At the moment when I am writing this post, sunshine and rain are alternating and there is a strong wind blowing. A glorious summer has given way to autumn and trees are now almost bereft of their leaves, waiting for winter to come. It reminds me of this poem from the Carmina Burana: summer has gone away and the sky is full of a cold silence, but there is love to compensate for the coldness. Alas! Where is my sweetheart now – she, the most beautiful maid in the world?
I haven’t found a translation on internet, but I think I have treated all difficulties of the text. I have decided not to make may own literal translation, as that would merely be repeating the notes. It is for someone more gifted than I am to make a poetic translation. Who of you?
Carmina Burana 69
Estas in exilium
leto nemus avium
pallet viror frondium,
quia felicem statum nemoris
et ethera silentio
dum aves relegavit.
aestas aestatis (f): summer (keep in mind that ae is written as e in Mediaeval Latin)
peregrinor: to sojourn abroad, travel (just like a vagans scholasticus does!)
nemus nemoris (n.): wood
viduo: to deprive (connected with English widow, cf Latin viduus `deprived or bereft of a husband or wife’, Sanskrit vidhávā `widow’. The word widower is late and not found in Indo-European vocabulary. This points to the difference in social status: maybe widowers were allowed to marry again, but widows not.)
palleo pallui: to be/turn pale
viror viroris (m.): green colour
frons frondis (f.): foliage
exaresco exarui: to become dry, wither
vis (f.) strength, power
sinister –tra -trum: left, on the left side, sinister ( the left was seen as the inauspicious side.)
denudo: to make naked
aether -is (m.): sky
turbo: to disturb (what a beautiful image: the power of frost disturbs the sky with silence )
relego: to send away (subject again: vis frigoris)
nutrit, nulla vis frigoris valet attenuare,
sed ea reformare
studet, que corruperat brume torpor. amare
vulnere, quo glorior.
eia, si me sanare
uno vellet osculo,
que cor felici iaculo
valeo valui: to be able to
attenuo: to make tenuis (thin), lessen, diminish
calor caloris (m.): warmth, heat
studeo: to strive after, desire(in classical Latin with the dative. Subject: amor)
sed ea reformare studet, que corruperat brume torpor: but love desires to bring back in form/ renew, what the sluggishness of winter has ruined (corrumpo corrupi corruptum)
amare crucior, morior vulnere, quo glorior : bitterly I suffer, I die because of the wound in which I am victorious. (Normally the poet shoots with his felici iaculo (happy arrow (of love), but now he is hurt. Or alternatively: the poet delights in his wound as it is made by his girlfriend.)
vellet: subject is his girlfriend
gaudeo gavisum: to enjoy, delight
Lasciva, blandi risus,
omnes in se trahit visus.
– sed castigate – dant errorem
instillant, favum mellis, osculando,
ut me mortalem negem aliquando.
leta frons tam nivea,
lux oculorum aurea,
manus vincentes lilia
me trahunt in suspiria.
cuncta tam elegantia,
blandi risus: charming laughs
traho traxi tractum: to draw
visus, -us (m.): glance
labia Veneria tumentia: her lovely swollen lips
castigate (adv.): chaste
errorem leniorem: a very agreeable sin
dulcor, -is (m.): sweetness
instillo: to pour in by drops
favum mellis: a honey comb of honey (apposition to dulcorem)
osculo: to kiss
frons frontis (f.): forehead
caesaries, –es (f.): hair, locks
manus vincentes lilia: hands defeating lilies (i.e. whiter than lilies.)
suspirium: deep breath
suavis and dulcis are almost synonyms: sweet, agreeable, pleasant
The manuscript of the Carmina Burana.