Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The Garden, Full of Great Delight

Nicholas Grimald (1519-1562), The Garden:
The issue of great Ioue, draw nere, you Muses nine,
help vs to praise the blisfull plott of garden ground so fine.
The garden giues good food, and ayd for leaches' cure;
the garden, full of great delite, his master dothe allure.
Sweet sallet herbs bee here, and herbs of euery kinde;
the ruddy grapes, the seemly frutes, bee here at hand to finde.
Here pleasans wanteth not, to make a man [full] fayn;
here marueilous the mixture is of solace and of gain.
To water sondry seeds, the sorow by the waye,
a ronning riuer, trilling down with liquor, can conuay.
Beholde, with liuely heew, fayr flowrs that shyne so bright;
with riches, like the orient gems, they paynt the molde in sight.
Beez, humming with soft sound—their murmur is so small—
of blooms and blossoms suck the topps, on dewed leaues they fall.
The creping vine holds down her own bewedded elms,
and, wandering out with branches thick, reeds folded ouerwhelms.
Trees spred their couerts wyde, with shadows fresh and gaye;
full well their branched bowz defend the feruent sonne awaye.
Birds chatter, and some chirp, and some sweet tunes doo yeeld;
all mirthfull, with their songs so blithe, they make both ayre and feeld.
The garden, it allures, it feeds, it glads the sprite;
from heauy hartes all doolfull dumps the garden chaseth quite.
Strength it restores to lims; draws, and fulfils, the sight;
with chere reuiues the senses all, and maketh labour light.
O! what delites to vs the garden ground dothe bring!
seed, leaf, flowr, frute, herb, bee, and tree, and more then I may sing.
This is a translation of Asmenius, De Laude Horti (no. 635 in Riese's Anthologia Latina):
Adeste Musae, maximi proles Iovis,
Laudes feracis praedicemus hortuli.
Hortus salubres corpori praebet cibos
Variosque fructus saepe cultori refert:
Holus suave, multiplex herbae genus,
Uvas nitentes atque fetus arborum.
Non defit hortis et voluptas maxima
Multisque mixta commodis iocunditas.
Aquae strepentis vitreus lambit liquor
Sulcoque ductus irrigat rivus sata.
Flores nitescunt discolore germine
Pinguntque terram gemmeis honoribus.
Apes susurro murmurant gratae levi,
Cum summa florum vel novos rores legunt.
Fecunda vitis coniuges ulmos gravat
Textasve inumbrat pampinis harundines.
Opaca praebent arbores umbracula
Prohibentque densis fervidum solem comis.
Aves canorae garrulos fundunt sonos
Et semper aures cantibus mulcent suis.
Oblectat hortus, avocat pascit tenet
Animoque maesto demit angores graves.
Membris vigorem reddit et visus capit.
Refert labori pleniorem gratiam,
Tribuit colenti multiforme gaudium.
I've tried to piece together another translation, by Jack Lindsay, from Google Books' snippet view of his Song of a Falling World: Culture during the Break-up of the Roman Empire (A.D. 350-600) (London: Andrew Dakers Limited, 1948), p. 220, but there seems to be a missing line towards the end, as there is no line rhyming with adored:
Come, Muse, the child of Jove. Disclose
the merits of a garden-close.
A garden gives us food for health
and yields its owner apple-wealth:
delightful greens and herbs enough,
gleaming grapes and orchard-stuff.
Joy within a garden strays
and jocund profitable days.
Crystal springs send tinkling jets
that feed the plants with rivulets.
Flowers shine in grassy borders,
prinking earth with jewelled orders.
Bees, with grateful murmurs, sip
the fresh dew from each flower-tip.
Fruitful vines on elms are laid;
reeds and vine leaves wear one shade;
trees spread arbours everywhere
and check the heat with tangled hair.
The singing-birds express their joys
and soothe the ears with pretty noise.
the garden charms; it feeds, diverts,
and calms the heart that sorrow hurts.
Health is restored. Once seen, adored—
pleasure for labour it returns.
Manifold sweets the gardener earns.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?