Dear Roger, Susan, Kevin, and Alex,
My apologies for neglecting this for so long. Thank you very much for your time and thought on Draft Four. Draft Five is now posted above.
I posted some additional revisions to Draft Four a while ago in response to your comments, but was too cowardly about what you might say about the goldmines' shade bit to bump up the thread and hear you say it. Bless you, Alex, for letting me get away with that. (One of the advantages of my having set the bar so low with my previous attempts' mediocrity.)
Roger, one of the reasons I resisted "braid" was that braids are designed to keep hair under control, and to me the out-of-control hair in the second quatrain seemed a celebration of freedom.
And that freedom seems almost entirely due to the girl's youth. She is young enough to be allowed outside of her house while wearing her hair uncovered and loose, instead of in veiled and in a braid or in a bun. She is thus young enough to still considered by her conservative society to be a girl, rather than a woman whose physical beauty must be controlled and veiled and carefully regulated by propriety (since conservative societies usually seem to think that controlling women's sexuality is easier than controlling men's) and jealously guarded by the honor-obsessed men of her family.
Yes, I know that I am being way too literal, and that poets...um...use a lot of poetic license about golden hair, long after it's truly golden anymore. But the fact is that almost without exception, naturally blond hair darkens at puberty. During Garcilaso's time there was a saffron-based dye that could be applied to light brown hair once the natural gold was gone, but it lacked the metallic golden sheen of blond children's hair. (See Titian's portrait of Empress Isabella of Portugal
, who ruled Spain and who was a contemporary of Garcilaso--her hair seems to have been dyed with saffron. See also the darkening of Infanta Margarita Teresa
's blond hair more than 100 years later, in a series of portraits from toddlerhood to her death at age 21 or 22. The styles had changed, and her hair was still worn down rather than up, and was even ratted into that ridiculous poof that was all the rage in 1600. But it was no longer golden by her teen years.)
So I think the mention of hair so metallically golden that it seems to have been taken from mines' veins of gold, plus mention of the wind blowing a girlishly loose hairstyle, emphasize that the subject of Garcilaso's poem is not a woman, but to a girl. If so, that would also explain why the heart must be reined in in L4.
Garcilaso's attentions to neck and hair, just before mentioning her "peak" being covered with snow, might have suggested that this girl was destined not just to start getting white hairs in two decades or so, but to have her neck and hair hidden quite soon by either a white wimple or mantilla veil. (The expensive raven's wing black dye derived from Mexico's campeche tree
--strongly associated with Spanish fashion's shift to black lace in the mid-1500's, later enforced by --was still a New World novelty during Garcilaso's lifetime, when Spanish lace still tended to be white.) But of course I wanted to leave the white hair interpretation possible, too.
Susan, thanks for your suggestions, which definitely pointed me in a better direction.
Kevin and Roger, I should explain my initial dithering about translating "gesto" as "face." The more common word for "face," then and now, is "cara." "Gesto" usually refers to gestures, and in the context of the face it refers to expressions. I had thought that that might be significant here, given the poem's emphasis on the girl's age (belabored above), and the fact that girls tend to be more prone to blushing than women, and are often shy and inexperienced at hiding perhaps-embarrassing new feelings.
Roger and Alex, that's what I thought was going on with "honesto," too--inexperience at dissembling, or innocence about some kinds of open gazes being thought brazen and shameworthy.
But then I looked to see if Garcilaso had used "gesto" in other poems, and he had, and the context in those examples seemed clearer that he was just using it as a literary word for "face," rather than specifically about expressions. So I was over-translating there, and I've changed it to "features" for metrical reasons.
Thanks again for all the help, everyone. And Alec, thank you very much for your link. I envy you your accent, and I admire your translation: