poem 146

She laments her fortune, she hints of her aversion to all vice,
and justifies her diversion with the Muses

In my pursuit, World, why such diligence?
What my offense, when I am thus inclined,
insuring elegance affect my mind,
not that my mind affect an elegance?
I have no love of riches or finance,
and thus do I most happily, I find,
expend finances to enrich my mind
and not mind expend upon finance.
I worship beauty not, but vilify
that spoil of time that mocks eternity,
nor less, deceitful treasures glorify,
but hold foremost, with greatest constancy,
consuming all the vanity in life,
and not consuming life in vanity.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

the queen

I believe in nothing, in nothing…My,,Nothing’’
is like a furious night, full of the hurricane.
In its profound depths
my lineage was watered by gall.

A cold gust of wind, which freezes
ancient vigor to inaction, weeps in my reason.
Self-despising, I am wounded!
Self-despising, you have put gangrene
in my heart!

Neither a white love nor a hatred makes me tremble,
a blind form in limitless blackness;
and in rhythm after rhythm in my heart there seems
to be said in death-agony:,,Nothing…nothing…’’
My Muse was deceived by the Gods

Of the wandering breeze, of the lamp of the morning star,
of the trembling love of a young sailor,
in the night with its bishop’s robes of opal,
I ask:,,What enigma lies in you?’’ And my Muse
— through my flesh, illumined by tapers—
answers, desolate in her laurels:
— Nothing…
Oh Queen, rancorous, and in mourning!

Porfirio Barba-Jacob

the muse of Australia

Where the pines with the eagles are nestled in rifts,
And the torrent leaps down to the surges,
I have followed her, clambering over the clifts,
By the chasms and moon-haunted verges.
I know she is fair as the angels are fair,
For have I not caught a faint glimpse of her there;
A glimpse of her face and her glittering hair,
And a hand with the Harp of Australia?

I never can reach you, to hear the sweet voice
So full with the music of fountains!
Oh! when will you meet with that soul of your choice,
Who will lead you down here from the mountains?
A lyre-bird lit on a shimmering space;
It dazzled mine eyes and I turned from the place,
And wept in the dark for a glorious face,
And a hand with the Harp of Australia!

Henry Kendall


The Muse sings brilliantly and
spears of young men flower.
Justice, defender of brave works,
goes down the street of light…


a reproach

See, I have given you wings on which to hover
uplifted high above earth entire
and the great waste of the sea without strain.
Wherever men meet in festivals, as men gather,
you will be there, your name will be spoken again as the young singers,
with the flutes clear piping beside them,
make you into a part of the winsome verses, and sing of you.
And even after you pass to the gloom
and the secret chambers of sorrow,
Death’s house hidden under the ground,
even in death your memory shall not pass,
and it shall not die, but always, a name and a song in the minds of men,
Kyrnos, you shall outrange the land of Greece and the islands,
cross the upheaving sea where the fish swarm,
carried not astride the back of a horse,
but the shining gifts of the dark-wreathed Muses
shall be the force that carries you on your way.
For all wherever song is you shall be there for the singers.
So long as earth endures and sun endures, you shall be. I did this.
But you give me not the smallest attention.
You put me off with deceits as if I were a little child.