Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations






Ancient Nahuatl Poetry ||| COMPOSED BY A CERTAIN RULER IN MEMORY OF FORMER RULERS

Category: Ancient Nahuatl Poetry


VIII. OTRO, QUEUH CE TLATOHUANI IN QUIMILNAMIQUI IN TLATOQUE.

VIII. COMPOSED BY A CERTAIN RULER IN MEMORY OF FORMER RULERS.

1. Tlaocolxochi ixayoticaya ic nichuipana in nocuic nicuicani,

niquimilnamiqui in tepilhuan, in teintoque, in tlaзotitoque in campa

in ximohuaya, in oteuctico, in otlatocatico in tlallia icpac, in

quetzalhuahuaciuhtoque in chalchiuhteintoque in tepilhuan, in maoc

imixpan in maoc oquitlani; in ye itto in tlalticpac iximachoca in

tloque in nahuaque.

1. Weeping, I, the singer, weave my song of flowers of sadness; I

call to memory the youths, the shards, the fragments, gone to the

land of the dead; once noble and powerful here on earth, the youths

were dried up like feathers, were split into fragments like an

emerald, before the face and in the sight of those who saw them on

earth, and with the knowledge of the Cause of All.

2. Y yo ya hue nitlaocolcuicaya in niquimilnamiqui in tepilhuan, ma

zan itla ninocuepa, ma niquimonana, ma niquinhualquixti in ompa in

ximoayan, ma oc oppa tihua in tlalticpac, ma oc quimahuizoqui in

tepilhuan in ticmahuizoa, azo huel yehuantin tlatlazomahuizozquia in

ipalnemohualoni, quemmach tomazehual in tlazaniuh ticmatican in

ticnopillahueliloque ic choca in noyollo nino tlalnamiquiliz huipana

in nicuicani choquiztica tlaocoltica nitlalnamiquia.

2. Alas! alas! I sing in grief as I recall the children. Would that I

could turn back again; would that I could grasp their hands once

more; would that I could call them forth from the land of the dead;

would that we could bring them again on earth, that they might

rejoice and we rejoice, and that they might rejoice and delight the

Giver of Life; is it possible that we His servants should reject him

or should be ungrateful? Thus I weep in my heart as I, the singer,

review my memories, recalling things sad and grievous.

3. Manozo zan nicmati in nechcaquizque intla itla yectli cuicatl

niquimehuili in ompa ximohuayan, ma ic niquipapacti, ma ic

niquimacotlaza inin tonez inin chichinaquiliz in tepilhuan. Cuix on

machiaz? Quennel nihualnellaquahua? Aquen manian ompa niquimontocaz?

Ano niquin nonotztaciz in ye yuh quin in tlalticpac.

3. Would only that I knew they could hear me, there in the land of

the dead, were I to sing some worthy song. Would that I could gladden

them, that I could console the suffering and the torment of the

children. How can it be learned? Whence can I draw the inspiration?

They are not where I may follow them; neither can I reach them with

my calling as one here on earth.

NOTES FOR SONG VIII.

The entire absence in this lament for the dead of any consolation

drawn from Christian doctrines, points clearly to a date for its

composition earlier than the teachings of the missionaries. Its cry

of woe is hopeless, and the title attributes its authorship to one of

the old chieftains, tlatoani, who held the power before the

Spaniard arrived.

1. quetzalhuahuaciuhtoque, from quetzalli, huaqui; in

teintoque, the splinters; the same simile is employed in VII, 2.

2. ximoayan, see note to I, 8. The occurrence of this term here and

in verse 3 testifies to the fact of a composition outside of

Christian influences.


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