Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

(1651 - 1695 / San Miguel Nepantla / Mexico)

I approach and I withdraw


(Español)
Me acerco y me retiro:
¿quién sino yo hallar puedo
a la ausencia en los ojos
la presencia en lo lejos?

Del desprecio de Filis,
infelice, me ausento.
¡Ay de aquel en quien es
aun pérdida el desprecio!

Tan atento la adoro
que, en el mal que padezco,
no siento sus rigores
tanto como el perderlos.

No pierdo, al partir, sólo
los bienes que poseo,
si en Filis, que no es mía,
pierdo lo que no pierdo.

¡Ay de quien un desdén
lograba tan atento,
que por no ser dolor
no se atrevió a ser premio!

Pues viendo, en mi destino,
preciso mi destierro,
me desdeñaba más
porque perdiera menos.

¡Ay! ¿Quién te enseño, Filis,
tan primoroso medio:
vedar a los desdenes
el traje del afecto?

A vivir ignorado
de tus luces, me ausento
donde ni aun mi mal sirva
a tu desdén de obsequio.



(English)
I approach, and I withdraw:
who but I could find
absence in the eyes,
presence in what's far?

From the scorn of Phyllis,
now, alas, I must depart.
One is indeed unhappy
who misses even scorn!

So caring is my love
that my present distress
minds hard-heartedness less
than the thought of its loss.

Leaving, I lose more
than what is merely mine:
in Phyllis, never mine,
I lose what can't be lost.

Oh, pity the poor person
who aroused such kind disdain
that to avoid giving pain,
it would grant no favor!

For, seeing in my future
obligatory exile,
she disdained me the more,
that the loss might be less.

Oh, where did you discover
so neat a tactic, Phyllis:
denying to disdain
the garb of affection?

To live unobserved
by your eyes, I now go
where never pain of mine
need flatter your disdain.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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