Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Home Sweet Home

Homer, Odyssey 9.34-36 (tr. Samuel Butler):
For there is nothing dearer to a man than his own country and his parents, and however splendid a home he may have in a foreign country, if it be far from father or mother, he does not care about it.

ὣς οὐδὲν γλύκιον ἧς πατρίδος οὐδὲ τοκήων
γίγνεται, εἴ περ καί τις ἀπόπροθι πίονα οἶκον
γαίῃ ἐν ἀλλοδαπῇ ναίει ἀπάνευθε τοκήων.
Theognis 783-788 (tr. J.M. Edmonds):
For I have been ere now to the land of Sicily, ere now to the vine-clad lowlands of Euboea, and to Sparta the glorious town of reedy Eurotas, and all made me welcome in right friendly wise; but not one of them came as a joy to my heart, so true is it after all that there's no place like home.

Ἦλθον μὲν γὰρ ἔγωγε καὶ εἰς Σικελήν ποτε γαῖαν,
  ἦλθον δ' Εὐβοίης ἀμπελόεν πεδίον,
Σπάρτην δ' Εὐρώτα δονακοτρόφου ἀγλαὸν ἄστυ,
  καί μ' ἐφίλευν προφρόνως πάντες ἐπερχόμενον.
ἀλλ' οὔτις μοι τέρψις ἐπὶ φρένας ἦλθεν ἐκείνων·
  οὕτως οὐδὲν ἄρ' ἦν φίλτερον ἄλλο πάτρης.
Marcantonio Flaminio (1498-1550):
Beautiful forest, and you clear fountains,
and holy shrines of shining Nymphs,
how blest I would think myself, how favored by the gods,
if I could live and die in your embrace!
Now bitter necessity compells me to travel
to distant lands and to wear out my
poor mortal frame with toils abroad.
But you, Diana, guardian of that mountain,
if I have often chanted your praises with sweet
piping and crowned your altar with flowers,
grant me, goddess, a speedy return to your retreats.
But whether I come back or whether the Fates refuse,
so long as I remember myself, I'll live mindful of you,
beautiful forest, and you clear fountains,
and holy shrines of shining Nymphs.

Formosa silva, vosque lucidi fontes,
et candidarum templa sancta Nympharum,
quam me beatum quamque dis putem acceptum,
si vivere et mori in sinu queam vestro!
Nunc me necessitas acerba longinquas
adire terras cogit et peregrinis
corpusculum laboribus fatigare.
At tu Diana, montis istius custos,
si saepe dulci fistula tuas laudes
cantavi et aram floribus coronavi,
da cito, dea, ad tuos redire secessus.
Sed seu redibo seu negaverint Parcae,
dum meminero mei, tui memor vivam,
formosa silva, vosque lucidi fontes,
et candidarum templa sancta Nympharum.

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