¿Adónde te escondiste,
Amado, y me dexaste con gemido?
Como el ciervo huyste
haviéndome herido;
salí tras ti clamando, y eras ydo.

Pastores, los que fuerdes
allá por las majadas al otero,
si por ventura vierdes
aquél que yo más quiero,
decilde que adolezco, peno y muero.

Buscando mis amores,
yré por esos montes y riberas;
ni cogeré las flores,
ni temeré las fieras,
y passaré los fuertes y fronteras.

¡O bosques y espesuras,
plantadas por la mano del Amado!,
¡o prado de verduras,
de flores esmaltado!,
dezid si por vosotros ha passado.

Mil gracias derramando
pasó por estos sotos con presura;
y, yéndolos mirando,
con sola su figura
vestidos los dejó de hermosura.

¡Ay!, ¿quién podrá sanarme?
Acaba de entregarte ya de vero;
no quieras embiarme
de oy más ya mensajero
que no saben dezirme lo que quiero.

Y todos quantos vagan
de ti me van mil gracias refiriendo,
y todos más me llagan,
y déxame muriendo
un no sé qué que quedan balbuziendo.

Mas, ¿cómo perseveras,
¡o vida!, no viviendo donde vives,
y haziendo porque mueras
las flechas que recives
de lo que del Amado en ti concives?

¿Por qué, pues as llagado
aqueste coraçón, no le sanaste?
Y, pues me le as robado,
¿por qué assí le dexaste,
y no tomas el robo que robaste?

Apaga mis enojos,
pues que ninguno basta a deshazellos,
y véante mis ojos,
pues eres lumbre dellos,
y sólo para ti quiero tenellos.

Descubre tu presencia,
y máteme tu vista y hermosura;
mira que la dolencia
de amor, que no se cura
sino con la presencia y la figura.

¡O christalina fuente,
si en esos tus semblantes plateados
formases de repente
los ojos deseados
que tengo en mis entrañas dibuxados!

¡Apártalos, Amado,
que voy de buelo!.
                                       Buélvete, paloma,
que el ciervo vulnerado
por el otero asoma
al aire de tu buelo, y fresco toma.

Mi Amado las montañas,
los valles solitarios nemorosos,
las ínsulas estrañas,
los ríos sonorosos,
el silbo de los ayres amorosos,

La noche sosegada
en par de los levantes del aurora,
la música callada,
la soledad sonora,
la cena que recrea y enamora.

Caçadnos las raposas,
questá ya florescida nuestra viña,
en tanto que de rosas
hazemos una piña,
y no parezca nadie en la montiña.

Detente, cierzço muerto;
ven, austro, que recuerdas los amores,
aspira por mi huerto,
y corran sus olores,
y pacerá el Amado entre las flores.

¡Oh ninfas de Judea!,
en tanto que en las flores y rosales
el ámbar perfumea,
morá en los arrabales,
y no queráis tocar nuestros humbrales.

Escóndete, Carillo,
y mira con tu haz a las montañas,
y no quieras dezillo;
mas mira las compañas
de la que va por ínsulas estrañas.

 A las aves ligeras,
leones, ciervos, gamos saltadores,
montes, valles, riberas,
aguas, ayres, ardores,
y miedos de las noches veladores:

Por las amenas liras
y canto de sirenas os conjuro
que cessen vuestras yras,
y no toquéis al muro,
porque la esposa duerma más siguro.

Entrado se a la esposa
en el ameno huerto desseado,
y a su sabor reposa,
el cuello reclinado
sobre los dulces braços del Amado.

Debajo del mançano,
allí conmigo fuiste desposada;
allí te di la mano,
y fuiste reparada
donde tu madre fuera violada.

Nuestro lecho florido,
de cuevas de leones enlazado,
en púrpura tendido,
de paz edifficado,
de mil escudos de oro coronado.

A çaga de tu huella
las jóvenes discurren al camino,
al toque de centella,
al adobado vino,
emissiones de bálsamo divino.

En la interior bodega
de mi Amado beví, y, quando salía
por toda aquesta bega,
ya cosa no sabía,
y el ganado perdí que antes seguía.

Allí me dio su pecho,
allí me enseñó sciencia muy sabrosa,
y yo le di de hecho
a mí, sin dexar cosa;
allí le prometí de ser su esposa.

Mi alma se a empleado,
y todo mi caudal, en su servicio;
ya no guardo ganado,
ni ya tengo otro officio,
que ya sólo en amar es mi exercicio.

Pues ya si en el egido
de oy más no fuere vista ni hallada,
diréis que me e perdido,
que, andando enamorada,
me hice perdediza y fui ganada.

De flores y esmeraldas,
en las frescas mañanas escogidas,
haremos las guinaldas,
en tu amor florescidas
y en un cabello mío entretexidas.

En solo aquel cabello
que en mi cuello volar consideraste,
mirástele en mi cuello
y en él presso quedaste,
y en uno de mis ojos te llagaste.

Quando tú me miravas,
su gracia en mí tus ojos imprimían;
por esso me adamavas,
y en esso merecían
los míos adorarlo que en ti vían.

No quieras despreciarme,
que si color moreno en mí hallaste,
ya bien puedes mirarme,
después que me miraste,
que gracia y hermosura en mí dexaste.

La blanca palomica
al arca con el ramo se a tornado,
y ya la tortolica
al socio desseado
en las riberas verdes a hallado.

En soledad vivía,
y en soledad a puesto ya su nido,
y en soledad la guía
a solas su querido,
también en soledad de amor herido.

Gozémonos, Amado,
y vámonos a ver en tu hermosura
al monte y al collado,
do mana el agua pura;
entremos más adentro en la espesura.

Y luego a las subidas
cabernas de la piedra nos yremos
que están bien escondidas,
y allí nos entraremos,
y el mosto de granadas gustaremos.

Allí me mostrarías
aquello que mi alma pretendía,
y luego me darías
allí tú, vida mía,
aquello que me diste el otro día.

El aspirar de el ayre,
el canto de la dulce filomena,
el soto y su donayre
en la noche serena,
con llama que consume y no da pena.

Que nadie lo mirava,
Aminadab tampoco parescía,
y el cerco sosegava,
y la cavallería
a vista de las aguas descendía.

San Juan de la Cruz

          I

In the beginning the Word
was; he lived in God
and possessed in him
his infinite happiness.
That same Word was God,
who is the Beginning;
he was in the beginning
and had no beginning.
He was himself the Beginning
and therefore had no beginning.
The Word is called Son;
he was born of the Beginning
who had always conceived him,
giving of his substance always,
yet always possessing it.
And thus the glory of the Son
was the Father´s glory,
and the Father possessed
all his glory in the Son.
As the lover in the beloved
each lived in the other,
and the Love that unites them
is one with them,
their equal, excellent as
the One and the Other:
Three Persons, and one Beloved
among all three.
One love in them all
makes of them one Lover,
and the Lover is the Beloved
in whom each one lives.
For the being that the three possess
each of them possesses,
and each of them loves
him who bears this being.
Each one is this being,
which alone unites them,
binding them deeply,
one beyond words.
Thus it is a boundless Love that unites them,
for the three have one love
which is their essence;
and the more love is one
the more it is love.

On the communication among the Three Persons.

           II

In that immense love
proceeding from the two
the Father spoke words
of great affection to the Son,
words of such profound delight
that no one understood them;
they were meant for the Son,
and he alone rejoiced in them.
What he heard
was this:
“My Son, only your
company contents me,
and when something pleases me
I love that thing in you;
whoever resembles you most
satisfies me most,
and whoever is like you in nothing
will find nothing in me.
I am pleased with you alone,
O life of my life!
You are the light of my light,
you are my wisdom,
the image of my substance
in whom I am well pleased.
My Son, I will give myself
to him who loves you
and I will love him
with the same love I have for you,
because he has loved
you whom I love so”.

On creation

           III

“My Son, I wish to give you
a bride who will love you.
Because of you she will deserve
to share our company,
and eat at our table,
the same bread I eat,
that she may know the good
I have in such a Son;
and rejoice with me
in your grace and fullness.”
“I am very grateful,”
the Son answered;
“I will show my brightness
to the bride you give me,
so that by it she may see
how great my Father is,
and how I have received
my being from your being.
I will hold her in my arms
and she will burn with your love,
and with eternal delight
she will exalt your goodness”.

Continues

           IV

“Let it be done, then,” said the Father,
for your love has deserved it.
And by these words
the world was created,
a palace for the bride
made with great wisdom
and divided into rooms,
one above, the other below.
The lower was furnished
with infinite variety,
while the higher was made
beautiful
with marvelous jewels,
that the bride might know
the Bridegroom she had.
The orders of angels
were placed in the higher,
but humanity was given
the lower place,
for it was, in its being,
a lesser thing.
And though beings and places
were divided in this way,
yet all form one,
who is called the bride;
for love of the same Bridegroom
made one bride of them.
Those higher ones possessed
the Bridegroom in gladness;
the lower in hope, founded
on the faith that he infused in them,
telling them that one day
he would exalt them,
and that he would lift them
up from their lowness
so that no one
could mock it any more;
for he would make himself
wholly like them,
and he would come to them
and dwell with them;
and God would be man
and man would be God,
and he would walk with them
and eat and drink with them;
and he himself would be
with them continually
until the consummation
of this world,
when, joined, they would rejoice
in eternal song;
for he was the Head
of this bride of his
to whom all the members
of the just would be joined,
who form the body of the bride.
He would take her
tenderly in his arms
and there give her his love;
and when they were thus one,
he would lift her to the Father
where God´s very joy
would be her joy.
For as the Father and the Son
and he who proceeds from them
live in one another,
so it would be with the bride;
for, taken wholly into God,
she will live the life of God.

Continues

           V

By this bright hope
which came to them from above,
their wearying labors
were lightened;
but the drawn-out waiting
and their growing desire
to rejoice with their Bridegroom
wore on them continually.
So, with prayers
and sighs and suffering,
with tears and moanings
they asked night and day
that now he would determine
to grant them his company.
Some said: “If only
this joy would come in my time!”
Others: “Come, Lord,
send him whom you will send!”
And others: “Oh, if only these heavens
would break, and with my own eyes
I could see him descending;
then I would stop my crying out”.
“Oh, clouds, rain down from your height,
earth needs you,
and let the earth open,
which has borne us thorns;
let it bring forth that flower
that would be its flowering.”
Others said: “What gladness
for him who is living then,
who will be able to see God
with his own eyes,
and touch him with his hand
and walk with him
and enjoy the mysteries
which he will then ordain”.

Continues

           VI

In these and other prayers
a long time had passed;
but in the later years
their fervor swelled and grew
when the aged Simeon
burned with longing,
and begged God that he
might see this day.
And so the Holy Spirit
answering the good old man
gave him his word
that he would not see death
until he saw Life
descending from the heights,
until he took God himself
into his own hands
and holding him in his arms,
pressed him to himself.

The Incarnation

           VII

Now that the time had come
when it would be good
to ransom the bride
serving under the hard yoke
of that law
which Moses had given her,
the Father, with tender love,
spoke in this way:
“Now you see, Son, that your bride
was made in your image,
and so far as she is like you
she will suit you well;
yet she is different, in her flesh,
which your simple being does not have.
In perfect love
this law holds:
that the lover become
like the one he loves;
for the greater their likeness
the greater their delight.
Surely your bride´s delight
would greatly increase
were she to see you like her,
in her own flesh”.
“My will is yours,”
the Son replied,
“and my glory is
that your will be mine.
This is fitting, Father,
what you, the Most High, say;
for in this way
your goodness will be more
evident,
your great power will be seen
and your justice and wisdom.
I will go and tell the world,
spreading the word
of your beauty and sweetness
and of your sovereignty.
I will go seek my bride
and take upon myself
her weariness and labors
in which she suffers so;
and that she may have life,
I will die for her,
and lifting her out of that deep,
I will restore her to you”.

Continues

           VIII

Then he called
the archangel Gabriel
and sent him to
the virgin Mary,
at whose consent
the mystery was wrought,
in whom the Trinity
clothed the Word with flesh.
and though Three work this,
it is wrought in the One;
and the Word lived incarnate
in the womb of Mary.
And he who had only a Father
now had a Mother too,
but she was not like others
who conceive by man.
From her own flesh
he received his flesh,
so he is called
Son of God and of man.

The Birth

           IX

When the time had come
for him to be born,
he went forth like the
bridegroom
from his bridal chamber,
embracing his bride,
holding her in his arms,
whom the gracious Mother
laid in a manger
among some animals
that were there at that time.
Men sang songs
and angels melodies
celebrating the marriage
of Two such as these.
But God there in the manger
cried and moaned;
and these tears were jewels
the bride brought to the
wedding.
The Mother gazed in sheer wonder
on such an exchange:
in God, man´s weeping,
and in man, gladness,
to the one and the other
things usually so strange.

San Juan de la Cruz
Translators: Kieran Kavanaugh & Otilio Rodriguez

I entered into unknowing,
and there I remained unknowing
transcending all knowledge.

      I

I entered into unknowing,
yet when I saw myself there,
without knowing where I was,
I understood great things;
I will not say what I felt
for I remained in unknowing
transcending all knowledge.

      II

That perfect knowledge
was of peace and holiness
held at no remove
in profound solitude;
it was something so secret
that I was left stammering,
transcending all knowledge.

      III

I was so ´whelmed,
so absorbed and withdrawn,
that my senses were left
deprived of all their sensing,
and my spirit was given
an understanding while not understanding,
transcending all knowledge.

      IV

He who truly arrives there
cuts free from himself;
all that he knew before
now seems worthless,
and his knowledge so soars
that he is left in unknowing
transcending all knowledge.

      V

The higher he ascends
the less he understands,
because the cloud is dark
which lit up the night;
whoever knows this
remains always in unknowing
transcending all knowledge.

      VI

This knowledge in unknowing
is so overwhelming
that wise men disputing
can never overthrow it,
for their knowledge does not reach
to the understanding of not
understanding,
transcending all knowledge.

      VII

And this supreme knowledge
is so exalted
that no power of man or learning
can grasp it;
he who masters himself
will, with knowledge in
unknowing,
always be transcending.

      VIII

And if you should want to hear:
this highest knowledge lies
in the loftiest sense
of the essence of God;
this is a work of his mercy,
to leave one without
understanding,
transcending all knowledge.

San Juan de la Cruz

By the rivers
of Babylon
I sat down weeping,
there on the ground.
And remembering you,
O Zion, whom I loved,
in that sweet memory
I wept even more.
I took off my feastday clothes
and put on my working ones;
I hung on the green willows
all the joy I had in song,
putting it aside for that
which I hoped for in you.
There love wounded me
and took away my heart.
I begged love to kill me
since it had so wounded me;
I threw myself in its fire
knowing it burned,
excusing now the young bird
that would die in the fire.
I was dying in myself,
breathing in you alone.
I died within myself for you
and for you I revived,
because the memory of you
gave life and took it away.
The strangers among whom
I was captive rejoiced;
they asked me to sing
what I sang in Zion:
Sing us a song from Zion,
let´s hear how it sounds.
I said: How can I sing,
in a strange land where I weep
for Zion, sing of the happiness
that I had there?
I would be forgetting her
if I rejoiced in a strange land.
May the tongue I speak with
cling to my palate
if I forget you
in this land where I am.
Zion, by the green branches
Babylon holds out to me,
may my right hand be forgotten
(that I so loved when home in you)
if I do not remember you,
my greatest joy,
or celebrate one feastday,
or feast at all without you.
O Daughter of Babylon,
miserable and wretched!
Blessed is he
in whom I have trusted,
for he will punish you
as you have me;
and he will gather his little ones
and me, who wept because of you,
at the rock who is Christ
for whom I abandoned you.

Debetur soli gloria vera Deo

San Juan de la Cruz
Translators: Kieran Kavanaugh & Otilio Rodriguez

Tras de un amoroso lance
y no de esperança falto
volé tan alto tan alto
que le di a la caça alcance.

        I

Para que yo alcance diesse
a aqueste lance divino
tanto bolar me convino
que de vista me perdiesse
y con todo en este trance
en el buelo quedé falto
mas el amor fue tan alto
que le di a la caça alcance.

        II

Quanto más alto suvía
deslumbróseme la vista
y la más fuerte conquista
en escuro se hazía
mas, por ser de amor el lance
di un ciego y oscuro salto
y fuy tan alto tan alto
que le di a la caça alcance.

        III

Cuanto más alto llegava
de este lance tan subido
tanto más baxo y rendido
y abatido me hallava
dixe: No abrá quien alcance.
Abatíme tanto tanto
que fuy tan alto tan alto
que le di a la caça alcance.

        IV

Por una estraña manera
mil buelos pasé de un buelo
porque esperança de cielo
tanto alcança quanto espera
esperé solo este lance
y en esperar no fuy falto
pues fuy tan alto tan alto,
que le di a la caça alcance.

San Juan de la Cruz

I went out seeking love,
and with unfaltering hope
I flew so high, so high,
that I overtook the prey.

        I

That I might take the prey
of this adventuring in God
I had to fly so high
that I was lost from sight;
and though in this adventure
I faltered in my flight,
yet love had already flown so high
that I took the prey.

        II

When I ascended higher
my vision was dazzled,
and the most difficult conquest
came about in darkness;
but since I was seeking love
the leap I made was blind and dark,
and I rose so high, so high,
that I took the prey.

        III

The higher I ascended
in this seeking so lofty
the lower and more subdued
and abased I became.
I said: No one can overtake it!
And sank, ah, so low,
that I was so high, so high,
that I took the prey.

        IV

In a wonderful way
my one flight surpassed a
thousand,
for the hope of heaven
attains as much as it hopes for;
this seeking is my only hope,
and in hoping, I made no mistake,
because I flew so high, so high,
that I took the prey.

San Juan de la Cruz
Translators: Kieran Kavanaugh & Otilio Rodriguez

Without support yet with support,
living without light, in darkness,
I am wholly being consumed.

        I

My soul is disentangled
from every created thing
and lifted above itself
in a life of gladness
supported only in God.

        II

So now it can be said
that I most value this:
My soul now sees itself
without support yet with support.

        III

And though I suffer darknesses
in this mortal life,
that is not so hard a thing;
for even if I have no light
I have the life of heaven.
For the blinder love is
the more it gives such life,
holding the soul surrendered,
living without light in darkness.

        IV

After I have known it
love works so in me
that whether things go well or badly
love turns them to one sweetness
transforming the soul in itself.
And so in its delighting flame
which I am feeling within me,
swiftly, with nothing spared,
I am wholly being consumed.

San Juan de la Cruz
Translators: Kieran Kavanaugh & Otilio Rodriguez

Not for all of beauty
will I ever lose myself,
but for I-don´t-know-what
which is so gladly gained.

          I

Delight in the world´s good things
at the very most
can only tire the appetite
and spoil the palate;
and so, not for all of sweetness
will I ever lose myself,
but for I-don´t-know-what
which is so gladly found.

          II

The generous heart
never delays with easy things
but eagerly goes on
to things more difficult.
Nothing satisfies it,
and its faith ascends so high
that it tastes I-don´t-know-what
which is so gladly found.

          III

He who is sick with love,
whom God himself has touched,
finds his tastes so changed
that they fall away
like a fevered man´s
who loathes any food he sees
and desires I-don´t know-what
which is so gladly found.

          IV

Do not wonder
that the taste should be left like this,
for the cause of this sickness
differs from all others;
and so he is withdrawn
from all creatures,
and tastes I-don´t-know-what
which is so gladly found.

          V

For when once the will
is touched by God himself,
it cannot find contentment
except in the Divinity;
but since his Beauty is open
to faith alone, the will
tastes him in I-don´t-know-what
which is so gladly found.

          VI

Tell me, then, would you pity
a person so in love,
who takes no delight
in all creation;
alone, mind empty of form and figure,
finding no support or foothold,
he tastes there I-don´t-know-what
which is so gladly found.

          VII

Do not think that he who lives
the so-precious inner life
finds joy and gladness
in the sweetness of the earth;
but there beyond all beauty
and what is and will be and was,
he tastes I-don´t-know-what
which is so gladly found.

          VIII

Whoever seeks to advance
takes much more care
in what he has yet to gain
than in what he has already gained;
and so I will always tend
toward greater heights;
beyond all things, to I-don´t-know- what
which is so gladly found.

          IX

I will never lose myself
for that which the senses
can take in here,
nor for all the mind can hold,
no matter how lofty,
nor for grace or beauty,
but only for I-don´t-know-what
which is so gladly found.

San Juan de la Cruz
Translators: Kieran Kavanaugh & Otilio Rodriguez

¡Qué bien sé yo la fonte que mana y corre,
 aunque es de noche!.

                 I

Aquella eterna fonte está ascondida.
¡Que bien sé yo do tiene su manida
aunque es de noche!

                 II

Su origen no lo sé pues no le tiene
mas sé que todo origen della viene
aunque es de noche.

                 III

Sé que no puede ser cosa tan bella,
y que cielos y tierra beben della
aunque es de noche.

                 IV

Bien sé que suelo en ella no se halla
y que ninguno puede vadealla
aunque es de noche.

                 V

Su claridad nunca es escurecida
y sé que toda luz de ella es venida
aunque es de noche.

                 VI

Sée ser tan caudalosos sus corrientes,
que infiernos cielos riegan y a las gentes
aunque es de noche.

                 VII

El corriente que nace desta fuente
bien sé que es tan capaz y omnipotente
aunque es de noche.

                 VIII

El corriente que de estas dos procede
sé que ninguna de ellas le precede
aunque es de noche.

                 IX

Aquesta eterna fonte está escondida
en este vivo pan por darnos vida
aunque es de noche.

                 X

Aquí se está llamando a las criaturas
y de esta agua se hartan, aunque a escuras
porque es de noche.

                 XI

Aquesta viva fuente que deseo
en este pan de vida yo la veo
aunque es de noche.

San Juan de la Cruz

For I know well the spring that flows and runs,
although it is night.;

                 I

That eternal spring is hidden,
for I know well where it has its
rise,
although it is night.

                 II

I do not know its origin, nor has it one,
but I know that every origin has come from it,
although it is night.

                 III

I know that nothing else is so beautiful,
and that the heavens and the earth drink there,
although it is night.

                 IV

I know well that it is bottomless
and no one is able to cross it,
although it is night.

                 V

Its clarity is never darkened,
and I know that every light has
come from it,
although it is night.

                 VI

I know that its streams are so brimming
they water the lands of hell, the heavens, and earth,
although it is night.

                 VII

I know well the stream that flows from this spring
is mighty in compass and power,
although it is night.

                 VIII

I know the stream proceeding from these two,
that neither of them in fact precedes it,
although it is night.

                 IX

This eternal spring is hidden
in this living bread for our life´s sake,
although it is night.

                 X

It is here calling out to creatures;
and they satisfy their thirst, although in darkness,
because it is night.

                 XI

This living spring that I long for,
I see in this bread of life,
although it is night.

San Juan de la Cruz
Translators: Kieran Kavanaugh & Otilio Rodriguez