Ariège to Heart or Towards
In this small Pyrenean region of Ariège, flows its river,
Bristling with rocks in the middle of the waters descending from the Pic Nègre d'Envalira,
Cascading through the lush fir and beech forests below,
Which line the sides of the mountains with schist, granite and limestone.
O Ariège cradle of my tender years
Land of my roots at the gates of the South
You are the soul and the freshness of the Pyrenees
You're like a chamois peering into paradise
Irresistible you are a watercolor
Where flow your torrents of pure natural water
Carried away by the charm of your lands
For me you are the star of the Pyrenees
Large clumps of "gispet" grow on the outcropping rockery,
Arranged in tiers, leaving under the last bursts of the Pyrenean sun
The crests ignite, when caught in the edge of a distant peak,
Big cotton clouds stretch out like a muslin of watery mists.
On this "Courage Land", stoned and amended by the Ancients,
We always feel the ground of rebellion and refusal vibrate,
Heresy lies in wait for the smallest village and the diffuse Cathar spirit,
Like a royal eagle, still hovers over this authentic country of sapiens.
I salute you Borders of love
My sweet village with local accents
You who have always nourished my heart
Like a friend I come back to see you
I love your streets with the scents of yesteryear
Once trampled by needy people
Your ancestral walls are very much alive
Bodies outraged but oh so precious.
Your hillsides sculpted into terraces
Once the Eden of fruit trees
Make you a beautiful decor full of grace
Where you pause at their feet without even tearing.
Passed Piedmont curving above the valleys,
Both belvedere and step on the sea of rising rocks,
At the foot of Montcalm, towards Soulcem and its lonely summer pastures,
The shepherds perpetuate the tradition of fusional pastoralism.
With the approach of summer, the "dévête" sounds the hour of transhumance,
Cowbells around the neck, the cattle guided by the shepherds leave the valleys,
A time of celebration to the sound of thousands of hooves striking the paths,
For after the effort to taste the fresh grass of the mountain pastures, on vacation.
Close to the "courtal" of Goulur, above Massat, criss-crossed with drailles,
The Tarascon horned ewes feed on "licorice",
Watched from afar by the "majourals" sheltering in the "orris",
These girbé huts, in dry stone, within reach of cattle.
On these pastures the shepherd wears around his neck his "samage",
Small bag filled with salt for his cows and his ewes in freedom,
Sometimes accompanied by the black princes of the mountain pastures with their lustrous zain robe,
Mérens breed horses, the “Mérangais” with an excellent reputation.
In Vicdessos, these "orris" formed real mountain farms,
The "bourdaous", with sheepfold, storage room, cheese cellar, enclosure and chicken coop,
Where summer came, each family, "papé" in mind, "amoutagnat" in full,
Grouped together like at Carla, a real village of Cambroussard stones.
Seated on his "cadiérou", a small three-legged bench, the shepherd drew the milk,
In the "birou", a truncated beech jar cut to the hard spring moon,
He collected the "pinto", the cream, with the big "cuillè"
Flat like a blade, provided with a hollow hoof heel forming the spoon.
In a larger "birou", equipped with a piston agitated from bottom to top
We made "lè buré", butter, by separating the "ser", whey,
And to lose nothing, we beat the hot birou on the thighs
Where did the "batudo" come from, this treat of cylindrical and scented balls.
Without keystone or framework, the absence of wood in these cabins
Was explained by the application in 1827 of the Forest Code of Colbert,
Provoking the "War of the Demoiselles" in the Ariège in concert,
Where peasants disguised as women attacked guards and gendarmes.
No more "aleous", these seigniorial arrangements granted to peasants
To collect furniture and construction wood,
Disguised with the nightgowns of women of yesteryear,
Face down with braided masks, it was a mini revolution
In this courtal the cattle were kept at night, especially the sheep,
Not the cows, nor the rambunctious climbing goats,
Those who made sound, sang while hitting the ground with their stick
To dance in clogs, alluring boys and girls
Quin bestia qué soun las crabos (what cattle are the goats)
Quin bestia ta despietous (what cattle so turbulent)
Pey hors qué s'esparicon (by the gardens they disperse)
Qu'escapiton leys broutous (they decapitate the buds)
In these precarious shelters, the meal often consisted of a "machado",
Mashed potatoes with cow's milk, heated "sus arm",
Sometimes "the azinat" came to change the menu with this stew with bacon,
Composed of cabbage, beans, turnips, salt pork and red beans.
On holidays we offered ourselves a trout caught by hand without offense
In the edges of the lake, under the stumps of rickety beeches
Cooked over a wood fire on a hot slate or slate
With “pescaillous” or “cockles” soaked in a shot of “bi petit”.
As the light fades on the truncated cone of the Valier
The kingdom of the bears plunges into the twilight, lulled by Eole
"Lou Moussu" as the Ariégeois call him, walks through the forest
Where he finds at the end of the summer, beechnuts and blueberries which he loves
Coming out of hibernation, near the Col de Pause, this emaciated teddy bear
Go in search of “muguettes”, stale tubers
Of these large conopods with lace-cut leaves
Leaving his claw of contentment on the trunk of the beeches
Sometimes icon of the wild and beast world with ferocious whims
Sometimes troublemaker and sheep-eater
Sometimes clumsy hairball and tender companion of newborns
The bear divides and fuels tales and legends around the world
Animal symbol of the Pyrenees, it recalls the "ousaillès" of Garbet
Beret flattened on the skull, conquering mustache, ash bar in hand
He drove on the roads of France his chained companion
To the sound of "dance Martin and earn your bread".
Leaving the Ariège mountains, making a fortune in the United States
It is at the Rocher d'Ercé in New York's Central Park that we find them together
All have worked, some in the restoration have succeeded
Returning to the land of their ancestors, they are called “the enriched Americans”.
At the top of the small nipple overlooking the Coumebière plateau
The path runs from ridges to passes, in this Couserans pierced like Gruyère
Through the galleries of the old iron and silver mines
Unprofitable for thirty years, where Armentières saw its deposit close
Between shade and soulane, at the time of bird migration
The fearsome fast swooping hunter, the peregrine falcon
Will come in clouds of thrushes and starlings
Invading the stormy skies of autumn, taking its spoils.
On the banks of the Arreau pond, a kind of bluish glass oculus,
Pierced in the stone of a glacial lock, the oily butterwort,
Follower of bogs, traps insects coming to stick
On the hairs of its leaves coated with a sticky and viscous glue.
On the rocky slopes and in the rich pastures,
The Carline stems by closing its silvery flower heads
In case of humidity, serves as a barometer out of age
Under the gaze of herds of worried chamois.
The oule of the Cagateille circus, rivaling Gavarnie,
Receives the waters of the Hillette and Alet ponds with a bang
Jumping in waterfalls, between rockery and forests,
Ending in a stream where dragonflies flutter full of life.
By the Port of Aula leading to Spain, the "miquelets",
These "bandoulliers" looters of the highways were rampant,
While on this "Path of Freedom" used by smugglers
During World War II, persecuted Jews hid their pain.
Surrounded by pollard beeches, the emerald waters of Lake Bethmale sparkle,
In this valley, the men wear the "bareto", colored panties,
The gaiters with cords with pompoms, the embroidered white wool waistcoat,
And their famous tapered clogs in memory of Esclarisse.
Torrents of the Pyrenees
Sometimes dominated by the Lady of the Snows
The torrents happily leap in their merry-go-round
Carrying and polishing the pebbles torn from the brown mountain
On which the crystalline water plays leapfrog
Innocuous treat on the stalls of the merchants
These pebbles become terribly pests and nasty
When the river flow swells and roars
Rushing like a ruthless fury all around
Woe to all that stands in their raging way
Land confiscated without notice or summons
Stumped trees, torn bridges, devastated stores
From St Béat to Lourdes, all was desolation.
Foix in Ariège
Located at the confluence of the Arget and the Ariège
Foix on its proud rocky outcrop
Around the year 1000 saw the birth of a castle which protects it
The Counts will later develop it into an expensive palace
The hilly, pastoral and wild Ariège
Radiant under the sun, brings refreshing joys
With the laughter of its babbling waterfalls and streams
And the secret beauty of its lakes with fluorescent waters
But Ariège is also low skies and drizzle
With its filoches clinging to the mountains of the Fuxéens
Under the cheerful gaze of tender chicory
Tiny Melampyres or Sweet Fragrant Angelicas
My accent from Ariège of yesteryear
It rolls like the stones of the torrent
He sings like the winged crickets
He flies to the peaks of the Pyrenees
Guy says l’Arié…..Joie