al —— terminate.

fábrica f. structure.

fácil adj. easy, easily persuaded.

fada f. fairy, sprite.

faena f. task, work, labor, toil.

falaz adj. deceitful, deceptive, fallacious.

falda f. skirt, lap.

falso, -a false, treacherous, feigned, simulated, mock.

faltar fail, be missing, be lacking, give way.

fallido, -a frustrated, amiss.

fama f. reputation, report, rumor; es —— it is said.

famoso, -a famous, renowned, notorious.

fanal m. lantern, light, beacon.

fanfarrón m. boaster, bully.

fango m. mud, mire, slime.

fantasía f. fancy, imagination, caprice, whim.

fantasma m. f. phantom, ghost, specter, scarecrow.

fantástico, -a fantastic, imaginary.

farsa f. farce, humbug.

fascinar fascinate.

fatal adj. fatal, ominous, unfortunate.

fatídico, -a baleful, sinister.

fatigado, -a weary.

favor m. favor, protection, help.

faz f. face, aspect.

fe f. faith, honor, trust; a ——- in truth; a —— mía upon my word.

fecundar fertilize, make fruitful.

fecundo, -a fecund, teeming.

Félix pr. n. m. Felix.

feliz adj. happy, blessed, fortunate.

feo, -a ugly, homely.

féretro m. bier.

feroz adj. fierce, cruel.

férreo, -a iron.

fértil adj. fertile.

fervor m. fervor, ardor, zeal.

festín m. feast, banquet.

fétido, -a fetid, stinking, foul.

Fez pr. n. f. Fez.

fiado, -a trusting.

fiar trust; —— de trust in.

fiel adj. faithful, true.

fiereza f. fierceness, hardness.

fiero, -a fierce, cruel, savage, furious, terrible, rude.

fiesta f. festival, feast, celebration, rejoicing, merriment.

figura f. figure, face, form.

figurar fashion, sketch, represent; —se imagine, fancy.

fijar fix, fasten, determine.

fijo, -a fixed, fastened, determined.

fin m. end; al —— at last, finally, after all; en —— at last, finally, in short, after all; por —— at last; sin —— endless, endlessly.

fingido, -a feigned, false.

fingir feign, imagine.

firme adj. firm, unswerving, unshaken, resolute, stout, stanch.

flaco, -a frail, weak.

Flandes pr. n. f. Flanders.

flébil adj. mournful.

flojo, -a feeble, weak.

flor f. flower, blossom.

florecer blossom, bud, cover with flowers.

florido, -a blooming, flower-filled, flowery.

flotante adj. floating.

fondo m. depth, farthest end.

forcejear struggle.

forma f. form, shape, figure.

formar form, make, engender.

fórmula f. formula, form.

fortuna f. fortune, fate, good fortune.

forzoso, -a necessary.

fosfórico, -a phosphorescent.

fragante adj. fragrant.

frágil adj. fragile, frail, weak.

fragor m. crash, noise.

fragrancia f. fragrance.

Franco pr. n. m. Franco.

franja f. fringe, band, border.

frenético, -a frenzied, mad, furious, frantic.

frente f. brow, face, head, forehead, intellect; —— a opposite, in front of, before; a su —— straight ahead.

fresco, -a fresh.

frescura f. coolness, luxuriant verdure, freshness.

frío, -a cold, indifferent, unsympathetic, unruffled; sangre fría sang-froid, coolness, calmness.

frío m. cold.

frívolo, -a frivolous.

fruncir knit (the brow).

fuego m. fire, ardor, flame, passion; prender —— set fire.

fuente f. spring, fountain, source.

fuera adv. outside; —— de prep. out of.

fuero m. privilege, statute law.

fuerza f. force, strength, might.

fugaz adj. fleeting.

fugitivo, -a fugitive, fleeting, fleeing, flying.

fúlgido, -a bright, resplendent.

fulgor m. gleam.

fulgoroso, -a shining, flashing.

fulgurante adj. shining.

fúnebre adj. funereal, lugubrious, mournful.

funeral adj. funeral, funereal, lugubrious.

funesto, -a doleful, dismal, sinister, fatal.

furia f. rage.

furioso, -a furious, mad, raging, violent.

furor m. rage, fury.

futuro, -a future.

gala f. grace, gem, choicest part (of a thing); ——s finery.

galán m. gallant, dandy.

galanura f. elegance, showiness, gorgeousness.

galería f. gallery.

galvánico, -a galvanic.

gallardo, -a graceful, bold.

ganancia f. winning.

ganar win.

gasa f. gauze.

gastar waste, fling away, wear out.

gemido m. groan, moan, sigh.

gemir moan, howl, whistle.

generoso, -a noble, illustrious, excellent, generous.

gente f. people, race, nation.

gentil adj. elegant, handsome, graceful.

gesto m. face, expression, gesture.

girar revolve, hover, whirl.

giro m. turn, motion, roll, circling.

gloria f. glory, fame, pleasure, bliss, honor, heaven.

glorioso -a glorious.

goce m. joy.

golpe m. stroke, blow, knock, striking, clash, throw, cast.

golpear(se) strike, hit, beat.

gorjear warble, trill.

gótico, -a Gothic.

gozar rejoice, take delight, enjoy; —— de enjoy; —se rejoice.

gozo m. joy, pleasure, delight.

grabar engrave.

gracia f. grace, charm, gracefulness; ——s thanks.

gradería f. steps; —— de caracol torcida spiral staircase.

grajo m. jackdaw, crow.

grana f. scarlet.

grande adj. great, important.

grandeza f. greatness, grandeur.

grandioso, -a great, impressive.

grato, -a pleasing.

grave adj. heavy.

gritar cry, shout, cry out.

gritería f. outcry, shouting, screaming.

grito m. cry, howl.

grotesco, -a grotesque.

grupo m. group.

guarida f. den, lurking-place.

guerra f. war; mover —— wage war.

guerrero, -a warlike, of war.

guerrero m. warrior, soldier.

guía m. f. guide, leader.

guiar guide, direct.

guirnalda f. garland, wreath.

gustar please.

haber have; impers. be; —— de have to, be to, be going to, must, can; hay there is; no haya let there not be.

habitación f. dwelling, residence, room, suite.

habitar live, reside, lie.

hablador, -a talking, prattling.

hablador, -a m. f. talker, prattler.

hablar talk, speak, address.

hacer do, make, effect, bring about, cause, commit; —— aprecio de note; —— bien give alms, aid; —— caso de take notice of, heed; —— juego make the bets; hecho el juego bets closed; —— pedazos break to pieces, tear; —se become, turn to, get; —se el bigote curl one's mustache; impers. se hace tarde it is growing late.

hacia prep. toward.

hado m. fate.

halagar flatter, allure, soothe.

hallar find; -se be.

hambre f. hunger.

hambriento, -a hungry, eager.

harapo m. rag, tatter.

hartar satisfy, gratify.

harto, -a sated.

hasta adv. even; prep. to, up to, down to, until, as many as; —— que conj. until.

hastiar bore, weary, disgust.

hecho, -a made, done; a lo ——, pecho make the best of it.

hecho m. deed.

helado, -a icy, cold, frozen.

helar freeze, congeal.

hembra f. female, woman.

henchir fill.

hender cleave.

heredar inherit.

herencia f. inheritance, heritage.

herir strike, smite, wound, affect.

hermana f. sister.

hermano m. brother.

hermoso, -a beautiful, fair.

hermosura f. beauty.

héroe m. hero.

herradura f. horseshoe, hoof-print.

hervir boil, seethe, swarm.

hidalgo, -a noble.

hiel f. gall, bitterness.

hielo m. ice.

hijo m. son; ——s children.

hilera f. file.

hinchar swell.

histérico, -a hysterical.

historia f. history, tale, story.

hoguera f. bonfire.

hoja f. leaf, petal, wing of a door.

hola interj. hello.

hollar tread upon, trample upon, ride over, humble.

hombre m. man; buen —— my good fellow.

hombro m. shoulder.

hondo, -a deep, profound.

hondo m. bottom, depth.

honroso, -a honorable.

hora f. hour, time; a buena —— opportunely; en mal —— o en buena well and good; ——s muertas idle hours.

horizonte m. horizon.

horrendo, -a horrible, dreadful.

horrible adj. horrible.

hórrido, -a hideous, horrible.

horrísono, -a horrisonous.

horror m. horror, fright.

horrorizado, -a stricken with horror.

hospital m. hospital, poorhouse.

hoy adv. to-day, now, the present time; —— en día nowadays.

hoyo m. hole, grave, pit.

hueco, -a hollow, resounding, empty.

hueco m. hollow, hole, gap, concavity.

hueso m. bone.

huésped m. guest, stranger; casa de ——es lodging-house.

huída f. flight.

huir flee, escape, disappear.

humano, -a human.

humear emit fumes, reek, smoke.

húmedo, -a damp, wet.

humildemente adv. humbly.

humo m. smoke, fumes.

hundido, -a sunken, hollow.

hundir sink.

huracán m. hurricane, storm.

hurra interj. hurrah.

ideal adj. ideal, imaginary.

iglesia f. church.

igual adj. equal; me es —— it is all the same to me; por —— equally.

igualar equal, consider equal.

iluminar illumine, enlighten, illuminate, light.

ilusión f. illusion, fancy, self-deception, mockery.

ilusorio, -a illusory, delusive, deceptive.

ilustre adj. illustrious, noble, celebrated, distinguished.

imagen f. image, statue, likeness, picture, conception, fancy, appearance.

imaginación f. imagination, fancy, mind.

imaginar imagine, fancy, believe, conceive.

impaciente adj. impatient.

impávid, -a undaunted.

imperial adj. imperial.

impetuoso, -a violent, fierce.

impiedad f. impiety, impiousness.

impío, -a impious, profane, wicked, godless.

implacable adj. implacable, relentless.

implorar implore.

imponer impose.

importar impers. matter, concern.

importunar disturb, harass.

importuno, -a troublesome, ill-timed, vexatious, importunate, unreasonable.

imposible adj. impossible.

impotencia f. helplessness.

impulso m. impulse, force.

impuro, -a impure, foul.

inagotable adj. never-failing, inexhaustible.

incentivo m. incentive.

incierto, -a uncertain, unknown, doubtful, unsteady, wandering, restless.

inclinar incline, bend, bow, droop, nod.

indiferencia f. indifference.

indiferente adj. indifferent.

indomable adj. indomitable.

inefable adj. ineffable, unutterable.

infalible adj. infallible.

infante m. child.

infeliz adj. unhappy, wretched.

infernal adj. infernal.

infiel adj. faithless (one).

infierno m. hell, infernal region.

infinito, -a infinite, endless.

inflamarse blaze.

informe adj. ill-shapen, uncanny, inarticulate.

infortunio m. misfortune, misery, calamity.

infundir infuse, instill, inspire.

inglés, -a English.

Inglés m. Englishman.

ingrato, -a ungrateful (one), ingrate.

injuria f. insult.

inmensidad f. immensity, vastness, infinity, unbounded greatness.

inmenso, -a immense, infinite, vast.

inmortal adj. immortal.

inmóvil adj. motionless, fixed, set, unaffected.

inmundo, -a dirty, obscene, unclean.

inocente adj. innocent, young.

inquieto, -a restless, uneasy, anxious, disturbed, agitated.

inquietud f. uneasiness, anxiety, disquietude, restlessness.

insano, -a insane, mad.

insensible adj. indifferent, without feeling.

insigne adj. renowned, famed, distinguished.

insistir insist, persist.

insolencia f. insolence.

insolente adj. insolent.

inspirar inspire, impart.

instante m. instant, moment.

insultar insult.

insulto m. insult.

intención f. intention, purpose, mind.

intenso, -a intense, intent, keen.

intentar attempt, endeavor, try.

interponerse interpose, intervene.

interrumpir interrupt.

intrépido, -a courageous, dauntless.

inundar flood, deluge.

inútil adj. useless.

invencible adj. invincible.

invención f. invention.

invisible adj. invisible, unseen.

ir go, be, be at stake; —— + gerund go on, keep; —— a be about to, be going to; —se go away, go; allá voy I am coming; me va en ello mi fama my reputation is at stake in it; quién va who goes there; vamos come now, well; vamos andando let us be off; van los cincuenta I bet fifty.

ira f. anger, ire.

iracundo, -a wrathful.

ironía f. irony.

irónico, -a ironical.

irreligioso, -a irreligious.

irreverencia f. irreverence, disrespect.

irritar anger, excite, arouse, provoke, nettle, exasperate.

izquierdo, -a left.

jamás adv. never, ever.

jardín m. garden.

jaula f. cage.

jerezano, -a of Jerez.

Jesús pr. n. m. Jesus.

joven adj. young, youthful.

joya f. jewel.

Juan pr. n. m. John.

júbilo m. glee, joy.

juego m. game, sport, play, playing; hacer —— make the bets; hecho el —— bets closed.

jugador m. player, gambler.

jugar play, sport, frolic, gamble.

jugo m. juice.

juguete m. plaything, toy, sport.

juicio m. judgment, sense, reason, mind.

juntar join, unite, touch, knit; —se gather, assemble, join, meet, approach.

junto, -a joined, united, connected.

junto adv. near, close; —— a prep. near, close to.

juntura f. joint, seam.

jurar swear.

juventud f. youth.

juzgar judge, think.

la art. f. the; pron. pers. acc. her, it; pl. them; pron. pers. dat. to her, to it; —— que pron. dem. and rel. she who, the one who, who.

labio m. lip.

lado m. side, place.

lago m. lake.

lágrima f. tear.

lamentable adj. deplorable.

lamentar lament, bewail, bemoan.

lamento m. lament, lamentation, wail, wailing cry.

lámpara f. lamp, light.

lance m. incident, love-affair, affair of honor.

languidez f. languor, weakness, faintness.

lánguido, -a languid, gentle, apathetic, faint, weak, feeble.

lanza f. lance, spear.

lanzar throw, fling, cast, let loose, emit, utter; —se dart, rush.

lares m. pl. lares, home.

largo, -a long; pl. many.

lastimar hurt, wound, move to pity; —se grieve, be sorry, be moved to pity.

lastimero, -a sad, mournful.

latido m. throbbing.

lava f. lava.

lazo m. bond, tie, knot; toils, web, snare.

le pron. pers. dat. acc. him, her, it.

lector m. reader.

lecho m. bed, couch.

lejano, -a distant.

lejos adv. far, far away, afar; a lo —— in the distance; de —— from afar, at a great distance.

lengua f. tongue.

lenguaje m. language, speech, tongue.

lento, -a slow.

leña f. wood, firewood.

les pron. pers. dat. acc. them.

letal adj. deadly.

letra f. letter; ——s letters, literature, lore.

levantar raise, lift up, erect, set up; —se rise, get up, stand up.

leve adj. light, slight, delicate.

ley f. law, religion.

libertad f. liberty, freedom.

librar free, preserve, save.

libre adj. free, open, innocent, alone.

lid f. contest, conflict, fight.

ligar bind.

ligeramente adv. slightly, lightly.

ligero, -a slight.

límite m. limit, bound.

limosna f. alms, charity.

límpido, -a limpid, pure, clear.

limpieza f. limpidity, purity, clearness.

lino m. linen.

lira f. lyre.

lisonjero, -a flattering, pleasing, cajoling.

liviano, -a frivolous, lewd.

lívido, -a livid.

lo art. neut. the; pron. pers. acc. it, him; —— que pron. dem. and rel. what, that which; —— que es por as for, when it comes to.

lóbrego, -a lugubrious, mournful, gloomy, obscure, dismal, dark, sad.

loco, -a mad, wild, crazy.

locura f. madness, folly.

lodo m. mire.

lograr attain, gain.

loma f. hillock, ridge.

lona f. canvas.

lontananza f. distance.

los art. pl. m. the; pron. pers. acc. them; —— que pron. dem. and rel. those who, the ones who.

losa f. slab, stone.

lozano, -a luxuriant, sprightly.

lúbrico, -a slippery, lewd.

lucero m. bright star, morning star, star.

luciente adj. shining.

Lucifer pr. n. m. Lucifer.

luchar struggle.

luego adv. then, at once, presently, soon, next, subsequently.

lugar m. place, town.

lúgubre adj. sad, mournful, dismal.

lujo m. luxury, finery.

lumbre f. light.

luminoso, -a luminous, shining, bright.

luna f. moon.

luz f. light, illumination, flame, taper, lamp.

Luzbel pr. n. m. Lucifer, Satan.

llagar wound.

llama f. flame, light.

llamar call, summon, knock, name, call upon, invoke; —se be named; cómo os llamáis what is your name.

llanto m. weeping, tears.

llegar arrive, come; —— a come to, succeed in, happen to, reach; or simply takes the signification of the verb to which it is joined: llegó a ver he saw.

llenar fill, pervade.

lleno, -a full, filled.

llevar carry, bear, bring, wear, take, carry away; —— + p. p. have; —— al extremo terminate; —se algo take something away.

llorar weep, mourn, weep for, mourn for.

macedonio, -a Macedonian.

macizo, -a solid, massive.

madre f. mother.

maestro, -a masterly, principal, main; obra ——a masterpiece.

magia f. magic, charm.

mágico, -a magic, magical, wonderful.

mal adv. badly, ill, hardly, poorly.

mal m. evil, wrong, harm, injury, sorrow, misfortune.

Málaga m. Malaga wine.

maldecido, -a accursed, wicked.

maldecir curse.

maldiciente adj. cursing, profane.

maldición f. malediction, curse.

maleza f. underbrush, thicket.

malo, a bad, wicked, evil, obnoxious, poor; ¡mal caballero! scoundrel!

malvado, -a criminal, wicked, insolent.

manantial m. spring, source.

manar flow, trickle.

mancebo m. young man, youth.

mancilla f. spot, blemish.

mancha f. spot, stain.

manchar stain.

mandato m. command.

manía f. madness, whim.

mano f. hand.

mansamente adv. gently.

mansión f. mansion, abode.

manto m. mantle, cloak.

mañana adv. to-morrow.

mañana f. morning, morrow.

mar m. ("Pirata" l. 39), f. (l. 34), sea, deep; a ——es abundantly.

maravilla f. wonder, marvel, miracle.

marcar mark, stamp.

marco m. frame.

Marcos pr. n. m. Mark.

marcha f. march.

marchar walk, march.

marchitado, -a faded, withered.

marchitarse wither, fade, die.

mareo m. nausea, dizziness.

margen m. f. edge, brink, bank, border.

María pr. n. f. Mary.

marido m. husband, spouse.

mariposa f. butterfly.

mármol m. marble.

martirio m. martyrdom, torture, grief.

mas conj. but.

más adv. more, most, rather; —— de past; —— que especially as; el, la —— the most; no —— only, no longer.

masa f. mass.

matar kill, slay.

materia f. material, matter.

matiz m. tint, hue.

matrimonio m. marriage.

mayo m. May.

mayor adj. greater; el, la —— the greatest.

me pron. pers. dat. acc. me, myself.

mecer rock, sway; —se be rocked, rock.

medida f. measure; sin —— unmeasured.

medio, -a half, middle; media noche midnight.

medio m. middle, midst; en —— in the midst, nevertheless; en —— de in the midst of.

medroso, -a terrible, terrifying, timid.

mejilla f. cheek.

mejor adj. better; el ——- the best.

melancolía f. melancholy.

melancólico, -a melancholy.

melodía f. melody.

memoria f. memory, mind, remembrance.

mendigo m. beggar, mendicant.

menear stir, shake.

mengua f. shame, disgrace.

menos adv. less, least; ——- que less than.

mente f. mind, thought, intellect.

mentido, -a false.

mentir lie, deceive.

mentira f. lie, falsehood, falsity.

mercader m. trader, merchant.

merced f. mercy; a —— de at the mercy of.

merecer merit, deserve, be worth.

mesa f. table.

metal m. metal.

metálico m. cash, money.

mezclar mix, mingle, unite, jumble; —se be mingled, take part, meddle.

mezquino, -a miserable, wretched, petty.

mi adj. poss. my.

pron. pers. me, myself.

miedo m. fear; hacer —— de make afraid of.

miel f. honey.

mientras adv. meanwhile; conj. while; —— que while.

Miguel pr. n. m. Michael.

mil card. thousand.

millar m. thousand.

mina f. mine, source of supply.

mío, -a pron. poss. my, mine.

mirada f. glance, look, gaze.

mirar look at, contemplate, regard, see, behold, watch, notice; —se entre sí look at each other.

misa f. mass.

miserable adj. miserable, wretched.

miseria f. misery, wretchedness.

mísero, -a miserable, wretched.

mismo, -a same, very, self, own.

misterioso, -a mysterious.

místico, -a mystical.

modo m. way, manner; de tal —— in such a way.

mofa f. sneer, jeer.

mofar de scoff at, flout.

molestar trouble, disturb, grate upon.

momento m. moment, instant; al —— in a moment, immediately.

monarca m. monarch.

monótono, -a monotonous, slow, dull.

montaña f. mountain.

Montemar pr. n. Montemar.

montón m. heap.

monumento m. monument.

morada f. abode.

morador, -a inhabitant.

morar dwell, abide, inhabit, lodge in.

morder bite.

Moreto pr. n. Moreto.

moribundo, -a dying.

morir(se) die, expire, go out.

mortal adj. mortal, deadly, fatal.

mortal m. mortal, being, man.

mortífero, -a deadly, noxious.

mostrar show, point out, indicate.

motivo m. motive, reason, cause.

mover move, stir, sway, drive; —— guerra wage war; —— la planta walk; —— los ojos roll one's eyes; —— los pies walk; —se move, walk.

movimiento m. movement, motion, startled movement, agitation, thrill, stirring.

mucho adv. much.

mudo, -a dumb, silent, still, mute.

mueca f. grimace.

muerte f. death.

muerto, -a dead, lifeless, dying.

muerto, -a m. f. dead person, corpse.

muestra f. indication, token, proof.

mujer f. woman, wife.

mula f. mule.

mullido, -a soft.

mundano, -a worldly, of the world.

mundo m. world, earth, society.

murmullo m. murmuring, rippling.

murmurar murmur.

muro m. wall.

música f. music, melody.

mutuo, -a mutual.

muy adv. very, very much.

nacarado, -a pearly, nacreous.

nacer be born, spring up.

naciente adj. nascent, growing, budding, dawning.

nación f. nation.

nada pron. nothing, not anything.

nada adv. not at all, not.

nadie pron. no one, any one.

naipe m. card.

nariz f. nose, nostril.

náufrago, -a wrecked, coming from a wreck.

nave f. ship, vessel.

navegar sail.

navío m. ship.

nebuloso, -a nebulous, hazy.

necesitar need.

necio, -a foolish.

néctar m. nectar.

negar deny, refuse.

negro, -a black, dark.

nervio m. nerve.

nervioso, -a nervous.

ni conj. neither, nor, or; —— ... —— neither ... nor.

niebla f. mist, haze, fog.

nieve f. snow, extreme whiteness.

ninfa f. nymph.

ninguno, -a adj. pron. no, no one, none, not any.

niño m. child, boy.

no adv. not, no; que ——- no.

noble adj. noble, eminent, worthy, honorable.

nobleza f. nobility.

noche f. night; de —— by night, at night;

media —— midnight.

nombrar name, mention.

nombre m. name.

nos pron. pers. dat. acc. us.

nosotros, -as pron. pers. we, us.

novela f. novel.

nube f. cloud.

nublo m. storm cloud.

nudo m. knot, noose.

nuestro, -a adj. pron. our, ours, of ours.

nuevo, -a new, unfamiliar, newly arrived, fresh, additional.

nunca adv. never, ever.

nupcial adj. nuptial.

nutrir nourish.

o interj. oh.

o conj. or, either; —— ... —— either ... or.

obedecer obey.

objeto m. object, thing.

obligarse bind one's self, be obliged.

obra f. work; —— maestra masterpiece.

ocasión f. occasion, time, opportunity.

occidente m. west, occident.

oculto, -a concealed, hidden, secret.

odioso, -a odious, hateful.

ofender offend, make angry, insult.

ofrecer offer, present; —se offer, occur, present itself.

oh interj. oh.

oído m. ear, hearing.

oír hear, listen, listen to; —se be heard.

ojalá interj. would to God.

ojo m. eye, sight.

ola f. wave, billow.

olor m. odor.

oloroso, -a fragrant.

olvidar forget.

olvido m. oblivion, forgetfulness, neglect.

onda f. wave.

ondeante adj. waving, flowing.

ondear wave.

ondina f. undine, water-sprite.

ondular undulate, rise and fall.

onza f. doubloon (former gold coin, = about $16).

ópalo m. opal.

óptico, -a optical; —— vidrio telescope.

opulento, -a rich, wealthy.

ora conj. now; —— ... —— now ... again, at one time ... at another.

orador m. orator.

orgía f. orgy.

orgulloso, -a proud, haughty.

original adj. original, curious.

oro m. gold, gold coin, wealth, riches; ——s diamonds (as a suit of playing-cards).

os pron. pers. dat. acc. you, yourself.

osadía f. boldness, audacity, effrontery.

osado, -a daring, bold, defiant.

oscuridad f. darkness, obscurity, gloom.

oscuro, -a dark, gloomy, confused.

ostentar show, display.

otero m. hill.

otro, -a adj. pron. other, another.

padecer m. suffering, pain.

padre m. father; ——s fathers, parents, ancestors.

padrino m. sponsor.

paje m. page.

palabra f. word, promise.

palabrería f. wordiness.

palacio m. palace, mansion.

pálido, -a pallid, pale, faint.

palmada f. slap, applause, clapping.

palmo m. span (8 inches).

palpar feel, grope, know; —se feel, grope.

palpitante adj. quivering, throbbing.

palpitar beat, quiver, flutter.

pan m. bread.

par adj. equal; a —— alike; a —— que just as, while; a la —— at the same time, equally; al —— de like, as well as.

para prep. for, to, in order to; ser —— be enough to.

parabién m. congratulation; dar el —— congratulate.

paradero m. halting-place, end.

páramo m. paramo, desert, wilderness.

parar stop, halt, stake; —se stop, halt.

parar m. lansquenet (a game of cards).

parche m. drum.

pardiez interj. by God.

pardo, -a dark gray, brown, dark.

parecer appear, seem, resemble, look like; al —— seemingly, apparently.

pared f. wall.

párpado m. eyelid.

parte f. part; de —— de from, by command of; por todas ——s everywhere.

pasada f. passing; de —— in passing.

pasado m. past.

pasar pass, go by, end.

pasión f. passion.

paso m. step, gait, footstep, tread, passing; —— de andadura ambling gait; al ——, de ——, in passing.

pastor m. shepherd.

Pastrana pr. n. Pastrana.

patear stamp upon.

patio m. court, courtyard.

patria f. native country, fatherland, home.

patrio, -a paternal, native.

pausado, -a deliberate, leisurely.

pavesa f. embers.

pavimiento m. pavement, floor.

pavor m. fear, terror.

pavoroso, -a frightful, exciting fear, terrifying, terrible.

pavura f. fear, terror.

paz f. peace, quiet.

pecado m. sin.

pecador, -a sinful, wicked, wretched.

pecho m. breast, chest, bosom, heart, courage; a lo hecho, —— make the best of it.

pecho m. tribute; dar —— pay tribute.

pedazo m. piece; a ——s to pieces, in pieces; hacer ——s break to pieces, tear.

pedestal m. pedestal, foundation.

pedir ask, ask for, beg, demand; —— cuenta bring to account, demand account of.

pedrería f. precious stones.

pena f. punishment, penalty, agony, trouble, anxiety, sorrow, pain; ánima en —— soul in purgatory.

pendencia f. quarrel, dispute, row.

pendón m. banner, flag.

penetrar penetrate, pierce.

penoso, -a painful.

pensamiento m. thought, mind.

pensar think, consider, plan, mean, intend; —— en think of.

pensil m. beautiful garden.

peñasco m. large rock.

perder lose, squander, ruin, undo; —se be lost, go astray, disappear, vanish; dar por perdido consider lost.

perdido, -a lost, ruined, done for, beside one's self, vanished, defeated, wandering.

perdidoso, -a losing, loser.

perdón m. pardon, forgiveness.

perdonar pardon, forgive.

peregrino, -a strange, wonderful.

perezoso, -a sluggish.

pérfido, -a perfidious, treacherous.

perfumado, -a sweet-scented, perfumed.

perfume m. perfume, fragrance, sweet odor.

pero conj. but, however.

perpetuo, -a perpetual, continual.

perro m. dog.

perseguir pursue, importune, beset.

persona f. person; ——s dramatis personae.

pesar weigh, consider, be valuable, repent.

pesar m. sorrow, trouble, repentance; a su —— in spite of himself.

peso m. weight.

pie m. foot; alzarse de —— rise to one's feet; en —— standing; mover los ——s walk; ponerse de —— arise, stand up.

piedad f. pity, mercy.

piedra f. stone.

pintar paint, depict, describe; —se be painted, be depicted.

pintura f. picture, painting.

pirata m. pirate.

pisada f. footstep.

pisar tread upon.

placentero, -a pleasant, pleasing.

placer please.

placer m. pleasure, rejoicing.

plan m. plan.

planta f. sole of foot, foot, project, design; mover la —— walk.

plañir sob, whimper, lament.

plata f. silver.

playa f. shore, beach, strand; sin —— boundless.

plaza f. square.

plebe f. populace, common people.

plegaria f. prayer.

pliegue m. fold.

poblar inhabit.

pobre adj. poor.

pobreza f. poverty.

poco adv. little; —— a —— little by little, gradually;

por —— for a trifle.

poder be able, may, can; impers. be possible; puede que perhaps, maybe.

poder m. power.

poderoso, -a powerful, mighty, wealthy.

poeta m. poet.

Polonia f. Poland.

polvo m. dust.

pomo m. pommel, hilt.

pompa f. pomp, splendor.

poner put, place, instill, fix, set, make, turn, offer, give; —— pavor a uno make one afraid; —se a begin to; —se de pie arise, stand up.

poniente adj. setting.

ponzoñoso, -a poisonous.

popa f. poop, stern; en —— astern, aft; viento en —— before the wind, with a wind from astern.

por prep. for, on account of, by, to, through, over, across, for the sake of, on, at; conj. —— qué why.

porfía f. obstinacy, persistence.

porque conj. because, in order that.

portento m. prodigy, miracle, portent.

porvenir m. future.

pos adv. prep.: en —— behind, after.

positivamente adv. positively, certainly.

postrado, -a prostrate, kneeling.

postrero, -a last.

precipitado, -a precipitate, headlong, rash, abrupt.

precipitar(se) precipitate, hasten, rush headlong, hurry.

precursor, -a m. f. precursor, herald, harbinger.

preguntar ask, inquire, question.

premática f. pragmatic (a law).

prender catch, take, bind, fasten; —— fuego set fire.

presa f. capture, prize.

présago, -a presaging, ominous.

présago m. presage, omen.

presentar present, offer, show.

presente adj. present.

presente m. present.

prestar lend, give, add, ascribe.

presumir presume, imagine, dare.

presuroso, -a prompt, quick, light.

prevenirse prepare.

previsión f. foresight, foreboding, presentiment.

primavera f. spring.

primero, -a first, former.

príncipe m. prince.

prisa f. haste.

proceloso, -a tempestuous.

procurar procure, obtain, secure.

prodigio m. prodigy, marvel.

prodigioso, -a extraordinary, exquisite.

profundo, -a deep, low, profound, great.

profundo m. abyss, hell.

prolongar(se) prolong, continue, extend.

prometer promise.

pronto, -a ready.

pronto adv. quickly, soon; de —— suddenly.

pronunciar pronounce, utter, say.

propio, -a own.

prorrumpir break out, burst forth.

protección f. protection.

provocar provoke, rouse, incite.

público, -a public, general, common.

pudor m. modesty.

pueblo m. people, town, nation.

puerta f. door, gateway, entrance.

puerto m. harbor, port.

pues adv. then, well; conj. for, since.

puesta f. setting.

pugnar struggle.

punto m. spot, speck, point, moment; al —— immediately, at once.

punzante adj. sharp, piercing, pricking, stinging, acrid.

puñal m. dagger.

pureza f. purity, chastity, innocence.

purísimo, -a very pure, most pure.

puro, -a pure, chaste, holy, clear, unsullied, unblemished, mere, sheer, absolute.

que conj. than, for, as, since, that, so that, let; de —— that.

que pron. rel. which, that, who, whom; en —— when.

qué interj. what, how.

qué interrog. what, why; por —— why.

quebrantar break, transgress, shatter, split, weaken.

quebranto m. affliction, grief, sorrow.

quedar(se) stay, remain, be left.

queja f. complaint, lamentation, plaintive cry, moan.

quejarse complain, lament.

quejido m. moan, complaint.

quemado, -a burning.

quemar burn.

querer love, like, desire, want, seek, wish, accept, cover, accept a challenge or bet, be on the point of.

querido, -a dear, beloved.

quien pron. rel. who, which, whom, one who.

quién pron. interrog. who.

Quijote pr. n. m. Quixote.

quimera f. chimera, fancy, quarrel, row.

quimérico, -a chimerical, fantastic.

quince card. fifteen.

quinto, -a fifth.

quitar(se) take away, remove, take off.

quizá adv. perhaps.

rabia f. rage, fury.

ración f. ration, allowance of food.

radiante adj. radiant.

ráfaga f. gust, blast, burst.

rama f. branch, bough.

ramaje m. branches.

ramo m. branch.

rápido, -a rapid, quick, swift, nimble, fleeting.

raro, -a strange, unusual.

rasgar tear, rend.

raudal m. torrent, stream.

raudo, -a rapid, swift, precipitate..

raya f. stripe, streak.

rayar border upon.

rayo m. ray, thunderbolt, beam, light.

razón f. reason, reasoning.

realidad f. reality.

realizar realize, make real, bring about.

rebelde adj. rebellious.

rebramar bellow.

recatado, -a cautious, careful, prudent.

recato m. modesty, prudence, coyness.

recelo m. misgiving, apprehension, fear.

receloso, -a distrustful, terrifying, fearsome.

recibir receive, take, accept.

recio, -a strong, loud, severe, rigorous.

recobrar recover.

recoger gather, collect, take in, receive, shelter.

recogido, -a retired, absorbed, secluded.

reconcentrado, -a concentrated, intense.

reconocer recognize, know.

recordar remember, recall.

recorrer pass through, examine.

recrear delight, gladden.

recuerdo m. recollection, memory.

rechazar repel, reject.

rechinamiento m. gnashing.

rechinar creak, gnash.

rededor m. environs; al —— de around.

redoblar redouble.

redoble m. roll.

redor cf. rededor; en —— round about.

reflejar reflect.

reflejo m. light, gleam, glimmer.

refregar rub.

refulgente adj. resplendent, brilliant.

regalar make merry, cheer, entertain, delight; —se feast, make merry, fare sumptuously.

regar lave, water.

regio, -a royal, regal, magnificent.

región f. region, realm.

registrar examine, scan.

regocijar gladden, brighten.

reina f. queen.

reinar reign.

reír laugh; —se laugh; —-se de laugh at.

relámpago m. lightning flash.

relinchar whinny, neigh.

reloj m. clock, timepiece.

remiso, -a slow.

remolino m. whirl, whirling, vortex, eddy, whirlwind.

remontarse rise, soar, tower.

remordimiento m. remorse.

remover remove, move, take away.

rencor m. grudge, hatred.

rendido, -a worn out, overcome.

rendir surrender, give up, overcome, yield.

renegar de deny, abhor, denounce, curse, protest against.

renglón m. line.

reñidor, -a quarrelsome.

reñir quarrel, fight.

reparar defend, recover.

reparo m. advice, warning, remark, objection.

repente m. sudden movement; de —— suddenly.

repentino, -a sudden.

repetir repeat.

reponer reply.

reposar repose, rest.

reposo m. rest, sleep.

réprobo, -a reprobate, wicked one.

repugnante adj. repulsive, loathsome.

requerir examine, lay hold of.

resbalar slip away, glide, pass over, touch.

resistir resist, endure, withstand.

resolución f. resolution, determination.

resolver resolve, determine.

resonar resound, ring out, echo.

respirar breathe, exhale, inhale.

resplandor m. light, radiance, brightness, glow.

responder respond, reply, answer.

respuesta f. reply, answer.

resucitar return to life.

resuelto, -a resolved, determined.

retumbar tremble.

retorcer twist; —se writhe, be wrung.

retrato m. portrait, picture.

retumbar resound, reëcho.

reunir unite, gather.

reventar burst forth.

revés m. reverse; al —— contrariwise.

revestir clothe, robe.

revuelto, -a agitated, restless, disordered, topsy-turvy, winding, wrapped, clad.

rey m. king, monarch.

rezar pray, recite.

rezo m. prayer, devotions.

rico, -a rich, abundant, plentiful, fine.

ridículo, -a ridiculous, strange, absurd.

rielar shimmer, glisten.

rienda f. rein; a —— suelta at full gallop.

riesgo m. danger.

rifar raffle, bid.

rigidez f. rigidity.

rígido, -a rigid, severe, rigorous.

río m. river, stream.

riqueza f. richness, riches, wealth.

risa f. laughter.

rival m. rival.

rizar ripple.

robar rob; —— a steal from.

roble m. oak tree.

roca f. rock, cliff.

rodar roll, be tossed about, abound.

rodear surround.

rodilla f. knee; de ——-s kneeling.

roedor, -a gnawing.

roer gnaw, consume, harass.

rogar pray.

rojo, -a red, crimson, ruby.

romper break, break down, destroy, shatter, dash.

ronco, -a hoarse, raucous, harsh.

ronda f. rounds, circular dance, dance.

ropa f. garment, raiment, clothing.

ropaje m. apparel, gown, robe.

rosa f. rose.

rosado, -a rosy, roseate.

rostro m. face, countenance.

roto, -a broken, destroyed, shattered.

rudo, -a rude, rough, hard.

rueda f. wheel, circle, turn.

ruego m. request, entreaty.

rugido m. roaring.

rugir roar, bellow.

ruido m. noise, din, sound.

ruinoso, -a ruinous, crumbling.

ruiseñor m. nightingale.

rumbo m. course.

rumor m. noise, sound.

sábado m. Saturday, Sabbath.

saber know, learn, find out.

sabroso, -a tasty, delicious, palatable.

sacro, -a holy, sacred.

sacudido, -a harsh, jerky.

sacudir shake, shake off, strike.

sagrado, -a sacred, holy.

Salamanca pr. n. f. Salamanca.

salir come out, go out, get out, emerge, issue, turn out, appear, show up; —— de leave, get out.

saltar(se) jump, spring, flash.

saludar salute, greet.

san (santo) saint.

sandio, -a foolish, stupid, silly.

sangre f. blood, gore; —— fría sangfroid, coolness, calmness.

sangriento, -a bloody, gory.

santidad f. holiness, godliness.

santo, -a holy, saint, blessed.

sarcasmo m. sarcasm.

sargento m. sergeant.

sastre m. tailor.

Satanás m. Satan.

satánico, -a Satanic.

sátira f. satire.

satisfacción f. satisfaction.

sauce m. willow.

Scévola pr. n. m. Scaevola.

se pron. refl. 3d pers. dat. acc. m. f. sing. pl. him, himself, herself, itself, themselves; one another, each other; dat. of 3d pers. pron. to you.

secar parch, consume, dry up, wither.

seco, -a dry, dried up, barren, withered, lean, bony.

secreto, -a secret, hidden.

sed f. thirst.

seductor, -a seducing.

seductor m. seducer.

segar mow, reap.

seguida f. continuation; en —— forthwith, immediately.

seguir follow, succeed, pursue, go on, continue.

según prep. according to.

segundo, -a second.

seguro, -a secure, safe, confident, certain, unfailing, stanch; mal —— unsafe, insecure.

seis card. six.

sellar seal, cover.

sello m. seal, stamp, mark.

semblante m. countenance, face.

semejante adj. similar, like, resembling.

semejar resemble, be like.

sempiterno, -a eternal.

Sena pr. n. f. Siena.

seno m. bosom, breast, depths.

sensación f. sensation, feeling.

sentar suit, place, plant, become, set; —se sit down.

sentenciar condemn.

sentido m. sense; sin —— senseless, unconscious.

sentimiento m. sentiment, feeling, emotion, regret, grief.

sentir(se) feel, regret, be sorry, hear, perceive, foresee.

seña f. sign.

señalar point out, mark out, make known, name.

señor m. lord, señor, gentleman, sir, Mr..

señora f. lady, madam.

separar separate, part.

sepulcral adj. sepulchral.

sepulcro m. grave, tomb.

sepultar bury, entomb.

sepultura f. grave, tomb.

ser be; —— para be enough to; es de temer it is to be feared; es de ver you should see; no sea que lest, for fear that; sea ... sea whether ... or.

ser m. being.

serafín m. seraph, angel.

sereno, -a serene, quiet, calm, placid, fair, peaceful.

sermón m. sermon, talk, advice.

servir serve; —— de serve as; —se de make use of.

sesenta card. sixty.

severo, -a severe, stern, serious, rigorous, strict.

si conj. if, when, whether; —— no otherwise, unless; —— ... —— whether ... or; y —— no unless, otherwise.

pron. refl. sing. pl. m. f. himself, herself, etc..

adv. yes, ay, indeed, certainly; que —— yes.

m. assent, consent.

siempre adv. always, ever.

sien f. temple.

sierpe f. serpent.

silbar whistle.

silbo m. whistling.

silencio m. silence, quiet, repose.

silencioso, -a silent.

silfa f. sylph.

sílfide f. sylph.

silla f. saddle.

sin prep. without; —— que conj. without.

siniestro, -a left.

sino adv. conj. but, only, except.

sino (signo) m. fate, mark.

siquier, siquiera, conj. whether, although, at least; no —— not even; —— ... —— whether ... or.

sitio m. place, spot, site.

soberano, -a sovereign, supreme.

sobra f. surplus; ——s leavings.

sobre prep. over, above, on, upon; estar —— sí be self-possessed.

sociedad f. society.

Sócrates pr. n. m. Socrates.

sol m. sun.

soldado m. soldier.

soledad f. solitude, loneliness; de —— deserted.

solemne adj. solemn, impressive, grave.

soler be accustomed, be wont.

solitario, -a solitary, lonely, isolated.

solo, -a alone, single, solitary, only; a solas alone, privately.

sólo adv. only; tan —— only.

soltar let go, loosen, utter; —— una carcajada burst out laughing.

sollozante adj. sobbing.

sombra f. shadow, shade, darkness, trace, vestige, wraith, spirit.

sombrero m. hat.

sombrío, -a somber, dark, overcast, cloudy, gloomy, melancholy, sullen.

són m. sound, noise, manner.

sonar sound, resound.

soneto m. sonnet.

sonido m. sound, peal.

sonoro, -a sonorous, resounding, loud, harmonious.

sonreír smile.

sonrisa f. smile.

soñar dream, imagine, dream of.

soplo m. gust, breath.

sórdido, -a dirty, nasty.

sordo, -a dull, stifled, muffled, quiet.

sorpresa f. surprise.

sosegado, -a calm, calmed, peaceful.

sosiego m. calmness, peace, quiet.

sota f. jack, knave.

Stambul pr. n. Stamboul.

su adj. poss. his, her, its, their, your.

suave adj. soft, mellow, delicate, gentle.

suavísimo, -a very soft, very gentle, very sweet.

subir raise, mount, ascend, climb; —se mount, rise.

súbito, -a sudden.

súbito adv. suddenly; de —— suddenly.

sublime adj. sublime, majestic, heroic.

suceder a succeed, follow.

sudor m. sweat.

suelo m. ground, earth, floor.

suelto, -a loose, flowing, swift; a rienda suelta at full gallop.

sueño m. sleep, slumber, dream, vision, fancy.

suerte f. luck, fortune, fate, lot; a otra —— de esos dados another cast of those dice.

sufrir suffer, permit, tolerate.

sujetar subdue, overcome.

sujeto, -a held fast, conquered.

suntuoso, -a sumptuous, luxurious.

supremo, -a supreme.

suspender suspend, hang.

suspirar sigh; —— de long for.

suspiro m. sigh.

susurrar whisper, murmur.

susurro m. whispering, murmuring.

suyo, -a adj. poss. his; el —— pron. poss. his.

tabla f. board, plank.

tácito, -a silent, quiet, stealthy.

tacto m. touch.

tachonado, -a betrimmed.

tajante adj. keen-cutting (sc. sword).

tal adj. pron. such, so, thus; —— vez perhaps, occasionally, now and then.

tálamo m. bridal couch.

talante m. appearance, disposition.

talle m. figure, appearance.

taller m. factory, workshop.

tallo m. stalk, stem.

también adv. too, moreover, likewise.

tan adv. so, such; —— ... como as ... as; —— sólo only.

tanto, -a adj. so much, so great; pl. so many.

tanto adv. so much, so, such; cuanto más ... —— más the more ... the more; en —— while, meanwhile; entre —— meanwhile; —— como as long as; —— más the more.

tapar cover, veil, muffle.

tapiz m. tapestry.

tararear hum.

tardar(se) delay, take long, be long in coming, tarry.

tarde adv. late, too late; se hace —— it is growing late.

tarde f. afternoon, evening.

tardo, -a slow, tardy, sluggish.

tarifa f. tariff, price.

tartáreo, -a Tartarean, infernal.

te pron. pers. thee, thyself.

tea f. torch.

techo m. roof, ceiling.

tejer weave, contrive.

temblar tremble at, fear, quiver, twitch, tremble.

temblor m. trembling, tremor, shiver.

tembloroso, -a trembling.

temer fear.

temerario, -a rash, impetuous, reckless, daring.

temeridad f. rashness.

temeroso, -a timid, fearful.

temor m. fear.

témpano m. sheet (of ice etc.).

tempestad f. tempest, storm.

templado, -a softened.

templo m. temple, church.

temprano, -a early, premature.

tender stretch out, extend, spread.

tenebroso, -a shadowy, gloomy.

tener have, keep, take, grasp; —— de + inf. be going to, must.

Tenorio pr. n. m. Tenorio.

tentar tempt.

teñir tinge, color.

tercero, -a third.

terco, -a obstinate.

Teresa pr. n. f. Theresa.

terminar end, consummate.

término m. term, end.

terneza f. softness.

ternura f. tenderness, affection.

terror m. terror.

terso, -a smooth, glossy, unwrinkled.

tertulia f. assembly, club.

tesoro m. treasure, wealth, riches.

ti pron. pers. thee.

Tibre pr. n. m. Tiber.

tiempo m. time, period, season; a un —— at once, at the same time; a un —— mismo at the very same time; de —— en —— from time to time; un —— once, formerly.

tienta f. probe; a ——s gropingly, feeling his way.

tierno, -a tender, soft, affectionate, young.

tierra f. land, country, earth, ground.

tigre m. tiger.

tímido, -a timid, shy.

tiniebla f. darkness, shadow.

tinta f. tint, hue, color.

tiple m. treble.

tirano m. tyrant.

tirar throw, throw away, cast, draw, pull, win; —— de pull, draw.

tocar touch, fall to one's share, hit; —— a muerto toll a funeral bell; dale con —— a muerto plague take this funeral tolling.

todavía adv. nevertheless, still, yet.

todo, -a all, every.

todo pron. everything, all; ——s everybody, all.

todo adv. entirely.

Toledo f. Toledo.

tomar take, take up.

tono m. tone, manner.

torbellino m. whirlwind.

torcer twist, wind, bend, turn, divert.

torcido, -a winding, twisting.

tormenta f. storm, tempest, hurricane, misfortune.

tormento m. torment, torture, anguish.

Tormes m. Tormes.

tornar return; —— a + inf. do again, repeat (an act).

torno m. turn; en —— round about; en —— de around, about.

torpe adj. slow, dull, awkward.

torre f. tower, spire.

torrente m. torrent, avalanche.

torreón m. strong tower.

tortura f. torture.

torvo, -a stern, severe, grim.

trabajar work, toil.

trabajo m. work, task, toil, labor.

traer bring, bear.

tragar swallow.

traje m. garb, apparel.

tranco m. stride.

tranquilo, -a tranquil, calm, peaceful, quiet.

transpirar transpire, appear.

trapo m. rag, sails; a todo —— all sails set.

tras prep. behind, after; —— de behind.

traslado m. likeness, imitation.

trasmontar sink beyond, set.

trasparente adj. transparent, clear.

traspasar pierce.

traspié m. slip, stumble; dar ——s stumble, reel.

trastornar disorder, confuse, upset.

trastorno m. disorder, confusion, disturbance.

trasunto m. likeness, copy.

trato m. agreement, bargain, treatment.

trecho m. distance.

tregua f. truce, respite.

tremendo, -a awful, terrible.

trémulo, -a trembling, flickering.

trescientos, -as three hundred.

triplicar triple.

triste adj. sad, sorrowful, dismal, gloomy, cheerless, wretched, sorry.

tristura f. sadness, sorrow.

triunfante adj. triumphant.

triunfo m. triumph, victory, success.

trocar change; —se be changed, change.

tromba f. waterspout.

tronar thunder.

tronchar break off a trunk.

trono m. throne.

trovador m. troubadour.

trueno m. thunder.

truhán, -a scoundrel.

tu adj. poss. thy.

pron. pers. thou.

tuétano m. marrow.

tumba f. tomb, grave.

tumbo m. fall, tumble, somersault.

túnica f. tunic, robe.

turbar disturb, daunt, shake, upset.

turbio, -a troubled, confused, dim, heavy.

turbión m. squall, heavy shower, hurricane.

turbulento, -a turbulent, tumultuous, disorderly.

Turco, -a m. f. Turk.

u conj. (before o or ho) or.

ufano, -a proud, content.

último, -a last, final.

ultraje m. outrage, insult.

umbrío, -a dark, shady.

un, una art. a, an.

únicamente adv. only.

único, -a only, sole, singular.

unir unite, join, bind.

universo m. universe, world.

uno, -a adj. pron. one; ——s some; de ——a en —-a one by one.

urna f. urn.

vadear ford.

vagar wander, roam, flit, drift, hover.

vago, -a wandering, wavering, vague, indistinct, hazy.

vagoroso, -a wandering, errant.

vaguedad f. vagueness; con —— vaguely, uncertainly.

valentía f. valor, courage.

valer be worth, help, avail; más vale it is better.

valeroso, -a valiant, brave.

valiente adj. valiant, brave, arrogant, blustering.

valor m. valor, courage, strength, force, might, amount, value.

valle m. vale.

vano, -a vain, idle, useless, presumptuous; en —— in vain, useless.

vapor m. vapor, mist, fumes.

vaporoso, -a ethereal, airy, shadowy, misty.

varón m. man.

varonil adj. manly, masculine.

vaso m. glass, vessel, vase.

vate m. bard.

veinte card. twenty.

vela f. sail, ship; a toda —— full sail.

velar veil.

velero, -a swift-sailing (ship).

veleta f. weathercock, vane.

velo m. veil.

veloz adj. swift.

vena f. vein.

vencedor, -a conquering, victorious.

vencedor, -a m. f. conqueror, victor.

vencer conquer, vanquish, overcome, subdue.

vencido, -a conquered, submissive, subdued.

venda f. bandage.

vendaval m. strong wind from the sea.

vender sell, set up for sale.

veneno m. poison, venom.

vengador, -a avenging.

venganza f. vengeance, revenge.

vengar avenge; —be revenged.

vengativo, -a avenging.

venir come, advance, approach, go; —— a succeed in; vengan los dados let's have the dice.

ventura f. happiness, fortune; sin —— wretched, hapless; sin —— de mí unfortunate me, woe is me.

venturoso, -a fortunate, happy.

ver see, behold, realize; —se be seen, can be seen, find one's self.

verdad f. truth.

verdadero, -a true, real, genuine.

vergüenza f. shame.

verter shed, cast.

vertiginoso, -a giddy, vertiginous.

vértigo m. vertigo, dizziness, confusion, dizzy course.

vestido m. dress, raiment, robe.

vestir dress, clothe, garb, enwrap.

vez f. time, turn; a veces at times; cada —— más more and more; en —— de instead of; otra —— again, once more; tal —— perhaps, occasionally, now and then.

viaje m. journey, passage, way, road.

viajero m. traveler.

vibrar vibrate, dart, cast, throw, flicker.

vicio m. vice.

víctima f. victim.

vida f. life.

vidrio m glass, window-pane; óptico —— telescope.

viejo, -a adj. old.

viejo, -a m. f. old man, old woman.

viento m. wind, breeze; —— en popa before the wind, with a wind from astern.

vigor m. vigor, strength, force.

vil adj. vile, base, despicable, mean, paltry.

villano m. low-born one, rustic, villain.

vino m. wine.

violento, -a violent, impetuous, furious.

virar tack, put about.

virgen adj. virgin, chaste.

virgen f. virgin.

virginal adj. virginal.

virtud f. power, virtue.

visión f. vision, sight, apparition, phantom.

vislumbrar descry, glimpse.

vista f. sight, glance, eye, appearance, look.

vívido, -a vivid, bright.

vivienda f. abode.

viviente adj. living.

viviente m. living being.

vivir live; vive Dios as God lives.

vivir m. life, existence.

vivo, -a living, alive, bright, quick.

volar fly, take flight, hasten, vanish, sail.

volcán m. volcano.

voluntad f. will, determination, desire.

volver return, come back, turn, direct, drive, restore; —— a + inf. do again; repeat (an act); —se return, turn, become.

vos pron. pers. you; yourself.

vosotros, -as pron. pers. you, ye.

votar vow; voto a Cristo by Christ.

voto m. vow, curse.

voz f. voice, word, shout, rumor, opinion.

vuelo m. flight, soaring.

vuelta f. turn; dar mil ——s turn a thousand times, whirl a thousand times, revolve a thousand times.

vuestro -a your.

y conj. and; —— ... —— both ... and.

ya adv. now, already, indeed, then, finally; no ... —— no longer; —— ... —— now ... now, at one time ... at another.

yacer lie.

yerba f. grass, weed.

yerboso, -a grassy, weed-grown.

yermo, -a waste, desert.

yermo m. wilderness, desert.

yerro m. mistake.

yerto, -a rigid, motionless, petrified.

yo pron. pers. I.

yugo m. yoke.

zafir m. sapphire.

zozobra f. worry, anguish, anxiety.

zumbar resound

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