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Song to the Apostle

What winds propel your oars?

Where are you going with your arms full of stars

and your eyes blazing like the sun?

Where are your eternal roots

of dreams, of gaze, and love born?


I saw you set a fire with high, jagged flames

in the inner forests of men

where avarice , pride and impiety graze.


I saw you touch the depths of man

where the regions of mists begin

and man loses the paths to God.

How you flooded their eyes of eternal night

with luminous radiance!


Raise your voice of bronze, prophet,

like a medieval tower,

against the mute loneliness of men,

against the dog pack of megalomaniacs

who erect a statue and a god to themselves at every street corner.


Be aware that profane voices from the east and from the moon

will spring forth on your path

wanting to devour your eternally raised voice of bronze.

Light the burned-out star that men carry

in the middle of their forehead.

Infinite paths over silent spaces

have surged before your eyes;

and there are wells of wreckage, mourning and death

that await your anxious gaze every afternoon.

Break your voice like a harp, against the blind lights

that drown man’s angel

and sadden his innocence, his eyes and his forehead.


Quicken your heartbeat,

because airs of impatience and agonizing urgencies are afloat.


When your body finally rolls

down the steep slopes of death,

a giant rose bush full of dew and sunlight

will be afire.


By Father Jesús of Azpeitia (Fr. Ignacio Larrañaga), in Vértice Magazine. Pamplona,1952.