To Her Portrait—Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695)

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This gaudy fake you look at now

flaunting its delights of art

with untrue colour syllogisms

is but a cunning swindle of sense:

This thing in which flattery seeks

to negate the horrors of years

and defeat the rigour of time

triumph over old age, oblivion

is a vain artifice of concern

is a fragile flower in wind

is a pointless shelter from fate:

is a wrongheaded wasted effort

is a decrepit desire when well seen

is corpse is dust is shadow is nothing

Translation by DB