(The Oxford Book of Medieval Latin Verse, F.J.E. Raby, ed., 1959)
(a somewhat literal translation)
Aestuans intrinsecus ira vehementi
in amaritudine loquor meae menti:
factus de materia levis elementi
folio sum similis de quo ludunt venti.
Foaming from within with the most violent anger
I speak to my mind in bitterness:
I have been made from material of nimble elements
similar to a leaf about which the winds tease.
Cum sit enim proprium viro sapienti
supra petram ponere sedem fundamenti,
stultus ego comparor fluvio labenti
sub eodem aëre nunquam permanenti.
Although it is quite proper for a wise man
to lay the foundation upon rock
Stupid, I am paired with a gliding river
never remaining under the same sky.
Feror ego veluti sine nauta navis,
ut per vias aëris vaga fertur avis.
non me tenent vincula, non me tenet clavis,
quaero mei similes et adiungor pravis.
I am carried as a ship without a helmsman,
just like a roaming bird is carried along the roads of the sky.
no chains hold me, no nail holds me,
I search for those resembling me and am added to crooked men.
Mihi cordis gravitas res videtur gravis,
iocus est amabilis dulciorque favis.
quidquid Venus imperat, labor est suavis,
quae nunquam in cordibus habitat ignavis.
The dignity of the heart seems important to me,
it is a delightful joke and is sweeter than a honeycomb.
Whatever Venus orders is a sweet task,
she never dwells in lazy hearts.
Via lata gradior more iuventutis,
implico me vitiis, immemor virtutis,
voluptatis avidus magis quam salutis,
mortuus in anima curam gero cutis.
I take steps along the broad road in the manner of a child
I interweave myself with vice, I am forgetful of virtue,
Greedy of pleasure more than salvation,
I bear care of the body, dead in spirit.
Praesul discretissime, veniam te precor:
morte bona morior, dulci nece necor,
meum pectus sauciat puellarum decor,
et quas tactu nequeo, saltem corde moechor.
Most wise patron! I pray you kindness:
I die a good death, killed by a pleasant murder,
The beauty of girls stabs my chest
and those whom I am unable to touch, I at least commit adultery in my heart.
Res est arduissima vincere naturam,
in aspectu virginis mentem esse puram;
iuvenes non possumus legem sequi duram
leviumque corporum non habere curam.
The most difficult thing is to conquer nature,
on seeing a virgin it is difficult the mind to remain pure;
We youths are not able to follow the harsh law
and are unable to hold the desire of the fickle bodies.
Quis in igne positus igne non uratur?
quis Papiae demorans castus habeatur,
ubi Venus digito iuvenes venatur,
oculis illaqueat, facie praedatur?
Who placed in fire does not burn with fire?
Who being at Papia is thought to remain chaste?
When Venus hunts youths with her finger
She ensares with her eyes, pillages with her face.
Si ponas Hippolytum hodie Papiae,
non erit Hippolytus in sequenti die:
Veneris in thalamos ducunt omnes viae,
non est in tot turribus turris Alethiae.
If you place Hippolytus in Papia today
The will be no Hippolytus on the following day:
All roads lead to Venus’ bedroom,
The tower of truth does not exist among so many towers.
Secundo redarguor etiam de ludo,
sed cum ludus corpore me dimittat nudo,
frigidus exterius, mentis aestu sudo,
tunc versus et carmina meliora cudo.
Second, I am accused likewise concerning gambling,
But when gambling deserts me bare in the body,
Cold outside, I sweat, boiling in the mind,
then I beat out a verse and a rather pleasant song.
Tertio capitulo memoro tabernam,
illam nullo tempore sprevi neque spernam,
donec sanctos angelos venientes cernam,
cantantes pro mortuis ‘requiem aeternam’.
From the third article, I remember a wine-bar,
Which I have at no time rejected or will despise,
Until I will see the holy messengers coming,
Singing for the dead an “eternal requiem“
Meum est propositum in taberna mori,
ut sint vina proxima morientis ori.
tunc cantabunt laetius angelorum chori:
’sit Deus propitius huic potatori!’
It is my intention to die in the bar,
So that wines may be near the mouth of the dying.
Then choruses of angles will sing more happily:
“Let God be so kind to this drunk!”
Poculis accenditur animi lucerna,
cor imbutum nectare volat ad superna.
mihi sapit dulcius vinum de taberna,
quam quod aqua miscuit praesulis pincerna.
The drink is stirred up by the midnight oil of the soul
A heart soaked in nectar flies to the eternal
The wine from the tavern tastes sweeter to me
than that mixed with water by the Bishop’s cupbearer.
Ecce meae proditor pravitatis fui,
de qua me redarguunt servientes tui.
sed eorum nullus est accusator sui,
quamvis velint ludere saeculoque frui.
Look, I was a traitor of my bad condition
from which those men refuted me, serving you.
But no one of those is the accuser of themselves,
although they might want to play and delight in the present world.
Iam nunc in praesentia praesulis beati
secundum dominici regulam mandati
mittat in me lapidem, neque parcat vati,
cuius non est animus conscius peccati.
Now in the presence of the happy bishop,
let he hurl a stone to me,
following the rule of the Church’s mandate,
and don’t let him spare a poet
whose soul is not aware of sin.
Sum locutus contra me, quicquid de me novi,
et virus evomui, quod tam diu fovi.
vita vetus displicet, mores placent novi;
homo videt faciem, sed cor patet Iovi.
I spoke against myself, whatever I knew concerned myself,
and I vomit out poison, which I cherished for such a long time.
the old life displeases me, the new ways young people reconcile morals
Man sees the shape, but his heart reaches out for Jove.
Iam virtutes diligo, vitiis irascor,
renovatus animo spiritu renascor,
quasi modo genitus novo lacte pascor,
ne sit meum amplius vanitatis vas cor.
Now I love mighty works, I grow angry at vice,
Having been restored in my soul I am reborn in life,
As if only just born I feed on new milk,
unless my heart is no longer an instrument of emptiness
Electe Coloniae, parce poenitenti,
fac misericordiam veniam petenti
et da poenitentiam culpam confitenti!
feram quicquid iusseris animo libenti.
Chosen of the Cologne! Show mercy to the repenting -
make pity for those having been attacked
and give a change of mind to those admitting blame!
I will get whatever you order with a willing soul.
Parcit enim subditis leo rex ferarum
et est erga subditos immemor irarum;
et vos idem facite, principes terrarum!
quod caret dulcedine nimis est amarum.
Indeed the Lion, king of the wild beasts, shows consideration for those who are subdued
and is forgetful of grudges towards them his subordinates;
and you all should do the same, leaders of the world!
that which looses sweetness too much is spiteful.