Aun era de dia
Aun era de dia, non puesto el sol,
Quando quedamos con nos Olifante:
“Nos amigo, id vos vaya conpañia,
Passad la tierra y corred en algara
A servir el rey en contra del enemigo.”
Estas palabras dichas, el caballero nos fue,
Y estos hizo del amor de nos reino.
Com olifante rabió y los corneó que resistió.
“Ya Olifante, en buena çinxiestes espada!
Otra vez necesitamos que nos ayudad:
Nos artesanos luchan a alcançar grandeza.
Vos lomo es fuerte; los levantad al cielo.
El peso del yugo no aguantará solo.”
Esto también hizo, con piernas del hierro,
Y una trompa que protegeó todo de tormentas.
Qué buen caballero! Que alegría nos trajo!
Se çervicio excelente deseamos recompensar,
Así requerimos nos amigo a venir nos corte:
“Nos Olifante don Rodrigo, nos criado robusto,
Do nos vos enbiás bien abríamos tal esperança.
De toda la ganançiamos mucho es debido a vos.
Nos agrada a invitar vos a ser reconocido
En nos bueno Orden del Don Quixote.”
It was still day, the sun not down, *
When we met with our Elephant:
“Our friend, go with our company,
Travel over the land and ride in raids
To serve the king against his enemy.”
These words said, the knight left us,
And did these things out of love of our barony.
Like an elephant he raged and gored all who opposed him.
“Ah! Elephant, in a good hour you first girded on sword! *
Once again we need you to aid us:
Our artisans struggle to reach greatness.
Your back is strong; please raise them to the heavens.
The weight of this yoke you will not bear alone.”
This he did too, with legs of iron,
And a trunk that protected all from threat of storm.
What a fine knight! What joy he has brought us!
His excellent service we desire to repay.
Thus have we requested our friend to come before our court:
“Our Elephant Sir Rodrigo, our hardy servant,
Wherever we send you, we may well be hopeful. *
Of all we have gained, much is due to you.
It pleases us to invite you to be recognized
In our fine Order of the Don Quixote."
* - Lines noted by this character are lifted heavily, if not entirely, from the Cantar de mio Cid.
This poem (really like an excerpt of a longer poem) was written for my friend Sir Rodrigo Falcone, a former Baron of Windmasters' Hill (my home barony). Falcone was made a member of the baronial Order of Don Quixote, an award given to those who provide service beyond all reason, for his extensive service to the barony. I offered to write a poem for his scroll text, as he is a good friend of mine. I modeled the text after the structure (roughly) and content (more accurately) of the Cantar de mio Cid (the Song of El Cid), one of Falcone's favorite works. He had a smile on his face when I was asked to read it in court.
Merwin, W.S., trans. Poem of the Cid: English Verse Translation, and with an Introduction. New York: New American Library, 1975.