CANTARESSONGS
Rosalía de Castrotrans. James H. Donalson - (from Galician)
O meu corazón soíño
e morada de cantares;
nei agarimados viven
coma no seu niño as aves;
e cando a dor os desperte,
ou cando pracer os chame,
encherán de sons alegres
ou de tristesiña os aires.

****

A guitarriña que eu toco
sente como unha persona;
unhas veces canta e ríe,
outras veces xime e chora.

****

A cor d'o teu rostro, nena,
é coma noite de lúa,
e a mata dos teus cabellos,
o mesmo que noite escura.

****

Cando á veiriña do rio
lavas os teus pes de rosa,
tembran de amor as auguiñas,
sospira o vento antre as ponlas.

****

Os cravos que en pes e mans
lle puxeron al Señor,
lévaos a nai afrixida
cravados no corasón.

****

O mundo deume un libro;
é eu son tan lerdo
que canto mái-lo estudio
méno-lo entendo.

****

O santurrón de abaixo
xá está morrendo;
¡que feixiño de leña
vai para o inferno!

****

Vai logo, e a tua nai dille
si me despresa por probe,
que o mundo da moitas voltas,
que tamen se can as torres.

****

Quítate desa ventana
e oie un consello, meniña:
rosa que está ben gardada
os páxaros non a pican.

****

Medín cos ollos o ceo,
sondéi o fondo do mar;
mais no corasón dos homes
fondo no puden topar.

****

A Dios un abogado
lle imita nesto:
Dios fai todo de nada ...
e el fai un preito.

****

Chistosa, churrusqueiriña,
que sal espallando vas;
¿di cómo espaillando tanto
non che se acabóu o sal?
My solitary heart
is like a nest of songs:
in it they live or sleep
like birds do in their nests,
till pain awakens them,
or pleasure calls them out:
and then they fill the air
with mournful sounds or joy.

****

When playing the guitar
its feelings come to fore:
at times it sings and laughs,
at times laments and moans.

****

The paleness of your face
is like a moonlit night:
and like a moonless night
the blackness of your hair.

****

When, on the river`s bank,
you wash your rosy feet,
the waters palpitate,
the wind sighs up above.

****

The nails they drove into
the good Lord's hands and feet
have been within the heart
of Mary ever since.

****

The world gave me a book
but I am just too thick:
the more I study it
the less I understand.

****

The hypocrite down there
is on his death-bed now:
a batch of kindling-wood
to feed the fires of hell.

****

Your mother won't approve
because I am so poor?
Just say the world spins on
and many towers fall.

****

Get off the window-seat:
take my advice, my child,
the flower that's not exposed
is safe from pecking birds.

****

By sight I sized the sky
by sound I plumbed the sea;
but sounding in a heart
no bottom could be found.

****

The lawyers mimic God
in just one thing: for He
from nothing made a world,
and they create their suits.

****

You pepper life with wit
and laughter far and wide,
and still, it seems to me
the shaker's always full.

Trans. Copyright © James H. Donalson 2003


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