And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
- And did those feet, William Blake

søndag 10. november 2013

November Poetry - part IV

Last year I posted a few November poems in order to keep a regular posting schedule while in the depths of ennui. This time around I've not sunken completely back into those depths, so this poem is one I would just like to share, namely one of Folgòre da San Gimignano's sonnets of the months.

Folgòre da San Gimignano (fl. 1309-1317) was born Giacomo da Michele but was given his nom de plume on account of his splendid way of life in his native San Gimignano, which is said to be reflected in his poems. He wrote on the pleasures of life, and the poem posted below is from his sonetti dei mesi, the sonnets of the months, which he, according to this website, was dedicated to a band of Siense nobles who took a rather hedonistic approach to life. The poem will be first given in the Italian, and below you will find a translation made by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The Italian text is taken from wikisource, while Rossetti's translation comes from this website.

Scorpio, from MS. Harley 4940
Breviari d'amor, Matfres Eymengau de Beziers, French, 1st half of the 14th century
Courtesy of British Library


E di novembre Petriuolo, il bagno,

con trenta muli carchi di moneta:
la ruga sia tutta coverta a seta;
coppe d’argento, bottacci di stagno:

e dar a tutt’ i stazzonier guadagno;
torchi doppier, che vegnan di Chiareta;
confetti con cedrata di Gaeta:
e béa ciascun e conforti ’l compagno.

E lo freddo sia grande e ’l fuoco spesso;
fagiani, starne, colombi mortiti,
lèvori, cavrioli rosto e lesso:

e sempre aver acconci gli appetiti;
la notte ’l vento e piover a ciel messo:
e siate ne le letta ben forniti.

A piazza in San Gimignano

Let baths and wine-butts be November's due,
With thirty mule-loads of broad gold-pieces;
And canopy with silk the streets that freeze;
And keep your drink-horns steadily in view.

Let every trader have his gain of you:
Clareta shall your lamps and torches send,—
Caëta, citron-candies without end;
And each shall drink, and help his neighbour to.

And let the cold be great, and the fire grand:
And still for fowls, and pastries sweetly wrought,
For hares and kids, for roast and boiled, be sure

You always have your appetites at hand;
And then let night howl and heaven fall, so nought
Be missed that makes a man's bed-furniture.

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