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Professor- of American Linguistics and Archceology in the University 
of Pennsylvania. 






Aboriginal American 

No. VII. 





It is with some hesitation that I offer this volume to 
the scientific pubHc. The text of the ancient songs 
which it contains offers extreme and pecuhar difficulties 
to the translator, and I have been obliged to pursue the 
task without assistance of any kind. Not a line of them 
has ever before been rendered into an European tongue, 
and my endeavors to obtain aid from some of the Nahu- 
atl scholars of Mexico have, for various reasons, proved 
ineffectual. I am therefore alone responsible for errors 
and misunderstandings. 

Nevertheless, I have felt that these monuments of 
ancient native literature are so interesting in themselves, 
and so worthy of publication, that they should be placed 
at the disposition of scholars in their original form with 
the best rendering that I could give them at present, rather 
than to await the uncertain event of years for a better. 

The text itself may be improved by comparison with 
the original MS. and with the copy previously made by 
the Licentiate Chimalpopoca, referred to on page 48. 
My own efforts in this direction have been confined to a 
faithful reproduction in print of the MS. copy ot the 
Abbe Brasseur deBourbourg. 

The Notes, which might easily have been extended, I 



have confined within moderate compass, so as not to 
enlarge unduly the bulk of the volume. 

To some, the Vocabulary may seem inadequate. I 
assume that those persons who wish to make a critical 
study of the original text will provide themselves with 
the Nahuatl Dictionaries of Molina or Simeon, both of 
which are now easily obtainable, thanks to Mr. Julius 
Platzmann for the reprint of Molina. I also assume that 
such students will acquaint themselves with the rules of 
grammar and laws of word-building of the tongue, and 
that they will use the vocabulary merely as a labor-sav- 
ing means of reaching the themes of compounds and 
unusual forms of words. Employed in this manner, it 
will, I hope, be found adequate. 

In conclusion, I would mention that there is a large 
body of Nahuatl literature yet unpublished, both prose 
and poetry, modern and ancient, and as the Nahuatl 
tongue is one of the most highly developed on the Amer- 
ican continent, it is greatly to be desired that all this 
material should be at the command of students. The 
Nahuatl, moreover, is not a difficult tongue ; for an 
Englishman or a Frenchman, I should say it is easier to 
acquire than German, its grammar being simple and reg- 
ular, and its sounds soft and sonorous. It has special 
recommendations, therefore, to one who would acquaint 
himself with an American lan£:ua2:e. 





§ I. The National Love of Poetry, . . 9 
§ 2. The Poet and His Work, . . .12 
§ 3. The Themes and Classes of the Songs, . 13 
§ 4. Prosody of the Songs, . . . • 1 7 
§ 5. The Vocal Delivery of the Songs, . . 20 
§ 6. The Instrumental Accompaniment, , .21 
§ 7. The Poetic Dialect, . . . .26 

§ 8. The Preservation of the Ancient 

Songs, 31 

§ 9. The LX Songs of the King Nezahual- 

coyotl, . . . . . . .35 

§ 10. The History of the Present Collec- 
tion, . 47 

Ancient Nahuatl Poems : 

I. Song at the Beginning, . , . . -55 
II. A Spring Song, an Otomi Song, a Plain Song, 59 

III. Another Plain Song, . . . . .61 

IV. An Otomi Song of the Mexicans, . . -65 
V. Another Plain Song of the Mexicans, . -67 

VI. Another Chalco-song, a Poem of Tetlapan 

Quetzanitzin, 69 

VII. Another, 71 




VIII. Composed by a Certain Ruler in Memory of 

Former Rulers, 

IX. An Otomi Song of Sadness, 
X. A Spring Song of the Mexicans, . 
XI. Another, ....... 

xii. A Spring Song, a Song of Exhortation, be 

cause Certain Ones did not go to War, 
xiii. A Song of Huexotzinco, . 
XIV. A Christian Song, . 
XV. The Reign of Tezozomoctli 

XVI. A Song Urging to War, . 

XVII. A Flower Song, 
xviii. A Song of Tollan, . 

XIX. A Christian Song, . 
XX. A Song Lamenting the Toltecs, 
XXI. A Song of the Huexotzincos, Coming to Ask 

Aid of Montezuma Against Tlaxcalla, 
XXII. A Flower Song, ..... 

xxiii. A Song of the Prince Nezahualcovotl, . 
XXIV. Another,. ...... 

XXV. A Song of Lamentation, .... 

XXVI. A Song Relating to the Lord Nezahual 


xxvii. A Christian Song, ..... 


Vocabulary, ....... 

Index of Nahuatl Proper Names, with Explana 
TIONS, ........ 













129 • 




§ I . The National Love of Poetry. 

The passionate love with which the Nahuas cultivated song, 
music and the dance is a subject of frequent comment by the 
historians of Mexico. These arts are invariably mentioned 
as prominent features of the aboriginal civilization ; no pub- 
lic ceremony was complete without them ; they were indis- 
pensable in the religious services held in the temples ; through 
their assistance the sacred and historical traditions were pre- 
served ; and the entertainments of individuals received their 
chief lustre and charm from their association with these arts. 

The profession of the poet stood in highest honor. It was 
the custom before the Conquest for every town, every ruler 
and every person of importance to maintain a company of 
singers and dancers, paying them fixed salaries, and the 
early writer, Duran, tells us that this custom continued in 
his own time, long after the Conquest. He sensibly adds, 
that he can see nothing improper in it, although it was con- 
B 9 


demned by some of the Spaniards.' In the training of these 
artists their patrons took a deep personal interest, and were 
not at all tolerant of neglected duties. We are told that the 
chief selected the song which was to be sung, and the tune 
by which it was to be accompanied ; and did any one of the 
choir sing falsely, a drummer beat out of time, or a dancer 
strike an incorrect attitude, the unfortunate artist was in- 
stantly called forth, placed in bonds and summarily executed 
the next morning ! - 

With critics of such severity to please, no wonder that it 
was necessary to begin the training early, and to set apart 
for it definite places and regular teachers. Therefore it was 
one of the established duties of the teachers in the calmecac 
or public school, "to teach the pupils all the verses of the 
sacred songs which were written in characters in their 
books. ' ' ^ There were also special schools, called aiicoyan, 
singing places, "where both sexes were taught to sing the 
popular songs and to dance to the sound of the drums. ^ In 
the public ceremonies it was no uncommon occurrence for 

^ Diego Duran, Historia de las Indias de Nueva Espaiia, Tom. I, p. 
233 ; and compare Geronimo de Mendieta, Historia Eclesiastica Indiana, 
Lib. II, cap. 31. 

2 Sahagun, Historia de iVtiez'a Espafla, Lib. VIII, cap. 26. 

* Saliagun, Historia de Ahieva Espafla, Lib. Ill, cap. 8. 

* Citicoyan, from cuica, song, and the place-ending yan, which is added 
to the impersonal form of the verb, in this instance, cuicoa. Mr. Bancroft 
entirely misapprehends Tezozomoc's words about these establishments, 
and gives an erroneous rendering of the term. See his Amative Races of 
the Pacific Const, Vol. II, p. 290, and Tezozomoc, Cronica Mexicana, 
cap. 18. 


the audience to join in the song and dance until sometimes 
many thousands would thus be seized with the contagion of 
the rhythmical motion, and i^ass hours intoxicated (to use a 
favorite expression of the Nahuatl poets) with the cadence 
and the movement. 

After the Conquest the Church set its face firmly against 
the continuance of these amusements. Few of the priests 
had the liberal views of Father Duran, already quoted ; 
most of them were of the opinion of Torquemada, who 
urges the clergy " to forbid the singing of the ancient 
songs, because all of them are full of idolatrous memo- 
ries, or of diabolical and suspicious allusions of the same 
character." ' 

To take the place of the older melodies, the natives 
were taught the use of the musical instruments introduced 
by the Spaniards, and very soon acquired no little pro- 
ficiency, so that they could perform upon them, compose 
original pieces, and manufacture most of the instruments 
themselves. - 

To this day the old love of the song and dance continues 
in the Indian villages; and though the themes are changed, 
the forms remain with little alteration. Travelers describe 
the movements as slow, and consisting more in bending and 
swaying the body than in motions of the feet ; while the 

1 Juan de Torquemada, Monarquia Indiana, Lib. VI, cap. 43. 

2 Torquemada, Monarquia Indiana, Lib. XVII, cap. 3. Didacus 
Valades, who was in Mexico about 1550, writes of the natives : " Habent 
instrumenta musica permulta in quibus Kmulatione quadam se exercent." 
Rhetorica Christiana, Pars. IV, cap. 24. 


songs chanted either refer to some saint or biblical charac- 
ter, or are erotic and pave the way to orgies. ' 

^ 2. The Poet and his Work. 

The Nahuatl word for a song or poem is cuicatl. It is 
derived from the verb atica, to sing, a term probably imi- 
tative or onomatopoietic in origin, as it is also a general 
expression for the twittering of birds. The singer was 
called cuicani, and is distinguished from the composer of 
the song, the poet, to whom was applied the term cuicapicqui, 
in which compound the last member, picqui, corresponds 
strictly to the Greek Trofjjrr^?, being a derivative oi piqui, to 
make, to create." Sometimes he was also called ciiica- 
tlamantini, ' ' skilled in song. ' ' 

It is evident from these words, all of which belong to the 
ancient language, that the distinction between the one who 
composed the poems and those who sang them was well 
established, and that the Nahuatl poetry was, therefore, 
something much above mere improvisation, as some have 
thought. This does not alter the fact that a professed 
bard usually sang songs of his own composition, as well 
as those obtained from other sources. This is obvious from 
the songs in this collection, many of which contain the 
exi)ression /// cuicani, I, the singer, which also refers to the 
maker of the song. 

1 Descriptions are given by Edward Muhlenpfordt, Die Re/'ublik Mexico, 
r.d. I, pp. 250-52 (Hannover, 1S44). 

* Molina translates piijui, " crear 6 plasmar Dios alguna cosa de 
nuevo." Vocabiilario de la Lengtia Mexicana, s. v. 


In the classical work of Sahagun, the author describes 
the ancient poet: "The worthy singer has a clear mind 
and a strong memory. He composes songs himself and 
learns those of others, and is always ready to impart either 
to the fellows of his craft. He sings with a well-trained 
voice, and is careful to practice in private before he appears 
before the public. The unworthy singer, on the other hand, 
is ignorant and indolent. What he learns he will not com- 
municate to others. His voice is hoarse and untrained, 
and he is at once envious and boastful.'" 

§ 3. The Themes and Classes of the Songs. 

From what he could learn about them some two cen- 
turies or more after the Conquest, the antiquary Boturini 
classified all the ancient songs under two general heads, 
the one treating mainly of historical themes, while the 
other was devoted to purely fictitious, emotional or imagi- 
native subjects.^ His terse classification is expanded by the 
Abbe Clavigero, who states that the themes of the ancient 
poets were various, some chanting the praises of the gods 
or petitioning them for favors, others recalled the history 
of former generations, others were didactic and inculcated 
correct habits of life, while others, finally, were in lighter 
vein, treating of hunting, games and love.^ 

His remarks were probably a generalization from a chapter 
in Torquemada's Monarquia Indiana, in which that writer 

1 Sahagun, Historia de Nueva Espana, Lib. X, cap. 8. 

2 Boturini, Idea de una Nueva Historia General, p. 97. 
» Clavigero, Storia anlica di Messico, Lib. VH, p. 175. 


states that the songs at the sacred festivals differed in sub- 
ject with the different months and seasons. Thus, in the 
second month of their calendar, at its stated festival, the 
people sang the greatness of their rulers ; in the seventh 
month all the songs were of love, of women, or of hunt- 
ing ; in the eighth the chants recalled the noble deeds of 
their ancestors and their divine origin ; while in the ninth 
month nothing was heard but verses fraught with lamenta- 
tion for the dead/ With less minuteness, Father Duran 
gives almost the same information. He himself had often 
heard the songs which Montezuma of Tenochtitlan, and 
Nezahualpizintli of Tezcuco, had ordered to be composed 
in their own honor, describing their noble lineage, their 
riches, their grandeur and their victories. These songs 
were in his day still sung at the public dances of the 
natives, and he adds, "although they were filled with lau- 
dation of their ancient rulers, it gave me much pleasure 
to hear the praises of such grandeur." There were other 
poets, he observes, who lived in the temples and composed 
songs exclusively in honor of the gods.'^ 

These general expressions may be supplemented by a list 
of terms, specifying particular classes of songs, preserved 
by various writers. These are as follows: — 

melaJiuaciiicatl : this is translated by Tezozomoc, "a 
straight and true song."'' It is a compound of melahuac, 
straight, direct, true ; and ciiicatl, song. It was a begin- 

' Torciucmada, Monnn/iiia Iiuiiana, Lib. X, cap. 34. 

2 Duran, Hist, tie la Indias de A^ueva EspaHa, Tom. I, p. 233. 

' Tezozomoc, Cronica Afexicana, cap. 64. 


ning or opening song at the festivals, and apparently de- 
rived its name from its greater intelligibility and directness 
of expression. A synonym, derived from the same root, 
is tlamelauhcayotl, which appears in the title to some of 
the songs in the present collection. 

xopancuicatl : this term is spelled by Ixtlilxochitl, xompa- 
cuicatl, and explained to mean "a song of the spring" 
(from xopan, springtime, cuicatl, song). The expression 
seems to be figurative, referring to the beginning or early 
life of things. Thus, the prophetic songs of Nezahual- 
coyotl, those which he sang when he laid the foundation 
of his great palace, bore this name.^ 

teiucuicatl : songs of the nobles {teuctli, cuicatl). These 
were also called quauhcuicatl, "eagle songs," the term 
quauhtli, eagle, being applied to distinguished persons. 

xochicuicatl : flower-song, one singing the praises of 

icnociiicatl : song of destitution or compassion. 

noteuhcidcaliztli : "the song of my lords." This ap- 
pears to be a synonymous expression for teucczdcatl ; it is 
mentioned by Boturini, who adds that on the day sacred 
to the god Xiuhteuctli the king began the song so called.^ 

miccacuicatl : the song for the dead {jniqui, to die, 
cuicatl). In this solemn chant the singers were seated on 
the ground, and their hair was twisted in plaits around 
their heads. ^ 

1 Ixtlilxochitl, Historia Chichimeca, cap. 47. 

2 Boturini, Idea de una Nueva Histo7-ia General, p. 90. 
* Tezozomoc, Cronica Mexicana, cap. 53. 


In addition to the above terms drawn from the subject 
or character of the songs, there were others, of geograph- 
ical origin, apparently indicating that the song, or its tune, 
or its treatment was borrowed from another locality or 
people. These are : — 

Huexotziticayotl : a song of Huexotzinco, a Nahuatl \.o\\Xi, 
situate east of the Lake of Tezcuco. This song was sung 
by the king and superior nobles at certain festivals, and, 
in the prescribed order of the chants, followed a fnelahuac- 
cuicatl. ' 

Chalcayotl : a song of Chalco, on the lake of the same 
name. This followed the last mentioned in order of time 
at the festivals. 

Otoncuicatl : a song of the Otomis. These were the 
immediate neighbors of the Nahuas, but spoke a language 
radically diverse. The songs so-called were sung fourth 
on the list. 

Cuextecayotl : a song of the country of the Cuexteca, 
or Cuextlan, a northern province of Mexico. 

Tlauancacuextecayotl : a song of the country of the 

Anahuacayotl : a song of Anahuac, that is, of a country 
near the water, either the valley of Mexico, or the shores of 
the ocean. 

Some very ancient sacred songs were referred to by 
Tezozomoc as peculiar to the worship of Huitzilopochtli, 
and, indeed, introduced by this potent divinity. From 

1 See Sahagun, Historia de Nenva EspaJia, Lib. W, chap. 17, and 
Tezozomoc, Cronica Mexicana, cap. 64. 


their names, cuitlaxoteyotl, zxi^^ tecuilhuicuicatl,^ I judge 

that they referred to some of those pederastic rites which 

still prevail extensively among the natives of the pueblos 

of New Mexico, and which have been described by Dr. 

William A. Hammond and other observers.^ One of these 

songs began, 

Cuicoyan nohuan mitotia ; 

In-the-place-of-song with-me they-dance. 

But the old chronicler, who doubtless knew it all by 
heart, gives us no more of it.^ 

§ 4. Prosody of the Songs. 

The assertion is advanced by Boturini that the genu- 
ine ancient NahuatI poetry which has been preserved is 
in iambic metre, and he refers to a song of Nezahual- 
coyotl in his collection to prove his opinion. What study 
I have given to the prosody of the NahuatI tongue leads 
me to doubt the correctness of so sweeping a statement. 
The vocalic elements of the language have certain pecu- 
liarities which prevent its poetry from entering unencum- 
bered into the domain of classical prosody. 

The quantity of NahuatI syllables is a very important 
element in the pronunciation of the tongue, but their 
quantity is not confined, as in Latin, to long, short, and 

^ Ctdtlaxoteyotl, from cuitatl, mierda; tectdlhuicuicatl, from iecuil- 
huaztli, sello, tecuilonti, el que lo haze a otro, pecando contra natura. 
Molina, Vocabulario. 

2 William A. Hammond, The Disease of the Scythians {morbus femi- 
naruvi) and Certain Analogous Conditions, in the American fournal of 
Neurology and Psychiatry, 1882. ^ Cronica Mexicana, cap. 2. 


common. The Nahuatl vowels are long, short, interme- 
diate, and "with stress," or as the Spanish grammarians 
say, "with a jump," con saltillo. The last mentioned is 
peculiar to this tongue. The vowel so designated is pro- 
nounced with a momentary suspension or catching of the 
breath, rendering it emphatic. 

These quantities are prominent features in the formal 
portions of the language, characterizing inflections and 
declinations. No common means of designating them 
have been adopted by the grammarians, and for my pre- 
sent purpose, I shall make use of the following signs : — 

a. , short. 

a , intermediate. 

a , long. 

a , with stress. 
The general prosodic rules are : — 

1. In polysyllabic words in which there are no long 
vowels, all the vowels are intermediate. • 

2. The vowels are long in the penultimate of the plurals 
of the imperatives when the preterit of the verb ends in a 
vowel ; the Ci of the can of the imperatives ; the i of the 
t'l of the gerundives ; tlie last vowel of the futures when 
the verb loses a vowel to form them ; the penultimates 
of passives in lo, of impersonals, of verbals in oni, illi, olli 
and oca, of verbal nouns with the terminations yan and 
can; the of abstract nouns in otl in composition \ and 
those derived from long syllables. 

3. Vowels are "with stress" when they are tlie finals 
in the i)lurals of nouns and verbs, also in the perfect pre- 
terite, in possessives ending in a, 6, 6, and in the penul- 


tiniate of nouns ending in ///, tia and tie when these syl- 
lables are immediately preceded by the vowel. • 

The practical importance of these distinctions may be 
illustrated by the following examples : — 

tdtli , = father. 

fdt/i , = thou drinkest. 

tatli , = we drink. 
It is, however, evident from this example that the quan- 
tity of Nahuatl syllables enters too much into the strictly 
formal part of the language for rules of position, such as 
some of those above given, to be binding; and doubtless 
for this reason the eminent grammarian Carlos de Tapia 
Zenteno, who was professor of the tongue in the Uni- 
versity of Mexico, denies that it can be reduced to defi- 
nite rules of prosody like those of the Latin. '^ 

Substituting accent for quantity, there would seem to 
be an iambic character to the songs. Thus the first words 
of Song I, weije probably chanted : — 

Nino' yo I no' notza' cainpa' nicu id yec tli' ahui aca' xochiiV : 

1 On this subject the reader may consult Paredes, Compendia del Arte 
ae la Lengtia Mexicana, pp. 5, 6, and Sandoval, Arte de la Lengua 
Mexicana, pp. 60, 61 . Tapia Zenteno whose Arte Novissima de la Lengua 
Mexicana was published in 1753, rejects altogether the saltillo, and says 
its invention is of no use except to make students work harder ! (pp. 3, 
4.) The vowels with saltillo, he maintains, are simply to be pronounced 
with a slight aspiration. Nevertheless, the late writers continue to employ 
and describe the saltillo, as Chimalpopoca, Epitome 6 Modo Fdcil de 
aprender el Idioma Na/niatl, p. 6. (Mexico, 1S69.) 

* Arte Novissima de la Lengua Mexicana, pp. 3, 4. 


But the directions given for the drums at the beginning 
of Songs XVIII, XIX, etc., do not indicate a continu- 
ance of these feet, but of others, as in XIX: — 

Indeed, we may suppose that the metre varied with the 
subject and the skill of the poet. This, in fact, is the 
precise statement of Father Duran,' who speaks of the 
native poets as "giving to each song a different tune 
{sonadd), as we are accustomed in our poetry to have the 
sonnet, the octava rima and the terceto." 

§ 5. The Vocal Delivery of the Song. 

Descriptions of the concerts so popular among the Nahuas 
have been preserved by the older writers, and it is of the 
highest importance to understand their methods in order 
to appreciate the songs presented^ in this volume. 

These concerts were held on ceremonial occasions in 
the open air, in the village squares or in the courtyards 
of the houses. They began in the morning and usually 
continued until nightfall, occasionally far into the night. 
The musicians occupied the centre of the square and the 
trained singers stood or sat around them. When the sign 
was given to begin, the two most skillful singers, some- 
times a man and a woman, pronounced the first syllables 
of the song slowly but with a sharp emphasis ;- then the 
drums began in a low tone, and gradually increased in 

' Duran, Historia de Nuez'a EspaHa, Tom. I, p. 230. 
2 The singer who began the song was called cuicaifo, " the speaker of 
the song." 


strength as the song proceeded ; the other singers united 
their voices until the whole chorus was in action, and 
often the bystanders, to the numbers of thousands, would 
ultimately join in the words of some familiar song, keep- 
ing time by concerted movements of the hands and feet. 

Each verse or couplet of the song was repeated three 
or four times before proceeding to the next, and those 
songs which were of the slowest measure and least emo- 
tional in character were selected for the earlier hours of the 
festivals. None of the songs was lengthy, even the longest, 
in spite of the repetitions, rarely lasting over an hour.^ 

The tone in which the words were chanted is described 
by Clavigero, Miihlenpfordt and other comparatively recent 
travelers as harsh, strident and disagreeable to the Euro- 
pean ear. Mendieta calls it a "contra-bass," and states 
that persons gifted with such a voice cultivated it assidu- 
ously and were in great" demand. The Nahuas call it 
tozqiiitl, the singing voice, and likened it to the notes of 
sweet singing birds. 

§ 6. The Instrumental Accompaniment. 
The Nahuas were not acquainted with any stringed in- 
strument. They manufactured, however, a variety of objects 
from which they could extract what seemed to them melo- 
dious sounds. The most important were two forms of 
drums, the huehuetl and the teponaztli. 

1 The most satisfactory description of these concerts is that given by 
Geronimo de Mendieta, Historia Eclesiastica Indiana, Lib. II, cap. 31. 
I have taken some particulars from Boturini and Sahagun. 


The word huehuetl means something old, something 
ancient, and therefore important and great. The drum 
so-called was a hollow cylinder of wood, thicker than a 
man's body, and usually about five palms in height. The 
end was covered with tanned deerskin, firmly stretched. 
The sides were often elaborately carved and tastefully 
painted. This drum was placed upright on a stand in 
front of the player and the notes were produced by strik- 
ing the parchment with the tips of the fingers. 

A smaller variety of this instrument Avas called flapanhne- 
huetl, or the half drum, which was of the same diameter 
but only half the height.' Still another variety was the 
yopihuehuetl, "the drum which tears out the heart,"- so 
called either by reason of its penetrating and powerful 
sound, or because it was employed at the Yopico, where 
that form of human sacrifice was conducted. 

The teponaztli was a cylindrical block of wood hollowed 
out below, and on its upper surface with two longitudinal 
parallel grooves running nearly from end to end, and a 
third in the centre at right angles to these, something in 
the shape of the letter I. The two tongues left between the 
grooves were struck with balls of rubber, /////, on the ends 
of handles or drum sticks. These instruments varied greatly 

' Literally, " the broken drum," from tlapana, to break, as they say 
tlapanhuimetzli, half moon. It is described by Tezozomoc as " un 
alambor bajo." Cronica Mixicana, cap. 53. 

2 From yollotl, heart, and //, to tear out. The instrument is mentioned 
by Tezozomoc, Cronica Mexicaua, cap. 48. On the Yopico, and its 
ceremonies, see Sahagun, I/islon.i di Nuez'a Espafla, Lib. II, cap. i, and 


in size, some being five feet in length, and others so small 
that they could conveniently be carried suspended to the 
neck. The teponaztli was the house instrument of the 
Nahuas. It was played in the women's apartments to 
amuse the noble ladies, and the war captains carried one 
at the side to call the attention of their cohorts on the 
field of battle (Sahagun). The word is derived from the 
name of the tree whose wood was selected to make the 
drum, and this in turn from the verb tcponazoa, to swell, 
probably from some peculiarity of its growth.' 

A much superior instrument to the teponaztli, and doubt- 
less a development from it, was the tccomapiloay " the sus- 
pended vase" {tccomatl, gourd or vase, piloa, to hang or 
suspend). It was a solid block of wood, with a project- 
ing ridge on its upper surface and another opposite, on 
its lower aspect ; to the latter one or more gourds or 
vases were suspended, which increased and softened the 
sound when the upper ridge was struck with the ullip' 
This was undoubtedly the origin of the marimba, which I 
have described elsewhere.^ 

1 Simeon, however, thinks the name arose from the growing and swell- 
ing of the sound of the instrument (notes to Jourdanet's translation of 
Sahagun, p. 28). Mr. H. H. Bancroft gives the astonishing translation of 
teponaztli, " wing of stone vapor !" (^Native Races of the Pacific States, 
Vol. II, p. 293.) Brasseur traced the word to a Maya-Quiche root, tep. 
In both Nahuatl and Maya this syllable is the radicle of various words 
meaning to increase, enlarge, to grow strong or great, etc. 

2 Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva Espafia, Lib. II, cap. 27. 

3 See The Gtiegiience, a Comedy ballet in the Nahuall Spanish dialect 
of Nicaragua, Introd., p. 29. (Philadelphia, 1883.) 


The musical properties of these drums have been dis- 
cussed by Theodor Baker. The teponaztli, he states, could 
yield but two notes, and could not have been played in 
accord with the huehuetl. It served as an imperfect 
contra-bass. ' 

Tht omichicahuaz, "strong bone," was constructed some- 
what on the principle of a teponaztli. A large and long 
bone was selected, as the femur of a man or deer, and it 
was channeled by deep longitudinal incisions. The pro- 
jections left between the fissures were rasped with another 
bone or a shell, and thus a harsh but varied sound could 
be produced.'^ 

The tetzilacatl, the "vibrator" or "resounder," was a 
sheet of copper suspended by a cord, which was struck 
with sticks or with the hand. It appears to have been 
principally confined to the sacred music in the temples. 

The ayacachtli was a rattle formed of a jar of earthen- 
ware or a dried gourd containing pebbles which was 
fastened to a handle, and served to mark time in the 
songs and dances. An extension of this simple instru- 
ment was the ayacachicahualiztli, "the arrangement of 
rattles," which was a thin board about six feet long and 

1 Theodor Baker, Ueber die Musik der Nord-Ainerikanischen IVilden., 
PP- 51-53- (Leipzig, 1SS2.) 

2 Omitl, bone, chicahuac, strong. A specimen made of the bone of a 
fossil elephant is possessed by Seiior A. Chavero, of Mexico. See Tezo- 
zomoc, Cronica Mexicana, cap. 55, and the note of Orozco y Berra to 
that passage in the Mexican edition. Also Sahagun, Hist, de Nueva Es- 
paHay Lib. VIII, cap. 20, who lii<e\vise describes most of the instruments 
referred to in this section. 


a span wide, to which were attached bells, rattles and cylin- 
drical pieces of hard wood. Shaking this produced a jingle- 
jangle, agreeable to the native ear. The Aztec bells of 
copper, tzilinilli, are really metallic rattles, like our 
sleigh bells. They are often seen in collections of Mexican 
antiquities. Other names for them were coyolli and yoyotli. 

Various forms of flutes and fifes, made of reeds, of bone 
or of pottery, were called by names derived from the 
word pitzaua, to blow (e.g., tlapitzalH, uilacapitzli), and 
sometimes, as being punctured with holes, zozoloctli, from 
zotl, the awl or instrument used in perforating skins, etc. 
Many of those made of earthenware have been preserved, 
and they appear to have been a highly-esteemed instru- 
ment, as Sahagun mentions that the leader of the choir 
of singers in the temple bore the title tlapitzcatzin, "the 
noble flute player." 

Large conches were obtained on the seashore and framed 
into wind instruments called quiquiztli and tecciztli, whose 
hoarse notes could be heard for long distances, and whistles 
of wood, bone and earthenware added their shrill notes 
to the noise of the chanting of the singers. The shell of 
the tortoise, ayotl, dried and suspended, was beaten in 
unison with such instruments. 

Recent researches by competent musical experts con- 
ducted upon authentic specimens of the ancient Mexican 
instruments have tended to elevate our opinion of their 
skill in this art. Mr. H. T. Cresson, of the Academy of 
Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, has critically examined the 
various Aztec clay flutes, whistles, etc., which are there 
preserved, and has reached the following conclusions: — 


"I. That upon the four-holed clay flageolets the chro- 
matic and diatonic scales can be produced with a full 

" II. That the clay whistles or pitch pipes, which may 
be manipulated in quartette, will produce an octave and 
a fourth. 

"III. From the facts above shown, the Aztecs must 
have possessed a knowledge of the scales as known to us, 
which has been fully tested by comparison with the flute 
and organ.'" 

This result indicates for the instrumental accompaniment 
a much higher position in musical notation than has hitherto 
been accepted. 

§ 7. The Poetic Dialect. 

All the old writers who were familiar with the native 
songs speak of their extreme obscurity, and the difficulty 
of translating them. No one will question the intimate 
acquaintance with the Nahuatl language possessed by Father 
Sahagun ; yet no one has expressed more strongly than he 
the vagueness of the Nahuatl poetic dialect. "Our enemy 
on earth," he writes, "has prepared a thick woods and 
a dangerous ground full of pitfalls, wherein to devise his 
evil deeds and to hide himself from attack, as do wild 
beasts and venomous serpents. This woods and these pit- 
falls are the songs which he has inspired to be used in his 
service, as praises to his honor, in the temples and else- 
where ; because they are composed with such a trick that 

' H. T. Cresson, On Aztec Music, in the Proceedings of the Academy 
of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, 1883. 


they proclaim only what the devil commands, and are 
understood only by those to whom they are addressed. 
It is well known that the cavern, woods or depths in 
which the devil hides himself were these chants or psalms 
which he himself has composed, and which cannot be 
understood in their true significance except by those who 
are accustomed to the peculiar style of their language."^ 

Not less positive are the expressions of Father Diego 
Duran, contemporary of Sahagun, and himself well versed 
in the native tongue. ''All their songs," he observes, 
"were composed in such obscure metaphors that scarcely 
any one can understand them unless he give especial atten- 
tion to their construction."^ The worthy Boturini was puz- 
zled by those which he had collected, and writes, " the 
songs are difficult to explain, because they mystify his- 
torical facts with constant allegorizing,"'' and Boturini's 
literary executor, Don Mariano Echevarria y Veitia, who 
paid especial attention to the poetic fragments he had re- 
ceived, says frankly : " The fact is, that as to the songs I 
have not found a person who can fully translate them, 
because there are many words in them whose signification 
is absolutely unknown to-day, and moreover which do not 
appear in the vocabularies of Molina or others."* 

The Abbe Clavigero speaks in somewhat more definite 

1 Sahagun, Historia de Nueva Espana, Lib. II, Appendice. 
* Duran, Historia de las Indias de Nueva Espaiia, Tom. I, p. 233. 
3 Boturini, Idea de una Ntieva Historia General, Appendice, p. 95. 
■* Echevarria, Historia del Driven de las Genles de Nueva EspaHa, Dis- 
curso Preliminar. 


terms of the poetic forms and licenses of the language. 
He notes that in the fragments of the ancient verses which 
had been preserved until his day there were inserted be- 
tween the significant words certain interjections and mean- 
ingless syllables, apparently to fill out the metre. Never- 
theless, he considered the language of the chants, "pure, 
pleasant, brilliant, figurative and replete with allusions to 
the more pleasing objects in nature, as flowers, trees, brooks, 

It is quite evident from the above extracts that in the 
translation of the ancient songs in the present volume we 
must be prepared for serious difficulties, the more so as the 
Nahuatl language, in the opinion of some who are the 
best acquainted with it, lends itself with peculiar facility 
to ambiguities of expression and obscure figures of speech.'^ 
Students of American ethnology are familiar with the fact 
that in nearly all tribes the language of the sacred songs 
differs materially from that in daily life. 

Of the older grammarians. Father Carochi alone has 
left us actual specimens of the ancient poetic dialect, 
and his observations are regretably brief. They occur 

* Clavigero, Storia Antica di Messico, Lib. VII, p. 175. 

2 " Ihre Sprachen sind uberreich an doppelsinnigen Ausdrucken die sie 
absichtlich anwenden um ihre Gedanken zu verbergen. Geistliche haben 
mir versichert, dass sie obgleich der Aztekischen Sprache vollstandig mach- 
tig, oft den wahren Sinn einer Beichte nicht zu verstehen vermochten, 
weil die Beichtende sich in rSthselhafter und metaphorreicher Weise 
auszudrilcken pflegten." Carlos von Gagern, Charakteristik der Indiau- 
ischen Bevdlkerioii; Mexico's, p. 17 (in the Mit. der Geog. GeselL, 
Wien. 1837). 


in his chapter on the composition of nouns and read as 
follows : ' — 

"The ancient Indians were chary in forming compounds 
of more than two words, while those of to-day exceed 
this number, especially if they speak of sacred things; 
although in their poetic dialect the ancients were also 
extravagant in this respect, as the following examples 
show: — 

1. TlauhquechoUaztalehualto tonatoc. 

2. Ayauhcogamalotonameyotimani. 

3. Xiuhcoyolizitzilica in teocuitlahuehuetl. 

4. Xiuhtlapallacuilolamoxtli manca. 

5. Nic chalchiuhcozcameca quenmach totoma in nocuic. 

1. It is gleaming red like the tlauhquechol bird. 

2. And it glows like the rainbow. 

3. The silver drum sounds like bells of turquoise. 

4. There was a book of annals written and painted in 

5. I see my song unfolding in a thousand directions, like a 
string of precious stones," 

1 Carochi's translations are not quite literal. The following notes will 
explain the compounds : — 

1. Tlauitl, red ochre, quechoUi, a bird so called, aztatl, a heron, 
ehualtia, reverential of ehua, to rise up ; hence, " It (or he) shone 
like a noble red- winged heron rising in flight." 

2. Ayaniil, mist ; cofamaloti, rainbow ; to7iameyotl, shining, brightness ; 
ti, connective ; viani, substantive verb. " The brightness of the rain- 
bow is there." There is no conjunction " and " ; Father Carochi seems 
to have carelessly taken ayauh, which is the form of ayatiitl in com- 


From the specimens presented in this volume and from 
the above extracts, I would assign the following pecu- 
liarities to the poetic dialect of the Nahuatl : — 

I. Extreme frequency and richness of metaphor. Birds, 
flowers, precious stones and brilliant objects are constantly 
introduced in a figurative sense, often to the point of 
obscuring the meaning of the sentence. 

II. Words are compounded to a much greater extent 
than in ordinary prose writing. 

III. Both words and grammatical forms unknown to the 
tongue of daily life occur. These may be archaic, or manu- 
factured capriciously by the poet. 

IV. Vowels are inordinately lengthened and syllables 
reduplicated, either for the purpose of emphasis or of 

V. Meaningless interjections are inserted for metrical 
effect, while others are thrown in and repeated in order 
to express emotion. 

VI. The rhetorical figure known as aposiopesis, where 
a sentence is left unfinished and in an interjectional con- 
position, for the conjunction auh, and. Each of the lines given is a 
detached fragment, without connection with the others. 

3. xiiiit/, something blue or green; coyolii, htWs; tzitzUicaliztli, tink- 
ling. " The golden drum's turquoise-bell-tinkling." 

4. xiuhiic, blue or green ; tlapalli, red ; ctiiloa, to paint or write ; 
amoxtli, book ; manca, imperf. of tnani. " There was a book painted 
in red and green." 

5. chahhiuhtiitl, the jade; cozcatl, a jewel; W(V<7/'/, a string ; totoma, 
frequentative of toma, to unfold, unwind. " I unwind my song like 
a string of precious jewels." 



dition, in consequence of some emotion of the mind, is 
not rare and adds to the obscurity of the wording. 

§ 8. The Preservation of the Ancient Sotigs. 

In a passage already quoted/ Sahagun imparts the inter- 
esting information that the more important songs were 
written down by the Nahuas in their books, and from these 
taught to the youth in the schools. A certain branch 
of the Mexican hieroglyphic writing was largely phonetic, 
constructed on that method to which I have applied the 
adjective ikonomatic, and by which it was quite possible to 
preserve the sound as well as the sense of sentences and 
verses.^ Such attention could have been bestowed only on 
the sacred, royal, or legendary chants, while the composi- 
tions of ordinary poets would only be disseminated by oral 

By one or both of these methods there was a large body 
of poetic chants the property of the Nahuatl -speaking 
tribes, when they were subjugated by the Europeans. Among 
the intelligent missionaries who devoted their lives to mas- 
tering the language and translating into it the doctrines 
of Christianity, there were a few who felt sufficient interest 
in these chants to write some of them down in the orig- 
inal tongue. Conspicuous among these was the laborious 
Bernardino de Sahagun, whose works are our most valued 

1 See above, page lo. 

2 On the Ikonomatic Method of Phonetic Writing, with special ref- 
erence to American Archeology. By D. G. Brinton, in Proceedings of 
the American Philosophical Society, for October, i886. 


sources of information on all that concerns the life of the 
ancient Nahuas. He collected a number of their sacred 
hymns, translated them into Spanish, and inserted them into 
the Appendix to the Second Book of his History of New 
Spain ; but this portion of his work was destroyed by order 
of the Inquisition, as a note in the original MS. expressly 

A certain number, however, were preserved in the original 
tongue, and, as already noted, we find the able grammarian 
Horatio Carochi, who published his Grammar of the Nahuatl 
in 1645, quoting lines from some as furnishing examples of 
the genuine ancient forms of word-building. He could 
not, tlierefore, have doubted their antiquity and authenticity. 

A number of these must have come to the knowledge and 
were probably in the possession of the eminent mathema- 
tician and antiquary Don Carlos de Siguenza y Gongora, 
who lived m the latter half of the same century (died 1700). 
It was avowedly upon the information which he thought he 
gleaned from these ancient chants that he constructed his 
historical theory of the missionary labors of St. Thomas 
in Mexico in the first century of our era. The title of 
the work he wrote upon this notion was as follows : — 

" Ft' nix del Occidente San Thomas Apbstol, hallado con el 
notnbre de Qiietzalcoatl entre las cenizas de antiguas tradiciones, 
consenuidas en piedras, en Teoamoxtles Tidtecas, y en cantarcs 
Teochichimecas y Mexicanos.^^ 

For many years this curious work, which was never printed 

1 This fact is mentioned by Lord Kingsborough in his great work on 
Mexico, Vol. VI, p. 533. 


was supposed to be lost ; but the original MS. is extant, in 
the possession of the distinguished antiquary Don Alfredo 
Chavero, of the City of Mexico.^ Unfortunately, however, 
the author did not insert in his work any song in the 
native language nor a literal translation of any, as I am 
informed by Senor Chavero, who has kindly examined the 
work carefully at my request, with this inquiry in view. 

Half a century later, when Boturini was collecting his 
material, he found but very few of the old poems. In the 
catalogue of his MSS. he mentions (XIX, i) some fragments 
of ancient songs, badly written, on European paper, but 
he does not say whether in the original or translated. 
The same doubt might rest on the two songs of Neza- 
hualcoyotl named in his Catalogue (V, 2). He does not 
specifically state that they are in the original. The song 
of Moquihuix, King of Tlatilulco, in which he celebrated his 
victory over the Cuextla, which Boturini states in his text 
(p. 91) as in his possession, is not mentioned at all in his 
Catalogue, and it is uncertain whether his copy was in 

His literary friend, however, Don Mariano Echevarria y 
Veitia, removes the uncertainty about the two songs of 
Nezahualcoyotl, as he informs us that they were in the 
original tongue, and adds that he had inserted them in 
his History without translation.'^ I have examined the man- 

^ It is described in the Anales del Museo Nacional, Tom. Ill, p. 262. 

2 Echevarria's words are " los pongo en su idioma." Hist, del Origen 
de las Gentes que poblaron la Nueva Espafia, Discurso Preliminar, in 
Kingsborough's Mexico, Vol. VIII. 


uscript of his work, now in the Lenox Library, New York 
City, but it does not contain these texts, and evidently the 
copy used by Bustamente did not.^ 

Boturini included the translations of the two odes of 
Nezahualcoyotl in a work on the Virgin of Guadelupe, only 
a fragment of which has been preserved. One of the 
chapters in this Latin Essay is entitled De Indorum Poeta- 
non Canticis sive Prosodiis, in which he introduces Ixtlil- 
xochitl's translation and also a song in the original Nahuatl, 
but the latter is doubtless of late date and unimportant as 
a really native production.^ 

The fragments of Boturini's library collected by M. Aubin, 
of Paris, contain a number of the original ancient songs of 
the highest importance, which make us regret the more that 
this collection has been up to the present inaccessible to 
students. In his description of these relics published in 1S51, 
^L Aubin refers to the Historical Annals of the Mexican 
Nation (§ VIII, 10, of Boturini's Catalogue) as containing 
" historical songs in a dialect so difficult that I have not 
been able to translate them entirely," and adds that sim- 
ilar songs are preserved in others of the ancient annals in 
his hands. ^ 

1 See his Tezcuco en los Ultitnos Tievipos de sus Antigtios Keyes. Parte 
IV (Mexico, 1826). 

2 See the description of this fragment of Boturini by Senor Alfredo 
Chavero in the Anates del Museo Nacional, Tom. Ill, p. 242. 

* M. Aubin, Xotice sur ttne Collection d Antiqttites Alexicaines, pp. 
8, 9. (Paris, 1S51.) 


§ 9. The LX Songs of the King Nezahualcoyotl. 

The most distinguished figure among the Nahuatl poets 
was Nezahualcoyotl, ruler of .Tezcuco. His death took 
place in 1472, at the age of eighty years. His father, Ixtlil- 
xochitl, had been deprived of his possessions and put to 
death by Tezozomoc, King of the Tepanecas, and until the 
death of the latter at an advanced age in 1427, Nezahual- 
coyotl could make but vain efforts to restore the power of 
his family. Much of the time he was in extreme want, and 
for this reason, and for his savage persistence in the struggle, 
he acquired the name "the fasting or hungry wolf" — 
nezahual-coyotl. Another of his names was AcolmiztU, 
usually translated "arm of the lion," from acuUi, shoulder, 
and niiztii, lion. 

A third was Yoyontzin, which is equivalent to cevetor 
nobilis, from yoyoma {cevere, i. e., fetnora mover e in re 
venerea) ; it is to be understood figuratively as indicating 
the height of the masculine forces. 

When his power became assured, he proved himself a 
liberal and enlightened patron of the arts and industries. 
The poetry and music of his native land attracted him the 
more as he felt within himself the moving god, firing his 
imagination with poetic vision, the Deus in nobis, calescinius, 
agitanfillo. Not only did he diligently seek out and 
royally entertain skilled bards, but he himself had the credit 
of composing sixty chants, and it appears that after the Con- 
quest there were that many written down in Roman char- 
acters and attributed to him. We need not inquire too 
closely whether they were strictly his own composition. 
Perhaps they were framed on themes which he furnished, or 


were selected by him from those sung at his court by various 
bards. The history of the works by royal authors every- 
where must not be too minutely scanned if we wish to 
leave them their reputation for originality. 

He was of a philosophic as well as a poetic tempera- 
ment, and reflected deeply on the problems of life and 
nature. Following the inherent tendency of the enlight- 
ened intellect to seek unity in diversity, the One in the 
Many, he reached the conclusion to which so many think- 
ers in all ages and of all races have been driven, that 
underlying all phenomena is one primal and adequate 
Cause, the Essence of all Existence. This conclusion he 
expressed in a philosophic apothegm which was preserved 
by his disciples, in these words: — 

]pan in chicunauitlamanpan meziica in tloque nahuaqice 
palne nohuani teyocoyani icel teotl oqiiiyocox in ixquex qiiex- 
quex in ittoni ihuan amo ittoni. 

" In the ninth series is the Cause of All, of us and of 
all created things, the one only God who created all things 
both visible and invisible."^ 

To perpetuate the memory of this philosophic deduction 
he caused to be constructed at Tezcuco a stone tower 
nine stories in height, the ruins of which were visible 
long after the Spanish occupation. To this tower he gave 
the name Chililitli, a term of uncertain meaning, but which 
we find was applied in Tenochtitlan to a building sacred 

1 rrinted very incorrectly in Lord Kingsborough's edition of Ixtlilxo- 
chitl's Relaciones Ilistoricas (Rel. X, Kingsborough, Antiquities of Mex- 
ico, Vol. IX, p. 454). 


to the Nine Winds.' To explain the introduction of this 
number, I should add that a certain school of Nahuatl 
priests taught that the heaven above and the earth below 
were each divided into nine concentric arcs, each lead- 
ing farther and farther away from the conditions of the 
present life. Hence, there were nine heavens, abodes of 
the gods, and nine lower regions, abodes of the souls of 
the dead. Another school taught that there were not nine 
but thirteen of these stages. 

The sixty poems by Nezahualcoyotl are mentioned by 
various writers as in existence after the Conquest, reduced 
to writing in the original tongue, and of several of them 
we have translations or abstracts.'^ Of four the transla- 
tions claim to be complete, and were published entire for 
the first time in the original Spanish by Lord Kingsbor- 
ough in the ninth volume of his great work on the Anti- 
quities of Mexico. Since then they have received various 
renderings in prose and verse into different languages at 
the hands of modern writers. 

I shall give a literal prose translation from the Spanish, 
numbering the poems and their verses, for convenience 
of reference, in the order in which they appear in the 
pages of Lord Kingsborough. 

1 See Sahagun, Historia de Niieva Espana, Lib. II, Appendix. 

2 Bustamente puts the number of the songs of Nezahualcoyotl at 
eighty, of which he could find only one extant, and this, as I understand 
his words, in Spanish only. See his Tezcuco en los Tiempos de sns An- 
tiguous Reyes, p. 253 (Mexico, 1826). When Alexander von Humboldt 
visited Mexico he sought in vain for any fragment of the songs of the 
royal bard. Vues des Cordilleres, etc., Tom. II, p. 391. 


The first is one referred to, and partly translated by 
Ixtlilxochitl, in his Historia Chichimeca (cap. 47). He 
calls it a xopancuicail (see ante, p. 15), and states 
that it was composed and sung on the occasion of the 
banquet when the king laid the foundations of his great 
palace. He gives the first words in the original as fol- 
lows: — 

Thixoconcagiiican ani Nezahuakoyotzin ; 

And the translation : — 

" Hear that which says the King Nezahualcoyotl." 

Restoring the much mutilated original to what I should 
think was its proper form, the translation should read : — 

"Listen attentively to what I, the singer, the noble 
Nezahualcoyotl, say:" — 


1. Listen with attention to the lamentations which I, 
the King Nezahualcoyotl, make upon my power, speak- 
ing with myself, and offering an example to others. 

2. O restless and striving king, when the time of thy 
death shall come, thy subjects shall be destroyed and 
driven forth ; they shall sink into dark oblivion. Then 
in thy hand shall no longer be the power and the rule, 
but with the Creator, the All-powerful. 

3. He who saw the palaces and court of the old King 
Tezozomoc, how flourishing and powerful was his sway, 
may see them now dry and withered ; it seemed as if they 
should last forever, but all that the world offers is illusion 
and deception, as everything must end and die. 

4. Sad and strange it is to see and reflect on the pros- 


perity and power of the old and dying King Tezozomoc ; 
watered with ambition and avarice, he grew like a willow 
tree rising above the grass and flowers of spring, rejoicing 
for a long time, until at length, withered and decayed, 
the storm wind of death tore him from his roots, and 
dashed him in fragments to the ground. The same fate 
befell the ancient King Colzatzli, so that no memory was 
left of him, nor of his lineage. 

5. In these lamentations and in this sad song, I now 
call to memory and offer as an example that which takes 
place in the spring, and the end which overtook King 
Tezozomoc ; and who, seeing this, can refrain from tears 
and wailing, that these various flowers and rich delights 
are bouquets that pass from hand to hand and all wither 
and end even in the present life ! 

6. Ye sons of kings and mighty lords, ponder well and 
think upon that which I tell you in these my lamenta- 
tions, of what takes place in spring and of the end which 
overtook King Tezozomoc ; and who, seeing this, can 
refrain from tears and wailing that these various flowers 
and rich delights are bouquets that pass from hand to hand 
and all wither and end even in the present life ! 

7. Let the birds now enjoy, with melodious voices, the 
abundance of the house of the flowery spring, and the 
butterflies sip the nectar of its flowers. 

The second song is preserved in a Spanish metrical 
translation only, but which from internal evidence I should 
judge to be quite literal. The words of the poem do not 


represent it as a composition by the royal poet, but one 
which was sung before him, and addressed to him. It 
admonishes him to rejoice in the present moment, as the 
uncertainties of life and fate must at some time, perhaps 
very soon, deprive him of their enjoyment. 


1. I wish to sing for a moment, since time and occasion 
are propitious; I hope to be permitted, as my intention 
merits it, and I begin my song, though it were better 
called a lamentation. 

2. And thou, beloved companion, enjoy the beauty of 
these flowers, rejoice with me, cast out fears, for if pleas- 
ure ends with life, so also does pain. 

3. I, singing, will touch the sonorous instrument, and 
thou, rejoicing in the flowers, dance and give pleasure to 
God the powerful. Let us be happy in the present, for 
life is transitory. 

4. Thou hast placed thy noble court in Acolhuacan, 
thine are its lintels, thou hast decked them, and one may 
well believe that with such grandeur thy state shall in- 
crease and grow. 

5. O prudent Yoyontzin, famous king and peerless mon- 
arch, rejoice in the present, be happy in the springtime, 
for a day shall come in which thou shalt vainly seek these 

6. Then thy destiny shall snatch the sceptre from thy 
hand, thy moon shall wane, no longer wilt thou be strong 
and proud, then thy servants shall be destitute of all things. 


7. In this sad event, the nobles of thy line, the prov- 
inces of might, children of noble parents, lacking thee as 
their lord, shall taste the bitterness of poverty. 

8. They shall call to mind how great was thy pomp, 
thy triumphs and victories, and bewailing the glory and 
majesty of the past, their tears will flow like seas. 

9. These thy descendants who serve thy plume and 
crown, when thou art gone, will forsake Culhuacan, and 
as exiles will increase their woes. 

10. Little will fame have to tell of this wondrous maj- 
esty, worthy of a thousand heralds ; the nations will only 
remember how wisely governed the three chieftains who 
held the power, 

11. At Mexico, Montezuma the famous and valorous, at 
Culhuacan the fortunate Nezahualcoyotl, and at the strong- 
hold of Acatlapan, Totoquilhuatli. 

12. I fear no oblivion for thy just deeds, standing as 
thou dost in thy place appointed by the Supreme Lord 
of All, who governs all things. 

13. Therefore, O Nezahualcoyotl, rejoice in what the 
present offers, crown thyself with flowers from thy gar- 
dens, hear my song and music which aim to please thee. 

14. The pleasures and riches of this life are but loaned, 
their substance is vain, their appearance illusory ; and so 
true is this that I ask thee for an answer to these questions : 

15. What has become of Cihuapan ? Of the brave 
Quantzintecomatzin ? Of Conahuatzin ? What of all these 
people ? Perhaps these very words have already passed 
into another life. 

16. Would that we who are now united by the ties of 



love and friendship could foresee the sharp edge of death, 
for nothing is certain, and the future ever brings changes. 

The third is a "spring song" in which the distin- 
guished warriors of the king are compared to precious 
stones. Such jewels were believed by the Nahuas to pos- 
sess certain mysterious powers as charms and amulets, a 
belief, it is needless to say, found among almost all nations. 
In verse i8 there is a reference to the superstition that at 
dawn, when these jewels are exposed to the first rays of 
the sun, they emit a fine vapor which wafts abroad their 
subtle potency. The poem is in Spanish verse, and the 
original is said to have been written down by Don Fer- 
nando de Avila, governor of Tlalmanalco, from the mouth 
of Don Juan de Aguilar, governor of Cultepec, a direct 
descendant of Nezahualcoyotl. 


1. The flowery spring has its house, its court, its palace, 
adorned with riches, with goods in abundance. 

2. With discreet art they are arranged and placed, rich 
feathers, precious stones, surpassing in luster the sun. 

3. There is the valued carbuncle, which from its beau- 
teous center darts forth rays which are the lights of knowl- 

4. There is the prized diamond, sign of strength, shoot- 
ing forth its brilliant gleams. 

5. Here one sees the translucent emerald suggesting the 
hope of the rewards of merit. 


6. Next follows the topaz, equaling the emerald, for the 
reward it promises is a heavenly dwelling. 

7. The amethyst, signifying the cares which a king has 
for his subjects, and moderation in desires. 

8. These are what kings, princes and i-nonarchs delight 
to place upon their breasts and crowns. 

9. All these stones with their varied and singular vir- 
tues, adorn Thy house and court, O Father, O Infinite God ! 

10. These stones which I the King Nezahualcoyotl have 
succeeded in uniting in loving liens, 

11. Are the famous princes, the one called Axaxacatzin, 
the other Chimalpopoca, and Xicomatzintlamata. 

12. To-day, somewhat rejoiced by the joy and words 
of these, and of the other lords who were with them, 

13. I feel, when alone, that my soul is pleased but for 
a brief time, and that all pleasure soon passes. 

14. The presence of these daring eagles pleases me, of 
these lions and tigers who affright the world, 

15. These who by their valor win everlasting renown, 
whose name and whose deeds fame will perpetuate. 

16. Only to-day am I glad and look upon these rich 
and varied stones, the glory of my bloody battles. 

17. To-day, noble princes, protectors of the realm, my 
will is to entertain you and to praise you. 

18. It seems to me that ye answer from your souls, 
like the fine vapor arising from precious stones, — 

19. "O King Nezahualcoyotl, O royal Montezuma, your 
subjects sustain themselves with your soft dews. 

20. " But at last a day shall come which will cut away 
this power, and all these will be left wretched orphans. 


21. "Rejoice, mighty King, in this lofty power which 
the King of Heaven has granted you, rejoice and be 

2 2. "In the life of this world there is no beginning 
anew, therefore rejoice, for all good ends. 

23. "The future promises endless changes, griefs that 
your subjects will have to undergo. 

24. "Ye see before you the instruments decked with 
wreaths of odorous flowers ; rejoice in their fragrance. 

25. "To-day there are peace, and goodfellowship ; there- 
fore let all join hands and rejoice in the dances, 

26. " So that for a little while princes and kings and 
the nobles may have pleasure in these precious stones, 

27. "Which through his goodness the will of the King 
Nezahualcoyotl has set forth for you, inviting you to-day 
to his house." 

The fourth song has been preserved in an Otomi trans- 
lation by the Mexican antiquary Granados y Galvez,^ and 
in an abstract by Torquemada.'^ The latter gives the first 
words as follows: — 

Xochitl viaviani in huehuetiilan : 

Which he translates: — 

"There are fresh and fragrant flowers among the groves." 

1 Tardes Americanas, pp. 90-94. (Mexico, 1778.) 

2 Torquemada, Monarquia Indiana^ Lib. II, cap. 45. The word 
huehuetitlan, seems to be a misprint for ahuehuetitlan, from ahuehuetl, 
with the ligature //, and the postposition tlan, literally •' among the cy- 


It is said to have been composed at the time the king 
dedicated his palace. 


1. The fleeting pomps of the world are like the green 
willow trees, which, aspiring to permanence, are con- 
sumed by a fire, fall before the axe, are upturned by the 
wind, or are scarred and saddened by age. 

2. The grandeurs of life are like the flowers in color and 
in fate ; the beauty of these remains so long as their chaste 
buds gather and store the rich pearls of the dawn and 
saving it, drop it in liquid dew ; but scarcely has the 
Cause of All directed upon them the full rays of the sun, 
when their beauty and glory fail, and the brilliant gay 
colors which decked forth their pride wither and fade. 

3. The delicious realms of flowers count their dynasties 
by short periods ; those which in the morning revel proudly 
in beauty and strength, by evening weep for the sad de- 
struction of their thrones, and for the mishaps which drive 
them to loss, to poverty, to death and to the grave. All 
things of earth have an end, and in the midst of the most 
joyous lives, the breath falters, they fall, they sink into the 

4. All the earth is a grave, and nought escapes it ; 
nothing is so perfect that it does not fall and disappear. 
The rivers, brooks, fountains and waters flow on, and 
never return to their joyous beginnings ; they hasten on 
to the vast realms of Tlaloc, and the wider they spread 
between their marges the more rapidly do they mould 
their own sepulchral urns. That which was yesterday is 


not to-day; and let not that which is to-day trust to live 

5. The caverns of earth are filled with pestilential dust 
which once was the bones, the flesh, the bodies of great 
ones who sate upon thrones, deciding causes, ruling assem- 
blies, governing armies, conquering provinces, possessing 
treasures, tearing down temples, flattering themselves with 
pride, majesty, fortune, praise and dominion. These glories 
have passed like the dark smoke thrown out by the fires 
of Popocatepetl, leaving no monuments but the rude skins 
on which they are written. 

6. Ha ! ha ! Were I to introduce you into the obscure 
bowels of this temple, and were to ask you which of these 
bones were those of the powerful Achalchiuhtlanextin, first 
chief of the ancient Toltecs ; of Necaxecmitl, devout wor- 
shiper of the gods ; if I inquire where is the peerless 
beauty of the glorious empress Xiuhtzal, where the peace- 
able Topiltzin, last monarch of the hapless land of Tulan ; 
if I ask you where are the sacred ashes of our first father 
Xolotl ; those of the bounteous Nopal ; those of the gener- 
ous Tlotzin ; or even the still warm cinders of my glorious 
and immortal, though unhappy and luckless father Ixtlil- 
xochitl ; if I continued thus questioning about all our 
august ancestors, what would you reply? The same that 
I reply — I know not, I know not ; for first and last are 
confounded in the common clay. What was their fate 
shall be ours, and of all who follow us. 

7. Unconquered princes, warlike chieftains, let us seek, 
let us sigh for the heaven, for there all is eternal, and 
nothing is corruptible. The darkness of the sepulchre is 


but the strengthening couch for the glorious sun, and the 
obscurity of the night but serves to reveal the brilliancy of 
the stars. No one has power to alter these heavenly lights, 
for they serve to display the greatness of their Creator, 
and as our eyes see them now, so saw them our earliest 
ancestors, and so shall see them our latest posterity. 

It will be seen that the philosophy of these songs is 
mostly of the Epicurean and carpe diem order. The certainty 
of death and the mutability of fortune, observations which 
press themselves upon the mind of man everywhere, are 
their principal staples, and cast over them a hue of mel- 
ancholy, relieved by exhortations to enjoy to the utmost 
what the present moment offers of pleasure and sensual 
gratification. Here and there a gleam of a higher phi- 
losophy lights the sombre reflections of the bard ; his 
thoughts turn toward the infinite Creator of this universe, 
and he dimly apprehends that by making Him the sub- 
ject of his contemplation, there is boundless consolation 
even in this mortal life. 

Both these leading motifs recur over and over again in 
the songs printed in the original in the present volume, 
and this similarity is a common token of the authenticity 
of the book. 

§ 10. The History of the Present Collection. 
The most recent Mexican writers formally deny that any 
ancient Mexican poetry is now extant. Thus the eminent 
antiquary, Don Alfredo Chavero, m his elaborate work. 


Mexico a traves de los Siglos, says, " the truth is, we know 
no specimens of the ancient poetry, and those, whether 
manuscript or printed, which claim to be such, date from 
after the Conquest."^ In a similar strain the grammarian 
Diario Julio Caballero, writes: "There has never come 
into our hands a single poetic composition in this lan- 
guage. It is said that the great King Nezahualcoyotl was 
a poet and composed various songs ; however that may be, 
the fact is that we have never seen any such composi- 
tions, nor met any person who has seen them."'- 

It is important, therefore, to state the exact provenance 
of the specimens printed in this volume, many of which 
I consider to have been composed previous to the Con- 
quest, and written down shortly after the Nahuatl language 
had been reduced to the Spanish alphabet. 

All of them are from a MS. volume in the library of 
the University of Mexico, entitled Cantares de los Mexi- 
canos y otros opusculos, composed of various pieces in 
different handwritings, which, from their appearance and 
the character of the letter, were attributed by the eminent 
antiquary Don Jose F. Ramirez, to the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries. 

The copy I have used is that made by the late Abbe 
Brasseur (de Bourbourg). It does not appear to be com- 
plete, but my efforts to have it collated with the original 
have not been successful. Another copy was taken by the 
late well-known Mexican scholar Faustino Chimalpopoca, 

1 Op. cit. Tom. I, p. 795. 

* Gramviatica del Idioma Mexicano, p. iSo. (Mexico, 1880.) 



which was in the possession of Senor Ramirez and sold at 
the vendue of his books in 1880. It is No. 511 of the 

The final decision of the age of the poems must come 
from a careful scrutiny of the internal evidence, especially 
the thoughts they contain and the language in which 
they are expressed. In applying these tests, it should 
be remembered that a song may be almost wholly ancient, 
that is, composed anterior to the Conquest, and yet dis- 
play a few later allusions introduced by the person who 
preserved it in writing, so as to remove from it the flavor 
of heathenism. Some probable instances of this kind will 
be pointed out in the Notes. 

The songs are evidently from different sources and of 
different epochs. There are two notes inserted in the 
MS. which throw some light on the origin of a few of 
the poems. The first is in connection with No. XII. In 
my copy of the MS, the title of this song is written twice, 
and between the two the following memorandum appears 
in Spanish : 

''Ancient songs of the native Otomis, which they were 
accustomed to sing at their festivals and marriages, trans- 
lated into the Mexican language, the play and the spirit 
of the song and its figures of speech being always re- 
tained ; as Your Reverence will understand, they displayed 
considerable style and beauty, better than I can express 
with my slight talent ; and may Your Reverence at your 
convenience approve and be entertained by them, as a 
skilled master of the tongue, as Your Reverence is." 


From its position and from the titles following, this 
note appears to apply only to No. XII. 

The second note is prefixed to No. XIV, which has no 
title. It is in Nahnatl, and reads as follows : — 


Nican ompehua in cuicatl motenehua melahuac Huexotzin- 
cayotl ic moquichitoya in tlatoque Huexotzinca mani me- 
catca; yexcan inic tlatlamantitica, teuccuicatl ahno^o 
quauhcuicatl, xochicuicatl, icnocuicatl. Auh inic motzot- 
zona huehuetl cencamatl mocauhtiuh, auh in occencamatl 
ipan huetzi yetetl ti ; auh in huel ic ompehua centetl ti ; 
auh inic mocuepa quiniquac iticpa huehuetzi y huehuetl, 
zan mocemana in maitl ; auh quiniquac iyeinepantla oc- 
ceppa itenco hualcholoa in huehuetl ; tel yehuatl itech 
mottaz, ynima ynaquin cuicani quimati iniuh motzotzona; 
auh yancuican yenoceppa inin cuicatl ychan D. Diego de 
Leon, Governador Azcapotzalco ; yehuatl oquitzotzon in 
D. Frco Placido ypan xihuitl 155 1, ypan in ezcalilitzin tl 
Jesu Christo. 

This may be freely translated as follows: — 


Here begins a song called a plain song of Huexotzinco 


as it was recited by the lords of Huexotzinco. These songs 
are divided into three classes, the songs of the nobles or 
of the eagles, the flower songs, and the songs of destitu- 
tion. (Directions follow for beating the drum in unison 
with the voices.) This song was sung at the house of 
Don Diego de Leon, Governor of Azcapotzalco ; he who 
beat the drum was Don Francisco Placido ; in the year of 
the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ 155 1." 

This assigns beyond doubt the song in question to the 
first half of the sixteenth century, and we may therefore 
take its phraseology as a type of the Nahuatl poetry shortly 
after the Conquest. It is also stated to be a native com- 
position, and from its contents, it was clearly composed 
by one of the converts to the Christian faith. 



I. Cuicapeuhcayotl. 

I. Ninoyolnonotza, campa nicuiz yectli, ahuiaca 
xochitl : — Ac nitlatlaniz ? Manozo yehuatl nictlatlani in 
quetzal huitzitziltin, in chalchiuh huitzitzicatzin ; manozo 
ye nictlatlani in zaquan papalotl ; ca yehuantin in ma- 
chiz, ommati, campa cueponi in yectli ahuiac xochitl, tla 
nitlahuihuiltequi in nican acxoyatzinitzcanquauhtla, ma- 
noze nitlahuihuiltequi in tlauhquecholxochiquauhtla ; 
oncan huihuitolihui ahuach tonameyotoc in oncan 
mocehcemelquixtia ; azo oncan niquimittaz intla one- 
chittitique ; nocuexanco nictemaz ic niquintlapaloz 
in tepilhuan, ic niquimellelquixtiz in teteuctin. 

2. Tlacazo nican nemi, ye nicaqui in ixochicuicatzin 
yuhqui tepetl quinnananquilia ; tlacazo itlan in meyaquet- 
zalatl, xiuhtotoameyalli, oncan mocuica, momotla, 
mocuica ; nananquilia in centzontlatolli ; azo quinnanan- 
quilia in coyoltototl, ayacachicahuacatimani, in nepapan 
tlazocuicani totome. Oncan quiyectenehua in tlaltic- 
paque hueltetozcatemique. 

3. Nic itoaya, nitlaocoltzatzia ; ma namechellelti y 
tlazohuane, niman cactimotlalique, niman hualtato in 
quetzal huitzitziltin. Aquin tictemohua, cuicanitzine ? 
Niman niquinnanquilia niquimilhuia : Campa catqui in 
yectli, ahuiac xochitl ic niquimellelquixtiz in amohuam- 
potzitzinhuan ? Niman onechicacahuatzque ca nican 
tlatimitzittitili ticuicani azo nelli ic tiquimellelquixtiz in 
toquichpohuan in teteuctin. 

4. Tepeitic tonacatlalpa, xochitlalpa nechcalaquiqueo 
oncan on ahuachtotonameyotimani, oncan niquittacaya 
in nepapan tlazoahuiac xochitl, tlazohuelic xochitl, 


I. Son^ at the Beginning. 

1. I am wondering where I may gather some pretty, 
sweet flowers. Whom shall I ask ? Suppose that I ask 
the brilliant humming-bird, the emerald trembler ; sup- 
pose that I ask the yellow butterfly ; they will tell me, 
they know, where bloom the pretty, sweet flowers, whether 
I may gather them here in the laurel woods where dwell 
the tzinitzcan birds, or whether I may gather them in the 
flowery forests where the tlauquechol lives. There 
they may be plucked sparkling with dew, there they come 
forth in perfection. Perhaps there I shall see them if 
they have appeared ; I shall place them in the folds of 
my garment, and with them I shall greet the children, I 
shall make glad the nobles. 

2. Truly as I walk along I hear the rocks as it were 
replying to the sweet songs of the flowers ; truly the 
glittering, chattering water answers, the bird-green foun- 
tain, there it sings, it dashes forth, it sings again ; the 
mocking bird answers ; perhaps the coyol bird answers, 
and many sweet singing birds scatter their songs around 
like music. They bless the earth pouring out their sweet 

3. I said, I cried aloud, may I not cause you pain ye 
beloved ones, who are seated to listen ; may the brilliant 
humming-birds come soon. Whom do we seek, O noble 
poet ? I ask, I say : Where are the pretty, fragrant 
flowers with which I may make glad you my noble com- 
peers ? Soon they will sing to me, " Here we will make 
thee to see, thou singer, truly wherewith thou shalt make 
glad the nobles, thy companions." 

4. They led me within a valley to a fertile spot, a 
flowery spot, where the dew spread out in glitter- 
ing splendor, where I saw various lovely fragrant flowers, 


ahuach quequentoc, ayauhcozamalotonameyotimani, oil- 
can nechilhuia, xixochitetequi, in catlehuatl toconnequiz, 
ma mellelquiza in ticuicani, tiquinmacataciz in tocnihuan 
in teteuctin in quellelquixtizque in tlalticpaque. 

5. Auh nicnocuecuexantia in nepapan ahuiacxochitl, 
in huel teyolquima, in huel tetlamachti, nic itoaya 
manozo aca tohuanti hual calaquini, ma cenca miec in 
ticmamani ; auh ca tel ye onimatico nitlanonotztahciz 
imixpan in tocnihuan nican mochipa tiqualtetequizque 
in tlazo nepapan ahuiac xochitl ihuan ticuiquihui in 
nepapan yectUyancuicatl ic tiquimellelquixtizque in 
tocnihuan in tlalticpactlaca in tepilhuan quauhthya 

6. Ca moch nicuitoya in nicuicani ic niquimicpac 
xochiti in tepilhuan inic niquimapan in can in mac 
niquinten ; niman niquehuaya yectli yacuicatl ic 
netimalolo in tepilhuan ixpan in tloque in nahuaque, auh 
in atley y maceuallo. 

7. Can quicuiz? Can quitlaz in huelic xochitl? Auh 
cuix nohuan aciz aya in xochitlalpan, in tonacatlalpan, in 
atley y macehuallo in nentlamati? Intla y tlacohua in 
tlalticpacca gan quitemacehualtica in tloque in nahuaque, 
in tlalticpac ; ye nican ic chocan noyollo noconilnami- 
quia in ompa onitlachiato y xochitlalpana nicuicani. 

8. Auh nic itoaya tlacazo amo qualcan in tlalticpac ye 
nican, tlacazo occecni in huilohuayan, in oncan ca in 
netlamachtilli ; tlezannen in tlalticpac ? tlacazo occecni 
yoliliz ximoayan, ma ompa niauh, ma ompa inhuan 
noncuicati in nepapan tlazototome, ma ompa nicnotla- 
machti yectliya xochitl ahuiaca xochitl, in teyolquima, 
in zan tepacca, teahuiaca yhuintia, in zan tepacca, ahuiaca 


lovely odorous flowers, clothed with the dew, scattered 
around in rainbow glory, there they said to me, " Pluck 
the flowers, whichever thou wishest, mayest thou the 
singer be glad, and give them to thy friends, to the 
nobles, that they may rejoice on the earth." 

5. So I gathered in the folds of my garment the vari- 
ous fragrant flowers, delicate scented, delicious, and I said, 
may some of our people enter here, may very many of us 
be here ; and I thought I should go forth to announce to 
our friends that here all of us should rejoice in the dif- 
ferent lovely, odorous flowers, and that we should cull 
the various sweet songs with which we might rejoice our 
friends here on earth, and the nobles in their grandeur 
and dignity. 

6. So I the singer gathered all the flowers to place 
them upon the nobles, to clothe them and put them in 
their hands ; and soon I lifted my voice in a worthy song 
glorifying the nobles before the face of the Cause of All, 
where there is no servitude. 

7. Where shall one pluck them ? Where gather the 
sweet flowers ? And how shall I attain that flowery land, 
that fertile land, where there is no servitude, nor affliction ? 
If one purchases it here on earth, it is only through sub- 
mission to the Cause of All ; here on earth grief fills 
my soul as I recall where I the singer saw the flowery 

8. And I said, truly there is no good spot here on 
earth, truly in some other bourne there is gladness ; For 
what good is this earth ? Truly there is another life in 
the hereafter. There may I go, there the sweet birds 
sing, there may I learn to know those good flowers, those 
sweet flowers, those delicious ones, which alone pleasur- 
ably, sweetly intoxicate, which alone pleasurably, sweetly 


II. Xopancuicatl, otoiictiicatl, tlamelauhcayotl. 

1. Onihualcalac nicuicani nepapan xochitlalpan, huel 
teellelquixtican, tetlamachtican, oncan ahuacli tonam- 
eyoquiauhtimani, oncan cuicuica in nepapan tlazototome, 
on cuicatlaza in coyoltototl cahuantimani inin tozquitzin 
in quellelquixtia in tloque in nahuaque yehuan Dios, 
ohuaya, ohuaya. 

2. Oncan nicaqui in cuicanelhuayotl in. nicuicani, 
tlacazo amo tlalticpac in peuh yectli yancuicatl, tlacazo 
ompa in ilhuicatl itic hual caquizti in conehua in 
tlazocoyoltototl in quimehuilia in nepapan teoquecholme 
zacuantototl, oncan tlacazo quiyectenehua in tloque in 
nahuaque, ohuaya, ohuaya. 

3. Niyolpoxahua in nicaquia ni cuicani, acoquiza in 
notlalnamiquilizo quin pepetlatiquiza in ilhuicame, nel- 
cicihuiliz ehecayotiuh in iquinalquixtia in ompa 
ontlatenehua in zacuanhuitzitzil in ilhuicatl itic, ohuaya, 

4. Auh nohuiampa nictlachialtia in noyollo auh tlacazo 
nelli in amo ixquich quehua in tlazotototl, tlacazo ye oc 
tlapanahuia in ilhuicatl itic yyollo in tloque in nahuaque 
mochiuhtica, ca intlacamo teuhyotiuh in notlalnamiquiliz 
azo huclquinalquixtica ittazo in tlamahuizolli in ilhuicac 
ic papaqui in ilhuicac tlazototome ixpan in tloque 
nahuaque, ohuaya, ohuaya. 

5. Quenin ah nichocaz in tlalticpac ? ye nican tlacazo 
onca nemoa)'a ninoztlacahuia, nicitoa aqo zan ye ixquich 
in nican in tlalticpac ontlamian toyolia, macuele ehuatl in 
tloque in nahuaque, ma ompa inhuan nimitznocuicatili in 
ilhuicac mochanecahuan ca noyollo ehua ompa nontlac- 
hia in monahuac in motloc tipalnemohua, ohuaya, 


II. A Spring Song, an Otonii Song, a Plain Song. 

1. I, the singer, have entered many flower gardens, 
places of pleasaunce, favored spots, where the dew spread 
out its ghttering surface, where sang various lovely birds, 
where the co}'ol birds let fall their song, and spreading 
far around, their voices rejoiced the Cause of All, He 
who is God, ohuaya ! ohuaya! 

2. It is there that I the singer hear the very essence of 
song ; certainly not on earth has true poesy its birth ; 
certainly it is within the heavens that one hears the lovely 
coyol bird lift its voice, that the various quechol and 
zacuan birds speak together, there they certainly praise 
the Cause of All, ohuaya ! ohuaya ! 

3. I, the singer, labor in spirit with what I heard, that 
it may lift up my memory, that it may go forth to those 
shining heavens, that my sighs may be borne on the 
wind and be permitted to enter where the yellow hum- 
ming bird chants its praises in the heavens, ohuaya ! 
ohuaya ! 

4. And as in my thoughts I gaze around, truly no such 
sweet bird lifts its voice, truly the things made for the 
heavens by the Cause of All surpass all others, and un- 
less my memory tends to things divine scarcely will it be 
possible to penetrate these and witness the wondrous 
sights in heaven, which rejoice the sweet heavenly birds 
before the face of the Cause of All. 

lived here in vain illusion ; I say that whatever is here 
on earth must end with our lives. May I be permitted 
to sing to thee, the Cause of All, there in the heaven, a 
dweller in thy mansion, there may my soul lift its voice 
and be seen with Thee and near Thee, Thou by whom 
we live, ohuaya ! ohuaya ! 


6. Ma xicaquin nocuic in tinocniuh xochihuehuetl inic 
tzotzonaya ilhuicacuicatl in nicehuaya, ic niquimellel- 
quixtia in teteucti, xochicueponi in noyollo izqui xochitl 
nictzetzelohuaya ic malitiuh in no cuicatzin ixpan in 
tloque in nahuaque, ohuaya, ohuaya. 

III. Occe al mismo tono tlamelaiihcayotl. 

I. Xochicalco nihualcalaquia in nicuicani, oncan icac 
in chalchiuhuehuetl, oncan chialon ipalnemohuani in 
teteuctin xochitl tzetzeliuhtimani, tolquatectitla, xoya- 
caltitlan, onahuiaxtimani in xochicopal tlenamactli huel 
teyolquima, cahuia ca ihuintia in toyollo ixpan in tloque 
in nahuaque. 

2. Ic motoma tocuic xochiahuia ca ihuinti in toyollo? 
Aoc ticmati inic nepapan xochicuicatl ic ticcecemeltia in 
tloque nahuaque quen ahtontlaelehuian ; tinocniuh ma 
nohuehuetitlan ximoquetzaya nepapan xochitl ic ximo- 
panaya chalchiuh ocoxochitl mocpac xicmanaya xicehua- 
yan yectli yancuicatl ic melelquixtia in tloque in na- 

3. Tleymach tiquilnamiquia can mach in nemian 
moyollo ic timoyol cecenmanaya ahuicpa tichuica 
timoyol popoloaya in tlalticpac ? Ca mach titlatiuh 
xihualmocuepaya xiccaquin yectli yancuicatl ximoyol- 
ciahuaya xochiaticaya onahuiaxtimani oncan nicehuaya 
in yectli yancuicatl nicuicani ic nicellclquixtia in tloque 
in nahuaque. 

4. Xihuallachian tinocniuh in oncan icayan xochi- 
huehuetl tonameyo ontotonauhtimani quetzal ecacehuaz- 


6. List to my song, thou my friend, and to the flower- 
decked drum which kept time to the heavenly song 
which I sang, that I might make glad the nobles, raining 
down before them the flowery thoughts of my heart as 
though they were flowers, that my noble song might 
grow in glory before the face of the Cause of All, ohu- 
aya ! oh u ay a ! 

III. Another Plain Song, to the Same Ttine. 

1. I, the singer, entered into the house strewn with 
flowers, where stood upright the emerald drum, where 
awaiting the Giver of Life the nobles strewed flowers 
around, the place where the head is bowed for lustration, 
the house of corrupt odors, where the burning fragrant 
incense spreads and penetrates, intoxicating our souls in 
the presence of the Cause of All. 

2. Where shall we obtain the fragrance which intoxi- 
cates our souls ? We do not yet know the various flower- 
songs with which we may rejoice the Cause of All, how- 
ever desirous we are ; thou my friend, would that thou 
bring to my instrument various flowers, that thou 
shouldst clothe it in brilliant oco flowers, that thou 
shouldst offer them, and lift thy voice in a new and worthy 
song to rejoice the Cause of All. 

3. Wherefore should we recall while the soul is in life 
that our souls must be scattered hither and thither, and 
that wherever we go we are to be destroyed on earth ? 
Rather let us hide it, turn from it, and listen to some 
worthy new song ; delight thy soul with the pervading 
fragrance of flowers, as I the singer lift my voice in a new 
song that I may rejoice the Cause of All. 

4. Come hither, thou my friend, to where stands the 
drum, decked with flowers, gleaming with brightness. 


ticaya on xopaleuhtimani in oncan ic chialo ic malhuilo 
inipetl in icpal in tloque in nahuaque ; xic cahuaya in 
mixtecomatla xihualmocuepaya tohuan, xic ehua in 
yancuicatl nicuicani ic niquellelquixtia in tloque in tla- 
neciz inic moyoUo caltitlan. 

5. Tlegannen in nicyocoya in nitlaocolcuica inic 
niquimilnamiqui in tepilhuan, in tlazomaquiztin, in 
tlazoteoxiuhme, in quetzaltotome, in moteyotico, in 
motleyotico in tlalticpac? in ocnoma caquizti inin tenyo, 
inin cahuanca, campa neltiazque ? Ca zan titlacatico ca 
ompa huel tochan in canin ximoayan inocapa in yolihu- 
ayan aic tlamian. 



green with the outspread plumes of the quetzal bird, 
where are looked for and cared for the seats near the 
Cause of All ; leave the place of night and clouds, turn 
hither with us, lift thy voice in the new song I sing so 
that I may rejoice the Cause of All, as the dawn ap- 
proaches in the house of thy heart. 

5. Of what use is it that I frame my sad songs, that I 
recall to mind the youths, the beloved children, the 
precious relatives, the dear friends, famous and celebrated 
as they were on earth ? Who now hears their fame, 
their deeds ? Where can they find them ? All of us are 
but mortal, and our home is there in the Hereafter, where 
there is life without end. 


IV. Mcxica otoncuicatl. 

I. Nicchalchiuhtonameyopetlahuaya, nictzinitzcanihui- 
caloaya, niquilnamiquia nelhuayocuicatla, nic zacuan- 
huipanaya yectli yancuicatl nicuicani, nicchalchiuhtlazo- 
nenelo ic nichualnextia in xochicueponallotl ic nicellel- 
quixtia in tloque in nahuaque. 

2. Zacuantlazoihuiticaya tzinitzcan tlauquechol ic 
nicyaimatia, nocuicatzin teocuitlatzitzilini nocuic nitoz ; 
miahuatototl nocuica cahuantimania, nicehuaya xochitzet- 
zelolpa ixpan in tloque nahuaque. 

3. Qualli cuicanelhuayotlo, teocuitlaquiquizcopa nic- 
ehuaya, ilhuicac cuicatlo nictenquixtia, nitoz miahuato- 
totl, chalciuhtonameyotica, niccueponaltia yectli yancui- 
catlo, nicehuaya xochitlenamaquilizticaya ic nitlaahuialia 
nicuicani ixpan in tloque nahuaque. 

4. Teoquecholme nechnananquilia in nicuicani coyoli- 
cahuacaya yectli yacuicatlan, cozcapetlaticaya chachal- 
chiuhquetzalitztonameyo xopaleuhtimania xopan xochi- 
cuiatl onilhuica ahuiaxtimanio, xochiahuachtitlan nihual- 
cuicaya nicuicani. 

5. Nictlapalimatia nicxoxochineloaya yectli yancui- 
catlan cozcapetlaticaya, etc. 

6. Nocontimaloaya nocontlamachtiao xochiteyolquima 
cuicatlan poyomapoctli ic ye ahuian ye noyollo, nihual- 
yolcuecuechahuaya, nicinecuia ahuiaca, xocomiqui in 
noyolia, nicinecuia yectliya xochitla netlamachtiloyan, 
xochi ye ihuinti noyolia. 


IV. A?i Otomi Song of the Mexicans. 

1. I, the sinfrer, polished my noble new song like a 
shining emerald, I arranged it like the voice of the tzinitz- 
can bird, I called to mind the essence of poetry, I set it in 
order like the chant of the zacuan bird. I mingled it with 
the beaut}^ of the emerald, that I might make it appear 
like a rose bursting its bud, so that I might rejoice the 
Cause of All. 

2. I skillfully arranged my song like the lovely feathers 
of the zacuan bird, the tzinitzcan and the quechol ; I 
shall speak forth my song like the tinkling of golden 
bells ; my song is that which the miaua bird pours 
forth around him ; I lifted my voice and rained down 
flowers of speech before the face of the Cause of All. 

3. In the true spirit of song I lifted my voice through 
a trumpet of gold, I let fall from my lips a celestial song, 
I shall speak notes precious and brilliant as those of the 
miaua bird, I shall cause to blossom out a noble new 
song, I lifted my voice like the burning incense of flow- 
ers, so that I the singer might cause joy before the face 
of the Cause of All. 

4. The divine quechol bird answers me as I, the singer, 
sing, like the coyol bird, a noble new song, polished like 
a jewel, a turquoise, a shining emerald, darting green 
rays, a flower song of spring, spreading celestial fragrance, 
fresh with the dews of roses, thus have I the poet sung. 

5. I colored with skill, I mingled choice roses in a 
noble new song, polished like a jewel, etc. (as in v. 4). 

6. I was glorified, I was enriched, by the flower-sweet 
song as by the smoke of the poyomatl, my soul was con- 
tented, I trembled in spirit, I inhaled the sweetness, my 
soul was intoxicated, I inhaled the fragrance of delicious 
flowers in the place of riches, my soul was drunken with 
the flowers. 


V. Otro Mexica tlamelaiLhcaciucayotl. 

1. Zanio in xochitl tonequimilol, zanio in cuicatl ic 
huehuetzi in tellel in Dios ye mochan. 

2. In mach noca ompolihuiz in cohuayotl mach noca 
in icniuhyotl in ononoya in ye ichan ; ye nio loyontzin 
on cuicatillano ye ipalnemohuani. 

3. Ma xiuhquechol xochi, zan in tzinitzcan malintoca 
zan miqui huaqui xochitl zan ic tonmoquimiloa can 
titlatoani ya ti Nezahualcoyotl. 

4. Ma yan moyoliuh quimati in antepilhuan in anquau- 
htin amo celo ca mochipan titocnihuan, zancuel achic 
nican timochitonyazque o ye ichano. 

5. Ca ye ompolihuiz in moteyo Nopiltzin, ti Tezozo- 
moctli aca ca ye in mocuica ?> aye a nihualchocao ca 
nihualicnotlamatica notia ye ichan. 

6. An ca nihuallaocoya onicnotlamati ayo quico, ayoc 
quemanian, namech aitlaquiuh in tlalticpac y icanontia ye 


V. Another Plain So7ig of the Mexicans. 

1. I alone will clothe thee with flowers, mine alone is 
the song which casts down our grief before God in thy 

2. True it is that my possessions shall perish, my 
friendships, their home and their house; thus I, O 
Yoyontzin, pour forth songs to the Giver of Life. 

3. Let the green quechol birds, let the tzinitzcan twine 
flowers for us, only dying and withered flowers, that we may 
clothe thee with flowers, thou ruler, thou Nezahual- 

4. Ye youths and ye braves, skilled in wisdom, may 
you alone be our friends, while for a moment here we 
shall enjoy this house. 

5. For thy fame shall perish, Nopiltzin, and thou, 
Tezozomoc, where are thy songs? No more^ do I cry 
aloud, but rest tranquil that ye have gone to your homes. 

6. Ye whom I bewailed, I know nevermore, never 
again ; I am sad here on earth that ye have gone to your 


VI. Otro cJialcayotl, canto de Tetlepan Qtietzanit- 

1. Aua nocnihue ninentlamatia zan ninochoquilia in 
monahuac aya yehuan Dios, quexquich onmitzicnotla- 
machtia momacehual cemamanahuac ontonitlanililo in ic 
tontlahuica tontecemilhuitiltia in tlalticpac. 

2. Macazo tleon xoconyoyocoya ti noyollo, yehua cuix 
ic nepohualoyan in oncan nemohua yehua, in atle tlahuelli 
in antecocolia huel on yecnemiz in tlalticpac. 

3. In quimati noyollo nichoca yehua huel eza ye nelli 
in titicnihuan, huellenelli nemoa in tlalticpac in tonicniuh 
tlatzihuiz yehuan Dios. 

4. Xontlachayan huitztlampayan, iquizayan in tonatiuh, 
ximoyollehuayan oncan manian teoatl tlachinolli, oncan 
mocuica in teucyotl in tlatocayotl yectliya xochitl in amo 
zannen mocuia, in quetzallalpilo niaya macquauhtica, 
chimaltica neicaloloyan in tlalticpac ic momacehuaya in 
yectliya xochitl in tiquelehuia in ticnequia in tinocniuh in 
quitemacehualtia in quitenemactia in tloque in nahuaque. 

5. Nentiquelehuia in tictemoaya in tinocniuh yectliya 
xochitl can ticuiz intlacamo ximicaliya, melchiquiuhticaya, 
mitonaltica)'a ticmacchuaya in yectliyaxochitla, yaocho- 
quiztli ixayoticaya in quitemacehualtica in tloque in na- 


VI. Another Chalco-sono-, a Poe7n of Tetlepan 

1. Alas, my friend, I was afflicted, I cried aloud on thy 
account to God. How much compassion hast thou for 
thy servant in this world sent here by thee to be thy sub- 
ject for the space of a day on this earth ! 

2. However that may be, mayst thou so dispose my 
heart, that it may pass through this place of reckoning, 
without anger, without injury, and live a good life on 

3. My heart knows how truly I weep for my friend, 
how truly as it lives on earth it cries aloud for thee, my 
friend, to God, 

4. Let thy soul awake and turn toward the south, 
toward the rising of the sun, rouse thy heart that it turn 
toward the field of battle, there let it win power and fame, 
the noble flowers which it will not grasp in vain ; adorned 
with a frontlet of quetzal feathers I went forth armed 
with sword and shield to the battlefield on earth, that I 
might merit these noble flowers with which we may re- 
joice as we wish our friends, as the Cause of All may 
reward and grant to us. 

5. Vainly, O friends, do we desire and seek where we 
may cull those noble flowers unless we fight with bared 
breasts, with the sweat of the brow, meriting these noble 
flowers, in bitter and painful war, for which the Cause of 
All will eive reward. 


\'II. Otro. 

I. Tleinmach oamaxque on in antocnihuan in an Chia- 
paneca Otomi, omachamelelacic : in ic oamihuintiqueo 
octicatl in oanquique ic oamihuintique, xicualcuican, in 
amo ma in anhuehuetztoqueo, ximozcalicano in antocni- 
huan nipatiazque in tochano, xopantlalpan ye nican, ma 
quiza in amihuintiliz, on xitlachiacano ohuican ye anma- 
quia, O ! 

2. Ca yeppa yuhqui in tizaoctli in tlalticpac, quitema- 
cao ohuican ic tecalaquiao teoatl tlachinolH quitoao texaxa- 
matzao teopopoloao on canin xaxamanio in tlazochalchi- 
hiuitl, in teoxihuitl, in maquizth tlazotetl in tepilhuan in 
coninio in xochitizaoctHo cuel can in antocnihuan in toni- 

3. Ma ye ticiti in xochitlalpan in tochan xochitlalticpac- 
ilhuicacpaco in huel ic xochiamemeyallotl on ahuiaxti- 
mani, teyolquima yohhz ahuach xochitl in tochan in 
Chiappan, oncan timalolo in teucyotl in tlatocayotl in 
chimalxochitl oncuepontimani tonacatlalpan. 

4. Quemach in amo antlacaquio in antocnihuan to- 
huian tohuiano xicahuacano, in tizaoctHo teoatlachino- 
loctli ; ma ye ticiti in ompa tinectilo in tochan xochiahu- 
achoctH, zan ic ahuiaca ihuinti in toyollo, tetlamachtio 
tcyolquimao tixochiachichinatihui netlamachtiloyan in 
toquizayan xochitlalpan tonacatlalpan : tlemach oamax- 
queo? xichualcaquican in tocuic in tamocnihuan, etc. 


VII. Another. 

1. What have you done, O you our friends, you Chia- 
panecs and Otomis, why have you grieved, that you 
were drunken with the wine which you took, that 
you were drunken ? Come hither and sing ; do not 
lie stretched out ; arise, O friends, let us go to our 
houses here in this land of spring ; come forth from your 
drunkenness, see in what a difficult place you must 
take it. 

2. For formerly it was so on earth that the white wine 
was taken in difficult places, as on entering the battlefield, 
or, as it was said, where the stones were broken and de- 
stroyed, where were broken into fragments the lovely 
emeralds, the turquoises, the honored precious stones, the 
youths, the children ; therefore take the flowery white 
wine, O friends and brothers. 

3. Let us drink it in the flowery land, in our dwelling 
surrounded by the flowery earth and sky, where the 
fountains of the flowers send their sweetness abroad ; the 
delicious breath of the dewy flowers is in our homes in 
Chiapas ; there nobility and power make them glorious, 
and the war-flowers bloom over a fertile land. 

4. Is it possible, oh friends, that you do not' hear us ? 
Let us go, let us go, let us pour forth the white wine, 
the wine of battle ; let us drink where the wine sweet as 
the dew of roses is set forth in our houses, let our souls 
be intoxicated with its sweetness ; enriched, steeped in 
delight, we shall soak up the water of the flowers in the 
place of riches, going forth to a land of flowers, a fertile 
spot. What have you done ? Come hither and listen to 
our songs, O friends. 


VIII. Ot7'0, Queuh ce tlatohuani in quimilnaviiqid 
in tlatoque. 

I, Tlaocolxochi ixayoticaya ic nichuipana in nocuic 
nicuicani, niquimilnamiqui in tepilhuan, in teintoque, in 
tlagotitoque in campa in ximohuaya, in oteuctico, in 
otlatocatico in tlallia icpac, in quetzalhuahuaciuhtoque in 
chalchiuhteintoque in tepilhuan, in maoc imixpan in 
maoc oquitlani ; in ye itto in tlalticpac iximachoca in 
tloque in nahuaque. 

2. Y yo ya hue nitlaocolcuicaya in niquimilnamiqui in 
tepilhuan, ma zan itla ninocuepa, ma niquimonana, ma 
niquinhualquixti in ompa in ximoayan, ma oc oppa 
tihua in tlalticpac, ma oc quimahuizoqui in tepilhuan in 
ticmahuizoa, azo huel yehuantin tlatlazomahuizozquia in 
ipalnemohualoni, quemmach tomazehual in tlazaniuh 
ticmatican in ticnopillahueliloque ic choca in noyollo 
nino tlalnamiquiliz huipana in nicuicani choquiztica 
tlaocoltica nitlalnamiquia. 

3. Manozo zan nicmati in nechcaquizque intla itla yectli 
cuicatl niquimehuili in ompa ximohuayan, ma ic niqui- 
papacti, ma ic niquimacotlaza inin tonez inin chichina- 
quiliz in tepilhuan. Cuix on machiaz ? Quennel nihu- 
alnellaquahua ? Aquen manian ompa niquimontocaz ? 
Ano niquin nonotztaciz in ye yuh quin in tlalticpac. 


VIII. Composed by a Certain R2iler in Memory of 
Former Rulers. 

1. Weeping, I, the singer, weave my song of 
flowers of sadness ; I call to memory the youths, the 
shards, the fragments, gone to the land of the dead ; 
once noble and powerful here on earth, the youths 
were dried up like feathers, were split into fragments 
like an emerald, before the face and in the sight of 
those who saw them on earth, and with the knowledge of 
the Cause of All. 

2. Alas ! alas ! I sing in grief as I recall the children. 
Would that I could turn back again ; would that I could 
grasp their hands once more ; would that I could call 
them forth from the land of the dead ; would that we 
could bring them again on earth, that they might rejoice 
and we rejoice, and that they might rejoice and delight 
the Giver of Life ; is it possible that we His servants 
should reject him or should be ungrateful ? Thus I weep 
in my heart as I, the singer, review my memories, recall- 
ing things sad and grievous. 

3. Would only that I knew they could hear me, therein 
the land of the dead, were I to sing some worthy song. 
Would that I could gladden them, that I could console 
the suffering and the torment of the children. How can 
it be learned ? Whence can I draw the inspiration ? They 
are not where I may follow them ; neither can I reach 
them with my calling as one here on earth. 


IX. Otro Tlaocolcuica Otomitl. 

1. In titloque in tinahuaque nimitzontlaocolnonotzaya, 
nelcicihuiliz mixpantzinco noconiyahuaya, ninentlamati 
in tlalticpac ye nican nitlatematia, ninotolinia, in aye 
onotechacic in pactli, in necuiltonolli ye nican ; tlezannen 
naicoyc amo y mochiuhyan, tlacazo atle nican xotlacue- 
poni in nentlamachtillia, tlacazo zan ihuian in motloc in 
monahuac ; Macuelehuatl ma xicmonequilti ma mona- 
huactzinco oc ehuiti in noyolia, ninixayohuatzaz in motloc 
monahuac tipalnemohuani, 

2. Quemachamiqueo in motimalotinemi co y in 
tlalticpac in ayac contenmatio in atlamachilizneque o 
tlacazo can moztla cahuia on in amitztenmati in titloque 
in tinahuaque inic momatio ca mochipa tlalticpac, 
nemizqueo ninotlamatli motlaliao niquimittao, tlacazo 
mixitl tlapatl oquiqueo ic nihualnelaquahua in ninoto- 
linia o tlacazo ompa in ximohuayan neittotiuh o, cazo 
tiquenamiqueo quiniquac ye pachihuiz ye teyoUoa. 

3. Ma cayac quen quichihuaya in iyollo in tlalticpac 
ye nican in titlaocaxtinemi in tichocatinemia, ca zacuel 
achic ontlaniizoo, tlacazo zan tontlatocatihuio in yuho 
otlatocatque tepilhuan, ma ic ximixcuiti in tinocniuh in 
atonahuia in atihuelamati in tlalticpac o ; ma oc ye 
ximapana in tlaocolxochitl, choquizxochitl, xoyocatimalo 
o xochielcicihuiliztlio in ihuicpatoconiyahuazon in tloque 
in nahuaque. 

4. lea ye ninapanao tlaocolxochicozcatlon, nomac 
ommanian elcicihuilizchimalxochitlon, nic ehuaya in 
tlaocolcuicatloo, nicchalchiuhcocahuicomana yectli yan- 
cuicatl, nic ahuachxochilacatzoa, yn o chalchiuhue- 
hueuhilhuitl, itech nictlaxilotia in nocuicatzin in nicuicani 
ye niquincuilia in ilhuicac chanequeo zacuantototl, 
quetzaltzinitzcantototl tcoquechol inon tlritoa quechol in 
qui cecemeltia in tloque, etc. 


IX. An Otomi Song of Sadness. 

I. To thee, the Cause of All, to thee I cried out in 
sadness, my sighs rose up before thy face ; I am afflicted 
here on earth, I suffer, I am wretched, never has joy 
been my lot, never good fortune ; my labor has been of 
no avail, certainly nothing here lessens one's suffering; 
truly only to be with thee, near thee ; may it be thy 
will that my soul shall rise to thee, may I pour out my 
tears to thee, before thee. O thou Giver of Life. 

2. Happy are those who walk in thy favor here on 
earth, who never neglect to offer up praise, nor, leaving till 
to-morrow, neglect thee, thou Cause of All, that thou may- 
est be known in all the earth ; I know that they shall 
live, I see that they are established, certainly they have 
drunk to forgetfulness while I am miserable, certainly I 
shall go to see the land of the dead, certainly we shall 
meet where all souls are contented. 

3. Never were any troubled in spirit on the earth who 
appealed to thee, who cried to thee, only for an instant 
were they cast down, truly thou caused them to rule as 
they ruled before : Take as an example on earth, O 
friend, the fever-stricken patient ; clothe thyself in the 
flowers of sadness, in the flowers of weeping, give praises 
in flowers of sighs that may carry you toward the Cause 
of All. 

4. I array myself with the jewels of saddest flowers ; 
in my hands are the weeping flowers of war ; I lift my 
voice in sad songs ; I offer a new and worthy song which 
is beautiful and melodious ; I weave songs fresh as the dew 
of flowers ; on my drum decked with precious stones and 
plumes I, the singer, keep time to my song, as I take it 
from those dwellers in the heavens, the zacuan bird, the 
beautiful tzinitzcan, the divine quechol, those melodi- 
ous birds who give joy to the Cause of All. 



X. Mexica xopanancatl tlamelatihcayotl. 

1. Tlaocoya in noyollo nicuicanitl nicnotlamatia, yehua 
za yey xochitl y zan ye in cuicatlin, ica nitlacocoa in 
tlalticpac ye nican, ma nequitocan intech cocolia intech 
miquitlani moch ompa onyazque cano y ichan, ohuaya. 

2. I inquemanian in otonciahuic, in otontlatzihuic 
tocon ynayaz in momahuizco in motenyo in tlalticpac, 
ma nenquitocane, ohuaya, etc. 

3. Inin azan oc huelnemohuan in tlalticpac mazano 
ihuian yehuan Dios quiniquac onnetemoloa in tiaque in 
canin ye ichan, ohuaya. 

4. Hu inin titotolinia ma yuhquitimiquican ma omo- 
chiuh in mantech onittocan in tocnihuan in matech 
onahuacan in quauhtin y a ocelotl. 

5. Mazo quiyocoli macaoc xictemachican, can antla- 
huicaya y caya amechmotlatili in ipalnemohuani, ohuaya. 

6. Ay ya yo xicnotlamatican Tezcacoacatl, Atecpane- 
catl mach nel amihuihuinti in cozcatl in chalchihuitli, ma 
ye anmonecti, ma ye antlaneltocati. 



X. A Spring Song of the Mexicans, a Plain So7ig. 

1. My heart grieved, I, the singer, was afflicted, that 
these are the only flowers, the only songs which I can 
procure here on earth ; see how they speak of sickness 
and of death, how all go there to their homes, alas. 

2. Sometimes thou "hast toiled and acquired skill, thou 
takest refuge in thy fame and renown on earth ; but see 
how vain they speak, alas. 

3. As many as live on earth, truly they go to God 
when they descend to the place where are their homes, 

4. Alas, we miserable ones, may it happe'n when we 
die that we may see our friends, that we may be with 
them in grandeur and strength. 

5. Although He is the Creator, do not hope that the 
Giver of Life has sent you and has established you. 

6. Be ye grieved, ye of Tezcuco and Atecpan, that ye 
are intoxicated with gems and precious stones ; come 
forth to the light, come and believe. 


XI. Otro. 

1. Nicchocaehua, nicnotlamati, nicelnamiqui ticauhte- 
huazque yectliya xochitl yectli yancuicatl ; ma oc tonahui- 
acan, ma oc toncuicacan cen tiyahui tipolihui ye ichan, 

2. Achtleon ah yuhquimati in tocnihuan cocoya in 
noyollo qualani yehua ay oppan in tlacatihua ye ay oppa 
piltihuaye yece yequi xoantlalticpac. 

3. Oc achintzinca y tetloc ye nican tenahuacan aic 
yezco on aic nahuiaz aic nihuelamatiz. 

4. In can on nemian noyollo yehua? Can liuel ye no- 
chan ? Can huel nocallamanian ? Ninotolinia tlalticpac. 

5. Zan ye tocontemaca ye tocontotoma in mochalchiuh, 
ye on quetzalmalintoc, zacuan icpac xochitl, za yan 
tiquinmacayan tepilhuan O. 

6. In nepapan xochitl conquimilo, conihuiti ye 
noyollo niman nichocaya ixpan niauh in tonan. 

7. Zan nocolhuia : ipalnemohua ma ca ximozoma, 
ma ca ximonenequin tlalticpac, mazo tehuantin motloc 
tinemican y, zan ca ye moch ana ilhuicatlitica. 

8. Azo tie nello nicyaitohua nican ipalnemohua, zan 
tontemiqui y, zan toncochitlehuaco, nicitoa in tlalticpac 
ye ayac huel tontiquilhuia ye nicana. 

9. In manel ye chalchihuitl, mantlamatilolli, on aya 
mazo ya ipalnemohuani ayac hueltic ilhuia nicana. 


XI. Another. 

1. I lift my voice in wailing, I am afflicted, as I remem- 
ber that we must leave the beautiful flowers, the noble 
songs ; let us enjoy ourselves for a while, let us sing, for 
we must depart forever, we are to be destroyed in our 
dwelling place. 

2. Is it indeed known to our friends how it pains and 
angers me that nev^er again can they be born, never again 
be young on this earth ? 

3. Yet a little while with them here, then nevermore 
shall I be with them, nevermore enjoy them, nevermore 
know them. 

4. Where shall my soul dwell ? Where is my home ? 
Where shall be my house ? I am miserable on earth. 

5. We take, we unwind the jewels, the blue flowers are 
woven over the yellow ones, that we may give them to 
the children. 

6. Let my soul be draped in various flowers ; let it be 
intoxicated by them, for soon must I weeping go before 
the face of our mother. 

7. This only do I ask : — Thou Giver of Life, be not 
angry, be not severe on earth, let us live with thee on 
earth, take us to the Heavens. 

8. But what can I speak truly here of the Giver of 
Life ? We only dream, we are plunged in sleep ; I speak 
here on earth ; but never can we speak in worthy terms 

9. Although it may be jewels and precious ointments 
(of speech), yet of the Giver of Life, one can never here 
speak in worthy terms. 


XII. Xopanadcatl nenonotzalaticatl ipampa in 
aqiiiqiie amo on mixtilia in yaoc. 

I. Nictzotzonan nohuehueuh nicuicatlamatquetl ic 
niquimonixitia ic niquimitlehua in tocnihuan in atle in 
yollo quimati in aic tlathui ipan inin yollo yaocochmic- 
toque in inpan motimaloa in mixtecomatlayohualli anen 
niquito huay motolinia y, maquicaqui qui y xochitlathui- 
cacuicatl occeh tzetzeuhtimania huehuetitlana, ohuaya, 

2. Tlahuizcalteochitla oncuepontimani in ixochiquiya- 
opan in tloque in nahuaque, onahuachtotonameyotimani 
in teyolquima ; ma xiqualitacan in atle ipan ontlatao, zan- 
nen cuepontimanio ayac mahaca quelehuiao in antocni- 
huan amo zannen ya xochitl yoliliztlapalneucxochitla e. 

3- Quiyolcaihuintia}'a in teyolia, zan oncan ye oniania, 
zan oncan ye oncuepontimania quauhtepetitlan in ya 
hualiuhcancopa y ixtlahuatlitica oncan inemaya oc teoati 
tlachinolli a. Oncan in epoyahuayan in teoquauhtli 
oncan iquiquinacayan, in ocelotl, ipixauhyan in nepapan 
tlazomaquiztetl, in emomolotzayan in nepapan tlazopili- 
huitl, oncan teintoque oncan xamantoque in tepilhuan. 

4. Tlacuah yehuantin in tepilhuani conelehuiao, in 
tlahuizcalxochitlan ya nemamallihuao ic tetlanfinectiao, 
in ilhuicac onocon iceolitzin yn iotepiltzina quitzetzeloti- 
manio a in tepilhuan in quauhtliya ocelotl, in quime- 
mactiao in xochicueponalotlon in quimihuintia yeyol- 

5. In ic timomatia in tinocniuh zan ne yan xochitlon 
in tiquelehuiaon in tlalticpac, qucn toconcuizon quen 
ticyachihuazon, timotolinia in tiquimiztlacoa a in tepilhuan 
xochitica cuicatica ; ma xihuallachican in atle y ica 
mitl, ehuaon zan moch yehuantin in tepilhuan zacuanme- 


XII. A Spring Song, a Song of Exhortation, 
Becattse Ceidain Ones did not go to the War. 

1. I strike on my drum, I the skillful singer, that I may 
arouse, that I may fire our fi-iends, who think of nothing, 
to whose minds plunged in sleep the dawn has not 
appeared, over whom are yet spread the dark clouds of 
night ; may I not call in vain and poorly, may they hear 
this song of the rosy dawn, poured abroad widely by the 
drum, ohe ! ohe ! 

2. The divine flowers of dawn blossom forth, the war 
flowers of the Cause of All ; glittering with dew they 
scatter abroad their fragrance ; bring them hither that they 
be not hidden nor bloom in vain, that they may rejoice 
you our friends, and not in vain shall be the flowers, the 
living, colored, brilliant flowers. 

3. They intoxicate the soul, but they are only found, 
they blossom only on the lofty mountains, on the broad 
plains where glorious war finds its home. There is where 
the eagles gather in bands of sixties, there the tigers 
roar, there the various beloved stones rain down, there 
the various dear children are cut to pieces ; there the 
youths are split into shards and ground into fragments. 

4. Stoutly do those youths rejoice, laboring for the 
rose of the dawn that they may win it ; and in heaven, 
He, the only one, the noble one, pours down upon the 
youths strength and courage, that they may pluck the 
budding flowers of the pathway, that they may be intoxi- 
cated with the dew-damp flowers of the spirit. 

5. Know, my friend, that these are the only flowers 
which will give thee pleasure on earth ; mayest thou take 
them and make them ; O poor one, search out for thy 
children these flowers and songs. Look not hither with- 
out arrows, let all the youths lift up their voices, like 


teoquecholtitzinitzcatlatlauhquecholtin moyeh yectitine- 
mio in onmatio in ixtlahuatlitican. 

6. Chimalxochitl, quauhpilolxochitl ic oquichtlama- 
timani in y antepilhuan xochicozcaocoxochitl ic 
mapantimanian, quitimaloao yectliya cuicatl, yectliya 
xochitl, imezo imelchiquiuh patiuh mochihuaya in quicelia 
on in teoatl tlachinolli ; y iantocnihuan tliliuhquitepeca 
in tiyaotehua huey otlipana, ma huel xoconmanao y ye 
mochimalo, huel xonicaon in ti quauhtliya ocelotla. 

XIII. Htiexotzincayotl. 

I. Zan tlaocolxochitl, tlaocolcuicatl on mania Mexico 
nican ha in Tlatilolco, in yece ye oncan on neixima- 
choyan, ohuaya. 

2. Ixamayo yectH in zan ca otitech icneli ipalnemohu- 
ani, in za can tipopohhuizque in timacehualta, ohuaya. 

3. Ototlahuehltic, zan titotoHnia timacehualtinquezo 
huel tehuantin, otiquittaque in cococ ye machoyan, 

4. Ticmomoyahua, ticxoxocoyan in momacehualy in 
Tlatilolco cococ moteca cococ ye machoyan ye ic ticia- 
huia ipalnemoani, ohuaya. 

5. Choquiztli moteca ixayotl pixahui oncan a in 
Tlatilolco ; in atlan yahqueon o in Mexica ye cihua 
nelihui ica yehuilo a oncan ontihui in tocnihuan a, 


zacuan birds, divine quechols, tzinitzcans, and red que- 
chols, who live joyous lives, and know the fields. 

6. O youths, here there are skilled men in the flowers 
of shields, in the flowers of the pendant eagle plumes, 
the yellow flowers which they grasp ; they pour forth 
noble songs, noble flowers ; they make payment with 
their blood, with their bare breasts ; they seek the bloody 
field of war. And you, O friends, put on your black 
paint, for war, for the path of victory ; let us lay hands 
on our shields, and raise aloft our strength and courage. 

XIII. A Song of Huexotzinco. 

I. Only sad flowers, sad songs, are here in Mexico, in 
Tlatilolco, in this place these alone are known, alas. 

2. It is well to know these, if only we may please the 
Giver of Life, lest we be destroyed, we his subjects, 

3. We have angered Him, we are only wretched 
beings, slaves by blood ; we have seen and known afflic- 
tion, alas. 

4. We are disturbed, we are embittered, thy servants 
here in Tlatilolco, deprived of food, made acquainted with 
affliction, we are fatigued with labor, O Giver of Life, 

5. Weeping is with us, tears fall like rain, here in 
Tlatilolco ; as the Mexican women go down to the water, 
we beg of them for ourselves and our friends, alas. 


6. In ic neltic o ya cahua Atloyantepetl o in Mexico 
in poctli ehuatoc ayahuitl onmantoc, in tocon ya chihuaya 
ipalnemoani, ohuaya. 

7. In an^Iexica ma xiquilnamiquican o yan zan topan 
quitemohuia y ellelon i mahuizo yehuan zan yehuan Dios, 
yehua anquin ye oncan in coyonacazco, ohuaya. 

8. Za can ye oncan zan quinchoquiz tlapaloa o anqui- 
huitzmanatl incan yeuch motelchiuh on ya o anquin ye 
mochin, ha in tlayotlaqui, ah in tlacotzin, ah in tlacate- 
uctH in oquichtzin y huihui ica 9a ye con yacauhqui in 
Tenochtitlan, ohuaya. 

9. In antocnihuan ma xachocacan aya ma xaconmati- 
can ica ye ticcauhque Mexicayotl huiya, zan ye yatl 
chichixhuiya no zan ye tlaqualH chichixaya zan con aya 
chiuhqui in ipalnemoani ha in Tlatilolco y, ohuaya. 

10. Tel ah zan yhuian huicoque hon in motelchiuhtzin 
ha in tlacotzin zan mocuica ellaquauhque ac achinanco 

.in ahiquac in tlepan quixtiloto in coyohuacan, ohuaya. 


6. Even as the smoke, rising, lies in a cloud over 
Mount Atloyan, in Mexico, so does it happen unto us, O 
Giver of Life, alas. 

7. And you Mexicans, may you remember concern- 
ing us when you descend and suffer before the majesty of 
God, when there you shall howl like wolves. 

8. There, there will be only weeping as your greeting 
when you come, there you will be accursed, all of you, 
workers in filth, slaves, rulers or warriors, and thus 
Tenochtitlan will be deserted. 

9. Oh friends, do not weep, but know that sometime 
we shall have left behind us the things of Mexico, and 
then their water shall be made bitter and their food shall 
be made bitter, here in Tlatilolco, as never before, by the 
Giver of Life. 

10. The disdained and the slaves shall go forth with 
song ; but in a little while their oppressors shall be seen 
in the fire, amid the howling of wolves. 



1. Zan tzinitzcan impetlatl ipan, ohuaya ; on tzinitzcan 
iceliztoca oncan izan in ninentlamatia, in zan icnoxochi- 
cuicatica inocon ya temohua ya ohuaya, ohuaya. 

2. In canin nemiya icanon in nemitoconchia ye nican 
huehuetitlan a ayiahue, ye onnentlamacho, ye mocatlao- 
coyalo ay xopancahteca, ohuaya, ohuaya. 

3. Ac ipiltzin ? Achanca ipiltzin yehuayan Dios Jesu 
Christo can quicuilo antlacuiloa quicuilo ancuicatl a 
ohuaya, ohuaya. 

4. O achan canel ompa huiz canin ilhuicac y xochin- 
tlacuilol xochincahtec a ohuaya ohuaya. 

5. In ma ontlachialoya in ma ontlatlamahuicolo in 
tlapapalcalimanican y ipalnemoa y tlayocol yehuan Dios, 

6. Techtohnian techtlatlanectia y icuicaxochiamilpan, 
intechontlatlachialtian ipalnemohua itlayocol yehuan 
Dios a ohuava. 

7. Ya ixopantla ixopantlatinenemi ye nican ixtlahuatl 
yteey, za xiuhquechol quiahuitl zan topan xaxamacay in 
athxco ya ohuaya, ohuaya. 

8. Zan ye nauhcampay ontlapepetlantoc, oncan 
onceliztoc in cozahuizxochitl, oncan nemi in Mexica in 
tepilhuan a ohuaya ohuaya. 



1. Only the tzinitzcan is in power, the tzinitzcan arouses 
me in m)- affliction, letting fall its songs like sad flowers. 

2. Wherever it wanders, wherever it lives, one awaits 
it here with the drum, in affliction, in distress, here in the 
house of spring. 

3. Who is the royal son ? Is not the royal son, the 
son of God, Jesus Christ, as was written in your writings, 
as was written in your songs ? 

4. Is not the flowery writing within the house of 
flowers that he shall come there from heaven ? 

5. Look around and wonder at this scene of many 
colored houses which God has created and endowed with 

6. They make us who are miserable to see the light 
among the flowers and songs of the fertile fields, they 
cause us to see those things which God has created and 
endowed with life. 

7. They dwell in the place of spring, in the place of 
spring, here within the broad fields, and only for our sakes 
does the turquoise-water fall in broken drops on the 
surface of the lake. 

8. Where it gleams forth in fourfold rays, where the 
fragrant yellow flowers bud, there live the Mexicans, the 


XV. Tezozomoctli ic motecpac. 

1. Zan ca tzihuactitlan, mizquititlan, aiyahue Chico- 
moztocpa, mochi ompa yahuitze antlatohuan ye nican, . } 
ohuaya, ohuaya. 

2. Nican momalinaco in colcahuahtecpillotl huiya 
nican milacatzoa in Colhuaca Chichimecayotl in 

3. Ma oc achitzinca xomotlanecuican antepilhuan 
huiya tlacateuhtzin Huitzilihuitl a ya cihuacoatl y 
Quauhxilotl huia totomihuacan Tlalnahuacatl aya zan ca 
xiuhtototl Ixtlilxochitl y quenman tlatzihuiz quimohmo- 
yahuaquiuh yauh y tepeuh yehuan Dios ica ye choca 
Tezozomoctli ohuaya ohuaya. 

4. Yenoceppa mizquitl yacahuantimani Hueytlalpani, 
anquican itlatol yehuan Dios a ohuaya, ohuaya. 

5. Can onyeyauh xochitl, can oyeyauh yeh intoca 
quauhth ocelotl huia ya moyahuaya xehhuia Atloyante- 
petl Hueytlalpan y anquizan itlatol ipalnemohua ohuaya 

6. Oncuiltonoloc, onechtlachtiloc, in teteuctin cemana- 
huac y huel zotoca huipantoca y tlatol ipalnemohuani, 
huel quimothuitico, hucl qui.ximatico y yollo yehuan 
Dios huiya chalchihuitl maquiztliya tlamatelolliya tizatla 
ihuitla za xochitl quimatico yaoyotla ohuaya ohuaya. 

7. Oya in Tochin y miec acalcatli, Acolmiztlan teuctli 
zan Catocih teuctli Yohuallatonoc y yehuan Cuetzpaltzin 
Iztaccoyotl totomihuacan Tla.Kcalian ohuaye Coatzi- 
teuctli Huitlalotzin za xochitl quimatico yaoyotla ohuaya 


XV. The Reign of Tezozomoctli. 

1. From the land of the tzihuac bushes, from the land of 
the mezquite bushes, where was ancient Chicomoztoc, 
thence came all your rulers hither. 

2. Here unrolled itself the royal line of Colhuacan, 
here our nobles of Colhuacan, united with the Chichi- 

3. Sing for a little while concerning these, O chil- 
dren, the sovereign HuitzilihuitI, the judge Quauhxilotl, 
of our bold leader Tlalnahuacatl, of the proud bird 
Ixtlilxochitl, those who went forth, and conquered and 
ruled before God, and bewail Tezozomoctli. 

4. A second time they left the mezquite bushes in Hue 
Tlalpan, obeying the order of God. 

5. They go where are the flowers, where they may 
gain grandeur and power, dividing asunder they leave 
the mountain Atloyan and Hue Tlalpan, obeying the 
order of the Giver of Life. 

6. It is cause of rejoicing, that I am enabled to see 
our rulers from all parts gathering together, arranging in 
order the words of the Giver of Life, and that their 
souls are caused to see and to know that God is precious, 
wonderful, a sweet ointment, and that they are known as 
flowers of wise counsel in the affairs of war. 

7. There were Tochin, with many boats, the noble 
Acolmiztlan, the noble Catocih, Yohuallatonoc, and 
Cuetzpaltzin, and Iztaccoyotl, bold leaders from Tlaxcalla, 
and Coatziteuctli, and Huitlalotzin, famed as flowers on 
the field of battle. 


8. Tley an quiyocoya anteteuctin y Huexotzinca ? ma 
xontlachiacan Acolihuacan in quatlapanca oncan ye 
Huexotla itztapallocan huia yeyahuatimani Atloyantepetl 
a ohuaya. 

9. Oncan in pochotl ahuehuetl oncan icaca mizquitl ye 
oztotlhuia tetlaquahuac quimatia ipalnemohuani oyao ai 
ya hue ohuaya. 

10. Tlacateotl nopiltzin Chichimecatl y tleonmach itla 
techcocolia TezozomoctU tech in micitlani ye ehuaya ata- 
yahuili quinequia yaoyotl necahztlon quima Acolhuacan 

11. Tel ca tonehua ticahuiltia ipalnemohuani Colihua 
o o Mexicatl y tlahcateotl huiaya atayahui-li quinequia 
yaoyotl necaliztl qui mana Acolhuacan a ohuaya ohuaya. 

12. Zan ye on necuiltonolo in tlalticpac ay oppan 
titlano chimalli xochitl ay oppan ahuiltilon ipalnemohua ; 
ye ic anauia in tlailotlaqui xayacamacha huia ho ay ya 
yi ee ohuaya ha ohuaya. 

13. Inacon anquelehuia chimalli xochitl y yohual 
xochitli tlachinol xochitl ; ye ic neyahpanalo antepilhuan 
huiya Quetzalmamatzin Huitznahuacatl ohuaye ho ha 
yia yi ee oua yi aha ohuaya. 

14. Chimal tenamitl oncan in nemohua yehua necalia 
huilotl oyahualla icahuaca yehuaya on canin ye nemi in 
tecpipiltin Xiuhtzin xayacamachani amehuano o ancona- 
huiltia ipalnemohua ohuaya. 

15. In ma huel netotilo mannemamanaloya yaonahuac 
a on netlamachtiloyan ipan nechihuallano ohuaye in 
tepiltzin can ye mocuetlaca ohuaya, ohuaya. 


8. For what purpose do you make your rulers, men of 
Huexotzinco ? Look at Acolhuacan where the men of 
Huexotzinco are broken with toil, are trod upon like 
paving stones, and wander around the mountain Atloyan, 

9. There is a ceiba tree, a cypress tree, there stands a 
mezquite bush, strong as a cavern of stone, known as the 
Giver of Life. 

10. Ruler of men, Nopiltzin, Chicimec, O Tezozomoc- 
tli, why hast thou made us sick, why brought us to death, 
through not desiring to offer war and battle to Acol- 
huacan ? 

11. But we lift up our voice and rejoice in the Giver of 
life; the men of Colhuacan and the Mexican leader have 
ruined us, through not desiring to offer war and battle to 

12. The only joy on earth will be again to send the 
shield-flower, again to rejoice the Giver of Life ; already 
are discontented the faces of the workers in filth. 

13. Therefore you rejoice in the shield-flowers, the 
flowers of night, the flowers of battle ; already are }'e 
clothed, ye children of Quetzalmamatzin and Huitzna- 

14. Your shield and your wall of safety are where 
dwells the sweet joy of war, where it comes, and sings 
and lifts its voice, where dwell the nobles, the precious 
stones, making known their faces ; thus you give joy to 
the Giver of Life. 

15. Let your dancing, and banqueting be in the battle, 
there be your place of gain, your scene of action, where 
the noble youths perish. 


1 6. Quetzalipantica oyo huiloa ahuiltiloni ipalnemo- 
huan yectlahuacan in tapalcayocan a ohuaya ohuaya. 

17. Oyo hualehuaya ye tocalipan oyohua yehua 
Huexotzincatl y tototihua o o Iztaccoyotla ohuaya 

18. Ace melle ica tonacoquiza y nican topantilemonti 
Tlaxcaltecatl itocoya cacaHa in altepetl y Huexochinco 
ya ohuaya. 

19. Cauhtimanizo polihuiz tlalli yan totomihuacan 
huia cehuiz yioUo o antepilhuan a Huexotzinca.y ohuaya 

20. Mizquitl y mancan tzihuactli y mancan ahuehuetl 
onicacahuia ipalnemohua, xonicnotlamati mochi eh- 
manca Huexotzinco ya zanio oncan in huel on mani 
tlalla ohuaya ohuaya. 

21. Zan nohuian tlaxixinia tlamomoyahua y ayoc an- 
mocehuia momacehual y hualcaco mocuic in icelteotl oc 
xoconyocoyacan antepilhuan a ohuaya ohuaya. 

22. Zan mocuepa itlatol conahuiloa ipalnemohua 
Tepeyacac ohuaye antepilhuan ohuaya ohuaya. 

23. Canel amonyazque xoconmolhuican an Tlaxcalteca 
y Tlacomihuatzin hui oc oyauh itlachinol ya yehuan 
Dios a ohuaya. 

24. Cozcatl ihuihui quetzal nehuihuia oc zo conhui- 
panque zan Chichimeca y Totomihua a Iztaccoyotl a 
ohuaya ohuaya. 

25. Huexotzinco ya zan quiauhtzinteuctli techcocolia 
Mexicatl itechcocolia Acolihuiao ach quennelotihua 
tonyazque quenonamican a ohuaye ohuaye. 


1 6. Dressed in their feathers they go rejoicing the 
Giver of Life to the excellent place, the place of shards. 

17. He lifted up his voice in our houses like a bird, 
that man of Huexotzinco, Iztaccoyotl. 

18. WHioever is aggrieved let him come forth with us 
against the men of Tlaxcallan, let him follow where the 
cit}' of Huexotzinco lets drive its arrows. 

19. Our leaders will lay waste, they will destroy the 
land, and your children, O Huexotzincos, will have peace 
of mind. 

20. The mezquite was there, the tzihuac was there, the 
Giver of Life has set up the cypress ; be sad that evil has 
befallen Huexotzinco, that it stands alone in the land. 

21. In all parts there are destruction and desolation, no 
longer are there protection and safety, nor has the one 
only God heard the song ; therefore speak it again, you 
children ; 

22. That the words may be repeated, you children, and 
give joy to the Giver of Life at Tepeyacan. 

23. And since you are going, you Tlaxcallans, call upon 
Tlacomihuatzin that he may yet goto this divine war. 

24. The Chichimecs and the leaders and Iztaccoy- 
otl have with difficulty and vain labor arranged and set 
in order their jewels and feathers. 

25. At Huexotzinco the ruler Quiauhtzin hates the 
Mexicans, hates the Acolhuacans ; when shall we go to 
mix with them, to meet them ? 


26. Ay antlayocoya anquimitoa in amotahuan an 
teteuctin ayoquantzin ihuan a in tlepetztic in cacha 
ohuaya tzihuacpopoca yo huaya. 

27. Ca zan catcan Chalco Acolihuaca huia totomihua- 
can y amilpan in QuauhquechoUa quixixinia in ipetl icpal 
yehuan Dios ohoaya ohuaya. 

28. Tlazoco a ye nican tlalli tepetl yecocoliloya cema- 
nahuac a ohuaya. 

29. Quennel conchihuazque atl popoca itlacoh in 
teuctli tlalli mocuepaya Mictlan onmatia Cacamatl 
onteuctli, quennel conchihuazque, ohuaya ohuaya. 


1. On onellelacic quexquich nic ya ittoa antocnihuan 
ayiaue noconnenemititica noyollon tlalticpac y no- 
conycuilotica, ay niyuh can tinemi ahuian yeccan, ay 
cemellecan in tenahuac y, ah nonnohuicallan in quenon 
amican ohuaya. 

2. Zan nellin quimati ye noyollo za nelli nicittoa 
antocnihuan, ayiahue aquin quitlatlauhtia icelteotl yiollo 
itlacoca con aya macan. Machamo oncan? In tlalticpac 
machamo oppan piltihua. Ye nelli nemoa in quenon 
amican ilhuicatl y itec icanyio oncan in netlamachtilo y 

3. O yohualli icahuacan teuctlin popoca ahuiltilon 
Dios ipalncmoluiani : chimalli xochitl in cuecuepontimani 
in mahuiztli moteca molinian tlalticpac, ye nican ic 
xochimicohuayan in ixtlahuac itec a ohuaya ohuaya. 


26. Set to work and speak, you fathers, to your rulers, 
to your lords, that they may make a blazing fire of the 
smoking tzihuac wood. 

27. The Acolhuacans were at Chalco, the Otomies 
were in your cornfields at Quauhquechollan, they laid 
them waste by the permission of God. 

28. The fields and hills are ravaged, the whole land has 
been laid waste. 

29. What remedy can they turn to ? Water and 
smoke have spoiled the land of the rulers ; they have 
gone back to Mictlan attaching themselves to the ruler 
Cacamatl. What remedy can they turn to ? 


1. It is a bitter grief to see so many of you, dear friends 
not walking with me in spirit on the earth, and written 
down with me ; that no more do I walk in company to 
the joyful and pleasant spots ; that nevermore in union 
with you do I journey to the same place. 

2. Truly I doubt in my heart if I really see you, dear 
friends ; Is there no one who will pray to the one only 
God that he take this error from your hearts? Is no one 
there ? No one can live a second time on earth. Truly 
they live there within the heavens, there in a place of 
delight only. 

3. At night rises up the smoke of the warriors, a 
delight to the Lord the Giver of Life ; the shield-flower 
spreads abroad its leaves, marvelous deeds agitate the 
earth ; here is the place of the fatal flowers of death 
which cover the fields. 


4. Yaonauac ye oncan yaopeuhca in ixtlahuac itec 
iteuhtlinpopoca ya milacatzoa y momalacachoa yao- 
xochimiquiztica antepilhuan in anteteuctin zan Chichi- 
meca y ohuaya. 

5. Maca mahui noyollo ye oncan ixtlahuatl itic, noco- 
nele hua in itzimiquiliztli zan quinequin toyoUo yaomi- 
quiztla ohuaya. 

6. O anquin ye oncan yaonahuac, noconelehuia in itzi 
miquiliztli can quinequin toyoUo yaomiquiztla ohuaya 

7. Mixtli ye ehuatimani yehuaya moxoxopan ipalnemo- 
huani ye oncan celiztimani a in quauhtlin ocelotl, ye on- 
can cueponio o in tepilhuan huiya in tlachinol, ohuaya 

8. In ma oc tonahuican antocnihuan ayiahue, ma oc 
xonahuiacan antepilhuan in ixtlahuatl itec, y nemoaqui- 
huic zan tictotlanehuia o a in chimalli xochitl in tlachi- 
noll, ohuaya, ohuaya, ohuaya. 


4. The battle is there, the beginning of the battle is in 
the open fields, the smoke of the warriors winds around 
and curls upward from the slaughter of the flowery war, 
ye friends and warriors of the Chichimecs. 

5. Let not my soul dread that open field; I earnestly 
desire the beginning of the slaughter, may thy soul long 
for the murderous strife. 

6. O you who are there in the battle, I earnestly desire 
the beginning of the slaughter, may thy soul long for the 
murderous strife. 

7. The cloud rises upward, rising into the blue sky of 
the Giver of Life ; there blossom forth prowess and daring, 
there, in the battle field, come the children to maturity. 

8. Let us rejoice, dear friends, and may ye rejoice, O 
children, within the open field, and going forth to it, let 
us revel amid the shield-flowers of the battle. 


XVII. XochictticaU. 

I. Can ti ya nemia ticuicaniti ma ya hualmoquetza 
xochihuehuetl quetzaltica huiconticac teocuitlaxochi- 
nenepaniuhticac y ayamo aye iliamo aye huiy ohuaya, 
oh u ay a. 

2. Tiquimonahuiltiz in tepilhuan teteucto in qua 
ocelotl ayamo, etc. 


3. In tlacace otemoc aya huehuetitlan ya nemi in cui- 
canitlhuia zan qui quetzal in tomaya quexexeloa aya 
icuic ipalnemoa qui ya nanquilia in coyolyantototl on- 
cuicatinemi xochimanamanaya taxocha ohuaya, ohuaya. 

4. In canon in noconcaqui in tlatol aya tlacazo 
yehuatl ipalnemoa quiyananquilia quiyananquilia in 
coyolyantototl on cuicatinemi xochimanamanaya, etc. 

5. In chalchihuitl ohuayee on quetzal pipixauhtimania 
in amo tlatolhuia, noyuh ye quittoa yayoquan yehuayan 
cuetzpal ohuaye anquinelin ye quimatin ipalnemoa 

6. Noyuh quichihua con teuctlon timaloa yecan 
quetzalmaquiztla matilolticoya conahuiltia icelteotlhuia 
achcanon azo a yan ipalnemoa achcanon azo tie nel in 
tlalticpac ohuaya. 

7. Macuelachic aya maoc ixquich cahuitl niquin no- 
tlanehui in chalchiuhtini in maquiztini in tepilhuan aya; 
zan nicxochimalina in tecpillotl huia : zan ca nican nocuic 
ica ya nocon ilacatzohua a in huehuetitlan a ohuaya 

8. Oc noncoati nican Huexotzinco y nitLltohuani 
ni teca ehuatzin huiya chalchiuhti zan quetzalitztin y, 


XVI I. A Flozver Song. 

1. Where thou walkest, O singer, bring forth thy flow- 
ery drum, let it stand amid beauteous feathers, let it be 
placed in the midst of golden flowers ; 

2. That thou mayest rejoice the youths and the nobles 
in their grandeur. 

3. Wonderful indeed is it how the living song de- 
scended upon the drum, how it loosened its feathers and 
spread abroad the songs of the Giver of Life, and the 
coyol bird answered, spreading wide its notes, offering up 
its flowery songs of flowers. 

4. Wherever I hear those words, perhaps the Giver of 
Life is answering, as answers the coyol bird, spreading 
wide its notes, offering up its flowery song of flowers. 

5. It rains down precious stones and beauteous feathers 
rather than words ; it seems to be as one reveling in 
food, as one who truly knows the Giver of Life. 

6. Thus do the nobles glorify themselves with things 
of beauty, honor and delight, that they may please the 
one only god, though one knows not the dwelling of the 
Giver of Life, one knows not whether he is on earth. 

7. May I yet for a little while have time to revel in 
those precious and honorable youths; may I wreathe 
flowers for their nobility ; may I here yet for a while 
wind the songs around the drum. 

8. I am a guest here among the rulers of Huexotzinco; 
I lift up my voice and sing of precious stones and emer- 


niquincenquixtia in tepilhuan aya zan nicxochimalina in 
tecpillotl huia ohuaya ohuaya. 

9. A in ilhuicac itic ompa yeya huitz in yectliyan 
xochitl yectliyan cuicatl y, conpolo antellel conpolo 
antotlayocol y in tlacazo yehuatl in Chichimecatl teuctli 
in teca yehuatzin ica xonahuiacan a ohuaya ohuaya. 

10. Moquetzal izqui xochintzetzeloa in icniuhyotl 
aztlacaxtlatlapantica ye onmaHnticac in quetzalxiloxo- 
chitl imapan onnenemi conchichichintinemi in teteuctin 
in tepilhuan. 

11. Zan teocuitlacoyoltototl o huel yectli namocuic 
huel yectli in anq'ehua anquin ye oncan y xochitl y ya 
hualyuhcan y xochitl imapan amoncate in amontlatlatoa 
ye ohuaya ohui ohui ilili y yao ayya hue ho ama ha ilili 
ohua y yaohuia. 

12. O ach ancati quechol in ipalnemoa o ach ancati 
tlatocauh yehuan Dios huiya achto tiamehuan anquitzto- 
que tlahuizcalli amoncuicatinemi ohui, ohui, ilili, etc. 

13. Maciuhtiao o in quinequi noyollo, zan chimalli 
xochitl mixochiuh ipalnemoani, quen conchihuaz noyollo 
yehua onentacico tonquizaco in tlalticpac a ohuaya 

14. Zan ca yuhqui noyaz in o ompopoliuh xochitla 
antlenotleyoye in quemmanian, antlenitacihcayez in 
tlalticpac. Manel xochitl manel cuicatl, quen conchihuaz 
noyollo yehua onentacico tonquizaco in tlalticpac ohuaya 

15. Manton ahuiacan antocnihuan aya ma on nequech 
nahualo nican huiyaa xochintlaticpac ontiyanemiyenican 
ayac quitlamitehuaz in xochitl in cuicatl in mani a ichan 
ipalnemohulani yi ao ailili yi ao aya hue aye ohuaya. 


aids ; I select from among the youths those for whom I 
shall wreathe the flowers of nobility. 

9. There comes from within the heavens a good flower, 
a good song, which will destroy your grief, destroy your 
sorrow; therefore, Chief of the Chichimecs, be glad and 

10. Here, delightful friendship, turning about with 
scarlet dyed wings, rains down its flowers, and the war- 
riors and youths, holding in their hands the fragrant xilo 
flowers, walk about inhaling the sweet odor. 

II. The golden coyol bird sings sweetly to you, 
sweetly lifts its voice like a flower, like sweet flowers in 
your hand, as you converse and lift your voice in singing, 

12. Even like the quechol bird to the Giver of Life, 
even a^ the herald of God, you have waited for the dawn, 
and gone forth singing ohui, etc. 

13. Although I wish that the Giver of Life shall give 
for flowers the shield-flower, how shall I grieve that your 
efforts have been in vain, that you have gone forth from 
the world. 

14. Even as I shall go forth into the place of decayed 
flowers, so sometime will it be with your fame and deeds 
on earth. Although they are flowers, although they are 
songs, how shall I grieve that your eflbrts have been in 
vain, that you have gone forth from the world. 

15. Let us be glad, dear friends, let us rejoice while w^e 
walk here on this flowery earth ; may the end never come 
of our flowers and songs, but may they continue in the 
mansion of the Giver of Life. 


1 6. In zancuelachitzincan tlalticpac aya ayaoc noiuhcan 
quennonamicani cuixocpacohua icniuhtihuay auh in amo 
zanio nican totiximatizo in tlalticpac y yiao ha ilili yiao. 

17. Noconca con cuicatl noconca o quin tlapitzaya 
xochimecatl ayoquan teuctliya ahuayie, ohuayiao ayio yo 

18. Zan mitzyananquili omitzyananquili xochin- 
calaitec y in aquiauhatzin in tlacateuhtli ayapancatl 

19. Cantinemi noteouh ipalnemohuani mitztemohua in 
quemmanian y mocanitlaocoyan, nicuicanitlhuia, zan ni 
mitzahuiltiaya ohuiyan tililiyanco huia ohuaya ohuaya. 

20. In zan ca izqui xochitl in quetzalizqui xochitl pix- 
ahui ye nican xopancalaitec i tlacuilolcalitec, zan nimitz- 
ahahuiltiaya ohui. 

21. O anqui ye oncan Tlaxcala, ayahue, chalchiuh- 
tetzilacuicatoque in huehuetitlan ohuaye, xochin poyon 
ayiahue Xicontencatl teuctli in Tizatlacatzin in camaxo- 
chitzin cuicatica y melelquiza xochiticaya on chielo 
itlatol ohuay icelteotl ohuaya. 

22. O, anqui nohuia y, ye mochan ipalnemohua 
xochipetlatl ye noca xochitica on tzauhticac oncan 
mitztlatlauhtia in tepilhua ohuaya. 

23. In nepapan xochiquahuitl onicac, a}'a, huehue- 
titlan a a yiahue, can canticaya quetzaltica malintiniani, 
ya, yecxochitl motzetzeloaya ohuaya ohuaya. 

24. Can quetzatzal petlacoatl ycpac o, ye nemi coj'olto- 
totl cuicatinemiya, can quinanquili teuctli ya, conahuilti- 
anquauhtloocelotl ohuaya ohuaya. 


1 6. Yet a little while and your friends must pass from 
earth. What does friendship offer of enjoyment, when 
soon we shall no longer be known on earth ? 

17. This is the burden of my song, of the garland of 
flowers played on the flute, without equal in the place of 
the nobles. 

18. Within the house of flowers the Lord of the 
Waters, of the Gate of the Waters, answers thee, has 
answered thee. 

19. Where thou livest, my beloved, the Giver of Life 
sends down upon thee sometimes things of sadness ; but 
I, the singer, shall make thee glad in the place of diffi- 
cult}-, in the place of cumber. 

20. Here are the many flowers, the beauteous flowers, 
rained down within the house of spring, within its 
painted house, and I with them shall make thee glad. 

21. O, you there in Tlaxcala, you have played like 
sweet bells upon your drums, even like brilliantly col- 
ored flowers. There was Xicontecatl, lord of Tizatlan, 
the rosy-mouthed, whose songs gave joy like flowers, who 
listened to the words of the one only God. 

22. Thy house, O Giver of Life is in all places ; its 
mats are of flowers, finely spun with flowers, where thy 
children pray to thee. 

23. A rain of various flowers falls where stands, the 
drum, beauteous wreaths entwine it, sweet flowers are 
poured down around it. 

24. Where the brilliant scolopender basks, the coyol 
bird scatters abroad its songs, answering back the nobles, 
rejoicing in their prowess and might. 


25. Xochitzetzeliuhtoc y, niconnetolilo antocnihuan 
huehuetitlan ai on chielo can nontlamati toyollo yehua 
ohuaya ohuaya. 

26. In zan ca yehuan Dios tlaxic, ya, caquican yehual 
temoya o ilhuicatl itic, y, cuicatihuitz, y, quinanquilia o, 
angelotin ontlapitztihuitzteaya oyiahue yaia o o ohuaya 

27. Zan ninentlamatia can niquauhtenco ayahue can 

XVIII. Nican Ompehua Teponazctiicatl. 

Tico, tico, toco, toto, aiih ic ontlantiiih adcatl, tiqiii, ti ti, tito, 

1. Tollan aya huapalcalli manca, nozan in mamani 
coatlaquetzaUi yaqui yacauhtehuac Nacxitl Topiltzin, 
onquiquiztica ye choquiHlo in topilhuan ahuay yeyauh 
in poHhuitiuh nechcan Tlapallan ho ay. 

2. Nechcayan Cholollan oncan tonquizaya Poyauhte- 
catitlan, in quiyapanhuiya y Acallan anquiquiztica ye 
choquiHlon ye. 

3. Nonohualco ye nihuitz ye nihui quecholi nimamah- 
teuctla, nicnotlamatia oyah quin noteuc ye ihuitimaH, 
nechya icnocauhya nimatlac xochitl, ayao ayao o ayya y 
yao ay. 

4. In tepctl huitomica niyaychocaya, axahqueuhca 
nicnotlamati\-a o yaquin noteuc (etc. as v. 3). 

5. In Tlapallan aya mochieloca monahuatiloca ye cochi- 
ztla o anca ca zanio ayao, ayao, a}'ao. 


25. Scattering flowers I rejoice you, dear friends, with 
my drum, awaiting what comes to our minds. 

26. It reaches even to God, he hears it seeking him 
within the heavens, the song comes and the angels an- 
swer, playing on their flutes. 

27. But I am sad within this wood. * * * 

XVIII. Here begin Songs for the Teponaztli. 

Tico, tico, toco, toto, and as the song approaches the end, 
tiqni, titi, tito, titi. 

1. At Tollan there stood the house of beams, there 
yet stands the house of plumed serpents left by Nacxitl 
Topiltzin ; going forth weeping, our nobles went to 
where he was to perish, down there at Tlapallan. 

2. We went forth from Cholula by way of Poyauhtecatl, 
and ye went forth weeping down by the water toward 

3. I come from Nonohualco as if I carried quechol 
birds to the place of the nobles ; I grieve that my lord 
has gone, garlanded with feathers ; I am wretched like 
the last flower. 

4. With the falling down of mountains I wept, with 
the lifting up of sands I was wretched, that my lord had 

5. At Tlapallan he was waited for, it was commanded 
that there he should sleep, thus being alone. 



6. Zan tiyaolinca ye noteuc ic ihuitimali, tinahuatiloya 
ye Xicalanco o anca zacanco. 

7. Ay yanco ay yanco ayamo aya ayhuiya ayanco 
ayyanco ayamo aye ahuiya que ye mamaniz mocha mo- 
quiapana, oquen ye mamaniz moteuccallatic ya icno- 
cauhqui nican Tollan Nonohualco ya y ya y ya o ay. 

8. In ye quinti chocaya teuctlon, timalon que ye mam- 
aniz mochan (etc. as v. 7). 

9. In tetl, in quahuitl o on timicuilotehuac nachcan 
Tollan y inon can in otontlatoco Naxitl Topiltzin y aye 
polihuiz ye motoca ye ic ye chocaz in momacehual ay yo. 

10. Zan can xiuhcalliya cohuacallaya in oticmatehuac 
nachcan Tollan y inon can yn otontlatoco Naxitl 
Topiltzin (etc. as in v. g). 


6. In our battles my lord was garlanded with feathers; 
we were commanded to go alone to Xicalanco. 

7. Alas ! and alas ! who will be in thy house to attire 
thee ? Who will be the ruler in thy house, left desolate 
here in ToUan, in Nonohualco ? 

8. After he was drunk, the ruler wept ; we glorified 
ourselves to be in thy dwelling. 

9. Misfortune and misery were written against us there 
in Tollan, that our leader Nacxitl Topiltzin was to be 
destroyed and thy subjects made to weep. 

10. We have left the turquoise houses, the serpent 
houses there in Tollan, where ruled our leader Nacxitl 



Tico toco toco ti qttiti quiti qiiiti qiiito ; can ic mocjicptiuh. 

1. Tlapapal xochiceutli niyolaya nepapan tonacan 
xochitl moyahuaya oncueponti moquetzaco ya naya aya 
ye teo ya ixpan tonaa Santa Maria ayyo. 

2. An ya ya cuicaya zan quetzala xihuitl tomolihui 
yan aya ye nitlachihual icelteotl y ye Dios aya ni itla- 
yocolaoya yecoc ya. 

3. Zan ca tlaauilolpan nemia moyollo amoxpetlatl 
ipan toncuicaya tiquimonyaitotia teteuctin aya in obispo 
ya zan ca totatzin aya oncan titlatoa atlitempan ay yo. 

4. Yehuan Dios mitzyocox aya xochitla ya mitztlaca- 
tilo yancuicatl mitzicuiloa Santa Maria in obispo ya. 



Tico, toco, toco, tiquiti, qiiiti, quiti, qiiito ; tvhcre it is to 
turn back again. 

1. Resting amid parti-colored flowers I rejoiced; the 
many shining flowers came forth, blossomed, burst forth 
in honor of our mother Holy Mary. 

2. They sang as the beauteous season grew, that I am 
but a creature of the one only God, a work of his hands 
that he has made. 

3. Mayst thy soul walk in the light, mayst thou sing 
in the great book, mayst thou join the dance of the rulers 
as our father the bishop speaks in the great temple. 

4. God created thee, he caused thee to be born in a 
flowery place, and this new song to Holy Mary the 
bishop wrote for thee. 



1. Tolteca icuilihuia ahaa ya ha on tlantoc amoxtli ya 
moyollo ya on aya mochonaciticac o o Toltecayootl aic 
aya ninemiz ye nican ay yo. 

2. Ac ya nechcuiliz, ac ye nohuan oyaz o, nicaz a anni 
icuihuan aya y yancuicanitl y yehetl y noxochiuh non 
cuica ihuitequi onteixpan ayyo. 

3. Huey in tetl nictequintomahuac quahuitl, nic- 
icuiloa yancuicatl itech aya oncan nomitoz in quem- 
manian in can Jiiyaz nocuica machio nicyacauhtiaz in 
tialticpac, y onnemiz noyol zan ca ye nican ya hualla y 
yancoya nolnamicoca nemiz ye noteyo ay yo. 

4. Nichocaya niquittoaya nicnotza noyollo ma niquitta 
cuicanelhuayotl ayama nicyatlalaquiya ma ya ica tial- 
ticpac quimman mochihua onnenemiz noyol y. Zan ca 
teucxochitl ahuiaca ipotocaticac mocepanoayan toxo- 
chiuh ay ye ayao ohuiy on can quiya itzmolini ye no- 
cuic celia notlatollaquillo ohua in toxochiuh icac iqui- 
apani ayao. 

5. Tel ca cahua xochitl ahuiac xeliuhtihuitz a ipoto- 
caya in ahuiyac poyomatlin pixahua oncan ninenenemi 
nicuicanitl y ye aya o ohui y on ca quiya itzmolini ye 
nocuic celia, etc. 




1. The Toltecs have been taken, alas, the book of their 
souls has come to an end, alas, everything of the Toltecs 
has reached its conclusion, no longer do I care to live 

2. Who will take me? Who will go with me? I am 
ready to be taken, alas. All that was fresh, the perfume, 
my flowers, my songs, have gone along with them. 

3. Great is my affliction, weighty is my burden ; I 
write out a new song concerning it, that some time I may 
speak it there where I shall go, a song to be known when 
I shall leave the earth, that my soul shall live after I 
have gone from here, that my fame shall live fresh in 

4. I cried aloud, I looked about, I reflected how I 
might see the root of song, that I might plant it here on 
the earth, and that then it should make my soul to live. 
The sweet exhalations of the lovely flowers rose up 
uniting with our flowers ; one hears them growing as my 
song buds forth, filled with my words our flowers stand 
upright in the waters. 

5. But the flowers depart, their sweetness is divided 
and exhales, the fragrant poyomatl rains down its leaves 
where I the poet walk in sadness ; one hears them 
growing, etc. 


XXI. Huexotzincayotl. 

Viniendo los de Hiiexotzinco a pedir socorro d Moteuczoina 

1. Tlacuiloltzetzeliuhticac moyoliol tiMoteuczomatzi 
nichuicatihuitz nictzetzelotihuitz y o huetzcani xochin- 
quetzalpapalotl moquetzalizouhtihuitz noconitotia chal- 
chiuhatlaquiquizcopa niyahueloncuica chalchiuhhuila- 
capitzli nicteocuitlapitza ya ho ay la ya o haye ohuichile 

2. Ohuaya ye onniceelehuia moxochiuh aya ipalne- 
moani yehuaya Dios aya ilihuaca nahuiche nictzetzeloaya 
noncuicatilo yaha y. 

3. Tozmilini xochitl in noyolyol ay yahue tozmilini 
xochitl noteponaz ayanco ayancayome oncana y yahue 
nicxochiamoxtozimmanaya itlatol ayanco ayanca yomeho. 

4. Xompaqui xonahuia annochipanicantiyazque ye 
ichano nohueyetzinteucth Moteuczomatzi, totlaneuh tlpc 
totlaneuh ueHc xochitl o ayanco. 

5. TIachinoltepec yn ahuicacopa tixochitonameyo timo- 
quetzaco y yehuan Dios a ocelozacatl ypan quauhtli 
choca ymopopoyauhtoc y yanco y liyan cay yahue ayli 
y yacalco y ya y yeho zaca y yahue. 

6. Ohuaya yche nipa tlantinemia ixpan Dios a ninozo- 
zohuayatlauhquechoi, zaquan quetzal in tlayahualol pa- 
palotl mopilihuitzetzeloa teixpana xochiatlaquiquizcopa 
oh tlatoca ye nocuic y yanco ili, etc. 

7. Nehcoya ompa ye nihuithuiya xoxouhqui hueyatla 
ymancan zanniman olini pozoni tetecuica ic nipa tlania, 


XXI. A Song of the Huexotzincos, Coming to 
Ask Aid of Montez7ima Against Tlaxcalla. 

1. Raining down writings for thy mind, O Montezuma, 
I come hither, I come raining them down, a very jester, 
a painted butterfly ; stringing together pretty objects, I 
seem to be as one cementing together precious stones, as 
I chant my song on my emerald flute, as I blow on my 
golden flute, ya ho, ay la, etc. 

2. Yes, I shall cause thy flowers to rejoice the Giver 
of Life, the God in heaven, as hither I come raining 
down my songs, ya ho. 

3. A sweet voiced flower is my mind, a sweet voiced 
flower is my drum, and I sing the words of this flowery 

4. Rejoice and be glad ye who live amid the flowers 
in the house of my great lord Montezuma, we must 
finish with this earth, we must finish with the sweet 
flowers, alas. 

5. At the Mount of Battle we bring forth our sweet 
and glittering flowers before God, plants having the 
lustre of the tiger, like the cry of the eagle, leaving 
glorious memory, such are the plants in this house. 

6. Alas! in a little while there is an end before God to 
all living ; let me therefore string together beauteous 
and yellow feathers, and mingling them with the dancing 
butterflies rain them down before you, scattering the 
words of my song like water dashed from flowers. 

7. I would that I could go there where lies the great 
blue water surging, and smoking and thundering, till after 
a time it retires again : I shall sing as the quetzal, the 


zan iquetzal in tototl xiuhquechol tototl no chiuhtihuitz y 
ni yahuinac ya Huexotzinco Atzalan ayome. 

8. Zan niquintocaz aya niquimiximatitiuh nohueyo- 
tzitzinhuan chalchiuhquechol y canca xiuhquechol in 
teocuitlapapalotl in cozcatototl ontlapia ye onca Hue- 
xotzinco Atzalan ayame ; 

9. Xochi Atzalaan teocuitlaatl chalchiuhatl y nepa- 
niuhyan itiatoaya in quetzalcanauhtli quetzalnocuitlapilli 
cuecueyahuaya yliya yliya yaho ayli yaho aye huichile 

10. Huecapan nicac nicuicanitl huiya zaquan petlatolini, 
ma nica yeninemia nicyeyectian cuicatla in nic xochiotia 
yayaho yahii. 



blue quechol, when I go back to Huexotzinco among 
the waters [or, and Atzalan). 

8. I shall follow them, I shall know them, my beloved 
Huexotzincos; the emerald quechol birds, the green 
quechol, the golden butterflies, and yellow birds, guard 
Huexotzinco among the waters {or, and Atzalan). 

9. Among the flowery waters, the golden waters, the 
emerald waters, at the junction of the waters which the 
blue duck rules moving her spangled tail. 

10. I the singer stand on high on the yellow rushes; 
let me g-o forth with noble song-s and laden with flowers. 



Tico tico ticoti tico tico ticoti mill ic ojitlantiuh in cuicatl 
totoco totoco. 

I. Xichocayan nicuicanitl nicitta noxochiuh zan nomac 
ommania zan quihuintiaye noyollo ni cuicatl aya nohuian 
nemia, zan ca ye noyollo notlayocola in cayo. 

2. Xiuhtlamatelolla quetzalchalchiuhtla ipan ye nic- 
matia nocuic aya ma yectlaxochitl y, zan nomac ton 
mania, etc. 

3. In quetzalin chalchiuhtla ipan ye nicmatia yectli ye 
nocuic yectli noxochiuh annicuihuan tepilhuan aya 
xonahuiacan a ayac onnemiz o in tlalticpac ayo. 

4. O an niquitquiz ye niaz yectli nocuic yectli noxo- 
chiuhui annicuihuan tepilhuan aya. 

5. O huayanco o nichocaya a huayanco o cahua y 
yahue nictzetzelo xochitl ay yo. 

6. Mach nohuan tonyaz quennonamica o ah nicitquiz 
xochitl zan nicuicanitl huiya ma yo a xonahuiyacan to ya 
nemia ticaqui ye nocuic ahuaya. 

7. Ay ca nichocaya nicuicanitl ya icha ahuicaloyan 
cuicatl ha Mictlan temohuiloya yectliya xochitl onca ya 
oncaa y yao ohuayan ca ya ilaca tziuhan ca na y yo. 

8. Amo nequimilool amo neccuiltonol antepilhuan 
aychaa ohuicaloyan cuicatl. 



Tico, tico, ticoti, tico, tico, ticoti, and then the song ends 
with totoeo, totoco. 

1. In the place of tears I the singer watch my flowers; 
they are in my hand; they intoxicate my soul and my 
song, as I walk alone with them, with my sad soul among 

2. In this spot, where the herbage is like sweet oint- 
ment and green as the turquoise and emerald, I think 
upon my song, holding the beauteous flowers in my 
hand, etc. (as in v. i). 

3. In this spot of turquoise and emerald, I think upon 
beauteous songs, beauteous flowers ; let us rejoice now, 
dear friends and children, for life is not long upon earth. 

4. I shall hasten forth, I shall go to the sweet songs, 
the sweet flowers, dear friends and children. 

5. O he! I cried aloud; O he! I rained down flowers 
as I left. 

6. Let us go forth anywhere ; I the singer shall find 
and bring forth the flowers; let us be glad while we live; 
listen to my song. 

7. I the poet cry out a song for a place of joy, a 
glorious song which descends to Mictlan, and there turns 
about and comes forth again. 

8. I seek neither vestment nor riches, O children, but 
a song for a place of joy. 


XXIII. Ycuic NezaJmalcoyotzm. 

Totoco totoco tico, totoco totoco ic ontlantiuh tico titico ti tico 

I. Nicaya quetza con tohuehueuh aoniquimitotia 
quauhtlocelo yn ca tiyayhcac in cuicaxochitl, nictemoan 
cuicatl ye tonequimilol ayyo. 

2. Ti Nopiltzi o ti Nezahualcoyotl o tiya jMictl a quen- 
onamica y yece miyoncan ay yo. 

3. Quiyon quiyon caya nichocaya ya ni Nezahual- 
coyotl huiya queni yeno yaz o ya nipolihuiz oyamiquitla 
ye nimitzcahua noteouh ypalnemo o tinechnahuatia ye 
niaz nipolihuiz aya, yo. 

4. Ouenon maniz tlallin Acolihuacan huiya cuixoca 
quen mano o ticmomoyahuaz in momacehuah ye nimitz- 
cahua noteouh, etc. 

5. Can yio cuicatli tonequimilol quipoloaya a in 
totlacuiloli tepilhuan 00 maya o huitihua nican aya ayac 
ichan tlalticpac 00 ticyacencahuazque huelic ye xochitl 

6. O ayac quitlamitaz monecuiltonol ypalnemoa a 
noyolquimati cuelachic otictlanehuico Nezahualcoyotzin 
ay oppatihua nican anaya y chan tlpc. Oon yn ay 
oppatihuain tlalticpacqui, zan nicuicanitl ayaho onnicho- 
caya niquelnamiqui Nezahualcoj^otl aya ho. 

7. Xo acico ye nican in teotl aya ypalnemoa, ayaho 
on nichocaya a niquelnamiqui Nezalhuacoyotl ayio. 


XXIII. Scmo-s of the Prince Nezahualcoyotl. 

Totoco, totoco, tico, totoco totoco, then it ends zvith tico titico, 
titico, tico. 

1. I bring forth our drum that I may show the power 
and the grandeur in which thou standest, decked with 
flowers of song : I seek a song wherewith to drape thee, 
ah! oh! 

2. Thou, my Lord, O thou Nezahualcoyotl, thou 
goest to Mictlan in some manner and at a fixed time, ere 

3. For this, for this, I weep, I Nezahualcoyotl, inas- 
much as I am to go, I am to be lost in death, I must 
leave thee ; my God, the Giver of Life, thou commandest 
me, that I go forth, that I be lost, alas. 

4. How shall the land of Acolhuacan remain, alas ? 
How shall we, thy servants, spread abroad its fame ? I 
must leave thee ; my God, etc. 

5. Even this song for thy draping may perish, which 
we have written for our children, it will no longer have 
a home here on earth when we shall wholly leave these 
fragrant flowers. 

6. Alas! thy riches shall end; the Giver of Life teaches 
me that but for a little while do we enjoy the prince 
Nezahualcoyotl, nor a second time will he come to his 
house on earth ; no second time will he rejoice on earth; 
but I the singer grieve, recalling to memory Nezahual- 

7. Let us seek while here the god, the Giver of Life ; 
I grieve, recalling to memory Nezahualcoyotl, 



Quititi, quititi, quid tocoto, tocoti tocoto tocoti zan ic 

1. Ma xochicuicoya ma ichtoa nichuana ayyahue 
teyhuinti xochitl ao ya noyehcoc ye nica poyoma 
xahuallan timaliuhtihuitz ay yo. 

2. Ma xochitl oyecoc ye nican ayyahue ^an tlaahui- 
xochitla moyahuaya motzetzeloa ancazo yehuatl in nepa- 
paxochitl ayyo. Zan commoni huehuetl ma ya netotilo. 

3. Yn quetzal poyomatl aye ihcuilihuic noyol nicui- 
canitl in xochitl ayan tzetzelihui ya ancuel ni cuiya ma 
xonahuacan ayio zan noyolitic ontlapanion cuicaxochitl 
nicyamoyahuaya yxoochitla. 

4. Cuicatl ya ninoquinilotehuaz in quemmanian xochi- 
neneliuhtiaz noyollo yehuan tepilhuan oonteteuctin in ca 

5. Zan ye ic nichoca in quemanian zan nicaya ihtoa 
noxochiteyo nocuicatoca nictlalitehuaz in quemanian 
xochineneliuhtiaz, etc. 



Qitititi, qidiiti, quiti tocoto, tocoti, tocoto, tocoti, then it is to 
turn back again. 

1. Let me pluck flowers, let me see them, let me 
gather the really intoxicating flowers ; the flowers are 
ready, many colored, varied in hue, for our enjoyment. 

2. The flowers are ready here in this retired spot, this 
spot of fragrant flowers, many sorts of flowers are poured 
down and scattered about ; let the drum be ready for the 

3. I the singer take and pour down before you from 
my soul the beautiful poyomatl, not to be painted, and 
other flowers ; let us rejoice, while I alone within my 
soul disclose the songs of flowers, and scatter them abroad 
in the place of flowers. 

4. I shall leave my songs in order that sometime I 
may mingle the flowers of my heart with the children 
and the nobles. 

5. I weep sometimes as I see that I must leave the 
earth and my flowers and songs, that sometime these 
flowers will be vain and useless. 



Tico toco tocoto ic ontlantiuJi ticoto ticoto. 

1. Toztliyan quechol nipa tlantinemia in tlallaicpac 
oquihuinti ye noyol ahua y ya i. 

2. Ni quetzaltototl niyecoya ye iquiapan ycelteotl 
yxochiticpac nihueloncuica oo nicuicaihtoa paqui ye 
noyol ahuay. 

3. Xochiatl in pozontimania in tlallaicpac oquihuinti 
ye noyol ahua. 

4. Ninochoquilia niquinotlamati ayac in chan 00 
tlallicpac ahua. 

5. Zan niquittoaya ye ni Mexicatl mani ya huiya 
nohtlatoca tequantepec ni yahui polihuin chittepehua a 
ya ye choca in tequantepehua o huaye. 

6. Ma ca qualania nohueyotehua Mexicatli polihui 

7. Citlalin in popocaya ipan ye moteca y za ye polihui 
a zan ye xochitecatl ohuaye. 

8. Zan ye chocaya amaxtecatl aya caye chocaya 




Tico, toco, tocoto, and then it ends, ticoto, ticoto. 

1. The sweet voiced quechol there, ruhng the earth, 
has intoxicated my soul. 

2. I am hke the quetzal bird, I am created in the house 
of the one only God ; I sing sweet songs among the 
flowers ; I chant songs and rejoice in my heart. 

3. The fuming dew-drops from the flowers in the field 
intoxicate my soul. 

4. I grieve to myself that ever this dwelling on earth 
should end. 

5. I foresaw, being a Mexican, that our rule began to 
be destroyed, I went forth weeping that it was to bow 
down and be destroyed. 

6. Let me not be angry that the grandeur o^" Mexico 
is to be destroyed, 

7. The smoking stars gather together against it : the 
one who cares for flowers is about to be destroyed. 

8. He who cared for books wept, he wept for the begin- 
ning of the destruction. 



Toto tiquiti tiquiti ic ontlantmli tocotico tocoti toto titiqiii 
toto titiqiiiti. 

1. Oya moquetz huel oon ma on netotilo teteuctin aya 
ma onnetlanehuihuilo chalchihuitl on quetzal! patlahuac, 
ayac ichan tlalticpac, ayio zan nomac onmania ooo y 
xochiuh aya ipalnemoa ma onnetlanehuilo chalchihuitl. 

2. Oyohual in colinia o on In icelteotl ipalnemaa 
Anahuac o onnemia noyol ayio. 

3. In yancuica oncan quixima ipalnemoani ca ye 
Nonoalco ahuilizapan i in teuctli yehua Nezahualpilli y 
yece ye oncan aya in tlacoch tenanpan Atlixco ayio. 

4. Zan momac otitemic motlahuan zomal a ica tica- 
huiltia icelteotl in teuctli yehua. 

5. Y yeho aye icnotlamati noyollo, zan niNonoalcatl, 
zan can nicolintototl o nocamapan aya Mexicatl in ca 

6. On quetzal pipixauhtoc motlachinolxochiuh in 
ipalnemoa zan ca nicolintototl, etc. 



Toto tiquiti tiqniti, then it ends tocotico, tocoti toto titiqui 
toto iitiqidti, 

1. Come forth to the dance, ye lords, let there be 
abundance of turquoise and feathers ; our dwelling on 
earth is not for long ; only let the gods give me flowers 
to my hand, give me abundance of turquoises. 

2. Come let us move in the dance in honor of the one 
only god, the Giver of Life, while my soul lives by the 
waters [or, in Anahuac). 

3. The Giver of Life made known a new song after the 
lord Nezahualpilli entered the strongholds of Nonoalco 
and sped his arrows within the walls of Atlixco. 

4. Thou hast filled thy plate and thy cup in thy hands 
and hast rejoiced in the one only God, the Lord. 

5. Alas, how I am afflicted in my soul, I, a resident of 
Nonoalco; I am like a wild bird, my face is that of a 

6. The beauteous flowers of thy battles lie abundantly 
snowed down, O Giver of Life; I am like a wild bird, 



Toco toco tiqid tiqui ic ontlant'mli toco tico tocoti. 

1. Ma ya pehualo ya nicuihua in ma ya on acico ye 
nicaan aya oya yecoc yeliuan Dios in cayio in ma ya ca 
ya onahuilihuan tepilhuan a ayamo acico ya yehuan 
Dios oncan titemoc yeliuan Dios a oncan huel in oncan 
tlacat y ye Yesu Cristo in ca yio. 

2. In oncan tlahuizcalli milintimani mochan aya moxo- 
chiuhaya Dios aya chalchiuhcueponi maquiztzetzelihui 
onnetlamaclitiloya in ca yio in oncan ya o nepapan 
izhuayo moxochiuh aya Dios a. 

3. Zan ye xochitl moyahua 00 zan ca itlatol in 
ipalnemoani o ontepan ye moteca anahuac ooica tic- 
huelmana atl on yan tepetl ayio. 

4. Zan temomac mania cemilhuitl in niman ye tehuatl 
toconyaittoaya ipalnemoani. 



Toco, toco, iiqiii, tiqui, and then it ends toco, tico, tocoti. 

1. Let my song be begun, let it spread abroad from 
here as far as God has created ; may the children be 
glad, may it reach to God, there to God whom we seek, 
there where is Jesus Christ who was born. 

2. There the dawn spreads widely over the fields, over 
thy house, and thy flowers, O God, blossom beauteous as 
emeralds ; they rain down in wondrous showers, in that 
place of happiness; there alone may my flowers, of 
various leaves, be found, O God. 

3. There the flowers are the words of the Giver of Life; 
they are upon the mountains and by the waters; we find 
them alike by the water and the mountain. 

4. Our day is in thy hand, and soon we shall see thee, 
thou Giver of Life. 




The song is an allegor>', portraying the soul-life of the poet. 
By the flowers which he sets forth to seek, we are to understand 
the songs which he desires to compose. He asks himself where 
the poetic inspiration is to be sought, and the answer is the same 
as was given by Wordsworth, that it is to the grand and beautiful 
scenes of Nature that the poet must turn for the elevation of 
soul which will lift him to the sublimest heights of his art. But 
this exaltation bears with it the heavy penalty that it disquali- 
fies for ordinary joys. As in medieval tales, he who had once 
been admitted to fairyland, could nevermore conquer his long- 
ing to return thither, so the poet longs for some other condition 
of existence where the divine spirit of song may forever lift him 
above the trials and the littleness of this earthly life. 

There is no sign of Christian influence in the poem, and it is 
probably one handed down from a generation anterior to the 

I. The word peuhcayotl (rom peiia, to begin, intimates that this 
was a song chanted at the beginning of a musical entertainment. 
The verses are longer, and the phraseology plainer than in many 
of those following. There is also an absence of interjections and 
lengthened vowels, all of which indicate that the time was 
slow, and the actions of the singer temperate, as was the custom 
at the beginning of a baile. (See Introd., p. 20.) 

I. Ninoyolnotiotza^ a reflexive, frequentative form from notza, 
to think, to reflect, itself from the primitive radicle 110, mind, 
common to both the Nahuatl and Maya languages. The syllable 
yol is for yollotl, heart, in its figurative sense of soul or mind. 
The combination oi yolno7iotza is not found in any of the diction- 
aries. The full sense is, " I am thinking by myself, in my heart." 

ahuiaca, an adverbial form, usually means " pleasant-smelling," 
though in derivation it is from the verb ahuia, to be satisfied with. 

quetzal, for quetzalli, a long, handsome blue feather from the 
quetzal bird, often used figuratively for anything beautiful or 


130 NOTES. 

chalchinh for chalchiuitl, the famous green-stone, jade or em- 
erald, so highly prized by the Mexicans ; often used figuratively 
for anything noble, beautiful and esteemed. 

htdtzitzicatin, a word not found in the dictionaries, appears to 
be from tziiziica, to tremble, usually from cold, but here applied 
to the tremulous motion of the humming bird as it hovers over a 

zacuan, the yellow plumage of the zacuan bird, and from simi- 
larity of color here applied to the butterfly. The zacuan is 
known to ornithologists as the Oriolus dominicensis. These 
birds are remarkably gregarious, sometimes as many as a hun- 
dred nests being found in one tree (see Eduard Muhlenpfort, 
Versuch ehier getreuen Schilderimg der Republik Blexiko, Bd. I, 
p. 183). 

acxoyatzinitzcanquauhtia ; composed of acxoyatl, the wild 
laurel ; tzitiifzcan, the native name of the Trogon mexicanus, 
renowned for its beautiful plumage; guauhtli, a tree; and the 
place-ending //a, meaning abundance. 

tlauquecJiolxochiquatthtla ; composed of tlauqiiechol , the native 
name of the red, spoon-billed heron, Platalea ajaja; xochiil, 
flower ; qiiaiihtli, tree ; and the place-ending tla. 

tonameyotoc, the root is the verb totia, to shine, to be warm ; 
tonatiuh, the sun ; tonameyotl, a ray of the sun, etc. As warmth 
and sunlight are the conditions of growth and fertility, many 
derivatives from this root signify abundance, riches, etc. 

mocehcemelquixtia ; wo is the reflexive pronoun, 3d sing., often 
used impersonally ; cehcemel, is a reduplicated form of the nu- 
meral ce, one ; it conveys the sense of entire, whole, perfect, and 
is thus an interesting illustration of the tendency of the untu- 
tored mind to associate the idea of unity with the notion of per- 
fection ; quixtia is the compulsive form oi qiiiza, to go forth. 

onechittitique ; 3d person plural, preterit, of the causative form 
of itta, to see ; ittitia, to cause to see, to show ; nech, me, accusa- 
tive form of the pronoun. 

noniexanco ; from cucxantli, the loose gown worn by the 
natives, extending from the waist to the knees. Articles were 
carried in it as in an apron ; 7io-cuexan-co, my-gown-in, the ter- 
minal ///being dropped on suffixing the postposition. 

tepilhuan ; ixompilli, boy, girl, child, young person, with the rel- 
ative, indefinite, pronominal prefix te, and the pronominal plural 
termination /rwaw, to take which, pilli drops its last syllable,/// 

NOTES. 131 

hence, te-pil-hiian, somebody's children, or in general, the young 
people. This word is of constant occurrence in the songs. 

tetenctin, plural with reduplication of tetictli, a noble, a ruler, 
a lord. The singer addresses his audience by this respectful 

2. ixochiciiicatzini ; i,'poss.Tpron.2,ds\ng.\ xochitl,^ovj&r\ cui- 
caii, song ; tzin, termination signifying reverence or affection ; 
" their dear flower-songs." 

yuhqui tepetl, etc. The echo in the Nahuatl tongue is called 
tepeyolotl^ the heart or soul of the mountain (not in Simeon's Dic- 
tionnaire, but given by Tezozomoc, Cronica Mexicana, p. 202). 

vieyaqiietzalatl; from meya, to flow slowly, to trickle ; quetzalli, 
beautiful ; atl, water. 

xiuhtotoameyalli ; the root xiuh meant originally green (or 
blue, as they were not distinguished apart) ; hence xiuiil, a leaf 
or plant, the green herbage ; as where the Nahuas then were this 
was renewed annually, xiuitl came to mean a year ; as a comet 
seems to have a bunch of fiery flames growing from it, this too was 
xiuitl, and a turquoise was called by the same term ; in the 
present compound, it is employed adjectively ; xiuh-totol, tur- 
quoise-bird, is the Guiaca cerulea, Linn. ; anieyalli, from atl, 
water, ineya, to trickle, and the noun ending. 

mo-motla; to throw one's self, to dash one's self against some- 
thing, etc. 

centzontlatolli ; literally," four hundred speeches." The nu- 
meral four hundred was employed, like the Greek " myriad," to 
express vaguely any extraordinary number. . The term may be 
rendered "the myriad-voiced," and was the common name of 
the mocking-bird, called by ornithologists Turdus polygloittis, 
Ca/audria polyglotta, and Miinus polyglotta. 

coyoltototi, literally, " the rattle-bird," so called from its peculiar 
notes {coyolli^ a rattle), is one of the Tanegridae, probably the 
Piranga hepatic a. 

ayacachicahuacti)nani' ; composed of ayacachtli, the rattle (see 
ante, page 24) ; and icahuaca, to sing (of birds) ; to the theme of 
this verb is added the connective syllable ti, and the verb mani, 
which, in such connection, indicates that the action of the former 
verb is expended over a large surface, broadly and widely (see 
Olmos, Gram, de la Langue Nahuatl, p. 155, where, however, the 
connective ti is erroneously taken for the pronoun //). 

hueltetozcatemique ; composed of huel, good or well ; tetozca, 

132 NOTES. 

from tozquitl, the singing voice ; and tenio, to let fall, to drop ; 
que is the plural verbal termination. 

3. ma fi-amech-ellelti, vetative causative from elleloa, to cause 

cactiniotlaliqiie, appears to be a compound of caqui, to listen, 
to hear, and tlalia, to seat, to place. 

aniohuanipofzitzinhiian, a compound based on the pronoun of 
the second person plural, a}no, the particle />c, which means simi- 
larity or likeness, and the reduplicated reverential plural termina- 
tion. The same particle /o, appears a few lines later in toqiiichpo- 
huan ; potli = comrade, compeer. 

4. Tepeilic, from tepell, mountain, ititl, belly, from which is de- 
rived the proposition itic, within, among. The term is applied to 
a ravine or sequestered valley. 

5. quauhtliya oceloti, the expression quauhtli, oceloti, is of fre- 
quent occurrence in the ancient Nahuatl writers. The words 
mean literally " eagle, tiger." These were military titles applied 
to officers commanding small bodies of troops ; figuratively, 
the words mean control, power, and dignity ; also, bravery 
and virtue. Comp. Agustin de Vetancurt, Teatro Mexicano, 
Tratado II, cap. 3. 

6. in tloqne in nahicaque ; this expression, applied by the ancient 
Nahuas to the highest divinity, is attributed by some to Nezahu- 
alcoyotl (see above, p. 36). It is composed of two postpositions 
i/oc and nafmac, and in the form given conveys the meaning " to 
whom are present and in whom are immanent all things having 
life." See Agustin de la Rosa, Analisis de la Platica Mexicana 
sobre el Misterio de la Santisinia Trinidad, p. 11 (Guadalajara, 
1871). The epithet was applied in heathen times to the supreme 
divinity Tonacateotl ; see the Codex Tellenatio-Retncnsis, in 
Kingsborough's Mexico, Vol. VI, p. 107. 

8. ximoayan ; this word does not appear in the dictionaries of 
Molina or Simeon, and is a proof, as is the sentiment of the 
whole verse, that the present poem belongs to a period previous 
to the Conquest. The term means " where all go to stay," and 
was the name of the principal realm of departed souls in the 
mythology of the ancient Nahuas. See Bartholome de Alva, 
Confessionario en Lengua Mexicana, fol. 13 (Mexico, 1634) ; Tez- 
ozomoc, Cronica A/exicaua, cap. 55; D. G. Brinton ; The Jotirney 
of the Soul (in Aztec and Aryan Myths), Philadelphia, 1883. 

yhuiniia, causative form of ihiiinli, to make drunk. The Nir- 

NOTES. 133 

vana of the Nahuas was for the soul to He in dense smoke and 
darkness, filled with utter content, and free from all impressions 
(" en lo profundo de contento y obscuridad,"Tezozomoc, Cronica 
Mexicana, cap. 55). 


On the signification of the titles given to this poem see the In- 
troduction, I 3. 

1. yc/iuan Dios ; literally " who are God ; " the introduction of 
the Spanish Dios, God, is in explanation of /« tloque m nahiiaqiie ; 
so far from proving that this song is of late date, this vouches 
for its genuine ancient character, through the necessity for such 

2. nelhuayotl, the essence or source of something, its true 
nature ; probably from nelli, true. 

teoquechobne ; the prefix teoti, divine, is often added as an ex- 
pression of admiration. Sahagun mentions the teoqiiechol as a 
bird of brilliant plumage. 


The poet recalls a recent attendance on the obsequies of an 
acquaintance, and seeks to divert his mind from the gloomy con- 
templation of death and the ephemeral character of mortal joys 
by urging his friend to join in the pleasure of the hour, and by 
suggesting the probability of an after life. 

I. xochicaico ; compounded oi xochitl, flower ; calli, house ; and 
the postposition, co. The term was applied to any room 
decorated with flowers ; here, to the mortuary chamber, which 
Tezozomoc tells us was decked with roses and brilliant feathers. 

ipalnemohiiani, literally "the one by whom life exists." The 
composition is /, possessive pronoun, third person, singular ; 
pal, postposition, by ; nemoani, singular of the present in ni of 
the impersonal form of the verb «<?;«/, to live, with the meaning 
to do habitually that which the verb expresses. It is an ancient 
epithet applied to the highest divinity, and is found in the Codex 
Telleriatw-Reniensis, Kingsborough's Mexico, Vol. VI, p. 128, 

tolquatectitlan, from toloa, to lower, to bow ; quatequia, to im- 
merse the head ; tlaii, place ending. In the ancient funeral cere- 

134 NOTES. 

monies the faces of the assistants were laved with holy water. 
On this rite see the note of Orozco y Berra to his edition of the 
Cronica Mexicana of Tezozomoc, p. 435 (Mexico, 1878). 

xoyacaltitlan ; from xoyaiii, to spoil, to decay, whence xoyanh- 
gui, rank, unpleasant, like the odor of decaying substances. 

xochicopal tlenauiactli, "the incense of sweet copal," which 
was burned in the funeral chamber (see Tezozomoc's description 
of the obsequies of Axayaca, Cron. J/ex., cap. 55). 

2. The translation of this verse offers some special difficulties. 


A poem of unusually rich metaphors is presented, with the 
title " A Song of the Mexicans, after the manner of the Otomis." 
It is a rhapsody, in which the bard sings his " faculty divine," 
and describes the intoxication of the poetic inspiration. It has 
every inherent mark of antiquity, and its thought is free from 
any tincture of European influence. 

2. Diiahuatototl, literally, " the corn-silk bird," iniahua being 
the term applied to the silk or tassel of the maize ear when in 
the milk. I have not found its scientific designation. 

6. poyomatl ; the poyomatli is described by Sahagun {Hist, de 
la Nueva Espana, Lib. X, cap. 24) as a species of rose, portions 
of which were used to fill the cane tubes or pipes used for smok- 
ing. He names it along with certain fungi employed for the 
same purpose, and it probably produced a narcotic effect. 


From the wording, this appears to be one of the lost songs of 
Nezahualcoyotl, either composed by him or sung before him. 
(See the Introduction, p. 35.) It is a funeral dirge, dwelling on 
the fact of universal and inevitable death, and the transitori- 
ness of life. There is in it no hint of Christian consolation, no 
comfortable hope of happiness beyond the grave. Hence it dates, 
in all likelihood, from a period anterior to the arrival of the mis- 

I. tofiequimi/ol ; I take this to be a derivative from qnimiloa, 
to wrap up, especially, to shroud the dead, to wrap the corpse in 
its winding sheets, as was the custom of tlie ancient Mexicans. 

NOTES. 135 

The word, however, seems an archaic form, as it does not lend 
itself readily to analysis. 

The expression in Dios, I explain as in the note to II, i, and do 
not consider that it detracts from the authentic antiquity of the 

2. yoyoiitzin ; on the significance of this appellation of Nezahu- 
alcoyotl, see Introduction, p. 35. 

3. //' Nezahualcoyotl ; " thou Nezahualcoyotl." The princely 
poet may have addressed himself in this expression, or we may 
suppose the song was chanted before him. 

5. Nopiltzin; the reference is to Quetzalcoatl, the famous " fair 
God " of the Nahuas, and in myth, the last ruler of the Toltecs. 
See D. G. Brinton, American Hero Myths (Philadelphia, 1882). 
The term means " my beloved Lord." On Tezozomoc, see Intro- 
duction, p. 35. 

6. The text of the latter part or refrain of verses 5 and 6 is cor- 
rupt, and my translation is doubtful. 


Most of the poems in this collection are not assigned to any 
author, but this, and apparently the one following, are recorded 
as the compositions of Tetlapan Quetzanitzin. He is evidently 
the personage spoken of by Sahagun as " King of Tlacopan," as 
present with Montezuma on the occasion of his first interview 
with Cortez. Later in the struggle Tetlapan appears as the asso- 
ciate of Quauhtemoctzin, the " King of Mexico." (See Saha- 
gun, Hist, de la Nueva Espana, Lib. XII, cap. 16 and 40.) M. 
R^mi Simeon explains the name to mean " he who deceives the 
people by magic ; " deriving it from quetza, he places ; te, the 
people, tlepan, on the fire. A simpler derivation seems to me pos- 
sible from tetlapatiqui, miner, or quarryman (literally, stone- 
breaker), and qaetzalli, red; qiietzatzin, the lord or master of the 

Both this and the following are war songs, and have marked 
similarity in thought and wording. The introduction of the 
Spanish Dios was doubtless substituted by the scribe, for the 
name of some native god of war, perhaps Huitzilopochtli. 

I. Alia ; this word I take to be a form of the interjection ji'a/;«^, 
or, as Olmos gives it in his Gravunar, aa. 

136 NOTES, 

2. nepohtialoyan ; "the place of counting or reckoning," from 
pohica, to count. The reference is not clear, and the translation 
uncertain. In some parts of ancient Mexico they used in their 
accounting knotted cords of various colors, like the Peruvian 
quipus. These were called nepohualtzitzin. 

4. This verse is remarkable for its sonorous phrases and the 
archaic forms of the words. Its translation offers considerable 

xontlachayan, I take to be an imperative form from tlachia, to 
look, with the euphonic 07i. 

teoatl tlachinolli,\\X.QXdX\y "the divine water {i. e. blood), the 
burning," and the expression means war, battle. In one of his 
sermons Fray Juan Bautista describes the fall of Jericho in the 
words, otialtitechya in altepetl teuatl tiachinolli ye opoliuh, and 
explains it, " the town was destroj-ed with fire and blood" {Ser- 
tnones en Lengua 3/exicana, p. 122). The word tiachinolli is from 
chinoa, to burn. 

quetzalalpilo ; a compound of quetzalli, a beautiful feather, and 
tlalpiloni, the band which passed around the head to keep the 
hair in place. 

5. melchiquiuhticaya ; " he who presented his breast," an 
imperfect, reflexive form. Molina gives melchiquiuh petlaiihqiii, 
with the translation despechugado. Vocabulario Mexicana, s. v. 


The second specimen from the muse of Tetlapan Quetzanitzin 
is the noblest war song in the collection. It is an appeal to his 
friends to join in a foray to Chiapas. The intoxication of the 
battle field is compared to that produced by the strong white wine 
prepared from maguey, which was drunk only on solemn occa- 
sions. The bard likens the exhaustion of his fellow warriors 
from previous conflicts, to the stupor which follows a debauch, 
and he exhorts them to throw it aside. 

I. oamaxque, o, pret. a>n, you, axque, 2d pi. pret. from ay, 
to do. 

odicatl, apparently an old form from odli, the intoxicating 
beverage prepared from the maguey. 

oanqiiique, 2d pi. pret. from cui, to take. 

ohnican, a place of difiiculty and danger. 

NOTES. , 137 

The frequent addition of the terminal o in this and the succeed- 
ing verses is merely euphonic. 

2. icoatj tiachinolli ; see note VI, 4. 

/;/ inaqiiiztli tlazotetl, the beloved jewels, a phrase which iiuli- 
cates that the broken stones and splintered emeralds referred to 
are the young warriors who fall in battle, the pride of their 
parents' hearts, who are destroyed in the fight. 

The tizaoctii, white wine (^tizatl, chalk, hence white, and octli, 
wine), referred to in this passage, is said by Sahagun to have been 
drunk especially at the feast of the god Papaztac, one of the 
many gods of the wine cup. Hist, de Nueva EspaFia, Lib. II, 
App. Tezozomoc mentions it as handed to the mourners at 
funeral ceremonies. Cronica Mexicana, cap. 55. 

3. xochitlalticpacillmicacpao ; in this long compound oi xochitl, 
flower, Haiti, earth, and ilhuicatl, sky, with various postpositions 
and the euphonic terminal o, the final /a gives the sense of loca- 
tion, towards, in the direction of. 

chinialxochitl ; " the shield flower," the shield or buckler of 
the ancient warriors, ornamented with tassels and feathers, is 
not unaptly called the flower of war. 


The entire absence in this lament for the dead of any conso- 
lation drawn from Christian doctrines, points clearly to a date 
for its composition earlier than the teachings of the missionaries. 
Its cry of woe is hopeless, and the title attributes its authorship 
to one of the old chieftains, tlatoani, who held the power before 
the Spaniard arrived. 

1. quetzalJuiahuaciuhtoque, from qtietzalli, fmaqui ; in teintoqjce, 
the splinters ; the same simile is employed in VII, 2. 

2. ximoaya?t,SQ& note to I, 8. The occurrence of this term here 
and in verse 3 testifies to the fact of a composition outside of 
Christian influences. 


The title does not necessarily mean that this song is a transla- 
tion from the Otomi language, but merely that the time to which 
it was chanted was in the Otomi style ; or, the term Otomi may 


138 NOTES. 

have reference to the miHtary officer so called. The word is per- 
haps a compound of <?///, path, and mitl, arrow. 

The bard sings the vanity of eartlily pleasures, and the reality 
of earthly pains ; he exhorts himself and his hearers not to neglect 
the duties of religion, and lauds his own skill in song, which he 
compares to the sweet voices of melodious birds. There is 
nothing in the poem which reflects European influence. 

1. xotlacueponi ; the meaning of this compound is obscure. It 
is not found in the dictionaries. 

2. The terminal o is inserted several times in the passage to 
express emotion and fill the metre. 

mixitl tlapatl. A phrase signifying the stupor or drunkenness 
that comes from swallowing or smoking narcotic plants. See 
Olmos, Granunaire de la Layigue Nahuatl, pp. 223, 228 ; oquiqiieo 
is from i, to drink, or cui, to take, the o terminal being euphonic. 


The poet expresses his grief that his songs all dwell on pain- 
ful topics; he exhorts his hearers of the vanity of fame and 
skill in handicrafts, and of the uncertainty of life ; closing, he 
appeals especially to those of Tezcuco and Atecpan to listen 
and believe his warnings. 

In spite of the introduction of the Spanish word Dios, and the 
exhortation to " believe," in the last line, it is possible that the 
substance of this song was due to purely native inspiration ; yet 
it may have been, like Song XIX, one of those written at an 
early period for the converts by the missionaries. 


In a similar strain as in the last poem, the bard bewails the 
briefness of human life and friendships. He closes with an appeal 
to the Master of Life, of whom no mortal tongue can speak in 
worthy and appropriate terms. 

6. ihuiii, apparently a form of ihuintia. 

tonan ; the reference appears to be to Tonantzin, Our Mother, 
otherwise known as Cihuacoat!, the Serpent Woman. Slie was 
the mythical mother of tlie human race, and dispensed afflictions 


NOTES. 139 

and adverse fortune. See Sahagun, Hist, dc la Xiieva Espana, 
Lib. I, cap. 6. Tlie name is a proof of the antiiiuily of the poem, 
which is throughout in the spirit of the ancient reUgion. 


As stated in the Introduction (| lo), a note prefixed to this song 
introduces it as a transhition from the Otomi into the Nahuatl 
tongue. It admirably illustrates the poetic flexibility of the Na- 

3. epoyhicayan, from epoalli, sixty ; teoquauhtli ocelotl, " divine 
eagles, tigers." These terms refer to the warriors bearing these 

tlazomaqidzietl, " beloved, precious stones," a figure of speech 
referring to the youths who go to war. The same or similar 
metaphors are used in previous songs. 

5. The fifth and sixth verses present serious difficulties of con- 
struction which I do not flatter myself I have overcome. 


The inhabitants of Huexotzinco were in frequent strife with 
those of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, and on various occasions the lat- 
ter captured many prisoners. The present poem is represented 
to be a composition of one of these prisoners when he and his 
companions were confined in Tlatilolco, one of the suburbs of 
Tenochtitlan. It breathes hatred against his captors and an 
ardent thirst for vengeance. The latest date at which I find cap- 
tives from Huexotzinco detained in Mexico is 1511, and it is to 
this year, therefore, that I assign the composition of the poem. 

5. Atloyantepetl; this name possibly means " the mountain of 
the place of the water-falcons " {atl, water ; tlatli, falcon ; yan, 
place-ending; tepetl, mountain). I have not found it in other 
writers. (See Index.) 

8. tlaylotlaqui; Simeon, on the authority of Aubin, explains 
this term as the name of a tribe living near Tezcuco. In deri- 
vation it appears to be a term of contempt, " workers in filth or 
refuse," scum, offscourings. It also appears in Song XV. 

10. The construction of this verse is so obscure, or the text 
so imperfect, that the translation is doubtful. 

140 NOTES. 


This poem, chanted in 1551 before the Governor of Azcapo- 
tzalco, by Francisco Placido, a native of Huexotzinco, is a Chris- 
tian song in the style and metre of the ancient poetry. See the 
Introduction, p. 51. 

I. impetlatl ; the ordinary meaning of />^//ai'/ is a mat or rug; it 
is here to be taken in its figurative sense of power or authority, 
chiefs and other prominent persons being provided with mats 
at the councils, etc. 


This extremely difficult composition seems to be a war song, 
in which the bard refers to the traditional history of the Nahuas, 
names some of their most prominent warriors, and incites his 
hearers to deeds of prowess on the battle field. I do not claim 
for my version more than a general correspondence to the 
thought of the original. In several parts, especially verse 18, 
the text is obviously defective. 

1. tzihitactitlan ; " the land of the tzihuac bushes." The tzihu- 
actli is a small kind of maguey which grows in rocky localities. 
The tenth edifice of the great temple at Tenochtitlan was a wall 
surrounding an artificial rockery planted with these bushes. Sa- 
hagun, who mentions this fact, adds that the name of this edifice 
was Teotla/pan, which literally means " on holy ground." {Hist, 
de la Nueva Espana, Lib. II, App.) The rnizquitl is the common 
Mimosa circinalis. 

Chicomoztoc ; "at the Seven Caves," a famous locality in Mex- 
ican legend, and the supposed birthplace of their race. 

2. Colhuacan is probably fur Acolhuacan ; the early rulers of 
the latter were of the blood of the Chichimec chiefs of the Tepan- 

4. Hueytlalpaii, " at the ancient land," perhaps for Huetlapal- 
lan, a locality often referred to in the migration myths of the Na- 

5. Atloyan ; see note to XIII, 6. 

9. The ceiba and cypress trees were employed figuratively 
to indicate protection and safeguard. .See Olmos, Gram, de la 
La)igue Nahuatl,\>. 7.11. 

12. On tlailothiqui, see note to XIII, 8. The interjectional 
appendages to this and the following verse are increased. 


NOTES. 141 

15. Tepeyacan was the name of a mountain on which before 
tlie Conquest was a temple dedicated to the " Mother of our Life," 

16. thipalcayocan, "the phxce of shards," of broken pieces, /. e., 
the field of battle. 

19. The word fotomihuacan, which has already occurred in vv. 
3 and 7, I have translated as referring to the war captains of the 
Mexican armies, called otonii (see Bandelier, On the Art of War 
of the Ancient 3Iex~icafis, p. 117). I am quite open for correction 

27. iti ipetl icpal; in a translation of an ancient song, Ixtlilxo- 
chitl renders the expression /« ipetlicpalin teotl, "en el trono y 
tribunal de Dios," Historia Chichimeca, cap. 32. 

29. Mictlan ; the place of departed souls in Aztec mythology. 


In this stirring war-song, the poet reproaches his friends for 
their lukewarmness in the love of battle. He reminds them that 
life is transitory, and the dead rise not again, and that the 
greatest joy of the brave is on the ringing field of fray where 
warriors win renown. It is in the spirit of the Scotch harper : — 

" 'Twere worth ten years of peaceful life, 
One hour of such a day." 

1. Each verse terminates with an interjectional refrain. The 
frequent introduction of the particle on is intended to add 
strengtli and gravity to the oration. 

2. oppan piltihna. Compare this expression with that in v. 22, 
p. 44. 

3. xochimicohuayan, should perhaps be translated, " where the 
captives to be immolated to the Gods are taken." The xochbn- 
ique, " those destined to a flowery death " were the captives who 
were reserved for sacrifice to the gods. See Joan Bautista, Ser- 
monario en Lengua Mexicana, p. 180. 

4. yaoxochimiquiztica, " pertaining to the slaughter of the 
flowery war." This adjective refers to the peculiar institution of 
the " flowery war," gnerra florida, which obtained among the 
ancient Mexicans. It appears to have been a contest without 
provocation, and merely for the display of prowess and to take 

142 NOTES. 

captives to supply the demand for human sacrifices in the 
religious rites. On this see Tezozomoc, Cronica Mexicana^ cap. 


In this long fragment — the closing strophes are missing in my 
MS. — the bard represents himself as a stranger appearing before 
the nobles of Huexotzinco at some festival. The first two verses 
appear to be addressed to him by the nobles. They ask him to 
bring forth his drum and sing. He begins with a laudation of the 
power of music, proceeds to praise the noble company present, 
and touches those regretful chords, so common in the Nahuatl 
poetry, which hint at the ephemeral nature of all joy and the cer- 
tainty of death and oblivion. An appeal is made to the Master 
of Life who inspires the soul of the poet, and whose praises 
should be ever in mind. 

The words Z>/6).f and a«^^/c»//;/, in verse 26th, indicate that the 
poem has received some " recension " by the Spanish copyist ; 
but the general tone impresses me as quite aboriginal in character. 

2. quauhtlocclotl, see note to I, 5. 

3. In this verse, as frequently elsewhere, the syllable ya is 
introduced merely to complete the metre. Ordinarily it is the 
sign of the imperfect tense, and has other meanings (see the Vo- 
cabulary), but in many instances does not admit of translation. 

8. noncoaii, for 7ii-on-coatl, I am a guest. 

18. The references in this verse are obscure, and I doubt if I 
have solved them. 

20. "The house of spring; " compare the expression in v. i, of 
Nezahualcoyotl's song, p. 42. 

21. A long oration of Xicontecatl, lord of Tizatlan, may be 
found in Clavigero, Hist. Antica di Messico, Tom. Ill, p. 40. The 
expression in camaxochitzin, from cmnail, mouth, xochitl, 
rose, flower, and the reverential tzin, is noteworthy. 

24. petlacoatl, the centipede or scolopender ; ixom pet/ati, mat, 
and coal/, serpent, as they are said to intertwine with each other, 
like the threads of a mat (.Sahagun, Lib. XII, cap. 4K 

NOTES. 143 


At this portion of the MS. several poems are preceded by a 
Hne of syllables indicating: their accompaniment on the teponaz- 
tli (see Introduction, p. 32). 

The present number is one of the most noteworthy songs of the 
collection. It belongs to the ancient cyclus of Quetzalcoatl 
myths, and gives a brief relation of the destruction of Tollan and 
the departure and disappearance of the Light God, Quetzalcoatl 
Ce Acatl. As I have elsewhere collated this typical myth at 
length, and interpreted it according to the tenets of modern 
mythologic science, I shall not dwell upon it here (see D. G. 
Brinton, American Hero Myths, Phila., 1S82). 

The text of the poem is quite archaic, and presents many diffi- 
culties. But my translation, I think, gives the general sense cor- 

1. huapalcaUi ; literally, "the house constructed of beams." This 
name was applied to the chief temple of theToltecs ; the ruins of 
an ancient structure at Tollantzinco were pointed out at the 
time of the Conquest as those of this building (see Sahagun, 
Hist, de la Nueva EspaJia, Lib. X, cap. 29). 

coatlaquetzalli ; this edifice, said to have been left incomplete 
by Quetzalcoatl, when he forsook Tollan, had pillars in the form 
of a serpent, the head at the base, the tail at the top of the pillar. 
(See Orozco y Berra, Hist. Antigua de Mexico, Tom. Ill, pp.30 
and 46.) The structure is mentioned as follows in the Atiales 
de Oiauhtitlan : — 

^^ Aiihiniquac nemia Quetzalcoatl quitzintica, qiiipeuahtica iteo- 
cal quiinaman coatlaquetzali ihuan amo quitzonquixti, aino qui- 

" And when Quetzalcoatl was living, he began and commenced 
the temple of his which is the Coatlaquetzali (Serpent Plumes), 
and he did not finish it, he did not fully erect it." 

Nacxitl Topiltzin, " Our Lord the four-footed." Wa^;rz// appears 
to have been the name of Quetzalcoatl, in his position as lord of 
the merchants. Compare Sahagun, ubi supra, Lib. I, cap. 19. 

2. Poyauhtecatl, a volcano near Orizaba, mentioned by Sahagun. 
Acallan, a province bordering on the Laguna de los Terminos. 

The myth reported that Quetzalcoatl journeyed to the shores of 
the Gulf about the isthmus of Tehuantepec and there disap- 

144' NOTES. 

3. Nonohualco ; the reference is to the cerro de Nonoalco, 
which plays a part in the Quetzalcoatl myth. The words of the 
song are ahnost those of Tezcatlipoca when he is introduced to 
Quetzalcoatl. Asked whence he came, he replied, " Nihuitz in 
Nonohualcatepetl itzintla, etc." {Anales de Cuauhtitlan). 

4. The occurrences alluded to are the marvels performed by 
Quetzalcoatl on his journey from Tulan. See my American 
Hero Myths, p. 115. 

5. The departure of Quetzalcoatl was because he was ordered 
to repair to Tlapallan, supposed to be beyond Xicalanco. 

8. qitinti, for iqiiifitia ; the reference is to the magic draught 
given Quetzalcoatl by Tezcatlipoca. 

9. In teil, i?i qnahiiitl; literally, " stone and stick ; " a very com- 
mon phrase in Nahautl, to signify misfortunes. 

In this song we have avowedly a specimen of an early chant 
prepared probably by Bishop Zummarraga for the native converts. 
The accompaniment on the teponaztli is marked at the beginning. 
The language is noticeably different from the hymn to Quetzal- 
coatl just given (XVIII). 


Another song of the antique Quetzalcoatl cyclus. It bewails the 
loss of Tulan, and the bard seeks in vain for any joyous theme to 
inspire his melody, reflecting on all that has bloomed in glory 
and now is gone forever. 

3. Tetl-quahitl ; see note to XVIII, 9. 


The occurrence to which this poem alludes took place about 
the year 1507. The chroniclers state that it was in the early 
period of the reign of Montezuma II, thilt the natives of Huexot- 
zinco, at that time allies of the Mexicans, were severely harassed 
by the Tlascallans, and applied, not in vain, to their powerful 
suzerain to aid them. (See Tezozomoc, Cronica ilfexicana, cap. 

NOTES. *145 

The poet does not appee\r to make a direct petition, but indi- 
rectly praises the grandeur of Montezuma and expresses his own 
ardent love for his native Huexotzinco. The song would appear 
to be used as a delicate prelude to the more serious negotia- 
tions. It is one of the few historical songs in the collection. 
From the references in verses i and 3 we infer that this singer 
held in his hand the painted book from which he recited the 
couplets. This may explain the presentation of the piece. 

I. hueizcani; one who laughs, a jester, perhaps the designation 
of one who sang cheerful songs. 

chakhiiihatlaquiquizcopa; a word of difficult analysis. I sus- 
pect an omission of an /, and that the compound includes 
tlaquilqui, one who fastens and puts together, a mason, etc. 

5. The sense is that the warriors of Montezuma when on the 
field of battle, shine in their deeds like beautiful flowers in a field, 
and win lasting fame by their exploits. 

inopopoyauhtoc . The grammarian Olmos explains the reflex- 
ive verb ino-popoyauhtiuh to signify "he leaves an honored mem- 
ory of his exploits." See Simeon, Dictionaire de la Lang ue Na- 
huat/, sub voce. 

7. Huexotzinco atzalan ; "Huexotzinco amid the waters." 
This expression, repeated in verse 8, appears inappropriate to 
the town of Huexotzinco, which lies inland. In fact, the descrip- 
tion in verse 7 applies to Tenochtitlan rather than the singer's 
own town. But the text does not admit this translation. Per- 
haps we should read "Huexotzinco and Atzalan," as there are yet 
two villages of that name in the state of Puebla (which embraced 
part of ancient Huexotzinco). 

10. petiatolitii, I have derived from petlatl, suspecting an error 
in transcription. The reference is to the rushes in the mat on 
which the singer stood. 


The ordinary sad burden of the Nahuatl poets is repeated with 
emphasis in this plaint. It is a variation of the Epicurean advice, 
"Eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die." Both the 
sentiment and the reference to Mictlan in verse 7, point it out 
as a production uninfluenced by Christian teaching. 

7. The word ahtcicaloyan, place of sweetness, would seem to 
be identical with ohuicaloyati, place of difficulty, in v. 8; I iiave 
regarded the latter as an error of transcription. 

146 NOTES. 


Althougli No. V. is probably one of the lost songs of Nezahual- 
coyotl, the present is the only one of the collection which is defin- 
itely attributed to him. The language is very archaic, and in the 
sentiment there is every mark of antiquity. 

The text is apparently a dialogue, which was chanted as 
strophe and antistrophe, the one singer speaking for the King- 
the other for the bard himself. 

The word teotl is used for divinity, and it is doubtless this word 
for which the copyists of some of the other songs have substi- 
tuted the Spanish Dios, thus conveying an impression that the 
chants themselves were of late date. 

The last verse, however, seems to be by one who lives after 
the time of the great poet-prince, and is calling him to memory. 


It will be seen that there is a wearisome sameness in the 
theme of most of the short poems. Probably the bards followed 
conventional models, and feared for the popularity of their pro- 
ducts, did they seek originality. Here again are the same 
delight in flowers and songs, and the same grief at the thought 
that all such joys are evanescent and that soon " death closes 

I consider the poem one of undoubted antiquity and purely 
native in thought and language. 


The destruction of the Mexican state was heralded by a series of 
omens and prodigies which took place at various times during 
the ten years preceding the arrival of Cortes. They are care- 
fully recorded by Sahagun, in the first chapter of the 12th book of 
his history. They included a comet, or " smoking star," as these 
were called in Nahuatl, and a bright flame in the East and South- 
east, over the mountains, visible from midnight to daylight, for a 
year. This latter occurred in 1509. The song before us is a bod- 
ing chant, referring to such prognostics, and drawing from them 
the inference that the existence of Mexico was doomed. It was 

NOTES. 147 

probably from just such songs tliat Sahagun derived his inforiii- 

1. ioztliyan, I suppose from tozquiil, the singing voice, in the 
locative ; literally, " the quechol in the place of sweet-singing." 

2. iquiapan, from i, possessive prefix, quiauatl, door, entrance, 
house, /<?//, in. 

5. An obscure verse ; tequantepcc, appears to be a textual error ; 
fcquaiii, a ravenous beast, from qua to eat ; tepee, a mountain ; 
but tcquantepehua occurring twice later in the poem induces the 
belief tequani should be taken in its figurative sense of afllic- 
tion, destruction, and that tepee is an old verbal form. 

7. XoehitecatI, " one who cares for flowers," is said by Sahagun 
to have been the name applied to a woman doomed to sacrifice 
to the divinities of the mountains {Hist. Nueva Espana, Lib. II, 
cap. 13). 

8. ainaxtecatl, or ajtioxteeatt, ?iS the MS. may read, from amoxtli, 
a book. 


This seems to be a song of victory to celebrate an attack upon 
Atlixco by the ruler of Tezcuco, the famous Nezahualpilli. This 
monarch died in 1516, and therefore the song must antedate this 
period, if it is genuine. It has every intrinsic evidence of anti- 
quity, and I think may justly be classed among those preserved 
from a time anterior to the Conquest. According to the chro- 
nologies preserved, the attack of Nezahualpilli upon Atlixco was 
in the year XI tochtli, which corresponds to 1490, two years before 
the discovery by Columbus (see Orozco y Berra, Hist. Antigua 
de Mexico, Tom. Ill, p. 399). 


My MS. closes with a Christian song in the style of the ancient 
poetry. It is valuable as indicating the linguistic differences 
between these later productions of the sixteenth century and 
those earlier ones, such as XXVI, which I have not hesitated to 
assign to an epoch before the Spaniards landed upon the shores 
of New Spain. 


The Roman numerals refer to the songs, the Arabic to the 
verses, in which the word occurs. Abbreviations: lit., Hterally ; 
ref., reflexive; pret., preterit; rev., reverential \ freq., frequenta- 
tive; post., postposition ; Span., a Spanish word. 

A, adv. No, not, in comp. 

A, ji. For att, water, in comp. ; as acalH, water-house, i. c, a 

A, iiitcrj. Oh ! ah ! placed after the word on which stress is 

P^c, pron., interj. Who ? 
Aca, proti. Some, any ; somebody. 
Acalli, n. A boat, of any kind. 
Ach, dubitative particle. Indeed ? is it not ? etc. 
Achitzinca, adv. A little while, a short time. 
Achquen, rt^c'. At what time ? When? 
Aci, r'. To reach, to acquire. 
Acohuetzi, v. To console, to make glad. I, 3. 
Acoquiza, v. To lift up, to raise, to increase in dignity or power. 
Acotlaza, :-. To console. 
Acxoyatl, n. The wild laurel. 

Ahauia, v. To rejoice, take pleasure in; freq. of ahuia. 
Ahuachia, v. To wet one's self, to bathe. VII, 4. 
Ahuachtli, ;/. Dew, moisture. 

Ahuehuetl, n. The cypress tree ; Cupressus disticha. 
Ahuia, V. To rejoice, to be joyful. 
Ahuiac, adj. Agreeable, pleasant, sweet. 
Ahuian, adj. Content, satisfied. 
Ahuicpa, adv. From one place to another. 111,3. 
Aic, adv. Never. 
Altepetl, «. Town, city, citadel. 
Amech,/>r<?«. rel. You, to you. 

Ameyalli, n. A fountain, a stream; ///., flowing water. 
Amilli, 71. Watered and arable land. XIV, 6. 



Amo, adv. No, not ; amo ma, no other ; anio zannen, not in vain ; 

pron., you, yours. 
Amoxpetlatl, «. Book-mat. See XIX, 3. 
Amoxtecatl, «. See XXV, 8, note. 
A.n, pron. You. 

Ana, V. To take, to grasp, to seize. 
Anahuia, v. To be dissatisfied . 
Anca, art'y. Of the kind that. XVII, 12. 
Ane, adv. Hollo ! in calling. 
Angelotin, n. Angels. Span. XVII, 26. 
Ano, adv. As little, neither. 
Anozo, conj. Or, perhaps. 
Aoc, adv. Not yet. 
Apana, v. To clothe. 

Apano, V. To ford, to cross water. XVIII, 2. 
Aquen, adv. Nothing, in no manner. 
Aquin, proti. Who ? in aquin, he who. 
At, adv. Perhaps, perchance. 
Atayahuili, for at ay a iieli. Not yet, not even. 
Atihuelmati, v. Not to be well. IX, 3. 
Atl, n. Water. 

Atlamachtia, v. To praise one ; ref., to be proud. 
Atle, pron. Nothing. 
Atley, in alley. Without. 
Atonauia, v. To have a fever, to be sick. 
Auh, conj. And, even, also. 
Axalli, ;/. Bar-sand, water-sand. 
Ay, V. pret. oax. To do, to make. 
Aya, adv. Not yet, not now. 

Ayacachtli, n. A musical instrument. See p. 24. 
Ayahuitl, n. Fog, mist, vapor. 

Ayauh cozamalotl, n. The rainbow; ///., "mist of water jewels.' 
Ayoc, adv. Already not. Ayoctle, nothing more. 
Ayoquan, a^/r'. Aoc-iuan. Nothing like it, unequaled. XVII, 17. 
Ayoquic, adv. Nevermore. V, 6. 
Azan, adv. Not a little, not a few. 
Azo, conj. Or, perhaps, percliance. 
Aztlacapalli, n. The tail feathers of a bird. XVII, 10. 

Q., pron. rel. He, her, it, him ; poslpos., with, by, in, from, at. 
Ca, adv. Already, yes, because, for, truly, only. 


Ca, V. To be (in a place). 

Csi, postpos. With, by, by means of. 

Cacali, v. To discharge arrows. 

Cacopa, />(?j/. Toward, towards. 

Cahua, v. To leave, to let, to desert, to stop, to lay down. 

Calaquia, v. To enter, to go in. 

Calli, ;/. A house ; in comp. cal, as nocal, my house. 

Calmecac, u. A public school, p. lo. 

Camapantli, ;/. The cheeks, the face. XXVI, 5. 

Camatl, n. The mouth. 

Campa, adv. Where, whither. 

Can, adv. andpostpos. Where. 

Canauhtli, «. A duck. XXI, 9. 

Canel, adv. Since, as, because. 

Caqui, v. To hear, to listen to. 

Catlehuatl,/>r(3«. Who? which ? whoever, whatever. 

Catqui, v. irreg. From ca, to be (in a place). 

Cauhtehua, v. To leave a place. 

Caxtlauitl, n. A kind of ochre. XVII, 10. 

Ce, adj. and art. One, a, an. 

Cece, or Cecen, adj. Each, every. 

Cecemelquixtia, v. To come forth wholly, perfectly. I, i. 

Cecemeltia, v. re/. To rejoice, to feel glad. 

Cecemeltic, adj. Complete, whole, entire. 

Cecemmana, v. To disperse, to scatter. 

Cehuia, 7'. To rest, to repose. 

Cel. Sole only. 

Celia, V. I. To receive, to obtain. 2. To blossom, to bloom. 

Cemanahuatl, «. The world, the universe. 

Cemelle, adv. With peace or joy. Usually with a negative aic 
cetnelle, never peacefully. XV, 18; XVI, i. 

Cemilhuiltilia, v. To detain one for a day. 

Cemilhuitl, n. One day. 

Cen, adv. Forever, for always ; cenyauh, to go forever, to die. 

Cenca, adv. Very much, exceedingly. 

Cenci, adv. Elsewhere. 

Cenquixtia, v. To select from, to pick from, 

CentzontlatoUi, n. The mocking bird. Tardus polyglothis ; lit. , 
"the myriad-voiced." 

Centzontli, adj. fium. Four hundred, used for any large num- 


Cepanoa, v. To unite, to join togetlier. 

Chalchiuhitl, n. The Mexican jade or green stone ; emerald 

Jig., green ; precious. 
Chane, n. Inhabitant or resident of a place. 
Chantli, n. A dwelling, a residence ; in conip., chau. 
Chia, V. To wait, to expect. 

Chialoni, n. That which is awaited or expected. 
Chicahuac, adj. Strong, powerful. 
Chichia, v. i. To make bitter. 2. To obey. XIII, 9. 
Chichina, t'. To snuff up, imbibe, or suck up, especially the 

odors of burning incense, through a tube. VH, 4; X\TI, 10. 
Chichinaquiliztli, n. Torment, pain, suffering. 
Chihua, v. To make, to do, to happen ; chihua in noyollo, my 

heart is troubled, I am pained. 
Chimalli, n. The native shield or buckler. VI, 4. 
Chitoni, v. To sparkle, to glitter. 
Chitonia, v. To gain, to realize a profit. V, 4. 
Chittolini, v. To bow down, to sink. 
Choca, V. To cry (of animals and man). 
Ciahui, v. To fatigue one's self, to tire. 

Cihuacoatl, ;/. A magistrate of high rank ; ///., " woman serpent." 
Cihuatl, ;/. A woman. 
Citlalin, n. A star. 
Co, pos//>os. In, from. 
Coa, or Cohua, v. To buy, to purchase. 
Cochitia, v. To sleep. 
Cocoa, z'. To pain, to give pain. 
Cocolia, V. To hate. 
Cocoya, z'. To be sick. 
Cohuatl, or Coatl, ;/. A serpent ; a guest ; a twin ; the navel ; a 

CohuayotI, «. Buying, purchasing. V, 2. 
Colli, ;/. Ancestor, forefather. 
Coloa, z'. To twist, to turn, to bend. 
Comoni, z'. To crackle (of a fire); to be turlnilent (of people). 

Con, prou. Some one ; comp. of c and on. 
Copa, postpos. By, toward. 
Copalli, ;/. Resin, gum copal. 
Coyoua. r. To cry, to yell. XIII, 7. 
Coyohuacan, n. Tlie place of wolves. XIII, 10. 



Coyoltototl, n. The coyol bird, Piranq;a hepatica. 

Coyotl, //. Tlie coyote, the Mexican wolf. 

Cozcatia, v. To deck with golden chains. IV, 4. 

Cozcatl, n. Jewel, precious stone ; a string of such ; a chain or 

Cuecuexantia, v. To gather in the folds of the robe. 
Cuecueya, v. To move to and fro. XXI, 9. 
Cuepa, V. To turn, to return, to bring back. 
Cueponi, v. To blossom, to bud, to bloom. 
Cuetlani, :/. To wilt, to perish. XV, 15. 
Cuetzpalti, v. To act as a glutton, to revel in. XVII, 5. 
Cuexantli, n. Gown, robe, petticoat. 
Cui, V. To take, to gather, to collect. 
Cuica, n. A song, a poem. 
Cuicani, n. A singer, a poet. 

Cuicoyan, n. A place for singing. See note to p. 10. 
Cuihua, V. Pass, of cui, q. v. 
Cuilia, V. Rev. of cui, q. v. 
Cuiloa, V. To paint, to write. 
Cuiltonoa, v. To be rich ; to rejoice greatly ; to enrich or cause 

joy. XV, 6. 
Cuitlatl, n. Excrement, dung. 
Cuix, adv. An interrogative particle. 

Ecacehuaztli, n. A fan. 

Ehecatl, n. Wind, air. 

Ehecayo, adj. Full of wind, stormy. 

Ehua, V. To lift up, especially to raise the voice in singing. 

Elchiquihuitl, 71. The breast, the stomach. 

Elchiquiuheua, v. To fatigue, to tire. VI, 5. 

Elcicihuiliztli, 71. A sigh, a groan. 

Elehuia, v. To desire ardently, to covet. 

Ellaquahua, v. To animate, to inspire. 

Ellelaci, v. To suffer great pain. 

EUelli, «. Suffering, pain. 

Ellelquixtia, v. To cause joy, to make glad. 

Elleltia, v. Ref.,\o regret, to repent, to abstain ; act., to prevent, 

to hinder, to impede, to cause pain. 
Epoalli, adj. num. Sixty 
Eztli, n. Blood. 

154 VOCABULARY. • ' 

Huahuaqui, v. To dry up, to wither wholly. VIII, i. 

Hual, adv. Hither, toward this place. 

Huallauh, v. irreg. To come hither. 

Yi\i.3.n, postpos. In company with; also, a plural termination. 

Huapalcalli, n. Houses of planks. See XVIII, i. 

Huaqui, v. To dry up, to wither. 

Huecapan, adj. Lofty. 

Huecatlan, adj. Deep, profound. 

Huehuetl, «. A drum. See page 22. 

Huehuetzi, v.freq. To fall often. 

Hueiyotl, ;/. Greatness, grandeur. 

Huel, adv. Well, good, pleasant. 

Huelic, adj. Sweet, pleasant, fragrant. 

Huelmana, v. To make smooth, or even ; to polish, to burnish. 

Huetzcani, ;/. A jester, a laugher. XXI. i. 

Huetzi, V. To fall. 

Huetztoc, V. To be stretched out, to be in bed. 

Huey, adj. Great, large. 

Hueyatlan, n. Place of increase, from hueya, to grow greater. 

"i^ysxz, postpos. Toward, against. 

Huica, V. To accompany ; to carry off; to govern, to rule, to 

Huihuica, v. To follow in crowds, or often. 
Huihuitequi, v. To gather, to pluck. 

Huilohuayan, n. Bourne, goal, terminus ; from hiiiloa, all go. 
Huipana, v. To put in order, to arrange. 
Huitomi, v. To split, to fall. XVI 11, 4. 

Huitz, v. To come. ^ 

Huitzitzicatin, n. The humming bird. I, i. 
Huitzitzihn, n. The humming bird, Trochilus. 
Huitzli, 71. A thorn, especially of the maguey. I 

Huitztlan, n. The south ; huitztlainpa, from or to the south. 

I, V. Pret. oic. To drink. 

Itpron. His, her, its, their. 

Ic, cotij. For, since, because; prep. With, towards, by, in; 
adv. Where ? when ? zan ic, as soon as, often, only, on pur- 

lea., posi. With him, her, it, etc. 

lea, adv. Sometimes, occasionally. 

Icac, V. To stand upright. 


Icahuaca, :'. To sing (of birds). 

Icali, :'. To war, to fight. VI, 5. 

Icauhtli, n. Younger brother. VII, 2. 

Icelia, :'. To incite another, to devote one's self to. 

Icnelia, :-. To do good, to benefit. 

Icniuhtli, //. A friend, a companion ; toctiihuan, our friends. 

Icnopillahuelilocati, v. To be ungrateful. 

Icnotlamachtia, v. To excite compassion. 

lcTp3iC, postpos. Upon, over. 

Ihuan, coiij. And, also. 

Ihui, adv. Of this kind, in this way. 

Ihuinti, V. To intoxicate, to make drunk. 

Ihuitl, n. Feather, plumage. 

Ilacatziui, v. To twist, to twine. 

Ilacatzoa, v. To twine around, to wind about. X\ 2. 

Ilcahua, v. To forget. 

Ilhuia, z\ To speak, to say, to tell. 

Ilhuicatl, n. Heaven, the sky. 

Ilnamiquilia, v. To remember, to call to mind. 

Ilpia, V. To bind, to fasten. 

Im. See in. 

Imati, V. To be skillful or wise ; to prepare or arrange some- 
thing skillfully. 

In, art. and pron. He, they, the, which, etc. ; in ma oc, mean- 
while ; /« ic, so that, in order that. 

Inaya, v. To confer, to hide. X, 2. 

Inecui, v. To smell something, to perceive an odor. IV, 6. 

Inic, adv. For, in order that, after that. 

Inin, pron. These, they. 

Iniquac, conj. When. 

Inne, conj. But. 

Inoc, adv. While, during. 

Inon, pro7t. Those. 

Intla, conj. If. 

Intlacamo, adv. Unless, if not. 

Ipalnemoani, «. A name of God. See III, i, note. 

Ipampa, adv. Because. 

Ipotoctli, ;/. Smoke, vapor, exhalation. 

Itauhcayotl, n. Fame, honor. XVII, 14. 

Ithua, V. To see. for itta. XV, 6. 

Itia, V. I. To drink; to cause to drink. 2. To suit, to fit. 


Itic, posfpos. Within, inside of. 

Itlani, V. To ask, to solicit, to demand. 

Itoa, V. To say, to speak, to tell. 

Itonaliztli, ;/. Sweat ; fig., hard work. VI, 5. 

Itotia, n. To dance in the native fashion. 

Itotiliztli, n. Dance. 

Itta, V. To see, to behold. 

Ittitia, V. To show, to make evident. 

Itzmolini, v. To be born, to sprout, to grow. XX, 4. 

Itztapalli, n. Paving stone. XV, S. 

Itztoc, V. To watch, to keep awake, to wait for. XVII, 12. 

Ixamayo, adj. Known, recognized. XIII, 2. 

Ixayotl. n. A tear (from the eyes). 

Ixcuitia, V. To take example. 

Iximachoca, n. The knowledge of a person. 

Iximati, v. To know personally. 

Ixitia, V, To awake, to arouse. 

Ixpan, postpos. Before the face of, in presence of. 

Ixquich, adv. As many as. 

Ixtia, V. To face a person, especially the enemy ; to watch- 

Ixtlahuatl, n. Open field, savanna, desert. 

\-&.\.\z.x\, postpos. Before the face of. 

Ixtli, n. Face, visage ; eye. 

Iza, V. To awaken, to arouse. 

Izcali, V. To arise, to rise up. 

Izhuatl, n. A leaf of a,tree, etc. 

Izhuayo, adj. Leafy, with leaves. 

Izqui, adj., pi. izquintin. As many, so many, all ; izqui in quezqui, 

as many as. 
Iztac, adj. White. 
Iztlacahuia, v. To deceive, to cheat. 
Iztlacoa, V. To search for; ref., to take counsel. 

Ma, adv. Sign of optative, subjunctive and vetative ; ma oc, yet 

a while. 
Maca, V. To give, to present. 
Ma ca, 7ieg. Do not. 
Macaic, adv. Never. 

Macazo tlein, jteg. No matter, for all tliat. VI, 2. 
Macehuallotl, «. Servitude, slavery. 
Maceualti, v. defect. To merit ; to be happy. 


Macehualtia, v. i. nifio, to make another a vassal, to reduce to 
vassalage; fiite, to give vassals to one; nita, to impose a 
penance on one. 
Mach, adv. An intensive particle. 
Machtia, v. To cause to know, to teach, to learn. 
Maciui, adv. Although, granted that. XVII, 13. 
Macquaitl, n. The native sword. VI, 4. 
Macuele, adv. Would that — sign of the optative. 
Mahaca, adv. Not, no. 
Mahui, :•. To fear, to have fear. 
Mahuizti, v. To be esteemed, to be honored. 
Maitl, ;/. The hand, the arm. In comp. via, as noma, my hand. 
Malacachoa, v. To twine, to fold. XVI, 4. 
Malhuia, v. To regale, to treat well, to take care of. 
Malina, v. To twine, to wreathe. 
Malintiuh, v. To twine, to twist, to enwreathe. 
Mamalia, :'. To carry. 

Mamalli, v. To enter, to penetrate. XII, 4. 
Mamana, :'. To arrange a feast, to set in order. XV, 15. 
Mamani, v. See Mani. 
Mana, v. To offer offerings. XVII, 3. 
Manca, :-. Imp. of JMani. 

Manen, neg. That not, that it does not happen, etc. 
Mani, v. To be (of broad or wide things); to be stretched out. 
Manozo, adv. Or, if. 

Maquiztli, n. A bracelet or other ornament of the arm. Ill, 5. 
Mati, z'. To know. J?e/., to think, to reRect; gui-maii rioyo//o, 
I presume, I doubt ; nonno-mati, I attach myself to a person 
or thing. 
Matiloa, v. To anoint, to rub. 
Mazo, adv. Although. 
Meya, :■. To flow, to trickle. 
Miahuatototl, n. A bird. IV, 2. 
Micohuani, adj. Mortal, deadly. 
Miec, adv. Much, many. 
Milli, 11. Cultivated field. 
Miqui, v. To die, to kill. 
Miquitlani, v. To desire death. X, i. 
y\.\\z,pron. Thee, to thee. 

Mixitl, n. A narcotic plant. See tlapatl. IX, 2. 
Mixtecomatl, n. A dark night, a dark place. Ill, 4- 


Mizquitl, n. The mesquite. XV, i. 

Mo, pron. i. Thy, thine; 2. Pron. ref. 3 sing., he, him, they, 

Mochi, adj. All. 
Mochipa, adv. Always. 

Moliniani, n. One who moves, or agitates. XVI, 3. 
Momolotza, v. To cause to foam, to cut to pieces. XII, 3. 
Motelchiuh, 71. The governor of Tenochtitlan. XIII, S.— See 

Motla, r-. To throw, to fall. I, i. 
Motlali, adj. Seated, placed, in repose. 
Moyaua, v. To conquer ; to become cloudy or troubled (of 

water) ; to talk about ; to boast. 
Moztla, adv. To-morrow. 

\i\&\m3iZ, postpos. Toward, by, along, near to. 

Nahui, adj. man. Four. 

Nalquixtia, v. To cause to penetrate, causative of nalqiiiza, to 

Nananquilia, v. To answer, to reply to. 
Nantli, ;;. Mother, tonan, our mother, etc. 
Nauhcampa, adv. In four directions, to four places. 
li&,pron. Reflexive pronoun 3d person in verbal substantives 

and impersonal verbs. 
Ne,pron. for nehuatl. I, me. 
Necaliztli, n. Battle, combat. 
Nech,/>rc«. ]\Ie, to me. 
Nechca, adv. There, down there ; like the French la-bas ; oc ye 

iicchca, formerly, once. 
Neci, V. To appear, to show one's self or others. 
Neco, V. Pass, of negui, q. v. 
Nectia, v. To desire, to wish for. 
NecuiltonoUi, n. Riches, possessions. 
Neicaloloyan, ;/. The field of battle. 

Neiximachoyan, ;/. A place where one is taught. XIII, i. 
Nel, adv. Hut. 

Nelhuayotl, n. A root ; Jig., principle, foundation, essence. 
Nelihui, adv. It is thus, even thus ; viazo nelihui, though it be 

Nelli, adv. Truly, verily. 
Neloa, V. To mingle, to shake, to beat. 


Neltia, --. To verify, to make true. 

Nemactia, :-, i. To receive, to obtain. 2. To give, to grant. 

Nemayan, adv. In the course of the year. XII, 3. 

Nemi, r. To live, to dwell, to walk. 

Nemoa, v. impers. To live, to dwell. 

Nen, adv. Vainly, in vain. 

Nenchiua, v. To do in vain, 

Nenectia, v. To obtain by effort. XII, 4. 

Neneliuhtica, adj. Mixed up, mingled together. 

Neneloa, v. To mix, to mingle. 

Nenepanoa, v.freq. To mix, to mingle. XVII, i. 

Nenequi, v. To act tyrannically; to feign; to covet. XI, 7. 

Nennemi, v. To wander about. 

Nenonotzalcuicatl, ;/. A song of exhortation. 

Nentaci, :■. To fail, to come to naught. XVII, 13, 14. 

Nentlamachtia, v. ref. To afflict one's self, to torment one's self. 

Nentlamati, v. To be afflicted, disconsolate. 

Nepa, adv. Here, there. Ye nepa, a little further, beyond. XXI, 

6. Oc nepa, further on. 
Nepaniui, v. To join, to unite. 
Nepantla, posfpos. In the midst of. 
Nepapan, adj. Various, diverse, different. 
Nepohualoyan, 11. The place where one is reckoned, read, or 

counted. VI, 2. 
Negni, v. To wish, to desire. 
Netlamachtiliztli, n. Riches, property. 
Netlamachtiloyan, ;/. A prosperous place. IV, 6 ; VII, 4. 
Netlanehuihuia, v. To have an abundance of all things. XXVI, i. 
Netotiliztli, ;/. Dance, dancing. 
Netotiloyan, jt. Place of dancing. 
m, pro?!. pej'S. I. Before a vowel, «. 
Nican, adj. Here, hither. 

Nihui, adz'. From no-i'/iut, thus, of the same manner. XVIII, 3. 
Niman, adv. Soon, promptly. 
Nino, pron. ref. I myself. 
Nipa, adv. Here, in this part, there. 
No, rto':'. Also, like, ^/c'j/^/i, in the same way, thus. Pron.lly^ 

Noca, pron. For me, for my sake, by me. 
Nohuan, />;'(?«. With me. 
Nohuiampa, adv. In all directions, on all sides. 


Nohuian, adv. Everywhere, on all sides. 

Nonoyan, «. Place of residence. V, 2. 

Nonotza, v. To consult, to take counsel, to reflect. 

Notza, V. To call some one. 

Nozan, adv. Even yet, and yet, to this day. 

Obispo, «. Bishop. Span. XIX, 4. 

Oc, adv. Yet, again ; oc achi, yet a little ; oc achi ic, yet more, 

comparative; oc pe, first, foremost. 
Ocelotl, «. The tiger; a warrior so called. See note to I, 5. 
Ocoxochitl, n. A fragrant mountain flower. Ill, 2. 
Octicatl, 71. See note to VII, i. 

Octli, n. The native wine from the maguey. In comp., oc. 
Ohuaga, hiterj. Oh ! alas ! 
Ohui. adj. Difficult, dangerous. 

Ohuicaloyan, n. A difficult or dangerous place. XXII, 7. 
Ohuican, n. A difficult or dangerous place. 
Ome, adj. Two. 
Omitl, n. A bone. 
Ompa, adv. Where. 
On, adv. A euphonic particle, sometimes indicating action at a 

distance, at other times generalizing the action of the verb. 
Oncan, adv. There, thither. 
Onoc, V. To be lying down. 
Oppa, adv. A second time, twice. 
Oquichtli, 71. A male, a man. 
Otli, n. Path, road, way. 

Otomitl, ;/. An Otomi ; a military officer so called. 
Otoncuicatl, «. An Otomi song. II, i. 

Pachiui noyollo, v. I am content, satisfied. IX, 2. 

Pacqui, v. To please, to delight. 

Pactli, ;;. Pleasure, joy. 

"PaX, posfpos. By, by means of. 

Pampa, postpos. For, because. 

Pan, postpos. Upon ; apan, upon the water. 

Papalotl, 71. The butterfly. 

Papaqui, v. To cause great joy. 

Patiuhtli.w. Price, wages, reward. 

Patlahuac, adj. Large, spacious. 

Patlani, v. To fly. 


Pehua, 7'. Pret., openh, to begin, to commence. 

Pepetlaca, :-. To shine, to glitter. 

Pepetlaquiltia, v. To cause to shine. 

Petlacoatl, n. The scolopender, the centipede. XVII, 24. 

Petlatl, >!. A mat, a rug (of reeds or flags) ; Jig., power, au- 

Petlatotlin, n. A rush suitable to make mats. XXI, 10. 
Petlaua, v. To polish, to rub to brightness. 
Peuhcayotl, n. Beginning, commencement. 
Pilihui, V. To fasten to, to mingle with. XXL 
Pilihuitl, «, Beloved child. XII, 3. 
Pilli, n. Son, daughter, child. A noble, a chief, a ruler, a lord. 

Tepilhuan, the children, the young people. Nopiltzin, my lord. 
Piloa, V. To hang down, to suspend. 
Piltihua, :-. To be a boy, to be young. 
Pipixaui, v. To snow, to rain heavily. 
Pixaui, V. To snow, to rain. 

Pochotl, n. The ceiba tree; fig., protector, chief. 
Poctli, ;/. Smoke, vapor, fog, mist. 
Poloa, :•. To destroy ; to perish. 
Popoloa, V. Freq. o{ poloa. 

Popoyauhtiuh, v. To leave a glorious memory. XXI, 5. 
Poxahua, v. To work the soil, to labor. 
Poyaua, v. To color, to dye. XVII, 21. 
Poyaui, :■. To become clear, to clear off. 
Poyomatl, ;/. A flower like the rose. IV, 6. 
Pozoni, V. To boil, to seethe ; fig., to be angry. 

Qua, V. To eat. 

Quahtla, n. Forest, woods. 

Quahuitl, ;/. A tree ; a stick ; fig., chastisement. 

Quaitl, n. Head, top, summit. 

Qualani, v. To anger, to irritate. 

Qualli, adj. Good, pleasant. 

Quatlapana, v. To break one's head ; to suffer much. 

Quauhtli, n. The eagle; a warrior so called ; bravery, distinc- 
tion. I, 5. 

Quemach, adv. Is it possible! 

Quemmach amique, rcl. Those who are happy, the happy ones. 
IX, 2. 

Quenami, adv. As, the same as. 


Quenami can, adv. As there, the same as there, sometimes with 

ofi euphonic inserted, queno7iami. 
Quenin, adj. How, how much. 

Quennel, adv. What is to be done ? What remedy ? 
Quennonamican. See under quetiami. 
Quequentia, v. To clothe, to attire. 

Quetza, v. Nino, to rise up ; to unite with ; to aid ; nife, to lift up. 
Quetzalli, ;/. A beautiful feather; Jig., something precious or 

Quetzaltototl, n. A bird ; Trogon pavoninus. 
Quexquich, pron. So many as, how much. 
Qui, proH. rcl. He, her, it, they, them. 
Quiauatl, ;/. Entrance, door. XVII, i8. 
Quiauitl, ;/. Rain, a shower. 

Quimiloa, y. To wrap up, to clothe, to shroud the dead. XI, 6. 
Q\x\n,profi.rel. They, then. 
Quiquinaca, :-. To groan, to buzz, etc. 
Quiquizoa, v. To ring bells. IV, 3. 
Quiza, V. To go forth, to emerge. 
Quizqui, adj. Separated, divided. 
Quiztiquiza, v. To go forth hastily. XXII. 

Tapalcayoa, v. To be full of potsherds and broken bits. XV, 16. 

Tatli, ;/. and v. See p. 19. 

Te, pron. pers. 1. Thou. 2. Pron. rel. indef. Somebody. 

Teahuiaca, adj. Pleasing, agreeable. 

Teca, pron. Of some one ; te and ca. 

Teca, V. To stretch out, to sleep ; to concern one's self with. 

Moteca, they unite together. 
Tech, posfpos. In, upon, from. Pron. Us. 
Tecocolia, ;/. A hated person, an enemy. 
Tecomapiloa, n. A musical instrument. See p. 23. 
Tecpilli, ;/. Nobleman, lord. 

Tecpillotl, n. The nobility ; noble bearing, courtesy. 
T&hua-n, pron. i. We. 2. With some one. 
Tehuatl,/);-t);/. Thou. 
Teini, v. To break, to fracture. 
Tel, conj. But, though. 
Telchihua, :-. To detest, to hate, to curse. 
Tema, :'. To place something somewhere. 
Temachia, v. To have confidence in, to expect, to hope for. 



Temt, r-. To be filled, replete ; to be stretched out. XXVI, 4. 

Temiqui, :•. To dream. 

Temo, V. To descend, to let fall. 

Temoa, v. To search, to seek. 

Tenamitl, ;/. A town; the wall of a town. 

Tenauac, posf. With some one, near some one. 

Tenmati, :■. To be idle, negligent, unfortunate. 

Tenquixtia, v. To speak forth, to pronounce, to declare. 

Tenyotl, n. Fame, honor. 

Teoatl, ;/. Divine water. See VI, 4, note. 

Teocuitla, «. Gold, of gold. 

Teohua, ;/. A priest. XVII, 19. 

Teoquechol, «. A bird of beautiful plumage. 

Teotl, II. God, divinity. 

Teoxihuitl, ;/. 'Turquoise ; Jig., relation, ruler, parent. 

Tepacca, adj. Causing joy, pleasurable. 

Tepeitic, n. Narrow valley, glade, glen. 

Tepetl, ;/. A mountain, a hill. 

Tepeua, v. To spread abroad, to scatter, to conquer. XV, 3. 

Teponaztli, n. A drum. See p. 22. 

Tepopoloani, v. To slay, to slaughter. 

Tequani, ;/. A wild beast, a savage person. 

Tequi, :'. To cut. 

Tetecuica, v. To make a loud noise, to thunder. XX, 7. 

Tetl, 71. A stone, a rock. In comp., te. 

Tetlamachti, ;/. That which enriches, glorifies, or pleases. 

Tetlaquauac, rt(^'. Hard or strong as stone. Comp. of /f// and 

Tetozcatemo, v. To let fall or throw forth notes of singing. I, 2. 
Tetzilacatl, ;/. A copper gong. XVII, 21. See p. 24. 
Teuctli, ;/., pi. tetenctin. A noble, a ruler, a lord; in teteudin, 

the lords, the great ones. 
Teucyotl, «. Nobility, lordship. 
Teuh, postpos. Like, similar to. 
Teuhyotl, n. Divinity, divineness. 
Teyolquima, adj. Pleasing, odorous, sweet. 
Teyotl, ;;. Fame, honor. 

Ti, pron. i. thou ; tivio, ref. ; tic, act. 2. we ; tito, ref ; tic, act. 
Tilani, v. To draw out. 
Tilini, v. To crowd, to press. XVII, 19. 
Timaloa, v. To glorify, to e.xalt, to praise. 



Timo, pron. ref. Thou thyself. 

Tito, pron. ref. We ourselves. 

Tizaitl, n. Chalk ; anything white ; an example or model. 

Tizaoctli,;/. White wine. See VII, 2. 

Tla, adv., for ititla, if; pron. ifidef., something, anything ; postpos. 

in abundance. 
Tlacace, interj. Expressing astonishment or admiration. XVII, 3. 
Tlacaqui, v. To hear, to understand. 
Tlacateuctli, w. A sovereign, a ruler. • 
Tlacati, v. To be born. 
Tlacatl, n. Creature, person. 
TIacazo, adv. Truly, certainly. 
Tlachia, v. To see, to look upon. 
TIachihual, ;/. Creature, invention. 
Tlachinolli, n. Battle, war ; from chinoa, to burn. 
Tlacoa, v. To injure, to do evil, to sin. 
Tlacochtli, «. The arrow. 
Tlacocoa, v. To buy, to purchase. X, i. 
Tlacohua, v. To buy, to purchase. 
Tlacohua, v. To beat, to chastise. 
Tlacotli, ;/. A servant, slave. 
Tlacouia, v. To split, to splinter. 
Tlacuiloa, v. To inscribe, to paint in, to write down. 
TIaelehuiani, adj. Desirous of, anxious for. 
Tlahuelli, ;/. Anger, ire. 
TIahuica, w. Servant, page ; also, a native of the province of 

Tlahuican. (See Index.) 
TIailotlaqui, ;/. " Workers in filth ; " scum ; a term applied in 

contempt. XIII, 8 ; XV, 12, 14. Also a proper name. (See 

Ltd ex.) 
Tlalaquia, v. To bury, to inter. 
Tlalli, ;/. Earth, ground ; tlalticpac, on the earth. 
Tlalnamiqui, v. To think of, to remember. 
Tlalpiloni, n. An ornament for the head. VI, 4, from iipia. 
Tlamachti, v. ref. To be rich, happy, prosperous. 
TlamahuizoUi, ;/. Miracle, wonder. 

Tlamatillolli,;/. Ointment; anything rubbed in the hands. XI, 9. 
Tlamatqui, adj. Skillful, adroit. 
Tlamattica, adj. Calm, tranquil. 
Tlamelauhcayotl, w. A plain or direct song. II, i. 
Tlami, v. To end, to finish, to come to an end. 


Tlamomoyaua, :-. To scatter, to destroy. XV, 21. 

Tlan, posfpos. Near to, among, at. 

Tlaneci, v. To dawn, to become day. Ye tlaneci, the day breaks. 

Tlanehuia, v. Nicno. To revel, to indulge one's self in. XXI, 8. 

Tlaneltoca, v. To believe in, to have faitli in. 

Tlania, v. To recover one's self, to return within one's self. 

Tlaniicza, v. To abase, to humble. IX, 3. 

Tlantia, v. To terminate, to end. 

Tlaocol, adj. Sad, melancholy, pitiful, merciful. 

Tlaocolia, v. To be sad, etc. 

Tlaocoltzatzia, v. To cry aloud with grief. I, 3. 

TIapalhuia, v.,rel. To be brilliant or happy; act., to salute a 

person ; to paint something. 
Tlapalli, ;/.and at^'. Colored; dyed; red. 
Tlapaloa, v. To salute, to greet. 
Tlapanahuia, adj. Surpassing, superior, excellent ; used to form 

Tlapani, v. To dye, to color. XVII, 10. 
Tlapapalli, adj. Striped, in stripes. 
Tlapatl, n. The castor-oil plant ; the phrase viixitl tlapatl means 

stupor, intoxication. IX, 2. 
Tlapepetlani, v. To sparkle, to shine forth. 
Tlapitza, v. Yr.pitza, to play the flute. XVII, 26. 
Tlaqualli, ;/. Food, eatables. 
Tlaquauac, adj. Strong, hard. 
Tlaquauh, adj. Strongly, forcibly. 
Tlaquilla, adj. Stopped up, filled. XX, 4, 
Tlaquilqui, n. One who plasters, a mason. XXI, i. 
Tlatemmati, v. To suffer afflictions. 
Tlatenehua, v. To promise. 
Tlathui, V. To dawn, to become light. 
Tlatia, v. i. To hide, to conceal ; 2. to burn, to set on fire. 
Tlatlamantitica, adj. Divided, separated. 
Tlatlatoa, v. To speak much or frequently. XVII, 11. 
Tlatlauhtia, v. To pray. XVI, 3. 
Tlatoani, n. Ruler, lord. 

Tlatocayotl, ;/. The quality of governing or ruling. 
Tlatolli, 71. Word, speech, order. 
Tlatzihui, v. To neglect, to be negligent ; to be abandoned, to 

lie fallow ; to leave, to withdraw. 
Tlauantli, 71. Vase, cup. XXVI, 4. 


Tlauhquechol, n. A bird, the red heron, Platalea ajaja. 
Tlauillotl, «. Clearness, hght. X, i. 
Tlaxillotia, v. To arrange, sustain, support. IX, 4. 
Tlaxixinia, v. To disperse, to destroy. 
Tlayaua, v. To make an encircling figure in dancing. 
TlayaualoUi, adj. Encircled, surrounded. XXI, 6. 
Tlaylotlaqui, ;/. See XIII, 8. 

Tlayocolia, v. To make, to form, to invent. XIV. 
Tlayocoyalli, n. Creature, invention. 
Tlaza, V. To throw away ; fig., to reject, to despise. 
Tlazotla, v. To love, to like. 
Tie, pro?i. int. and rel. What ? That. 
Tleahua, ^^ To set on fire, to fire. 
Tlein, pron., int. and I'el. What ? That. 
Tleinmach, adv. Why ? For what reason ? 
Tlenamactli, ;/. Incense burned to the gods. Ill, i. 
Tlepetztic, a(7)'. Shining like fire, //^//./^/^-//c XV, 26. 
Tletl, n. Fire. 

Tleymach, adv. Why ? Wherefore ? 
Tleyotl, n. Fame, honor. 

Tlezannen, adv. To what good ? Cui bono ? 
Tliliuhqui, adj. Black, brown. 
Tliliui, V. To blacken, to paint black. XII, 6. 
Tloc, postpos. With, near to. 

Tloque nahuaque, ;/. A name of divinity. See I, 6, note. 
To, proH. posses. Our, ours. 
Toca, V. To follow. 

Toci, n. " Our ancestress," a divinity so called. 
Toco, V. Impers. of toca. 
Tohuan, pron. With us. 
Tolinia, v. To be poor, to be unfortunate. 

Tolquatectitlan, ti. The place where the head is bowed for lus- 
tration. Ill, I. 
Toma, V. To loosen, to untie, to open. XVII, 3. 
Tomahuac, adj. Great, heavy, large. 
Tonacati, v. To be prosperous or fertile. 
Tonacatlalli, ;/. Rich or fertile land. 
Tonameyo, adj. Shining like the sun, glittering. 
Tonameyotl, n. Ray of the sun, light, brilliancy. 
Tonatiuh, n. The sun. 
Toneua, v. To suffer pain ; nitc, to infiict pain. 


Toquichpohuan, n. Our equals. I, 3. 

Tototl, ;/. A bird, generic term. 

Tozmilini, adj. Sweet voiced. XXI, 3. 

Toznenetl, ;/. A parrot, Psittaais signaius. 

Tozquitl, //. The singing voice, p. 21. 

Tzalan, postpos. Among, amid. 

Tzatzia, v. To shout, to cry aloud. 

Tzauhqui, v. To spin. XVII, 22. 

Tzetzehui, v. To rain, to snow ; fig., to pour down. 

Tzihuac, ;/. A species of bush. XV, i. 

Tzimiquiliztli, n. Slaughter, death. XVI, 5. 

Tzinitzcan, ;/. A bird, Trogon Mexicanus. 

Tzitzilini, ;/. A bell. 

Tzotzona, v. To strike the drum. 

Uallauh, :'. To come. See huallaiih. 

Uitz, V. To come. 

Ulli, ;/. Caoutchouc. See p. 22. 

Xahua, v. To paint one's self, to array one's self in the ancient 

manner. XXIV, i. 
Xamani, v. To break, to crack. 
Xaxamatza, v. To cut in pieces, to break into bits. 
Xayacatl, ;/. Face, mask. 
Xelihui, v. To divide, to distribute. 
Xexeloa, v. To divide, to distribute. 
Xilotl, ;/. Ear of green corn. 
Xiloxochitl, ;/. The flower of maize. XVII, 10. 
Ximoayan, ;/. A place of departed souls. See I, 8. 
Ximohuayan, n. Place of departed spirits. VIII, i. 
Xiuhtototl, n. A bird, Guiaca cerulea. 
Xiuitl, ;/. A leaf, plant ; year ; anything green. 
Xochicalli, n. A house for flowers, or adorned witli tliem. 
Xochimecatl, ;/. A rope or garland of flowers. 
Xochimicohuayan, n. See XVI, 3, note. 
Xochitecatl, ;/. See XXV, 7, note. 
Xochitl, //. A flower, a rose. 
Xochiyaotl, 71. Flower-war. See XVI, 4, note. 
Xocomiqui, v. To intoxicate, to become drunk. 
Xocoya, v. To grow sour. XIII, 4. 
Xopaleuac, ;/. Something very green. 


Xopan, «. The springtime. 

Xotla, V. To blossom, to flower; to warm, to inflame; to cue, 

to scratch, to saw. 
Xoxoctic, adj. Green ; blue. XVI, 6. 
Xoyacaltitlan, «. The house or place of decay. Ill, i. 

Y. Abbrev. for ihuafi, and in, q. v. 

Ya, adv. Already, thus; same as ye; v., to suit, to fit. Part. 

euphonic or expletive. See note to XVII, 3. 
Y&n, postpos. Suftix signifying place. 
Yancuic, adj. New, fresh, recent. 
Yancuican, adv. Newly, recently. 
Yaotl, n. War, battle. 
Yaoyotl, ;/. Warfare. 

Yaqui, adj. Departed, gone, left for a place. 
Yauh, v., irreg. To go. 
Ye, adv. Already, thus ; ye no ceppa, a second time ; ye ic, 

already, it is already. 
'^Q,pron. He, those, etc. 
Ye, adj. num. Three. 
Yece, adv. But. 
Yecen, adv. Finally, at last. 
Yecnemi, v. To live righteously. 
Yecoa, v. To do, to finish, to conclude. 
Yectenehua, v. To bless, to speak well of. 
Yectli, adj. Good, worthy, noble. 
Yehuatl, />;-£»«. He, she, it. YX.yehuan, yehuaiitin. 
Yehuia, v. To beg, to ask charity. 
Yeppa yuhqui. Formerly, it was there. VII, 2. 
Yhuintia. See ifminti. 

Yocatl, n. Goods, possessions ; noyocauh, my property. XV, 26. 
Yocaua, n. Master, possessor, owner. 
Yocolia, v. To form, to make. 
Yocoya, c'. To make, to invent, to create. 
Yohuatli, n. Night, darkness. 
Yolahuia, v. To rejoice greatly. 
Yolciahuia, v. To please one's self, to make glad. 
Yolcuecuechoa, v. To make tiie heart tremble. IV, 6. 
Yolehua, v. To excite, to animate. 
Yolihuayan, ;/. A place of living. Ill, 5. 
Yollo, adj. Adroit, skillful ; also for iyollo, his heart. 


YoUotl, V. Heart, mind, soul. 
Yolnonotza, v. See note to I, i. 
Yolpoxahua, v. To toil mentally. 
Yuhqui, adv. As, like. 
Yuhquimati, v. To understand, to realize. 

Zacatl, n. Herbage, straw, hay. XXI, 5. 

Zacuan, n. Feather of the zacuan bird ; fig., yellow ; prized. 

Zacuan tototl, n. The zacuan bird, Oriolus dotninicensis. 

Zan, adv. Only, but; zan ciiel, in a short time ; zaneti, perhaps ; 

Zan lien, in vain. 
Zancuel achic, adv. A moment, an instant ; often ; za7i ye, but 

again, but quickly. 
Za.nio, pro n. I alone, he or it alone. 
Zoa, V. To pierce ; to spread out ; to open ; to sew ; to string 

together; to put in order. 
Zolin tototl, n. The quail. 
Zoma, V. To become angry. 
Zomale, adj. For comalli, vase, cup, XXVI, 4. 



AcALLAN, 105. "The place of 
boats," from acalli, boat. An 
ancient province at the mouth 
of the Usumacinta river; but 
the name was probably ap- 
plied to other localities also. 

AcATLAPAN, 41. A village 
southeast of Chalco. From 
acatia, a place of reeds, and 
pan, in or at. 


The first chief of the Toltecs ; 
another form of chalchiiihto- 
nac Both names mean "the 
gleam of the precious jade." 
Compare Torque mada, Mo7i- 
arquia Indiana. Lib. III., 
cap. 7 ; Orozco y Berra, Hisl. 
Antigua de Mexico, To\\\. III., 
p. 42. The date of the begin- 
ning of his reign is put at a-d. 
667 or 700. 

Acolhuacan, 40, 91, 119. A 
compound of atl, water, and 
colhuacan, (q-v.) ="Colhua- 
can by the water," the name 
of the state of which Tetzcu- 
co was the capital, in the val- 
ley of Mexico. 

AcoLMizTLAN,89, from 

AcoLMiZTLi, 35. A name of 
Nezahualcoyotl (see p. 35), 
also of other warriors. 

Anahuac, 125. From a//, water, 
nahnac, by, = the land by the 
water. The term was ap- 
plied first to the land by the 
lakes in the Valley of iMe.xico, 
and later to that along both 
the Gulf of Mexico and the 
Pacific Ocean. 

Atecpan, 77. " The royal resi- 
dence by the water " {all, lec- 
pan). I do not find this 

locality mentioned else- 

Atlixco, 125. "Where the 
water shows its face " {all, 
ixlli, CO). A locality south- 
east of Tezcuco, near the 
lake, so called from a large 
spring. See Motolinia, His- 
toria de los Indios, Trat. Ill, 
cap. 18. 

Atloyantepetl, 85, 89, 91. 
Perhaps iox allauanlepetl , "the 
mountain that rules the 
waters " But see note to 
xiii, V. 6. 

Atzalan, 114. "Amid the 
waters " {all, Izalan). Per- 
haps not a proper name; but 
two villages in the present 
State of Puebla are called 
Atzala (see Orozco y Berra, 
Ceografia de las Lenguas de 
Mexico, pp. 212, 213). 

AxAXACATZiN, 43. Probably 
for axayacalzin, reverential of 
axayacatl, the name of a 
species of marsh fly. It was 
also the name of the sixth 
ruler of Mexico (flor. about 
1500), and doubtless of other 
distinguished persons. See 
Ixtlilxochitl, Hisloria Chichi- 
ineca,cap. 51. 

AzcAPOTZALCo, 50, 51. An an- 
cient town in the valley of 
Mexico, once the capital city 
of the Tepanecas (q. v.). The 
word means " place of the 
ant-hills," from azcapulzalli. 

Aztecs, 25. A Nahuatl tribe 
who derived their name from 
their mythical ancient home, 
Aztlan. The derivation is 
obscure, but probably is from 




the same radical as iztac, 
white, and, therefore, Father 
Duran was right in transla- 
ting Aztlan, "place of white- 
ness," the reference being to 
the East, whence the Aztecs 
claim to have come. See 
Duran, Historia de las Indias, 
cap. II. 

Cacamatl, 94, 95. The refer- 

• ence appears to be to Caca- 
niatzin (the Noble Sad One, 
from cacamaua, fig. to be 
sad), last ruler of Tezcuco, 
son and successor, in 1516, of 
Nezahualpilli. He was put 
to death by Cortes. 

Catocih, 89. A doubtful word, 
which may not be a proper 

Chalco, 16, 69, 95. A town 
and lake in the valley of 
Mexico. The people were 
Nahuas and subject to Mexi- 
co. The word is probably 
derived from Challi, with the 
postpos. CO, meaning " at the 
mouth" (of a river). See 
Buschmann, Ueber die Az- 
tekische7i Orlsnatnen, s. 689, 
and comp. Codex Ramirez, 
p. 18. 

Chiapa, Chiapaneca, 70, 71. 
The province and inhabitants 
of Chiapas, in Southern Mex- 
ico. There were colonies of 
Nahuas in Chiapas, though 
most of the natives spoke 
other tongues. The deriva- 
tion is probably from chia, a 
mucilaginous seed highly es- 
teemed in Mexico. 

Chichimecatl or Chichi - 
MEGS, 88, 89, 91, loi. A rude 
hunting tribe, speaking Nah- 
uatl, who settled, in early 
times, in the valley of Mexi- 
co. The name was said to 
be derived from chichi, a 
dog, on account of their de- 

votion to hunting [Cod. Ra- 
mirez). Others say it was 
that of their first chieftain. 

Chicomoztoc, 88, 89. " At the 
seven caves," the name of the 
mythical locality from which 
the seven Nahuatl tribes de- 
rived their origin. The Co- 
dex Ramirez explains the 
seven caves to mean the 
seven houses or lineages 
(totems) of which the nation 

Chililitli, 36. Name of a tow- 
er of sacred import. It is 
apparently a compound of 
chia or chielia, to watch, and 
tlilli, blackness, obscurity, 
hence " a night w-atch-tow- 
er." It was probably used 
for the study of the sky at 

Chimalpopoca, 43. " The 
smoking shield," from chi- 
nialli, shield, andpopoca. The 
name of several distinguished 
warriors and rulers in an- 
cient Mexico. 

Cholula or Cholollan, 105. 
Name of a celebrated ancient 
state and city. From choloa, 
with the probable meaning, 
'' place of refuge," " place of 
the fugitives." 

CiHUAPAN, 41. Name of a war- 
rior, otherwise unknown. 
From cihuatl, woman, pan, 
among, with. 

CoATZiTEUCTLi, 89. A name 
compound of coatzin, rever- 
ential form of coatl, serpent, 
and teucili, lord. 

CoLHUA. A people of Nahuatl 
affinity, who dwelt in ancient 
times in the valley of Mexico. 
See Colhuacan. 

CoLHUACAN, 88, 89, 91. A town 
in the valley of Mexico. In 
spite of the arguments to the 
contrary, I believe the C0I-. 
hua were of Nahuatl lineage, 



and that the name is derived 
from colli, ancestor ; colhua- 
can, the residence of the an- 
cestors ; with this significa- 
tion, it was apphed to many 
locahties. It must be distin- 
guished from Acolhuacan. Its 
ikonomatic symbol was a hill 
bent over at the top, from 
coloa, to bend. 

CoLZ.\ZTLi, 39. Probably for 
Coltzatztli, one who cries out 
or calls to the ancestors {colli, 
tzatzia). A chief whom I 
have not found elsewhere 

CoNAHUATZiN, 41. A warrior 
not elsewhere mentioned. 
By derivation it means 
"noble son of the lord of the 
water" {conetl, ahua, tzin). 

CuETZPALTZiN, 89. A proper 
name, from cuetzpalli, the 
4th day of the month. 

CuEXTLA, 33. A province of 
ancient Mexico. See Tor- 
quemada, Monarqiiia Indi- 
ana. Lib. II, caps. 53, 56. 

CuLTEPEC, 42. A village five 
leagues from Tezcuco, at the 
foot of the mountains. De- 
riv., colli, ancestor, tepetl, 
mountain or town, with post- 
pos. c; " at the town of the 


LAN, 89. The original seat 
of the mythical Toltecs. The 
name is a compound of hue, 
old, and Tlapallan, q. v. 

HuEXOTZiNCO, 50, 83, 91, 99, 
113. An independent State 
of ancient Anahuac, south of 
Tlascala and west of Cholula. 
The name means " at the 
little willow woods," being a 
diminutive from hiiexatla, 
place of willows. 

HuiTLALOTZiN, 89. From hu- 
iilalloil, a species of bird, 

with the reverential termina- 
tion. Name of a warrior. 

HuiTziLAPOCHTLi, 16. Tribal 
god of the Me.xirans of Te- 
nochtitlan. The name is usu- 
ally derived from hititzitzi- 
lin, humming bird, and 
opochili, left {Cod. Ramirez, 
p. 22), but more correctly from 
huitztli, the south, iloa, to 
turn, opochtli, the left hand, 
" the left hand turned toward 
the south," as this god di- 
rected the wanderings of the 
Mexicans southward. The 
humming bird was used as 
the "ikonomatic" symbol of 
the name. 

HuiTZiLiHuiTL, 89. "Hum- 
ming-bird feather." Name of 
an ancient ruler of Mexico, 
and of other warriors. 

HuiTZNAHCACATL, 91. A ruler 
of Huexotlan (Clavigero); a 
member of the Huitznahua, 
residents of the quarters so 
called in Tezcuco and Te- 
nochtitlan ( Ixtlilxochi tl , 
Hist. Chichimeca, cap. 38). 

IXTLILXOCHITL, 35, 46, 89. A 

ruler of Acolhuacan, father 
of Nezahualcoyotl. Comp. 
ixtli, face, tlilxochitl, tlie 
vanilla (literally, the black 
IzTACCOYOTL, 89, 93. "The 
white wolf." Name of a war- 
rior otherwise unknown. 

Mexicans, 67, 83, 85, 87, 123, 
125. See 

Mexico, 83, 123. Name of the 
town and state otherwise 
called Tenochtitlan. Mcxitl 
was one of the names of the 
national god Huitzilopochtli, 
and Mexico means " the place 
of Mexitl," indicating that the 



city was originally called 
from a fane of the god. 

MiCTLAN, 95, 117, 119. The 
Mexican Hades, literally," the 
place of the dead." 

Montezuma, 14, 41, 113. The 
name of the ruler of Mexico 
on the arrival of Cortes. The 
proper form is Moteiihzoinat- 
zin or Moiecuhzonatzin, and 
the meaning, " he who is 
angry in a noble manner." 
(" sefior safiudo," Cod. Ram- 
irez, p. 72 ; "qui se fache en 
seigneur," Simeon, Diet, de 
la Langue Nahuat/, s. v.). 

MoQCiHuix, 33. The fourth 
ruler of Tlatilolco. He as- 
sumed the power in 1441, ac- 
cording to some writers 
(Rustamente, Tezcoco, en /os 
Ultinios Tiempos de sus An- 
tigiios Reyes, p. 269). Tiie 
name probably means " He 
who comes forth a freeman." 
See Ixtlilxochitl, Historia 
Chichinieca, caps. 36, 51. 

Nacxitl Topiltzin, 105, 107. 
NacxitI, "the four footed" 
{nahui, ixitl), was the name 
of one of the gods of the 
merchants (Saiiagun, Hist, 
de Niieva Espana, Lib. I, c. 
19). In the song it is applied 
to Quetzalcoatl, who was also 
regarded as a guardian of 

Nahuatl (9, etc.). A term ap- 
plied to the language other- 
wise known as Aztec or 
Mexican. As an adjective it 
means " well-sounding," or, 
pleasant to the ear. From 
this, the term Nahua is used 
collectively for all tribes who 
spoke the Nahuatl tongue. 
A'a/iuatt also means clever, 
skillful, and the derivation is 
probably from the root na, to 

Necaxecmitl, 46. Name of 
uncertain meaning of a per- 
son otherwise unknown. 

Nezahualcoyotl, 35, 67, 119. 
Chief of the Acolhuas, and 
ruler in Tezcuco from 1427 
to 1472, or thereabouts. He 
was a distinguished patron 
of the arts and a celebrated 
poet. See p. 35, et seq. 

Nezahualpilli, or Nezahu- 
alpizintli, 14, 125. Ruler 
of Acolhuacan, son of Neza- 
hualcoyotl. His accession is 
dated in 1470 or 1472. 

NoNOHU.ALCo, 105, 125. Name 
of one of the quarters of the 
ancient city of Mexico ; also 
of a mountain west of the 
valley of Mexico. The deri- 
vation is probably from orioe, 
to lie down ; onohua, to sleep ; 
onohuayan, a settled spot, an 
inhabited place. The co is a 

Nopal or Nopaltzin, 46. 
Ruler of Acolhuacan, a. d. 
1260-1263, according to some 
chronologies. The name is 
from iwpalli, the cactus or 

NopiLTZiN, 67, 91. "My son," 
or " my lord," a term of def- 
erence applied to superiors, 
from pilli, which means son 
and also lord, like the old 
English child. Cf. Topiltzin. 

Otomis, 16, 49, 58, 64, 71, 95. 
A nation which inhabited a 
portion of the valley of Mex- 
ico and region adjacent, en- 
tirely dissimilar in language 
and appearance from the 
Nahuas. The etymologies 
suggested are unsatisfactory. 

Popocatepetl, 46. "The 
smoking mountain," the 
name of a famous volcano 



rising from the valley of Mex- 

POYAl'HTECATL, I05. A Volca- 

no near Orizaba (Sahagun. 
Hist, de Nueva Espana, Lib. 
I, cap. 21). Derived from 
poyaiia, to color, to brighten. 


warrior not otherwise known. 
The name is a double rever- 
ential, from quani, eater, and 
teconiati, vase, " The noble 
eater from the royal dish." 


village and plain near the 
southern base of Popocate- 
petl. It means "the place of 
the quechol woods," or the 
trees among which quechol 
birds are found. See Moto- 
linia, Historia de los Indios, 
Trat. Ill, cap. 18. 
QuAUHxiLOTL, 89. Name of a 
large tree, and applied to a 
warrior, ruler of Iztapallocan, 
whom Ixtlilxochitl, King of 
Tezcuco, placed at the head 
of his troops in his war with 
Tezozomoc. See Clavigero, 
Storia Antica di Messico, 
Tom. I, p. 185. 

QUETZALCOATL, 32, I43, 144. 

See note on p. 143. 

of a warrior, "the noble one 
of the beautiful hands" {qtiet- 
za/li, 7na>na, pi. of niaitl, and 
rev. term. tzm). Perhaps the 
same as Quetzalmemalitzin, 
ruler of Teotihuacan, men- 
tioned by Ixtlilxochitl, His- 
toria Chichnneca, cap. 35. 

QuiAVHTZiN, 93. Name of a 
warrior, "The noble rain" 
[quiatiitl, tzin). 

Tenochtitlan, 85. The cur- 
rent name for the City of 
Mexico; literally, "at the 
stone-nopal," from tetl, stone, 

nochtli, nopal, and postpos., 
tlatt. The term refers to an 
ancient tradition. 

Tepanecas or Tecpanecas, 
35. A powerful nation of 
Nahuatl lineage, who dwelt 
in the valley of Mexico. They 
were destroyed in 1425 by the 
Acolhuas and Mexicans, and 
later the state of Tiacopan 
was formed from their rem- 
nants. Comp. probably from 
iecpan,a. royal residence, with 
the gentile termination. 

Tepeyacac, Tepevacan, 93. 
From tepef/, mountain, j-arrt/"/, 
nose, point, and postpos , c. 
I. A small mountain on 
which the celebrated church 
of the Virgin of Guadalupe 
now stands. 2. A large town 
and state subject to ancient 
Mexico, now Tepeaca in the 
province of Puebla. 

Tetlapan Quetzanitzin, 68, 
69. A ruler of Tlatilolco, con- 
temporary of the conquest. 
See Note to Song VI. ' 

Tetzcoco, now Tezcuco, 14, 
35, 36, 77- Capital city of 
Acolhuacan, and residence 
of Nezahualcoyotl. It has 
been called "the Athens of 
Anahuac." The derivation 
of the name is from a plant 
called tetzcuUi {Cod. Rami- 

Tezozomoc, Tezozomoctli, 
35. 39. 67, 88, 89. A ruler of 
the Tepanecas, celebrated for 
his warlike skill and severity. 
His death is placed in the 
year 1427. The name, like 
Montezuma, is derived from 
zonia, to be angry, in this 
case from the reduplicated 
frequentative form, zozoma. 

TizATLAN, 103. "The place of 
white varnish" {tizail), the 
name of one of the four quar- 
ters of the city ofTlascala. 



Tlacomihuatzin, 93. "The 
noble cousin of the lynx" 
{t/aconiizt/i, lynx, hitan, post- 
pos., denoting affinity, tzin, 
reverential). The name of 
a warrior. 

Tlacopan, now Tacuba, 135. 
A small state west of Mexi- 
co and subject to it, built up 
on the ruins of the ancient 
Tepanecas. Comp. from tla- 
cotli, a slave. 

Tlahuican, 118. A Nahuatl 
province south of the valley 
of Mexico, so called from the 
cinnabar, tlahtdtl, there ob- 
tained (Buscimiann ; but the 
Cod. Ramirez gives the 
meaning" toward the earth," 
from tlalli and hide). 

Tlailotlacan, 140. One of 
the seven divisions of the 
city of Tezcuco (Ixtlilxochitl, 
Hist. Chichiyneca, cap. 38). 

Tlailotl.^qui, 84. Literally, 
"workers in refuse," or 
"scavengers." Said by M. 
Aubin to have been a tribe 
who settled in Tezcuco in 
the reign of Quinantzin. The 
term is apparently one of 

Tlalman.\lco, 42. A village 
near the foot of the volcano 
Pojjocatei^etl. Derived from 
tlahnanalli, level ground, 
witii postpos. CO. 

Tlalnahuacatl, 89. "Dweller 
on the land;" name of a 

Tlaloc, 45. God of rain and 
the waters ; a famous divinity 
among the ancient Mexicans. 
The word means " stretched 
on the earth," and the idol of 
the god represented a man 
extended on his back holding 
a vase. 

Tlapallan, 105. A mythical 
land from which the Toltecs 
were fabled to have come 

and to which Quetzalcoatl 
returned. The derivation is 
from tlapalli, color, especially 

Tlatetolco, Tlatilulco, 33, 
83, 85. A suburb of the an- 
cient city of Mexico, founded 
in 1338; from t late Hi, a 
mound, ololoa, to make 
round, the sense being " an 
island." See Motolinia, His- 
toria de los hidios, Trat. Ill, 
cap. 7. 

Tlaxcallan, now Tlascala, 
89, 93, 103. " The place of 
bread," from tlaxcalli, bread. 
Site of a warlike tribe of Na- 
huatl descent, east of the 
valley of Mexico. 

Tlatzin, 46. Chief of a town 
of the Chichimecs, situated 
on Lake Chalco. He flour- 
ished toward the close of the 
14th century. From tlatli, a 

ToCHiN, 89. From tochtli, 
rabbit ; name of the brother 
of the Tezcucan ruler Quin- 
antzin, and of many other 

TOLLAN, or TULAN, 46, I05, 

107. The ancient mythical 
capital of the Toltecs. The 
common derivation from to- 
lin, a rush, is erroneous. 
The name is a syncopated 
form of to?iatlan, " the place 
of the sun." 

ToLTEC, properly Toltecatl, 
46, III. An inhabitant of 
Tollan. The Toltecs were a 
mythical people, whose civil- 
ization was supposed to have 
preceded tiiat of the Aztecs. 

TopiLTZiN, 46, 105. " Our son" 
or " Our lord " (see Nopil- 
tzin). The term was espe- 
cially applied to Quetzal- 
coatl, q. V. See Orozco y 
Berra, Hist.Antig. de Mexico, 
Tom. Ill, p. 54. 



ToTOQUiLHUATLi, 41. From to- 
toquilia, to act as agent or 
lieutenant. Ruler of Tlaco- 
pan. The verse of the song 
in which this name occurs is 
given in the original Nahuatl 
by Ixtlilxociiitl, who says it 
was very popular throughout 
New Spain. See his Hisioria 
Chichiineca, cap. 32. 

XiCALANCO, 107. A locality 
on the borders of the prov- 
ince Tabasco. The people 
spoke Nahuatl. Deriv. xi- 
calli, gourd or jar, and post- 

pOS. CO. 

Name of a warrior not other- 
wise known. The compound 
seems to mean "skillful with 
angry hand " [xicoa, maitl, 
XicoNTECATL, 103. Name of 
several distinguished Tlas- 
calan warriors, lords of Tiz- 
atlan. See Clavigero, Hist. 
Aiitica di 3Iessico, Tom. Ill, 
pp. 38 and 40, One was a 
favorite of Nezahualcoyotl. 
See Ixtlilxochitl, Hisioria 
Chichimeca, cap. 40. 

XlUHTEUCTLI, 15. The god of 

fire, literally," the lord of ihe 
year," or "of the foliage." 

XiUHTZAL, 46. A queen of an- 
cient Tollan, said by Clavi- 
gero to have ruled from A. 
D. 979 to 984. Other writers 
give tlie name more correctly 
Xiuhtlaltziji, "Lady of the 
Green Fields," and place her 
death in 987. (Orozco y 
Berra, Hist. Antig. de Mex- 
ico, Tom. Ill, p. 45.) 

XoLOTL, 46. An early if not 
the first king of the Chichi- 
mecs. His death occurred 
in 1232. 

YoHUALLATONOC, 89. "Shining 
at night." Name of a war- 

Yopico, 22. A division of the 
ancient city of IMexico, con- 
taining a temple of this name. 
The word means "the place 
of the tearing out of hearts" 
{jo//to/,pi, co), from the form 
of sacrifice there carried out. 

YovoNTZiN, 35, 40, 66, 67. A 
name of Nezahualcoyotl. 
See p. 35. 



Aboriginal American Literature, 

Edited and Published by 


Professor of American Archeology and Linguistics, in the University of 
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, U. S. A. 

THE aim of the editor of this series is to put within the reach of 
students authentic materials for the study of the languages 
and culture of the native race of America. 

The plan is to print only such works as have been composed in 
the native languages by the natives themselves, thus presenting 
these tongues in their real forms. The jargons or mixed dialects, 
whose importance in linguistic science is now recognized, are 
included in this scheme. It is also kept in view to select pro- 
ductions which have some historic or ethnologic value beyond 
that to philology alone, and each is accompanied with translations, 
notes, etc. 

There have now been seven volumes of the library issued 
which can be obtained separately at the prices affi.xed. The edi- 
tions are limited to about 400 copies, barely enough to meet the 
expenses of manufacture, and it is hoped that the interest in 
American ethnology will be sufficient to admit of the continuance 
of the series. There remains in the editor's hands abundant 

material for this. If the expenses of the works can be defrayed 
by their sale, he hopes to publish the following additional volumes : 

tion of songs from ten or a dozen Indian tribes, with notes, 
metrical and literal translations, etc. The material for this is 
almost ready. 

astronomical and astrological calendars in the native languages 
of Mexico and Central America. A mass of curious and sugges- 
tive native lore. 

text, with a new and correct translation of this, the most valuable 
of all the native chronicles of ancient Mexico. 

A selection of extracts from Nahuatl writers, in prose and verse, 
from MSS. or extremely rare books, illustrating the development 
of the language and the psychology of the nation. 

V. LEGENDS OF THE MICMACS.— A collection of legends 
and tales in the Micmac tongue, composed by natives, with literal 
translations and a comparative study of Algonkin folk-lore. 

volume of the modern Mayas, one of the most remarkable com- 
positions of the native American mind. 

These and other works of a similar character will be issued 
from time to time, if sufficient interest in the series is manifested by 
students of this branch, by libraries and private collectors, to meet 
the cost of publishing them. 

Up to the present time this has scarcely been the case; and the 
editor feels that he has, perhaps, undertaken a task which should 
be that of a Society rather than a private individual ; but he 
hopes the result of this appeal will enable him to continue the 

In order to show the estimate which has been phiced by critics 
and Schorrs upon this series, so far as issued, the editor permits 

himself to quote the following : — 


" It is to be hoped that the InJian publications which Dr. Brintoii is issuing will meet 
with a wide circle of readers, and that others besides scholars of this department will 
interest themselves to aid the work he has so vigorously and successfully begun. To 
his call on 'learned societies, enlightened governments, liberal institutions, and indi- 
viduals throughout the world ' to help preserve the native American literature, there 
should be many Americans, at least, to respond." — Prof. C. H. Toy, in the American 
Journal of Philolosy. Vol. V. 

" The efforts of Dr. Brinton shcjuld be welcomed by all antiquarian students, for they 
are not only original contributions, but are presented in a readable .ind interesting 
manner." — The American Antiquarian. Vol. VI. 

" Scholars everj'where should vie with each other in encouraging this laudable enter- 
prise of Dr. Brinton. There are many specimens of aboriginal literary skill extant, 
which should be included in this library, as they are almost inaccessible at present."— 
The Kansas City Review, Aug., 1885. 

•' Around the ' red man ' native to America, there clusters an ever deepening interest, 
and the desire to know more concerning him increases every day. Such books <as those 
which Dr. Brinton has given to the public are well adapted to meet these require- 
ments."— r/j? Chauiauguan, Oct., 1S85. 

"We must repeat our thanks to Dr. Brinton for this excellent series, and again 
express our sincere wishes for its success. To the antiquary, philologist and ethnolo- 
gist these volumes are of the highest interest; and we hope that their publication will be 
continued until all available material is exhausted." — Notes and Queries, London, 
May, 1S86. 

Die Denkmaler, aus denen wir unsere Kenntnisse der friiheren Zustande der ameri- 
kanischen Volker schopfen konnen, reichen bekanntlich nicht weit zuriick und sind 
mitunter hochst unzuverlassig. Was unsere Vorfahren, befangen von einer beschrankten 
und verkehrten Weltanschauung, versaumt haben, namlich die sparlichen Ueberreste 
der literarischen Production der amerikanischen Aboriginer zu sarameln, jene Versiium- 
niss nach Kraften gutzumachen, dies ist der Zweck einer von dem bekannten Amerikan- 
isten D.\NiEL G. Bkinton in Philadelphia unternommenen Publication 

Brinto.n-'s Library muss in ihrer soliden Ausfiihrung als ein Quellenwerk ersten 
Ranges bezeichnet werden.— Prof. Friedrich Miiller, of Vienna, in the Miltheil. der 
Wiener Anthropol. Gesell. 

" On ne peut que remercier le savant professeur de Philadelphie pour cette cxcellente 
edition. L'oeuvre qu'il a entreprise et qu'il mene si activement, aura certaincment pour 
resultat de repandre aux Etats-Unis le gout des etudes historiques Americaines. M. 
Brinton aura ainsi rendu un signale service i I'ethnographie et i l'archa;ologie du 
nouveau continent."— Desire Charnay, in the Hevue d^ Ethnographie, 1884. 

"We hope that Dr. Brinton will receive every encouragement in his labors to dis- 
close to Americans these literary antiquities of the Continent. He eminently deserves 
it, both by the character of his undertaking and the quality of his work."— 7"<4f Ameri- 
can (Philadelphia). 


In 1885 the Socicte Americaine de France decreed the 
bestowal of a medal upon the editor of this series, in the 
following terms : — 

"\]nt Medailie de la Socii/i Americaine d'apres une composition nou- 
velle de M. le statuaire H6gel, i M. le Docteur Daniel G. Brinton, i Phil- 
adelphie, d616gue general de 1' Alliance Scientifique Universelle pour les 
Etats-Unis, qui, dans ces derniers temps, s'est placd par ses nombreux et 
savants travaux au premier rang des Am^ricanistes du Nouveau Monde." — 
Rapport Annuel sur les Recompenses et Encouragements, Paris, 1S85. 

The following list of the numbers of the library already issued 
will acquaint the reader with the character of each. All are printed 
in uniform style, on heavy laid paper, of the best quality, and are 
bound in cloth only. Each work can be had separately for the 
price affixed. 


Edited by DANIEL G. BRINTON, M.D. 279 pages. Cloth, uncut, $5.00. ($3.00 
when a complete set Is ordered). 

This volume contains five brief chronicles in the Maya language 
of Yucatan, written shortly after the conquest, and carrying the 
history of that people back many centuries. To these is added a 
history of the Conquest, written in his native tongue, by a Maya 
Chief, in 1562. The texts are preceded by an introduction on the 
history of the Mayas; their language, calendar, numerical system, 
etc.; and a vocabulary is added at the close. 

" Dr. Brinton's work upon the history of the M.iyas of Yucatan, is a most 
contribution to the literature of American antiquities. Comparative linguists, as well as 
archaiologists, will find a new and very interesting subject of study in these remains." — 
The {London) Saturday Review. 

" Jede Chronik wird im Originaltext, in englischer Uebersetzung und mit erkliirenden 
Noten mitgetheilt. Diese Chroniken setzen mis in den Stand, die Geschichte des Maya- 
Stammcs eine geraume Zeit hinter die Epoche der Eroberung des Landes durch die 
Spanier zuriick zu verfolgen." — Prof. Friedrich Miiller in the Mitt, der Wiener 
Anthrop. Cesell. 


" The author treats in a learned introduction of the name Maya, of the linguistic 
family designated by this word, of the origin of the tribe so-called, of their hieroglyphic 
books, and of the modern monuments of their literature. * * • The capital piece in 
the volume is the chronicle of Chicxulub, written by Nakuk Pcch, in 1562. Here we 
have to do with an instructed and intelligent man, a Cacique deeply concerned in the 
great events of which his country was the theatre on the arrival of the Spaniards, who 
relates facts of which he was an eye witness. * * * In publishing these chronicles, 
and this interesting record of a native chieftain, the editor has rendered an important 
service to history." — Revue d'Ethnographie, 1SS4. 


Edited by HORATIO HALE. 222 pages. Cloth, uncut, $3.00. 

This work contains, in the Mohawk and Onondaga Languages, 
the speeches, songs and rituals with which a deceased chief was 
lamented and his successor installed in office. It may be said to 
throw a distinct light on the authentic history of Northern America 
to a date fifty years earlier than the era of Columbus. The Intro- 
duction treats of the ethnology and history of the Huron-Iroquois. 
A map, notes and a glossary complete the work. 

" Mr. Hale's book is likely to make an epoch in North American Indian historj', 
giving, as it does, a. clearer insight than we have had before into the political constitu- 
tion and fortunes, and the personal character of the famous ' Six Nations,' who played 
so prominent a part in the land before and during the Revolutionary War." — American 
Journal 0/ Philology. Vol. V. 

" This work may be said to open a field of Indian research new to ethnologists. * * 
These precious relics of antiquity are concise in their wording, and full of meaning. 
* * * The additions made by Mr. Hale are almost as valuable as the text them- 
selves." — The Nation, New York, September 13, 1883. 

" The reputation of the author added to this fascinating title, will insure its favorable 
reception, not only by ethnologists, but also, the reading public. * * * A remarkable 
discovery, and indisputably of great ethnological value. * * * A book which is as 
suggestive as this must bear good Uu\t."—Scieitce, August 31, 1883. 

" The book is one of great ethnological value, in the light it casts on the political and 
social life, as well as the character and capacity, of the people with whom it originated." 
— Popular Science Monthly, November, 1883. 

" It is full of instructive hints, particularly as bearing on the state of so-called sav.ages 
before they are brought in contact with so-called civilized men. Such evidence is, from 
the nature of the case, very difficult to obtain, and therefore all the more valuable."— 
Prof. F. Max MuUer. 

" It is a philosophical and masterly treatise on the Iroquois league and the cognate 
tribes, their relations, language, mental characteristics and polity, such as we have never 
had of any nation of this Continent." — Dr. J. Gilmary Shea. 



Edited by DANIEL G. BRINTON, M.D. 146 pages. Cloth, uncut, $2.50. 
A curious and unique specimen of the native comic dances, 
with dialogues, called bailes, formerly common in Central America. 
It is in the mixed Nahuatl-Spanish jargon of Nicaragua, and 
shows distinctive features of native authorship. The introduction 
treats of the ethnology of Nicaragua, and the local dialects, musi- 
cal instruments, and dramatic representations. A map and a 
number of illustrations are added. 

" Critics and Scholars are bound to recognize the value of this curious book." — The 
{^London) Saturday Re^'iew. 

" We have here a work of careful research. Nothing seems to be lacking which the 
interests of this new field of study demand." — The Boston Universalist Quarterly. 

" The GiiegUence is the only specimen now known of the native American comedy. 
The character of the principal figure is a marked type of that peculiar kind of humor 
preferred by the native mind. This original production, with its valuable notes, should 
attract attention and awake an intelligent interest." — The Universalist Quarterly, 


By A. S. 6ATSCHET. 251 pages. Cloth, uncut, $3.00. 

This learned work offers a complete survey of the ethnology of 
the native tribes of the Gulf States. The strange myth or legend 
told to Gov. Oglethorpe, in 1732, by the Creeks, is given in the 
original, with an Introduction and Commentary. 

" Mr. Gatschet's book is devoted to the early history and traditions of the tribes that 
inhabited the watershed of the north shore of the Gulf of JMexico.-especially the Maskoki 
family, the most important member of which was the Creek Nation. The first part 
treats of tlie ethnic and linguistic groups of this region, the second part of the Kasi'hta 
form of the migration-legend. A second volume is to give the Hitchiti version, the 
notes .and vocabulary. Mr. G.atschet has put into convenient shape a good deal of infor- 
mation respecting these tribes, and seems to have proceeded cautiously in the use of his 
authorities. He leaves undecided the question whether the Creeks crossed the Missis- 
sippi going eastward in their migration. His remarks on the mytholog}', though brief, 
are judicious. The linguistic remarks also are brief. The author thinks that the 
parent Maskoki language cannot now be reconstructed ; at most a comparative grammar 
of the existing dialects might be written, and he points out what these dialects have in 
common, so far as can be m.ide out from published accounts." — American Journal 0/ 



By Dr. DANIEL G. BRINTON. Cloth, uncut, $3.00. 

Contains the complete text and symbols, 184 in number, of the 
Walam Olum or Red Score of the Delaware Indians, with the 
full original text, and a new translation, notes and vocabulary, 
A lengthy introduction treats of the Lenapc or Delawares, their 
history, customs, myths, language, etc., with numerous references 
to other tribes of the great Algonkin stock. 

" The editor, as might be expected from his well-known attainments, has illuminated 
this Indian narrative with a great wealth of illustration, historical, ethnological, and lin- 
guistic, set forth in a clear and attractive style. The recent history of the Delawares, 
their religious belief, their customs and language, are carefully explained, so far as is 
necessary for an understanding of the original work. .Altogether, the volume may be 
fairly said to form one of the most important and interesting contributions to American 
archaeology and ethnology that have appeared for many years. "^ — The {Neiv York) 

" Dr. Brinton's wide reading and industrious research enable him to present us with 
useful materials, among which, if employed with due caution, the ' Walam Olum ' must 
certainly be reckoned. The historical introductions are also valuable, especially as early 
Americana, copiously quoted here, are very scarce, and so expensive as often to be out 
of the reach of the student." — The London Saturday Re^'iew. 

"Dr. D. G. Brinton's latest contribution (No. V) to the Library of Aboriginal 
American Literature is not less valuable than its predecessors. It gives many legends 
of the Lenapes and redeems from oblivion an aboriginal chronicle which has long been 
looked upon askance by Americanists and denounced, by not a few, as a forgery of the 
eccentric Raiinesque." * * * The Kansas City Review, l8SS- 


Edited by DANIEL G. BRINTON, M.D. 234 pages. Cloth, uncut, $3.00. 
The original text, written about 1562, by a member of the reign- 
ing family, with a translation, introduction, notes and vocabulary. 
This may be considered one of the most important historical 
documents relating to the pre-Columbian period. 

" Dr. Brinton's volume is one of those complete and satisfying treatises, marked by 
careful research, clear exposition, and judicious comment, to which he has accustomed 
his readers. The translation bears every mark of painstaking fidelity ; and the intro- 
d ..ction, notes and vocabulary supply all the aids that a student will need. It is to be 
hoped that the present work will be followed by the Popol Vuh of the Quiches— that 
remarkable record to which Brasseur's fanciful interpretations gave special notoriety, 
and which, uiuier Dr. Brinton's recension, will assume its proper place and permanent 
value." — The (New York Critic. 


Dr. Brinton has added another interesting book to his editions of American texts. 
The Cakchiquels occupied a ponion of the area of the present State of Guatemala. The 
annals here published are from the pen of one of their own authors, a member of a dis- 
tinguished family. He describes the early history of his people and the arrival of the 
Castilians, with the events that followed their conquest. These are not very remarkable, 
but they serve to give a picture of the times. 

The editor has prefixed an index in which he discusses the ethnological position of the 
Cakchiquels; their culture; their capital city; computation of time; personal and 
family names ; tribal subdivisions ; terms of affinity and salutations ; titles and social 
castes ; religious notions and language. The people, like the Mayas and Aztecs, were 
agriculturists and builders. They had the art of picture-writing, but the editor leaves it 
undecided whether their system was derived from that of the Mexicans or that of the 
Mayas. Their literature consisted of poems and dramas. The form of government was a 
limited monarchy, the regal power being divided between two families, to one of which 
belonged the author of the Annals. — TVjtr American Journal of Philology. 


Edited by D. G. BRINTON, M D. 176 pages. Cloth, uncut, $3.00. 
In this volume twenty-seven songs in the original Nahuatl are 
presented, with translation, notes, vocabulary, etc. Many of them 
date from before the conquest, and none later than the sixteenth 
century. They have remained wholly unpublished and untrans- 
lated ; several are attributed to the famous royal poet, Nezahual- 
coyotl. The introduction describes the ancient poetry of the 
Nahuas in all its bearings. 

Contents. — Introduction ; the National Love of Poetry among the Azteca ; the 
Poet and his Work ; the Themes and Classes of the Songs ; Prosody of the Songs ; 
Vocal Delivery of the Songs; the Instrumental Accompaniment; the Preservation of 
the Ancient Songs ; The LX Songs of the King Nezahualcoyotl ; the History of the 
present Collection. 

XXVII Ancient Nahuatl Poems, with English Translation. 

Notes, Grammatical and Historical, upon the Native Text. 

Vocabulary. Index of Nahuatl Proper Names, with Analysis. 

In spite of the patient researches of Boturini. von Humboldt, Lord Kingsborough and 
others devoted to the preservation of the literature of the ancient Mexicans, not a single 
song of an authentic character has ever been published in the native tongue. Prescott, 
in his History of the Conquest of Mexico, Mlihlenpfordt, and later, H. H. Bancroft, 
have offered incorrect translations or imitations of these interesting productions ; but 
in this volume, for the first time, the genuine originals are printed, with a coherent 
English version. 









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