Despite his exotic name, which surely might have been an advantage in his pursuit of the ladies, here Baltasar de alcazar writes an anti-love poem, borrowing a form, the sonnet, and much of the language and themes used by writers of more conventional Baroque love poems, such as Garcilaso, Boscan or Gongora. So there is a nice gentle touch of irony and amused tongue-in-cheekedness about this poem.
Cupid, I’m not cut out to be in your army…, as we might put it in English.
Amor no es para mí ya tu ejercicio
Baltasar de Alcazar
Amor, no es para mí ya tu ejercicio,
porque cosa que importa no la hago;
antes, lo que tu intentas yo lo estrago,
porque no valgo un cuarto en el oficio.
Hazme, pues, por tu fe, este beneficio:
que me sueltes y des carta de pago.
Infamia es que tus tiros den en vago:
procura sangre nueva en tu servicio.
Ya yo con solas cuentas y buen vino
holgaré de pasar hasta el extremo;
y si me libras de prisión tan fiera,
de aquí te ofrezco un viejo, mi vecino,
que te sirva por mí en el propio remo,
como quien se rescata de galera.
The poet laments that he has no talent for being in love, that he messes up all the opportunities which Love (Cupid) brings his way. So it would be worthless for him to be a soldier in the army of love. Therefore, in the second four lines, he asks Love to lay him off, pay him up, give him his pink slip, say “you’re fired” and let him go, so that Love can bring in new blood.
The poet can then kick back, have some good wine and stop thinking about killing himself, if only Love would release him from servitude in such a desolate prison. In fact, the poet considers himself so incompetent in matters of love and courtship that he offers up his neighbour, an old man, to take his place wielding an oar in the galley of love.
The Poetry Dude