‘Fortune Presents Gifts not According to the Book’, by Luis de Góngora

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‘The day of death’s visitation, wearing the wrong mask’ (Tibaú, 19 March 2015)
Da bienes Fortuna
Que no están escritos:
Cuando pitos flautas,
Cuando flautas pitos.

¡Cuán diversas sendas
Se suelen seguir
En el repartir
Honras y haciendas!
A unos da encomiendas,
A otros sambenitos.
Cuando pitos flautas,
Cuando flautas pitos.

A veces despoja
De choza y apero
Al mayor cabrero,
Y a quien se le antoja;
La cabra más coja
Pare dos cabritos.
Cuando pitos flautas,
cuando flautas pitos.

Porque en una aldea
Un pobre mancebo
Hurtó sólo un huevo,
Al sol bambolea,
Y otro se pasea
Con cien mil delitos.
Cuando pitos flautas,
cuando flautas pitos.

Fortune presents gifts
Not according to the book:
When you expect whistles it’s flutes,
When you expect flutes it’s whistles

What various paths
Are followed
In distributing
Honours and possessions!
She gives awards to some
And penitent’s cloaks to others.
When you expect whistles it’s flutes,
When you expect flutes it’s whistles.

Sometimes she robs
The chief goatherd
Of his cottage and goat pen,
And to whomever she fancies
The lamest goat has born two kids.
When you expect whistles it’s flutes,
When you expect flutes it’s whistles

Because in a village
A poor lad
Has stolen one egg
He swings in the sun,
And another gets away
With one hundred thousand crimes.
When you expect whistles it’s flutes,
When you expect flutes it’s whistles.


Dead Can Dance’s sublime musical rendition (Youtube
)

‘Fortune Presents Gifts not According to the Book’, by Luis de Góngora

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