Jorge Manrique

(1440-1479 / Spain)

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Jorge Manrique (c. 1440 – 1479) was a major Spanish poet, whose main work, the Coplas a la muerte de su padre (Stanzas about the Death of his Father), is still read today. He was a supporter of the great Spanish queen, Isabel I of Castile, and actively participated on her side in the civil war that broke out against her half-brother, Enrique IV, when the latter attempted to make his daughter, ... more »

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Best Poem of Jorge Manrique

The Coplas On The Death Of His Father

The Introit

Let from its dream the soul awaken,
And reason mark with open eyes
The scene unfolding,—
How lightly life away is taken,
How cometh Death in stealthy guise,—
At last beholding;

What swiftness hath the flight of pleasure
That, once attained, seems nothing more
Than respite cold;
How fain is memory to measure
Each latter day inferior
To those of old.

Beholding how each instant flies
So swift, that, as we count, 'tis gone
Beyond recover,
Let us resolve to be more wise
Than stake our future lot upon
What soon...

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