Rafael Pombo 1833 -1912

Whilst writing, walking and rehearsing in Bogota, found this gem by Colombian poet Rafael Pombo (1833-1912) just waiting to be turned into a song.

The Poor Old Lady

Once upon a time there was an old lady
With nothing to eat,
But meat, fruit, sweets,
Cakes, eggs, bread and fish.

She drank broth, chocolate,
Milk, wine, tea and coffee,
And the poor woman could not find
What to eat or what to drink.

And this old woman did not have
Not a little hut in where to live
But a large house
With its vegetable plot and its garden

No one, nobody cared for her
But Andrés and Juan Gil
And eight servants and two pages
with livery and bow-tie.

She never had anything to sit on
But chairs and sofas
With benches and cushions
And springs on the back.

Not another bed than a big one
More golden than an altar,
With soft feather mattress
A lot of silk and a lot of frills.

And this poor old lady
Every year, until her end,
She had one more year of age
And one year less to live.

And when looking herself in the mirror,
It always scared her there
Another old lady with glasses,
Little hat and a toupee.

And this poor old lady
Did not have what to dress,
But dresses of thousand styles
And of thousand and thousand fabrics.

And if not for her shoes,
Flip-flops, boots and booties,
Barefoot on the floor
was walking this wretch.

Appetite never had
When finishing eating,
Nor enjoyed complete health,
When she was unwell.

She died of wrinkle disease,
Already bent like a three,
And never complained again
Neither of hunger nor of thirst.

And this poor old lady
When she died, she left no more,
But money, jewels, lands, houses,
Eight cats and a turpial bird.

Rest in peace, and God allows
That we could enjoy
The poverty of that poor woman
And die as bad as she did.