Please help us to sustain this website. Donate

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water,” wrote W.H. Auden in his poem First Things First. This is such an obvious truth that one wonders why the seas are strewn with tonnes of plastic waste and rivers are polluted till they become dark and ugly. The following song and works of art are a tribute to life-giving andl life-sustaining water. They are a reminder as well that water is a precious resource that ought not to be taken for granted.

Original Spanish lyrics

by Alfredo Gonzalez Vilela

Agua limpia,
Agua clara,
Agua en el cielo y el mar,
Agua tu que vas corriendo
Y otra que tan quieta está.

Eres vida y eres muerte,
Según la forma en que vas,
A veces vas tan suave
Y otras vas en vendaval.

Una gota diminuta,
Infinitas en el mar,
Eres rica, pervivencia
De toda la humanidad.

Agua rica,
Agua pobre,
Encañada
O en libertad,
En el aire,
En el suelo,
Por debajo,
Por detrás,
Agua tú
Siempre presente
Sempiterna
Tú serás.

En desierto
O en vergel,
En el frío
O en calor,
Tan necesario
Elemento,
La base
De nuestro ser.

Puedes salvar una vida,
Haces crecer una flor,
Donde estás tú siempre hay vida,
Si faltas mucho dolor.

De una fuente cristalina
Cae un chorro de cristal,
Eres tu agua divina
Agua de mi manantial.

 (Poetic) English translation

by Marine Café Blog

Clean water,
Clear water,
Water in the sky and the sea,
Water you are running
And another how still she is.

You are life and you are death,
According to the way you go
Sometimes you go so gently
And other times you go in a gale.

A tiny drop,
Infinite in the sea,
You are rich, survival
Of all humanity.

Rich water,
Poor water,
In a ravine
Or in freedom
In the air,
On the ground,
Below,
Behind,
Water you are
Always present
Everlasting
You will be.

In desert
Or in orchard,
In the cold
Or in the heat,
So necessary
An element,
The base
Of our being.

You can save a life
You make a flower grow
Where you are there is always life,
If you lack much pain.

From a crystalline fountain
A stream of glass falls,
You are your divine water
Water from my spring.

Fountain, 1920
Jessica McMurray (American, no other details provided)
Courtey of the Cleveland Museum of Art

Five plovers and waves, 1826
Nakamura Hôchû (Japanese, 1790-1818)
Courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Woman Bathing (poster), unknown date
Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926)
Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Landscape with Waterfall, 1841
Nakabayashi Chikuto (Japanese, 1776–1853)
Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rain, 1889
Vincent Willem van Gogh (Dutch, 1853–1890)
Courtesy of the Google Art Project

Niños en la playa, Valencia (Children on the beach, Valencia), c. 1916
Joaquín Sorolla (Spanish, 1863–1923)
Courtesy of Sotheby’s London via Wikimedia Commons

~ Barista Uno

Did you like this article? Buy me a coffee

Let us know what you think of this article

Don't Miss the Brew!

Sign up to be notified of updates to Marine Cafe Blog

You have Successfully Subscribed!