Academic journal article Transactions of the American Philosophical Society

Appendix 1: William Dillingham's Latin Poetry: Latin Text and Facing English Translation1

Academic journal article Transactions of the American Philosophical Society

Appendix 1: William Dillingham's Latin Poetry: Latin Text and Facing English Translation1

Article excerpt


Ad Illustrissimum Carolum Westmorlandiae Comitem

Accipe, Magne Comes, Tibi debita Carmina, Musae Idem materies ingeniumque meae

Aufonias propter ripas, qua cogitur unda

ferre iugum et famam debet Wansfordia ponti,

silvae condguus modicique cacumine montis,

est locus Australem qui partem versus et ortum

vallesque villasque et longos prospicit agros. 5

Terra olim agricolae duros experta labores,

at postquam cincta est vivae munimine sepis

et viridi donata toga de cespite puro,

tota vacat ludo magnis celebranda triumphis,

miraturque novos aurata veste colonos. 10

hanc bene detonsam ac ad vivum cespite raso

levigat atque polit subigitque volubile saxum,

labentem sphaeram ne qua fetusca moretur.

Hue generosa cohors animo depellere curas

quum iuvat et sudum est dictis plerumque diebus 15

convolât; in partes itur: "tu Guelfius esto;

hic Gibelinus erit, furiis tarnen ante remotis,

quin et avaritia: turpes haec suscitât iras,

sed ñeque pro nuda iubeo te laude pacisci:

'exacuit modicum; nimio si pignore certes, 20

corrumpis ludum ne sit sincera voluptas.'

laudo tarnen veterum ritus qui muñera bina

praemia victori statuunt, solatia vieto.

Heus puer! hue propere sphaeras splendore coruscas

expédias, lateri immissum quas fusile plumbum 25

et docuit solidare gradus et ducere gyros."

stat iuxta domus exilis, gratissima fessis

umbra vins; eadem ludentibus arma ministrai.

hinc puer expromit sphaeras, hic nocte recondit.

Primus ibi ante omnes in arenam Sylvius héros 30

descendit, multa virtute insignis et arte,

seu circumducto metam contingere gyro,

sive per hostiles opus est perrumpere turmas,

is (postquam limen signarat lamina ferri)

protinus emittit nullo molimine sphaeram 35

exiguam. haec Helena est, cursus haec meta futuri;

hanc ambire omnes: felix qui limine primo

egressus tandem illius requiescit in ulnis.

tum sphaeram dextra complexus lumine certo

signât iter, prono veneratur corpore Nympham, 40

effunditque globum, tacito qui flumine lapsus


To the Most Distinguished Charles, Earl of Westmorland

Receive, eminent Earl, poetry that is your due, you who are both the subject and the inspiration of my Muse.

Close to the banks of Avon where the stream is forced to bear the yoke, and Wansford owes its fame to a bridge, near a wood and on the top of a hillock there is a place which, facing in the direction of the south and the east, commands a prospect of valleys, villages, and distant fields. In times past this land experienced the severe toils of the farmer, but after being encircled by the protection of à quick-set hedge and endowed with a green toga of smooth turf, it is completely free for sport, worthy to be celebrated in mighty triumphs as it marvels at its new cultivators in gear of gold. When this has been properly sheared, with its turf naturally trimmed, a stone roller levels, smoothens, and polishes it in case at any point a clump of grass might check the progress of the gliding bowl.

To this spot there flocks a band of gentry when it is their wish to dispel anxieties from their mind, when the weather is clear, and mostly on prescribed days. They divide into sides: "You be Guelfo; this one will be Gibelinus, but banish beforehand madness and greed as well: this stirs up shameful anger. Still, neither do I enjoin you to strike a bargain for nothing but renown: 'that which is small acts as an incentive; but if you compete for a stake that is excessive, you spoil the sport with the result that the pleasure is not genuine.' Nonetheless I commend the customs of the ancients, which establish two rewards: prizes for the victor, consolation prizes for the vanquished. …

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