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At this period (the thirteenth century) the Valencian dialect was much used for poetry; and Alonso the Wise, the son of Ferdinand the Saint, wrote a volume of songs, in praise of the virgin, in that language. These, and his numerous other writings, were probably the production of those gloomy hours, when he was wont to muse upon the loss of his crown, and the

Metioli so los piedes do estaba colgado
Las sus manos preciosas : tovole alleviado
Non se sintio de cosa ninguna embargado
Non sovo plus vicioso nunqua ni mas pagado.
Ende al dia tercero vinieron los parientes
Vinieron los amigos e los sus conocientes
Vinien por descolgallo rascados e dolientes
Sedie meior la cosa que metien ellos mientes.

Trobaronli con alma alegre e sin danno
Non serie tan vicioso si ioguese en vanno
Dicie que so los piedes tenie un tal escanno
Non sintie mal ninguno si colgasse un anno.
Quando lo entendieron los que lo enforcaron

que el lazo falsso gelo dexaron
Fueron mil rependidos que non lo degollaron
Tanto gozarien desso quanto depues gozaron.
Fueron en un acuerdo toda esa mesnada
Que fueron engannados luna mala lazada
Mas que lo degollasen con foz o con espada
Por un ladron no fuere tal villa afontada.

Fueron por degollarlo los mancebos mas livianos
Con buenos seraniles grandes é adianos
Metio Sancta Maria entre medio las manos
Fincaron los gorgueros de la golliella sanos.

Quando esto vedieron que no podien nocir
Que la madre gloriosa lo quiere encobrir
Ovieronse contanto del pleito a partir
Hasta que Dios quissiere dexaronlo vivir.

Dexaronlo en paz, que se fuesse su via
Ca ellos non querien ir contra Sancta Maria
Meiorò en su vida, partiose de follia
Quando cumplio su curso muriose de su dia.".

fickleness of his worldly fortune. We are tempted to make some rather long quotations from an extraordinary poetical production of this monarch, which he calls El Libro del Tesoro, the book of the heavens, or the philosopher's stone. The verses which are intelligible, are strong and harmonious, and form one of the most striking specimens of the poetical literature of the age. The first book is introduced rather in an imperial style; and states, that God had first given him knowledge of his holy faith; next, that of the material world; then, the kingdom of his fathers; and last of all, in order to enable him to sustain it worthily, the high prize of “the stone of philosophy.” He protests, that he discovered this wonderful secret in solitudethat he often employed it, and so added to his possessions—and that he has communicated it in the cyphers of the book that follows. He begins, “ In the name of God."*

“ Fame brought this strange intelligence to me,
That in Egyptian lands there lived a sage
Who read the secrets of the coming age,
And could anticipate futurity :
He judged the stars, and all their aspects ; he
The darksome veil of hidden things withdrew,
Of unborn days, the mysteries he knew,
And saw the future, as the past we see.


eager thirst for knowledge moved me then:
My pen, my tongue, were humbled—in that hour
I laid my crown in dust-so great the power
Of passionate desire o'er mortal men.

*En el nombre de Dios faga principio la obra.
Llegó pues la fama a los mis oidos
Que en tierra de Egipto un Sabio vivia
E con su sabia oi


Notos los casos ca non son venidos
Los astros juzgaba è aquestos movidos
Por disposicion del cielo fallaba
Los casos quel tiempo futuro ocultaba
Bien fuesen antes por este entendidos.

Codicia del sabio movio mi aficion
Mi pluma è mi lengua con grande humildad
Postrada la alteza de mi magestad
Ca tanto poder tiene una pasion



I sent my earnest prayers, with a proud train
Of messengers, who bore him generous measures
Of honors and of lands, and golden treasures,
And all in holy meekness.---'Twas in vain !

The sage repell’d me, but most courteously:
• You are a mighty monarch, sire; but these,
These have no gift to charm, no power to please,
Silver nor gold, however bright they be.
Sire, I would serve you ; but what profits me,
That wealth which more abundantly is mine?
Let your possessions bless you, let them shine,
As Maïs prays, in all prosperity.'

I sent the stateliest of my ships, it sought
The Alexandrian port; the wise man pass'd
Across the middle sea, and came, at last,
With all the gentleness of friendliest thought:
I studied wisdom, and his wisdom taught
Each varied movement of the shifting sphere-
He was most dear, as knowledge should be dear
Love, honor, are by truth and wisdom bought.

Con ruegos le fi la mi peticion
E se la mandé con mis mansageros
Averes faciendas e muchos dineros
Alli le ofrece con santa atencion.

Respusome el sabio con gran cortesia
Maguer vos señor seais un gran rey
Non paro mientes en aquesta ley
De oro nin plata nin su gran valia
Serviros señor, en gracia ternia
Ca non busco aquello que a mi me sobró
A vuestros averes vos fagan la pro
Que vuestro siervo Mais vos querria.

De las mis naves mandè la mejor
E llegada al puerto de Alexandria
El fisico astrologo en ella salia
E a mi fue llegado cortes con amor
E aviendo sabido su gran primor
En los movimientos que face la sphera
Siempre le tuve en grande manera
Ca siempre a los sabios se debe el onor.

He made the magic stone, and taught me too ;
We toiled together first, but soon alone
I form’d the marvellous, gold-creating stone,
And oft did I my lessening wealth renew.
Varied the form and fabric, and not few,
This treasure's elements, the simplest-best, ".
And noblest, here ingenuously confest
I shall disclose, in this my verse, to you.
And what a list of nations have pursued
This treasure. Need I speak of the Chaldee,
Or the untired sons of learned Araby?
All, all in chace of this most envied good.
Egypt and Syria, and the tribes so rude
Of the Orient-Saracens and Indians—all
Laboring in vain—tho’ oft the echoes fall
Upon the west, of their songs' amplitude.
If what is passing now I have foretold,
In honest truth and calm sincerity,
So will I tell you of the events to be
Without deception-and the prize I hold

La piedra que llaman filosofal
Sabia facer y a mi la enseño
Faciemosla juntas despues solo yo
Conque muchas veces crecio mi caudal
E bien que se puede facer esta tal
De otras materias, mas siempre una cosa
Yo vos propongo

la menos penosa Mas escelente e mas principal.

Tuve suso desta estudios de gente
De varias naciones, mas non ca en tal caso
De los Caldeos hiciese yo caso,
Nin de los Arabes nacion diligente,
Exipcios, Siriacos, e los del Oriente
Quel Indico habitan, è los Sarracenos
Ficieron mi obra è versos tan buenos
Que honran las partes del nuestro occidente.

El tiempo presente m'era conocido
De credito sano è de buena verdad
Para que vos en la posteridad
Non vos parezca que en algo he mentido

Shall be in literary lore enroll'd:
Such power, such empire, never can be won
By ignorance or listlessness: to none
But to the learned state my truths be told.

So, like the Theban sphynx, will I propound
My mysteries, and in riddles truth will speak:
Deem them not idle words, for, if


seek, Through their dense darkness, light may oft be found. Muse, meditate, and look in silence roundHold no communion of vain language-learn And treasure up the lore-if you What's here in hieroglyphic letters bound.


My soul hath spoken and foretold : I bring
The voices of the stars to chime with mine;
He who shall share with me this gift divine,
Shall share with me the privilege of a king :
Mine is no mean, no paltry offering,
Cupidity itself must be content
With such a portion as I here present,
And Midas' wealth to ours a trifling thing.

Lo que yo quiero es non sea perdido
La grande valia de este magisterio
Mas non quiero dar un tan grande imperio
A ome quien letras non sea sabido.

Por ende fingime la sphinge Thebana

yuso de cifras propuse verdades
Maguer sea escura por ella sepades
Ca las sus palabras non son cosa vana
Si aveis entendido esta grande arcana
Non lo pongais en conversacion
Guardaldo en la cifra de aquesta impresion
Si vos entendeis como esto se esplana.

Mi alma presume è lo pronostica
Segund que los astros falla en tal sazon
Ca aquel a quien diere el cielo este don
A ser como rey el cielo lo aplica
Empero segundo de cosa non chica
Aquesto tesoro, avra de tener
Ca segundo a demas de gran menester

fue Midas a tal sera rica.

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