Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Nor streams that race adown their bouldered beds"

breath of our friends

Therewithal at my behest 
Shall Lyctian Aegon and Damoetas sing,
And Alphesiboeus emulate in dance
The dancing Satyrs. This, thy service due,

Shalt thou lack never, both when we pay the Nymphs
Our yearly vows, and when with lustral rites
The fields we hallow. 

Long as the wild boar
Shall love the mountain-heights, and fish the streams,
While bees on thyme and crickets feed on dew,
Thy name, thy praise, 
thine honour, shall endure.

Even as to Bacchus and to Ceres, so
To thee the swain his yearly vows shall make;
And thou thereof, like them, shalt quittance claim.

How, how repay thee for a song so rare?
For not the whispering south-wind on its way
So much delights me, nor wave-smitten beach,

Authorities anxiously tell us, that among the poems of Virgil, The Eclogues are his most puerile. It puts one in mind of the deficiencies of the Hope Diamond, against the Burton. But I question if this is so, because I love them, and I value that I met them when alerted to the rolling, Lucullan wonder of language. I, Laurent, am but acquainting myself with affections which, it seems, can comprehend my breath. And should I find finer zephyrs to shape it as I would, myself, to my awe with its gift, I shall embrace them, fiercely, as my friends. Possibly, to subdue internal demagogues is a stride toward the republic which is safe. That is the essence of Virgil.

Eclogues, V [fragment]
Fairclough, translation
Loeb Classical Library, 1916©

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Vesperae Solennes de Confessore
  Laudate Domine
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Sir Colin Davis
op. cit.

No comments:

Post a Comment