Death Poems - Poems For Death - On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady,

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On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, - Poem by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

(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.


Comments about On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

  • Rookie - 0 Points Anne Wyckoff (2/1/2017 4:29:00 PM)

    I am sorry for the terrible typos in my comment! These poems were written in 17th C. *New Spain(now Mexico) .
    Other typos are more obvious, and due to tiny keys/spell checker errors. (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Anne Wyckoff (2/1/2017 4:05:00 PM)

    After watching a Spanish language series on Sister Juana Inez de La Cruz, I *had* to look up her poetry! This one is so beautiful to me since losing someone very close! I'm not fluent in Spanish, but grew up in New Mexico, traveled in Spain, and studied languages/diction for singing at the New England Conservatory. Poor speaker that I am, the English translations bother even me. This one seems as good as can be, but poetry (like opera lyrics translations) so often: choose inferior words, force words to another line, and even stray from actual meaning- all in an effort to rhyme! The original rhythm and rhyme can never be duplicated in such different languages as English or German (though this one's admirable at conveying meaning) . I simply wish for a literal word for word translation. Does anyone know where one can find that? These poems were written in 17th C. Spain, and words often aquire new meanings over four or five centuries! Recently, I saw one if this poet's titkes changed ti Love's Rip-cord(sp?) (as pulled on a parachute, & cute but not the Spanish swords at all) . All the translations make me wonder if that's one reason people say this poet was a lesbian, because people of both sexes often expressed great love for others (of their gender) w/o physical context in previous times? It isn't done much today, as it would immediately be misunderstood... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 31,436 Points Souren Mondal (11/17/2015 11:44:00 PM)

    A wonderful poem depicting the death of someone in a very poignant manner.. However, I wonder how many of us can actually LIVE in such a way that when we die DEATH has to shed tears for us.. (Report) Reply

Read all 10 comments »

Poems About Death

  1. 1. Let Me Die A Youngman's Death , Roger McGough
  2. 2. And Death Shall Have No Dominion , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  4. 4. Death Is Nothing At All , Henry Scott Holland
  5. 5. Because I Could Not Stop For Death , Emily Dickinson
  6. 6. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  7. 7. Nothing But Death , Pablo Neruda
  8. 8. A Dream Of Death , William Butler Yeats
  9. 9. Father Death Blues , Allen Ginsberg
  10. 10. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv , Khalil Gibran
  11. 11. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some , Emily Dickinson
  12. 12. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner , Randall Jarrell
  13. 13. Death Wants More Death , Charles Bukowski
  14. 14. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  15. 15. The Beauty Of Death Xiv , Khalil Gibran
  16. 16. I Have A Rendezvous With Death , Alan Seeger
  17. 17. After Death , Sara Teasdale
  18. 18. A City's Death By Fire , Derek Walcott
  19. 19. Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  20. 20. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  21. 21. Death Xxvii , Khalil Gibran
  22. 22. First Death In Nova Scotia , Elizabeth Bishop
  23. 23. The Death Of Joy Gardner , Benjamin Zephaniah
  24. 24. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  25. 25. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind , Emily Dickinson
  26. 26. Go Down, Death , James Weldon Johnson
  27. 27. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea.. , Phillis Wheatley
  28. 28. A Ballad Of Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  29. 29. Gacela Of The Dark Death , Federico García Lorca
  30. 30. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  31. 31. Death &Amp; Fame , Allen Ginsberg
  32. 32. Death Fugue , Paul Celan
  33. 33. On Death , Anne Killigrew
  34. 34. On The Death Of Anne Brontë , Charlotte Brontë
  35. 35. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, , Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  36. 36. The Death Of The Hired Man , Robert Frost
  37. 37. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death , Charles Bukowski
  38. 38. On Hearing Of A Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  39. 39. Holy Sonnet X: Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  40. 40. Fugue Of Death , Paul Celan
  41. 41. As At Thy Portals Also Death , Walt Whitman
  42. 42. If Death Is Kind , Sara Teasdale
  43. 43. Death , William Butler Yeats
  44. 44. All But Death, Can Be Adjusted , Emily Dickinson
  45. 45. Death Is A Dialogue Between , Emily Dickinson
  46. 46. Don'T Fear Death , Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok
  47. 47. Death , Heinrich Heine
  48. 48. A Satirical Elegy On The Death Of A Late.. , Jonathan Swift
  49. 49. An Elegy On The Death Of Kenneth Patchen , Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  50. 50. Death Of A Cockroach , Robert William Service
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