Ancient Nahuatl Poetry ||| A SPRING SONG, AN OTOMI SONG, A PLAIN SONG
Category: Ancient Nahuatl Poetry
II. XOPANCUICATL, OTONCUICATL, TLAMELAUHCAYOTL.
II. A SPRING SONG, AN OTOMI SONG, A PLAIN SONG.
1. Onihualcalac nicuicani nepapan xochitlalpan, huel
teellelquixtican, tetlamachtican, oncan ahuach tonameyoquiauhtimani,
oncan cuicuica in nepapan tlazototome, on cuicatlaza in coyoltototl
cahuantimani inin tozquitzin in quellelquixtia in tloque in nahuaque
yehuan Dios, ohuaya, ohuaya.
1. I, the singer, have entered many flower gardens, places of
pleasaunce, favored spots, where the dew spread out its glittering
surface, where sang various lovely birds, where the coyol birds let
fall their song, and spreading far around, their voices rejoiced the
Cause of All, He who is God, ohuaya! ohuaya!
2. Oncan nicaqui in cuicanelhuayotl in nicuicani, tlacazo amo
tlalticpac in peuh yectli yancuicatl, tlacazo ompa in ilhuicatl itic
hual caquizti in conehua in tlazocoyoltototl in quimehuilia in
nepapan teoquecholme zacuantototl, oncan tlacazo quiyectenehua in
tloque in nahuaque, ohuaya, ohuaya.
2. It is there that I the singer hear the very essence of song;
certainly not on earth has true poesy its birth; certainly it is
within the heavens that one hears the lovely coyol bird lift its
voice, that the various quechol and zacuan birds speak together,
there they certainly praise the Cause of All, ohuaya! ohuaya!
3. Niyolpoxahua in nicaquia ni cuicani, acoquiza in notlalnamiquilizo
quin pepetlatiquiza in ilhuicame, nelcicihuiliz ehecayotiuh in
iquinalquixtia in ompa ontlatenehua in zacuanhuitzitzil in ilhuicatl
itic, ohuaya, ohuaya.
3. I, the singer, labor in spirit with what I heard, that it may lift
up my memory, that it may go forth to those shining heavens, that my
sighs may be borne on the wind and be permitted to enter where the
yellow humming bird chants its praises in the heavens, ohuaya!
4. Auh nohuiampa nictlachialtia in noyollo auh tlacazo nelli in amo
ixquich quehua in tlazotototl, tlacazo ye oc tlapanahuia in ilhuicatl
itic y yollo in tloque in nahuaque mochiuhtica, ca intlacamo
teuhyotiuh in notlalnamiquiliz azo huelquinalquixtica ittazo in
tlamahuizolli in ilhuicac ic papaqui in ilhuicac tlazototome ixpan in
tloque nahuaque, ohuaya, ohuaya.
4. And as in my thoughts I gaze around, truly no such sweet bird
lifts its voice, truly the things made for the heavens by the Cause
of All surpass all others, and unless my memory tends to things
divine scarcely will it be possible to penetrate these and witness
the wondrous sights in heaven, which rejoice the sweet heavenly birds
before the face of the Cause of All.
5. Quenin ah nichocaz in tlalticpac? ye nican onca nemoayб
ninoztlacahuia, nicitoa aзo zan ye ixquich in nican in tlalticpac
ontlamian toyolia, macuele ehuatl in tloque in nahuaque, ma ompa
inhuan nimitznocuicatili in ilhuicac mochanecahuan ca noyollo ehua
ompa nontlachia in monahuac in motloc tipalnemohua, ohuaya, ohuaya.
5. How much, alas, shall I weep on earth? Truly I have lived here in
vain illusion; I say that whatever is here on earth must end with our
lives. May I be permitted to sing to thee, the Cause of All, there in
the heaven, a dweller in thy mansion, there may my soul lift its
voice and be seen with Thee and near Thee, Thou by whom we live,
6. Ma xicaquin nocuic in tinocniuh xochihuehuetl inic tzotzonaya
ilhuicacuicatl in nicchuaya, ic niquimellelquixtia in teteucti,
xochicueponi in noyollo izqui xochitl nictzetzelohuaya ic malitiuh in
no cuicatzin ixpan in tloque in nahuaque, ohuaya, ohuaya.
6. List to my song, thou my friend, and to the flower-decked drum
which kept time to the heavenly song which I sang, that I might make
glad the nobles, raining down before them the flowery thoughts of my
heart as though they were flowers, that my noble song might grow in
glory before the face of the Cause of All, ohuaya! ohuaya!
NOTES FOR SONG II.
On the signification of the titles given to this poem see the
Introduction, § 3.
1. yehnan Dios; literally “who are God;” the introduction of the
Spanish Dios, God, is in explanation of in tloque in nahuaque; so
far from proving that this song is of late date, this vouches for its
genuine ancient character, through the necessity for such
2. nelhuayotl, the essence or source of something, its true nature;
probably from nelli, true.
teoquecholme; the prefix teotl, divine, is often added as an
expression of admiration. Sahagun mentions the teoquechol as a bird
of brilliant plumage.