Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Waddington, ed. > The Sonnets of Europe
Samuel Waddington, comp.  The Sonnets of Europe.  1888.
These Flowers, Whose Pomp
By Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1600–1681)
Translated by Arthur Platt
From El Principe Constante

THESE flowers, whose pomp was joyous to behold,
  When the white dawn awoke them out of sleep,
  At eve shall be a ruin fit to weep,
Lulled in the darkling night’s embraces cold.
This posy bright with listed hues of gold,        5
  Snow-white and purple, rivalling heaven’s bow,
  Will be a warning to our life below;
So doth one day its little life enfold.
To flower, the rose displayed her buds at morn,
  And to grow old and wither, did she flower;        10
One is her cradle and her grave forlorn.
  So men behold brief fortune’s earthly dower,
To die upon the day when they were born,
  For the past ages are but as an hour.

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