Image: The River Duero below the hermitage of San Saturio in Soria
There they were,
A giggle of schoolgirls
In their last year, I suppose, before university,
Making their way up the steep hill to the castle
In Soria, the city where the poets lived.
And one with a book of poems in her pocket,
Machado it was, of course,
How could it be otherwise
So near the River Duero?
They walked quickly after lunch,
As young people can,
For only the old are slow.
There was just one hour to go
Before the classes of the afternoon began
In the tall, grey buildings down below.
So, by the castle ruins,
Halfway up the Sorian sky,
They stopped and opened the book,
They learned how life can be made so sad
By chance or by illness
Or just by the blindness
Of women and of men.