Apr 24, 2010

Beltane Inspired Poetry from The Red Rose

As I worked on music tonight for the Beltane ceremony and the ceilidh that will follow it, I came across several lyrics and poems that I would like to share over the course of this coming week. I hope that these words might speak to some of you as we find ourselves nearing the changing of the seasons.

Suscipe Flos Florem
(from the manuscript of Benedictbeurern)

Suscipe Flos florem,
quia flos designat amorem
illo de flore
nimio sum captus amore.

Hunc florem, Flora
dulcissima, semper odora!
nam velut aurora
fiet tua forma decora.
florem, Flora, vide,
quem dum videas, mihi ride!
Florem Flora tene,
tua vox cantus philomene.

oscula des flori,
rubeo flos convenit ori.
Flos in pictura
non est flos, immo flgura ;
qui pingit florem
oscula des flori,
rubeo flos convenit ori.

[English Translation]

Take thou this rose, O Rose
since love’s own flower it is
and by that rose
thy lover captive is.

Smell thou this rose, O Rose
and know thyself as sweet
as dawn is sweet.

Look at this rose, O Rose
and looking, laugh on me
and in thy laughter’s ring
the nightingale shall sing.

Kiss thou this rose, O Rose
that it may know
the scarlet of thy mouth.

O Rose, this painted rose
is not the whole
who pains the flower
paints not its fragrant soul.