Latin for lollies?

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cclaudian
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Latin for lollies?

Post by cclaudian » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:22 am

(Apologies for X-posting from reddit.com/r/latin, if Textkit shares their readership).

I've been literally translating George Herbert's 'Virtue' into Sapphics, but got a little stuck finding an appropriate translation for the following lines:

Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;

Did the Romans have any food approximate to Jacobean-era English lollies? My version attempts to render it as the conveniently monosyllabic frux, but fruit crammed in a medicine chest isn't quite what Herbet had in mind, I imagine:

suave ver, solesque rosaeque te explent
pyxidem ut qua frux posita est refertam.
"Sweet spring, days and roses fill you,
like a crammed medicine chest where fruit has been placed."

Another grammar question: can I put ut after pyxidem like this? I think so, unless my Latinitas senses mislead me.

(For any that might be interested, the rest of my translation runs as follows:)

o dies dulcis gelide atque clare
qui iugas caelum super atque terram,
ros tuum flebit, periture, lapsum
nocte cadente.

grate flos, cui trux color atque fortis
imperat tergere oculos videntem,
vestra radix semper inest sepulchro
morsque debetur.

suave ver, solesque rosaeque te explent
pyxidem ut qua frux posita est refertam.
te cano fines proprios habere et
cuncta perire.

spiritus suavisque bonusque tantum,
ut vetus robur, dare se recusat,
cumque tellus fit mage tota carbo,
tum quoque vivat.

Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky;
The dew shall weep thy fall to-night,
For thou must die.

Sweet rose, whose hue angry and brave
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye;
Thy root is ever in its grave,
And thou must die.

Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie;
My music shows ye have your closes,
And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season’d timber, never gives;
But though the whole world turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.

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bedwere
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Re: Latin for lollies?

Post by bedwere » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:19 pm

Shouldn't you use the nominative?

cclaudian
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Re: Latin for lollies?

Post by cclaudian » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:30 pm

bedwere wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:19 pm
Shouldn't you use the nominative?
Do you mean for pyxis? I thought accusative would be better, because it follows straight after te: soles et rosae [sic] te explent ut pyxidem, in quam dulcia farciuntur "days and roses fill you up like a box in which sweets are crammed". Again, I'm not 100% sure that ut can be used that way.

Do you think it would be better in the nominative to agree with suave ver from earlier?

Perhaps it could work as simply a metaphor:

pyxidem in quam dulcia farciuntur (p. in apposition with te)
pyxis in quam dulcia farciuntur (in apposition with suave ver)

Constantinus Philo
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Re: Latin for lollies?

Post by Constantinus Philo » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:14 pm

Virgil's easier

mwh
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Re: Latin for lollies?

Post by mwh » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:18 pm

Very nicely done.
ros tuum flebit, periture, lapsum nocte cadente is excellent (though the imagery is hardly Latin).
In the final stanza tellus fit mage tota is I suppose defensible (since much of the earth already is coal) but mage is jarring with tota.

I think the postponed ut with pyxidem is unobjectionable.

Shouldn’t last word be vivit?

cclaudian
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Re: Latin for lollies?

Post by cclaudian » Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:00 am

mwh wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:18 pm
In the final stanza tellus fit mage tota is I suppose defensible (since much of the earth already is coal) but mage is jarring with tota.

[...]

Shouldn’t last word be vivit?
Good point - I missed that second one. I actually had misgivings about mage, tota and cum with fit, so I rewrote it with an ash image instead:


cumque tellus tota favilla fiat,

tum bene vivit.

But if the earth turning to ash is a bit too strange a picture, I've got this too:

cumque fiant cuncti homines favillae
tum bene vivit.

but perhaps people turning to cinders is too far from the original.

Thanks for the pointers!

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