In the original, “The labyrinth of the faun,”
The daughter is asked, before the Revolution
Takes her, why she carries so many books.
She does not answer, not in words alone.
There once lived a princess, who delighted in
The world without pain or death, deep underground
Where the sounds never wake us. But she read
Of the paradise above, its wide, cool skies,
Its wind-like music, and its beautiful suffering.
She dreamt of the life, which turns bright in autumn sun.
So she closed her book and, holding her breath so tight
Not a trace of her remained, she fled her palace;
The King was too late, to keep her from her flight;
And the sunlight soon did take her breath away
To leave her, not belonging, in a stranger kingdom.
The books she takes with her, now, are but memories
Of fairy tales. And so she carries them.
Inspired, of course, by the exquisite Pan’s Labyrinth.