Saturday, August 14, 2010

L'Ombre de la Rue :: Parcius Iunctas Quatiunt :: I:25

Je vous connais, Milord,
Vous n’m’avez jamais vue
Je ne suis qu’une fille du port
Qu’une ombre de la rue . . .

Édithe Piaf was a little more understanding than Horace ever was when she sang of l’ombre de la rue—the shadow in the street—in  “Milord.” Perhaps this was because she had lived on the streets herself and saw what happened to streetwalkers as they aged and and their clientele diminished. No, Horace was of a different class. He was educated. He moved in the highest circles. He could look down on the prostitutes whether they were geisha-like high-class call girls or the poorest of the poor hookers. Still, I get the feeling that, as high as he was, he still couldn’t have everything he wanted. This Lydia in the ode about must have done him some wrong. Why else heap upon her such abuse? Didn’t we see a wee bit of his anger in I:13 (July 18th blog)? And the winds—we’ve seen those before, too. Eurus, the southeast wind in II:16 (June 15); and the north winds, which were believed to live in Thrace (II:9, Oct 27 & III:30, Aug 27).

And one small comment about lines 3 and 4. Horace writes:

amatque ianua limen—and the door loves the threshold

What a surprising way to tell us that the door is closed! 


Less often do the bold young men rattle
the shuttered windows with constant stones and
deprive you of sleep, for lintel and door
are lovers now, when before the hinges
were easy to move. You already hear 
less and less the “I am dying for you
this endless night, Lydia. You asleep?” 
Before long, trivial-old-woman-you 
will weep in some lonely back alleyway
over some arrogant fornicator,
when the winds from Thrace rage under the 
new moon, when burning love and libido,
the kind mares are used to in heat, turns your
ulcerated liver wild, all the while
complaining that a young man enjoys
green ivy more than he does drab myrtle;
the shriveled up leaves?—these he’ll dedicate  
to winter’s companion, the Euro wind. 
translation © 2010 by James Rumford  

in prose:

Iuvenes protervi fenestras iunctas iactibus crebris parcius quatiunt, nec somnos tibi adimunt, ianuaque, quae prius multum faciles cardines movebat, limen amat. 
Minus et minus iam audis, “Lydia, me tuo pereunte, noctes longas dormis?” 
Invicem [tu] anus levis moechos arrogantes in angiportu solo flebis, vento Thracio sub interlunia magis bacchante, cum amor flagrans et libido, quae matres equorum furiare solet, circa iecur ulcerosum tibi saeviet, non sine questu quod ‹pubes laeta› hedera virenti gaudeat magis atque myrto pulla. Frondes aridas? [Pubes eas] Euro, sodali hiemis, dedicet.    [Revised March 27, 2015]

original words:

Parcius iunctās quatiunt fenestrās
iactibus crebrīs iuvenēs protervi
nec tibi somnōs adimunt amatque
   iānua līmen,
quae prius multum facilıs movēbat
cardinēs. audis minus et minus iam:
‘mē tuō longās pereunte noctēs,
   Lȳdia, dormis?’
invicem moechōs anus arrogantıs
flēbis in sōlō levis angiportū,
Thrāciō bacchante magis sub inter-                   
   lūnia ventō,
cum tibi flāgrāns amor et libīdo,
quae solet mātrēs furiāre equōrum,
saeviet circā iecur ulcerōsum
   nōn sine questū,
laeta quod pūbes hederā virentī
gaudeat pūllā magis atque myrtō,
āridās frondıs hiemis sodālī
   dēdicet Eurō[Hebrō]

:: Latin books by James Rumford ::

For all 102 odes purchase Carpe Diem, Horace De-Poetizedfor $11.50 at 

For a Latin translation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at $12, click here: 

To find out more about Carpe Diem go to the blog of March 26, 2015; 
for more about Pericla Thomae Sawyer, go to the blog of November 22, 2016.

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