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Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[K4v p152]

Iudicium Paridis.

The Judgement of Paris

Priamides iuvenis, quo non praestantior alter,
Qui tenuit magni Troica sceptra senis:[1]
Pallados & Veneris formae, Iunonis & olim
Arbiter electus, talia verba tulit.
Quamvis magna potes Iuno, coniunxque, sororque
Illius excelsi qui iuga summa tenet:
Non tamen his moveor, curae mihi non tua dona:
Haud referes formae praemia digna tuae.
Frustra tu certare paras quoque Pallas amata,
Ingenii quamvis gloria magna tui.
Link to an image of this pageá Link to an image of this page á[K5r p153]Namque Venus Cytheraea placet, calor ossibus ardet,
Munera iudicio nunc feret illa meo.
Hoc igitur capias malum, quae suavia reddis
Pectora, quaeque potes flectere cuncta Venus.
In gravibus mihi sola dabis solatia curis,
Te nihil in tanto firmius orbe colam.[2]

Once upon a time the son of Priam, a youth, than which none were more handsome, who held the Trojan sceptres of the mighty elder, when chosen as the judge of the beauty of Pallas, Venus and Juno, replied with words like these: “Although you, Juno, are mighty and the sister and wife of the one Most High who holds the loftiest peaks, still, I am unmoved by all of this, and your gifts are of no concern to me, for you give nothing equal to your beauty. You, beloved Pallas, prepare for this contest in vain, although the glory of your mind is great. For I prefer Venus, the goddess of Cythera, and heat burns in my bones: she brings rewards now, for my judgement. Take, then, this apple, for you make my heart sweet, and you, Venus, are able to turn all to your will. You will give solace in my grievous cares: I will worship nothing in the wide world more faithfully than you.”

EXEGESIS.

MORAL

Est ade˛ Stygiis mens nostra immersa tenebris,
Ut non quae bona sint, quae mala despiciat.
Noxia quaeque premunt homines caligine caecos,
Iudicioque perit plurima turba suo.
At reputes quaeso Paridis tu semper amores,
Cautius ut vivas, nec tua damna velis.

The mind of man is so immersed in Stygian darkness that it is unable to distinguish good from bad. Harmful things oppress blind men with fog, and the great mass of fools is destroyed by its own judgement. But, I beg you, think always of the loves of Paris, so that you may live safer, and wish not your own destruction.

Notes:

1. áPriam.

2. áThe poem consciously plays on a famous ode of Horace, Odes, 1.15.



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