More than Muses

To the Miserable State and Misfortunes of Medina

A translation into English of Al miserable estado y desdichas de Medina, a soneto con estrambote by Leonor de la Cueva y Silva. Translation by Valerie Hegstrom.


I will paint for you the miserable state

in which Medina lies, Gerardo, my friend.

I, who have watched it into disgrace descend,

can better recount what has become its fate.


Now for its games and parties it is too late.

Enemy Time did Medina’s ladies spend.

Of its young gentlemen I can only send

that no trace of their finery has remained.


There are no horses, no parties, no races.

No contentment, no pleasure, no joy holds sway.

Everywhere sorrow, pains, woes, and death await.


Of springtime parties there are no traces.

Everything diminishes more day by day.

Oh, sad village, amidst struggles so great!


For the companions fickle Time and cruel Fate

are casting for you a thousand evil lots,

so of all good things, you are left with naught.