Sunday, 7 July 2013

Carmina Burana 79: a hot summer day.



Finally we have summer here in the Netherlands! For the last 3- 4 years July was almost like autumn, but now I can sit outside in the sun with a can of beer or a glass of wine. I have a large hedge at the front garden, so I can’t see people passing by, for instance a beautiful young shepherdess, as the poet of this song imagined. This poem is an idyll, poetry in which the life of shepherds is idealized. This genre of poetry goes back to Hellenistic poets like Theocritus and was successfully copied by Vergil. Mind you that these poets were far away from the daily misery of country life…  To be more precise, this song is a pastourelle: a song in which a pastorella (shepherdess) is addressed.
The end is not that idyllic: the shepherdess turns down the flirts of the poet, saying that her mother won’t agree. Or was it just a polite way for saying that he was not attractive?
Now I think of it, I could be that shepherdess is a more or less extinct job. What a pity!


Carmina Burana 79

1.
Estivali sub fervore,
quando cuncta sunt in flore,
totus eram in ardore.
sub olive me decore,
estu fessum et sudore,
detinebat mora.

aestivalis: belonging to the summer (ae is written as e in mediaeval texts)
sub olive decore: under the beauty of an olive-tree (olivae) = under a beautiful olive-tree
aestu fessum et sudore: exhausted by heat and sweat
mora: delay, rest, `laziness’

2.          
Erat arbor hec in prato
quovis flore picturato,
herba, fonte, situ grato,
sed et umbra, flatu dato.
stilo non pinxisset Plato
loca gratiora.

pratum: meadow
situs -us (m): location
gratus: pleasant
flatu dato: (abl.abs.)
flatus –us (m): wind, breeze
stilus: pen
pingo pinxi pictum: to describe

3.          
Subest fons vivacis vene,
adest cantus philomene
Naiadumque cantilene.
paradisus hic est pene;
non sunt loca, scio plene,
his iocundiora.

vivax -acis: living
vena: stream
philomena: nightingale
naias –adis (f): water-nymph
paene: almost


4.          
Hic dum placet delectari
delectatque iocundari
et ab estu relevari,
cerno forma singolari
pastorellam sine pari
colligentem mora

delecto: to delight
cerno crevi certum: to see, perceive
forma singolari pastorellam sine pari: a shepherdess without her equal by her exceptional beauty
colligo collegi collectum: to collect, gather
morum: mulberry, blackberry


5.          
In amorem vise cedo;
fecit Venus hoc, ut credo.
«ades!» inquam, «non sum predo,
nichil tollo, nichil ledo.
me meaque tibi dedo,
pulchrior quam Flora!»

In amorem vise cedo: I fall (cedo (caedo) for cado) in love for the seen one (visae is a genitivus obiectivus, cf amor Dei.)
praedo –onis (m): robber
nichil = nihil
laedo laesi laesum: to hurt
pulchrior quam Flora! vocative
Flora: goddess of flowers

6.          
Que respondit verbo brevi:
«ludos viri non assuevi.
sunt parentes michi sevi;
mater longioris evi
irascetur pro re levi.
parce nunc in hora!»

ludus: play, game
assuesco assuevi assuetum: to be used to, accustomed
saevus: severe
aevum: age
irascur iratus sum: to become angry
pro re levi: for a trivial thing
parce nunc in hora!: refrain yourself now for the moment!
Translation with some additional commentary:

Musical setting (mediaeval):

(modern):