If the tradition I follow does not lie
From the past scenes to the following day
In the morning,
Sitting in the shade of the willows sewing
In the valley of Vilanova watching her cattle
Unaware of all that was happening
To poor Martiño, for whom she was suffering
A thousand pains,
Rosa, with that rock wedged in her stomach,
Sewing one thread of linen after another,
Was thinking of him.
And whilst she threw her sighs to the winds
The sighs her deep thoughts tugged out of her
Sad and cruel,
Across the field the goats ran around
And the cows and the sheep were grazing upon
The gorse and thistles.
Troubled shepherdess with neither peace nor calm,
How much bile did Love leave now
In the depth of your soul!
How many shadows in the sky of your dreams!
How many tears in your eyes- may the saints help you!-
How much pain!
An orphan since you were born, sad and hungry,
Although you were poor until now, your honourable life
Spoke for you.
What did it matter to you to sleep on shady oak-covered hills?
What did it matter to you to tread on prickles as a carpet?
What did it matter?
You went through it all laughing… Everything is all right
So long as there is honour in the house;
But, poor you!
You turned down a man as your suitor
And since then your reputation, from mouth to mouth,
What did you do, unhappy Rosa?
What did you do?… Were you so sinful
As to do this?
To scorn Martiño for Xan de Ventraces…
You don’t know what men are capable of doing to you,
“To work your whole life without rest
To preserve the honour you inherited from your grandparents,
And one talks to her boyfriend
To hear him tell you:- “I don’t believe you
To go around buying all the bits and pieces for the wedding
Only to be missing this boyfriend all day long
Dying with desire
And when the lovers’ night falls,
To hear those beloved lips say:
“Go with Xan!”
“There is no suffering as horrible as this
There is no suffering like this,” murmurs Rosa
In the willow grove.
And soon the sorry thing, looking down at the ground
Picks up from out of the grass, trembling all over,
“Goodness, how pretty,” she exclaimed. “Am I blind?
The Queen of beauty dressed as a Galician maid
In my hand, ooh?
It can’t be! I must be going crazy… Anyone I told this to would laugh;
But yesterday night I dreamt she came down from the sky
To the foot of my bed.
“Can it be true, Rosa? Set into a little egg
So little and small, so pretty, so beautiful
Just as I saw her then?
The same cloak that fell around her!
The same coy look!…the velvet or corduroy cloak!
I am not silly… no.”
“If my cattle were not around me watching me and eating
Anyone would say that I was still dreaming…
What little eyes, what a look, what lips, what hair,
What ears, what an apron, what a mother-of-pearl forehead,
What a devil of a woman!
“And she is looking… and winking.. and laughing the holy image…
How she shows off her clothes! How she blinks at me!
Something is going to happen to me!
What do you say? Do you want to talk to me? Will I listen to her? Hush!
It is true she is talking!… Lady? What she wants…
Now I am listening.”
“I should go to the date?” And then? “She comes by the command of God
So that he who burning with jealousy judged me a criminal
Will see me honoured?…
Lady! A shepherdess, the lowest of the low,
Does not deserve to have such a defender…
But… that is what she said.
“What? You want them to build you a chapel in the valley?
You want them to pray and sing to you on their knees?
Well good, my beloved, good.
But… she was quiet… so soon! Now, now I can’t hear her!
Perhaps she does not speak so much as she is so small!
But how graceful she is!
“Well she said something to me that I don’t remember…
I don’t have bad hearing, but I cannot tell with certainty
What words they were…
Mama!… “For those who do not love I will always be invisible,”
She said. “And it is impossible for me not to attend those who call me
With all their heart…”
“What will I do that could serve her now more?
Take her to the Abbot? Take her to Martiño?
What on earth shall I do?
Here, my lambkins, here… I am here, come here, Bandy…
Prickly! Here, youngster!… Were you playing around then?
Hey, to the farmhouse, eh…”