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De Morte & Amore.[1]

Death and Love

Emblema cliiii.

Errabat socio Mors iuncta Cupidine: secum
Mors pharetras, parvus tela gerebat Amor.
Divertêre simul, simul una & nocte cubarunt:
Caecus Amor, Mors hoc tempore caeca fuit.
Alter enim alterius malè provida spicula sumpsit,
Mors aurata, tenet ossea tela puer.
Debuit inde senex qui nunc Acheronticus[2] esse,
Ecce amat, & capiti florea serta parat.
Ast ego mutato quia amor me perculit arcu.
Deficio, iniiciunt & mihi fata manum.
Parce puer, Mors signa tenens victricia parce:
Fac ego amem, subeat fac Acheronta senex.

Death was travelling in company with Cupid. Death was carrying the quivers, little Love the arrows. They turned aside together, and slept beside each other that night. Love was blind, and Death too was blind at this time, for each took the other’s heedless arrows. Death has the golden ones, the boy the ones of bone. As a result, an old man who ought by now to be in the grave is - lo and behold - in love, and gets garlands of flowers for his head. But I, since Love struck me with his substitute bow, I am failing - the Fates lay their hand on me. Boy, show mercy. Death, holding the symbols of your triumph, do you show mercy. Cause me to love; cause the old man to go down to Hades.

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AUctor est Guicciardinus, id carmen ab Alciato
scriptum, quo tempore in Italia, vehemens pesti-
lentia ita grassata est, ut permulti iuvenes extremum
vitae diem clauserint, & senes ferè illaesi atque in-
columes manserint. Mutuatum video ex antiqua
Graecorum fabula, quam Gallicè tractavit Ioannes
Marius Belga
, illustrationum Galliae scriptor: &
post eum Latinis numeris Ioachimus Bellaïus, scri-
ptor politus & elegans.

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De Mort & Amour.

LAmour & Mort se rencontrent
Et se monstrent:
La mort sa trousse portoit:
Amour ses flesches poinctues
Et aigues,
Dont les langoureux oultroit.
Lors ensemble s’arresterent,
Et logerent
En mesme lieu une nuict:
Amour ne voyoit à l’heure
Chose seure:
La mort aveugle se veit.
Car leurs traitz pleins de poincture
D’avanture
Changerent ensemblement:
Mort les traitz dorez emporte,
L’Amour porte
Les traitz d’os pareillement.
Pource la vieille personne
Fort s’addonne
A l’action de l’amour,
Il saulte, & mene la dance,
Et ne pense
Qu’à follastrer tout le jour.
De moy, jeune personnage,
C’est dommage
Que je me meurs si soudain,
Et que Cupidon se range
Par son change,
A me tuer de sa main.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [V10r f214r] Hé Amour, laisse moy vivre,
Et joy’ suyvre,
Fay mourir le vieil perclus:
Toy mort, contre un autre jectes
Tes sagettes,
Le vieil presque ne vit plus.

GUichardin rapporte que ce carme cy a
esté fait par Alciat, du temps qu’il y eut
une grande pests en Italie, de laquelle mou-
rurent beaucoup de jeunes hommes, là où
les vieillars eschapperent sains & sauves. Il
me semble que cecy est emprunté d’une an-
cienne fable des Grecs, qui a esté couchee
en François par Jean le Maire de Belge, au-
teur des Illustrations de Gaule: & apres luy
en vers LatinsJoachim du Bellay escrivain
poli & elegant.

Notes:

1.  The iconography of the emblems ‘De morte et amore’ and ‘In formosam fato praereptam’ (next emblem) is confused in many editions.

2.  Acheron was considered to be a river in Hades, but is used to mean the Underworld or the dead in general. Homer described it as a river of Hades, where Odysseus consulted spirits of Underworld (Odyssey 10.513). Vergil (Aeneid 6.297, with the note of Servius) describes it as the principal river of Tartarus, from which the Styx and Cocytus sprang.


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