We Were All To Be Queens

We Were All To Be Queens (fragment)

We were all to be queens
of four kingdoms on the sea:
Efigenia with Soledad,
and Lucila with Rosalie.

In the Valley of Elqui, encircled
by a hundred mountains or more
that blaze red like burnished offerings
or tributes of saffron ore,

We said that, enraptured,
and believed it perfectly,
that we would all be queens
and would one day reach the sea.

With our braids of sevenyearolds
and bright aprons of percale,
chasing flights of thrushes
among the shadows of vine and grape.

And our four kingdoms, we said,
so vast and great would be,
that as certain as the Koran
they would all reach the sea.

We would wed four husbands
at the time when we should wed,
and they would all be kings and poets
like King David of Judea.

Gabriela Mistral
Translated by Doris Dana


Tala (1938)  
Original version