Nonfiction > Lionel Strachey, et al., eds. > The World’s Wit and Humor > Italian & Spanish
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The World’s Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes.  1906.
Vol. XIII: Italian—Spanish
 
Truth and Falsehood
By Luis de Góngora y Argote (1561–1627)
 
RICHES will serve for titles too;
That’s true—that’s true!
They love most who oftener sigh;
That’s a lie—that’s a lie!
 
That crowns give virtue, power gives wit;        5
That follies well on proud men sit;
That poor men’s slips deserve a halter,
While honors deck the great defaulter;
That ’nointed kings no wrong can do,
No right such worms as I and you,        10
That’s true—that’s true!
 
To say a dull and sleepy warden
Can watch a many-portal’d garden;
That woes which darken many a day,
One moment’s smile can charm away;        15
To say you think that Celia’s eye
Speaks aught but trick and treachery,
That’s a lie—that’s a lie!
 
That wisdom’s bought and virtue sold,
And that you can provide with gold        20
For fame a garter or a star,
And valor fit for peace or war,
And purchase knowledge at the U-
Niversity for P. or Q.,
That’s true—that’s true!        25
 
They must be gagged who go to court,
And bless, besides, the gagger for’t;
The rank-less must be scourged, and thank
The scourgers when they’re men of rank;
The humble poor man’s form and hue        30
Deserve both shame and suffering too,
That’s true—that’s true!
 
But splendid favors to be done,
And glorious prizes to be won,
And downy pillows for our head,        35
And thornless roses for our bed,
From monarchs’ words—you’ll trust and try,
And risk your honor on the die—
That’s a lie—that’s a lie!
 
 
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