Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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In slashing, hewing, cleaving, word and deed,

I was the foremost knight of chivalry,

Stout, bold, expert, as e’er the world did see;

Thousands from the oppressor’s wrong I freed;

Great were my feats, eternal fame their meed;

In love I proved my truth and loyalty;

The hugest giant was a dwarf to me;

Ever to knighthood’s laws gave I good heed.

My mastery the Fickle Goddess owned,

And even Chance, submitting to control,

Grasped by the forelock, yielded to my will.

Yet— though above yon horned moon enthroned

My fortune seems to sit— great Quixote, still

Envy of your achievements fills my soul.

The lady Oriana

To Dulcinea del Toboso56

Oh, fairest Dulcinea, could it be!

It were a pleasant fancy to suppose so—

Could Miraflores change to El Toboso,

And London’s town to that which shelters thee!

Oh, could mine but acquire that livery

Of countless charms your mind and body show so!

Or him, now famous grown—you made him grow so—

Your knight, in some dread combat could I see!

Oh, could I be released from Amadís

By exercise of such coy chastity

As led thee gentle Quixote to dismiss!

Then would my heavy sorrow turn to joy;

None would I envy, all would envy me,

And happiness be mine without alloy.

Gandalín, Squire of Amadís de Gaula

To Sancho Panza, squire of don Quixote

All hail, illustrious man! Fortune, when she

Bound thee apprentice to the esquire trade,

Her care and tenderness of thee displayed,

Shaping your course from misadventure free.

No longer now doth proud knight-errantry

Regard with scorn the sickle and the spade;

Of towering arrogance less count is made

Than of plain squire-like simplicity.

I envy thee your Dapple, and your name,

And those saddlebags you were wont to stuff

With comforts that your providence proclaim.

Excellent Sancho! Hail to thee again!

To thee alone the Ovid of our Spain

Does homage with the rustic kiss and cuff.

From El Donoso, the Motley Poet

To Sancho Panza and Rocinante57
I am the esquire Sancho Pan—58

Who served don Quixote de La Man—;

But from his service I retreat—,

Resolved to pass my life discreet—;

For Villadiego, called the Si—,

Maintained that only in reti—

Was found the secret of well-be—,

According to the Celesti—:

A book divine, except for sin—

By speech too plain, in my opin—

To Rocinante
I am that Rocinante fa—,

Great-grandson of great Babie—,59

Who, all for being lean and bon—,

Had one Don Quixote for an own—;

But if I matched him well in weak—,

I never took short feedings meek—,

But kept myself in corn by steal—,

A trick I learned from Lazari—,

When with a piece of straw so neat—

The blind man of his wine he cheat—.

Orlando Furioso60

To don Quixote de La Mancha


If you are not a Peer, peer you have none;

Among a thousand Peers you are a peer;

Nor is there room for one when you are near,

Unvanquished victor, great unconquered one!

Orlando, by Angelica undone,

Am I; o’er distant seas condemned to steer,

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