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  1. Books, Americana
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  3. El Gaucho Martin Fierro / the Gaucho Martin Fierro
  4. Gauchos: Argentina’s revolutionary cowboys - G Adventures
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In , when Buenes Aires was finally voted official capital of the nation, Hernandez supported the motion in a long speech in Congress, urging the development of the country along the lines of the North American states, to take its place in international affairs.


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For this attitude he has been accused of disloyalty to Federalism, but in the same speech he warns against the obstacles created by excessive party-feeling in a nation emerged so recently from the bitter experience of civil wars. His positive loyalties remained consistent: it is always the land and its people that he urges to be considered foremost as the basis of the nation's strength and wealth. In , when he was Senator, Hernandez was invited to tour the world studying cattle breeding at government expense. His last words, reported by his brother, were "Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires Living through a period of the virtual formation of a modern state.

He, and still more his spokesman Martin Fierro, voice a spirit of the land that is still valid, even though the gaucho's life an Hernandez knew it has disappeared with the isolation that formed lt. Although Martin Fierro continued to be reprinted, it was not established as the national classic it is today until , when it was first studied seriously as an example of epic literature by Leopoldo Lugones, in a series of lectures collected in his book El Payador The Singer.

Quotations from it appear on advertisement hoardings, and it provides ornamental mottoes for suburban villas; editions appear continually, new artists illustrate it, and no critic escapes his obligation to opine on it. The difficulties of translating Martin Fierro must be obvious. As it in written in a language unique to its geographical and historical circumstances, no dialect of another language could be entirely appropriate: even with a similar background as with North American cowboys, for instance ; the inherited traditions, religion, etc.


In this translation those six lines are printed as three long divided lines: with very few exceptions each long line in English corresponds to two short lines in the Spanish, though for the sake of fluency the order of phrases may be rearranged. This should help readers whose Spanish is limited or who are unfamiliar with River Plate idioms, towards reading the original.

For this reason too, closeness to the text was given priority over trying to find rhyme or strict rhythm in English an English translation with these priorities reversed already exists in Walter Owen's of , which renders the poem's colloquial element often very successfully, though arguably not its dignity. Images have been translated directly wherever possible, though sometimes amplified to make the point of comparison clearer. Where there is any considerible departure from the original, the literal translation is given in a note.

Exceptions are cases where there is a saying in English with nearly precise equivalent meaning e. Untranslateable jokes e. In general words in Spanish have been avoided except when they have no translation such as poncho and mate , or have an important specific meaning criollo , with the names of some animals.

Frequently used general terms gaucho, indian, pampa, christian have not been given capital letters. In the end, Fierro rides off aimlessly, with no future, but once more embracing society.

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He held this office until his death, which occurred on October 21, , as the result of a heart attack. Back to Profile. Photos Works. Main Photo. School period Add photo. Career Add photo. Achievements Add photo. Membership Add photo.

El Gaucho Martin Fierro / the Gaucho Martin Fierro

Awards Add photo. Other Photos Add photo. Connections Add photo. And blue and black they drub your back, And over the head they rap you, And then all sore and smothered in gore, I They truss you up and they give you more, And elbow to elbow tethered tight, the filthy stocks they clap you. Not even the lookers-on were spared In the drive they made that day, They made no bones about right or wrong, But all they laid hands on they hustled along, Save one that to please the barkeep's wife, The sergeant let get away.

They formed us up at the door and said We must serve the Government; And they mixed us up with a wretched lot That at some other place they'd caught; Not the devil himself, it seems to me, Could anything worse invent.

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I knew the Judge had a down on me, For I'm no politician; On voting day I had stayed away, And somebody since had heard him say That those that didn't vote for him Were helping the opposition. And so no doubt I was ruined there At a game where I held no hand, For whether the lists be bad or good, At the polls there's always trouble brewed, And I stay away, for I've got no use For things I don't understand.

Gauchos: Argentina’s revolutionary cowboys - G Adventures

And before we went off, the Judge he up And made us a long harangue; He said they'd treat us like gallant men, And he promised us over and over again, That we'd only serve six months and then, He'd send the relieving gang. A neighbor told me afterwards That I hadn't been gone very long, When they sold the cattle to pay the rent, And that after the cattle the land soon went, And one day the Justice seized the rest And auctioned it off for a song.

And my poor boys, when the place broke up, Were scattered with the rest; They had to go when the land was sold; They got jobs as 'peones' I was told, But how could they work? When I think of their lot it seems to me My heart is near to break. They told me the older of the two Said he'd stick to the young one, and see him through; God send some Christian to take them in, If only for pity's sake. And my wife--alas! They said with some hawk she flew away, That had hung round there for many a day; No doubt she did it to get the bread That I wasn't there to give her.

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Full often, of things one has to spare, Another has none or few; When she hadn't a single copper left, And of husband and sons she was bereft, If she wasn't to stay and starve to death, What else could the poor thing do? And as I wasn't at all well in With the law of that neighborhood, As soon as I saw him begin to kick, I thought I'd better be moving quick; So I made for the horse-rail, trying to look As innocent as I could.

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I mounted, and calling on God for help, I took up the trail again; For the gaucho that gets a bad name must roam, There's never a place he can call his home; Wherever he goes he is dogged by woes, And his life is but sorrow and pain.