Friends, Land and Flowers

I am guilty of not having many loves

and so few being my friends.

I am a man of old-fashioned customs,

the one who hopes to be duly introduced

and then exchange a full conversation.

Forgotten refinement of the times of yore,

etiquette learned in the old social rites.

My friends are few, faithful and heartfelt,

not subject to those usual taps on the back,

easy laughs and feigned cuddling.

They are always austere, even stern,

but never fail when you need them.

Never accustomed to false praise

and empty words,

but prompt, effective and friendly deeds.

Like the land where I was born and raised,

dry plateaus and arid hills, narrow creeks

and honest meagre sheaves by the harvest.

Stubborn trees that, unlike the others,

wait for the driest season to bloom,

naked even of leaves, find strength

to bring forth delicate yellow flowers,

resembling the pure and true gold.

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