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To Jose Mar?a Palacio

 Palacio, good friend,
is spring there
showing itself on branches of black poplars
by the roads and river? On the steeps
of the high Duero, spring is late,
but so soft and lovely when it comes!
Are there a few new leaves
on the old elms?
The acacias must still be bare,
and the mountain peaks snow-filled.
Oh the massed pinks and whites of Moncayo, massed up there, beauty, in the sky of Aragon! Are there brambles flowering, among the grey stones, and white daisies, in the thin grass? On the belltowers the storks will be landing now.
The wheat must be green and the brown mules working sown furrows, the people seeding late crops, in April rain.
There’ll be bees, drunk on rosemary and thyme.
Are the plum trees in flower? Violets still? There must be hunters about, stealthy, their decoys under long capes.
Palacio, good friend, are there nightingales by the river? When the first lilies, and the first roses, open, on a blue evening, climb to Espino, high Espino, where she is in the earth.

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