Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
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Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
 
Truth and Beauty
By Lupercio Leonardo de Argensola (1559–1613)
 
Translated by James Y. Gibson

I MUST 1 confess, Don John, on due inspection,
  That dame Elvira’s charming red and white,
  Though fair they seem, are only hers by right
In that her money purchased their perfection;
But thou must grant as well, on calm reflection,        5
  That her sweet lie hath such a lustre bright,
  As fairly puts to shame the paler light,
And honest beauty of a true complexion!
And yet no wonder I distracted go
  With such deceit, when ’tis within our ken        10
  That Nature blinds us with the self-same spell;
For that blue Heaven above, that charms us so,
  Is neither Heaven nor blue! Sad pity then,
  That so much Beauty is not Truth as well!
 
Note 1. This sonnet, by Lupercio Leonardo, is taken from the Notes of the late Mr. Gibson’s translation of the Journey to Parnassus, by Cervantes. Lupercio was born at Barbastro, in Aragon, in the year 1564; and he and his brother, Bartolomé Juan Leonardo, were styled the Horaces of Spain, “on account of their classical refinement and the exquisite character of their satires.” [back]
 
 
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