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Alfonso X the Wise

Cantiga

LADY, for the love of God,
Have some pity upon me!
See my eyes, a river-flood
Day and night, oh, see!
Brothers, cousins, uncles, all,
Have I lost for thee;
If thou dost not me recall,
Woe is me!

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To The Month Of May (From The Cantigas)

Welcome, O May, yet once again we greet thee!
So alway praise we her, the Holy Mother,
Who prays to God that he shall aid us ever
Against our foes, and to us ever listen.
Welcome, O May! loyally art thou welcome!
So alway praise we her, the Mother of kindness,
Mother who alway on us taketh pity,
Mother who guardeth us from woes unnumbered.
Welcome, O May! welcome, O month well favored!
So let us ever pray and offer praises
To her who ceases not for us, for sinners,
To pray to God that we from woes be guarded.
Welcome, O May! O joyous month and stainless!
So will we ever pray to her who gaineth
Grace from her Son for us, and gives each morning
Force that by us the Moors from Spain are driven.
Welcome, O May, of bread and wine the giver!
Pray then to her, for in her arms, an infant
She bore the Lord! she points us on our journey,
The journey that to her will bear us quickly!

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The Treasury

THE strange intelligence then reached my ears
That in the land of Egypt lived a man,
Who, wise of wit, subjected to his scan
The dark occurrences of uncome years;
He judged the stars, and by the moving spheres
And aspects of the heavens unveiled the dim
Face of futurity, which then to him
Appeared, as clear to us the past appears.
A yearning towards this sage inspired my pen
And tongue, that instant, with humility
Descending from my height of majesty;
Such mastery has a strong desire o'er men;
My earnest prayers I wrote -- I sent -- with ten
My noblest envoys, loaded each apart
With gold and silver, which with all my heart
I offered him, but the request was vain.
With much politeness the wise man replied,
"You, sire, are a great king, and I should be
Most glad to serve you, but in such a fee
Of gold and silver gems I take no sort of pride;

[...] Read more

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Rose of roses and flower of flowers,

1.
Rose of beauty and fine appearance
And flower of happiness and pleasure,
lady of most merciful bearing,
And Lord for relieving all woes and cares;
Rose of roses and flower of flowers,
Lady of ladies, Lord of lords. Rosa das rosas e Fror das frores,
Dona das donas, Sennor das sennores.

1.
Rosa de beldad' e de parecer
e Fror d'alegria e de prazer,
Dona en mui piadosa ser
Sennor en toller coitas e doores.
Rosa das rosas e Fror das frores,
Dona das donas, Sennor das sennores.


2.

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Cantiga de Santa Maria No. 194

Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,
so against evil doers it is mighty and fearful.
Concerning this, a miracle happened in the land of Catalonia to a minstrel who sang well, with grace and ease, earning a good living, he came to lodge in the house of a greedy knight
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

who gave him all that he needed that night. However, that base and avaricious knight began to covet so greatly the donkey and clothes belonging to that minstrel that he ordered one of his men, evil and cruel,
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

to go with another of his group and waylay him in a hidden place in the mountains. The man did so gladly, for it was a favorite pastime of his, and I assure you, he was always eager to do dastardly deeds.
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

He took a companion of the same ilk with him. The next morning the minstrel took leave of the knight, and, as soon as he was on his way and they saw him travelling all alone, those two caught him in a steep and rocky place.
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

They dragged him far off the road and did not leave him anything of what he was carrying. Then they decided between them to cut off his head, but neither the Virgin nor Her glorious Son would permit it.
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

While the two were arguing over which one would kill him, they cast lots to see who would go first, but Holy Mary would not allow such a deed to be carried out, for the minstrel cried out loudly: "Mother of the merciful King
Just as the name of the Virgin is beautiful to the virtuous,

[...] Read more

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