by: Íñigo López de Mendoza (1398-1458)

      ROM Calatrava as I took my way
      At holy Mary's shrine to kneel and pray,
      And sleep upon my eyelids heavy lay,
      There where the ground was very rough and wild,
      I lost my path and met a peasant child:
      From Finojosa, with the herds around her,
      There in the fields I found her.
      Upon a meadow green with tender grass,
      With other rustic cowherds, lad and lass,
      So sweet a thing to see I watched her pass:
      My eyes could scarce believe her what they found her,
      There with the herds around her.
      I do not think that roses in the Spring
      Are half so lovely in their fashioning:
      My heart must needs avow this secret thing,
      That had I known her first as then I found her,
      From Finojosa, with the herds around her,
      I had not strayed so far her face to see
      That it might rob me of my liberty.
      I questioned her, to know what she might say:
      "Has she of Finojosa passed this way?"
      She smiled and answered me: "In vain you sue,
      Full well my heart discerns the hope in you:
      But she of whom you speak, and have not found her.
      Her heart is free, no thought of love has bound her,
      Here with the herds around her."

--Translated by John Pierrepont Rice

"Serranilla" is reprinted from Hispanic Anthology: Poems Translated from the Spanish by English and North American Poets. Ed. Thomas Walsh. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1920.




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