HUMAN RHYMES

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

© 2020 Robert Schechter 

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