Happiness. By Jorge Luis Borges

First posted October 24, 2011

Whoever embraces a woman is Adam. The woman is Eve.

Everything happens for the first time.

I saw something white in the sky. They tell me it is the moon, but

what can I do with a word and a mythology.

Trees frighten me a little. They are so beautiful.

The calm animals come closer so that I may tell them their names.

The books in the library have no letters. They spring forth when I open them.

Leafing through the atlas I project the shape of Sumatra.

Whoever lights a match in the dark is inventing fire.

Inside the mirror an Other waits in ambush.

Whoever looks at the ocean sees England.

Whoever utters a line of Liliencron has entered into battle.

I have dreamed Carthage and the legions that destroyed Carthage.

I have dreamed the sword and the scale.

Praised be the love wherein there is no possessor and no possessed, but both surrender.

Praised be the nightmare, which reveals to us that we have the power to create hell.

Whoever goes down to a river goes down to the Ganges.

Whoever looks at an hourglass sees the dissolution of an empire.

Whoever plays with a dagger foretells the death of Caesar.

Whoever dreams is every human being.

In the desert I saw the young Sphinx, which has just been sculpted.

There is nothing else so ancient under the sun.

Everything happens for the first time, but in a way that is eternal.

Whoever reads my words is inventing them


Jorge Luis Borges – Deutsches Requiem: a short story (1946)