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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I6v p140]

De morte & Amore.[1]

Death and Love

Errabat socio Mors iuncta Cupidine, secum
Mors pharetras, parvus tela gerebat Amor:
Divertere simul, simul unà & 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.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I7r p141]

De mort et amour.

Mort & amour apres vin boire,
Changerent de flesches & de arcs:
Et sur cecy debvez vous croire,
Que aussi firent de force & de ars:
Mort cuydant tuer ses souldars,
Vieilles gens en amours mettoit:
Et Cupido gettant ses darts,
Aux jeunes gens la vie estoit[3].

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.

3.  Corrected from the 1536 edition.


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I8v p144]

In temerarios.

The reckless

LXIIII.

Aspicis aurigam currus Phaetonta[1] paterni
Ignivomos ausum flectere Solis equos:
Maxima qui postquàm terris incendia sparsit,
Est temerè insesso lapsus ab axe miser.
Sic plerique rotis Fortunae ad sydera Reges
Evecti, ambitio quos iuvenilis agit,
Post magnam humani generis clademque suamque,
Cunctorum poenas denique dant scelerum.

You see here Phaethon, driving his father’s chariot, and daring to guide the fire-breathing steeds of the Sun. After spreading great conflagrations over the earth, the wretched boy fell from the car he had so rashly mounted. - Even so, the majority of kings are borne up to heaven on the wheels of Fortune, driven by youth’s ambition. After they have brought great disaster on the human race and themselves, they finally pay the penalty for all their crimes.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [K1r p145]

Wider die freuenlichen.[2]

LXIIII.

Da Phaeton noch jung und schwach,
Die Sonn zu fiernn in stoltz gedachte,
Verbrant er die ganntz welt gar nach,
Und sich selbs umb das leben bracht:
Noch manch Furst jung, und unbedacht,
Offt durch ehrgeytz, und hochfart wennd
Zu gmaynem ungluck all sein macht,
Und puest zu loetzt mit boesem ennd.

Notes:

1.  Phaethon, the son of Apollo, the sun-god. The myth referred to here is told in Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.748 - 2.349. Both Phaethon and Icarus ([A42b053]) are types of those who aim too high and do not recognise their proper sphere.

2.  This is not the expected translation of the Latin motto.


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