Lude fistula tua
Lude fistula tua, Sibilus dulcis,
Sine canti rustici Musa lyrica
Nos conducere in saltatis lascivis.
Ad ripam Loirae, dum ludis musica,
Ornabo comam Aurea mea lilis,
Et necteret meam cum quercus gallica.
Nos fruemur in umbra laurei perennis
In clivo ubi floret ars poetica.
Play your pipe, sweet Sibilus,
And let the rustic songs of your lyrical Muse
Lead us in the playful dances.
And on the bank of the Loire, as you play the music,
I will decorate the hair of my Aurea with lilies,
And she will wreathe mine with Gallic oak.
We will enjoy ourselves in the shade of the evergreen laurel
Upon the hillside where the art of poetry blooms.
Having finished my first year-long project (the Chansons d'Aenor), I have decided that my second year-long project will be Latin pastorals that straddle both the Virgilian model and Goliardic satirical verse. I wrote this poem to get a feel for pastoral language and style - I have attempted to use the favored Roman hexametrical structure (as opposed to English's preferred pentametrical line) with an ABABABAB rhyme but I am honestly not sure if I succeeded (at least metrically). This will be something I'll hopefully improve on as the project develops. Update: having educated myself more on dactylic hexameter (the favored meter of classical epic) I can state this is not it - more like iambic hexameter, if anything. Having also educated myself on the preferred meter of classical lyrics, a mix of hexameter and pentameter, I will try that in the future (also the trochee/dactyl mix of the Sapphic stanza).
The characters referred to in the poem as 'Sibilus' and 'Aurea' are my master Efenwealt Wystle ("sibilus" is Latin for "whistle") and my mistress Aenor d'Anjou ("aurea" is "golden"). Virgil, Theocritus, Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio (and countless others) use such stereotypical pastoral figures and codenames for themselves and friends (and rivals) within their pastorals and eclogues. The image painted by the poem is a fantastically idyllic one - just how I'd hoped it would turn out.
Bibliography (mostly inspirational at this point)
Boccaccio, Giovanni. Eclogues. Trans. Janet Levarie Smarr. New York: Garland, 1987.
Cooper, Helen. Pastoral: Medieval into Renaissance. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 1977.
Dante. The Latin Works of Dante Aligheri. Trans. A.G. Ferrers Howell et al. New York: Greenwood Press, 1969.
Jones, Peter. Learn Latin: A Lively Introduction to Reading the Language. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1997.
Petrarca, Francesco. Petrarch's Love Poems: The Rime Sparse and Other Lyrics. Trans. and ed. Robert Durling. Cambridge, MA: Harvard U, 1976.
Traupman, John. The New College Latin & English Dictionary. New York: Bantam, 1995.
Whicher, George. The Goliard Poets: Medieval Latin Songs and Satires. New York: New Directions, 1949.
Ziolkowski, Jan. The Cambridge Songs (Carmina Cantabrigiensia). New York: Garland, 1994.