Chapter 28

[ 28 ]


              Exhortation to the Muses (note 1) to Sing of Richard

Though it be enough to sing, in a metre of varied ringing,
The flowery songs of a single clear-sounding Muse,
Let each one of you sweetly sing, I beg, singly,
Clio, Melpomene, Polyhimnia, Erato and Thalia,
Terpsichore, Euterpe, Calliope, Urania,
Make this extraordinary work resound with the lyric bellowing
Of a sweetly-sounding song and a soaring voice,
In a varied train of alternate metres,
In praise of that celebrated patrician and count and reverend
Duke, who duly strove to please the highest God.

                      Clio

Lo! let not stolid taciturnity and listless silence
Stifle our thoughts,
And let the expounder of this sacred history
Be one who relates mystical things in intelligible order.
It would be agreeable to sing what Richard did,
Count and vigorous marquis,
Worthy duke and upright patrician,
For I have declared his mortal deeds.
Indeed it is my right to render to posterity
The histories of affairs in a credible order.
Now indeed I will surrender symbolic matters
To my sisters, speaking learnedly with a different song.

                      Euterpe

I am delighted to cry out in lyric metre
What type of man was the reverend count
And with what great blessedness he flourished,
And let my honored host of sisters be at hand
To enumerate his merits with me.
And I will bear witness that this upright, kind servant of
Christ,
Due to the merits of his blessedness,
Has been joined to the angelic throngs,
Since the judge will reward his servants,
Ruining the guilty with malign tortures.

                      Melpomene

Now am I musing over how that great ancestor
Has been united with those throngs on account of his merits,
On account of his marvels, and on account of his marvelous
Vigorous deeds and on account of his religious acts,
Which still endure, and which worthily shine.
For, as long as he flourished in this world, his body safe,
That mellifluous ruler did everything
Which the sacred decrees of the fathers affirm.
He loved the lord God with a pious heart
And, in worthy alliance, loved also his neighbor as himself.

                      Thalia

And if our will were capable of grasping
How he lived and flourished and acted,
I would write, although the idea be outrageous,
That it were fitting that this marquis and equitable patrician,
This holy duke and reverend count,
Be designated among the prophets.
For what the prophets announced with mystical words
From their symbolic and prophetic hearts,
He, well-disposed, believed and recited
And heard and remembered in his sacred mind.

                      Polyhymnia

Now let me be summoned, although more foolish than my sisters,
I will say what it is pleasing to speak of, telling of
The fruits of our salvation, by which faith and hope and glory
Everlastingly grew in this world.
I would dare to join that great, holy, pious,
Just, upright duke, the marquis Richard,
To the brilliant congregations of apostles
For, although he is not numbered or calculated among them,
Nevertheless because of his marvelous merits,
Sacred Peter justly does not refuse his pious merits.

                      Erato

Friendly reader! should you find some
Good wordling similar to this count,
Someone who has bourne so many crosses, so many
Abuses, so many tortures for his people,
For the sake of his steadfast faith in the divine will,
Reveal him now to me.
He duly regulated unconquerable ones,
And vehemently resisted the Dacians.
He is enjoying eternal rest,
A companion to the martyrs by his merits.

                      Terpsichore

See how this duke, patrician, count,
Versed in wisdom
And loving religion,
Has adorned the sacred cathedrals
Of pontiffs,
Something you can still sufficiently see to this day.
It is not forbidden even to say more:
He who was inferior to none,
But was superior,
Has been added to the confessors.

                      Urania

Although the holy duke and marquis
Once celebrated,
For the sake of posterity,
An alliance of a chaste
And licit and sincere bed,
Who would now try to remove
Him from the virginal garland?
His mind, conscious of the right,
Truly remained chaste,
Having endured no blemish of ignominy.

                      Calliope

Well-disposed reader, drawing now upon your reason
Extend your intellect with ready understanding
Through all the saints in order,
Observe whether you ever discover now
In this fleeting world
Any patrician consistent with our father
In deeds and merits and obedience
And appropriate veneration of divine worship.
For indeed every deed appropriate to our father
Is manifest in all his actions.
And when that apostolic senate
Is assembled, pure, from among the great host
And, in the presence of the shining Judge,
Sits in the judgment seat,
Richard himself, relying on his merits and manners,
In a shining chair
Will propose rights and laws concerning this great world.
And when stout rewards are paid out,
By Christ the Judge, to the holy martyrs
He will wear a rose-colored crown
Which will endure along his entire future path.
And when the priests who have conquered their flesh
For the sake of gainful profit
Now rightly enter the inner sanctuary of the supernal realm,
Deserving now a talent (note 2) as their reward,
In victorious glory, behold, it will be said to Richard:
"Well done! Take for yourself, faithful servant, as best you can,
Great rewards in exchange for the small things you now have."

                     All the Muses in Harmony

The fertile earth profusely blesses the nourishing
Husbandman with three-fold plenteousness.
In this way too has the true Planter taught the world,
Placing the seeds of his nourishing Word.
When the other shining ones announce
The maniples already glittering above the stars,
Each one by repeating the exploits of his exertion,
Struggling for the sake of that region,
You will see that Richard
Beams on high, with three crowns.
He himself, having arrived at his sixtieth year,
From the time he was thirty, according to divine will,
Has always directed his footsteps towards this place,
Moving from left to right;
That fortunate count, in a splendid virginal diadem,
Will be presented to the virgins,
And will follow the most beautiful lamb.
And will continue the pace by which he hastened there,
Because, with an ethereal sweetness,
He will sing the natal song,
Resounding in five modest tetrachords.
Christ, you who are above and without whom nothing is upright,
And with whom everything is upright,
Your tributes are at hand so that, by means of these,
He might become such a one as well.

              A Preface to the Prelate Robert

Though you be deprived
Of rhetorical taste,
And considered inexperienced in verse singing,
And sluggish and slothful and unskilled,
Inarticulate and stupid,
Deprived of all
Reason and knowledge,
Let you abide, linger, stand forth,
O Muse, furnish head and breast trappings
For this little book,
And reveal in writing the splendid deeds
Of that sacred duke
And equitable patrician
And bountiful marquis.
And as you are mighty in your power to ordain,
Truly inflamed, tell of
The goods which he himself accomplished,
Which he worked while he lived,
For it is fitting through it all
To register the highest shouts of joy
For the sacred, equitable, compassionate,
Moderate count Richard.
May he have, we all pray,
Repose, salvation and honor
And an increase of glory
For all time.
Through the deity of the Trinity,
Governing everything whatsoever,
He stands forth and flourishes and has strength.

                     Another Preface

That Muse does not sing
Whose abundant supply of speech
Either hisses, babbling, or is wanting,
As is wont to happen with a young lad.
However much I might stand forth as
Ignorant, slothful and sluggish,
And trifling, and more foolish than everyone else,
Prating only with impediment,
I have nevertheless, with unpolished articulation,
Related in order, just as you see them,
The deeds of this illustrious, good, equitable
And vigorous marquis.
A petty bard, I am being carried now into the midst
Of things that have been said and things that ought to be said.
The latter move the clumsy poet,
The former force him to write.
Nevertheless, stay here with me,
Although I be unpolished;
Go with me, I pray, advantageously,
Wherever I might go.
Lo, astonishment smites me,
And very many things affright me
And arise in new forms,
Which it is not lawful to silence.
My mind takes flight, having wondered much,
My breast is compressed by the burden.
I have travelled around many Christian armies,
Searching through them,
And, having gotten to know them all well,
I have found no one
Like the marquis Richard,
In whom such great things come together.
We will celebrate this man,
Thrice, four times, a thousand times blessed,
The very page will sound out
This kind, this moderate,
This pious, this equitable and holy one,
Both approved and greatest of all.
Normandy is witness
To the bounty of his actions,
And Francia, too, is witness
To his liberality,
And Burgundy confirms
His courage.
Indeed, other realms too
Are astounded at his holy words and deeds.
No one gleamed more
In thought, word and deed.
May eternal glory, repose, be his,
In the highest good.

                            A Prayer

The savage might of the Dacians,
In the past displayed in a mean plotline,
And one difficult for me,
Now rises, running, by the weight of its own character,
Indeed with a roaring
That was not heard or seen in aught of us even in olden times.
Because of this, that might is neither known to, nor believed by, everyone,
And is tested by very few.
Come, bountiful Spirit, I beg, a suppliant,
By beaming forth your sevenfold nectar,
And by whatever power you have already given me the ability to exist at all,
Give me the ability to speak.

                     A Preface to the Prelate Robert

The guidance for ethereal, terrestrial, subterranean motivation,
The dignity, sovereignty, intelligence (note 3) of the entire world,
The starry summit, the model and the supernal force,
The heavenly divine will, perpetually holding all things,
The sequence of the causes of things through a laid up store of motion,
The constructor of men, the glory of those who worship the divine,
All tributes of praise are to you,
Though they be drawn forth with varied harmony in a dissimilar train,
Therefore have we sung of you, the king of all, in this ode, (note 4)
With uninterrupted voices, with suppliant prayers.
You are called the fertile triad (note 5) and the uncompounded monad, (note 6)
Either (according to the Greeks) (note 7) you are also divided
As only one essence in three substances, (note 8)
Or (as is more extensively maintained in other speeches of the world)
You are both one true substance, yet three persons, (note 9)
Always present, and you yourself endure likewise,
You, the unbegotten begetting Father, in you alone do we believe.
Thus does wisdom, exulting, applaud the begotten Son,
And the Spirit, truly the living Paraclete, flowing from both,
In these three we worship but a single deity, (note 10)
Which is thus described, I believe, because it runs, perceiving all, into everything,
And nowhere outside of it can anything exist.
It is moved although steadfast and it is stable although mobile,
Truth-speakers of faith assert it as universal,
As the substance-giving thing, (note 11) the figure (note 12) of all things, the idea (note 13) of the world.
It endures and flourishes, as goodness, through itself.
God (note 14) is neither this, nor that, but is everything.
Neither here, nor there, but effective everywhere for everything.
Without beginning, it proves itself medium, large and small: (note 15)
Medium (note 16) while it perpetually rules whatever is innermost,
Small (note 17) while it bountifully assists and helps those who are least,
Large (note 18) while it invigorates the very greatest things in great ways.
Thus does it always preside over great, medium, small things too,
Itself indivisible, remaining whole everywhere.
For the medium thing, the faraway thing too, everything, (note 19)
Everything whatsoever flourishes because of this ruler, (note 20)
Yet both reason (note 21) and excelling understanding (note 22)
Shall profess clearly that the very prototype (note 23) is itself nothing,
So that you, reader, might be astounded, relating how this is universal
Because its incomprehensible nature blooms in everything.
Since it is seized by no one, it is itself called nothing;
But, as often as it shows itself, at this point God is manifested. (note 24)
It is said that things always grow into something out of nothing;
They will write that all things were likewise created from this nothing.
Hence there is what is said and spoken concerning the shadow,
For the sacred psalmist (note 25) resounded thus:
"Just as its shadows exist, so too does its light;
It is itself both shadows to the condemned and light to the upright." (note 26)
For this is how things are, according to the Bible, flowing with truth.
Behold, you will conceive that what is necessary, beyond this, lies concealed.
It is neither easy nor worthy nor lawful for any of us
That we arrogantly determine for any soul or any stain
What properly belongs to God to reveal as Judge;
He (whoever he is, of whatever type, however great) shall remain Lord. (note 27)
Remaining, yourself, undefiled as well, bind him
More worthily and better and more closely to your soul through prayer.
Pray! He is at hand, easy, ready to yield,
He wants to give generously to devout and gentle words.
Therefore, with these metres, truth-telling and believable,
With these vows, these continuous prayers, I embrace
The unbegotten Father and, truly, the begotten Offspring,
The Breath, flowing from both, as a sensation-producing stimulus;
All things which are, worthily profess him exultingly,
And he rules, with his own command, everything which is.
Him the thrice three hosts always praise in heaven:
Contemplating him, they sing; venerating him, they worship;
The delighting company of patriarchs, echoing hardly scanty odes
To him alone, celebrates him;
Truth-telling prophets produce a train of praises to him;
Whatever flourishes has sung of him with sacred addresses;
Contemplating him, the twelve-fold phalanx adores,
Disdains all else and, following him, worships;
With hymns, an innumerable cohort of martyrs celebrates him as eternal,
And shouts, manifesting joy, disdaining any lashings;
The summit of viginity, from which (by choosing that ornament)
One strikingly sings, marvelously resounds like celestial thunder;
Him the sky above, him the land below also praises;
All the elements serve him; venerating him, they worship.
Bountiful Creator, I beseech you, gracious, turn your attention
To what remains and to what draws nigh, favoring these prayers.
We pray, adjust our present labors and, merciful,
You who heap up our understanding and fructify our speech.
The subject matter drives us and love constrains us
To adjust this token of lofty praise to Richard,
Who flourished, wonderful, always your servant,
Treading every evil one under foot, lifting up every good one.


Notes:


1. Ancient goddesses of the liberal arts. Clio was the muse of history, Melpomene of tragedy, Polyhymnia of mime, Erato of lyric poetry, Thalia of comedy, Terpsichore of dance, Euterpe of the flute, Calliope of epic poetry and Urania of astronomy. The names of the muses above each verse are taken from CC 276.

2. An ancient Attic weight, usually reckoned when Dudo wrote as the rough monetary equivalent of a "pound."

3. In Greek.

4. Preferring the "te....oda" of CC 276.

5. In Greek.

6. In Greek.

7. In Greek.

8. The prase combines Greek and Latin terms.

9. The phrase combines Greek and Latin terms.

10. In Greek.

11. In Greek.

12. Preferring the "typos" (in Greek) of CC 276.

13. In Greek.

14. In Greek.

15. The line is in Greek.

16. In Greek.

17. In Greek.

18. In Greek.

19. Line in Greek.

20. In Greek.

21. In Greek.

22. In Greek.

23. In Greek.

24. In Greek.

25. In Greek.

26. Psalm ________.

27. In Greek.


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