I Have Walked Along Many Roads
… I have walked along many roads,
and opened paths through brush,
I have sailed over a hundred seas
and tied up on a hundred shores.
… Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve seen
excursions of sadness,
angry and melancholy
drunkards with black shadows,
… and academics in offstage clothes
who watch, say nothing, and think
they know, because they do not drink wine
in ordinary bars.
… Evil men who walk around
polluting the earth . . .
… And everywhere I’ve been I’ve seen
men who dance and play,
when they can, and work
the few inches of ground they have.
… If they turn up somewhere,
they never ask where they are.
When they take trips, they ride
on the back of old mules.
… They don’t know how to hurry,
not even on holidays.
They drink wine, if there is some,
if not, cool water.
… These men are the good ones,
who love, work, walk and dream.
And on a day no different than the rest
they lie down beneath the earth.
by Antonio Machado
from Times Alone
Wesleyan University Press, 1983
translated by Robert Bly