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Por las estrellas

Si quiero por las estrellas saber,

tiempo, donde estás,

miro que con ellas vas,

pero no vuelves con ellas.

¿Adonde imprimes tus huellas

que con tu curso no doy?

Mas, ay, qué engañado estoy,

que vuelas, corres y ruedas;

tú eres, tiempo, el que te quedas,

y yo soy el que me voy.

If I want to know the stars,

Time, where are you?

I see that you go with them,

but you don’t return with them.

Where do you imprint your footprints

Since I can’t find them along your orbit?

But, o, how I deceived I am,

that you fly, run and roll;

you are, Time, the one who stays,

and I’m the one who’s leaving.

To A White Poplar Grove / Gallardas plantas, que con voz doliente

Graceful trees, that with living voice

Sorrowfully mourned daring Phaeton,

And now without envy of palm or olive

Might wreathe many a corpse’s brow,

So that, from summer Sun’s burning rays,

The pale chorus of lascivious Naiads

May seek your fleeting shadows more

Than the green margin of the hidden spring,

So that (despite the scorching season)

The rushing river’s swift flow might kiss

Your roots (that once were human feet),

Mourn (since mad enterprises and vain

Ardours turn to you alone to mourn)

My ardour in love; my mad enterprise.

The white lilies, children of the Sun / Los blancos lilios que de ciento en ciento

The white lilies, children of the Sun,

That Spring grants us from age to age,

For whom on the banks of the Tagus

Gold’s the cradle, pearls the nourishment;

The fresh roses, the wind ambitiously

Solicits with its flattering breeze,

Like one who hopes for noble petals

From some leaf or other, with lascivious breath;

Fall to your lovely feet, as all their beauty

So must. What might the hand that bears

Those flowers not do, if the foot does so,

Since your very splendour conquers snow,

Conquers the light of dawn, and since

In vain, for you, they breathe their scent?

To The Court Ladies asking Favour towards Andalusian Gallants / Hermosas damas, si la pasión ciega

Beautiful ladies, if blind passion

Fails to fill you with disdain or anger,

Which shall view Andalusians without pity,

Which deny Andalusians her favour?

In all this earth, who begs more humbly,

Adores more truly, sighs more idolatrously?

Who tilts more gloriously in the square,

Slays the bulls, or plays on the reed?

In soirées, who draw most frequently

The sweetest eyes in all the salons,

If not the gallants from Andalusia?

Ladies judge them ever pre-eminent,

In the court, first among all for finery,

In the tournament, the first for valour.

A Lady’s Tears and Sighs / Cual parece al romper de la mañana

What seems to break from the morning,

Those white seed pearls on fresh roses,

Or those with artifice, sewn by hand,

Pearls embroidered on scarlet cloth,

Such seemed the beautiful tears

Shed by my sovereign shepherdess,

Over those miraculous cheeks,

Manna of blood and milk mingled.

Yield, in turn, among those tender tears,

An ardent sigh from out your breast,

Such as the harshest song might engender,

If a harsh song were enough to do so,

And witness what is done to a heart,

Which is wax to every tear and sigh.

Al tramontar del Sol, la ninfa mía / When, at the rising of the sun, my nymph

When, at the rising of the sun, my nymph

Despoils the verdant field of flowers,

As many spring beneath her white feet

As she has gathered with lovely hand.

Wavelike is the breeze that flows

With fine gold, in illusory elegance,

Stirs the green leaves of dense poplars,

With the red light of breaking dawn.

But when she wreathes her lovely brow

With the various spoils in her dress

(Putting an end to gold and snow)

I swear her garland shines far brighter

Than flowers, and seems more star-like,

Formed of the nine orbs that light the sky.

Sonnet CLXVI

Mientras por competir con tu cabello,

oro bruñido al sol relumbra en vano;
mientras con menosprecio en medio el llano
mira tu blanca frente el lilio bello;

Mientras a cada labio, por cogello,
siguen más ojos que al clavel temprano;
y mientras triunfa con desdén Lozano
del luciente cristal tu gentil cuello:

Goza cuello, cabello, labio y frente,
antes que lo que fue en tu edad dorada
oro, lilio, clavel, cristal luciente,

No sólo en plata o viola troncada
se vuelva, mas tu y ello juntamente
en tierra, en humo, en polvo, en sombra, en nada.

Sonnet CLXVI

While yet, in competition with your hair,

The sun lights burnished gold in vain,

While scornfully, in the open plain,

Your white brow confronts the lovely lily,

While to each of your lips, to cull them,

More eyes are drawn than to fresh carnations,

And while your noble throat, with new

Disdain, triumphs over shining crystal;

Delight in throat, hair, lips and brow,

Before that which in your golden years

Is gold, carnation, lily, shining crystal,

Not only turns to silver and sad violet,

But you and all of these together turn

To earth, smoke, dust, shadow, nothing.

A Cordoba

¡Oh excelso muro, oh torres coronadas

De honor, de majestad, de gallardía!

¡Oh gran río, gran rey de Andalucía,

De arenas nobles, ya que no doradas!

¡Oh fértil llano, oh sierras levantadas,

Que privilegia el cielo y dora el día!

¡Oh siempre glorïosa patria mía,

Tanto por plumas cuanto por espadas!

Si entre aquellas rüinas y despojos

Que enriquece Genil y Dauro baña

Tu memoria no fue alimento mío,

Nunca merezcan mis ausentes ojos

Ver tu muro, tus torres y tu río,

Tu llano y sierra, ¡oh patria, oh flor de España!

To Cordoba

Oh, tall battlements, and towers crowned

With all honour, majesty, and valour!

Oh, great river, mighty king of Andalusia,

With fine sands, though as yet no gold!

Oh, fertile plain, oh, high sierras,

Gracing the heavens, gilding the day!

Oh, my homeland, forever winning glory,

As much for its quills as for its swords!

If among those ruins and remains

That Genil enriches, Darro bathes,

Thoughts of you are not my nourishment

Then never let my absent eyes deserve

To see your walls, your river and your towers,

Your plain and hills, my land, oh flower of Spain!