LA IMAGEN RESPETADA - 317-329 SAN MIGUEL DE LA TUMBA
Gonzalo de Berceo trans. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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317. Sant Migael de la Tumba1 es un grant monesterio,
El mar lo çerca todo, elli iaçe en medio:
El logar perigroso, do sufren grant laçerio
los monges que hi viven en essi çimiterio.

318. En esti monesterio que avemos nomnado,
Avie de buenos monges buen convento probado,
Altar de la Gloriosa rico e muy onrrado,
En él rica imagen de preçio muy granado.

319. Estaba la imagen en su trono posada,
So fijo en sus brazos, cosa es costumnada,
Los reys redor ella, sedie bien compannada,
Commo rica reyna de Dios sanctificada.

320. Tenie rica corona commo rica reyna,
De suso rica impla en logar de cortina,
Era bien entallada de labor muy fina,
Valie mas essi pueblo que la avie veçina.


321. Colgaba delant ella un buen aventadero,
En el seglar lenguage diçenli moscadero:
De alas de pavones lo fizo el obrero,

Luçie commo estrellas semeiant de luçero.

322. Cadió rayo del çielo por los graves peccados,
Ençendió la eglesia de todos quatro cabos,
Quemó todos los libros e los pannos sagrados,
Por pocco que los monges que non foron quemados.

323. Ardieron los armarios e todos los frontales,
Las bigas, las gateras, los cabríos, los cumbrales
Ardieron las ampollas, caliçes e çiriales,
Sufrió Dios essa cosa commo faz otras tales.

324. Maguer que fué el fuego tan fuert e tan quemant
Nin plegó a la duenna, nin plegó al infant,
Nin plegó al flabello que colgaba delant,
Nin li fizo de danno un dinero pesant.

325. Nin ardió la imagen, nin ardió el flabello,
Nin prisieron de danno quanto val un cabello,
Sola-miente el fumo non se llegó a ello,
Nin nuçió mas que nuzo io al obispo don Tello.




San Miguel de la Tumba is a convent vast and wide;
The sea encircles it around, and groans on every side;
It is a wild and dangerous place, and many woes betide
The monks who in that burial place in penitence abide.

Within those dark monastic walls, amid the ocean flood
Of pious fasting monks there dwelt a holy brotherhood;
To the Madonna's glory there an altar high was placed
And a rich and costly image the sacred altar graced.

Exalted high upon a throne, the Virgin Mother smiled,
And as the custom is, she held within her arms the Child;
The kings and wisemen of the East were kneeling by her side;
Attended was she like a queen whom God had sanctified.







Descending low before her face a screen of feathers hung, -
A moscader or fan for flies, 'tis called in vulgar tongue;
From the feathers of the peacock's wing 'twas fashioned bright and
fair,
And glistened like the heaven above when all its stars are there.

It chanced that for the people's sins, fell lightning's blasting stroke;
Forth from all four sacred walls the flames consuming broke;
The sacred robes were all consumed, missal and holy book;
And hardly with their lives the monks their crumbling walls forsook.





But though the desolating flame raged fearfully and wild,
It did not reach the Virgin Queen, it did not reach the Child;
It did not reach the feathery screen before her face that shone,
Nor injured in a farthing's worth the image or the throne.

The image it did not consume, it did not burn the screen;
Even in the value of a hair they were not hurt, I ween;
Not even the smoke did reach them, nor injure more the shrine
Than the bishop, hight Don Tello, has been hurt by hand of mine.



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