Monday, January 14, 2019

Juan Ruiz

Juan Ruiz the Archpriest of Hita (c. 1283—c. 1350) is a Castilian poet and cleric, who wrote in his masterwork The Book of Good Love (1643) both verse about the spiritual love of God, and tales of men pursuing carnal love.

Little is known about the author, other than he was the Archpriest in the Spanish village of Hita, and that he was probably imprisoned, as his own work expresses.

The following poem was translated by Mack Singleton


Oh God, Who Father art and Son, and likewise Spirit Holy,
Of Blessed Virgin Mother born [and gentle Maiden lowly]—
The strength send us Thy name to praise in canticle
-----and rhyme!
Our shield and mantle be Thou, Lord, [through years
-----and days of time]!

May He Who heaven fashion did, and earth contrive and sea,
His light and grace abiding send [a lowly sinner,] me!
From shining verses’ pleasant sheaf then book will I devise
That men who hear its measures may both gladdened be,
-----[and wise].

O Lord most high, my Savior dear, Who mankind wrought
-----[from dross],
On Archpriest-this, thy strength bestow [to bear his
-----dreary cross].
Then book of courtesy I’ll write shall men’s hearts
-----all refresh;
Their souls ‘twill bring some profit, and some healing to
-----their flesh.

This post was suggested by my friend Burl Horniachek.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.