Friday, 27 May 2016

Song in the Chalcan Style - Tetlepanquetzanitzin

Lord of the Waters, god and friend,
I weep with anguish at your side.
How much pity can your vassal
Wring from your heart
Here in the sea-ringed world?
I beg you to descend
And bear the earth upon your back
If only for a day.

If only you had created nothing,
You who are my heart . . .
Is this how one comes to live
In that proud land Beyond:
Feeling fury toward nothing,
Hating no one,
Living on this earth with honour?

I weep, for my heart knows,
Sacred friend,
That very truly,
Without a doubt,
As they live on the earth,
My brothers will grow lax.

Look to the south
And east, the rising place
Of our Lord the Sun!
Let your soul take flight
Where battle spreads—
Deluge and conflagration.
There one seizes power,
Kingship, holy blooms.

Not in vain will you strive
Quetzal feather Headdress,
Museum of Ethnology, Vienna, Austria
For the quetzal-feather tassels:
With blade and buckler
On the battlefields of earth
You will earn the holy blooms
For which you yearn,
For which you pine—
Flowers bestowed on you,
Prepared for you
By the Lord of the Near and the Nigh[1].

Vainly do you covet
That which you seek:
How can you seize the holy blooms
Unless you take up arms?
With your chest and your sweat
You will win those sacred flowers—
For your tears of pain and battle cry
The Lord of the Near and the Nigh
Will grant you your desire.

Tetlepanquetzanitzin (16th century) Mexico
He was a ruler of the city-state Tlacopan who died during the Spanish Conquest.
[1] An epithet for Tezcatlipoca, one of the most powerful and warlike of the Aztec gods, creator (along with Quetzalcoatl) of the earth.
Translated from the Nahuatl by David Bowles

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