. https://www.youtube.com/watch?vhDSWs61Ye0E . Sonnet XVIII of the Sacred Rhymes by Lope de Vega (1562-1635) translated by Martin Rizley What have I, that you’d seek me as a friend? What interest draws you, Jesus, to my door, All drenched with dew, as you have come before, In winter’s dark, the long night hours to spend? O how unyielding was my heart, so hard, To shut you out! How daft, if for my vice Of cold ingratitude the freezing ice Dried your pure feet, cut sore by many a shard! How many times the Angel said to me, “Soul, come, draw near, and see now through the pane With what great love He calls persistently!” How oft then, Sovereign Beauty, I’d explain, “Tomorrow, we’ll receive Him willingly.” But each tomorrow proved my vow was vain! . Original Spanish Soneto XVIII, de las "Rimas Sacras" ¿Qué tengo yo, que mi amistad procuras? ¿Qué interés se te sigue, Jesús mío, que a mi puerta cubierto de rocío pasas las noches del invierno oscuras? ¡Oh cuánto fueron mis entrañas duras pues no te abrí! ¡Qué extraño desvarío si de mi ingratitud el hielo frío secó las llagas de tus plantas puras! ¡Cuántas veces el Ángel me decía: «Alma, asómate agora a la ventana, verás con cuánto amor llamar porfía!» ¡Y cuántas, hermosura soberana, «Mañana le abriremos», respondía, para lo mismo responder mañana! . Biographical Note Félix Lope de Vega y Carpio (1562-1635), known to history simply as Lope de Vega, is considered one of Spain’s greatest writers, his fame being second only to that of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote de la Mancha. Born in the year 1562 in the middle of what is known as Spain’s “Golden Century,” a period of cultural flourishing in the arts and literature in Spain, Lope de Vega rose to become a key literary figure of his age as a playwright, poet, and novelist. On account of his prolific output---he was the author of some 3,000 sonnets, 3 novels, 4 novellas, and possibly a thousand plays, of which over 400 survive to the present day---his contemporary Cervantes nicknamed him the “Monster of Nature” and the “Phoenix of the wits.” His literary gifts were evident at an early age, for as a child prodigy, he was composing verses by the age of five, translating verses from Latin by the age of ten, and writing comedies by the age of twelve. During his colorful and often turbulent life, he wore many hats, serving as a secretary to aristocrats and government officials, as an enlisted man in the Spanish armada, and as a royal courtier (a sort of butler) to the Duke of Alba. As a young man, he was on more than one occasion in trouble with the law on account of scandalous conduct involving love affairs with women, both married and unmarried. In later life, he was consecrated to the priesthood, although that does not seem to have curtailed altogether his romantic dalliances. In his Sacred Rhymes, he expresses the dualistic conflict he experienced between the pull of earthly passions and spiritual aspirations. The sonnet XVIII is one of his most famous brief compositions. . . Martin Rizley grew up in Oklahoma and in Texas, and has served in pastoral ministry both in the United States and in Europe. He is currently serving as the pastor of a small evangelical church in the city of Málaga on the southern coast of Spain, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Martin has enjoyed writing and reading poetry as a hobby since his early youth.