Last updated Sept. 5, 2000
[Versión original]


Francisco de Quevedo y Villegas
(1580-1645)


Letrilla: The Lord of Dollars


Over kings and priests and scholars
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars.

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,
Over kings and priests and scholars
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars.

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;
Over kings and priests awl scholars
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars.

He's a gallant, he's a winner,
    Black or white be his complexion;
    He is brave without correction
As a Moor or Christian sinner.
    He makes cross and medal bright,
    And he smashes laws of right,—
Over kings and priests and scholars
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars.

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,—
Over kings and priests and scholars,
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars!

Of his standing who can question
    When there yields unto his rank, a
    Hight-Castillian Doña Blanca,
If you follow the suggestion?—
    He that crowns the lowest stool,
    And to hero turns the fool,—
Over kings and priests and scholars,
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars.

On his shields are noble bearings;
    His emblazonments unfurling
    Show his arms of royal sterling
All his high pretensions airing;
    And the credit of his miner
    Stands behind the proud refiner,
Over kings and priests and scholars
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars.

Contracts, bonds, and bills to render,
    Like his counsels most excelling,
    Are esteemed within the dwelling
Of the banker and the lender.
    So is prudence overthrown,
    And the judge complaisant grown,—
Over kings and priests and scholars
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars.

Such indeed his sovereign standing
    (With some discount in the order),
    Spite the tax, the cash-recorder
Still his value fixed is branding.
    He keeps rank significant
    To the prince or finn in want,—
Over kings and Priests and scholars
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars.

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
Over kings and Priests and scholars
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars.

Mightier in peaceful season
    (And in this his wisdom showeth)
    Are his standards, than when bloweth
War his haughty blasts and breeze on;
    In all foreign lands at home,
    Equal e'en in pauper's loam,—
Over kings and priests and scholars
Rules the mighty Lord of Dollars.


                —Thomas Walsh (translator)

From: Hispanic Anthology: Poems Translated from the Spanish by English and North American Poets, collected and arranged by Thomas Walsh. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1920.


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Texto electrónico por Fred F. Jehle
URL: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/poesia/dondinen.htm