Translation of Lorca’s Romance de la luna, luna

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The moon last night was incredible: nearly full, and almost orange. I love nights like that, especially if the stars are clear too. As I live in the countryside, they usually are.

I was reminded of the poem “Romance de la luna, luna” by Lorca, included in the Romancero Gitano (or Gypsy Ballads) collection. A translation – that isn’t mine – is below:

Romance of the Moon, Moon – Federico García Lorca
Translation by Helen Gunn, CSU San Marcos

The moon came to the forge
with her skirt of white, fragrant flowers.
The young boy watches her, watches.
The boy is watching her.

In the electrified air
the moon moves her arms
and points out, lecherous and pure,
her breasts of hard tin.

Flee, moon, moon, moon.
If the gypsies were to come,
they would make with your heart
white necklaces and rings.

Young boy, leave me to dance.
When they come, the gypsies
will find you upon the anvil
with closed eyes.

Flee, moon, moon, moon.
Already I sit astride horses.
Young boy, leave me, don’t step on
my starched whiteness.

The horse rider approaches
beating the drum of the plain.
Within the forge the young man
has closed eyes.

Through the olive grove they come,
the gypsies – bronze and dreaming,
heads lifted
and eyes half closed.

Hark, hear the night bird –
how it sings in the tree.
Across the sky moves the moon,
holding the young boy by the hand.

Within the forge the gypsies cry,
are crying out.
The air watches over her, watches.
The air is watching over her.

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