Gillian Spraggs
←  return to index

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

[Mexico, 1648–1695]

On the death of that most excellent lady,
the Marquise de Mancera

May they die with you, Laura, since you have died,
these impotent desires that long for you,
these eyes, deprived of what they yearn to see,
a lovely light that once on them you shed.
May it die, my luckless lyre, that cries in pain
where once it echoed your inspiring voice,
and may the ill-formed scrawlings of my verse
be like black tears that fall from my sad pen.
May Death herself be moved to pity you,
since, bound by rule, she could not spare your life,
and Love against his bitter fortune cry
that though before this time he longed to have
eyes, so your lovely form he might enjoy,
now they shall serve him only to weep his grief.
translated by Gillian Spraggs
Published in Love Shook My Senses. Lesbian Love Poems, ed. Gillian Spraggs, London, The Women’s Press, 1998
return to top ↑
© Gillian Spraggs, 1998, 2006
page added to site on 3 October, 2006 | last modified 24 November, 2006