Sunday, April 7, 2024

W/W: Remember Me, Delicate Rose: A Medieval Love Poem

G unicae suae rosae

A vinculum dilectionis preciosae.

Quae est fortitudo mea, ut sustineam,

ut in tuo discessu pacientiam habeam?

Numqud fortitudo mea fortitudo est lapidum,

ut tuum esspectem reditum?

Quae nocte et die non cesso dolere,

velut qui caret manu et pede.

Omne quod iocundum est et delectabile

absque te habetur ut lutum pedum calcabile,

pro gaudere duco fletus

numquam animus meus apparet laetus.

Dum recordor quae dedisti oscula,

et quam iocundis verbis refrigerasti pectuscula,

mori libet

quod te videre non licet.

quid faciam miserrima?

quo me vertam paurperrima?

o si corpus meum terrae fuisset creditum

usque ad optatum tuum reditum,

aut si translatio mihi occederet Abaccuc

ut semel venissem illluc,

ut vultum amantis inspexissem,

et tunc non curarem si ipsa hora mortua fuissem!

nam in mundo non est nata

quae tam amabilis sit et grata,

et quae sine simulatione

tam intima me diligat dilectione.

unde sine fine non cesso dolere

donec te merear videre.

revera iuxta quendam sapientem magna miseria est hominis,

cum illo non esse

sine quo non potest esse.

dum constat orbis

numquam deleberis de medio mei cordis.

quid multis moror?

redi, dulcis amor!

noli iter tuum longius differe,

scias me absentiam tuam diutius non posse suffere.


meique memorare. 

--[quoted in] Dronke, Peter. Medieval Latin and the Rise of European Love Lyric, Vol  2.479; and Piechl,Helmut and Bergmann, Werner. Die Tegernseer Briefsammlung des 12. Jahrhunderts, p. 356

To her unique rose G,

From A, the bond of precious love.

How can I be strong enough

To endure your leaving?

Isn’t my strength the strength of stone

To wait for your return?

Night and day, I can’t stop grieving

When you’re gone, it feels like I’ve lost a hand and a foot.

When you’re gone, everything that is pleasant and delightful

Is like mud trod upon by my foot.

I turn to weeping instead of joy,

My heart is never happy.

When I recall the kisses you’ve given me,

And how you restored my heart with your happy words,

I’d rather die

Than not see you again.

What will wretched ol’ me do?

Where will poor li’l ol’ me turn?

If only my body were laid to earth

Until your longed-for return occurs,

Or if I could make a trip like Habakkuk

To go where you are,

To see the face of my lover—just once!--

I’d be content to die right then and there.

For no other woman was born in the universe

Who is so lovely and pleasant

Without any fake or pretend aspects

Who loves me with such deep intimacy.

 So I’ll never stop grieving

Until I’m worthy of seeing you again.

According to a certain Wise One,

Mankind’s great Sorrow is to be kept from

The one person you cannot live without.

As long as the world still stands

You will never be taken from the bottom of my heart.

Why do I delay any further?

Return,  sweet love!

Don’t put off your travels any longer,

Remember that I cannot endure your absence any longer,


Remember me.



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