Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations






Ancient Nahuatl Poetry ||| A SPRING SONG OF THE MEXICANS, A PLAIN SONG

Category: Ancient Nahuatl Poetry


X. MEXICA XOPANCUICATL TLAMELAUHCAYOTL.

X. A SPRING SONG OF THE MEXICANS, A PLAIN SONG.

1. Tlaocoya in noyollo nicuicanitl nicnotlamatia, yehua za yey

xochitl y zan ye in cuicatlin, ica nitlacocoa in tlalticpac ye nican,

ma nequitocan intech cocolia intech miquitlani moch ompa onyazque

cano y ichan, ohuaya.

1. My heart grieved, I, the singer, was afflicted, that these are the

only flowers, the only songs which I can procure here on earth; see

how they speak of sickness and of death, how all go there to their

homes, alas.

2. I inquemanian in otonciahuic, in otontlatzihuic tocon ynayaz in

momahuizco in motenyo in tlalticpac, ma nenquitocane, ohuaya, etc.

2. Sometimes thou hast toiled and acquired skill, thou takest refuge

in thy fame and renown on earth; but see how vain they speak, alas.

3. Inin azan oc huelnemohuan in tlalticpac mazano ihuian yehuan Dios

quiniquac onnetemoloa in tiaque in canin ye ichan, ohuaya.

3. As many as live on earth, truly they go to God when they descend

to the place where are their homes, alas.

4. Hu inin titotolinia ma yuhquitimiquican ma omochiuh in mantech

onittocan in tocnihuan in matech onahuacan in quauhtin y a ocelotl.

4. Alas, we miserable ones, may it happen when we die that we may see

our friends, that we may be with them in grandeur and strength.

5. Mazo quiyocoli macaoc xictemachican, can antlahuicaya y caya

amechmotlatili in ipalnemohuani, ohuaya.

5. Although He is the Creator, do not hope that the Giver of Life has

sent you and has established you.

6. Ay ya yo xicnotlamatican Tezcacoacatl, Atecpanecatl mach nel

amihuihuinti in cozcatl in chalchihuitli, ma ye anmonecti, ma ye

antlaneltocati.

6. Be ye grieved, ye of Tezcuco and Atecpan, that ye are intoxicated

with gems and precious stones; come forth to the light, come and

believe.

NOTES FOR SONG X.

The poet expresses his grief that his songs all dwell on painful

topics; he exhorts his hearers of the vanity of fame and skill in

handicrafts, and of the uncertainty of life; closing, he appeals

especially to those of Tezcuco and Atecpan to listen and believe his

warnings.

In spite of the introduction of the Spanish word Dios, and the

exhortation to “believe,” in the last line, it is possible that the

substance of this song was due to purely native inspiration; yet it

may have been, like Song XIX, one of those written at an early period

for the converts by the missionaries.


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