Antonio Machado

Evening Rainbow

Evening. The train bound for Madrid

crosses the Guadarrama Range.

In the sky, a rainbow

fashioned by the play of moon on water.

Oh, quiet April moon, softly

nudging the white clouds.

On her lap the mother

holds her dozing child.

Though the child sleeps

still he sees the passing countryside,

green with sun-touched trees

and golden butterflies.

The mother, her somber expression

lost between yesterday and tomorrow,

sees only a hearth covered with ash

and a tiny oven, home to spiders.

I recall fields of snow

and the pines of other mountains.

And you, Lord, because of whom

we all see, and who

sees our souls,

tell us if, one day

we shall see your face.

— translated from the Spanish by Thomas Feeny