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July 10: Oh, Ugly Lady a poem in Galician by Johan Garcia de Guilhade

A Galician poem from the anthology Breogán’s Lightghouse, an anthology of Galician literature, edited by Antonio Raúl de Toro Santos. From the Lesser Used languages of Europe series.

Johan Garcia de Guilhade (13th century)

Oh, Ugly Lady


Ai, dona fea, fostes-vos queixar,
que vos nunca louv’ en meu trobar;
mais ora quero fazer un cantar,
en que vos loarei toda via;
e vedes como vos quero loar:
dona fea, velha e sandia!

Ai, dona fea, se Deus mi perdon,
e pois avedes tan gran coraçón
que vos eu lôe en esta razon,
vos quero já loar toda via;
e vedes qual será a loaçon:
dona fea, velha e sandia!

Dona fea, nunca vos eu loei
en meu trobar, pero muito trobei;
mais ora já un bon cantar farei,
en que vos loarei toda via;
e direi-vos como vos loarei:
dona fea, velha e sandia!

Translation

Oh, ugly lady, you went and complained
that never do I praise you in my songs,
but now I’m going to make a song for you
with which I’ll praise you every single day
so look and see what praise it’s going to be:
you’re ugly, old and mad.

My ugly lady, and may God forgive,
since you have such a heartfelt, fond desire
for me to praise you, in the following way
I now will praise you every single day
so look and see what form the praise will take:
you’re ugly, old and mad.

My ugly lady, I have never praised you
in any of my songs, though I’ve sung much,
but now I’ll make a splendid song for you
with which I’ll praise you every single day
so look and see how I shall make that praise:
you’re ugly, old and mad.

> See details of Breogán’s Lightghouse, an anthology of Galician literature, edited by Antonio Raúl de Toro Santos

> See details of the Lesser Used Languages of Europe series

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