To a Madonna
Votive in the Spanish Style
Madonna, mistress, out of my distress
I'd like to raise an altar in the depths,
And in the blackest corner of my heart,
From earthly joys and mockeries apart,
Hollow a niche, enamelled gold and blue,
Astonished Statue, sanctified for you.
With polished Verses, metal deftly twined,
Learnedly spangled with my crystal rhymes,
I'll weave a Crown for your celebrity;
And, mortal Mary, in my Jealousy
I'll cut your Cloak in the barbaric mode,
Lined with Distrust, a heavy, stiff abode
Emprisoning those charms I hold so dear;
Brocaded not of Pearls, but of my Tears!
My trembling Lust will do me for your Gown,
Surging Desire that rises or sinks down,
Poises on peaks, or in your valleys rests,
Clothing with kisses all your rosy flesh.
From my Respect I'll make some lovely Shoes
Of satin, for your holy feet to use,
Which, holding them within a soft embrace,
Will take the faithful imprint of their shapes.
If I, with all the craft at my command,
Can not cut out a Moon where you may stand,
Under your heels I'll place that gnawing Snake,
That monster puffed with venom and with hate
That eats my entrails - bruise him with your tread
Victorious Queen, redemption's fountainhead.
My thoughts, set out like Tapers, will be seen
Before your flowery altar, Virgin Queen,
Spangling the deep blue ceiling with their rays,
Always to look at you with fiery gaze;
And since I worship you in every sense
All become Benjamin, or Frankincense,
And, white and snowy peak, around your slopes
My stormy Soul will rise in fragrant Smoke.
At last, so you're my Mary perfectly,
And mixing love with pagan cruelty,
Full of a dark, remorseful joy, I'll take
The seven deadly sins, and of them make
Seven bright Daggers; with a juggler's lore
Target your love within its deepest core,
And plant them all within your panting Heart,
Within your sobbing Heart, your streaming Heart!
Přeložil James McGowan