O varium fortune lubricum By: Anonymous

Editions

Singable Translation PDF By: Carol Anne Perry Lagemann (CC BY SA 4.0)

Info

Number of Voices: 1
Voicings: S , A , T , B
Date: 11th - 13th century
Language: Latin
Tags: goliard song Carmina Burana social commentary translation

Lyrics

Lyrics Direct Translation Poetic Translation
O varium O varying O changeable,
Fortune lubricum, and slippery Fortune, O Fortune flexible,
dans dubium giving doubt Well doubtable
tribunal iudicum, to the tribunal of judges, By judge unbreakable.
non modicum not just a little Incapable:
paras huic premium, ready for this prize All but the shiftable
quem colere are those who worship One you favor,
tua vult gratia your willing gifts Spoiled by your company,
et petere and claim Life to savor
rote sublimia, a lofty place on the wheel; In high-Wheeled harmony.
dans dubia you give doubt Cacophony
tamen, prepostere however, preposterously You love, so You waver,
de stercore from manure From filthiness
pauperem erigens, lifting up the poor, Lift the impoverished,
de rhetore from the orators Pull princeliness
consulem eligens. choosing the consul. From lectors' gibberish.
Edificat What is built She fabricates
Fortuna, diruit; by Fortune, she levels; And then demolishes;
nunc abdicat, now resigns He abdicates
quos prius coluit; he who previously served; Who once accomplishes;
quos noluit, he who refused She banishes
iterum vendicat she claims again, For whom she advocates,
hec opera working With her fibbing,
sibi contraria, to the contrary, Twisting in irony,
dans munera giving gifts Fake gifts giving:
nimis labilia; too fleeting; Motley monotony.
mobilia fickle False gluttony,
sunt Sortis federa, are her many treaties, Her pact with the living:
que debiles the disabled Unable men
ditans nobilitat she makes powerful and noble, Power she allocates
et nobiles and the noble And noblemen
premens debilitat. she weakens with pressure. Crushes and suffocates.
Quid Dario How did Darius Felt Darius
regnasse profuit? profit from his reign? A king's advantages?
Pompeïo From Pompeii How glorious
quid Roma tribuit? what did Rome gain? Were Pompeii's homages?
Succubuit Overcome Sword-damages:
uterque gladio. was each by the sword. Defeated, furious.
eligere Choose To well run it,
media tutius to be safe in the middle Keep, on her vehicle,
quam petere rather than seek From the summit;
rote sublimius a higher place on the wheel, Shun all the spectacle,
et gravius the farther Wheel's pinnacle,
a summo ruere: to fall from the top: From high up to plummet:
fit gravior for graver Much heavier
lapsus a prosperis is a fall from prosperity, Falls from prosperity,
et durior and tougher, Much scarier
ab ipsis asperis. to desperation. To harsh obscurity.
Subsidio Relief Luxurious
Fortune labilis from Fortune is fleeting. But given carelessly!
cur prelio Why, though in battle Victorious,
Troia tunc nobilis, Troy was noble, Troy standing fearlessly,
nunc flebilis is it now tearfully Why recklessly
ruit incendio? burnt to ruins? Fell to the dubious?
Quis sanguinis Who for the blood Who laughed, shrieking
Romani gratiam, of Rome lusted, At Rome's futility?
quis nominis who made a memory Who stole speaking
Greci facundiam, of the Greeks’ eloquence, From Greek ability?
quis gloriam who the glory Who dignity
fregit Carthaginis? of Carthage broke? Of Carthage went seeking?
Sors lubrica, Slippery Fate, Fate various,
que dedit, abstulit; she gives, she takes; She gave, she took away;
hec unica the one Whom previous
que fovit, perculit. whom she cherishes, she shatters. Day loved, she threw away.
Nil gratius Nothing is more gratifying A miracle
Fortune gratia, than Fortune’s favor; Is Fortune's company,
nil dulcius nothing is sweeter A manacle
est inter dulcia among sweetness Well-made and cushiony,
quam gloria, than glory, Craved euphony
si staret longius. if it would stay for long. From happy oracle.
Sed labitur But it slips, It will falter
ut olus marcidum flabby as a vegetable, As blooms degradable;
et sequitur and it follows It will alter,
agrum nunc floridum, that the fields now in flower Dead fields untameable,
quem aridum will be dry, Once arable.
cras cernes. Igitur you will see tomorrow. So To fail to exalt her
improprium it would be improper As turnable
non edo canticum: not to send forth the song: Is impermissible:
o varium O varying O changeable,
Fortune lubricum. and slippery Fortune. O Fortune flexible!
Anonymous Carol Anne Perry Lagemann Carol Anne Perry Lagemann