Quevedo: On The Brevity of Life, Thoughtless and Suffering, Surprised by Death (From Spanish)

He Indicates the Brevity of Life, Unthinking and Suffering, as it is Surprised by Death
By Francisco de Quevedo
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

     My yesterday was dream. My morrow, dirt!
A while past, nothing; a while later, smoke.
All pitiful ambition I exert
to strike at what destroys me with one stroke.

     I, skirmish of the war I cannot win,
am the true weakness of my strategy.
As I let my own cannons do me in,
the body does not bear but buries me.
 
     Yesterday's out, tomorrow yet unplayed. 
Today runs by and is and was and flings
me headfirst into death without delay.

     The moment and the hour are each a spade
salaried by my fears and sufferings
to dig my monument in living clay.


The Original:

Significa la Propia Brevedad de la Vida, Sin Pensar y con padecer, Salteada de la muerte

     !Fue sueño ayer; mañana será tierra!
!Poco antes, nada; poco después, humo!
!Y destino ambiciones, y presumo
apenas punto al cerco que me cierra!
     Breve combate de importuna guerra,
en mi defensa, soy peligro sumo;
y mientras con mis armas me consumo,
menos me hospeda el cuerpo, que me entierra.
     Ya no es ayer; mañana no ha llegado;
hoy pasa, y es, y fue, con movimiento
que a la muerte me lleva despeñado.
     Azadas son la hora y el momento
que, a jornal de mi pena y mi cuidado,
cavan en mi vivir mi monumento.

No comments:

Post a Comment

There was an error in this gadget