born 1542 Fontiveros, Ávila, Spain
Where have you hidden beloved?
And left me moaning?
You fled like a stag after wounding me;
I went out calling you, and you were gone.
O woods and thickets, planted by the hand of my beloved!
O green meadow, created bright with flowers.
Tell me, has he passed by you?
Pouring out a thousand graces,
He passed these groves in haste;
With his image alone.
Clothed them in beauty.
How do you endure O life,
Not living where You live?
And being brought near death
By the arrows you receive
From that which you conceive of Your beloved.
Extinguish these miseries
Since no one else can stamp them out;
And may my eyes behold You,
Because You are their light,
And I would open them to You alone.
O spring like crystal!
If only, on your silver-over face,
You would suddenly form
The eyes I have desire,
Which I bear sketched deep within my heart.
Excerpt from The Spiritual Canticle John Of the Cross most famous poem.
Died December 14, 1591 (aged 49)
Úbeda, Jaén, Spain