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Luna collucente (aka Au clair de la lune)

Luna collucente
Quidam clamitat:
"Stilum ad scribendum
Quisnam mihi dat?
Exstincta candela
Lumen deest mi;
Pro amore Dei,
Portam aperi!"

Luna collucente
Hoc responsum fit:
"Aperire nolo
Nox cum atra sit.
Vigilat vicina,
Ab illa quaeras
Calamum ut scribas
Tuas litteras."

Luna collucente
Ad vicinam it
Lumen rogaturus,
Portamque ferit.
"Quis es tu qui pulsas
Extra ianuas?"
"Pro amoris deo,
Me recipias!"

Luna collucente
Quaerunt candelam,
Quaerunt una stilum --
Sed quod fit postquam
Hac in tenebrosa
Domo, quis sciat?
Ianua occlusa
Omnia celat!

This is being reposted because I just edited my translation to give a more accurate rendering of the end of the third verse; it talks about the god of love rather than the love of God, and in version 1 of my translation I fudged that because I couldn't quite work out how to make the rhythm and rhyme work out. And then, of course, I had to edit the first verse as well because the symmetry of pro amore Dei and pro amoris deo was too good to resist. (In retrospect, I can't imagine why I didn't spot the potential of Latin to express this symmetry right from the start, but then I don't exactly write Latin poetry every day!)

The English version of which the above is a (loose) translation can be found on this site. The original French is here, along with a link to an MP3 of the tune.

Views: 77

Comment by Laura Gibbs on November 10, 2007 at 2:02pm
Wow, Raphaela, that is absolutely delightful! I never even knew the Au clair de la lune had lyrics... much less such story-ful lyrics!... to go with it! WONDERFUL.


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