Wednesday 6 March 2024

Two Neo-Latin about Sleep

Marc-Antoine Muret (1526-1585)
Euge, an te teneo, mea lux, an somnia demens  
   Fingo mihi? Certè, lux mea, te teneo.  
Somnia non haec sunt. oculis nónne intuor hisce
   Flammeolósque oculos purpureásque genas  
Lacteolásque manus, et eburnae frontis honorem,
   Colláque non tacta candidiora niue?  
Dulcia collatis ineamus proelia signis,  
   Dum tuta alternis lusibus hora datur.
Me miserum! nusquam es. Fallax me lusit imago.  
   O dolor! ô animi gaudia vana mei!  
Quid queror? exacta si rem ratione putemus,  
   Vmbra est in misero quidquid amore boni est.  
'A Dream'
Oh! Am I holding you, my light, or am I mad,  
   Casting a dream? Surely, my light, I am holding you.
These are not dreams. Surely I stare into
   Your flaming eyes and ruddy cheeks and
Milk-white hands, and lovely ivory brow,
   And your neck whiter than snow?  
Allow us to enter pleasing battles with standards opposed,
   While a protected hour permits successive games.
Oh wretch that I am! You are nowhere. A false image tricked me.
   Oh sorrow! Oh my spirit’s hollow joys.
Why do I lament? If we think rationally about the matter,
   Whatever is good in wretched love is a shadow!
Marc-Antoine Muret, Juvenilia, ed. & French trans. Virginie Leroux (Genève: Droz 2009; 1552), p. 148.

Fidelis Raedle
‘Laus somni’
’Quantum tempus perdimus’,
clamas, ’dormiendo!’
Perditum non dixerim
tempus, si perpendo,
quam optata homini
illa res sit omni:
recreatio animi
et dulcedo somni.

Lecto mandant corporis
membra fatigata
Lethe poti homines
nec iam curant fata
dira. ita veterem
Adam ego verto:
novus fio iterum
dum ad mane sterto.

Totum refrigerio
huic est cor intentum;
iam accedet somnium,
somni ornamentum.
Mundi dum abicio
istius dolorem,
rerum formam video
plane pulchriorem.

'In Praise of Sleep' 

‘How much time we waste’, you shout, ‘while asleep!’ I would not say, properly considered, that it is time so much lost as spent in the way most welcome to a man. The thing for all is the refreshment of mind and the sweetness of sleep.

The body’s tired limbs entrust themselves to bed. Men who have drank from Lethe do not now worry about fearful calamities. Thus I overthrow old Adam: I become a new man again while I snore in the morning.

Completely at rest, for this is the heart’s desire. Now a dream, the ornament of sleep, approaches. While I cast away the sorrow of that world, I see clearly the more beautiful form of things.

Carmina latina recentiora. Veterum tibiis canunt nepotes, 3rd edn, ed. by Rainardus Brune (Leichlingen: Domus editoria Rainardi Brune, 1986), p. 157.

My translations.