Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer’s “I’m fiery, brunette”

This poem by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836-1870) is about wanting the unobtainable in love. Here is a beautiful musical version in Spanish:

The translation is pretty straightforward in this case and doesn’t differ too much from the literal translation, except for some rearrangement and omissions to improve flow, so I don’t include the literal translation.

My translation
Rhyme 11

“I’m fiery, brunette,
the symbol of passion,
my soul is full, of pleasure craving.”
Are you looking for me?”
                                         “No, it’s not you, no.”

‘My face is white, my tresses golden,
The things I can give are endless.
Tender for you, I keep a treasure.
Do you call me?”
                                         No, no it’s not you.”
“I am a dream, impossible,
a vain phantom of mist and light.
I am bodiless, intangible,
I cannot love you.”
                                        “Oh come, come, it’s you!”

Original by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
Rima XI

—Yo soy ardiente, yo soy morena,
yo soy el símbolo de la pasión,
de ansia de goces mi alma está llena.
¿A mí me buscas?
                                        —No es a ti, no.
—Mi frente es pálida, mis trenzas de oro,
puedo brindarte dichas sin fin.
Yo de ternura guardo un tesoro.
¿A mí me llamas?
                                        —No, no es a ti.
—Yo soy un sueño, un imposible,
vano fantasma de niebla y luz.
Soy incorpórea, soy intangible,
no puedo amarte.
                                        —¡Oh ven, ven tú!
Incidentally, the poem reminds me of the Rolling Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

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