DE LAS PROPIEDADES QUE LAS DUEÑAS
.................................................CHICAS HAN
ON THE PROPERTIES THAT LITTLE WOMEN HAVE
Juan Ruiz, Archpriest of Hita trans. James H.Donalson
Quiero vos abreuiar la predicaçion,
que sienpre me pague de pequeno sermon
e de dueña pequena e de breue Rason,
Ca poco e bien dicho afyncase el coraçon.

Del que mucho fabla Ryen; quien mucho rrie es loco;
es en la dueña chica amor e non poco.
dueñas ay muy grandes que por chicas non troco,
mas las chicas e las grandes se rrepienden del troco.

De las chicas que byen diga el amor me fiso Ruego,
que diga de sus noblesas, yo quiero las dezir luego,
desir vos he de dueñas chicas que lo avredes por juego,
son frias como la nieue e arden commo el fuego.

Son frias de fuera, con el amor ardientes,
en la cama solas, trebejo, plasenteras, Ryentes,
en casa cuerdas, donosas, sosegadas, byen fasientes,
mucho al y fallaredes ado byen pararedes mientes.

En pequena girgonça yase grand rresplandor,
en açucar muy poco yase mucho dulçor,
en la dueña pequeña yase muy grand amor;
pocas palabras cunplen al buen entendedor.

Es pequeño el grano de la buena pemienta,
pero mas que la nues conorta e calyenta,
asi dueña pequena, sy todo amor consyenta,
non ha plaser del mundo que en ella non sienta.

Commo en chica rrosa esta mucha color,
en oro muy poco grand preçio e grand valor,
commo en poco blasmo yase grand buen olor,
ansy en dueña chica yase muy grad sabor.

Como Roby pequeño tyene mucha bondat,
color, virtud e preçio e noble claridad,
ansi dueña pequena tiene mucha beldat,
fermosura, donayre, amor e lealtad.

Sycha es la calandria e chico el rruyseñor,
pero mas dulçe canta que otra ave mayor;
la muger que es chica por eso es mejor,
con doñeo es mas dulçe que açucar nin flor.

sson aves peguenas papagayo e orior,
pero qual quier dellas es dulçe gritador,
ado-nada, fermosa, preçida cantador;
bien atal es la dueña pequena con amor.

De la muger pequeña non ay conparaçion,
terrenal parayso es e grand conssolaçion,
solas e alegria, plaser e bendiçion
mejor es en la prueua que en la salutaçion.

ssyenpre quis muger chica mas que grande nin mayor,
non es desaguisado del grand mal ser foydor,
del mal tomar lo menos, diselo el sabidor,
por ende de las mugeres la mejor es la menor.
I wish to relate to you briefly the thought that I preach
I've found that a sermon that's brief will be better received,
(of ladies who're small, and its purpose is brief)
for memory will keep what is short if it has been well said.

They laugh at who speaks too much, but too much laughing is mad:
and in little women there's great love, not small,
and there are big women I won't trade for small
but little and big will be sorry withal.

Love made a request to speak well of small ladies,
so then of their worthiness I will speak later:
I'll speak of small ladies, you'll have them for playthings
they're cold as the snow but they burn more than fire.

They're cold on the outside, but loving, they burn,
they're solace in bed and they're pleasant and smile,
at home, they're relaxed, lithe and helpful and bright,
and if you're attentive, you'll find they're much more.

In all little gems there is splendor that's great,
and in little sugar there's sweetness that's much,
and in little women there's love that is great,
with few little words, one's informed if he's wise.

A peppercorn's good although it's very small:
it comforts and warms more than nuts ever can;
if all love's agreeing, when women are small
then earth has no pleasure that's not found in them.

As in a small rose there is much color there,
a little gold coin has great price and great worth,
and in a small balm the aroma is great
just so, little women have savor that's grand.

A ruby that's tiny has much that is good,
with color and price and a clearness that's rare,
just so, little women have beauty that's great
and gracefulness, loyalty, and they have love.

The nightingale's small and small too is the lark,
but they can sing sweeter than birds of great size:
a woman who's small is the better for that,
her womanliness is more sweet than is sugar or flower.

The parrot and oriole are little birds,
but either of them can cry sweetly to you,
a singer who's gifted and beauteous and prized:
just so are small women when dealing with love.

But to little women there's nothing that can be compared,
a great consolation and paradise here on the earth;
a solace and pleasure and blessing and joy,
and better on testing than at the first blush.

I've always preferred little women to big,
it isn't unreasonable, taking an evil on faith,
then of it take less, as the wise man has said
therefore with the women, the least is the best.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Transl. Copyright © James H.Donalson 2005


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