Tennyson: Ulises


De poco sirve que como un rey ocioso,

junto a este hogar en calma, entre riscos yermos,

junto a una esposa anciana, yo dicte e imponga

leyes desiguales a una raza salvaje,

que acumula, y duerme, y come, y no me conoce

No hay reposo para mí del viaje; apuraré la vida

hasta las heces: en todo tiempo he gozado

grandemente, y he sufrido mucho,

solo o con aquellos que me amaban; en la orilla

o cuando con raudas rachas las lluviosas Híades

azotaban el oscuro mar: me he ganado un nombre;

vagabundo eterno de corazón hambriento,

he visto y conocido mucho; ciudades humanas,

costumbres, climas, concejos, gobiernos, y de todos

antes que menosprecio obtuve honra;

y allá en las planicies de la ventosa Troya

bebí delicias de batallas con mis pares.

Soy parte de todo cuanto he tenido ante mí;

pero toda experiencia es un arco a través del cual

destella el mundo aún no recorrido, cuyo margen

no deja de desvanecerse a medida que me muevo.

¡Qué insulso es detenerse, terminar, acumular

óxido sin ser bruñido, sin relucir por el uso!

Como si respirar fuera vivir. Las capas de vida

apilada fueron pocas, y de la postrera poco

me queda: mas cada hora algo se salva del silencio,

algo que es portador de cosas nuevas;

y sería una vileza encerrar, aun por el lapso

de tres soles, a mí y a este gris espíritu

anhelante de deseo de perseguir el saber

como una estrella que se hunde allende

los confines del pensamiento humano.

 Alfred Tennyson



It little profits that an idle king,

By this still hearth, among these barren crags,

Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole

Unequal laws unto a savage race,

That hoard and sleep, and feed, and know not me.

I cannot rest from travel: I will drink

Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy’d

Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those

That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when

Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades

Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;

For always roaming with a hungry heart

Much have I seen and known; cities of men

And manners, climates, councils, governments,

Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;

And drunk delight of battle with my peers,

Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’

Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin fades

For ever and for ever when I move.

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!

As tho’ to breathe were life. Life piled on life

Were all too little, and of one to me

Little remains: but every hour is saved

From that eternal silence, something more,

A bringer of new things; and vile it were

For some three suns to store and hoard myself,

And this gray spirit yearning in desire

To follow knowledge, like a sinking star,

Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

This is my son, mine own Telemachus,

To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle—

Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil

This labour, by slow prudence to make mild

A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees

Subdue them to the useful and the good.

Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere

Of common duties, decent not to fail

In offices of tenderness, and pay

Meet adoration to my household gods,

When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.

There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail:

There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,

Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought with me—

That ever with a frolic welcome took

The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed

Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;

Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;

Death closes all: but something ere the end,

Some work of noble note, may yet be done,

Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.

The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:

The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep

Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,

‘ Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

Alfred Tennyson, Ulysses (fragmento)




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