Modern Poets and Poetry of Spain/The Disdainful Shepherdess


If, as thou sayst, thou lovest me well,
Dear girl, those scornfulnesses cease;
For love can ne'er in union dwell
With such asperities.

Show sharp disdain, to plight if e'er
Another proffers thee his troth;
To two at once to listen fair
Is an offence to both

Let one be chosen, so to prove
How great your happiness may be;
Thou calmly to enjoy his love,
And he to love thee free;

Above all maids to extol thee most;
And thou to tenderness incline,
To yield repaying him the boast
His love gives forth for thine.

Reserve and rigour to preside
In love, is like the ice in spring,
That robs fair May of all its pride,
The flocks of pasturing:

But kindness, like the gentle rain,
Which April gives to glad the field,
Which makes all flourishing the plain,
And seeds their stores to yield.

Be not disdainful then, but kind:
Know not to certain beauteous eyes
Alone all beauty is confined,
Or locks of golden dyes.

Vain puff'd-up beauty will appear,
But like some showy ivy stem;
They may surprise, but fruitless, ne'er
Have any valuing them.

If join'd with kindness, like the vine
It seems, with fruitful stores array'd;
Where all contentedly recline,
Beneath its peaceful shade:

And whose green stems, the elm around,
When twining with adorning grace
Its leaves, will hold it also bound,
Firm in its fond embrace.

Flower of a day is beauty's bloom;
Time leaves it soon behind: if e'er
Thou doubt'st my word, let Celia's doom
The lesson true declare.

Celia, for witching beauty famed
Once far and wide, so foolish proud,
A thousand captives who contemn'd
That all before her bow'd,

Now worn by years would blindly try
Who to her service may be won;
But finds all from her turn to fly,
To look at her finds none.

For with her snow and rose the beams
And lustre of her eyes are flown,
And like a wither'd rose-tree seems,
Sad, wrinkled and alone.

'T is but ingenuous kindness true,
The maid that loves in honour's bonds,
Who listens to her lover sue,
And tenderly responds;

Who at his pleasantries will smile,
Who dances with him at the feast,
Receives the flowers his gift, the while
His love with like increased;

Who him her future husband sees,
Is neither coy nor feels ashamed,
For he as hers, and she as his,
The village through are named,

That always like the dawn will seem,
When calm its light shines o'er the plain,
And keeping all beneath her beam
Bound captive in her chain:

Years without clouding pass away;
Care to oppress her ne'er affects;
Ev'n rivalry forgives her sway,
And envy's self respects.

Her cheerfulness and happy vein,
Being to latest age to share,
Delight of all the shepherd train,
Enchantment of the fair.

Be then, my Amaryllis! kind;
Cease those disdainfulnesses, cease;
For with thy pleasing grace combined
Such harshness ill agrees.

The heavens ne'er form'd thee perfect thus,
Surpassingly of matchless cost,
That such high gifts should ruinous
Be miserably lost.

Be kind, receive thy lover's vow,
And all the village thou wilt find,
Who murmur at thy coldness now,
To praise thee then as kind.

Thus sang Belardo, at her door,
His shepherd girl to wait upon,
Who scornful, from her casement o'er,
Bids him be silent and begone.