Monday, May 21, 2012

The Hero Twins' Challenge (or, "Xbalanque, Hunahpu, Have I Got a Deal For You!")

[Hurucan and the Sky Gods conspire against Seven Macaw. The Hero Twins, the Popol Vuh's most important protagonists, are introduced.]

Seven Macaw holds back my rains.
No flood can come while he remains.

And one of the gods asked:
Who is this Seven Macaw?
He was not with us at the Creation;
No one has seen him up here in the Sky.

And some of the other gods said:

Some say he is a man who became a bird,
Or a bird who became a man.

He fancies himself a god.

He says that he is the Sun.

Then Hunahpu and Xbalanque,
The sons of One-Hunahpu,
Spoke forth in anger:
He is not the Sun!
Our father, One-Hunahpu, is the Sun,
Our father, and he alone!

Why does your father not claim his throne?

He cannot rise while the false sun reigns.
Our father dwells in Xibalba's gloom,
Locked within its darkest room,
Where he lies in deepest shame
Without a way to clear his name
From his defeat before the Lords
Of dark Xibalba, who over him scored.
He cannot rise 'til the sky is cleared
Of that usurping, upstart bird!

Xbalanque, Hunahpu,
This promise I now make to you:
Should you slay that man, that bird,
I, Heart-of-the-Sky, swear on my word,
Your father's place shall be restored;
He shall again be Solar Lord.

Hunahpu and Xbalanque:
Then off we go, to hunt Macaw,
And thus restore the Cosmic Law!

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