TO GALATEA’S BIRD
O silly little bird! who now
On Galatea’s lap hast got,
My unrequited love allow
To envy thee thy lot.
Of the same lovely mistress both
Alike the captives bound are we;
But thou for thy misfortune loth,
Whilst I am willingly.
Thou restless in thy prison art,
Complaining ever of thy pains;
While I would kisses, on my part,
Ev’n lavish on my chains.
But, ah! how different treating us,
Has scornful Fate the lot assign’d!
With me she’s always tyrannous,
But with thee just as kind.
A thousand nights of torment borne,
A thousand days of martyrdom,
By thousand toils and pains, her scorn
I cannot overcome.
A mere caprice for thee has got;
So bathed in tears, in my distress,
I envy thee thy lot.
And there the while, with daring heel,
Thou tread’st in arrant confidence,
Without a heart or hope to feel,
Or instinct’s common sense.
In the embraces, which my thought,
Not even in its boldest vein,
Could scarce to hope for have been brought,
Presumptuous to attain.
Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos
Translated by James Kennedy
James Kennedy. "Modern poets and poetry of Spain" (1860). Produced by Cornell University Library, 1992.