translated from Lope de Vega
A woman, for a man, is all that's best;
yet all that's worst, although it sounds insane.
She is his life, the prize he has to gain;
she is the poison laying him to rest.
Like gentle heaven to his eyes, and blest,
yet she and hell are on a single plane.
Although I sing her virtues, in the main,
when she is false to man I must protest.
She gives us blood. She raises us from birth.
There's nothing more ungrateful under God.
She is a harpy with an angel's worth.
She loves, she hates, she makes us lose and win.
In short, she's like a letting of the blood
that sometimes cures us, sometimes does us in.
orginally appeared in The Evansville Review