the orange-trees

Those lovely orange-trees
whose flowers breathe amber
on the meadows are pomanders
in the sun’s brazier:
a perpetual and lovely emerald,
in which the loquacious nightingale
with harmonious voice
tells us a thousand tales;
among whose tender leaves
the flowers which April shaped
from short-lived stars of snow
are fragrant clusters.
The metamorphoses of time
which will sweetly transform
what are diamonds to-day
into topazes to-morrow;
to whose green liveries
crystal twigs give
handsome ornaments
and a most fragrant whiteness.
Rich mine of the valley
where shy January
gave us free gold
and showy May free silver.

Salvador Jacinto Polo de Medina

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these which were pomp and delight

These which were pomp and delight,
waking at the first morning light,
will be in the evening a vain object of compassion,
sleeping in the arms of the cold night.

This blending of colours that challenges the heavens,
a rainbow striped with gold, snow, and scarlet,
will be an object lesson to human life.
So much is attempted in the limits of a single day!

The roses got up early to flower
and flowered to grow old;
they found their cradle and their tomb in a bud.

Even so have men found their fortunes,
in one day they have been born and expired;
for when the centuries have passed they were but hours.

Pedro Calderón de la Barca