Verse > John Donne > The Poems of John Donne
John Donne (1572–1631).  The Poems of John Donne.  1896.
Appendix E. Ignatius his Conclave
IN or about 1611 Donne published, both in English and Latin, a prose satire on the Jesuits, and especially on their founder, Ignatius Loyola. The Latin Ignatii Conclave is undated, but it seems from internal evidence to have closely followed the Pseudo Martyr of 1610. The English Ignatius his Conclave is dated 1611. In this the scraps of Latin verse which appear in the other version are translated, and I therefore give the renderings here, with their originals.  1
        “Aversa facie Janum referre,”
Resemble Janus with a diverse face (p. 1).
        “Animula, vagula, blandula,
Comes hospesque corporis.”
My little wandering sportful soul,
Guest and companion of my body (p. 2).
                    “Operoso tramite scandens
Aethereum montem, tangens vicinia solis,
Hymnos ad Phoebi plectrum modulatur alauda;
Compressis velis, tandem ut remearet, alarum;
Tam subito recidit, ut saxum segnius iisset.”
The lark by busy and laborious ways
Having climbed up th’ eternal hill doth raise
His hymns to Phoebus’ harp, and striking then
His sails, his wings, doth fall down back again,
So suddenly that one may safely say,
A stone came lazily, that came that way (p. 3).
                    “tanto fragore boatuque,
Ut nec sulphureus pulvis, quo tota Britanna
Insula per nimbos Lunam volitasset ad imam,
Si cum substratus Camerae conceperat ignem,
Aequando fremeret nostro fragore boatuque.”
            With so great noise and horror,
That had that powder taken fire, by which
All the isle of Britain had flown to the moon,
It had not equalled this noise and horror (p. 40).
        “Parsque minor tantum tota valet integra tantum.”
That the least piece which thence doth fall,
Will do one as much good as all (p. 46).
        [Videram] “Aut plumam aut paleam quae fluminis innatat ori,
Cum ventum ad pontem fuerit, qua fornice transit
Angusto flumen, rejici tumideque repelli;
Duxerat at postquam choreas atque orbibus unda
Luserat, a liquidis laqueis et faucibus hausta
Fluminis in gremium tandem cedit, reditumque
Desperat spectator scenae.”
[I had … observed] Feathers or straws swim on the water’s face,
Brought to the bridge, where through a narrrow place
The water passes, thrown back and delayed:
And having danced a while and nimbly played
Upon the watery circles, then have been
By the stream’s liquid snares and jaws sucked in
And sunk into the womb of that swollen bourne,
Leave the beholder desperate of return (p. 91).
        “Qualis hesterno madefacta rore,
Et novo tandem tepefacta sole,
Excutit somnum, tremulam coronam
        Erigit herba,
Quae prius languens, recidens, recurva,
Osculum terrae dederat, iubarque
Denegatum tam diu nunc refulgens
        Solis anhelat.”
As a flower wet with last night’s dew, and then
Warm’d with the new sun, doth shake off again
All drowsiness, and raise his trembling crown
Which crookedly did languish and stoop down
To kiss the earth and panted now to find
These beams return’d, which had not long time shined (p. 142).
  I have been unable to identify any of the Latin passages, except the second, which is of course the first of the well-known lines attributed to the Emperor Hadrian. Possibly the rest, which do not always scan, are of Donne’s own writing.  9

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