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Pender de un leño, traspasado el pecho,
y de espinas clavadas ambas sienes,
dar tus mortales penas en rehenes
de nuestra gloria, bien fue heroico hecho;
pero más fue nacer en tanto estrecho,
donde, para mostrar en nuestros bienes
a donde bajas y de donde vienes,
no quiere un portalillo tener techo.
No fue ésta más hazaña, oh gran Dios mío,
del tiempo por haber la helada ofensa
vencido en flaca edad con pecho fuerte
(que más fue sudar sangre que haber frío),
sino porque hay distancia más inmensa
de Dios a hombre, que de hombre a muerte.
Read an English translation here
–Luis de Góngora, Al nacimiento de Cristo, nuestro Señor (ca. 1617)
Listen to the traditional Castellian Villancico “Riu riu chiu,” traditionally sung on Christmas Eve, in a setting by Mateo Flecha el Viejo from about 1550, performed here by Kalenda Maya, a Norwegian group specializing in music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Years that a Nigerian woman appealing a sentence of death by stoning in March will be allowed to live to wean her baby:
Movie editing was found to have evolved toward the natural pattern of human attention, which corresponds to the natural rhythm of the universe; Rebel Without a Cause, in particular, was found to possess a near-perfect universal rhythm.
Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, announced that he has ordered the country’s navy and coast guard to bomb the ships of kidnappers even if civilian hostages are on board.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."