Amado Nervo, who was also known as Juan Crisóstomo Ruiz de Nervo was an important Mexican poet of the 19th century. He was born on August 27, 1870 and died on May 24, 1919. Apart from being a poet, he was also a journalist, an educator, and the Mexican Ambassador to Argentina as well as Uruguay.
This is a marvelous poem about being in control of your destiny and, ultimately, reaping what you sow. It is no wonder that my father liked it.
20 de marzo de 1915
Muy cerca de mi ocaso, yo te bendigo, vida,
porque nunca me diste ni esperanza fallida,
ni trabajos injustos, ni pena inmerecida;
porque veo al final de mi rudo camino
que yo fui el arquitecto de mi propio destino;
que si extraje las mieles o la hiel de las cosas,
fue porque en ellas puse hiel o mieles sabrosas,
cuando planté rosales, coseché siempre rosas.
Cierto, a mis lozanías va a seguir el invierno;
¡mas tú no me dijiste que mayo fuese eterno!
Hallé sin duda largas las noches de mis penas;
mas no me prometiste tan sólo noches buenas;
y en cambio tuve algunas santamente serenas...
Amé, fui amado, el sol acarició mi faz.
¡Vida, nada me debes! ¡Vida, estamos en paz!
March 20, 1915
Very near my sunset, I bless you, life,
because you never gave me neither unfulfilled hope,
nor unfair work, nor undeserved sorrow.
Because I see at the end of my rough road
that I was the architect of my own destiny;
and if I extracted the sweetness or the bitterness of things,
it was because I put sweetness or bitterness in them,
when I planted rose bushes, I always harvested roses.
Certainly, winter is going to follow my youth;
besides, you didn’t tell me that May was eternal!
I found without a doubt, long my nights of pain;
But you didn’t promise me only good nights;
And in exchange I had some holy peaceful ones...
I loved, I was loved, the sun caressed my face.
Life, you owe me nothing! Life, we are at peace!