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AMORUM CONVERSIO AD
STUDIA.

THE LEAP FROM LOVE TO LEARNING

Cum Satyrus nympham[1] petulans sequeretur amatam:
Incidit in lamam caecus arundineam.
Dumque pro mersa suspiria ducit amica,
In calamis suavem sensit inesse sonum.
Protinus ergo Vale-longm tunc dixit Amori
Nymphae: quem pepulit Musicus alter amori [=amor]
Ad calamos animum convertit namque canoros.
Septenis quibus ex tibia facta fuit.
Nympha Latens, ubi se neglectam sensit: ut oestro
Percita per latos vacca cucurrit agros.
Haec ab amoribus ad studia est conversio. cum quis
A scorto ad libros vertitur, & calamos.
Est satyrus iuvenis scortator: arundo, Puella
Flexilis in quemvis (det mod dona) virum.
Quae fugit & latitat tunc cm se sensit amari,
Oestro deinde velut bos cita, spreta fugit.
Βοῦς γὰρ ἀτιμαγελεῖ ποτ’ ἔβα καὶ ταῦρος ἂν ὕλαν
Ως γὰρ ἕταιρα φίλον καὶ φίλος ἣν δύεται[2]
Fistula disparibus septem compacta cicutis,
Iunctas septem artes denotat ingenuas.

When a randy satyr was pursuing his beloved nymph, he fell blind into a reedy slough. As he breathed long sighs for his submerged darling, he noticed the sweet sound in the reeds. He said an instant long farewell to the love of nymphets; and, driven by another, musical, love, turned his desire towards the reeds, for they sang beautifully. From seven of them he made a pipe. The NYMPH, hiding, when she felt herself neglected, ran like a gadfly-crazed cow over the wide fields. This is the turn from Love to Learning, when a man leaves his whore for books and reeds. The satyr is a young man and a debaucher; the girl a reed, flexible and open (if he pays) to any man’s advances. She flees when she feels she’s loved, but runs off like a gadfly-bitten cow if she is spurned. For when the cow doesn’t please her bull, he wanders off through the woods; and if a girl doesn’t give her man what he wants, he drops her.* The pipe of seven hemlock-stems signifies the seven noble Arts.
* This is loose version of the French translation, in the hope that this is the meaning Aneau intended in the original Greek (see footnote 2).

Notes:

1. The nymph Syrinx, turned into reeds to escape Pan, became the ‘pan-pipe’ (ie, syrinx). Ovid, Metamorphoses, 1.170.

2. The Greek is a hodgepodge of Theocritean verbiage piled into a construction impossible to construe, and perhaps complicated by the errors of the printer.



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