SALVADOR JACINTO POLO DE MEDINA (1603-76): LAS CLAVELLINAS DE INDIAS

Translated by Timothy Adès

INDIAN PINKS

Breve tesoro, rica flor indiana,
y sol rizado en hojas,
oro florido que tu patria niegas,
que a tu oriente despojas
y en extranjeros valles te avecinas,
y a ser desvelo llegas
de laureles y rústicas encinas.
Por ti en alado pino,
por selvas de coral, pasó animoso
el avariento, el vano codicioso,
sin que el fatal destino
que le asalta, presuma
en valles de cristal, montes de espuma.

Brief treasure, Indian rich flower,
And sun curled into petals:
This flowered gold betrays
Its country, robs its eastern bower,
In foreign valleys settles,
Arriving in the vigils
Of rustic oaks and laurels.

For this in his winged vessel
One, vaunting, avaricious,
Comes covetously, travels
Through reefs and groves of corals,
Ambitious;

Nor does the deadly power
Of fate, that takes the cudgels,
Presume
In crystal vales to raise
Mountains of spume.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

This entry was posted in Poems and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.