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

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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

  • Gold Star - 234,628 Points Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/28/2019 12:29:00 PM)

    I quote:
    Let Death himself feel pity, and regret
    that, bound by his own law, he could not spare you,
    and Love lament the bitter circumstance
    (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Rookie allison h. (10/3/2018 10:15:00 AM)

    i wonder if this poem is about the same woman as in her earlier poem, my lady? it would be interesting to find out. (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • 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

    2 person liked.
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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

    4 person liked.
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  • Gold Star - 31,507 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

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 258,195 Points Rajnish Manga (11/17/2015 10:50:00 PM)

    Very serene and poignant poem. Death takes away all the mortal remains which once were the cynosure of the loved ones. You have beautifully portrayed the scene. Thanks.
    now weeping is all those eyes could ever do.
    (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 38 Points Aqeeb Nazir (11/17/2015 11:27:00 AM)

    Absolutely amazing I heart the poem! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
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  • Rookie - 0 Points Susha Strauss (11/17/2015 9:53:00 AM)

    This is wonderful! I can't wait to read more of your poems! (Report) Reply

    Gold Star - 189,293 Points Kim Barney (11/17/2015 8:32:00 PM)

    You are talking to someone who died in 1695!

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 109,063 Points Ratnakar Mandlik (11/17/2015 3:04:00 AM)

    Glowing tribute to the memory of the most excellent Lady paid by the poetess. Enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing.8 points. (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 222,018 Points Susan Williams (11/17/2015 12:15:00 AM)

    It just didn't resonate with me- I reread several times but it still didn't get into my heart. Hopefully it is just a matter of the impact getting lost in translation. (Report) Reply

    23 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 12 comments »
Death Poems
  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. Nothing But Death
    Pablo Neruda
  7. 7. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O..
    Dylan Thomas
  8. 8. A Dream Of Death
    William Butler Yeats
  9. 9. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv
    Khalil Gibran
  10. 10. Father Death Blues
    Allen Ginsberg
  11. 11. Death Wants More Death
    Charles Bukowski
  12. 12. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death
    William Butler Yeats
  13. 13. Death
    Rainer Maria Rilke
  14. 14. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some
    Emily Dickinson
  15. 15. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner
    Randall Jarrell
  16. 16. The Beauty Of Death Xiv
    Khalil Gibran
  17. 17. A City's Death By Fire
    Derek Walcott
  18. 18. Death Xxvii
    Khalil Gibran
  19. 19. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An ..
    Phillis Wheatley
  20. 20. First Death In Nova Scotia
    Elizabeth Bishop
  21. 21. After Death
    Sara Teasdale
  22. 22. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind
    Emily Dickinson
  23. 23. Gacela Of The Dark Death
    Federico García Lorca
  24. 24. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed
    Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  25. 25. The Death Of Joy Gardner
    Benjamin Zephaniah
  26. 26. A Ballad Of Death
    Algernon Charles Swinburne
  27. 27. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady,
    Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  28. 28. The Death Of The Hired Man
    Robert Frost
  29. 29. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea..
    Phillis Wheatley
  30. 30. Death &Amp; Fame
    Allen Ginsberg
  31. 31. Holy Sonnet X: Death Be Not Proud
    John Donne
  32. 32. Go Down, Death
    James Weldon Johnson
  33. 33. I Have A Rendezvous With Death
    Alan Seeger
  34. 34. Death Fugue
    Paul Celan
  35. 35. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death
    Charles Bukowski
  36. 36. On The Death Of Anne Brontë
    Charlotte Brontë
  37. 37. For The Anniversary Of My Death
    William Stanley Merwin
  38. 38. Fugue Of Death
    Paul Celan
  39. 39. If Death Is Kind
    Sara Teasdale
  40. 40. On Death
    Anne Killigrew
  41. 41. Death
    Heinrich Heine
  42. 42. On Hearing Of A Death
    Rainer Maria Rilke
  43. 43. As At Thy Portals Also Death
    Walt Whitman
  44. 44. Death Stands Above Me, Whispering Low
    Walter Savage Landor
  45. 45. An Elegy On The Death Of Kenneth Patchen
    Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  46. 46. The Death Of The Flowers
    William Cullen Bryant
  47. 47. A Death-Bed
    Rudyard Kipling
  48. 48. A Satirical Elegy On The Death Of A Late..
    Jonathan Swift
  49. 49. Absence Disembodies—so Does Death
    Emily Dickinson
  50. 50. All But Death, Can Be Adjusted
    Emily Dickinson

Death Poems

  1. Death Be Not Proud

    Death be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe, For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow, Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee. From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee, Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow, And soonest our best men with thee doe goe, Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie. Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men, And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell, And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well, And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then? One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally, And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

  2. Let Me Die A Youngman's Death

    Let me die a youngman's death not a clean and inbetween the sheets holywater death not a famous-last-words peaceful out of breath death When I'm 73 and in constant good tumour may I be mown down at dawn by a bright red sports car on my way home from an allnight party Or when I'm 91 with silver hair and sitting in a barber's chair may rival gangsters with hamfisted tommyguns burst in and give me a short back and insides Or when I'm 104 and banned from the Cavern may my mistress catching me in bed with her daughter and fearing for her son cut me up into little pieces and throw away every piece but one Let me die a youngman's death not a free from sin tiptoe in candle wax and waning death not a curtains drawn by angels borne 'what a nice way to go' death

  3. And Death Shall Have No Dominion

    And death shall have no dominion. Dead man naked they shall be one With the man in the wind and the west moon; When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone, They shall have stars at elbow and foot; Though they go mad they shall be sane, Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again; Though lovers be lost love shall not; And death shall have no dominion. And death shall have no dominion. Under the windings of the sea They lying long shall not die windily; Twisting on racks when sinews give way, Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break; Faith in their hands shall snap in two, And the unicorn evils run them through; Split all ends up they shan't crack; And death shall have no dominion. And death shall have no dominion. No more may gulls cry at their ears Or waves break loud on the seashores; Where blew a flower may a flower no more Lift its head to the blows of the rain; Though they be mad and dead as nails, Heads of the characters hammer through daisies; Break in the sun till the sun breaks down, And death shall have no dominion.

  4. Because I Could Not Stop For Death

    Because I could not stop for Death- He kindly stopped for me- The Carriage held but just Ourselves- And Immortality. We slowly drove- He knew no haste And I had put away My labor and my leisure too, For His Civility- We passed the School, where Children strove At Recess- in the Ring- We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain- We passed the Setting Sun- Or rather- He passed us- The Dews drew quivering and chill- For only Gossamer, my Gown- My Tippet- only Tulle- We paused before a House that seemed A Swelling of the Ground- The Roof was scarcely visible- The Cornice- in the Ground- Since then- 'tis Centuries- and yet Feels shorter than the Day I first surmised the Horses' Heads Were toward Eternity-

  5. Death Is Nothing At All

    Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away to the next room. I am I and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, That, we still are. Call me by my old familiar name. Speak to me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effect. Without the trace of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same that it ever was. There is absolute unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you. For an interval. Somewhere. Very near. Just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.

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