CUANDO ME PARO ... WHEN I NOW PAUSE ...
Garcilaso de la Vega trans. Michael Smith

Cuando me paro a contemplar mi estado,
y a ver los pasos por do me ha traído,
hallo, según por do anduve perdido,
que a mayor mal pudiera haber llegado;

mas cuando del camino estó olvidado,
a tanto mal no sé por dó he venido;
sé que me acabo, y más he yo sentido
ver acabar conmigo mi cuidado.

Yo acabaré, que me entregué sin arte
a quien sabrá perderme y acabarme
si ella quisiere, y aun sabrá querello;

que pues mi voluntad puede matarme,
la suya, que no es tanto de mi parte,
pudiendo, ¿qué hará sino hacello?

When I now pause to ponder my condition
and see the route by which I have been led,
I find, to judge by how I went astray,
I might have come to grief that's even worse.

But then oblivious of the road I took,
I know no longer how I reached such ills.
I know that I am spent and it's my great hurt
to see my cares expended also with me.

I'll spend myself, who without guile gave up myself
to one well skilled to cause my loss and end
if she should wish, and she can even wish it.

For as my will can put an end to me,
hers, which scarcely wants to aid me,
what will it do but act as it's empowered?

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Transl. Copyright © Michael Smith, 2008


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