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Afonso X de Leão e Castela: SONG OF DISCOMFORT (SIRVENTÊS in English)

Portre of Afonso X de Leão e Castela

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SIRVENTÊS (Portuguese)

Non me posso pagar tanto
do canto
das aves nen de seu son,
nen d’amore nen de mixon
nen d’armas – ca ei espanto,
por quanto
mui perigosas son,
– come dun bon galeon,
que mi alongue muit’aginha
deste demo da campinha,
u os alacrães son;
ca dentro no coraçon
senti deles a espinha!

E juro par Deus lo santo
que manto
non tragerei nen granhon,
nen terrei d’amor razon
nen d’armas, por que quebranto
e chanto
ven delas toda sazon;
mais tragerei un dormon,
e irei pela marinha
vendend’azeit’e farinha;
e fugirei do poçon
do alacran, ca eu non
lhi sei outra meezinha.

Nen de lançar a tavolado
non sõo, se Deus m’ampar,
aqui, nen de bafordar;
e andar de noute armado,
sen grado
o faço, e a roldar;
ca mais me pago do mar
que de seer cavaleiro;
ca eu foi já marinheiro
e quero-m’ôi-mais guardar
do alacran, e tornar
ao que me foi primeiro.

E direi-vos un recado:
nunca me pod’enganar
que me faça já falar
en armas, ca non m’é dado
m’é de as eu razõar);
ante quer’andar sinlheiro
e ir come mercadeiro
alg?a terra buscar,
u me non possan culpar
alacran negro nem veiro.

Source of the quotation


I’ll never again be cheered
by the chirping
and delicate songs of birds
nor by love or great riches
nor by weapons (whose perils,
I confess,
have come to make me tremble),
but only by a seaworthy vessel
to carry me with all good speed
away from this land’s demon
heart, full of scorpions,
as my heart knows, being sore
from all their stinging poison.

I solemnly swear by God
I’ll go
without a beard or a cloak,
I’ll keep my heart closed
to love, and take no weapons
(which always
result in grief and disaster):
a boat is all I ask for.
And with it I will sail
along the coast, selling
oil and flour, fleeing
until my heart is free
from every venomous sting.

The gaming tables used to
amuse me
and I always loved to joust,
but those things bore me now,
and spending nights as an armed
has also lost its appeal:
I would rather be a seaman
than keep on as a knight.
When I was young I plied
the waters, and it’s my dream
to sail once more on the deep,
out of the scorpions’ reach.

I still have this to tell:
the devil
will never be able to fool me
with vain thoughts of using
the weapons I’ve laid to rest
not even to mention them,
as I won’t use them again).
Alone, as a merchantman,
I’ll sail in search of a land
where I know I can’t be stung
by black and vicious scorpions
or by brightly colored ones.

Source of the quotation