On the death of that most excellent lady,

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz 1648 (San Miguel Nepantla) – 1695 (Mexico City)



(Español)
   Mueran contigo, Laura, pues moriste,
los afectos que en vano te desean,
los ojos a quien privas de que vean
hermosa luz que a un tiempo concediste.

   Muera mi lira infausta en que influiste
ecos, que lamentables te vocean,
y hasta estos rasgos mal formados sean
lágrimas negras de mi pluma triste.

   Muévase a compasión la misma muerte
que, precisa, no pudo perdonarte;
y lamente el amor su amarga suerte,

   pues si antes, ambicioso de gozarte,
deseó tener ojos para verte,
ya le sirvieran sólo de llorarte.

(English)
   Let them die with you, Laura, now you are dead,
these longings that go out to you in vain,
these eyes on whom you once bestowed
a lovely light never to gleam again.

   Let this unfortunate lyre that echoes still
to sounds you woke, perish calling your name,
and may these clumsy scribblings represent
black tears my pen has shed to ease its pain.

   Let Death himself feel pity, and regret
that, bound by his own law, he could not spare you,
and Love lament the bitter circumstance

   that if once, in his desire for pleasure,
he wished for eyes that they might feast on you,
now weeping is all those eyes could ever do.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:01 min read
165

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABCCB BCCB BBB BBB XBCBC AXBC BDX XDB
Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,171
Words 206
Stanzas 8
Stanza Lengths 5, 4, 3, 3, 5, 4, 3, 3

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a Mexican writer, philosopher, composer, poet of the Baroque period, and Hieronymite nun of New Spain (Mexico). more…

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    "On the death of that most excellent lady," Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 May 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/35629/on-the-death-of-that-most-excellent-lady,>.

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