OLD POLISH ON-LINE
E Y E
T H E
Jan Andrzej Morsztyn
Jan Andrzej Morsztyn - INCONSTANCY
Your eyes are fire, your brow a looking glass,
Hair - gold, teeth - pearls, skin - buttermilk
Mouth is a coral, cheeks are lavender,
While you, my young lady, with me concur.
But when we quarrel, your cheeks turn leprous,
Mouth - a pit, cheeks - pale white lead
Teeth - a nag's bone, hair - web of a spider,
Your brow - a mangle, eyes - ashy powder.
Translated by Michael Mikoś
The original phrase 'curdled milk' is not a complimentary description of a lady's skin in English.
White lead was used as an ingredient in paint, cosmetics, and medicines, all appropriate in this context.