For our Spanish readers: Habia un viejo…

June 21, 2017

A sizeable minority of our readers have Spanish as their first language, and will be pleased to know that a new translation of Edward Lear’s limericks, by Herrín Hidalgo, has just been published in Spain by Media Vaca.  I am indebted to Marco Graziosi’s excellent “A Blog of Bosh” for bringing this to my attention.

I am no student of Spanish, but it looks to be that Herrin has made a very good job of capturing the charm and spirit of the originals: a tricky task because he has had to recalibrate Lear’s exquisitely wrought rhymes.  Cromer has become Vivero, Tyre has become Alxira, and Brigg has become Albarracin, which sounds much more exciting.  Troy has been allowed just a short trip to Troya.

In keeping with the educational mission of this blog, readers will be pleased to learn that Sanson is considered a suitable name for parrots in Spain.

There was an Old Person of Cromer, Who stood on one leg to read Homer: When he found he grew stiff, He jumped over the cliff, Which concluded that Person of Cromer.
There was a Young Lady of Tyre, Who swept the loud chords of a lyre: At the sound of each sweep she enraptured the deep, And enchanted the city of Tyre.
There was an old man in a barge, Whose nose was exceedingly large; But in fishing by night, It supported a light, Which helped that old man in a barge.
There was an old person of Crowle,                                                     Who lived in the nest of an owl;                                                         When they screamed in the nest, he screamed out with the rest, That depressing old person of Crowle.
There was an Old Person of Troy, Whose drink was warm brandy and soy: Which he took with a spoon, by the light of the moon, In sight of the city of Troy.
There was an Old Man who said, ‘Hush!  I perceive a young bird in this bush”: When they said, ‘Is it small?’ He replied, ‘Not at all! It is four times as big as the bush!”
There was an old man of Dunrose;  A parrot seized hold of his nose.                       When he grew melancholy, they said, “His name’s Polly,” Which soothed that old man of Dunrose.
There was an old person of Brigg, Who purchased no end of a wig;                                                        So that only his nose, and the end of his toes, Could be seen when he walked about Brigg.





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