Bésame y abrázame…

Today’s poem is another anonymous late mediaeval Spanish folk ballad, perhaps from the fifteenth century, or possibly earlier. It is short and simple, does not deal with the great events of the day, the struggle of Spain to reconquer the lands in Andalusia held by the Moors; nor of the deeds of great heroes like El Cid; but of the simple desires of a married woman for more affection from her husband, who seems to be a bit lacking in romantic skills…

 
Bésame y abrázame…

 
Bésame y abrázame,
marido mío,
y daros he en la mañana
camisón limpio.
Yo nunca vi hombre
vivo estar tan muerto
ni hacer el dormido
estando despierto:
andad, marido, alerta
y tened brío
y daros he en la mañana
camisón limpio.

From <http://amediavoz.com/romancero.htm#ROMANCE DEL MAL DE AMOR>

The reward for being more amorous will be a clean shirt in the morning. Sounds like a fair exchange. But the husband is unresponsive, like a dead or sleeping man. Maybe this couple has been married too long.

I like it that this verse takes the point of view of the woman. Many times, particularly in such older poetry, the point of view of the man is foremost, but here it is entirely the wife expressing her frustration.

The Poetry Dude

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