Tuesday, September 01, 2009

iam ver egelidos refert tepores

Here are a couple of poems in celebration of the first day of spring.

Diffugere nives, redeunt iam gramina campis
arboribus comae;
mutat terra vices et decrescentia ripas
flumina praetereunt;
Gratia cum Nymphis geminisque sororibus audet
ducere nuda chorus.

The snows have fled, now the grass returns to the fields, and to the trees their leaves, the earth changes in turn and the swelling rivers flow past their banks, the naked Grace, along with the Nymphs and her twin sisters dares to lead the dance.

Immortalia ne speres, monet annus et almum
quae rapit hora diem.
Frigora mitescunt Zephyris, ver proterit aestas,
interitura simul
pomifer autumnus fruges effuderit, et mox
bruma recurrit iners.

Do not hope for immortality, the seasons warn us, and the hour which snatches away the nourishing day. Frosts melt with the Zephyrs, summer treads down spring, herself about to die, as soon as fruitful autumn has poured out her harvest, and soon lazy winter runs back again.

Damna tamen celeres reparant caelestia lunae:
non ubi decidimus
quo pater Aeneas, quo dives Tullus et Ancus,
pulvis et umbra sumus.
Quis scit an adiciant hodiernae crastina summae
tempora di superi?

Moons swiftly repair their heavenly losses: we, when we die, go to where father Aeneas, to where wealthy Tullus and Ancus have gone, we are dust and shadows. Who knows whether the gods above will add tomorrow’s time to today’s total?

(Horace IV.7)

Iam ver egelidos refert tepores,
iam caeli furor aequinoctialis
iucundis Zephyri silescit aureis.
linquantur Phrygii, Catulle, campi
Nicaeaque ager uber aestuosae.
ad claras Asiae volemus urbes.
iam mens praetrepidans avet vagari,
iam laeti studio pedes vigescunt.

Now spring brings back thawed out warmth, now the fury of the equinoctial sky is hushed by pleasant breezes of Zephyr. It's time to leave behind, Catullus, the plains of Phrygia and the fertile land of sultry Nicaea. Let's fly to those famous cities of Asia. Now my trembling mind is eager to travel, now my happy feet grow strong with excitement.

(Catullus 46)

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