Don Quixote - Part I (Some Commendatory Verses, page 1 of 3)


Previous Page
Next Page

URGANDA THE UNKNOWN

To the book of Don Quixote of la Mancha

If to be welcomed by the good,
O Book! thou make thy steady aim,
No empty chatterer will dare
To question or dispute thy claim.
But if perchance thou hast a mind
To win of idiots approbation,
Lost labour will be thy reward,
Though they'll pretend appreciation.

They say a goodly shade he finds
Who shelters 'neath a goodly tree;
And such a one thy kindly star
In Bejar bath provided thee:
A royal tree whose spreading boughs
A show of princely fruit display;
A tree that bears a noble Duke,
The Alexander of his day.

Of a Manchegan gentleman
Thy purpose is to tell the story,
Relating how he lost his wits
O'er idle tales of love and glory,
Of "ladies, arms, and cavaliers:"
A new Orlando Furioso-
Innamorato, rather--who
Won Dulcinea del Toboso.

Put no vain emblems on thy shield;
All figures--that is bragging play.
A modest dedication make,
And give no scoffer room to say,
"What! Alvaro de Luna here?
Or is it Hannibal again?
Or does King Francis at Madrid
Once more of destiny complain?"

Since Heaven it hath not pleased on thee
Deep erudition to bestow,
Or black Latino's gift of tongues,
No Latin let thy pages show.
Ape not philosophy or wit,
Lest one who cannot comprehend,
Make a wry face at thee and ask,
"Why offer flowers to me, my friend?"

Be not a meddler; no affair
Of thine the life thy neighbours lead:
Be prudent; oft the random jest
Recoils upon the jester's head.
Thy constant labour let it be
To earn thyself an honest name,
For fooleries preserved in print
Are perpetuity of shame.

A further counsel bear in mind:
If that thy roof be made of glass,
It shows small wit to pick up stones
To pelt the people as they pass.
Win the attention of the wise,
And give the thinker food for thought;
Whoso indites frivolities,
Will but by simpletons be sought.


AMADIS OF GAUL
To Don Quixote of la Mancha

SONNET

Thou that didst imitate that life of mine
When I in lonely sadness on the great
Rock Pena Pobre sat disconsolate,
In self-imposed penance there to pine;
Thou, whose sole beverage was the bitter brine
Of thine own tears, and who withouten plate
Of silver, copper, tin, in lowly state
Off the bare earth and on earth's fruits didst dine;
Live thou, of thine eternal glory sure.
So long as on the round of the fourth sphere
The bright Apollo shall his coursers steer,
In thy renown thou shalt remain secure,
Thy country's name in story shall endure,
And thy sage author stand without a peer.

Previous Page
Next Page


Rate This Book

Current Rating: 2.4/5 (64 votes cast)



Review This Book or Post a Comment