Rui Cóias

in the morning iridescence of the elms (...)

Na matinal iridiscência dos ulmeiros (...)

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

                                                                                                      James Joyce, The Dead

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

                                                                                                      James Joyce, The Dead

in the morning iridescence of the elms, between tomorrow’s trill and memory’s harness
between the forests’ nakedness and november’s furrow
grass and earth exhale the lifeless pearl, and the bells also, as long ago in Connemara
they leave a monstrance on the yew tree’s countenance – roots sunken
into the air turned into darkness, climbing over nature colder than the bitter wind
green tinged along the edges, like death in the shadow of its shadow
from year to year, over the faces, underneath the footsteps
from year to year, solemnly frail, as the ultimate vision of all beginnings, all secrets.
And winter comes with its uncertain undulations – winter inside its fences
leaving  petty broodings in the distance, compacting its lengthy growth in the blue snow
weighing between one hand and the other pouring out its submerged existence
and the year goes on another beat around the heath
its hair unveiling a colour like a white scarf on the white rose trellises
of the farms’ pavilions, dissolving in the ivy clamour
only to leave behind, hirsute, scarce, walking on the brown crater
the narrow, shy passage of those who live and those who die.
Na matinal iridiscência dos ulmeiros, entre o trinado do futuro e a rédea da memória
entre a florestação da secura e o leito de novembro
as ervas e a terra suspiram a pérola inanimada, e também os sinos, como outrora em connemara
deixam custódias na feição dos teixos – raízes para o fundo 
no ar mais transformado em ar escuro, galgando uma natureza mais fria do que o vento
irisada de verdes pelas orlas, como a morte na sombra da sua sombra
de ano para ano, nos rostos, debaixo dos passos
de ano para ano, solenemente débil, como a visão definitiva de todos começos, toda a confidência. 
Então vem o inverno, de ondulações incertas – o inverno entre as suas cercas
abandonando pequenos cismas na distância, entre a neve azul comprimindo o seu longo crescimento
na balança entre uma e outra mão despejando a sua existência imersa
e a ronda do ano dá uma outra volta na charneca
abre-se na cor do cabelo que assim parece um lenço branco no xadrez das rosas brancas  
sob os pavilhões das herdades, abre-se no clamor da hera
para deixar hirsuta, escassa, a caminhar na cratera do castanho
a fina, tímida passagem, dos que vivem e que morrem.
© Translated by Ana Hudson, 2012
unpublished, 2012
inédito, 2012
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