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XIV. Hymn at a Fast.

XIV. Izcatqui yn cuicatl chicuexiuhtica meuaya iniquac atamalqualoya.


1. Xochitl noyollo cuepontimania ye tlacoyoalle, oaya, oouayaye.

2. Yecoc ye tonan, yecoc ye teutl tlacolteutla, oaya, ooayaya.

3. Otlacatqui çenteutl tamiyoanichan ni xochitlicacani. Çey xochitli yantala, yantata, ayyao, ayyaue, tilili yao, ayaue, oayyaue.

4. Otlacatqui çenteutl, atl, yayaui cani tlaca pillachiualoya chalchimichuacan, yyao, yantala, yatanta, a yyao, ayyaue tilili yao, ayyaue, oayyaue.

5. Oya tlatonazqui tlauizcalleuaya inan tlachinaya nepapan quechol, xochitlacacan y yantala, yantata, ayyao ayyaue, tilili yao, ayyaue, oayyayaue.

6. Tlalpa timoquetzca, tianquiz nauaquia nitlacatla, ni quetzalcoatla, yyao, yantala, yantata, ayyao, ayyaue, tilili yao ayyaue, oayyayue.

7. Ma ya auiallo xochinquauitl itlani nepapan quecholli ma ya in quecholli xicaquiya tlatoaya y toteuh, xicaquiya tlatoaya y quechol amach yeua tonicauh tlapitza amach ychan tlacaluaz, ouao.

8. Aye oho, yyayya, ça miquiyecauiz ça noxocha tonaca xochitli ye izqui xochitla, xochitlicacan, yyaa.

9. Ollama, ollama uiue xolutl nauallachic, ollama ya xolutl chalchiuecatl xiquitta mach, oya moteca piltzintecutli yoanchan, yoanchan.

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10. Piltzintle, piltzintle toçiuitica timopotonia tlachco, timotlalli yoanchan, yoanchan.

11. Oztomecatla yyaue, oztomecatla xochiquetzal quimama, ontlatca cholola, ayye, ayyo, oye maui noyol, oye maui noyol, aoya yecoc centeutl, matiuia obispo, oztomecatl chacalhoa, xiuhnacochtla, yteamic ximaquiztla yteamico, ayye, ayye.

12. Cochina, cochina, cocochi ye nicmaololo, ni cani ye çiuatl ni cochina yyeo, ouayeo, yho, yya, yya.

Var. 3. Çenteuteutl. 4. Uillachiualoia. 5. Oya tonazqui. 6. Tlapan. 10. Timotlalia. 11. Suchiquetzal. Ontlatoa cholollan.

This is the Hymn which they sang every eight years when they fasted on bread and water.

1. The flower in my heart blossoms and spreads abroad in the middle of the night.

2. Tonan has satisfied her passion, the goddess Tlazolteotl has satisfied her passion.

3. I, Cinteotl, was born in Paradise, I come from the place of flowers. I am the only flower, the new, the glorious one.

4. Cinteotl was born from the water; he came born as a mortal, as a youth, from the cerulean home of the fishes, a new, a glorious god.

5. He shone forth as the sun; his mother dwelt in the house of the dawn, varied in hue as the quechol bird, a new, a glorious flower.

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6. I came forth on the earth, even to the market place like a mortal, even I, Quetzalcoatl, great and glorious.

7. Be ye happy under the flower-bush varied in hue as the quetzal bird; listen to the quechol singing to the gods; listen to the singing of the quechol along the river; hear its flute along the river in the house of the reeds.

8. Alas! would that my flowers would cease from dying; our flesh is as flowers, even as flowers in the place of flowers.

9. He plays at ball, he plays at ball, the servant of marvellous skill; he plays at ball, the precious servant; look at him; even the ruler of the nobles follows him to his house.

10. O youths! O youths! follow the example of your ancestors; make yourselves equal to them in the ball count; establish yourselves in your houses.

11. She goes to the mart, they carry Xochiquetzal to the mart; she speaks at Cholula; she startles my heart; she startles my heart; she has not finished, the priest knows her; where the merchants sell green jade earrings she is to be seen, in the place of wonders she is to be seen.

12. Sleep, sleep, sleep, I fold my hands to sleep, I, O woman, sleep.


In default of a Gloss to this hymn, the indispensable Sahagun again comes to our aid. He informs us in the Appendix to the second book of his Historia that "When the Indians celebrated the festival called atamalqualiztli, which took place every eight years, certain natives called Mazateca swallowed living serpents and frogs, and received garments as a recompense for their daring." We are not informed as to the purpose of the festival, and its name, which signifies "eating

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bread made with water," is merely that of one of the regular systems of fasting in vogue in ancient Mexico. (See Sahagun, Lib. III., cap. 8.) The song before us appears to be a recitation calling on a number of the Nahua divinities.

1. "The flower in my heart" is a metaphorical expression for song.

2. Tonan, "Our Mother"; Tlazolteotl, the goddess of lascivious love, Venus impudica. The verb yecoa appears to have its early signification, expressing carnal connection.

3. Centeotl, god of maize and fertility.

5. The flowers referred to are the youths and maidens who die young.

9. The house of the ball player is the tomb.

11. This verse is very obscure and is obviously corrupt. It contains the only Spanish word in the text of these hymns--obispo--a word including two letters, b and s, not in the Nahuatl alphabet.

12. The woman referred to is Xochiquetzal. See Hymn IX.

Next: XV. Hymn to a Night-God.