Poem of the Week – The Moorish King Went Up and Down

Al-Mansur_Calatañazor.jpg

 

The Moorish King went up and down – from the city of Granada,
From the gate of Elvira – up to that of Vivarrambla,
-O my Alhama!-

Letters were sent – that (said) Alhama had been won,
He cast the letters into the fire – And executed the messengers,
-O my Alhama! –

He falls from a mule –  and on a horse he rides,
By Zacatin – Up where Alhambra stood,
-O my Alhama!-

As it was in the Alhambra , – at this time he commanded,
That the trumpets blow – the finest silver,
-O my Alhambra!-

And in their armoury– they quickly took up their arms,
For he saw his moors – They came from below and from Granada,
-O my Alhama! –

The moors heard the sound  – that bloody call of Mars,
And one to one, and two by two – the great battle was joined,
-O my Alhama-

There came an old moor, – in such a way he spoke:
-Why do you call us O King, – for what reason is this call?
-O my Alhama!-

-You must know O friends – this new unhappiness,
These savage Christians, – they have won Alhama from us,
-O my Alhama!-

They killed the Abencerrajes – the flower of Granada,
They captured the converts– For which Cordoba was named,
-O my Alhama!-

This is why you deserve O king  – this great penalty,
That you lost yourself and the kingdom – and here lost Granada,
-O my Alhama!-

-Anon (Transl. by Adam H.C. Myrie)

 

***In old Spanish

Paseábase el rey moro — por la ciudad de Granada
desde la puerta de Elvira — hasta la de Vivarrambla.
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

Cartas le fueron venidas — que Alhama era ganada.
Las cartas echó en el fuego — y al mensajero matara,
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

Descabalga de una mula, — y en un caballo cabalga;
por el Zacatín arriba — subido se había al Alhambra.
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

Como en el Alhambra estuvo, — al mismo punto mandaba
que se toquen sus trompetas, — sus añafiles de plata.
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

Y que las cajas de guerra — apriesa toquen el arma,
porque lo oigan sus moros, — los de la vega y Granada.
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

Los moros que el son oyeron — que al sangriento Marte llama,
uno a uno y dos a dos — juntado se ha gran batalla.
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

Allí fabló un moro viejo, — de esta manera fablara:
—¿Para qué nos llamas, rey, — para qué es esta llamada?
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

—Habéis de saber, amigos, — una nueva desdichada:
que cristianos de braveza — ya nos han ganado Alhama.
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

Allí fabló un alfaquí — de barba crecida y cana:
—Bien se te emplea, buen rey, — buen rey, bien se te empleara.
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

Mataste los Bencerrajes, — que eran la flor de Granada,
cogiste los tornadizos — de Córdoba la nombrada.
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

Por eso mereces, rey, — una pena muy doblada:
que te pierdas tú y el reino, — y aquí se pierda Granada.
              —¡Ay de mi Alhama!—

 

Source: http://www.poesi.as/indx0036.htm

Sung in Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijRbmN-sn3g

More about Moorish Spain:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Andalus

Image Credit:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almanzor

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