Merry Tormes

Men of La Mancha

“Carters and peasants
found me soft to the touch.

I’ve had my fill of everything,
save money, youth, power, fame …
yet pleasure brings its own reward.

I never treasured money
more than the sweet caress,
flesh on treasured flesh.

Better a trellised bed
with horsehair blankets
than that bed of sour, dry earth
where I will one day lie.

let us strike a bargain,
for when midnight strikes
there’s no one prettier than I
for that is the hour of my greatest

Lead me then to where
I can get your full attention.

But keep me far from madmen
who call me outlandish names:
virgin, maiden, sweet and chaste …

 … all foreign to my every intention.”








 Men of La Mancha

Insubstantial dream
extracted from a madman’s mind,
who dares to magic her back to this world?

Who could want what with her now?
She exists nowhere.
Can you conjure her up from mists?

Once she was Echo: her voice
dependent on a mad rogue’s tongue.

Moonlight through the glade.
White foam atop the sea.
Betrayal of every dream
once she is found.

For he who creeps into her bed
finds plain Aldonza there.
The enticing breasts that made him drool
are shrunken dugs when seen up close.

Her horse is but a donkey
and she herself is but a dream
woven from the fabric of another’s whim.

Allow Dulcinea her well-earned rest.
Take care lest she roll over and start to snore:
Dulcinea turned Aldonza ever more.

Sancho Panza


San Chopanza

 Men of La Mancha

“How much did you say?
Is it in writing?
Let me see the words.
Better, since I cannot read,
let me taste the gold.

You have not brought it?
Just this paper signifying cash?
And promises? Promises
I can trust because you’re known
to keep your word?

Thank God I cannot write.
I will not make my mark.
Men like you I met
when I governed my island,
and I chased them from my realm.

Owners of hollow staffs,
muscular women
strong in the arm and weak
in defense of their honor.
Do you, sir, take me for a fool?

When you awake the man,
beware the grown-up’s fist.
Do you know who I am?
Have you read my history
that tours the world in print?

 Read it, sir, and know me
for who and what I really am.
And the next time that we meet,
if you would drive a bargain,
bring gold, good food, and wine.”

Don Quixote


Donkey Hotay

 Men of La Mancha

Saddle his steed
and let him ride
uphill and down.

The world is wide
enough for a knight
and his faithful squire
to find at road’s end
what they most desire.

Let him obey his vow.
Let him best portray how
a true knight,
worthy of the name,
guards from shame
his knightly honor
and his beloved’s fame.

Let no mage
despoil that Golden Age.

Onward, ever onward,
to glory and renown,
and let him once again

tilt at windmills and knock
falsehoods down.