On Spain and literature – IV

retrato de soledad anaya
 
Apropos of what I said in my previous post about blaming the Iberians’ lust of gold for their inter-breeding in the Americas, let me quote a translation of some lines of one of the poems of Francisco de Quevedo (1580-1645), “Poderoso caballero es don dinero,” that I reread recently in the book of my teacher Soledad Anaya (pic).

When Quevedo writes, “in the Indies did they nurse him” he means of course that gold is found in the newly-conquered West Indies, the lands of New Spain (now Mexico); and when he says “in Genoa did they hearse him” he means that the gold is buried as jewelry with the corpses of the wealthy merchants of the Italian city Genoa.

Mother, unto gold I yield me,
He and I are ardent lovers;
Pure affection now discovers
How his sunny rays shall shield me!
For a trifle more or less
All his power will confess,
Powerful knight is don money.

In the Indies did they nurse him,
While the world stood round admiring;
And in Spain was his expiring;
And in Genoa did they hearse him;
And the ugliest at his side
Shines with all of beauty’s pride;
Powerful knight is don money.

Noble are his proud ancestors
For his blood-veins are patrician;
Royalties make the position
Of his Orient investors;
So they find themselves preferred
To the duke or country herd,
Powerful knight is don money.

Never meets he dames ungracious
To his smiles or his attention,
How they glow but at the mention
Of his promises capacious!
And how bare-faced they become
To the coin beneath his thumb
Powerful knight is don money.

I’m not sure if the translation of “…to the duke or country herd” conveys accurately the meaning. In the original Spanish it says that the yellow metal “hace iguales al duque y al ganadero,” makes the duke and country herd equals.

You can imagine how the young and ambitious commoners in those times (like Cortés) looked for chances of upward mobility in the “West Indies.”

See Dr. William Pierce’s take on this very subject: here.

Published in: on December 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm  Comments (4)  

4 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on ElderofZyklon's Blog!.

  2. Off topic:

    link, link

    • Can you summarize those articles?

      • Just take a look at their titles: The origins of Northwest European guilt culture, parts 1 and 2


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