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From The World’s Wit and Humor, Vol. XIII, Italian — Spanish, The Review of Reviews Company; New York; 1906; pp. 154-155.


Luis de Gongora [1561-1627]

Truth and Falsehood

RICHES will serve for titles too;
That’s true — that’s true!
They love most who oftener sigh;
That’s a lie — that’s a lie!

That crowns give virtue, power gives wit;
That follies well on proud men sit;
That poor men’s slips deserve a halter,
While honors deck the great defaulter;
That ’nointed kings no wrong can do,
No right such worms as I and you,
That’s true — that’s true!

To say a dull and sleepy warden
Can watch a many-portal’d garden;
That woes which darken many a day,
One moment’s smile can charm away;
To say you think that Celia’s eye
Speaks aught but trick and treachery,
That’s a lie — that’s a lie!

That wisdom’s bought and virtue sold,
And that you can provide with gold
For fame a garter or a star
And valor fit for peace or war,
155 And purchase knowledge at the U-
Niversity for P. or Q.,
That’s true — that’s true!

They must be gagged who go to court,
And bless, besides, the gagger for’t;
The rank-less must be scourged, and thank
The scourgers when they’re men of rank;
The humble poor man’s form and hue
Deserve both shame and suffering too,
That’s true — that’s true!

But splendid favors to be done,
And glorious prizes to be won,
And downy pillows for our head,
And thornless roses for our bed,
From monarchs’ words — you’ll trust and try,
And risk your honor on the die —
That’s a lie — that’s a lie!


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