Southey   

 

                                                 THE PILGRIM TO COMPOSTELLA,

                                                DE ROBERT SOUTHEY (1774-1843)

 

  avec traduction en espagnol

 

  Southey PDF  

 

                                             THE PILGRIM TO COMPOSTELLA

 

  PRELUDE

"TeII us a story, oId Robin Gray!

This merry Christmas time;

We are alI in our glory, so tell us a story,

Either in prose, or in rhyme.

"Open your budget, old Robin Gray!

We very welI know it is full;

Come! out with a murder,... a Goblin,.. a Ghost,

Or a tale of a Cock and a BuII!"

"I have no tale of a Cock and a Bull,

My good Iittle women and men;

But't will do as well, perhaps, if I tell

A tale of a Cock and a Hen."

 

  INTRODUCTION

You have all heard of St. James for Spain

As one of the Champions Seven,

Who, having been good Knights on Earth

Became Hermits, and Saints in Heaven.

Their history once was in good repute,

And so it ought to be still;

Little friends, I dare say you have read it:

And if not, why I hope you will.

Of this St. James that book proclaims

Great actions manifold,

But more amazing are the things

Which of him in Spain are told.

How once a ship of marble made,

Came sailing o'er the sea,

Wherein his headless corpse was laid,

Perfumed with sanctity.

And how, though then he had no head,

He afterwards had two;

Which both work'd miracles so well,

That it was not possible to tell

The false one from the true*

And how he used to fight the Moors

Upon a milk-white charger:

Large tales of him the Spaniards tell,

Munchausen tells no larger.

But in their cause of latter years

He has not been so hearty;

For that he never struck a stroke is plain,

When our Duke, in many a hard campaign,

Beat the French armies out of Spain,

And conquer' d Buonaparte.

Yet still they worship him in Spain,

And believe in him with might and main:

Santiago there they call him;

and if any one there should doubt theses tales,

They' ve an Inquisition to maul him.

At Compostella in his Church

His body and one head

Have been for some eight hundred years

By Pilgrims visited.

Old scores might there be clean rubb'd off,

And tickets there were given

To clear all toll gates on the way

Between the Churchyard and Heaven.

Some went for payment of a vow

In time of trouble made;

And some who found that pilgrimage

Was a pleasant sort of trade.

And some, I trow, because it was

Believed, as well as said,

That all, who in their mortal stage

Did not perform this pilgrimage,

must make it when they were dead.

Some upon penance for their sins,

In person, or by attorney;

And some who were, or had been sick;

And some who thought to cheat Old Nick;

And some who liked the journey:

Which well they might when ways were safe;

And therefore rich and poor

Went in that age on pilgrimage,

As folks now make a tour.

The poor with scrip, the rich with purse,

They took their chance for better for worse,

From many a foreign land,

With a scallop-shell in the hat for badge,

And a Pilgrim's staff in hand.

Something there is, the which to leave

Untold would not be well,

Relating to the Pilgrim's staff,

And to the scallop-shell.

For the scallop shows in a coat of arms,

That of the bearer's line

Some one, in former days, hath been

To Santiago's shrine.

And the staff was bored and drilled for those

Who on a flute could play,

Ant thus the merry Pilgrim had

His music on the way.

 

  THE LEGEND PART I

Once on a time, three Pilgrims true,

Being Father and Mother and Son,

For pure devotion to the Saint,

This pilgrimage begun.

Their names, little friends, I am sorry to say,

In none of my books can I find;

But the son, if you please, we'll call Pierre,

What the parents were call'd, never mind.

From France they came, in which fair land

They were people of good renown;

And they took up their lodging one night on the way

In La Calzada town.

Now, if poor Pilgrims they had been,

And had lodged in the Hospice instead of the Inn,

My good little men and women,

Why then you never would have heard,

This tale of the Cock and the Hen.

For the Innkeepers they had a daughter,

Sad to say, who was just another,

As Potiphar's daughter, I think, would have been

If she follow'd the ways of her mother.

This wicked woman to our Pierre

Behaved like Potiphar's wife;

And, because she fail ' d to win his love,

She resolved to take his life.

So she pack'd up a silver cup

In his wallet privily;

And then, as soon as they were gone,

She raised a hue and cry.

The Pilgrims were overtaken,

The people gather'd round,

Their wallets were search'd, and in Pierre's

The silver cup was found.

They dragg'd him before the Alcayde;

A hasty Judge was he,

'The theft: he said, 'was plain and proved,

And hang'd the thief must be.'

So to the gallows our poor Pierre

Was hurried instantly.

If you should now relate

The piteous lamentation,

Which for their son these parents made,

My little friends, I am afraid

You'd weep at the relation.

But Pierre in Santiago still

His constant faith profess ' d;

When to the gallows he was led,

"Twas as short way to Heaven,' he said,

'Though not the pleasentest.'

And from their pilgrimage he charged

His parents not to cease,

Saying that unless they promised this,

He could not be hang'd in peace.

They promised it with heavy hearts;

Pierre then, therewith content,

Was hang'd: and they upon their way

To Compostella went.

 

  PART II

Four weeks they travell'd painfully,

They paid their vows, and then

To La Calzada's fatal town

Did they come back again.

The Mother would not be withheld,

But at once she must see

Where her poor Pierre was left to hang

Upon the gallows tree.

Oh tale most marvellous to hear,

Most marvellous to tell!

Eight weeks had he been hanging there,

And yet was alive and well!

'Mother,' said he, 'I am glad you're return'd

It is time I should now be released:

Though I cannot complain that I'm tired,

And my neck does not ache in the least.

'The Sun has not scorch'd me by day,

The Moon has not chill'd me by night;

And the winds have but help'd me to swing,

As if in a dream of delight.

'Go you to the Alcayde,

That hasty Judge unjust,

Tell him Santiago has saved me,

And take me down he must!'

Now, you must know the Alcayde,

Not thinking himself a great sinner,

Just then at table had sate down,

About to begin his dinner.

His knife was raised to carve,

The dish before him then;

Two roasted fowls were laid therein,

That very morning they had been

A Cock and his faithful Hen.

In came the Mother wild with joy;

'A miracle! ' she cried;

But that most hasty Judge unjust

Repell ' d her in his pride.

'Think not,' quoth he, 'to tales like this

That I should give belief!

Santiago never would bestow

His miracles, full well I know,

On a Frenchman and a thief.'

And pointing to the Fowls, o'er which

He held his ready knife,

'A easily might I believe

These birds should come to life!'

The good Saint would not let him thus

The Mother's true request withstand,

So up rose the Fowls in the dish,

And down dropt the knife from his hand.

And when each would have open'd its eyes,

For the purpose of looking about them,

They saw they had no eyes to open,

And that there was no seeing without them.

All this was to them a great wonder;

They stagger'd and reel'd on the table;

And either to guess where they were,

Or what was their plight,

or how they came there,

Alas! they were wholly unable.

Because, you must know, that that morning,

A thing which they thought very hard,

The Cook had cut off their heads,

And thrown them away in the yard.

The Hen would have prank'd up her feathers,

But plucking had sadly deformed her;

And want of them she would have shivered with cold,

If the roasting she had had not warm ' d her.

And the Cock felt exceedingly queer;

He thought it a very odd thing

That his head and his voice were he did not know where,

And his gizzard tuck'd under his wing.

The gizzard got into its place,

But how Santiago knows best:

And so, by the help of the Saint,

Did the liver and all the rest.

The heads saw their way to the bodies,

In they came from the yard without check,

And each took its own proper station,

To the very great joy of the neck.

And in flew the feathers, like snow in a shower,

For they all became white on the way;

And the Cock and the Hen in a trice were refledged,

And then who so happy as they!

The Cock would have crow'd if he could;

To cackle the Hen had a wish;

And they both slipt about in the gravy

Before they got out of the dish.

Cluck! cluck! cried the Hen right merrily then,

The Cock his clarion blew,

Full glad was he to hear again

his own cock-a-doo-del-oo!

 

  PART III

'A miracle!' a miracle!'

The people shouted, as they might well,

When the news went through the town;

And every child and woman and man

Took up the cry, and away they ran

To see Pierre taken down.

They made a famous procession;

My good little women and men,

Such a sight was never seen before,

And I think will never again.

Santiago's lmage, as large as life,

Went first with banners and drum and fife;

And next, as was most meet,

The twice-born Cock and Hen were borne

Along the thronging street.

Perch'd on a cross-pole hoisted high,

They were raised in sight of the crowd;

And, when the people set up a cry,

The Hen she cluck'd in sympathy,

And the Cock he crow'd aloud.

And because they very well knew for why

They were carried in such solemnity,

And saw the Saint and his banners before ' em,

They behaved with the greatest propriety,

And most correct decorum.

The knife, which had cut off their heads that morn,

Still red with their innocent blood, was borne,

The scullion boy he carried it;

And the Skewers also made a part of the show,

With which they were truss'd for the spit.

The Cook in triumph bore the Spit

As high as he was able;

And the Dish was display'tl whereín they were laid

When they had been served at table.

With eager faith the crowd prest round;

There was a scramble of women and men

For who should dip a finger-tip

In the blessed Gravy then.

Next went the Alcayde, beating his breast,

Crying aloud like a man distrest,

And amazed at the loss of his dinner,

'Santiago, Santiago!

Have mercy on me a sinner!'

And lifting oftentimes his hands

Towards the Cock and Hen,

'Orate pro nobis!' devoutly he cried,

And as devoutly the people replied,

Whenever he said it, 'Amen!'

The Father and Mother were last in the train;

Rejoicingly they came,

And extoll'd, with tears of gratitude,

Santiago's glorious name.

So, with all honours that might be,

They gently unhang'd Pierre;

No hurt or harm had he sustain'd,

But, to make the wonder clear,

A deep black halter-mark remain'd

Just under his left ear.

 

  PART IV

And now, my little listening dears

With open mouths and open ears,

Like a rhymer whose only art is

That of telling a plain unvarnished tale,

To let you know I must not fail,

What became of all the parties.

Pierre went on to Compostella

To finish his pilgrimage,

His parents went back with him joyfully,

After which they returned to their own country;

And there, I believe, that all the three

Lived to a good old age.

For the gallows on which Pierre

So happily had swung,

It was resolved that never more

On it should man be hung.

To the Church it was transplanted,

As ancient books declare:

And the people in commotion,

With an uproar of devotion,

Set it up for a relic there.

What became of the halter I know not,

Because the old books show not;

But we may suppose and hope,

That the city presented Pierre

With that interesting rope.

For in his family, and this

The Corporation knew,

It rightly would be valued more

Then any cordon blue.

The Innkeeper's wicked daughter

Confess'd what she had done,

So they put her in a Convent,

And she was made a Nun.

The Alcayde had been so frighten'd

That he never ate fowls again;

And he always pull'd off his hat

When he saw a Cock and a Hen.

Wherever he sat at table

Not an egg might there be placed;

And he never even muster' d courage for a custard,

Though garlic tempted him to taste

Of an omelet now and then.

But always after such a transgression

He hasten'd away to make confession;

And not till he had confess'd,

And the Priest had absolved him, did he feel

His conscience and stomach at rest.

The twice-born Birds to the Pilgrim's Church,

As by miracle consecrated,

Were given; and there unto the Saint

Théy were-publicly dédicated.

At their dedication the Corporation

A fund for their keep supplied;

And after following the Saint and his banners,

This Cock and Hen were so changed in their manners,

That the Priests were edified.

Gentle as any turtle-dove,

Saint Cock became all meekness and love;

Most dutiful of wives,

Saint Hen she never peck'd again,

So they led happy lives.

The ways of ordinary fowls

You must know they had clean forsaken;

And if every Cock and Hen in Spain

Had their example taken,

Why then ...the Spaniards would have had

No eggs to eat with bacon.

These blessed Fowls, at seven years end,

In the odour of sanctity died;

They were carefully pluck'd, and then

They were buried, side by side.

And lest the fact should be forgotten,

(Which would have been a pity,)

'T was decreed, in honour of their worth,

That a Cock and Hen should be borne henceforth

In the arms of that ancient City.

Two eggs Saint Hen had laid, no more;

The chicken were her delight;

A Cock and Hen they proved,

And both, like their parents, were virtuous and white.

The last act of the Holy Hen

Was to rear this precious brood; and, when

Saint Cock and she were dead,

This couple, as the lawful heirs,

Succeeded in their stead.

They also lived seven years,

And they laid eggs but two,

From which two milk-white chicken

To Cock and Henhood grew;

And always their posterity

The self -same course pursue.

Not one of these eggs ever addled,

(With wonder be it spoken!)

Not one of them ever was lost,

Not one of them ever was broken.

Sacred they were; neither magpie, nor rat,

Snake, weasel, nor marten approaching them:

And woe to the irreverent wretch

Who should ever dream of poaching them!

Thus then is this great miracle

Continued to this day;

And to their Church all Pilgrims go,

When they are on the way;

And some of the feathers are given them;

For which they always pay.

No price is set upon them,

And this leaves all persons at ease;

The Poor give as much as they can,

The rich as much as they please.

But that the more they give the better,

Is very well understood;

Seeing whatever is thus disposed of,

Is for their own souls' good;

For Santiago will always

Befriend his true believers;

And the money is for him, the Priests

Being only his receivers.

To make the miracle the more,

Of these feathers there is always store,

And all are genuine too;

All of the original Cock and Hen,

Which the Priests will swear is true.

Thousands a thousand times told have bought them,

And if myriads and tens of myriads sought them,

They would still find some to buy;

For however great were the demand,

So great would be the supply.

And if any of you, my small friends,

Should visit those parts, I dare say

You will bring away some of the feathers,

And think of old Robin Gray.

                                           ------------------------------------------

 

                                     EL PEREGRINO A COMPOSTELA

                         LA LEYENDA DE UN GALLO Y UNA GALLINA

                                EN HONOR Y GLORIA DE SANTIAGO

 

  PRELUDIO

"¡Narra una historia, buen Robin Gray!

en esta Navidad hermosa;

estamos en gloria, cuenta pues la historia

ya sea en verso o en prosa.

¡Abre ese cofre, buen Robin Gray!

sabémoslo repleto de oro;

saca ese crimen, ese duende o espectro

o un cuento de un gallo y un toro."85

"Un cuento de gallos y toros

mis pequeños, yo no hallo

pero servirá si os cuento

uno de gallina y gallo."

 

  INTRODUCCIÓN

Ya conocéis a Santiago de España,

de los Siete Campeones, cuyo celo

les hizo buenos caballeros en vida,

después ermitaños, y santos del Cielo

Su historia gozó de gran prestigio

y todavía lo ha de mantener;

pequeños, sé que ya la habéis leído,

o si no, ahora lo podéis hacer.

De Santiago ese libro proclama

sus hazañas renombradas

pero las más asombrosas

son en España narradas.

Navegaba un día un barco

de marfil elaborado,

que guardaba su cabeza

de santidad perfumado.

Y así, aunque entonces no tenía cabeza

después tendría un par;

y tantos milagros podían obrar

que la falsa de la verdadera

era imposible diferenciar*

Y cómo luchó contra los Moros

sobre un corcel color blanco:

ante las historias de los hispanos,

Munchausen se queda manco.86

Pero en los últimos años

no tomó en la guerra parte;

se abstuvo de atacar con fiera saña

cuando nuestro Duque, en marcial

campaña echó a los franceses de España

y conquistó a Bonaparte.87

Pero en España aún se le venera,

y se cree en él con fe sincera:

Santiago es allí santo patrón;

y si alguien no cree estas historias,

ya probará la Inquisición.

Durante ochocientos años

en su Iglesia en Compostela

peregrinos visitaron

su cuerpo y una cabeza.

Allí viejas cuentas saldaban

y se entregaban boletos

para evitar los peajes

entre camposanto y Cielo.

Así unos cumplían el voto

que hicieron ante un aprieto;

para otros, ser peregrinos,

era agradable comercio.

Y otros, porque creían

que si en su mortal etapa,

no hacían peregrinaje

tendrían que hacer este viaje

cuando su vida acabara.

Unos para reparar sus culpas

en persona o por poder;

otros por estar enfermos;

o por burlar al infierno;

o cual viaje de placer;

cuando los caminos eran seguros;

el rico y el pobre lo mismo

peregrinaban entonces

como ahora se hace turismo

Los pobres con vales, los ricos con monederos

arriesgaban sus destinos por aquellos senderos,

venidos de muchos pueblos lejanos

con una venera en el gorro como signo

y una vara de peregrino en sus manos.

Si no os contara un detalle

sería omisión lastimera,

sobre el bastón de peregrino

y la concha llamada venera.

Si la hallas en escudo nobiliario

es porque alguien de aquel linaje

alguna vez marchó al santuario

de Santiago en peregrinaje.

Y la vara era portada y perforada

para quien sonar flauta podía,

y así el jovial romero disfrutaba

de su música en la travesía.

 

  LA LEYENDA PARTE I

Eranse una vez tres peregrinos,

-un hijo hacía a sus padres compañíapor

pura devoción hacia el Santo

llegaron a emprender la romería.

Sus nombres, mis pequeños, yo me temo,

en parte alguna los pude encontrar;

llamemos Pierre al hijo si os place,

y los de sus padres, vamos a ignorar.

De Francia venían, y eran familia

prestigiosa y reputada;

siguiendo el Camino, hicieron un alto

esa noche en La Calzada.

Mas si hubieran sido pobres

a Hospicio habrían ido y no a Posada,

de haber sido así, mis amiguitos

esta historia de aquel gallo y la gallina

no sería como ahora relatada.

Tenían los venteros una hija

que a mi me recuerda a la de Putifar,88

si el ejemplo de su madre ella siguiera

no la habría tan similar.

Como la mujer de Putifar, esta malvada

no pudo conseguir el ser querida

por Pierre, y al no obtener su amor

resolvió obtener su vida.

Y en el macuto del chico

una copa de plata metió

y en cuanto los tres se marcharon

con gran estruendo gritó.

Pararon a los peregrinos

la gente los rodeó

y en el macuto de Pierre

la copa de plata se halló.

Le llevaron al Alcaide

un juez muy apresurado:

"El robo es patente y probado

y hay que colgar al bandido",

dijo él, y así a la horca

el buen Pierre fue conducido.

Si os contara la amargura

de los padres y su llanto

por la suerte de su hijo,

mis pequeños, sé de fijo,

lloraríais otro tanto.

Mas de Pierre la fe en Santiago

aún permaneció inmutable;

y, camino a la horca, exclamó:

"Así hacia el Cielo atajo yo

si bien no es un modo agradable".

A que continuaran viaje

les exhortó el rapaz

pues si no lo prometían

no sería ahorcado en paz.

Lo prometieron con gran pesadumbre;

y Pierre, ya satisfecho, fue ahorcado:

sus padres de camino a Compostela

el viaje reemprendieron sin agrado.

 

  PARTE II

Tras cuatro semanas de viaje en pesar

sus votos al fin presentaron,

y a la fatal ciudad de La Calzada

al cabo los dos regresaron.

La buena madre insistía

en visitar el lugar

donde a su pobre hijo Pierre

le llevaron a colgar.

Pero vio, ¡oh, maravilla!

al chico que estuvo colgando

las ocho largas semanas

¡aún vivito y coleando!

"Madre, qué alegría verte

bajarme de aquí ya quisiera:

mas no es que me halle cansado

y el cuello ni duele siquiera.

Ni el sol me abrasó ni la luna

me quiso a mí entumecer;

varios vientos me acunaron

como en sueño de placer.

Corre y dile al alcaide,

ese vil e injusto juez,

pues Santiago me ha salvado,

que me baje de una vez."

Mas hete aquí que el Alcaide,

quien no se cree pecador,

se dispone a un buen banquete

sentado en su comedor.

Ya iba a partir su cuchillo

el plato que había ante él;

carnes que antes de asadas

fueron aún esa mañana

un gallo y su gallina fiel.

La madre entró alborozada

"¡Un milagro!", ella gritó;

pero el Juez, en su soberbia

vil e injusto, replicó:

"¡No esperes que yo me crea

esa clase de invención!

Ningún milagro se ha hallado

que Santiago haya obrado

con un francés y un ladrón."

Y dijo apuntando a las aves

el cuchillo con porfía:

"Que estas recobraran vida,

más fácilmente creería".

Mas jamás ruegos de madre

fueron a Santiago en vano:

del plato saltaron las aves,

cayó el cuchillo de la mano.

Quisieron, pues, abrir los ojos

y sus alrededores contemplar,

mas no los encontraron en sus cuencas,

y sin ojos, vano era mirar.

Para ellos era pura maravilla;

sobre la mesa se tambaleaban,

incapaces de imaginar siquiera

cómo había acabado de aquella manera

ni cuándo ni por qué allí se encontraban.

Pues debéis saber que esa mañana

el chef les había cortado las cabezas

y al patio las había arrojado

con gran carencia de delicadeza.

Las plumas se quiso atusar la gallina

pero el desplume la había afeado;

e incluso habría temblado de frío

si antes no la hubieran tostado.

El gallo no salía de su asombro,

pensó que era una cosa bien compleja

que su voz y su cabeza se extraviaran

y bajo el ala se hallara su molleja.

Pero volvió la víscera a su sitio

-Santiago sabe cómo se hizo esto.

y así, con el socorro del buen Santo,

el hígado volvió, y también el resto.

Las cabezas se dirigieron a sus cuerpos

del patio vinieron sin interrupción,

y cuando ambas retornaron a sus puesto

el cuello fue presa de gran emoción.

También volaron las plumas, como copos de nieve

pues ambos quedaron blancos al momento.

El gallo y la gallina fueron reencarnados

y se pusieron locos de contento.

El gallo hubiera cantado

deseó la gallina cloquear;

y antes de salir pudieron

por la salsa patinar.

"Clo-cló", pió la gallina

el gallo su clarín sonó,

muy feliz de oír de nuevo

su propio "cocoricó".

 

  PARTE III

¡Milagro, milagro!

la gente gritó, con mucha razón,

y ya la noticia estaba en boga

entre todo niño, hombre o mujer,

quienes, al oírla, corrían para ver

bajar a Pierre de la soga.

Hicieron una procesión famosa;

lo que antes nunca se vio,

ni se verá, mis pequeños,

os lo aseguro yo.

De estandartes, tambor y flautín acompañada

la imagen de Santiago, por la calle atiborrada,

desfilaba la primera en tamaño real;

después iban el gallo y la gallina redivivos

en un segundo puesto, como era natural.

En un palo transversal iban posados

por encima de las turbas fueron alzados,

y, ante los gritos de la gente,

la gallina cloqueó con simpatía,

y el gallo cantó con voz potente.

Y, pues que bien sabían los motivos

de ser así tratados, con tal solemnidad,

ante al Santo embanderado en el trayecto

se comportaron con extrema dignidad

y con el decoro más perfecto.

Del cuchillo que les hubo degollado

aún con sangre inocente ensuciado,

fue el mozo de cocina el portador;

y también se exhibía la broqueta

con que se les espetó en el asador.

Triunfalmente elevaba el cocinero

el espetón con todo su vigor;

y fue exhibido el plato donde otrora

fueron servidos en el comedor.

Con fe la multitud se amontonaba;

y entre ellos se produjo algarabía

por ver que hombre o mujer, siquiera un dedo,

en la salsa bendita mojaría.

Seguía el Alcaide, llorando de pena

con la angustia de quien perdiera su cena

y golpeábase el pecho con dolor

"¡Santiago, Santiago! Ten piedad de mí

que soy un pobre pecador."

Y alzaba sus manos devoto

a las aves y oraba también

"Orate pro nobis", rogaba

y el pueblo piadoso contestaba

cada vez que lo decía, "Amén".

Los padres, al final de aquel desfile,

mostraban una plena beatitud,

alababan el nombre de Santiago

y lloraban de pura gratitud.

Y así, con plenos honores,

y sin daño o herida alguna

bajaron a Pierre de la cuerda;

mas, para realzar milagro tal,

permaneció, bajo su oreja izquierda

una profunda marca de ronzal.

 

  PARTE IV

Y ahora, mis oyentes queridos

con bocas abiertas y abiertos oídos;

como rimador cuyo único arte

es contar un cuento simple sin ornato,

no habré de omitiros el relato

de lo que aconteció a cada parte.

Por concluir su peregrinación

Pierre prosiguió hasta la ciudad

de Compostela con sus padres

gozosos. Un tiempo después,

volvieron a su país los tres

y allí alcanzaron longevidad.

En la horca en que fue Pierre

felizmente columpiado

se resolvió que ya nunca

sería hombre alguno colgado.

Se transplantó a la Iglesia,

como los libros dijeron:

y la gente en conmoción,

en un arranque de devoción,

de reliquia la exhibieron.

Qué acaeció al ronzal ya no lo sé,

en los libros antiguos no lo hallé;

pero es de suponer y desear

que la ciudad regaló a Pierre

esta cuerda digna de admirar.

Pues en su familia -y esto

lo supo la corporación -

más valor se le daría

que a una condecoración.

La hija del posadero

confesó su acción malvada,

la llevaron a un convento

y fue monja consagrada.

Tanto se asustó el Alcaide

que aves no volvió a probar

y el sombrero se quitaba

ante un ave de corral.

Si se sentaba a la mesa

ni un huevo podía encontrar;

y nunca se atrevió con las natillas,

aunque el ajo de las tortillas

bien le solía tentar.

Pero siempre, tras tal transgresión

se apresuraba a hacer la confesión;

y hasta que no lo hiciera pesaroso

y el cura le absolviera, no sentía

su alma y su estómago en reposo.

Las aves redivivas en la iglesia del Peregrino

por milagro consagradas,

fueron dadas; y allí públicamente

al Santo quedaron dedicadas.

Ese día la Asamblea dio a las aves

un fondo para su sostén y cuidado;

tras seguir al Santo y sus banderas

tanto habían mejorado sus maneras

que el clero quedó muy edificado.

Como un tórtolo amoroso

San Gallo se volvió manso y cariñoso;

como devota esposa

Santa Gallina ya jamás picó,

y ambos vivieron vida venturosa.

La usanza vulgar de las aves

juzgaron vulgar desatino;

si cada gallo o gallina

siguieran similar camino

pues..., no podrían los hispanos

tomar huevos con tocino.

Tras siete años, las aves benditas

murieron en olor de santidad;

las desplumaron con cuidado, y después

las enterraron en mutua vecindad.

Y para que no fueran olvidadas

(lo cual hubiera sido una contrariedad)

se decretó que, en honor de su valía,

la imagen de ambos se incluiría

en el escudo de la ilustre ciudad.

No más de dos huevos Santa Gallina incubó,

los pollitos fueron su satisfacción;

macho y hembra resultaron ser,

y, como sus padres, dechados de perfección.

La última acción de la gallina sagrada

fue criar a esta prole preciada;

y cuando San Gallo y ella murieron,

la pareja, sus legítimos herederos,

en su puesto, en fin, les sucedieron.

Pusieron dos únicos huevos

en su siete años de edad,

y llegaron los blancos pollitos

a la gallo- y gallinidad;

y siempre el mismo modelo,

siguió su posteridad.

Con éxtasis digamos lo que sigue:

ninguno de esos huevos podrido salió,

ninguno de ellos fue jamás perdido

y ninguno de ellos jamás se rompió.

Sagrados eran. y no pudieron urraca,

rata, sierpe, comadreja o marta hurtarlos:

y ¡ay del desgraciado e irreverente

que siquiera soñara con robarlos!

Y de este modo persiste

milagro tan verdadero;

y en su iglesia hace un alto

en el camino el viajero;

quien recibe algunas plumas

por las que paga dinero.

No hay precio fijo sobre ellas,

y esto trae paz a la gente;

el pobre da lo que puede,

y lo que quiere, el pudiente.

Cuanto más den es mejor,

esta idea bien se entiende;

si es por el bien de su alma

por lo que uno se desprende.

Pues Santiago siempre será amigo

de sus genuinos creyentes

y el dinero es para él, los curas

son sólo sus recipientes.

Para dar motivo más de admiración,

de esas plumas siempre hay provisión.

y todas son, por cierto, verdaderas,

del Gallo y Gallina originales,

los sacerdotes juran muy de veras.

Miles y millones las compraran

y si otras miríadas las buscaran

aún encontrarían buen surtido;

por muy grande que sea la demanda

mayor el suministro habrá sido.

Y si alguno de vosotros, mis pequeños,

visitáis el lugar y veis lo que hay,

seguro que traeréis algunas plumas

y recordaréis al viejo Robin Gray.

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                                                                       08/12/2014

delhommeb at wanadoo.fr