Friday, March 19, 2010

Ballad of My Beautiful Lady

One reason I read poetry from other periods and countries is to have an affirmation that human emotions are universal across time and cultures.  And to see whether the expressions by poets of that era and place "hold" across those distances.   Reading this one, I try to remember that it was a popular love verse in the time of Colombus, and note that the victory of Christian Spain over Moorish Spain was still very recent.  Distilled to the essence: the heart wants what it wants and accepts no substitutes, and that was true then, now, and for as long as humans exist.
 Ballad of My Beautiful Lady

“My friend, my friend,
my beautiful lady married today,
she married a country peasant,
which caused me the most pain.
I think I shall become a Moor,
and abide by Moorish ways:
any Christian that I may see,
his life I’ll take away.”
“Don’t do it, my friend,
don’t lead your life astray,
of three sisters that I have,
I shall give you the most fair,
if you want her for a wife,
if you want her for your lady.”
“I  don't want her for a wife,
nor want her for a lady,
since I could not enjoy,
the one I lost today.”
                                                                             Anon. - Spain (before 1500)            

No comments: