POETRY: The Ascension, by Fray Luis de León

The Ascension Fray Luis de León

How can you leave your flock,
O holy shepherd,
in this valley deep and dark,
while you break the pure
air, departing to regions immortal and secure?

Those once blessed,
now sad, afflicted,
those nourished at your breast
and now by you dispossessed,
where will they turn their faces?

Can their eyes,
having seen the beauty of your face,
see anything now that does not fret them?
And to ears that heard your sweetness,
is not all else clamor and dullness?

And that swollen sea,
who now shall calm it?
Who tame the burning wind?
With you in eclipse,
what star shall guide the ship to port?

O envious cloud,
do you grudge even our brief delight?
Where do you fly in such haste?
Your departure, so splendid and bright!
But how poor and blind you leave us!

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