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  ENDECASÍLABO ROMANCE

      My divine Lysis

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.

autógrafo

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Translation by Alan S. Trueblood


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