Don Quixote - Part I (Some Commendatory Verses, page 2 of 3)


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DON BELIANIS OF GREECE
To Don Quixote of la Mancha

SONNET

In slashing, hewing, cleaving, word and deed,
I was the foremost knight of chivalry,
Stout, bold, expert, as e'er the world did see;
Thousands from the oppressor's wrong I freed;
Great were my feats, eternal fame their meed;
In love I proved my truth and loyalty;
The hugest giant was a dwarf for me;
Ever to knighthood's laws gave I good heed.
My mastery the Fickle Goddess owned,
And even Chance, submitting to control,
Grasped by the forelock, yielded to my will.
Yet--though above yon horned moon enthroned
My fortune seems to sit--great Quixote, still
Envy of thy achievements fills my soul.


THE LADY OF ORIANA
To Dulcinea del Toboso

SONNET

Oh, fairest Dulcinea, could it be!
It were a pleasant fancy to suppose so--
Could Miraflores change to El Toboso,
And London's town to that which shelters thee!
Oh, could mine but acquire that livery
Of countless charms thy mind and body show so!
Or him, now famous grown--thou mad'st him grow so--
Thy knight, in some dread combat could I see!
Oh, could I be released from Amadis
By exercise of such coy chastity
As led thee gentle Quixote to dismiss!
Then would my heavy sorrow turn to joy;
None would I envy, all would envy me,
And happiness be mine without alloy.

GANDALIN, SQUIRE OF AMADIS OF GAUL,
To Sancho Panza, squire of Don Quixote

SONNET

All hail, illustrious man! Fortune, when she
Bound thee apprentice to the esquire trade,
Her care and tenderness of thee displayed,
Shaping thy course from misadventure free.
No longer now doth proud knight-errantry
Regard with scorn the sickle and the spade;
Of towering arrogance less count is made
Than of plain esquire-like simplicity.
I envy thee thy Dapple, and thy name,
And those alforjas thou wast wont to stuff
With comforts that thy providence proclaim.
Excellent Sancho! hail to thee again!
To thee alone the Ovid of our Spain
Does homage with the rustic kiss and cuff.


FROM EL DONOSO, THE MOTLEY POET,

On Sancho Panza and Rocinante

ON SANCHO

I am the esquire Sancho Pan--
Who served Don Quixote of La Man--;
But from his service I retreat-,
Resolved to pass my life discreet-;
For Villadiego, called the Si--,
Maintained that only in reti--
Was found the secret of well-be--,
According to the "Celesti--:"
A book divine, except for sin--
By speech too plain, in my opin--

ON ROCINANTE

I am that Rocinante fa--,
Great-grandson of great Babie--,
Who, all for being lean and bon--,
Had one Don Quixote for an own--;
But if I matched him well in weak--,
I never took short commons meek--,
But kept myself in corn by steal--,
A trick I learned from Lazaril--,
When with a piece of straw so neat--
The blind man of his wine he cheat--.

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