Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz

(1651 - 1695 / San Miguel Nepantla / Mexico)

My Divine Lysis


Espanol:


Divina Lysi mía:
perdona si me atrevo
a llamarte así, cuando
aun de ser tuya el nombre no merezco.

A esto, no osadía
es llamarte así, puesto
que a ti te sobran rayos,
si en mí pudiera haber atrevimientos.

Error es de la lengua,
que lo que dice imperio
del dueño, en el dominio,
parezcan posesiones en el siervo.

Mi rey, dice el vasallo;
mi cárcel, dice el preso;
y el más humilde esclavo,
sin agraviarlo, llama suyo al dueño.

Así, cuando yo mía
te llamo, no pretendo
que juzguen que eres mía,
sino sólo que yo ser tuya quiero.

Yo te vi; pero basta:
que a publicar incendios
basta apuntar la causa,
sin añadir la culpa del efecto.

Que mirarte tan alta,
no impide a mi denuedo;
que no hay deidad segura
al altivo volar del pensamiento.

Y aunque otras más merezcan,
en distancia del cielo
lo mismo dista el valle
más humilde que el monte más soberbio,

En fin, yo de adorarte
el delito confieso;
si quieres castigarme,
este mismo castigo será premio.



(English)
My divine Lysis:
do forgive my daring,
if so I address you,
unworthy though I am to be known as yours.

I cannot think it bold
to call you so, well knowing
you've ample thunderbolts
to shatter any overweening of mine.

It's the tongue that misspeaks
when what is called dominion--
I mean, the master's rule--
is made to seem possession by the slave.

The vassal says: my king;
my prison, the convict says;
and any humble slave
will call the master his without offense.

Thus, when I call you mine,
it's not that I expect
you'll be considered such--
only that I hope I may be yours.

I saw you-need more be said?
To broadcast a fire,
telling the cause suffices--
no need to apportion blame for the effect.

Seeing you so exalted
does not prevent my daring;
no god is ever secure
against the lofty flight of human thought.

There are women more deserving,
yet in distance from heaven
the humblest of valleys
seems no farther than the highest peak.

In sum, I must admit
to the crime of adoring you;
should you wish to punish me,
the very punishment will be reward.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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