Martín Fierro Ordered Alphabetically


Victoria Cóccaro and Rebekah Boudon

a black girl riding behind him.
a blessed saint who touched the heart
A christian man takes leave of his senses
A criollo can make love
a deserter, naked and penniless,
a friend did me the favour
a gaucho always needs a good horse
a gaucho goes where he aims for,
A gaucho has to go through with it
a gaucho pays for his ignorance
a gaucho roams like a ghost—
A gaucho who’s in trouble
A gaucho works and gets nowhere,
a gaucho would make his way
A gaucho’d live in his home country
A gaucho’s born and he grows old
a huge fellow he was, and ugly!
a lance long as a lasso—
a lot of neighbours would turn up
a man can have in life.
a man can live as well—
A man feels love for them,
A man going through his hard life
a man has to turn this way and that
A man shows, in this life,
a Minister or Lord knows what
a nice little conversation
“a nice mattress . . . you’d make for me . . .”
a real winner he was, the brute!
a ruin, and nothing more.
a sound like the clank of a sword.
a string of horses from a ranch:
a strong one can pull through.
a whack with the flat of my sword.
a young tree growing
about nothing, and play-acting.
About that time
about the wrongs that we endure,
according to the times—
according to what I found out—
(according to what the Chief said)
according to what the Judge promised
acting virtuous,
after a lot of fuss
After he’d been hit, the black man had
after I’d saved my skin
After that misfortune
after the fright he’d had!
after they’ve stolen its young.
After two or three more days
against a gaucho who’s in trouble:
ah God, but I was left
Ah, what times they were! you felt proud
all alone, wild as a deer,
all because of a little quarrel—
all done on purpose, seemingly,
all for show, naturally,
All his stock was a few bottles
All I could do was give up for dead
all the army and the regiments,
all the kinds you need—
All the sad things you’ve heard about
all the strings of his guitar.
All there was to be heard was the mewing
along the trail of love—
already left without a father –
although I’ve been so deeply wronged—
Although it’s fair that the man who’s selling
Although there were a good many of them
always cheerful and well mounted
always has some hanger-on,
always lived in grand style.
always lived there under the cart,
always makes some mistake.
always poor and hounded:
among so many troubles,
an indian fixes everything
and a braver bull in the next one;
and a gaucho knows what it is.
and a good many days after that,
and a hundred things to talk over—
and a monkey that danced
and a pair of them went for me,
and a woman backs away like a mule
and after a good throw
And after they had passed it,
and after they’ve achieved it
and all the pain I’ve had to bear,

[. . .]

because a gaucho they call a vagrant
because a man does what he must.
because a man who is kept from sleep
because an outlaw has no nesting-place,
because he balanced the good things
because he came from Inca-la-perra—
because he had influence
because he’ll come down on you
because he’s a “gaucho thief”.
because his joke cost him dear.
because I can look after myself.
because I live sorrowing;
Because I never saw it come,
because I was riding a half-wild horse
Because if you set foot in your house
because in this country, friend,
because my tongue is twisting
because no matter how things are
because nothing teaches you so much
because now there’s no saving you,
because that kept well out of sight.
because that man wasn’t slow—
because that’s what the ones who rule us want—
because the best that happens is
because the great jug of booze
because the only use a gaucho is
because the rights of poor men
because the whole lot there were
because there was no ammunition.
because there was no stopping us—
because they were all in the dark
because they’d found some tracks
Because they’d go hitting you
because this has another key to it,
because when I’ve had a drink
because when there’s been rain,
because where a weak man gets stuck

[. . .]

even a glint of silver,
even a skirt or a shawl.
even after a drink or two—
even among savages
Even an Englishman ditch-digger
even as a punishment.
Even devils didn’t think up
even flies don’t come near me:
even ghosts don’t scare him—
even if it costs me my life.
even if it makes your wife miscarry . . .
Even if it’s no comfort
even if the colt went right over backward,
even if you all come at once.”
even in the dark I find my way
even the gaucho with most sense
Even the poor little angels
Even the poorest gaucho
even though he can’t tell where he is—
even though he stays there in charge,
even though he’s got a foot in the stirrup—
even though he’s got every right—
even though he’s shivering in winter
even though it tries to hide it—
even though the whole of my life
even though they’re out cutting throats:
Even though when they come for you
even though you weren’t doing anything
even your sight gets clear
ever since I was a child,
ever since we were outside—
every gaucho that you see
every unhappy soul
Everyone has to keep in mind,
Everything there works the wrong way round,
evils that everyone knows about,
except the wild beasts, and your loneliness.
except to go out at dawn
except when it has to be done,
experience is all that counts.

[. . .]

with a blade of pure steel.
with a card that’s marked so clear—
with a cart to take them away!”
with a crack from the pot of gin.
with a loaded dice.
with a sword clanking on my belt.
with all the cards in the pack.
with an instructor, a . . . fool
with feathers, and a few hides,
with gatos and fandanguillos,
with hardly a shirt to her back.
with her eyes red as chille,
with her nose in the air,
With him in Ayacucho I won
with his arms round my girl.
with his spear and a yell.
with his spear in his hand,
with his worship the Commandant.
with hope tugging him on,
with lands on the frontier,
with more reckonings than a rosary,
with no fear he’ll get you off—
with no help except from heaven
with no one to protect then,
with nowhere to rest my head—
with our horses dropping by the road—
with our mounts done in,
with plenty of work-hands
With so many of them, they surrounded me
with so much to bear!
with some kind of a sparrow-hawk—
with sorrow in his soul.
with such a raid and a spear-attack
“with tales about dead men—
with that girl of mine,
with that great darkness round him,
with that great darkness round me,
with the blood from his veins.
with the blood from the wound—
with the fire well alight
with the gringo who had the monkey—
With the guitar in my hand
with the halter-rein in his hand.
with the keeper of the store.
with the law thereabouts,
with the leathers squeaking loud.
with the men they’d caught at the dance;
with the point of my knife on the ground.
with the round spurs, on his shoulders
with the soft, I am soft,
with the sorrows he gave him.
with their ponchos around their arms—
with their swords, on your back—
with their tails between their legs,
with whatever they’d looted,
with whoever’s in command of us—
without a single rag to wear,
without a space between.
Without an aim or a fixed course
without any company
without enough even to smoke.
without even saying a prayer.
without ever starting the race.
without giving him time to breathe—
without giving him time to breathe.
without leaving you time to spit.
without letting out a squeak,
without pitying them, maybe—
without saying anything.
without shelter on a hill.
without taking carts or baggage
Women—I’ve known them all
women and bitches with litters
Women are all of them
women aren’t slow to act—
women don’t miss chances,
women have crossed it on their own
won’t be caught by these sort of tricks.
won’t believe all this, maybe!
would be to make a move.
would need no more than his poncho and sword,
would never leave his brother—
would see how little they know—
would settle the leathers on his back
would take a hold on it fearlessly
wrapped his poncho round his arm,
yelling out, Christian finish!
you can be sure of that:
you can put your trust in me.
you can take this for certain—
You couldn’t call that service
You couldn’t call that work,
you dirty gaucho,” he said.
you don’t see them, they’re so beaten down.
you eat everything, even the tails—
You gather experience in life,
You have to admire the skill
you live like a lord—
you live lying belly-up
you must have a tough skin—
you must have been bleating for a bit of love
you should have seen how he cried.
you should have seen how worried I was
You should have seen your friend Fierro
you show you’re a man of strength—
you won’t find one of them
you won’t have too bad a time.
you’d see nothing but cattle and sky.
you’d see some champions.
you’ll hear me tell of the sorrows
you’ll need some help to get out of this one.”
“You’re an outlaw” said one of them,
You’ve killed a coloured man
Your flesh shakes to see them,
Your Professors are no good here,

translated from the Spanish of Pablo Katchadjian and José Hernández

Editor’s Note: C. E. Ward’s translation appears here courtesy of SUNY Press.