Garcilaso de la Vega

Eglogo (fragmento) English translation

 Next Poem          

The sweet lament of two Castilian swains,
Salicio's love and Nemoroso's tears,
In sympathy I sing, to whose loved strains
Their flocks, of food forgetful, crowding round,
Were most attentive. Pride of Spanish peers!
Who by thy splendid deeds, hast gained a name
And rank on earth unrivalled,—whether crowned
With cares, Alvano, wielding now the rod
Of empire, now the dreadful bolts that tame
Strong kings, in motion to the trumpet's sound,
Express vice-regent of the Thracian God;
Or whether, from the cumbrous burden freed
Of state affairs, thou seek'st the echoing plain,
Chasing, upon thy spirited fleet steed
The trembling stag that bounds abroad in vain
Lengthening out life,—though deeply no engrossed
By cares, I hope, so soon as I regain
The leisure I have lost,
To celebrate, with my recording quill
Thy virtues and brave deeds, a starry sum,
Ere grief, or age, or silent death turn chill
My poesy's warm pulse, and I become
Nothing to thee, whose worth the nations blaze.
Failing thy sight and songless in thy praise.
But till that day, predestined by the Muse,
Appears to cancel the memorial dues,
Owed to thy glory and renown,—a claim
Not only upon me, but which belongs
To all fine spirits that transmit to fame
Ennobling deeds in monumental songs,—
Let the green laurel whose victorious boughs
Clasp in endearment thine illustrious brows
To the weak ivy give permissive place,
Which rooted in thy shade, thou first of trees,
May hope by slow degrees,
To tower aloft, supported by thy praise;
Since Time to thee sublimer strains shall bring,
Hark to my shepherds, as they sit and sing.
The sun, from rosy billows risen, had rayed
With gold the mountain tops, when at the foot
Of a tall beech romantic, whose green shade
Fell on a brook, that, sweet-voiced as lute,
Through lively pastures wound its sparkling way,
Sad on the daisied turf Salicio lay;
And in a voice in concord to the sound
Of all the many winds, and waters round,
As o'er the mossy stones they swiftly stole.
Poured forth in melancholy song his soul
Of sorrow with a fall
So sweet, and aye so mildly musical,
None could have thought that she who seeming guile
Had caused his anguish, absent was the while,
But that in very deed the unhappy youth
Did, face to face, upbraid her questioned truth.

—J. H. Wiffen (translator)

Next Poem 

 Back to Garcilaso de la Vega