I'm thinking it doesn't make any more or less sense in English or in Spanish. In other words, as Heidita pointed out, it's supposed to be poetic . . . biting the verse'? who knows? I found a spoof online which had changed "morder" to "roer" . . .
You're right, in English at least, the verse we bit is nonsense, but I have confirmation from a friend in Spain(on another language site)that bite is being used to mean ate, and the copla is being seen as food or sustenance. Bite as in "a bite to eat" is how I first started down that road. He recognizes his brothers even at a distance because of the meal they once shared, which has given them something which they recognize in each other, something that instead of being used up and needing replenishment continues to grow within them(semilla de inmensidad). The reason I have been translating this guy's stuff is that what he wrote and recorded is so good. You do have to be willing to think outside the lines(to mix metaphors) though.
from my amiga in Extremadura:
*Well, as you already know, words in poetry haven't got the real meaning.I'm not an expert in poetry, but , in my opinion, the first translation you did is the more suitable. From my point of view, the real sense of the line is that they know each other because their songs talk about the same ideas and Atahualpa is comparing verses with food, as if you were sharing a sandwich with other people. Here you are my translation for the complete verse:
So we recognise each other
because of the distant glance, (in Spanish mirar is here used as a noun)
because of the verse we bit,
the seed of immensity. *
She didn't realize how bad verse biting sounds in English, but I at least got some confirmation. This stuff is very much "of the people," and though poetic, and rich in metaphor and symbolism, will always have a meaning that is not too hard to get to. This is Argentinian folk music.