A Sorian Litany

Photo   The River Duero at Soria

Almazan, Matute, Matamala,

Tardelcuende, Quintana Redonda,

Los Llamosos, Navalcaballo, Soria.

In an hour we will be in Soria,

With a couple of beers in a bar.

Take the road over the old stone bridge,

Leave Almazan and the Duero behind

And Matute is not far.

Take the old road with its bumps and bends,

As it winds through the pines and the open fields

That stretch to the wide sky darkening now.

There are villages too,

Though as you pass

You will not see a soul.

The men are at work on the cold brown land,

And the women are invisible indoors

On this dark December afternoon.

Drive slowly, for the deer are not concerned with cars.

The woods and fields are theirs by day and night

And they have the right to roam where they will.

They cross the road at the bend here,

By the old stone barn,

And especially now in the half light.

Nine months of winter, three of hell,

But the quiet people bear it well.

See, the lights of Soria in the night,

The town Machado made his own.

He came, taught French and married here,

Then when she died, he went away.

For him,

Lay a rose on Leonor’s grave.

Park here, for nearby there’s a bar.

In Soria there always is

A bar nearby.

Let’s have a drink or two to warm us

This bitter evening,

And then we’ll take the old road back again,

Back again to Almazan,

In the cold, black night and the falling rain.

Soria, Navalcaballo, Los Llamosos,

Quintana Redonda, Tardelcuende,

Matamala, Matute, Almazan.