Saturday, June 3, 2023

Apollo and Venus, United in Grief: a poem by Faustus Sabaeus

Dum Venus in Cypro, & Phoebus per prata vagantes

F1orida: habere solum* sidera picta vident:

Dumque Hyacinthus ibi, atque rubens occurrit Adonis:

Pulcher uterque suo funere, Phoebus ait:

Dic soror, haec nostris num exultat amoribus istis?

An luctu & nostro terra dolore gemit?

Hic meus, iste tuus dolor, & gratissimus ignis:

Ille Hyacinthus erat: alter Adonis erat.


* solum, i: soil (not from solus, a, um)

----Faustus Sabaeus, Picta Poesis Ovidiana (1580)  

While Venus and Apollo were wandering through the blossoming fields on Cyprus,

They noticed that the soil had vibrant stars*.

And over here they ran into the Hyacinth flower,

And over there they spotted the red Adonis flower,

Each one beautiful even in death.

Apollo said, “Tell me, sister,  does this land

Gloat over the death of our boyfriends,

Or is the earth weeping alongside us in pain?

This star is my grief, and that star is yours;

This one was Hyacinth, the other was Adonis.”


* a metaphor for flower





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