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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Juan Ruiz (active 1343)

Praise of Little Women

Translation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

IN a little precious stone what splendor meets the eyes!

In a little lump of sugar, how much of sweetness lies!

So in a little woman love grows and multiplies:

You recollect the proverb says, A word unto the wise.

A peppercorn is very small, but seasons every dinner

More than all other condiments, although ’tis sprinkled thinner:

Just so a little woman is, if love will let you win her,—

There’s not a joy in all the world you will not find within her.

And as within the little rose you find the richest dyes,

And in a little grain of gold much price and value lies,

As from a little balsam much odor doth arise,

So in a little woman there’s a taste of paradise.

The skylark and the nightingale, though small and light of wing,

Yet warble sweeter in the grove than all the birds that sing;

And so a little woman, though a very little thing,

Is sweeter far than sugar and flowers that bloom in spring.