For René Pérez

Happy the tree that can searcely feel,
and happier the hard stone because it does not feel at all,
for there is no greater grief than the grief of being alive,
and no greater affliction than conscious life.

To be and to know nothing, and to have no fixed course,
and the fear of what was and a terror of the future...
and the certain terror of being dead tomorrow,
and to suffer for life and the shadow (of death)

and for what we do not know and hardly suspect,
and for the flesh that tempts with its fresh grapes
and the tomb that waits with its funeral branches,

and not to know whither we go
        or whence we come!...

Rubén Darío, 1905
Translator: J. M. Cohen

Cantos de vida y esperanza, los cisnes y otros poemas (1905)  
Jesús Hilario Tundidor - Nunca culpable
Original version