The Labyrinth (Jorge Luis Borges)

The Labyrinth

Zeus could never untangle the nets
of stone that surround me. I have forgotten
the men I once was; I follow the hateful
path of monotonous walls
which is my destiny. Straight galleries
which curve in secret circles
as the years wear on. Parapets
cracked by the usury of so many days.
In the pale dust I have deciphered
tracks that I fear. The air has brought to me
in the concave afternoons a braying
or the echo of a braying, desolate voice.
I know that in the shadow lurks the Other, whose lot
is to fatigue the long solitudes
that weave and unweave this Hades
and to unnerve my blood and devour my death.
We two look for each another. I wish that this
were the last day of the waiting.

—Jorge Luis Borges (translated by David Bowles, October 2003)

El laberinto

Zeus no podrá desatar las redes
de piedra que me cercan. He olvidado
los hombres que antes fui; sigo el odiado
camino de monótonas paredes
que es mi destino. Rectas galerías
que se curvan en círculos secretos
al cabo de los años. Parapetos
que ha agrietado la usura de los días.
En el pálido polvo he descifrado
rastros que temo. El aire me ha traído
en las cóncavas tardes un bramido
o el eco de un bramido desolado.
Sé que en la sombra hay Otro, cuya suerte
es fatigar las largas soledades
que tejen y destejen este Hades
y ansiar mi sangre y devorar mi muerte.
Nos buscamos los dos. Ojalá fuera
Éste el último día de la espera.

—Jorge Luis Borges

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