ode XI: to Leuconoe

Do not inquire, we are not allowed to know,
what end the gods have assigned either to me or to you,
Leuconoe, nor consult the Babylonian tables. How much better
to patiently endure whatever comes whether Jupiter grants us more winters,
or whether this one, now crashing Tyrrhenean waves against the rocks,
shall be the last. Be wise. Water your wine. Life is so brief: cut short far-reaching hopes.
Even as we speak, envious time is fleeing: Seize the day: entrusting as little as possible to tomorrow.

Horace

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poem 145

[She endeavors to expose the praises recorded in a portrait
of the Poetess by truth, which she calls passion.]

This object which you see — a painted snare
exhibiting the subtleties of art
with clever arguments of tone and hue —
is but a cunning trap to snare your sense;
this object, in which flattery has tried
to overlook the horrors of the years
and, conquering the ravages of time,
to overcome oblivion and age:
this is an empty artifice of care,
a flower, fragile, set out in the wind,
a letter of safe-conduct sent to Fate;
it is a foolish, erring diligence,
a palsied will to please which, clearly seen,
is a corpse, is dust, is shadow, and is gone.

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

defence of Sunday

Island of solitudes and bells,
the days dash us against your cliffs,
your peak of rest and candour,
your immensity cut through by the hours and the birds.

Your mass of new light emerges out of time,
and little by little you share out your weekly gold,
reviving gardens
and making us rich in celestial allotments.

Our tired feet touch your last step as if it were a bed,
or coveted foam, or an agitated cupola
where birds of wine celebrate
the hands’ sweet holiday.

We reach your coasts each week
as shipwrecked men,
to fill ourselves with lights and to seek out the palm tree of repose
or the plans for the treasure hidden in the clouds.

Jorge Carrera Andrade

on the fleetness and passage of time

With what fleet steps you run by!
Oh how you leave me, vain time!
Oh, tyrant over my fortune and my being,
how continually I feel your lordly hand!

I thought that I could stop you, but you fled past;
that I could follow you, but you went proudly away.
I wasted you in seeking you, inhuman entity,
and the more I sought you the more I lost you.

Now I know your anger; now that I am brought low
I am the spoils of your scythe,
oh bitter disillusionment unconfessed!

I lived blind and was finally disabused.
Made an Argus in my sorrow, with sad eyes
I see you fly and see that I have lost you.

Luis Carrillo y Sotomayor

gothic song

Fair wife,
I love your tears!
It is the dew which
is becoming for flowers.

Beautiful things
have only one Spring,
let us sow the footprints
of Time with roses!

Whether brunette or blonde,
must we choose?
The God of the world
is Pleasure.

Gérard de Nerval

georgics book3

But time meanwhile is flying, flying beyond recall, while we,
charmed with love of our theme,
linger around each detail…

Virgil

heart

The color of the flowers faded,
While meaninglessly
I spent my days in the world
And the long rains were falling.

This night of no moon
There is no way to meet him.
I rise in longing –
My breast pounds, a leaping flame,
My heart is consumed in fire.

Ono no Komachi