A UNA MUJER QUE SE AFEITABA
Y ESTABA HERMOSA
TO A WOMAN WHO WORE MAKEUP
AND LOOKED BEAUTIFUL
Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola tr. Alix Ingber
Yo os quiero confesar, don Juan, primero,
que aquel blanco y color de doña Elvira
no tiene de ella más, si bien se mira,
que el haberle costado su dinero.

Pero tras eso confesaros quiero
que es tanta la beldad de su mentira,
que en vano a competir con ella aspira
belleza igual de rostro verdadero.

Mas ¿qué mucho que yo perdido ande
por un engaño tal, pues que sabemos
que nos engaña así Naturaleza?

Porque ese cielo azul que todos vemos,
ni es cielo ni es azul. ¡Lástima grande
que no sea verdad tanta belleza!
At first, Sir John, I must confess to you
that Lady Helen's white and ruby glow
is only hers, if truth is to be told,
in that her money's spent to make it so.

But after that I also must confess
the beauty of her lie is so extreme
that never could a rival hope to try
her loveliness to best by natural means.

Yet do not be surprised that my desire
pursues this clear deceit, since we all know
that Nature's ways are surely devious too:

for that blue heaven that we all admire
is neither blue nor heaven. What a shame
that such great beauty should be so untrue!

Trans. note: This sonnet may be by Lupercio's brother, Bartolomé

Trans. copyright © Alix Ingber, 1995


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