Friday, March 16, 2012


Back to the Farm

Marcantonio Flaminio (1498-1550), Carmina I.15 (Ad Agellum Suum), my rough translation:
Cool shadows, whispers of trees, dewy grottoes, earth painted with grass of different colors, fountains' chattering waters, talkative birds, leisure hours dear to the Muses,

o if the kindly gods above would allow me to fly to your bosom, if I were permitted to enjoy your sweet retreat and now amuse myself with sportive verses, now seek sleep in the green shadows, now milk a goat with my own hands, and refresh my parched frame in the heat with the white liquid, and bid long farewell to tumultuous cares,

o what a life would then be mine, how blessed, how similar to the life of the gods!

But you, o maids of Helicon, who love fountains and pleasant country places, if you are dearer to me than the dear light, take pity now on me who make this prayer, rescue me from the noise of the bustling city, and transport me to my peaceful little farm.
The Latin:
Umbrae frigidulae, arborum susurri,
Antra roscida, discolore picta
Tellus gramine, fontium loquaces
Lymphae, garrulae aves, amica Musis
Otia, o mihi si volare vestrum       5
In sinum superi annuant benigni,
Si dulci liceat frui recessu,
Et nunc ludere versibus iocosis,
Nunc somnum virides sequi per umbras,
Nunc mulgere mea manu capellam,       10
Lacteoque liquore membra sicca
Irrigare per aestum, et aestuosis
Curis dicere plurimam salutem;
O quae tunc mihi vita, quam beata,
Quam vitae similis foret deorum!       15
At vos, o Heliconiae puellae,
Queis fontes et amoena rura cordi,
Si cara mihi luce cariores
Estis, iam miserescite obsecrantis,
Meque urbis strepitu tumultuosae       20
Ereptum in placido locate agello.
On lines 10-12 see George Saintsbury, The Earlier Renaissance (Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1901), p. 37:
His phrase is sometimes awkward; for instance
"Nunc mulgere mea manu capellam
Lacteoque liquore membra sicca
Irrigare per aestum,"
doubtless means that he drank the milk. But it literally suggests the singular picture of a person watering his dry limbs with goat's milk as a shop-boy waters the pavement in front of his master's shop.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

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