Sunday, 17 May 2015

XIV - Nahuatl indian (anonymous)

Only the tzinitzcan is in power, the tzinitzcan arouses me in my affliction, letting fall its songs like sad flowers.

Wherever it wanders, wherever it lives, one awaits it here with the drum, in affliction, in distress, here in the house of spring.

Who is the royal son? Is not the royal son, the son of God, Jesus Christ, as was written in your writings, as was written in your songs?

Is not the flowery writing within the house of flowers that he shall come there from heaven?

Look around and wonder at this scene of many coloured houses which God has created and endowed with life.

They make us who are miserable to see the light among the flowers and songs of the fertile fields, they cause us to see those things which God has created and endowed with life.

They dwell in the place of spring, in the place of spring, here within the broad fields, and only for our sakes does the turquoise-water fall in broken drops on the surface of the lake.

Where it gleams forth in fourfold rays, where the fragrant yellow flowers bud, there live the Mexicans, the youths.

Nahuatl indian (anonymous) 16th century, Mexico
Translated by Daniel G. Brinton

This poem, chanted in 1551 before the Governor of Azcapotzalco, by Francisco Placido, a native of Huexotzinco, is a Christian song in the style and metre of the ancient poetry. Tzinitzcan, the native name of the Trogon mexicanus, renowned for its beautiful plumage.

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