Last Night As I Was Sleeping, a reinterpretation

Bee entering hive

Antonio Machado’s poem is a classic of the Spanish cannon. The original translation uses the phrase “marvellous error!”. I have re-interpreted this from the original Spanish, “bendita ilusiĆ³n”, as “blessed illusion”. Which interpretation do you prefer?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt blessed illusion
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt blessed illusion
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt blessed illusion
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt blessed illusion
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

The poem, Last Night As I Was Sleeping by Antonio Machado, translated by Robert Bly, reworked by Benito Kobayashi. The image, Bee on honeycomb, By BigBlueStudio – Licensed via Adobe Stock by Splashlime