Ancient Nahuatl Poetry ||| A SPRING SONG, A SONG OF EXHORTATION, BECAUSE CERTAIN ONES DID NOT GO TO THE WAR
Category: Ancient Nahuatl Poetry
XII. XOPANCUICATL NENONOTZALCUICATL IPAMPA IN AQUIQUE AMO ON MIXTILIA IN YAOC.
XII. A SPRING SONG, A SONG OF EXHORTATION, BECAUSE CERTAIN ONES DID NOT GO TO THE WAR.
1. Nictzotzonan nohuehueuh nicuicatlamatquetl ic niquimonixitia ic
niquimitlehua in tocnihuan in atle in yollo quimati in aic tlathui
ipan inin yollo yaocochmictoque in inpan motimaloa in
mixtecomatlayohualli anen niquito huay motolinia y, maquicaqui qui y
xochitlathuicacuicatl occeh tzetzeuhtimania huehuetitlana, ohuaya,
1. I strike on my drum, I the skillful singer, that I may arouse,
that I may fire our friends, who think of nothing, to whose minds
plunged in sleep the dawn has not appeared, over whom are yet spread
the dark clouds of night; may I not call in vain and poorly, may they
hear this song of the rosy dawn, poured abroad widely by the drum,
2. Tlahuizcalteochitla oncuepontimani in ixochiquiyaopan in tloque in
nahuaque, onahuachtotonameyotimani in teyolquima; ma xiqualitacan in
atle ipan ontlatao, zannen cuepontimanio ayac mahaca quelehuiao in
antocnihuan amo zannen ya xochitl yoliliztlapalneucxochitla e.
2. The divine flowers of dawn blossom forth, the war flowers of the
Cause of All; glittering with dew they scatter abroad their
fragrance; bring them hither that they be not hidden nor bloom in
vain, that they may rejoice you our friends, and not in vain shall be
the flowers, the living, colored, brilliant flowers.
3. Quiyolcaihuintiaya in teyolia, zan oncan ye omania, zan oncan ye
oncuepontimania quauhtepetitlan in ya hualiuhcancopa y
ixtlahuatlitica oncan inemaya oc teoatl tlachinolli a. Oncan in
epoyahuayan in teoquauhtli oncan iquiquinacayan, in ocelotl,
ipixauhyan in nepapan tlazomaquiztetl, in emomolotzayan in nepapan
tlazopilihuitl, oncan teintoque oncan xamantoque in tepilhuan.
3. They intoxicate the soul, but they are only found, they blossom
only on the lofty mountains, on the broad plains where glorious war
finds its home. There is where the eagles gather in bands of sixties,
there the tigers roar, there the various beloved stones rain down,
there the various dear children are cut to pieces; there the youths
are split into shards and ground into fragments.
4. Tlacuah yehuantin in tepilhuani conelehuiao, in
tlahuizcalxochitlan ya nemamallihuao ic tetlanĕnectiao, in
ilhuicac onocon iceolitzin yn iotepiltzina quitzetzelotimanio a in
tepilhuan in quauhtliya ocelotl, in quimemactiao in
xochicueponalotlon in quimihuintia yeyolxochiahuechtlia.
4. Stoutly do those youths rejoice, laboring for the rose of the dawn
that they may win it; and in heaven, He, the only one, the noble one,
pours down upon the youths strength and courage, that they may pluck
the budding flowers of the pathway, that they may be intoxicated with
the dew-damp flowers of the spirit.
5. In ic timomatia in tinocniuh zan ne yan xochitlon in tiquelehuiaon
in tlalticpac, quen toconcuizon quen ticyachihuazon, timotolinia in
tiquimiztlacoa a in tepilhuan xochitica cuicatica; ma xihuallachican
in atle y ica mitl, ehuaon zan moch yehuantin in tepilhuan
zacuanmeteoquecholtitzinitzcatlatlauhquecholtin moyeh yectitinemio in
onmatio in ixtlahuatlitican.
5. Know, my friend, that these are the only flowers which will give
thee pleasure on earth; mayest thou take them and make them; O poor
one, search out for thy children these flowers and songs. Look not
hither without arrows, let all the youths lift up their voices, like
zacuan birds, divine quechols, tzinitzcans, and red quechols, who
live joyous lives, and know the fields.
6. Chimalxochitl, quauhpilolxochitl ic oquichtlamatimani in y
antepilhuan xochicozcaocoxochitl ic mapantimanian, quitimaloao
yectliya cuicatl, yectliya xochitl, imezo imelchiquiuh patiuh
mochihuaya in quicelia on in teoatl tlachinolli; y iantocnihuan
tliliuhquitepeca in tiyaotehua huey otlipana, ma huel xoconmanao y ye
mochimalo, huel xonicaon in ti quauhtliya ocelotla.
6. O youths, here there are skilled men in the flowers of shields, in
the flowers of the pendant eagle plumes, the yellow flowers which
they grasp; they pour forth noble songs, noble flowers; they make
payment with their blood, with their bare breasts; they seek the
bloody field of war. And you, O friends, put on your black paint, for
war, for the path of victory; let us lay hands on our shields, and
raise aloft our strength and courage.
NOTES FOR SONG XII.
As stated in the Introduction (§ 10), a note prefixed to this song
introduces it as a translation from the Otomi into the Nahuatl
tongue. It admirably illustrates the poetic flexibility of the
3. epoyhuayan, from epoalli, sixty; teoquauhtli ocelott,
“divine eagles, tigers.” These terms refer to the warriors bearing
tlazomaquiztetl, “beloved, precious stones,” a figure of speech
referring to the youths who go to war. The same or similar metaphors
are used in previous songs.
5. The fifth and sixth verses present serious difficulties of
construction which I do not flatter myself I have overcome.