Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lucretius, On the Physical Universe Book I


Titus Lucretius Carus (Lucretius)
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Republican Era/Golden Age of Latin Literature)

Aeneadum genetrix, hominum divomque voluptas,

alma Venus, caeli subter labentia signa
quae mare navigerum, quae terras frugiferentis
concelebras, per te quoniam genus omne animantum
concipitur visitque exortum lumina solis:
[O founder of Aeneas' bloodline, o pleasure for men and gods, caring Venus, who you rejoice in the ship-bearing sea beneath the shining stars in the sky, and lands that bear up fruit, since every single species of living being-- once born, looks upon daylight-- is conceived through your power:]

te, dea, te fugiunt venti, te nubila caeli
adventumque tuum, tibi suavis daedala tellus
summittit flores, tibi rident aequora ponti
placatumque nitet diffuso lumine caelum.
[o goddess, the winds and sky's rain clouds fly away at your arrival, the crafty earth pushes its sweet flowers up toward you, the brine of the sea laughs for you, and the sky, now stilled, shines with scattered light, for you.]

nam simul ac species patefactast verna diei               10
et reserata viget genitabilis aura favoni,
aeriae primum volucris te, diva, tuumque
significant initum perculsae corda tua vi.
[you see, at this time, the spring appearance of day has revealed itself, and the fruitful breeze of the west wind gathers strength, and the birds in the sky first acknowledge you, my goddess, and your arrival, as they have been stricken in their spirits by your power.]

inde ferae pecudes persultant pabula laeta               15
et rapidos tranant amnis:
[And then the wild beasts leap across their cheery meadows and sprint across the swift streams.]

ita capta lepore               14
te sequitur cupide quo quamque inducere pergis.
[Thus, like an entranced rabbit, we must follow you wherever and however you choose to lead us.]

denique per maria ac montis fluviosque rapacis
frondiferasque domos avium camposque virentis
omnibus incutiens blandum per pectora amorem
efficis ut cupide generatim saecla propagent.
[In the end, through the seas, the mountains, the grasping rivers, the leaf-bearing domains of the birds, and the green fields, inspiring charming love within the breast of all things, you make it possible for the passing ages to eagerly reproduce themselves, generation by generation.]

quae quoniam rerum naturam sola gubernas
nec sine te quicquam dias in luminis oras
[since it is you who govern the nature of the universe, and without you, nothing can see the face of daylight]

neque fit laetum neque amabile quicquam,
[nor can anything become happy or lovable]

te sociam studeo scribendis versibus esse,
[I really want you to be my ally as I write my lines,]