Frozen December’s New Song – by Josep Carner

Come December’s icy freeze;
in confusion it retires
from the city it must appease
and from afar admires
where the sky is filled with love;
the mountain shields from above
and the blue waves beside
in sweetest slumber they reside.
Barcelona, city of charm,
Catalonia’s flow’r,
December’s chill does you no harm
but smiles on from afar.
‘To you my frost shall not come near,
yet in abundance are roses here,
all over are the bushy bowers
enveloped in the whitest flowers.’
‘Woe to the one who mars your face
and a fool who you forgoes;
your soul of joy and solace
in fullness overflows.’
With dark shadows the wintry wight
comes to this place with all his might
but finds his fright turned clear and pure:
December smiles, and does demur.
There in the most secluded ways
the goldfinch sings his song;
and pollen fresh from earlier days
in dust is borne along;
laughs Sant Jordi, champion;
and between the hills of lush garden
a spout of water clear
cries ‘Onward’ and ‘No fear!’
Each city-girl shares her heart
and wears her violets for him;
their looks are lights that burn and spark
from Love’s own cherubim.
Golden is this city fair.
The icy wind of December
must confusedly retire
in tones as gentle as from a lyre.

Josep Carner (1884-1970)

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Original Catalan text

Nova Canço del Desembre Congelat – per Josep Carner’
El desembre congelat
confós se retira:
el detura una ciutat
que de lluny admira
on el cel és amorós;
la muntanya fa redós
i la blava onada
s’és adormissada.
Barcelona, bell casal,
flor de Catalunya,
el desembre no et fa mal:
dolçament s’allunya.
Diu: -Gebrada no et duré,
que hi ha encara en ton roser,
al cim de les branques,
tot de roses blanques.
Malaurat qui et faci tort
i foll qui t’oblida;
tens de festa i de conhort
l’ànima reblida;
l’ombra fosca de l’esglai
pervinguda a ton espai
es fa clara i fina,
somriu i declina.
Hi ha al carrer més amagat
cants de cadernera;
hi ha un nou pol·len del passat
en la polseguera;
riu sant Jordi el paladí
i, entre tosses de jardí,
un broll d’aigua clara
diu: “Avant!” i “Encara!”
Cada noia té promès
i duu violetes;
son esguard és tot encès
de les amoretes.
És daurada la ciutat.
Del desembre el vent gelat
confós se retira,
dolç com una lira.

 

(Text sourced from http://www.xtec.cat/~evicioso/index.htm and http://horinal.blogspot.co.uk/2013_12_01_archive.html)