Arraignment of Men

An Electronic Edition · Juana de Asbaje (also known as Juana Inés de la Cruz) (1651-1695)

Original Source: Hispanic Anthology: Poems Translated from the Spanish by English and North American Poets. Ed. Thomas Walsh. New York: G. P. Putnam's Son, 1920

Copyright 2003. This text is freely available provided the text is distributed with the header information provided.

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Arraignment of the Men

Males perverse, schooled to condemn 
Women by your witless laws, 
Though forsooth you are prime cause 
Of that which you blame in them: 

If with unexampled care 
You solicit their disdain, 
Will your fair words ease their pain, 
When you ruthless set the snare? 

Their resistance you impugn, 
Then maintain with gravity 
That it was mere levity 
Made you dare to importune. 

What more elevating sight 
Than of man with logic crass, 
Who with hot breath fogs the glass, 
Then laments it is not bright! 

Scorn and favor, favor, scorn, 
What you will, result the same, 
Treat you ill, and earn your blame, 
Love you well, be left forlorn. 

Scant regard will she possess 
Who with caution wends her way,— 
Is held thankless for her “nay,” 
And as wanton for her “yes.” 

What must be the rare caprice 
Of the quarry you engage: 
If she flees, she wakes your rage, 
If she yields, her charms surcease. 

Who shall bear the heavier blame, 
When remorse the twain enthralls, 
She, who for the asking, falls, 
He who, asking, brings to shame? 

Whose the guilt, where to begin, 
Though both yield to passion’s sway, 
She who weakly sins for pay, 
He who, strong, yet pays for Sin? 

Then why stare ye, if we prove 
That the guilt lies at your gate? 
Either love those you create, 
Or create those you can love. 

To solicitation truce,— 
Then, sire, with some show of right 
You may mock the hapless plight 
Or the creatures of your use! 

—Peter H. Goldsmith (translator)  

Full Colophon Information

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Genre: Poetry

This text was first published in Madrid in 1692

The text of the present edition was initially prepared from and proofed against Hispanic Anthology: Poems Translated from the Spanish by English and North American Poets , ed. Thomas Walsh (New York: G. P. Putnam's Son, 1920). All preliminaries and notes have been omitted except those for which the author is responsible. All editorial notes have been omitted except those that indicate significant textual variations. Line and paragraph numbers contained in the source text have been retained. In cases where the source text displays no numbers, numbers are automatically generated. In the header, personal names have been regularized according to the Library of Congress authority files as "Last Name, First Name" for the REG attribute and "First Name Last Name" for the element value. Names have not been regularized in the body of the text.