The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Futility



Procura desmentir los elogios que a un retrato de la Poetisa inscribió la verdad, que llama pasión

Este, que ves, engaño colorido,
que del arte ostentando los primores,
con falsos silogismos de coloreses
cauteloso engaño del sentido;
éste, en quien la lisonja ha pretendido

excusar de los años los horrores,
y venciendo del tiempo los rigores,
triunfar de la vejez y del olvido,
es un vano artificio del cuidado,

es una flor al viento delicada,
es un resguardo inútil para el hado;
es una necia diligencia errada,

es un afán caduco y, bien mirado,
es cadáver, es polvo, es sombra, es nada.


[She tries to refute the praises inscribed on her portrait by Truth, which she calls passion

This, that you see, this colored treachery,
which, by displaying all the charms of art,
with those false syllogisms of its hues
deceptively subverts the sense of sight;
this, in which false praise has vainly sought
to shun the horrors of the passing years,
and conquering of time the cruelty,
to overcome age and oblivion's might,
is a vain artifice cautiously wrought,
is a fragile bloom caught by the wind,
is, to ward off fate, pure uselessness;
is a foolish effort that's gone wrong,
is a weakened zeal, and, rightly seen,
is corpse, is dust, is gloom, is nothingness.]

-Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (+ 1695)

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