At the Catafalque of King Philip II in Seville
I swear to God such grandeur frightens me.
I’d pay good money to describe it well;
for whom would this great structure, all this wealth,
not hold in wonder with its awesome spell?
By Christ alive, each part of it is worth
more than a million; isn’t it a shame
that it won’t last a century — Great Seville! —
triumphant Rome in zeal and noble fame.
I’ll bet the very soul of this here corpse
just to enjoy this spot today has quit
that heaven where he endlessly resides.
A braggart overheard these words and said:
“Oh, Mr. soldier, what you say is true.
And anyone who says it’s not, he lies.”
And then, quite suddenly,
he checked his sword with care, pulled down his hat,
he looked away, moved on, and that was that.