"Dum Diane vitrea" – in Full!



{A stained glass window from The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, also known simply as Seville Cathedral. Image from the Wikipedia.}


Back To Top

The complete translation of “Dum Diane vitrea” complete with recordings!

Back To Top

“When Diana’s glassy torch rises late
And is kindled by her rosy brothers,
A pleasant breath of wind lifts
the etheric cloud from all couples;
Thus she softens emotive power
And immoveable hearts, which
Towards the pledge of love she sways.

As the light of the evening star fades,
Charm’s humour is given to
The drowsy dew of fleeting passion.

Oh how fruitful is that remedy of drowsiness,
Which tempestuous cares and sorrows sedates!
So long as it steals up to sore open eyes,
themselves a sweet joy of love to have.

“Morpheus then draws forth
an urge in the mind
Like gentle wind over mature corn,
clear shoreside river murmurings,
the circuitous orbit of mill arms,
he who steals sleep from clear eyes.

After the smooth-tongued dealings of Venus
fatigue the mind’s wealth.
This wonderful new mist swims
and settles in the eyelids.
Oh, how favourable the shift from love to slumber,
Yet how a kiss gives new rise to love!

The deadly fume evaporates from the womb,
As its three little rooms are bedewed;
These lovers eyes and eyelids are then filled
With the fog of sleepiness,
Yet vision veers not away.
Whence through the eyes are we bound
By animal power, as they are the will’s helpers.

As beneath a leafy canopy of trees,
it is so sweet to cease when the nightingale sings.
How sweet to play in the meadow grass
with a bright beauty of a maid,
if there be many fragrant herbs to breath
if there be a bed of roses on which to lay,
oh how sweet the nourishment of sleep
after being exhausted by the chase of Venus’ trade,
which instills such sleepiness.

Oh how great the unreliable varying
of the spirit of love!
It is as a wandering raft upon the seas,
when free from anchor,
In flux between hope and fear, both dubious;
So goes the battle of Venus.”
(“Dum Diane vitrea” [Complete])

Back To Top


Modern English:

Back To Top

That’s it for the medieval Latin poem “Dum Diane vitrea”! That’s also it for my translations of Latin. From here on in, it’s Old English all the way!

Also, though this blog’s name and layout will stay the same for the rest of December, watch for a new name and design come the new year.

Back To Top

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.