Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations

Ancient Nahuatl Poetry ||| SONG XX

Category: Ancient Nahuatl Poetry



1. Tolteca icuilihuia ahaa ya ha on tlantoc amoxtli ya moyollo ya on

aya mochonaciticac o o Toltecayootl aic aya ninemiz ye nican ay yo.

1. The Toltecs have been taken, alas, the book of their souls has

come to an end, alas, everything of the Toltecs has reached its

conclusion, no longer do I care to live here.

2. Ac ya nechcuiliz, ac ye nohuan oyaz o, nicaz a anni icuihuan aya y

yancuicanitl y yehetl y noxochiuh non cuica ihuitequi onteixpan ayyo.

2. Who will take me? Who will go with me? I am ready to be taken,

alas. All that was fresh, the perfume, my flowers, my songs, have

gone along with them.

3. Huey in tetl nictequintomahuac quahuitl, nicicuiloa yancuicatl

itech aya oncan nomitoz in quemmanian in can niyaz nocuica machio

nicyacauhtiaz in tlalticpac, y onnemiz noyol zan ca ye nican ya

hualla y yancoya nolnamicoca nemiz ye noteyo ay yo.

3. Great is my affliction, weighty is my burden; I write out a new

song concerning it, that some time I may speak it there where I shall

go, a song to be known when I shall leave the earth, that my soul

shall live after I have gone from here, that my fame shall live fresh

in memory.

4. Nichocaya niquittoaya nicnotza noyollo ma niquitta cuicanelhuayotl

ayama nicyatlalaquiya ma ya ica tlalticpac quimman mochihua onnenemiz

noyol y. Zan ca teucxochitl ahuiaca ipotocaticac mocepanoayan

toxochiuh ay ye ayao ohuiy on can quiya itzmolini ye nocuic celia

notlatollaquillo ohua in toxochiuh icac iquiapani ayao.

4. I cried aloud, I looked about, I reflected how I might see the

root of song, that I might plant it here on the earth, and that then

it should make my soul to live. The sweet exhalations of the lovely

flowers rose up uniting with our flowers; one hears them growing as

my song buds forth, filled with my words our flowers stand upright in

the waters.

5. Tel ca cahua xochitl ahuiac xeliuhtihuitz a ipotocaya in ahuiyac

poyomatlin pixahua oncan ninenenemi nicuicanitl y ye aya o ohui y on

ca quiya itzmolinп ye nocuic celia, etc.

5. But the flowers depart, their sweetness is divided and exhales,

the fragrant poyomatl rains down its leaves where I the poet walk in

sadness; one hears them growing, etc.


Another song of the antique Quetzalcoatl cyclus. It bewails the loss

of Tulan, and the bard seeks in vain for any joyous theme to inspire

his melody, reflecting on all that has bloomed in glory and now is

gone forever.

3. Tetl-quahitl; see note to XVIII, 9.

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