Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Is it possible, my life, that I caused you such evil?": A Spanish Lenten Hymn

Félix Lope de Vega was a famous poet and playwright of the Spanish Golden Age, most well-renowned for his sonnets.  Among his prolific works (Cervantes called him "Monster of Nature" for the sheer volume of them) are many religious poems.  Below is one such poem, which Spanish-speakers sometimes use as a Lenten hymn.

"Soliloquio - III -"

Manso Cordero ofendido, 
puesto en una cruz por mí, 
 que mil veces os vendí 
después que fuiste vendido. 

Dadme licencia, Señor, 
para que, deshecho en llanto, 
pueda en vuestro rostro santo 
llorar lágrimas de amor. 

¿Es posible, vida mía, 
que tanto mal os causé, 
que os dejé, que os olvidé, 
ya que vuestro amor sabía? 

 Tengo por dolor más fuerte 
que el veros muerto por mí 
el saber que os ofendí, 
cuando supe vuestra muerte. 

Yo os amo, Dios soberano, 
no como Vos merecéis, 
pero cuanto Vos sabéis 
que cabe en sentido humano. 

Toda el alma de Vos llena 
me saca de mí, Señor. 
¡Dejadme llorar de amor 
como otras veces de pena! 

"Soliloquy - III -" 

Meek Lamb offended,
placed on a cross for me,
Whom I sold a thousand times,
after You were sold.

Give me leave, Lord,
so that, undone in cries,
I can in Your holy countenance
cry tears of love.

Is it possible, my life,
that I caused You such evil,
that I left You, that I forgot You,
though I knew Your love?

I have as the greatest pain
the sight of You dead for me
knowing that I offended You,
when I knew Your death.

I love You, Sovereign God,
not as You deserve,
but as much as You know
human sense is capable of.

All of my soul that fills with You
takes as much of myself from me, Lord.
Let me cry for love
like so many times I have for pain!

St. Ιακωβος Ζεβεδαιου (James, son of Zebedee / James the Greater), patron saint of Spain, pray for us!

Nota Bene: This hymn was taken from Cantad a Dios con salmos, himnos, y cánticos inspirados, published Magnificat Libros in 2010, pp. 823-824.  The translation is mine: if anyone has any corrections (especially for the first two lines of the last stanza), feel free to let me know.

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