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The Black Heralds

The Black Heralds

by César Vallejo

The Black Heralds: Text of the Poem

The Black Heralds

There are blows in life, so powerful…I don't know!
Blows as from the hatred of God; as if, facing them,
the undertow of everything suffered
welled up in the soul…I don't know!

They are few; but they are…. They open dark trenches
in the fiercest face and in the strongest back.
Perhaps they are the colts of barbaric Attilas;
or the black heralds sent to us by Death.

They are the deep falls of the Christs of the soul,
of some adored faith blasphemed by Destiny.
Those bloodstained blows are the crackling of
bread burning up at the oven door.

And man…. Poor…poor! He turns his eyes, as
when a slap on the shoulder summons us;
turns his crazed eyes, and everything lived
wells up, like a pool of guilt, in his look.

There are blows in life, so powerful…I don't know!

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