Collage image, Conxita Pladevall Vila and E.M.Tuohy

Ausias March (15th Century)

"Sails and Winds..."

On sails and winds my wishes all depend,
as on the sea I make my doubting course,
against the Master's and the Westerly's force;
to them the Rising and the Southeast Winds must bend
as must their friends the Greek and the Midmorn,
and these to mighty Cross-Ridge humbly pray
that he may blow more favorably their way
and so all five can work for my return.

       My love, for you I feel more than I know
       that all the worst remains for me to see;
       I know more of you when you're far from me.
       So I'll compare you to these dice I throw.

The sea will boil like a casserole,
changing its color and its natural state,
to everything upon it show its hate
for lingering a moment, take its toll;
to sanctuary fishes small and grand
will hurry to a hiding place clandestine,
running from the sea that feeds and makes them,
and as a last resort whoosh onto land.

The pilgrims all together make their vows
and promise gifts and waxen offerings;
their fear of death will bring to light those things
that their confessors ne'er the half would know.
In perilous times my thoughts won't stray from you,
but I will pledge to God who's joined our lives
that He may never lessen how mine strives
and that you'll always be in my mind's view.

In death I only fear our separation,
for death anihilates - Love turns to dust;
but then I don't believe that my will's thrust,
by parting, can be turned from its intention.
I'm jealous of your weak desire for me,
if I should die, how soon you might forget,
my joy is marred by nothing but that thought
- tho, while we both live, this can never be:

that after I am dead, your love dies too,
and all our love will be transformed to ire;
if from this world by force I must retire
my pain will be never seeing you.
Oh God! Is there no outer boundary
to love? For there you'll find me all alone,
fearing, trusting everything to come;
will what you will, do what you want with me.

I'm one of those who love to such extreme
that, after love, God's toll will be my life,
but while I live, my heart can't feel such grief
as death with its excruciating pain.
I'm well disposed to all that love may bring,
but Fortune brings nor joy nor pain - I wait,
and wide awake, with no bars on my gate,
my fate will find me humbly answering.

It could be costly, that which I desire,
my hope for it consoles my great misfortune;
I pray to God and ask for no exemption
but that He quickly bring my test of fire.
And then, on faith no one will longer need
to trust how Love, without me still can grow;
Love's power will become my act and show
how my word will be proven by my deed.

Veles e vents

Veles e vents han mos desigs complir
faent camins dubtosos per la mar.
Mestre i ponent contra d'ells veig armar:
xaloc, llevant, los deuen subvenir,
ab llurs amics lo grec e lo migjorn,
fent humils precs al vent tramuntanal
que en son bufar los sia parcial
e que tots cinc complesquen mon retorn.

       Amor, de vós, jo en sent més que no en sé,
       de què la part pijor me'n romandrà,
       e de vós sap lo qui sens vós està:
       a joc de daus vos acompararé.

Bullirà el mar com la cassola en forn,
mudant color e l'estat natural,
e mostrarà voler tota res mal
que sobre si atur un punt al jorn.
Grans e pocs peixs a recors correran
e cercaran amagatalls secrets:
fugint al mar on són nodrits e fets,
per gran remei en terra eixiran.

Los pelegrins tots ensems votaran
e prometran molts dons de cera fets:
la gran paor traurà al llum los secrets
que al confés descuberts no seran.
E en lo perill no em caureu de l'esment,
ans votaré al Déu qui ens ha lligats
de no minvar mes fermes voluntats
e que tots temps me sereu de present.

Jo tem la mort per no ser-vos absent,
per què amor per mort es anul.lats,
mas jo no creu que mon voler sobrats
pusca esser per tal departiment.
Jo só gelós de vostre escàs voler
que, jo morint, no meta mi en oblit.
Sol est pensar me tol del mon delit,
car, nos vivint, no creu se pusca fer:

après ma mort, d'amar perdau poder
e sia tots en ira convertit.
E jo, forçat d'aquest món ser eixit,
tot lo meu mal serà vos no veer.
Oh Déu, ¿per què terme no hi ha en amor,
cap prop d'aquell jo em trobara tot sol?
Vostre voler sabera quant me vol,
tement, fiant, de l'avenidor!

Jo son aquell pus extrem amador
apres d'aquell a qui Déu vida tol:
puix jo son viu, mon cor no mostra dol
tant com la mort, per sa extrema dolor.
A bé o mal d'amor jo só dispost,
mas, per mon fat, fortuna cas no em porta:
tot esvetlat, ab desbarrada porta,
me trobarà faent humil respost.

Jo desig ço que em porà ser gran cost
i aquest esper de molts mals m'aconhorta;
a mi no plau ma vida ser estorta
d'un cas molt fer, qual prec Déu sia tost.
Lladoncs, les gents, no els calrà donar fe
al que amor fora mi obrarà:
lo seu poder en acte es mostrarà
e los meus dits ab los fets provaré.

* * *

traditional, 17th century

The Testament of Amelia

Amelia, daughter of the French king,
     lies ill upon her couch.
The counts all go in to see her,
     the kings, barons, and counts.
     Ai! Bare to the core my heart sheds
         like carnations in a bouquet.

Her mother goes in to see her
     with the others in company.
"What's come to pass, my daughter,
     that you've been taken ill?"
"Ai! The trouble that I have, mother,
     you've all known full long and well.
You've given me medicines, potions,
     mother, you'll see me dead."
"Confess unto God, my daugher,
     then partake of the Eucharist bread,
And after recieving the Eucharist
     your testament you'll make."
"Three castles in France have I
     all three truly mine, I think.
The first I leave to the poor
     and the pilgrims who pass there by,
the second I leave to the friars
     who'll bury this body of mine,
the third I leave to Don Carlos,
     Don Carlos, brother of mine.
My earrings and my cross
     I leave to you, Mother of God;
all of the gold and the silver
     I leave to you, my Lord God."
"And me, daughter,
     what will you leave to me?"
"Oh, plenty I'll leave you - too much!
     I'll leave you my husband free
to lock in your chamber and rule him
     in your court as you do every day."

El testament d'Amèlia

Malalta n'està l'Amèlia,
     la filla del rei francès.
Ja la van a veure comtes,
     comtes i barons i reis.
    Ai, que el meu cor se'm nua
        com un ram de clavells!

També hi va la seva mare,
     hi va en companyia d'ells:
-Què és estat això, ma filla,
     que vós malalta n'esteu?
-Ai! el mal que jo tinc, mare,
     estona ha que me'l sabeu.
Metzines me n'haveu dades;
     mare, morta me veureu.
-Confesseu, la meva filla,
     i després combregareu;
acabat de combregar-ne,
     vós testament ne fareu:
-Tres castells ne tinc a França,
     tots tres penso que són meus.
Lo primer lo deixo als pobres,
     als pobres i als romeus;
lo segon deixo a Don Carlos,
     a Don Carlos, germà meu.
La creu i les arrecades
     us deixo, Mare de Déu;
tot l'or i tota la plata
     us deixo, Senyor Déu meu.
-I a mi, la meva filla,
     i a mi què em deixareu?
-Vos deixaré prou i massa,
     que us deixaré l'espòs meu,
que el tingau tancat en cambra,
     governant-lo come soleu.

Drawing by Conxita Pladevall Vila

traditional, 17th century

The Sailor

A young maiden on the shore
    by the sea watchtower
was embroidering a scarf,
    the finest flower.
Just half finished was the scarf,
    she had no more thread.
When upon the sea afar
    a sail she spied.
Then she sees a galleon
    com'n into land,
and a sailor on the deck
    by the wheel stands.
"Sailor, my good sailorman,
    would ye have silk thread?"
"What color do ye want,
    white silk or red?"
"It should be of reddish dye,
    the finest sheen.
It should be of red for I
    'broid for the queen."
"Come up here on board with me,
    choose what you want."
"But I haven't any money,
    I can't come on.
My father has the keys
    to the chest at home."
"No, don't worry about money,
    we'll trust you well."
Then the maiden goes aboard
    and chooses silk.
But while she's a marketing
    the ship sets sail.
Then the sailor starts to sing
    a courting tale.
While the sailor sings his song
    she sleeps, poor girl,
by the noises of the sea
    she is awakened.
When she wakens from her sleep
    she can't see home;
out upon the highest seas
    the ship has gone.
"Sailor, o good sailorman,
    please bring me home;
all the air, this salt sea air
    makes me forlorn."
"But I won't, my pretty girl,
    now you're my own.
Seven years I've sailed the world
    for you, fair maiden;
a hundred leagues into the sea
    far from my haven."
"'Mong my sisters, I've been told,
    I'm far the fairest:
one of them is dressed in gold,
    the other silken,
and I, poor me, 'll wear
    uncombed woolen.
One's the lady of a duke,
    the other's princess,
and oh, poor me,
    a sailor's woman."
"Not a sailor's woman, no,
    you'll be a queen,
for I am the only son
    of the king of England."

El mariner

A la vora de la mar
   hi ha una donzella
que broda d'un mocador
    la flor més bella;
com ne fou a mig brodar
   li faltà seda.
En veu venir un mariner
    que el mar navega:

-Mariner, bon mariner,
   si'n porteu seda?
-De quin color la voleu,
    blanca o vermella?
-Vermelleta la vull jo,
    que és millor seda:
vermelleta la vull jo,
    que és per la Renia.
-Pugeu a dalt de la nau,
    triareu d'ella.-

Com dalt de la nau va ser
    la nau féu vela;
mariner es posa a cantar
    cançons novelles,
amb el cant del mariner
    s'ha adormideta,
i amb els aires de la mar
    ella es desperta!

-Mariner, bon mariner,
    torneu-me en terra,
que los aires de la mar
    m'en donen pena.
-Això sí que no ho faré,
    que heu de ser meva.
Set anys ha que vaig pel món
    per vós, donzella.

-De tres germanes que som
    só la més bella;
L'una en porta vestit d'or,
    l'altra de seda,
i jo, pobreta de mi,
    de sargil negre.
l'una és casada amb un duc,
    l'altra és princesa,
i jo, pobreta de mi,
-No en sou marinera, no,
    que en sereu reina,
que jo só lo fill del Rei
    de l'Anglaterra.

* * *

traditional, Menorca

Lover And Girl

If you become the moon
the moon in the sky so blue
a cloud I'll become
I'll come and cover you.

If you're a cloud on high
and come to cover me
I'll turn into sand and lie
beside the rolling sea.

If you become the sand
the sand down by the sea
I'll be a wave without end
and go on kissing ye.

If you become a wave
to kiss me all the day
as a hare I'll escape
long fields and far away.

If you become a hare
a hare in the biggest field
I'll be a hunter ware
I'll hunt you till you yield.

If you wear hunter's clothes
and chase me like a thrush
then I'll become a rose
a white rose on a bush.

If you become a rose
the white rose bush's flower
then as a bee I'll pose
drawing nectar every hour.

If you become a bee
my nectar to take
then as a nun I'll be
cloistered for God's sake.

If you become a nun
nun in a convent true
a friar I'll become
each day confessing you.

If you must be a friar
to confess me every day
we'd better marry nigh
or we might waste away.

Enamorat i al.lota

Si tu te fas la lluna
la lluna del cel blau
jo me faré el núvol
i et vindré a tapar.

Si tu te fas el núvol
I me vens a tapar
jo me faré l'arena
l'arena de la mar.

Si tu te fas l'arena
l'arena de la mar
jo me faré l'ona
i et vindré a besar.

Si tu te fas l'ona
i me vens a besar
jo me faré la llebre
la llebre d'un camp gran.

Si tu te fas la llebre
la llebre d'un camp gran
jo em faré caçador
i t'aniré caçant.

Si tu et fas caçador
i m'has d'anar caçant
jo me faré la rosa
rosa del roser blanc.

Si tu te fas la rosa
rosa del roser blanc
jo me faré l'abella
i t'aniré picant.

Si tu te fas l'abella
i m'has d'anar picant
jo me faré la monja
monja del convent sant.

Si tu te fas la monja
monja del convent sant
llavors jo em faré frare
t'he d'anar confessant.

Si tu t'has de fer frare
per'nar-me a confessar
val més que nos casem
i hem acabat de penar.

* * *

Apel.les Mestres (1854-1936)

The Washerwomen

The wash'women wash
and laugh and laugh;
the logger's axe resounds
along the river's length.

Woodsmen come and go
and laughter rings;
tongues come, tongues go
gossiping, gossiping.

They say the miller's
oldest girl...
They say the coalman's

They say the mistress
of the house up there
and young master Cirera...
oh, my God!

They say that it's said that they
say that they said that it's said
that honor's not washed clean
at the river's edge.

And so the wash'women
gossip and talk,
and the woodsmen cut
and never stop.

Les Rentadores

Les rentadores renten
tot riu que riu;
els picadors ressonen
al llarg del riu.

Picadors i rialles
vénen i van
vénen i van les llengües
garla garlant.

Diuen si la pubilla
del moliner...
diuen si la xiqueta
del carboner...

Diuen si la mestressa
del mas de dalt
i l'hereuet Cirera...
valga'm Déu val!

Diuen que es diu que diuen
que han dit que es diu
que no s'hi renten honres
al llarg del riu.

i en tant, les rentadores
vinga garlar,
i els picadors repiquen
sens mai parar.

* * *

Mossen Jacint Verdaguer (1845-1902)

The Gold Threader

There's a silversmith
in Argenteria;
he makes so much gold thread
they call him Goldthreader.
He threads it so fine
it's a wonder it doesn't break;
it looks like hair
from a doll's forehead.
The goldthreader has
a daughter;
he doesn't have to tell you
she's a bouquet of flowers;
like him, she threads gold
and fine silver,
she cuts gems
and strings pearls.
Whoever she marries
could open a shop
but no, she won't marry,
she'll become a nun
on the first Thursday
after Easter of Flowers.
When, at the altar
she lets down her hair
it's like a river of gold
overflowing its banks
or a field of the finest wheat
bent by the sickle.
Her father, losing her,
gathers up the spikes,
and, sad and alone,
returns to his shop
with the sheaf of curls
which hushed out of there that morning.

There's a silversmith
in Argenteria;
he threads so much gold
they call him Goldthreader.
What's more! Among the neighbors
some even say
he sells as gold thread
his daugher's hairs.

Lo Filador d'Or

N'hi ha un argenter
a l'Argenteria;
de tant filar or
li diuen Orfila.
Lo fila tan prim
que totjust s'ovira;
n'apar un cabell
del front d'una nina.
Lo filador d'or
diu que té una filla;
que és un pom de flors
no cal que us ho diga;
fila l'or com ell
i la plata fina,
retalla brillants
i perles enfila.
Qui s'hi casarà
pot plantar botiga
no es casa ella, no,
que es fa caputxina
lo primer dijous
de Pasqua Florida.
Quan, vora l'altar,
son cabell deslliga,
n'apar un riu d'or
que surt de la riba
o un camp de froment
que la falç inclina.
Son pare que el perd
recull les espigues,
i trist i solet
torna a la botiga
la garba dels rulls
que el matí n'eixia.

N'hi ha un argenter
a l'Argenteria;
de tant filar or
li diuen Orfila.
Mes, ai! pel vëinat
no falta qui diga
que ven per fils d'or
cabells de sa filla.