ROMANCE ROMANCE
Anon. (15-16c.) trans. Brian Cole
Los vientos eran contrarios,
la luna estaba crecida,
los peces daban gemidos
por el mal tiempo que hacía,
cuando el rey don Rodrigo
junto a la Cava dormía,
dentro de una rica tienda
de oro bien guarnecida.
Trescientas cuerdas de plata
que la tienda sostenían,
dentro había doncellas
vestidas a maravilla;
las cincuenta están tañendo
con muy extraña armonía,
las cincuenta están cantando
con muy dulce melodía.

Allí hablara una doncella
que Fortuna se decía:
'Si duermes, rey don Rodrigo,
despierta por cortesía,
y verás tus malos hados,
tu peor postrimería,
y verás tus gentes muertas
y tu batalla rompida,
y tus villas y ciudades
destruidas en un día:
tus castillos, fortalezas,
otro señor los regía.
Si me pides quién lo ha hecho
yo muy bien te lo diría:
ese conde don Julián
por amores de su hija,
porque se la deshonraste
y más de ella no tenía.
Juramento viene echando
que te ha de costar la vida.'

Despertó muy congojado
con aquella voz que oía;
con cara triste y penosa
de esta suerte respondía:
'Mercedes a ti, Fortuna,
de esta tu mensajería.'

Estando en esto allegó
uno que nuevas traía:
como el conde don Julián
las tierras le destruía.
Apriesa pide el caballo
y al encuentro le salía;
los contrarios eran tantos
que esfuerzo no le valía;
que capitanes y gentes
huye el que mas podia.

............
............

All the winds were contrary,
the moon had grown to fullness,
and the fish could only groan,
the weather was so bad,
when good King Rodrigo
was sleeping with La Cava
in a sumptuous tent,
its walls well-dressed with gold.
Three hundred silver cables
held up the royal tent,
and inside there were maidens
all wondrously arrayed:
fifty played the music
with strangest harmonies,
and fifty more were singing
most melodiously.

Then spoke one of the maidens -
she was called Fortuna:
"If you're asleep Your Majesty,
I pray you, please wake up.
You'll see your evil fate
and even worse your dying,
you'll see your people dead,
your battle order broken,
and all your towns and cities
destroyed in a single day.
Your castles and your strongholds
another lord will rule.
And if you ask who did this
I'll tell you straight away:
it was the Count Julián
for the love of his dear daughter
whose honour you had shamed,
and he had none but her.
He has just sworn an oath
that will cost you your life."

He woke up most distressed
on hearing what she said;
with sad and doleful face
this is what he replied:
"I thank you, Fortuna,
for the message that you bring."

At that moment came
a messenger with news,
to tell that Count Julián
was laying waste his lands.
He quickly called for his horse
and rode out to meet the Count;
his opponents were so many
that his efforts were in vain;
his captains and his soldiers
took to their heels and ran.

............
............


Transl. Copyright © Brian Cole, 2003


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