Fernán Pérez de Guzmán.

Some unpublished poems of Fernan Perez de Guzman online

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[Reprinted from the Publications of the Modern Language Association of
America, Vol. XII, No. 2.]



H. R. R.

April 3, 1897.



Spain, during the fifteenth century, was very prolific in
writers of verse, as a glance at the Cancioneros of Baena,
Castillo, Estufiiga, and a number of other early collections,
both printed and manuscript, will show. That these were
not all poets by divine right, no one perhaps will gainsay, nor
would the world have suffered any great loss, if much of their
verse had disappeared forever. In the time of Don Juan II.
(14071454), himself a poet, 1 it seemed to have been considered
a necessary accomplishment of every courtier to write poetry,
and as the Spanish language falls into measure and rhyme at
the slightest provocation, the practice of such an accomplish-
ment was fraught with little difficulty. Still, despite what
has been said above, there is a charm about much of the poetry
in these Candoneros that is undeniable, and among their poets
many names occur that will always occupy an honorable place
in the literature of Spain. With perhaps a few exceptions,
the best poetry in these collections is found in the short lyrical
pieces. They are often delightfully naive, but necessarily
suffer from sameness, love' being the theme of most of them,
and even this may become wearisome. But there were also
poets, though in much lesser number, who turned their thoughts
to things spiritual. Of these, two of the most famous were the
Marquis of Santillana, 2 and his kinsman Fernan Perez de

l The poems of Don Juan II., King of Castile, have been printed by Pidal
in the Appendix to the Cancionero of Baena, Madrid, 1851, p. LXXXI. One
of the manuscript collections alluded to above has since been published by
the writer: Der Spanuche Cancionero dts Brit. Mus. (us. Add. 10431) in
Vollmoller's Romanische Forschungen, Bd. x, Erlangen, 1895.

*They are collected under the rubric "Obras devotas," in Amador de los
Rios, Obras del Marques de Sanlillana, Madrid, 1882, p. 299 ff. With the
religious poems of a later poet, Juan Tallante, a Valencian, begin all the
editions of the Cancionero of Hernando del Castillo, from 1511 to 1573.



Guzman, some of whose religious poems are here published
for the first time. They are among the best verses that he
has written, and are very fairly illustrative of his style and
ability as a poet.


Fernan Perez de Guzman, Sefior de Batres, was the son of
Pero Suarez de Guzman, Notario Mayor of Andali^ia, and
of Dona Elvira de Ayala, a sister of the great Chancellor of
Don Juan II., Pedro Lopez de Ayala. 1 Unfortunately neither
the year of his birth, nor that of his death are known.

Ticknor says (vol. I, p. 420), " he was born about the year
1400," a date which has been generally accepted, but which
is certainly wrong. In all probability Fernan Perez was born
about a quarter of a century before this ; nearly all the facts
we know concerning his life point to the period between 1375
and 1380 as the time of his birth. 2 In the Candonero of
Baena (ed. of Madrid, 1851), p. 629 (No. 571), we read the
following, prefixed to a poem by Fernan Perez : " Este dezir
muy famosso 6 bien fadado 6 letradamente fecho fiso 6 orden6
el dicho Ferrand Peres de Guzman, sefior de Batres, quaudo
mury6 el muy ourrado 6 noble cavallero don Diego Furtado de
Mendoza, Almirante mayor de Castilla." Pidal, in a note to

1 The best sketch of the life and works of Fernan Perez de Guzman, to
which all later accounts have been more or less indebted, is the one prefixed
to his Oeneraciones y Semblamas (Madrid, 1775), and written, I think, by
D. Eugenic Llaguna y Amirola, the name not being given anywhere in the
copy I have, which contains also the Centon Epistolario of Fernan Gomez de
Cibdareal, and the Claros Varones de Castillo, of Fernando del Pulgar. See
also Ticknor, Hist, of Span. Lit , i, 420. The tatter's statement, however,
that the father of Fernan Perez was a brother of the Marquis of Santillana,
is a mistake. See Amador de los Rios, Obras, etc., p. x. Amirola, I. c. t
gives no date of the birth of our author. Some account of the Guzman
family is given in Salazar de Mendoza, Origen de las dignidades seglares de
Castilla y Leon, Madrid, 1794, pp. 362, 363, and also Fernandez de Navar-
rete, Vida del celebre poeta Garcilaso de la Vega, Madrid, 1850, p. 145. Gar-
cilaso was a descendant, in the female line, of Fernan Perez.

*See below, p. 254, note 1.


this poem, says : " The Almirante D. Diego Hurtado de Men-
doza died in 1405, a time when Fernan Perez could not have
written verses, if, indeed, he was yet born" (p. 701). But
there can be absolutely no doubt that our author wrote this
poem, for it is the very one mentioned by the Marquis of
Santillana in his well known letter to the Constable of Portu-
gal, 1 to be referred to hereafter. The Marquis quotes the first
verse of the poem :

" Onbre que vienes aqui de pressente,"

thus leaving no question on this point. But there is other
evidence in the Caneionero of Baena to show that Fernan
Perez was a well known poet at the beginning of the fifteenth
century. A reply by him to a dezir of Franpisco Imperial's
is found on page 224 (No. 232). The latter was a Genoese
who wrote a long poem (ibid., p. 197, No. 226), celebrating
the birth of Don Juan II., at Toro in 1405. From others of
these poems (Nos. 113, 545, and 546) we also see that Fernan
Perez exchanged verses with Alfonso Alvarez de Villasandino,
a poet who, according to Pidal (/. c., p. 640), wrote as early
as 1374, if not earlier. 2 These facts induce Pidal to doubt
Fernan Perez' authorship of these poems in the Caneionero of
Baena; he says: " deben ser de otro poeta" (p. 658). But
in view of the direct testimony of the Marquis of Sautillana
above, Pidal's doubts are unfounded. Besides, we know that
our poet's mother was a sister of Pedro Lopez de Ayala.
Now, Don John's great Chancellor was born in 1332, and
died in 1407. From this, the impossibility of Perez de Guz-
man's being born as late as 1400, is at once apparent. In
addition we are to take into account that the Marquis of

'Amador de los Rios, Obras, p. 16. The Constable of Portugal (1 429-66),
afterwards King of Aragon for a brief period, was also a poet, whose verses
are printed in the Cancioneiro de Eesende, ed. Kausler, vol. i, pp. 67-69. See
.Romania, xi, p. 155, and Grober's Grundriss, vol. n, pp. 135 and 231-232.

'According to Amador, Obras del Marques de Santillana, p. 592, Villa-
sandino was born in 1340, and died about 1420.


Santillana (born iu 1398) calls Fernan Perez his uncle. The
latter was therefore probably, though not necessarily, older. 1
Like many other distinguished Spaniards of his time, Fer-
nan Perez de Guzman was both a soldier and man of letters.
The earliest notice of him in the Chronicle of Don Juan II.,
is under the year 1421. In that year he was sent, together
with the Archbishop of Santiago, as an envoy of the Infante
Don Enrique, to the Queen of Aragon, the mother of the
latter. According to Gomez de Cibdareal, 2 Fernan Perez de
Guzman took part in the battle fought by King John II.
against the Moors at la Higueruela in 1431, fighting under
his cousin Don Gutierre de Toledo, Bishop of Palencia. A
curious incident of this battle is related by the same writer.
He says : "After the battle the King commanded Alfon de
Acufia that he should take as prisoners to Cordova Fernan
Perez de Guzman, he of Batres, and the Comendador Juan de
Vera of Merida, because they had, in the presence of the
King, vehemently disputed the honor of having rescued Pero
Melendez Valdez from the hands of the Moors. He was
only released through the intercession of the Prior Don Juan
de Luna." On the King's return to Castile he ordered Don
Gutierre de Toledo, whom he suspected of being in communi-
cation with the Kings of Aragon and Navarre, to be put in
prison. Fernan Perez was also imprisoned, for no other
reason, apparently, than that he was a cousin of Don Gutierre.
There may have been some reason for suspecting the latter
(see Epistola LII), but as nothing could be proved against the
Bishop, both were set at liberty.

1 It was not until long after the above was written that I was enabled to
consult Amador de los Kios, Historia Qritica de la Literatura EspaHola, vol.
vi, p. 212, where a portion of the will of Pero Suarez de Guzman, the father
of Fernan Perez, is quoted, dated January 9, 1381, in which he mentions
his three children, Ferrando, Maria and Aldonza, and says of them "son
pequefios menores de edat ; " also that his wife was already dead. So, if
Ferrando was the oldest child, he must have been born about 1376, at the

* Cenlon Epistolario. Epistola LI. Ed. 1775, p. 92.


Puibusque l says of their release : " Mais la politique eut
plus de part que la justice a leur elargissement ; Mafaya,
ainbassadeur de Portugal, intervint en leur faveur. Perez de
Guzman, degoute des intrigues par cette rude lecon, se retira
dans sa seigneurie de Batres, et ne se raela plus aux troubles
qui agiterent tout le r&gne de Jean II. II mourut vers

After this imprisonment (1431), Fernan Perez seems to
have abandoned the profession of arms ; at all events, there
is no record of his having taken any part in the wars which
for years afterward devastated the kingdom. The above date
(1470) is taken from Llaguno, who says (1. c., p. 192), " I
presume that he died before 1470, for the introduction by
Doctor Pedro Diaz to the Querella de la Governation of
Gomez Manrique, 2 seems to have been written in the last
years of the reign of Don Enrique IV. (1454-1474), and in
it he speaks as if Fernan Perez were already dead."

There is nothing in this introduction, however, to show
that it was written "in the last years of the reign of D.

1 Histoire comp<iree des Literatures Espagnole et Fran$aise. Paris, 1843.
Vol. i, p. 417. The source of Puibusque's information is unknown to me.
In the Chronicle of D. Juan II., p. 310, the Portuguese ambassador is called
Pero Gomez Malafaya.

'This Introduction is printed in: Paz y Melia, Cancwnero de Gomez
Mamique. Madrid, 1885. Vol. u, pp. 230 ff. The rubric is as follows:
Introdu9ion al dezir que conpuso el noble cauallero Gomez Manrique, que
yntitula : Exclama9ion e querella de la Gouerna9ion, al muy noble e muy
reuerendo senor, su syngular senor, Don Alfonso Carillo, por la gracia de
Dios Arcobispo de Toledo, por el Doctor Pero Diaz. Diaz says (p. 233) :
En la nuestra Ispafia a avido assy mesmo grandes varones de conponer en
metro, entre los quales fue Fernand Perez de Guzman en aquesta nuestra
hedad. que fue cauallero bien ensenado, e conpuso notables obras, assy
quanto alia forma del conponer como ala senten9ia de las cosas conpuestas.
He then speaks of the Marquis of Santillana (died in 1458), as though he
too were already dead. Perhaps much faith cannot be put in the words
of the Toledan Doctor, who says, on the next page that Gomez Manrique
(born 1415) is beginning to write verses, and that if time spare him, he
will equal the poets already named. Supposing that this was even no later
than 1458, it will be seen that Don Gomez must have courted the muse
rather late in life.


Enrique IV." It only shows that it could not have been
written before 1446, for in that year Alfonso Carillo, of the
house of Acufia, became Archbishop of Toledo, nor after
1482, in which year the Archbishop died (Garibay, Com-
pendia Historial, Barcelona, 1628, pp. 480 and 633). Rios
is therefore mistaken when he says this dedication was proba-
bly written between 1483 and 1487 (Historia Critica, vol.
vn, p. 109, note).

We know that Fernan Perez wrote a poem on the death of
his friend Don Alonso de Cartagena, Bishop of Burgos, who
died in 1456, and that he was still living in 1458, is shown
by the poem of Gomez Manrique, quoted below, though it is
very probable that our author did not long survive his great
kinsman, the Marquis of Santillana, who died in that year
(1458). Be that as it may, it is quite certain that he passed
the latter years of his life away from the Court, upon his
estates at Batres.

The following verses are found in the Candonero of Cas-
tillo (ed. of Madrid, 1886), vol. I, p. 147 :

" Ved aqui la inuencion mia
no sotil ni eleuada ;
como en Batres fabricada,
assi es grossera e fria."

And that his retirement was not voluntary is evinced by
his lines, likewise addressed to the Marquis :

" pues entre rustica gente
me fizo vivir fortuna." *

There is ample evidence to show that in his time, Fernan
Perez de Guzman enjoyed great reputation as a poet. The
Marquis of Santillana says of him in his letter written in

'These lines are quoted by Llaguno, 1. c., p. 188, as being in the Intro-
duction to the " Quatro Virtudes Cardinales " of Fernan Perez. The Can-
donero General, I, p. 139, contains the poem, but evidently the Introduction
is there missing, as these verses cannot be found.


1449, to Don Pedro, Constable of Portugal: 1 "Fernand
Perez de Guzman, mi tio, cavallero doto en toda buena
dotrina, ha compuesto muchas cosas metrificadas, 6 entre las
otras aquel epit&phio de la sepoltura de mi sefior el Almi-
rante, don Diego Furtado, que comienca :

"Onbre que vienes aqui de pressente.

Fiyo muchos otros de9ires cantigas de amores, 6 aun agora
bien poco tiempo hd escrivi6 proverbios de grandes sentengias,
6 otra obra assaz titil 6 bien compuesta de las Quatro Vlrtudes
Cardinales." 2

Gomez Manrique, in a poem on the death of the Marquis of
Santillana, says that no one is capable of doing justice to the
great virtues of the deceased as well as Fernan Perez de Guz-
man :

*'un cauallero prudente

tan sabio que, ciertamente.

yo no hallo que nos queda

otro ninguno que pueda

tomar el cargo presente." 3

The religious poetry of Fernan Perez de Guzman appears,
as is quite natural, to have been written during the latter years
of his life. In a treatise called the Oracional, or Book of
Devotion, written by Don Alonso de Cartagena for Perez de
Guzman, and printed at Murcia in 1487, the author says in
the prologue, speaking to Fernan Perez : " En vuestra juven-
tud, y en la viril edad, 6 algun tanto provecta, vos veia
ocupado en questiones, e facer vuestros dulces metros 6 ritmos,
que coplas llamamos, de diversas materias ; mas eran sobre
cosas humanas, aunque estudiosas 6 buenas. Pero agora
acordades pasar & lo divino 6 devoto, que todo lo humano
trasciende, escribiendo por vuestra suave metrificatura himnos
6 oraciones, 6 otras contemplaciones pertenecientes & considera-

1 The date of this letter has been quite clearly established by Rios, Obras
dd Marques de Santillana, p. xc, note.

2 Rios, /. c., p. 16. 3 Cancionfro General, I, p. 167.


cion del culto divino, de que yo algo lei 6 vi leer 6 loar al Rey
(Don Juan el II.) de gloriosa meruoria, que de pocos dias acd
de nos se parti6."

As Don John II. is here mentioned as having died but
a few days before, this prologue must have been written in
1454. For an account of the other works of Fernan Perez
one may consult Ticknor, vol. I, p. 423 et seq. Several of
them exist in MS. in the National Library at Madrid, and
have not yet been published, so far as I know. See Gallardo,
Ensayo, etc., vol. n, Appendix, p. 126.


The poems here subjoined are contained in three MSS. of
the Biblioth&que Nationale, Paris, described in the Catalogue
under the numbers 587 () ; 588 (<7); and 591 (F). 1 Of

1 Catalogue des Manuscrits Espagnok et des Manuscrils Portugais, par M. A.
Morel-Fatio, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1892, p. 192. These poems are
found likewise in the Cancionero de Ijcar. See Gallardo, Ensayo de una
Biblioteca Espanola, etc., Madrid, 1863, vol. i, rol. 586; also in a Cancionero
in the private library of the King of Spain. See Pidal, in the introduc-
tion to the Cancionero de Baenn, Madrid, 1851, p. LXXXVII.

Since the above was written, I have had an opportunity to examine the
Cancionero de Ixar, now in the National Library at Madrid. The " Cient
Trinadas " begin on folio 295, and the other poems of Fernan Perez here
printed, on folios 66 ff. The readings of this MS. agree, except in a very
few instances, with B ; the variants are marked /. It may be mentioned
here that the Cancionero de Ixar is composed of at least three separate col-
lections, made at various times, and bound together in one volume. The
first and earliest portion of this Cancionero ends on the verso of folio 329,
where the date is given as follows: "A nueve dias de Marco Afto MCCCCLXX."
In the additional poems that follow, two handwritings are easily distin-
guishable ; the first being probably as late as the middle of the sixteenth
century; the last, perhaps, even of the seventeenth century. The poems
here printed are likewise contained in volumes in and iv of a MS. Cuncio-
nero dtl Sigh XV, in ten volumes, also in the National Library at Madrid :
No. 9 in vol. in, the others in vol. iv. All of these volumes are recent
copies, the verses in volume in being copied from the Cancionero de Fray
Jnigo de Mendoza, now in the private library of the King; those in volume
iv, from the Cancionero de Fernan Ptrez de Guzman, likewise in the King's


these manuscripts, is the oldest, being of the latter part
of the fifteenth century; F, or that part of it, at least, that
contains these poems, is perhaps equally old; while C is
probably not much older than the middle of the sixteenth
century. There are indications, both phonic and graphic,
which show that F was copied by a Catalan scribe ; l B is
doubtful, the deviations from the Castilian orthography being
comparatively slight; while C is evidently Castilian. A pecu-
liarity of jB, which is shared by neither of the others, is the
constant occurrence of s where the etymology requires a z or c.
Among the graphic modifications in F which indicate a
Catalan scribe are : ch instead of c before a and o: I/uchas, II,
1 ; pocho, v, 4. The use of ny instead of fl : senyor, iv, 5 ;
enganyos: danyos, in, 66-67; senyalados, I, 108, and often.
The loss of prosthetic e, even in cases where it is necessary for
the metre: spiritual, I, 159; spanto, I, 236; stan, I, 279; scura,
IV, 12; spejo, iv, 28; strella, II, 18, etc. The spelling linatge,
Hi, 6 1 . Initial / and li instead of the Castilian form U: tieuas,

library. The variants of the latter MS. are marked iV, in the few cases that
my notes give them.

An examination of the MSS. (except N, my collation of this copy being
imperfect, and my attempt to consult the original, unsuccessful) shows that
they fall into two divisions: lif and CF, though other differences show
that neither one was copied from the other. The sequence of the stanzas
in i and the next to the last stanza of No. xi, are evidence, moreover, that
S and / do not derive from the same copy, while other differences between
C and F show that the same holds good for these. To properly edit the
poetry of Fernan Perez, the MS. in the King's library, would, of course,
have to be consulted, while the date of the Candonero de Ixar, which was
written probably within ten years of our poet's death, would alone entitle
it to much credit; still, the evident care with which B is written, together
with the fact that it is perhaps equally as old as /, h:ts induced me to adhere
to my original intention of merely publishing B, always indicating the vari-
ants of the other MSS. and making only such obvious corrections as they

1 It is true that most of the variations from the Castilian, that are noted,
might be due to Aragonese influence; liimtge, however, in Fia decisive for
Catalan. Two others, at least, of the Spanish manuscript Cancioneios, in
the National Library, are of Catalan origin. See Romania, in, p. 416.


VI, 19 (also in B); lueuen (Hover), ix, 23 (both B and .F);
leuan, ix, 43 (B, lieuan); lieuen, x, 48 (B only); leuado, xi,
112 (B) ; lamar, x, 27 ; lenos, ix, 34.

Among the phonic modifications in F are: Atonic u sub-
stituted for o: suspiro, I, 167; turmento, I, 206. Atonic a
instead of e: piadades, in, 70. The diphthong ue for o.*
muestrados for mostrados, I, 107. T final, instead off?, is the
rule in both B and F: grant, in, 73, and often ; ciudat, ill,
2; virtut, I, 81 ; segunt, in, 98; also where it has no etymo-
logical basis, as in ningunt, ix, 64; alyunt, in, 36; probably
influenced by segunt. The form ft, of the conjunction, has
been everywhere changed to e, while for the s of B, a z has been
substituted in every case where the etymology required it.
There are few peculiarities in the vocalism in addition to those
noted above. Latin and o are regularly diphthongized ; cf.
fruente, in, 90, later /rente.

Consonants. P is inserted between mn in condempno, I,
239; solepne, ix, 30; this is not rare in Castilian, and quite
frequent in Provencal and Catalan, cf. Mussafia, Die Catalan-
ische metrische Version der sieben weisen Meister, p. 159.

Ct rhymes with t: defecto: subjeto, ill, 24; it is merely a
learned spelling ; the loan-words have t, cf. Grundriss, I, p.
705. So pt: t, which it regularly became: escripto: bendito,
Viii, 21 ; cf. abto = acto, vi, 40; but latinisms abound every-
where in these poems. The forms alganga, iv, 55 ; alganqado,
algangar, VI, 37, seem to support the Arabic origin of this
word, first favored by Diez, cf. Rom. Forschungen, iv, 388.
As g however is not found in Castilian MSS., we may consider
it as an inaccurate reproduction of a word that was strange to
the Catalan scribe. Alcanzar took the place of older acalzar
and encalzar, and is a crossing of both, influenced at the same
time by the numerous words with initial al-; percanzar fol-
lowed ; the Port, has the older form percalgar. The rhyme
digno: camino, in, 108, shows that Fernan Perez, as indeed
all Castilians, pronounced dino, for which the scribe substi-
tuted the latinized spelling, and also wrote by false analogy



magnifesto, xi, 88, which would scarcely have slipped from
the pen of a Castilian. On the other hand the rhyme antigo:
eneinigo, I, 175-6, shows that the former is due to the poet;
it is moreover the regular form in old Spanish.


dent Trinadas d loor'dela Virgen Maria.

Alma mya,
Noche e dia
3 Loa la Virgen Maria.

Esta adora,
Esta onora,
6 Desta su favor implora.

Esta llama,
A esta ama,
9 Que sobre todos der-

Sin seruicios,
12 E nos libra de los vicios.

Esta estrella
Es aquella
15 La qual, Virgen e don-

Parid e cri6

18 Al gran Rey que nos

No tafiida
21 De culpa, mas eximida

Del maluado
E grant pecado
24 Quel mundo a contami-

Asi junta
Desque defunta
27 En cuerpo e 01rna as-

Fue al cielo
Con tal vuelo
30 Que en pensarlo me con-

Non se lee
Nin se cree
33 Que jamas se vyo nin vee.

Que quien llama
A esta dama
36 Con deuoto ardor e tiama,

5. Fa. esta h. 8. / omits A. 9. N todos dos d. 12. /e noblefa de 1. v.
18. Cal granrer. 19. Wanting in I. 21. C de al por mas e ; /del mundo
mase. 23. C omits e. 24. /contraminado. 25. CAffin junta; .Fasumpta;
N Ansi tacta. 26. N desque difinita. 27. F en cuerpo e en a. disjunta ;
N en c. e a. despanta ; / disjunta. 29. N de tal b. 30. F Que en lo pre-
sumir me c. 34. F lama ; C ama.



Su gemido
Non oydo
39 Fuesse, mas bien respon-

Esta rosa
42 E clara pyedra preciosa,

Con su uiso,
Gozo e riso,
45 Da todos el parayso.

Quien se inclina
A la rauy fina
48 Dulze flor de clauellina,

Sin fala9ia
Aurd la gra9ia
51 De aquel Rey quel pielo

54 Esta reyna, e no dude-


Quel favor
Del su valor
57 Nos dard salud e onor.

E dotores,
60 Sotiles conponedores,

63 Toda d 11)96 melody a,

Vos cantando,
Vos rimando,
66 Nunca cesses predicando,

1 3

Online LibraryFernán Pérez de GuzmánSome unpublished poems of Fernan Perez de Guzman → online text (page 1 of 3)