Góngora: On The Deceptive Brevity of Life (From Spanish)

On the Deceptive Brevity of Life 
By Luís de Góngora
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Less did the speedy bowshot arrow seek
its destined target than it sharply bit!
No more silently did the chariot streak 
round to its goal across dumb sand and grit
than hastens toward its end, invisibly
harried, this time of ours. He that would doubt
(a beast bereft of reason though he be) 
has a black star in each sun coming out. 
Carthage proclaims it. How can you not know? 
You dice with danger, friend, while yet you chase
shadows and cling to fraud against your fears. 
Think not the hours will spare you as they go,
the hours forever grinding down the days,
the days as ever gnawing up the years.

The Original:

De la Brevedad Engañosa de la Vida

Menos solicitó veloz saeta
Destinada señal, que mordió aguda!
Agoral carro por la arena muda
No coronó con mas silencio meta
Que presurosa corre, que secreta
a su fin nuestra edad. A quien lo duda,
(fiera que sea de razón desnuda)
cada sol repetido es un cometa.
Confiéssalo Cartago ¿y tu lo ignoras?
Peligro corres Licio, si porfías
en seguir sombras y abraçar engaños.
Mal te perdonarán a ti las horas;
las horas que limando están los días,
los días que royendo están los años. 

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