Cantiga de escarnio: "O qui foi passar a serra"
In 1264 the Moorish King of Granada raised a rebellion, but in 1265 Alfonso forced him to sigh a truce at Vega. This cantiga de escarnio (Satire) is directed against Spanish traitors who joined the Moors. Ed. Alvar-Bletrán, No. 52. (From: J.Wilhelm, ed. Lyrics of the Middle Ages, An Anthology. NY: Garland, 1990, 243-44.)


O que foi passar a serra
e non quis servir a terra,
é ora, entrant' a guerra,
      que faroneja?
Pois el agora tan muito erra,
      maldito seja!

O que levou os dinheiros
e non troux' os cavaleiros,
é por non ir nos primeiros
      que faroneja?
Pois que ven cõnos prestumeiros,
      maldito seja!

O que filhou gran soldada
e nunca fez cavalgada,
é por non ir a Graada
      que faroneja?
Se é rie' omen ou á mesnada,
      maldito seja!

O que meteu na taleiga
pouc' aver e muita meiga,
é por non entrar na Veiga
      que faroneja?
Pois chus mol[e] é que manteiga,
      maldito seja!

He who passed over the mountains
And did not want to serve on the plain--
Is he the one, when war was returned,
      Who's now bragging?
Since he vacillates so much now,
      Let him be damned!

He who doled out his money
Without attracting any good knights--
Is it because he wasn't first in the fight
      That he's bragging now?
Since he came at us with his rear,
      Let him be damned!

He who raised a great soldiery
But never quite a good cavalry,
Since he didn't go to Granada, is he
      The one who's bragging?
Whether he's rich or has a strong band,
      Let him be damned!

He who loaded up his bags
With a little gold and a lot of guff,
And never quite entered the town of Vega,
      Is he bragging now?
Since he's more like fat than butter,
      Let him be damned!

Return to Alfonso X Home page