Poetry of the Carolingian Renaissance 080611939X, 9780806119397

This handsome anthology of Latin poetry from the late eighth to the tenth century serves several purposes. In presenting

509 104 2MB

English Pages 364 [615] Year 1985

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Polecaj historie

Poetry of the Carolingian Renaissance
 080611939X, 9780806119397

Citation preview

Page i

Poetry of the Carolingian Renaissance  

cover

next page >

cover

next page >

  title : author : publisher : isbn10 | asin : print isbn13 : ebook isbn13 : language : subject   publication date : lcc : ddc : subject :



Page 1

Introduction (I) The new order and the old `Our times are transformed into the civilisation of Antiquity. Golden Rome is reborn and restored anew to the world!' These eager words of a youthful poet, flushed with idealism and ambition, announcing the revival of a political, spiritual and cultural order for which Rome remained the potent symbol, were written early in the ninth century to court favour with Charlemagne (768-814), the Frankish king who in 800 had assumed the title and dignity of emperor (24, vv. 26-7).1 A writer of verse seeking support for his impractical art would have seemed an incongruous figure at the beginning of the reign. From his accession in 768 and during the 770s Charlemagne, like his forefathers, had been chiefly concerned to secure and to improve his position by political manoeuvres and military campaigns. These were familiar and time-honoured methods. Few barbarian princes had made their names by patronage of Latin poetry. The change in Carolingian intellectual life to which this young poet's words bear witness had been set in course during the early 780s. Described by Carolingian scholars as a renovatio and a reparatioterms for which 'renaissance' is an inexact modern equivalent, frequently and fruitlessly debated2the renewed pursuit of literature and learning was proclaimed in a revival of Latin poetry that took place under Charlemagne and developed into a tradition, discontinuous but still powerful, that can be traced throughout the reigns of his successors. To appreciate what was new about the developments of the 780s we need to look back a generation and consider the position of poetry in the mid-eighth century. The pre-Carolingian era in Latin poetry is often described as a period of 'transition'.3 The seventh and eighth centuries are thus implicitly defined in terms of what they are notneither Late Antiquity nor the Carolingian Renaissance, but an awkward age of 'intellectual barrenness and decline'.4 Nothing could be further from the truth. In Merovingian Gaul the poetic oeuvre of the bishop, courtier and gourmet Venantius Fortunatus ( c. 600), a contemporary of Gregory of Tours, equals anything written during the Latin Middle Ages in elegance and variety. Venantius' work, shaped by the rhetorical education he had received in Ravenna, was to exercise a deep and lasting influence over both the 1 On the tone and interpretation of these lines see p. 25 below. 2 Cf. Paul Lehmann, Spoleto. . . Settimane i (1934), p. 310. Recent discussion and bibliography in A. Guerreau-Jalabert, 'La

''Renaissance carolingienne''; modèles culturels, usages linguistiques et structures sociales', Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes xxxix (1981), pp. 5-35. 3 Raby, SLP, pp. 147ff. 4 Ibid.

 



Page 2

secular and the religious poetry of subsequent Carolingian authors.5 A less learned development of Merovingian rhythmical verse, often irregular in form and erratic in language, points forward to fresh departures in poetic style and genre during the late eighth and ninth centuries.6 Some of the finest works of Hiberno-Latin hymnody are pre-Carolingian, while the impact in England of Bede and Aldhelm, the two preeminent figures in early Insular Latin literature, is reflected in the verse of the Anglo-Saxon missionaries to the Continent, notably St. Boniface, in the generation before Charlemagne. The most erudite of the poets of early Visigothic Spain, Isidore of Seville, and the most gifted, Eugenius of Toledo, were to be imitated both by their compatriots and by others during the Carolingian era,7 while the Italian culture which produced the verse of Paul the Deacon, who was educated at Pavia, and of Paulinus of Aquileia offered what Charlemagne aspired to attract to his courts. Enough has been said to indicate that the pre-Carolingian Latin poetry of each of these provinces or neighbours of the former Roman Empire possesses its own distinctive character and qualities. Yet there has been no systematic modern attempt to analyse and to compare, region by region, the evidence extant from this 'age of transition'.8 The present state of research thus inhibits useful generalisation, and the limitations of our knowledge unduly prolong the tenacious longevity of that dreary cliché 'the Dark Ages'. Moreover, the problem of assessing pre-Carolingian verse is compounded by the real and irreducible limitations of our sources. The examples of poetic activity I have mentioned range, too broadly for exact literary history, from the sixth to the eighth century. It cannot be otherwise. One looks for continuity in vain. Names, places and chronology are lacking for uncomfortably large stretches of time. 750 is an arbitrary date but a convenient point from which to consider more closely what has survived from the years preceding Charlemagne's accession. We know a little about a few centres in which poetry was written and studied, less about some others and nothing at all about areas which were manifestly important. Lack of evidence, in this context, is not necessarily proof of cultural torpor. The Visigothic town or monastery in which the brilliant Carolingian poet Theodulf of Orléans was trained during the mid-eighth century possessed a variety of classical and Christian Latin texts comparable, and in some respects superior, to the most 5 There is no adequate modern study of the poetry of Venantius Fortunatus. The best of the older critical accounts are by R.

Koebner, Venantius Fortunatus. Seine Persönlichkeit und seine Stellung in der geistigen Kultur des Merowinger Reichs. Beitrage * zur Kulturgeschichte des Mittelalters und der Renaissance 22 (Leipzig and Berlin, 1915), and by W. Meyer, 'Der Gelegenheitsdichter Venantius Fortunatus' in Abhandlungen der Gottinger Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, philosophischhistorische Klasse N.F.4.5 (1901). See too D. Tardi, Fortunat (Paris, 1927). 6 On Merovingian rhythmical poetry see Norberg, Poésie, pp. 31ff. Carolingian rhythmical verse is discussed below, pp. 26ff,

42ff, 51ff. 7 See now Roger Collins, 'Poetry in ninth-century Spain', Papers of the Liverpool Latin Seminar 4 (1983), pp. 181-95. 8 The most recent survey is by P. Riché, Éducation et culture dans l'Occident barbare, VIc-VIIIc siècles3 (Paris, 1962), translated

into English by J. Contreni, Education and Culture in the Barbarian West. . . (Columbia, South Carolina, 1976).

 



Page 3

impressive that any identifiable centre of this period could offer (18). But where in Spain that town or monastery may have been, we do not know. From the period between Valerius of Bierzo in the late seventh century and the Cordoban revival in the ninth hardly any Visigothic Latin poetry has been transmitted.9 The Arab invasion of 711 and the vicissitudes of textual history have destroyed the traces of a Visigothic poetic tradition of which Theodulf is the sole surviving eighth-century representative. For England and for Italy the evidence is richer, but still lacunose. Sources from the south of England in the lifetimes of Charlemagne's father and grandfather are sparse. Most is known about Northumbria, the homeland of Charlemagne's close adviser and principal poet, Alcuin; but even there can be mustered only a handful of authors of Latin verse.10 The poetry written by Paul the Deacon for his Lombard patrons and for Arichis of Benevento provides a rare insight into the literary culture of two parts of Italy which the Carolingians knew and admired, but if we look beyond Paul for identifiable and immediate Italian precursors, we are confronted by a virtual blank.11 (Not so in Milan, where an influential encomium on that city was written c. 738 in rhythmical verse.)12 In Italy, as in England, the picture that can be formed of poetic activity in the mid-eighth century is thus partial and inconsistent. But no area of Europe can rival the obscurity of Francia, Charlemagne's future kingdom. The Anglo-Saxon missionary Boniface, in the lifetime of Charlemagne's father, Pippin, composed a lengthy moral-didactic poem on the virtues and the vices that takes the form of aenigmata or 'riddles'. In it the Apostle of the Germans put these words into the mouth of personified Ignorance: I have long been called the mother of error and a fool, for children produced by me spring up eternally, spreading their evil sins far and wide in the world, and so the land of Germany has always loved me . . .13

Boniface was active in a zone north of the line between Paris and Strasbourg,14 but his caustic verses find some corroboration in the dearth of poetic sources from the Carolingian heartland. Outside Francia in a number of local, principally clerical, centres communicating with one another only intermittentlyin Wearmouth-Jarrow or in Monte Cassino, 9 See Collins, pp. 184-5. 10 See Godman, Alcuin, pp. lxiiiff. 11 From Pavia the evidence before Paul is tenuous in the extreme. The verses of the socalled 'Stefanus magister' are probably the

work of a monk of Bobbio; see P. Lehmann, DA xiv (1958), pp. 469-71. The remainder of the evidence is inscriptional. From Monte Cassino there survives only the poem of Marcus on St. Benedict (see S. Brechter in Benedictus der Vater des Abendlandes (Munich, 1947), pp. 341-59). On the verse of the Beneventan David (MGH, Poetae i, pp. 111-12) see M. Oldoni, SM 3a ser. 11 (1970), p. 897. 12 See p. 29 and note 60. The epitaph by Crispus bishop of Milan ( 725), on Caedwalla incorporated by Bede into the Historia

Ecclesiastica 5. 7 is the most important piece of seventh-century evidence The 'Carmen medicinale' attributed to him has been demonstrated to be a work of the late Middle Ages by F. Brunhölzl, Aevum xxxiii (1959), pp. 25-49. 13MGH, Poetae i, p. 13, vv. 320-3. 14 See Ewig, Gallien ii, pp. 220-59.

 



Page 4

in Benevento or in Yorkpoets continued to compose in the traditional medium of their acquired language. But numbers are small, names are rare and a pattern of interdependence is difficult to discern. The focus becomes sharper and the colours more vivid in the altered literary atmosphere of the 780s, with the circle of authors whom Charlemagne gathered about himself. The reasons which attracted these men to his court and made them matter to him are pertinent to an understanding of how and why the poetry of the new Rome came into being. (II) Charlemagne and the poets1 It is conventional, and partly true, to explain Charlemagne's interest in learning in terms of his practical requirements as ruler. He needed an educated clergy, able to draw on a supply of reliable texts both sacred and profane, equipped to secure the hold of the Church over his subjects and equal to the tasks of conversion and administration that his conquests brought in their wake. Charlemagne's concern for the instruction of the clergy and the laity, in Latin and in the vernacular, can thus be seen as a conscious attempt to promote the ecclesiastical and political unity of the expanding dominions of the Franks. Conciliar decrees and capitularies, reform of the Bible and of the liturgy, the use of florilegia and the encouragement of the vernacular are accordingly interpreted as a concerted response, on the part of Charlemagne and his advisers, to demands made by the changing conditions of Francia in the late eighth century.2 Not much room remains, on this view, for Charlemagne the hero of legend. In his place is left a statesman not unlike his contemporariesstruggling, with impressive if partial success, against obstacles of illiteracy, paganism and rebellion; winning political and military victories more spectacular, but not necessarily more enduring, than those of his forebears; and leaving unresolved critical problems that were to be faced by successors who lacked his high personal qualities.3 Such a view of Charlemagne is reassuring, because it seems to cut him down to size. But it does not do justice to the intellectual dimension of his achievement. Others before him had been shrewd enough to grasp that Church and Kingdom needed the services of scholars; Charlemagne required far more of the writers and thinkers he gathered about him. An interpretation of his concern with literature and scholarship that takes into account only the practical requirements of administrative reform fails to explain why this Frankish warlord bothered to become a patron of poets. For Charlemagne, in the second decade of his reign, was attempting 1 Cf. W. von den Steinen in Karl der Grosse i, pp. 63ff., who considers the portrayal of Charlemagne in early Carolingian

poetry. 2 This view is frequently re-stated in textbooks. Cf. R. McKitterick, The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751-987

(London, 1983), pp. 140ff. 3 A valuable account of historical opinion (up to 1970) is provided by D. A. Bullough, 'Europae Pater: Charlemagne and his

achievement in the light of recent scholarship', EHR lxxxv (1970), pp. 59-105

 



Page 5

something unparalleled in recent memory when he consciously set about creating a literary circle to rival those which had guaranteed the fame of the rulers of the past whose example he was seeking to emulate. The Bible, and in particular the Old Testament, provided some of the models to which Charlemagne, like his father Pippin, chose to be likened.4 Hailed as Solomon for his wisdom and as Davidpoet, prophet and type of ideal Christian kingship5Charlemagne shared in the charisma of the hallowed rulers of Scripture. The example of Constantine provided a further parallel which Charlemagne took to himself;6 while in the Ostrogoth Theoderic, who had held sway over the ancient world of Rome and Italy, the conqueror of the Lombard kingdom and future Roman emperor found an exemplar from the same Germanic stock.7 The historical and Biblical images suited to the kingship that Charlemagne wished to establish were matched by a range of pseudonyms adopted from Scripture and from classical literature by the authors of his entourage. The achievements of the new Israel, as Pope Paul I had styled the Franks,8 were to be assimilated to a tradition which combined ancient high culture with Christian orthodoxy. To these ideological designs Charlemagne's poets responded. When, in the mid-790s, the Frank Angilbert, a favourite of Charlemagne addressing his patron by his preferred pseudonym, declared: 'David loves poets, David is the poets' glory. David wishes to have wise-minded teachers to lend distinction and fame to every discipline at his court, and with studious spirit to revive the wisdom of the ancients' (6, vv. 18-21)his words were not empty rhetoric but an accurate expression of the political and intellectual objectives which lay behind the new impetus given to literary life a decade earlier. For Charlemagne, in the 780s, was seeking to encourage something far more ambitious than the limited renewal promoted in the previous reign by his father, Pippin.9 The poets whom Charlemagne gathered about him were to serve the revival of scholarship envisaged by this supremely imaginative semi-literate.10 To find such men, Charlemagne had to look beyond the Frankish kingdoms. He turned first to Italy, as others had done before him. Pippin in youth had visited the court of the Lombard king Liutprand (713-744) in Pavia.11 That city held much to attract Charlemagne. In Pavia Peter 4 See E. Rieber, Die Bedeutung alttestamentlicher Vorstellungen für das Herrscherbild Karls des Grossen und seines

Hofkreises (diss. Tübingen, 1945). 5 See Hugo Steger, David, rex et propheta (Nürnberg, 1961), pp. 128ff. 6 Cf. H. Fichtenau, 'Byzanz und die Pfalz zu Aachen', Mitteilungen des Instituts für österreichische Geschichtsschreibung 59

(1951), pp. 32ff, and Ewig, Gallien i, pp. 98ff. 7 H. Löwe, 'Von Theodorich dem Grossen zu Karl dem Grossen', reprinted with revisions in id., Von Cassiodor zu Dante.

Ausgewahlte Aufsatze * zur Geschichtsschreibung und politischen Ideenwelt des Mittelalters (Berlin/New York, 1973), especially pp. 70ff., and id., Die karolingische Reichsgrundung* und der Südosten (Stuttgart, 1937), p. 162. 8MGH, Epp. iii, no. 39, p. 552. 9 See J. Hubert and P. Riché in Francia ii (1974), pp. 39ff., 49ff. 10 On Charlemagne's literacy see Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni 25. 11 Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum 6. 53. On Liutprand see C. Wickham, Early Medieval Italy (London, 1981),

especially pp. 43ff.; on Pavia see D. A. Bullough, Papers of the British School at Rome xxiv (1966), pp. 82ff., especially pp. 99ff.

 



Page 6

of Pisa, who according to Einhard (Vita Karoli Magni, 25) was to instruct Charlemagne in grammar, had taught and may have been 'heard by Alcuin in a famous debate during the 760s.12 In Pavia too Paul the Deacon, a scholar and Latinist of exceptional flair,13 had already acquired a considerable reputation. Here was a man who, before the fall of the Lombard kingdom in 774, had written not only the Historia Romana but also a body of elegant verse extolling the culture and flattering the attainments of his patrons.14 These were precisely the talents which Charlemagne wished to secure; and he thus had reason to be receptive to Paul's plea on behalf of his brother taken captive after the suppression of the Lombard revolts of the 770s (1). These same events, which struck a blow at the fortunes of Paul's family, enriched another ItalianPaulinus, the future patriarch of Aquileiawho was granted the estates of one of the rebels and who was to become the foremost religious poet of Charlemagne's reign. From England, long associated with the Carolingian house through the continental activities of the missionaries Boniface and Willibrord,15 came Alcuin, one of the most versatile and influential of early Carolingian poets. A master at the cathedral school of York since 767, Alcuin had met Charlemagne in Parma in 780 and had accepted his invitation to join him in 781/2.16 Spain contributed Theodulf, the future bishop of Orléans and leading satirist of the age; from Ireland came the author, variously identified as Dungal and Dicuil, of a fragmentary poem (20) on the uprising of Tassilo, duke of Bavaria, together with the unfortunate targets (among them one Cadac-Andreas) of Theodulf's envenomed polemic.17 A single Frankthe Angilbert previously mentioned, who combined strenuous but rewarding duties as abbot of St. Riquier and as lover of Charlemagne's daughter Berthaachieved prominence in this circle. The international élite of poets which Charlemagne attracted to his court in the early 780s was chiefly composed of scholars, many of them exiles, from the major European centres of culture outside Francia, and owed least to the talents of his own kingdoms. Much has been made of the supposed unity and cohesion of this circle.18 A number of its distinctive features, such as the poets' use of classical, scriptural and etymological pseudonymsFlaccus (Horace) for Alcuin, Aquila for Arno of Salzburg, etc.the poems which they exchanged cajoling, teasing or attacking one another and praising their patron; the focus of attention and adulation provided by the figure of Charlemagne himself, have all been regarded as expressions of the shared literary life of a 'Palace School'. 12MGH, Epp. iv, p. 285. 13 See D. Norberg, Spoleto . . . Settimane v (1958), especially p. 507. 14 Paul's early poetry is edited by Neff, pp. I-51, as nos. I-x. 15 See W. Levison, England and the Continent in the Eighth Century (Oxford, 1946), pp. 70ff. 16 On Alcuin's life and work see further Godman, Alcuin, pp. xxv-xxxix. 17 B. Bischoff, `Theodulf und der Ire Cadac-Andreas', in id., Mittelalterliche Studien ii, pp. 19-26. 18 Cf. B. H. Friederichs, Die Gelehrten um Karl den Grossen in ihren Schriften, Briefen und Gedichten, (diss. phil. Berlin, 1931).

 



Page 7

This image is idyllic, but illusory. Before 794the date of the completion of Aachenthe 'Palace School' composed of Charlemagne's poets was less a reality than an aspiration unrealised owing to the itinerant character of the court. When he was not campaigningand these respites from military activity occurred almost exclusively in winterCharlemagne travelled between a number of royal residences, notably Herstal, Worms, Quiercy, Attigny, Diedenhofen and Ninwegen.19 His poets moved with him. Not until the royal entourage was settled at Aachen in 794 are we licensed to speak of a court circle of poets in the rigour of that termand even then its unity was qualified by a number of factors. All the poets whom Charlemagne gathered about him in the 780s were scholars simultaneously engaged in studies other than poetry. Many of them pursued an active as well as an intellectual life. Least is known of Peter of Pisa, who was chiefly a grammarian. Paulinus made vigorous contributions to the disputes over Adoptionism in the 790s20 and to Biblical exegesis, composed his Liber Exhortationis for Eric of Friuli and played a part in the conversion of the Avars organised, after their defeat in 796, from the patriarchate of Aquileia. Paul the Deacon's homiliary and histories, his epitome of Festus and the Expositio in regulam S. Benedicti dubiously attributed to him were in their time major works of philological and historical scholarship; poetry was merely one facet of his multifarious activity. Theodulf's mounting intellectual influence is reflected in his rô1e in the composition of the Libri Carolini,21 in the reform of the text of the Latin Bible and in his interventions, as bishop of Orléans, in Frankish high politics. Angilbert served on diplomatic missions to Italy, and was an energetic lay-abbot of St. Riquier. Alcuin's prodigious oeuvre, which left its mark on almost every area of Carolingian intellectual life, was largely written during the time of his ascendancy as Charlemagne's counsellor and friend and during the years of his 'retirement' (796-804) as abbot of St. Martin's at Tours. The work of the early Carolingian poets whom Charlemagne temporarily gathered at his court was thus composed not in the sequestered atmosphere of a 'Palace School', fixed in a single place and cut off from the outside world, but amid the bustle of administration, politics and travel. Moreover, many of the features traditionally thought to be distinctive of the poets at Charlemagne's courts, such as their use of pseudonyms, were confined to the circle of Alcuin and of his friends and pupils before 794. Even the description of Charlemagne as David only becomes current after the court had settled in Aachen. The general application of scriptural 19 See P. Classen, 'Bemerkungen zur Pfalzenforschung am Mittelrhein', in Deutsche Königspfalzen i, Veroffentlichungen *

des Max-Planck-Instituts fur Geschichte ii, 1 (Göttingen, 1963), pp. 75ff. Accounts of Charlemagne's movements and of the development of his courts are provided by J. Fleckenstein in Karl der Grosse i, pp. 24-50 and E. Ewig, ibid., pp. 143-77 and id. Gallien i, pp. 390ff. 20 On Adoptionism see W. Heil in Karl der Grosse ii, pp. 95ff. 21 For a balanced view of the abundant literature on this question see P. Meyvaert, `The authorship of the Libri Carolini:

observations prompted by a recent book', Revue bénédictine lxxxix (1979), pp. 29-57.

 



Page 8

and classical names to members of the royal family and entourage thus occurred after the departure of the leading poets of the 780s, several of whom remained at court for less than a decade, as their careers in the final quarter of the eighth century reveal. Paulinus became patriarch of Aquileia c. 787. Before that date Paul rejoined the community of Monte Cassino, and Theodulf was preferred to the see of Orléans. Peter of Pisa returned to his homeland no later than 790. By 796, when Alcuin became abbot of Tours, the poets attached to Charlemagne's court at Aachen were principally the pupils of the circle of the early 780s and the 'new men'. Here Moduin of Autun, Einhard and others came into their own. The older figures, such as Alcuin and Theodulf, maintained contact with Charlemagne and journeyed back to court after the mid-790s, and Angilbert, Alcuin's pupil and protégé, enjoyed independent and increasing favour; but the famous names first associated with Charlemagne's entourage experienced a proximity in time and place that was both short-lived and limited from the moment they came together. If their circle takes on an air of unity and coherence, it is due chiefly to the shared literary culture reflected in the otherwise heterogeneous corpus of their poetical works. All the major poets active in the 780s drew upon common models. Like the artists who worked at court,22 they employed inherited material, both ancient and medieval, and refashioned it anew. The Bible took primacy of place in this predominantly clerical milieu, and some of the most imaginative Carolingian verse has its mainsprings in Scripture, in scriptural exegesis and in the liturgy. Linked to this major source is a body of early Christian Latin poetry, much of it reworkings of Biblical themes, which during the early Middle Ages had begun to form a definable 'school canon'. Theodulf lists some of these canonical authors in a poem that appears in this book (18, vv. 13-14), and his catalogue closely resembles another list by Alcuin.23 Both correspond to texts found in a number of early Carolingian manuscripts.24 From the Latin literature of classical antiquity it is the epic that is most commonly cited; and the influence of Lucan and, to a lesser degree, of Statius is eclipsed by the omnipresence of Virgilnot only the Aeneid but also the Eclogues and Georgics. Beyond the classical epic genre few early Carolingian poets strayed or were able to venture. Firsthand borrowings from Horace before 800 are rare. Detailed knowledge of Ovid is unusual, except in the verse of that exceptional Visigoth, Theodulf of Orléans. In England and in Italy, a more common intermediary with the poetry of the ancient world was Venantius Fortunatus whose works became attached, at an early date, to the school canon of Christian Latin poets. More recent 'national' influences from the preCarolingian period are difficult to define 22 See W. Braunfels, Die Welt der Karolinger und ihre Kunst (Munich, 1968), pp. 70ff. (with bibliography). 23 See Godman, Alcuin, pp. lxixff. and 122ff. (with commentary). 24 See G. Glauche, Schullektüre im Mittelalter. Entstehung und Wandlungen des Lekturekanons * bis 1200 nach den Quellen

dargestellt, Munchener Beiträge zur Mediävistik und Renaissance-Forschung 5 (Munich, 1970), especially pp. 10ff. and R. Herzog, Die Bibelepik der lateinischen Spatantike* i (Munich, 1975), pp. xxiii-xxxiii

 



Page 9

with precision, given the fragmentary character of the seventh- and eighth-century evidence and the current state of modern research, but there is one area which is distinctive for having developed a pre-Carolingian tradition of its own. England, through the works of Aldhelm and of Bede, contributed a marked Anglo-Latin element, amply attested in the poetry of Alcuin,25 to the composite culture of Charlemagne's early courts. Because these authors were consciously writing a literary language, rich in association and yet readily adaptable to a variety of different purposes, a measure of their independence and originality can be taken by a comparison of their works with the sources upon which they drew. A recurrent concern of the following pages is to interpret and to evaluate the parallels which appear in the notes to the texts, for they provide an indication of the imaginative tools which these poets employed. The response of authors to their literary past is one means of gauging what is distinctive about their own writing; another is how they react to, and against, one another. Nowhere in early Carolingian literature is this more evident or more engaging than in the verse epistles written for the occasions when the court was assembled in winter and first exchanged at the beginning of the 780s between Peter of Pisa and Paul the Deacon. (III) Ports in winter Paul the Deacon's poetry undergoes a marked and rapid change in the early 780s. The accomplished grammarian and cultivated scholar who had taken pains to display his ingenuity in verse praising Lake Como or the Lombard and Beneventan princes abandons all artifice when pleading in 782 for the release of a brother held prisoner in Francia (1). The starting point of Paul's poem is resigned humilityhardship is a just punishment for transgressionand the force of his appeal to Charlemagne rests on its stark account of a noble family reduced by grief and penury to the abject level of its slaves. Paul seeks neither to cajole nor to flatter: he simply pledges grateful thanks to God if the captive is freed and his estates are restored. The allusive hyperbole of Paul's earlier verse now gives way to a sparer, more austerely eloquent style. But less than a year later all this has changed. Paul is established at court, and the sombre restraint of his plea to Charlemagne is replaced by the witty banter of his replies to a number of poetic epistles written to him in the persona of the Frankish king1 by Peter of Pisa. In 783 Peter of Pisa sent to Paul an ironical letter in verse, celebrating Paul's accomplishments with deliberate exaggeration (2). Christ's incarnation is presented as a fitting prelude to Paul's arrival at court in order to deliver the Franks from their linguistic ignorance. Peter dwells on Paul's knowledge of Greek, a point about which he knew that his fellow-poet was distinctly sensitive. Paul was alive to the jibe concealed in this bitter-sweet praise. With an over-stated modesty to match the hyperbole 25 See Godman, Alcuin, pp. lxviii-lxix, lxxvff. 1 For this fiction, cf. 24, v. 46.

 



Page 10

of Peter's claims, he denies any competence in Greek and yet offers a translation into Latin verse of an epigram from the Palatine Anthologyor as much of it, he adds in shrewd parenthesis, as old age permits him to recall (3). The author of this intellectual jeu d'esprit, deftly scoring points off his opponent and protecting his own reputation by an ironical assertion of inability, has moved far from the formality of the plea for mercy at his brother's plight written only months before. Ensconced at court, Paul enters with a will into the jocular tit-for-tat of debate by poetic epistle. This same genre was vigorously cultivated in the mid-790s, but in a different style and spirit. A sequence of three poetic epistles written between 794 and 796 by Angilbert, Alcuin and Theodulf provides us with an insight into the ingenuity and invective which these authors could employ to achieve their ends.2 The patronage of poetry by Charlemagneaptly invoked by his pseudonym David, with its connotations of literary inspiration as well as ideal kingshipis a central theme of the first of these verse epistles, written by Angilbert between August 794 and the end of 795, during one of his absences from court (6). Angilbert addresses the king and his entourage in hierarchical order, beginning with Charlemagne and ending with the pueri often mistaken as Angilbert's illegitimate sons by the princess Bertha but in fact pupils of the palace school at Aachen. This allusive description of members of the court circle extends the range of the genre that Angilbert employs. The poem-epistle, an ostensibly private medium of intellectual debate for Paul the Deacon and Peter of Pisa in the preceding decade, has now developed into a suitable form for public panegyric of Charlemagne and his entourage, and the bond between poetry and the cultural ambitions of the Frankish king is stressed by an author whose special closeness to him left no room for doubt as to the reality of Charlemagne's interest or the rich potential of his support. Angilbert's enthusiastic affirmation of the importance of his chosen medium was issued in the confident expectation of approval from the royal recipient of his panegyric. The point was not lost on two other authors who stood close to both patron and poetTheodulf and Alcuin. Alcuin's poem-epistle on the court was written in 796. Following the example of his influential pupil and protégé Angilbert, Alcuin presents a genial description of the king and his servants, from the members of the royal capella to the teachers of the palace school (7). Alcuin's tone is confident and comfortable. He recounts with approval the hierarchy of the court, beginning with a characteristic emphasis on the rôle of the doctors3 and ending with no less characteristic praise for the steward 2 These poems are the subject of two excellent studies by D. Schaller to which the following paragraphs are indebted:

Schaller, Vortragsdichtung; id., `Der junge "Rabe" am Hof Karls des Grossen' FsBischoff, pp. 123-41. (A briefer English version of these articles appeared in Classical Influences on European Culture 500-1500, ed. R. R. Bolgar (Cambridge 1973), pp. 151-7. 3 See 7, vv. 12ff. and note. Alcuin's ill-health is a recurrent theme of his poetry. See MGH, Poetae i, p 295 (no. LXXIV).

 



Page 11

Audulf, who ensures that porridge is regularly served to the poet. The verse-epistle, which opened with warm admiration for Charlemagne, breaks off in heated enthusiasm for his cooks.4 Its cosy tone was not lost on Theodulf of Orléans who, later in the same year, mercilessly pilloried Alcuin in the third and finest of this sequence of verse-epistles (15). Theodulf's poem provides the clearest evidence of how these works circulated at court. Passed from hand to hand among members of the royal family and the poet's côterie in an atmosphere of fun and malice, a poem such as Theodulf's was also designed to be declaimed. A private reading would precede its public recitation, and the poet's patrons and supporters would thus be primed to savour the impact of its mingled flattery and satire. Theodulf sets his poem in the context of a banquet to celebrate Charlemagne's victory over the Avars in 795. He addresses the king and his entourage in terms of full-blown hyperbole that brilliantly outshine the earlier and more modest effort of his rival. Defeat by Alcuin in a previous competition to compose an epitaph on Pope Hadrian I may account for the edge in Theodulf's writing (15, vv. 191ff.);5 stylistically his poem is incomparably the liveliest of all Carolingian verse-epistles on the court. For Alcuin's narrower perspective, centred on the king and his entourage, Theodulf substitutes (vv. 1ff.) the entire world. Eschewing Alcuin's measured style, Theodulf launches into dazzling praise of the limitlessness of Charlemagne's grandeur which boldly exploits the rhetorical device of geographical allusion and yet declares, half-comically, the impossibility of giving adequate expression to a subject that is ineffable (15, v. 1ff.; cf. vv. 25ff.). When Theodulf asserts that If the Meuse, Rhine, Saône, Rhône, Tiber and Po could be measured, then praise of you is measurable too (vv. 3-4)

or when he claims that Charlemagne's `skill and judgment are so great' that They are broader than the Nile, greater than the icy Danube, larger than the Euphrates and no smaller than the Ganges. (vv. 25-6)

the pedantic exactitude of his descriptions tells us nothing exact about the qualities they purport to define. The hyperbole here is conscious and partly ironical. Its irony is directed not at Theodulf's subject, Charlemagnefor that would be both futile and dangerousbut at the verbal pyrotechnics of previous panegyric. Angilbert could commend his personified poem-epistle to: . . . sweetly kiss the hallowed toes on Charlemagne's feet. (6, v. 78) 4 The text is lacunose. See note to 7, v. 51. 5 The attractive conjecture is Schaller's. See id., Vortragsdichtung.

 



Page 12

Toes, for Theodulf, are not enough. He launches into a comprehensive catalogue of every one of the king's physical attributes: Chest, legs and feet: nothing in Charlemagne is not worthy of praise! (v. 19, and cf. vv. 13-20)

It would be too much to claim that Theodulf, seeking to outdo Angilbert and Alcuin at their own game, explicitly sends up their distinctive panegyrical style. The points of correspondence between their verseepistles and his are neither close nor simple enough to license us to describe Theodulf's work as parody. None the less his poem, written shortly after theirs, embodies a considered response to the honeyed tones of this inner group of court poets from whose number Theodulf had reason to feel excluded. For Alcuin and for Angilbert, in their verse-epistles, Charlemagne is Davidthe pseudonym is suggestive of a certain courtly familiarity on the part of writers at ease in the intimate circle about the king. Theodulf, by contrast, in his poem addresses Charlemagne in the third person as rex, never by his name; on the sole occasion when the word David occurs, it is merely one element in a cluster of Biblical analogies (15, v. 30). Charlemagne, in both Alcuin's and Angilbert's poems, is the indulgent patronan exemplar of royal virtue but neither inaccessible nor intimidating. In Theodulf's work, Charlemagne is a conqueror, surrounded by the homage of barbarian peoples, by the respect of his family and by the adulation of the court. This tone of impeccable formality, which Theodulf sustains while addressing the king, preserves an appearance of earnestness when he doubles the dose of panegyrical sweetness to a brimming measure that mocks, with the discreet overstatement of a court poet denied the entrée, the hyperbole of his competitors. Discretion is dropped and the full extent of his indignation revealed when Theodulf turns, in the later part of his poem, from Charlemagne and the royal family to those sections of the court, including Alcuin, with which he felt the strongest rivalry. After describing Charlemagne, his sons and daughters, Theodulf treats of the less impregnable members of the king's entouragetouching wryly on the judicious dissimulation of the chamberlain Meginfrid (vv. 117ff.) and the ant-like bustle of Einhard (vv. 155-6). With calculated indiscretion Theodulf dwells (vv. 191-6) on Alcuin's taste for alcohol and the garrulity which it produced. Then, in an outburst, porridge, Alcuin's favourite food, is repudiated in favour of seasoned meatgastronomic metaphors for the stodge of Alcuin's mind in contrast to the spice of Theodulf's intellect (vv. 197-8). Theodulf envisages the bored incomprehension, succeeded by anger, of the Frankish magnate Wibod listening to the public recitation of his poem, aware that he was being baited in a language which he did not understand and finally making an indecorous exit, his bloated belly trundling before him (vv. 205-12). Similarly, the torrent of rage and indignation attributed in Theodulf's work to the target of his special hostility, the Irishman Cadac-Andreas, as he heard Theodulf's vehement attack upon him, describes a reaction which it was

 



Page 13

designed to provoke (vv. 221-8). The earlier circulation of this poem among Theodulf's allies would guarantee its sympathetic receptionat least in some quarters. To his unwitting enemies it would come as a bombshell. The genre employed by Peter of Pisa and Paul the Deacon' for learned debate and used by Angilbert and Alcuin to win public acclaim now assumes the insidious character of a private plot. The poetic epistle, that versatile tool for praising patrons and teasing friends, in Theodulf's hands becomes a deadly weapon for literary feuds with his enemies. No work enables us to gauge more closely the intensity with which Carolingian poets reacted to one another or to appreciate the sophistication with which they deployed the genres at their disposal. The intellectual flair displayed in Theodulf's verse-epistle is no less evident in the rest of his extant oeuvre, whose richness and diversity set it in a class apart from the work of other early Carolingian poets. Only Alcuin can match the range of Theodulf's poetic achievement, but even Alcuin is surpassed in other respects by his younger contemporary. The brilliance of Theodulf's style is reinforced by a certain unity of conception which links his satirical poem on the court to several of his other writings, notably the celebrated work often and misleadingly called Contra Iudices.6 In 798 Theodulf, accompanied by Leidrad, bishop-elect of Lyons, was sent on a judicial mission to the south of Gaul, which he recounted in this fragmentary poem treating of the temptations that lie in wait for judges and of the virtues they should cultivate to resist them. Exhortations to justice, illustrated by examples taken from the Old Testament, alternate with a number of satirical vignettes portraying the crapulous stupidity of a judge with a hangover, the wiles of his wife seeking to influence him, and a sly attempt at bribery. `The commoners press upon me promises of bribes, thinking gifts a means of getting what they want done' (16 (I), vv. 167-8). Among the inducements offered is an antique vase engraved with the labours of Hercules (vv. 179ff.) which Theodulf describes in a detail that reflects the same connoisseur's interest in figurative subjects found elsewhere in his writings on fine art. But the appearance of absorbed attention in the object presented to him as deceptive. In cool parenthesis the would-be briber, whispering to Theodulf's servant words intended to resound in his master's ear (vv. 177-8), is dismissed with a brisk parody of his own unctuous accents (v. 203). Here, as at the beginning of 15, the rapidly changing tone of Theodulf's writing is reinforced by implication and by irony. Irony is abandoned in favour of a more cutting weapon later in the same work. Theodulf's pillory of a judge with a hangover (16(II)) mounts to a relentless crescendo of ridicule in which all that was wryly implied in his earlier account of the attempt to bribe him is now made bitterly explicit. The invective of this passage is comparable to that of Theodulf's onslaught against his Irish enemy (15, vv. 407-8). And yet, despite their similarities, there is one essential difference between the aims and 6Extracts from the poem are printed as 16(I)-(III).

 



Page 14

methods of these two poems. In 15 Theodulf is attacking a specific rivala Scottus known to and loathed by the court. Cadac-Andreas does not need to be named in this context, and the fact that Theodulf never does so only sharpens the bite of his satire, since its victim was to be taken unawares. In 16, by contrast, Theodulf is not castigating a personality but denouncing a vice: here genuine anonymity is crucial, because his target is less an individual than a type. The pungent style common to both works should not obscure the points of theme and content which divide them. 15 is, in the fullest and liveliest sense, occasional poetry. 16 is animated by something less time-bound and less limited: a moral conception of justice derived from Scripture: Had I a thousand tongues at my command . . . I declare that I could not express the innumerable delights of that idyllic place which is the reward of the guardians of justice. Nor could I give voice to the hideous punishments suffered by those who lend themselves to deception and trickery. . . This is the course which the pages of the Old Testament command us to follow, and no poet can with good conscience pass over it in silence.7

If the lofty examples provided by Moses and David are coupled in Theodulf's poem with a shrewd sense of human susceptibility, that does not diminish the seriousness with which he approaches his subject. For when Theodulf moves on to portray the guile of the judge's wifeher sweet requests spiked with poison, her manipulation of the servants to gain her own ends and the mock self-righteousness that lends colour to her efforts at moral blackmail (16(III))the tone may be less violent and the style less trenchant than in the previous passage, but the context remains unchanged. Each of the satirical vignettes which appear in this book is subordinated, in the larger design of Theodulf's work, to a moral-didactic purpose which goes beyond the merely satirical. Vice and virtue take their place in a series of reflections on justice which reach from the Old Testament to the poet's own times, and the specific observations of Theodulf, like the particular abuses which he castigates, are absorbed into an ethical scheme of Christian universality. Satire lends Theodulf's arguments point and urgency, but satire is only the tool with which he builds a more elaborate and imposing edifice. This should make us wary of interpretations of Theodulf's work as an ingenuous form of personal reminiscence. To write `Theodulf's poem is in effect a lament on the corruption of judges and the abuses they permitted. He was probably an official of the best sort, with a keen sense of justice and sympathy with the poor'8 is to reduce a complex work of moral-didactic literature to a drab distillation of the poet's own experiences. We can infer little about Theodulf's actual judicial practice from this text because it is neither straightforward autobiography nor versified 7MGH, Poetae i, p. 494, vv. 9, 11-14, 17-18. 8 R McKitterick, The Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians, 751-987 (London, 1983), p. 93.

 



Page 15

history, but a work whose autobiographical and satirical elements are subordinated to a Biblical ideal of justice. So too the attempt to represent Theodulf's poem as an assault on the inhumanity of barbarian legislation9 disregards both its abstract interest and its mercurial quality. There is a difference between a work that portrays the trials and temptations of judges against a background of reflection on the moral phenomenon of justice and an historical exhortation to root-and-branch reform of the Carolingian legal system. De Iustitia, not Contra Iudices, might be a more fitting title for Theodulf's poem, for its message is not limited to the political world of the late eighth century nor is it primarily a tract for the times. Unlike his major verse-epistle on the court which is rooted, as we have seen, in the actions and personalities of the mid790s, Theodulf's poem on justice transcends contemporary events to affirm Christian values of honour, mercy and integrity which its author presents as timeless. This delicate balance between personal concerns and general reflection is sustained in the eschatological and political poetry of Theodulf's later years. A series of works, proclaiming the imminence of Judgment Day,10 denouncing the signs of corruption in the Church11 and asserting Christian doctrine,12 reflects Theodulf's growing disenchantment with a world from which he felt increasingly alienated. Implicated in the rebellion of Bernhard, king of Italy, in 817, the once-favoured poet of Charlemagne's reign, who had employed the names of birds to describe the participants in the literary feuds waged by authors of the early Carolingian courts,13 wrote a poetic epistle to his friend Moduin of Autun which turns the accounts of two battles of birds into an understated allegory of the political dissension threatening the empire and clouding his own fate.14 Theodulf speaks bitterly of his banishment, and hints darkly at its general implications: Although I am only one individual, what has happened concerns not only me: what I have experienced can be done to others as well.15

Although he disclaims any ability as a diviner, the civil wars fought by the birds in his poem amount, as Schaller has shown, to auguries of the troubles of Louis the Pious's reign. Here Theodulf's allusiveness reflects a degree of caution, and yet the consistency of his standpoint in this work 9 P. Arcari, `Un goto critico delle legislazioni barbariche', Archivio Storico Italiano 110 (1952), pp. 1-37, especially pp. 10,

36-7. 10 See MGH, Poetae i, pp. 468ff. (no. XIV). 11 Ibid., pp. 472ff. (no. XVII). 12 Ibid., pp. 460ff. (nos. VI and VII), 464-5 (no. X), 467ff. (no. XIII). For the dating of the texts cited in notes 10-12 see Schaller,

Philologische Untersuchungen, pp. 23-7. These poems are examined in detail in my Poets and Emperors: Frankish Politics and Carolingian Poetry, forthcoming (p. xii). 13 See Schaller, `Der junge ''Rabe'' am Hof Karls des Grossen' in FsBischoff, pp. 123-41. 14 Extracts from this poem appear below as 19. See the fine discussion of Schaller, Tierdichtung, pp. 99-105. 15MGH, Poetae i, p. 564, vv. 37-8.

 



Page 16

with his other writings is unmistakable. In his verse-epistle on the court, when he was still an outsider asserting his claims to place and to attention, in his poetic reflections on justice, coloured though not controlled by a typically satirical view of his own experiences; and at the end of his career, in disgrace and in exile, Theodulf does not hesitate to pronounce on the issuesabstract, actual and personalwhich affected and angered him. Poetry, for Theodulf, is not a `new toy' with which he plays like `a young child' but a sophisticated vehicle for argument, debate and counter-attack. His preferred tone is that of the sage and the aggressor: domineering, determined, always deeply engaged. In his poetry this passionate and embattled figure brings us closer to the intellectual and political life of the late eighth and early ninth centuries than does almost any other individual. When we recognise that there is nothing infantile about Theodulf of Orléans, and that his chosen medium is not simply a means of ornamentation, we have one measure of the importance of poetry in the literary revival stimulated by Charlemagne.16 Not all Theodulf's verse is so uniformly earnest. Sheer virtuosity contributes to its range. On this level, Theodulf can compose a playful epigram of uncomplicated bathos and simple verbal point (17), drawing on an older epigrammatic tradition and yet adapting it with a freedom that was to be matched by subsequent Carolingian authors writing in the same genre. Consciousness of his craft as a poet and awareness of his debts to a literary culture in which classical and Christian elements were harmoniously fused are most fully expressed by a poem in which Theodulf, like his contemporary Alcuin,17 described his reading of secular and sacred texts (18), including a number of ancient authors little known elsewhere in eighth-century Europe. The remainder of this work is devoted, not without self-irony, to the ancient view of the falsehood of poetic fiction as opposed to the truth of philosophy. `Although there are many frivolities in [the poets'] words, much truth lies hidden beneath a deceptive surface' (v. 19) is Theodulf's answer to this indictment, and he exemplifies his point by allegorical interpretations of the myth of Cupid and the doors of sleep described by Virgil and discussed by Macrobius and Servius. Theodulf's poetic refutation of the charges against poetry thus neatly illustrates the qualities he claims in its defence. The medium, others have remarked less elegantly, is the message. Theodulf's view of the function of poetry is shared by Alcuin whose large and diverse corpus of verse bears the stamp of his rôles as teacher at Charlemagne's court and as a political and ecclesiastical figure of European stature. Very little of Alcuin's extant poetry can be attributed to the time he spent in York before moving to the Continent.18 The evidence of Alcuin's literary activity, like the sources for Theodulf's verse, dates almost exclusively from the years following 781/2.19 Viking devasta16 Cf. H. Liebeschütz, `Theodulf of Orleans and the problem of the Carolingian Renaissance' in Fritz Saxl, 1890-1948. A

Volume of Memorial Essays (London, 1957), pp. 77-92. 17 See Godman, Alcuin, pp. 120-7 (commentary to vv. 1533-62) and pp. lx-lxxv. 18Ibid., p. xlii. 19Ibid., pp. xxxvii, xlii.

 



Page 17

tions in England during the ninth century and the hazards of manuscript transmission20 have dictated that the picture which can be formed of his work is only partial. It would be rash to assume that neither Alcuin nor Theodulf composed verse in their native lands because little or none of it survives: the textual transmission of their works, like that of most Carolingian poets,21 is scattered, dispersed and unsystematic. What remains may be representative in the sense that its fragmentary pattern of descent suggests that few great collections were made in the Carolingian Renaissance and have since been lost, but nothing warrants the assumption that our extant witnesses are complete. We see Alcuin the poet, his Carolingian contemporaries and their sucessors, largely through the distorting mirror of continental copyists, and the image of their work that we can piece together is consequently limited by historical chance and accident. None the less, there is a coherence within the diversity of Alcuin's surviving verse which derives chiefly from its didactic character. The didactic verse which Alcuin wrote for different occasions and audiences survives in a number of genres. Inscriptional and epigrammatic works, of which one example is presented here (11), were written by him to serve a practical, edifying purpose, but their interest beyond their immediate historical context lies in the evidence they provide of a continuity of composition in literary forms transmitted from late Antiquity to the early Middle Ages.22 Alcuin built on the legacy of the past, and for a series of inscriptions on St. Martin's at Tours or on St. Vaast the model of older collections of tituli for churches in the Holy City and for Merovingian monasteries proved equally serviceable. The success which he achieved in this area of commemorative poetry was unusual in his own times and is still visible today, for the epitaph which he composed on Pope Hadrian I in the competition in which he defeated Theodulf continues to be exhibited with rare splendour in the portico of St. Peter's at Rome.23 A lighter, more lyrical, aspect of Alcuin's didactic interests is displayed in poetry addressed to his pupils. Like so much of his verse, these poems are closely linked to his prose writings and, in particular, to his letters. The complementary relationship of prose and verse is one of the salient features which his work shares with early Anglo-Latin literature as a whole.24 But the closeness of these two media does not preclude marked 20 Ibid., pp. cxxvii-cxxix. 21 Godman in Charles the Bald, pp. 294-5; Önnerfors, Mediaevalia, pp. 68ff.; Schaller, Philologische Untersuchungen, passim

and K. Langosch in Geschichte der Textüberlieferung. . . ii, edd. H. Hunger and O. Stegmüller (Zurich, 1964), pp. 51ff. 22 The most recent study of the epigrammatic tradition is Bernt, Epigramm (on Alcuin), pp. 194ff. Inscriptional sources of

Alcuin's poetry are ably discussed by L. Wallach, Alcuin and Charlemagne. Studies in Carolingian Literature and History (Ithaca, New York, 1959), pp. 261ff. A collection of Alcuin's inscriptions is considered by J. Lestocquoy in Bulletin de la Commission dép. des monuments historiques du Pas-de-Calais 7 (1941), pp. 54-9 and id., Revue du Nord 26 (1943), pp. 197-208. 23 See S. Morrison, Politics and Script (Oxford, 1972), pp. 170-3, plate p 172, and Wallach, op. cit., pp. 178-9. 24 Godman, Alcuin, pp. lxxviff.

 



Page 18

and deliberate divergences between works which deal with identical themes and subjects. In a series of admonitory letters in prose Alcuin sternly cautions wayward pupils about the vices of drunkenness and indolence, but in his poetry on the same subject he adopts a more relaxed and jovial tone (8). Returning from abroad, he is surprised and disappointed to find that his favourite pupil Dodo, described as Corydona choice of pseudonym that gains added point as the poem proceedshas failed to greet him in the normal manner. With deliberate hyperbole he dwells on Dodo's erstwhile achievements and, in mock bewilderment, asks what can have happened. The answer is disclosed in an explosion of mirth: Corydon, my pupil, a sometime scholar, sleeps dumbfounded by drink!. . . (8, vv. 23-4)

Why does Alcuin choose the Virgilian pseudonym Corydon for Dodo? The prophetic powers traditionally ascribed to Virgil influenced Carolingian readings of the Eclogues, and this tradition is given a new twist in Alcuin's poem. Just as Eclogue 4 foretold the coming of Christ, so Eclogue 2, on Alcuin's comic interpretation, prophesied the drunken misdemeanours of Dodo. `Rusticus es, Corydon' (You are a bumpkin, Corydon', v. 32)the words of Virgil's naïve and amiable booby in an uncharacteristic mood of self-doubtare made to prefigure the debauch of Alcuin's protégé, in an effort to induce from him even the momentary diffidence of his namesake. But the words of the contemporary `Naso' (not Ovid but the pseudonym of Moduin of Autun) cap this quotation from Virgil: `Presbyter est Corydon' ('Corydon is a deacon' (v. 34))an explicit reminder of the duties his pupil neglected when he took to drink. The same close relation to his pupils recurs in Alcuin's later poetry. With complimentary allusion to the influential Angilbert, Alcuin wrote in the late 790s, after his departure from court for the abbey of St. Martin's at Tours, an elegy on the intellectual and literary milieu which they had enjoyed together at Aachen (9).25 Adapting Angilbert's idyllic description of the setting in which they had both taught, Alcuin expresses regret for the loss of the way of life which they had shared and a dissatisfaction at the developments in the palace school that is also reflected in his letters. Self-commendation mingles here with graceful allusion to poetry exchanged earlier between these two leading figures in Charlemagne's entourage. To speak of this work as `nature poetry'26 is thus to misapprehend the metaphorical character of the pastoral terms that Alcuin employs to describe the spiritual, didactic and poetic activities in which he and Angilbert had engaged at court. That the site of Aachen was in certain respects bucolic is hardly germane to this point: the conventional images of `nature poetry' contribute in 9 to evoke a locus amoenus, an idealised landscape, in which Alcuin nostalgically sets his past. The language of this description is less historical than imaginative: 25 See Godman, pp. 555-83, which this paragraph summarises and expands. 26 Cf. W. Ganzenmüller, Das Naturgefuhl im Mittelalter (Leipzig/Berlin, 1914), pp. 95-6.

 



Page 19

idyll is subordinated to personal lament. Lament leads in turn to the central theme of temporal mutability recurrent in the lyric poetry of the last decade of Alcuin's life and first expressed in an elegy which he composed on the destruction of Lindisfarne by the Vikings in 793 (10). Alcuin's elegy on Lindisfarne is one of his three longer poems, each of which was written as a verse counterpart to works in prose. A metrical Life of St. Willibrord, complementing his prose Vita of the same title, was composed by Alcuin between 785 and 797 in honour of his kinsman and founder of the monastery of Echternach.27 The distinctive themes and style of this metrical Life find parallels in Alcuin's major poem, an epic which derives inspiration from Bede. Verse, the medium that Alcuin adopts to formulate the moral significance of his prose account of the career of St. Willibrord and in which he presents a view of Northumbrian history drawing on but substantially independent of the Historia Ecclesiastica, becomes in his elegy on Lindisfarne a suitable vehicle for a style of ethical exhortation no less ambitious than anything attempted by Theodulf. Alcuin's horror at the sacking of the shrine of Cuthbert, patron saint of his native Northumbria, is voiced in a number of prose letters to abbot Hygebald of Lindisfarne. Urging moral reform on the stricken community, he admonishes Hygebald and his monks to spurn the transient beauty of this world, but he also lays stress on the recovery of Rome, Jerusalem and Europe after their respective devastations. His elegy treats of the same subject, dwelling reflectively on events which it sets in the perspective of the reversals and hardships that have been man's lot since the Fall. But here, as in 8, the interdependence of the letters and the elegy does not preclude a marked flexibility in the way Alcuin shapes his argument. Historical examples selected in his prose letters to illustrate the revival of past empires are employed in his poem to present the contrary case: the inevitable mutability of all things mortal, the central theme of 9. From the traditional topics of hagiography and from the more limited subject of his court circle he now moves into the wider sphere of public admonition. 10 marks a new direction in his writing, and the example he set was to be followed by others, notably Florus of Lyons (40), in the next century, with poetry that most closely resembles preaching. Most of Alcuin's poetry considered thus far reveals a cast of mind and of expression that is figurative without being strictly abstract. Whether historical or hagiographical, lyrical or moral-didactic, each of his poems ventures beyond the immediate bounds of its ostensible subject into a sphere of reflection that is frequently religious. Even Alcuin's personal or practical verse, such as 8 and 11 discussed above, is touched by this underlying didactic tendency which develops, in a number of his works, into a full-blooded symbolism. This feature of his thought is most readily apparent in poetry that made a double appeal to the eye and to the mind both by its sense and by its shape. The acrostic, a poem in which the initial letters of the line, often forming more than one predetermined pattern, spell words or complete 27 See Godman, Alcuin, pp. lxxxv-lxxxviii.

 



Page 20

sentences according to its author's ingenuity and inclinations, is a form that was cultivated in late Antiquity by the leading poet of the reign of Constantine the Great, Publilius Optatianus Porfyrius, and was revived at the early Carolingian court by Alcuin, who inspired similar works from his pupil Joseph Scottus and from Theodulf.28 Alcuin's acrostic in praise of the Cross (12) is set within a context of paschal celebration, and the significance of his text is enhanced by the complex symbolism of its shapethe four sides representing, in the manner of contemporary exegesis, all creation; the number of lines and verses, if the two arms of the Cross are subtracted, being 36 (6 × 6 = the square of a perfect number).29 When Alcuin invokes the Cross, his invocation is thus qualitatively different from a purely rhetorical appeal to the Muses, for he addresses both the subject and the shaping principle of his poem. On verbal, structural and pictorial levels, this acrostic serves as a cosmic symbol of redemption. Symbolism is present too in Alcuin's nature-poetry. The personal grief with which the lament for his nightingale (13) opens is swiftly linked to a religious theme. For Eugenius of Toledo and other authors in the late Latin tradition of nightingale poetry,30 the beauty of this bird's song served as the pretext for a clever display of their own rhetorical virtuosity.31 For Alcuin, the nightingale's voice provided a measure by which the surpassing loveliness of the chant of the cherubim and seraphim might be imagined. Just as the nightingale wakes men from their stupor, so its instinctive actions in singing God's praises set an example which Man, who is endowed with reason, should follow. This shift from initial lament to final admonition recalls the structure of Alcuin's lyric on Aachen (9), and the line of thought is one on which Radbod of Utrecht, in the late ninth century, was to elaborate (56). The nightingale, recalling a series of delicate analogies between Creator and creation, becomes symbolic of the relations between man and God. Less spiritual, but equally engaging, is the. earliest medieval debate-poem also ascribed to Alcuinthe Conflictus Veris et Hiemis (14). On a bright spring day the shepherds gather to vie in praise of the cuckoo, and a singing match between personified Spring and Winter ensues. Spring has generally been regarded as the personification intended to arouse sympathy in the course of their heated contest; but the attractions and flaws of the two seasons are not presented quite so unambiguously. Spring's oppressive cheerfulness makes it blithely oblivious to Winter's retorts (vv. 10 and 16) and it answers Winter's imperturbable misanthropy 28 On this genre see D. Schaller, `Die karolingischen Figurengedichte des Cod. Bern. 212' in Medium Aevum Vivum.

Festschrift fur W. Bulst, edd. H. R. Jauss and D. Schaller (Heidelberg, 1960), pp. 23-47. 29 See H. B. Meyer, `Crux decus es mundi. Alkuins Kreuz- und Osterfrömmigkeit' in Paschatis Sollemnia, Studien zur Osterfeier

und Osterfrommigkeit *, edd. B. Fischer and J. Wagner (Basel/Freiburg Vienna, 1959), pp. 96-107, especially pp. 100-13 and notes. On number symbolism, cf. note to 22, vv. 4-6. 30 For the traditions of nightingale poetry before Alcuin see F. J. E. Raby, `Philomena praevia temporis amoeni' in .Mélanges

Joseph de Ghellinck ii (Gembloux, 1951), pp. 435-7. 31 Cf. Curtius, p. 159 and Schaller, Tierdichtung, pp. 96-7.

 



Page 21

in a dreary tone of mounting self-righteousness (vv. 22ff.; vv. 34ff.). Winter, by contrast, is the relaxed killjoy, exclusively concerned with its own comfort and untroubled by Spring's arguments, except where they can be turned to its own advantage. To Winter's misanthropic view of others' efforts on its behalf Spring can only reply (vv. 40ff.) by adopting Winter's own terms. The timely intervention of Palaemon at v. 45 rescues Spring from the trap into which it has unconsciously fallen, tactfully turning the debate into praise of the coming summer's fertility. Just as the springtime idyll barely triumphs over the vision of winter, so pastoral is only precariously associated with the seasons in the Conflictus Veris et Hiemis. The influence on the Conflictus of Virgil's Eclogues and of the later Roman pastoralists Calpurnius and Nemesianus has long been recognised. Emphasis may also be placed on the contribution of rhetoric to the form and character of this work. Alcuin's De Rhetorica et de Virtutibus32 is constructed on an ethical debate between the scholar-poet and Charlemagne; his Disputatio cum Pippino33 presents a series of riddle-like exchanges between master and pupil; and the so-called Disputatio de Vera Philosophia, incorporating Alcuin's programmatic statement on the organisation of learning,34 is couched as a discussion between a master and two pupils which often borders on tartness and once lapses into abuse. Whether or not the Conflictus Veris et Hiemis is an authentic work of Alcuin's, the poem is indivisible from this rhetorical context. Its origins lie in the classroom, and its form is influenced both by the style of exchange in which instruction was conducted and by the authors, particularly Virgil, of pastoral eclogue studied there. What mattered in such a context was less the subject being debated than the way in which it was presented; Winter and Spring are not so much two opposing principles as two contending personifications and interest is focussed on the cut and thrust of argument rather than on its resolution. Not even the different attitudes to life which the two seasons so effortlessly represent are at issue in the Conflictus: attention is engaged instead by the pace and wit of the verbal repartee. Exemplifying the importance attached to style and presentation of argument in the rhetorical debates of Alcuin and his circle, Conflictus Veris et Hiemis is a striking poetic testimony to their influence and success. The debate form adopted in the Conflictus, like the pastoral eclogue, was to have a long tradition in Carolingian verse, ranging from the largely decorative pastoral character of Moduin's political panegyric (24) to Paschasius Radbertus' religious allegory (38). But lyric poetry was not the only area of eighth- and ninthcentury literature that witnessed the impact of Alcuin and his school. The direction which the narrative verse was to take during the Carolingian Renaissance also reflects Alcuin's influence. In his poem on York, conventionally known as the Versus de 32 Ed. W. S. Howell, The Rhetoric of Alcuin and Charlemagne (Princeton, 1941; reprinted New York, 1965). 33 Edd. W. Suchier and L. W. Daly in Altercatio Hadriani Augusti et Epicteti Philosophi, Illinois Studies in Language and

Literature 24, nos. 1-2 (Urbana, 1939). 34PL, 101, 849ff. See F. Brunhölzl in Karl der Grosse i, pp. 32ff.

 



Page 22

Patribus Regibus et Sanctis Eboricensis Ecclesiae, which celebrates the political, ecclesiastical and intellectual history of Northumbria from the foundation of the city up to his own lifetime, Alcuin had provided a point of transition from the dominantly moral-didactic and hagiographical traditions of Latin narrative verse in the pre-Carolingian period to the secular poems on the subject of contemporary political events whose reemergence in the ninth century is one of the turning points of Carolingian literary history.35 The first of these works is `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa', the surviving third book of a lost and larger poem by an author (who may have been Einhard himself) writing not long after 800 (25).36 It moves from fullblown praise of Charlemagne's achievements to spirited accounts of the foundation of Aachen, of a hunt and of the meeting between the Frankish king and Pope Leo III at Paderborn in 799. The prime impulse behind the early part of this book is panegyrical,37 and the martial and moral attainments of Charlemagne are listed at length. Like Theodulf,38 the poet begins by measuring his subject against the natural world and stressing the insufficiency of nature (25, v. 15ff.). A warlord, an arbiter of justice and a Christian rulerCharlemagne's majesty is described by painstakingly detailed terms which cohere into the idealised image of a mirror for princes. Like St. Martin in Venantius Fortunatus' metrical Life, the emperor is presented as the `beacon of Europe' (v. 12)a description that complements the nautical metaphor for literary composition which the poet applies to his work. But different kinds of radiance are shed by the saint and by the emperor. Martin, in the Merovingian Vita, is a source of spiritual illumination. For the Carolingian panegyrist, the light which Charlemagne `broadcasts to the stars' is generated by the glory of his reputation and the brilliance of his imperial power. Nor are the emperor's political triumphs his only title to fame. Additional emphasis is given to the intellectual qualities of Charlemagne: He is a brilliant teacher of the art of grammar, never was there such a famous lecturer; he instructs with distinction and flair in the art of dialectic: the greatest of kings, the greatest sage in the world. . . eloquent Homer yields to the sayings of Charlemagne, and he vanquishes the masters of old in the art of dialectic. (vv. 67-70, 74-5). 35 See Godman, Alcuin, pp. lxxxviii-xci and A. Ebert, Allgemeine Geschichte der Literatur des Mittelalters im Abendlande

bis zum Beginne des XI Jahrhunderts ii2 (Leipzig, 1880), pp. 27ff. 36 On the authorship, date and character of this text see Schaller, Aachener Epos and id. in Die deutsche Literatur des

Mittelalters. Verfasserlexikon2 4 (1983) columns 1041-5. 37 The poem is discussed in this regard by F. Bittner, Studien zum Herrscherlob in der mittellateinischen Dichtung (diss.

Würzburg, 1962), pp. 69-74; but see the justified reservations of P. von Moos in his review of this dissertation in Cahiers de civilisation médiévale 9 (1966), pp. 63-7. 38 See p. 11 and cf. A. Georgi, Das lateinische und deutsche Preisgedicht des Mittelalters (Berlin, 1969), pp. 52ff.

 



Page 23

More than the customary imperial attributes are here attributed to Charlemagne. Previous panegyrists in medieval Latin had praised rulers' erudition or encouragement of learning, but the scholarly author of `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' makes greater claims for his patron. He represents Charlemagne as a consummate master of the skills in which he himself excels. At this point art and reality part companythe emperor's literacy was more modest than such fulsome praise would suggestbut the extravagance has its point. The distant figure formally addressed by Paul the Deacon in the early 780s (1) has acquired a very different stature in poetry composed in the wake of the imperial coronation in 800. For the author of `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa', writing probably at Aachen after more than two decades of vigorous literary activity by Charlemagne's poets, the emperor has become an embodiment of the cultural ideals so signally advanced during his reign: . . . just as he surpasses other kings in the loftiness of his power, so he surpasses everyone else in his culture. (25, vv. 86-7)

These lines are lineal descendants of the verses written by Angilbert some ten years earlier to hail the revival of scholarship and the renewed patronage of literature (6, vv. 18-21). At the apogee of Charlemagne's power, his chief panegyrist looked back to the recent poetic past and fashioned from existing Carolingian tradition a fresh statement of the emperor's intellectual achievements. From here it was a natural step to visualise Aachen as a new Rome and Charlemagne as a second Aeneas.39 The change of subject is marked by a dramatic shift in narrative style. A flashback techniquewith Charlemagne first depicted in full if static majesty (vv. 1-96) and then (vv. 97ff.) shown directing the building of Aachen which had taken place in the mid-790sis accompanied by an abandonment of abstract eulogy. In its place the poet offers a detailed vignette, at whose centre stands his emperor. Below Charlemagne, in a varied scene of bustling activity, is described the construction of different parts of the city. The poem ranges rapidly from the theatre to the baths, to the church, and back again. This swift play of perspective, characteristically Virgilian,40 finds its point of focus in an implicit but unmistakable political symbolism. From the heights Charlemagne `oversees the construction of the high walls of future Rome' (v. 98); just as, for Moduin of Autun, in a comparable passage, he . . . looks out from the lofty citadel of the new Rome and sees all the kingdoms forged into an empire through his victories. (24, vv. 24-5) 39 Ibid., vv. 94ff. See O. Zwierlein in FsLangosch, pp. 44ff. 40 See T. M. Anderson, Early Epic Scenery (Ithaca and London, 1976), especially the fine discussion at p. 107.

 



Page 24

Authority, imperial and absolute, is reflected in Charlemagne's eminence and in his distance from the scene of the labours. He disposes; others execute his will (vv. 99ff.). This is one of the crucial respects in which `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' differs from the Virgilian passages which its Carolingian author adapts. No figurenot even Aeneashas the wholly predominant role in the Aeneid which Charlemagne assumes in `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa'. The construction of Carthage imagined at Aeneid 1. 418ff. provides the nearest parallel to this description of the building of Aachen, but on even its unmistakable simile of the bees the poet imposes his own distinctively Frankish stamp. This refashioning of the Aeneid in `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' is not arbitrary or fortuitous; like the account of Charlemagne's supremacy, it betrays an independent political motive. The Frankish poet drew upon Virgil, without relying on any single passage of his epic, in order to create an idealised image of a Carolingian new Rome that was to be no mere counterfeit of the city of the Caesars. The Aeneid he set out to recall, to imitateand to surpass. Aachen, in his poem, would resemble but excel Rome, just as Charlemagne would be similar but superior to Aeneas. `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' does not simply imitate its model; it consciously attempts to outdo it. In this most ambitious work of early Carolingian poetry Aachen serves as a symbol for the imperium established by a second but mightier Aeneas. The increasingly close relationship between the ideological and intellectual aspirations of Charlemagne and the work of the authors of his entourage, illustrated by `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa', was accompanied by a growing awareness on the part of Carolingian poets of the political character and cultural purpose of their own writing. Two debate-poems, composed at different stages in the reign, eloquently voice this consciousness. The fragmentary verses by `Hibernicus Exul', the Irish poet who may be either Dungal or Dicuil, celebrate Charlemagne's victory in 787 over the rebellious Tassilo, duke of Bavaria (20).41 This work takes the form of a dialogue between the poet and his Musea technique later imitated by Walahfrid Strabo42and it opens with a vivid description of the tribute due to the triumphant warlord: the gleaming gold encrusted with gems, the robes of splendid purple, the steeds with their necks arched high in pride. Before this material magnificence, the poet quails and begins to doubts his powers. What gift, he asks, could he bring to so great a king (20, vv. 1-11)? The Muse's reply is that poetry is the proper homage to pay to Charlemagne, and she allays her interlocutor's anxieties with an impassioned assertion of the immortality of his art: 41 On the authorship see the bibliography assembled by A. Ebenbauer, Carmen historicum. Untersuchungen zur historischen

Dichtung im karolingischen Europa i (Vienna, 1978), pp. 18-19. For a contrast between the style of this description of Charlemagne and `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' see D. Bullough, The Age of Charlemagne2 (London, 1973), p. 160. 42MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 370ff.

 



Page 25 While the highest vault of the starry sky revolves, and the dark night is driven away by the bright planets, while the morning-star rises in splendour from the deepest shades, and the swift wind beats upon the ocean waves . . . while the splendour of kings blazes forth in purest gold, the art of poetry will remain for all time! (vv. 24-7, 32-3)

To poetry is attributed a commemorative purpose: suited not only to spiritual but also to profane subjects, it celebrates the present as much as the past. `Hibernicus Exul's' eulogy of his own medium is an affirmation of the rô1e of the poet in a world of martial enterprise and military success. Some twenty years later the developing ideal of Aachen as the new Rome and the growing sense of the literary past among early Carolingian poets were given powerful expression by Moduin of Autun in the first part of a debate poem which he composed in two books (24).43 Like Virgil and Calpurnius before him, Moduin employs this form for political praise of the emperor.44 Much of the point and subtlety of his work derives from the lively manner in which the relationship between the two participants in the debate is delineated. A young poet, earnestly aspiring to Charlemagne's patronage, contrasts his own hopes and uncertainties with the success of an older author. The opening speech of the puer (vv. 1-27), which veers between anxious selfassertion and near-despair, recalls the beginning of Virgil's first Eclogue; but the tensions between Tityrus and Meliboeus are accentuated in Moduin's Egloga by the inadvertent tactlessness of the young man. Meaning to praise the older poet's past achievements, he unconsciously implies that the senex is superannuated (vv. 12-13). The old man is nettled, not only by the boy's lack of diplomacy. For in a frantic bid for imperial patronage the puer launches into a proclamation of the rebirth of 'golden Rome', tenuously linked to his previous erratic utterances (vv. 24-7). What many have regarded as a `manifesto of the Carolingian Renaissance'45 is instead the strained effort of an eager débutant, and the senex, his rival in the debate, responds by pouring cold water on the boy's attempt, seeking to deflate its pretensions by ridiculing the puer's lack of sophistication (24, v. 29).2 The old man's scepticism is directed not at the ideal of Charlemagne's renovatio46 but at the misplaced efforts of his youthful partner: he has no style, he has no sense of proportion, and he has hit on the wrong subject (24, vv. 28-32). `Publica nulla canis,' jibes the elderly poet: `You say nothing of public events'. The rejoinder could 43 The date of this text is discussed by R.P.H. Green, `Moduin's ''Eclogues'' and the "Paderborn Epic" ', MlatJb 16 (1981),

pp. 43-53, who makes a case for its priority over `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa'. See the note to 24, vv. 87-8. 44 On the pastoral setting of the poem, see Cooper, Pastoral, pp. 10ff. 45 The unduly long bibliographical life led by this interpretation is measured by Schaller, Aachener Epos, p. 164, note 142. 46Pace J. Szövérffy, Weltliche Dichtungen des lateinischen Mittelalters i (Berlin, 1970), p. 495. Cf. A. Ebenbauer, MlatJb 11

(1976), pp. 20-1.

 



Page 26

hardly have been more crushing. Publica canere was exactly what the boy was seeking to do. The puer replies by asserting Charlemagne's interest in his work and, in an effort to express the impossibility of his ever ceasing to praise the emperor, he embarks on a series of adynata which degenerates at least once into incoherence (vv. 54ff.). The puer is not yet master of his own excessively ornate style, and the old man strikes again with the example of Ovid's exile to intimidate him with the dangers a rash poet incurs: 'Stick to your plough and be like a farmer, singing traditional songs' (vv. 69-70). This goads the boy to a successful assertion of his poetic skills. He begins with the poets of Antiquity whose writing secured them wealth and honour, and he continues with the example of contemporary authorsAngilbert, Alcuin, Theodulf and Einhardwho had already won Charlemagne's favour by their verse. The insults of the old man provoke from him the very poetry of which he was previously incapablethe puer now speaks of public events, and he represents the patronage to which he aspires as the reward duly given to a noble lineage of recent poets and to writers of the past whose successor he understandably wishes to become. With this progression from golden age idealism to an understanding of the material importance of the immediate literary past the puer of Moduin's Egloga comes of age, and with him Carolingian poetry achieves a new self-awareness. All the court poetry that we have examined thus far is quantitative, and as such it maintains a natural continuity with the verse-forms of Antiquity. Beyond the courtlinked with it in some instances, in others genuinely provincialthere developed a different body of writing whose history has been illuminated by the splendid studies of Dag Norberg.47 The rise of rhythmical verse, whose governing principle of composition is no longer the quantity of the syllables in a line but rather their accentuation and number, is attested some four centuries before the Carolingian period, but the first era of controlled innovation combined with formal perfection opens in the work of the Italian Paulinus of Aquileia, who spent part of the 780s at Charlemagne's court.48 None of Paulinus' poetry can be assigned with strong probability to the years he passed in the circle of Alcuin, Theodulf and Angilbert. The setting of his writing is the patriarchate of Aquileiac. 787 he was appointed archbishop of Friuliand its influence was felt not only in Francia proper but also in the north of Italy. The corpus of his rhythmical verse includes moral-didactic poetry49 and a celebrated planctus or lament for Eric, the duke of Friuli murdered in 799.50 But at the heart of Paulinus' work are a number of poems on Biblical themes that have a place among the most accomplished religious verse of the Latin Middle Ages. One of these is the long poem on Lazarus printed here (4). 47 See his Poésie, passim; Introduction, pp. 87ff.; and the Introduction to his Paulinus. 48 The best account of Paulinus' writing is provided by Norberg, Paulinus, pp. 10ff. 49 See Norberg, Paulinus, pp. 91ff. 50 Ibid., pp. 100ff.

 



Page 27

The Versus de Lazaro were intended to be sung. The melody of the poem survives with the textwhich is also transmitted in a number of incomplete and abridged forms51in the earliest extant manuscript containing Latin verse with musical notation, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale lat. 1154, from the abbey of Saint-Martial in Limoges.52 The close relationship between music and poetry is an influential factor in the development of the early medieval lyric, and the conditions which performance imposed are reflected in the character of Paulinus' text. Unlike the densely allusive style of his hexametrical poem on a doctrinal subject, designed to be read and intended to impress by its erudition, the Versus de Lazaro combine simplicity of expression with clarity of thought. Master of many styles, ranging from obscure pomposity to intense compression, Paulinus opts for lucidity in verse designed to be sung and understood by his clerical audience. It is not necessary to invoke an imaginary context of mime53 for this text to see that a number of elements in its composition, such as dialogue, lend themselves naturally to dramatic recitation without making the poem drama in the rigour of the term; and that as a hymn, both in its integral and in its abbreviated forms, it might effectively play the part in the mass which Walahfrid Strabo, the leading poet of the next generation, described when he wrote: `it is recorded that Paulinus, the patriarch of Friuli, often, and particularly in private masses, at about the time of the offering of the sacraments, celebrated hymns composed by himself and others.'54 The categories of poetry intended to be read and of poetry designed to be recited to the accompaniment of music are not always mutually exclusive, and the text of Paulinus' Versus de Lazaro might serve one purpose in its complete and another in its abbreviated form. For the clerical audience to which it was directed the alleged rift between verse conceived for conditions of oral performance and `book poetry'55 could be bridged, in the dramatic context of the Mass,56 by the stylistic lucidity, reinforced by music, of a work such as the Versus de Lazaro. Drawing chiefly on the Gospel according to St. John, with minor supplements from Mark and Luke, the Versus de Lazaro describe Christ's raising of Lazarus from the dead, and present, in the manner of contemporary exegesis, an allegorical, tropological and moral interpretation of the Biblical narrative. Norberg57 has rightly emphasised the deliberate division of the poem into three interdependent parts: strophes 1-27 relate 51 Ibid., p. 103. 52 See Jacques Chailley, L'École musicale de Saint-Martial de Limoges jusqu'à la fin du XIc siècle (Paris, 1960), pp. 127, 174. 53 P. von Winterfeld, `Hrotsvits literarische Stellung, 2. Mimus und Spottlied', Archiv für das Studium der neueren Sprachen und

Literaturen cxiv (1905), pp. 58ff. 54PL, 114, 954 D. 55 Cf. O. B. Hardison, Christian Rite and Christian Drama in the Middle Ages (Baltimore, 1969), especially pp. 56ff. and 82ff. 56 D. Kartschoke, Bibeldichtung. Studien zur Geschichte der epischen Bibelparaphrase von Juvencus bis Otfrid von Weissenburg

(Munich, 1975), p. 269; and see his discussion of this question, pp. 266ff. 57Paulinus, p. 42, with bibliography.

 



Page 28

the historical facts of Scripture, 28-49 offer an allegorical reading of them and 50-69 end with their tropological and moral interpretation. But allegory and narrative are fused at every stage: as early as the fourth strophe, Paulinus lingers over the subject of the alabaster cruse broken by Mary Magdalene and its spiritual significance. The pace of his narrative, which transmutes the majestic Latin of the Vulgate into rhythmical verse with a heightened tone of pathos, alternates between a meticulous fidelity to the details of Scripture and a dramatic directness reinforced by direct speechas, for example, in the account of Mary's plea to Christ on behalf of her brotherher appearance dishevelled in her anxious haste, her beauty belied by a sudden pallor and the common grief of the sisters of Lazarus and of his Saviour (ss. 18-21). Even here Paulinus draws aside to explain that Christ mourned as a man, and not as God, for the divine essence cannot be disturbed by emotion (s. 22)an exegetical explanation that is swiftly succeeded (s. 24, 2) by his macabre stress on the Jews' dread of Lazarus' putrified corpse. The transition to the allegory of the Promised Land signified (ss. 29ff.) by the eternal joy granted to Mary and Martha and culminating in a personal prayer for grace (ss. 34ff.); the moral symbolism developed in strophes 50ff. of Lazarus as the soul of sinners, of the two sisters as Hope and Faith (or Reason and Conscience) and of the number 4 as the four degrees of sin (or the four cardinal virtues) are deeper explorations of a Biblical narrative intermingled with meditation, mysticism and prayer from its very outset. Exegetical poetry is not uncommon in the Carolingian and pre-Carolingian periods, and for the use of dialogue there are numerous parallels. Yet it is neither the strictly interpretative nor the quasi-dramatic elements in Paulinus' poem which make it so distinctive, but their integration into a whole that unites the different levels of meaning of the Biblical account of Lazarus. Explicit commentary guides us to an understanding of the allegorical and tropological significance of Lazarus' death and resurrection, but no less prominence is given in Paulinus' text to direct experience of pathos and of grief. For all the poem's fidelity to its source, the `historical sense' of Scripture reflected in the Versus de Lazaro is not simply literal. Paulinus' presentation of the story of Lazarus is strongly emotive, and it evokes a power of sympathy that is doubly forceful for being held in harmonious balance with the exegetical parts of his work. The organic unity into which these disparate elements are fused in the Versus de Lazaro, rarely equalled by other Carolingian authors, is one of the features of Paulinus' artistry which makes of him the major religious poet of Charlemagne's reign. Aquileia, the town of which Paulinus became patriarch, was ravaged by Attila the Hun in 452, and a lament on its fall, written in pseudosapphicsthe verse form which Paulinus appears to have inventedhas dubiously been attributed to him (5).58 Like Alcuin in his elegy on the destruction of Lindisfarne (10), the author of the poem on Aquileia employs this subject as a historical and moral instance of mutability. To the story related by Jordanes in his Getica and by Paul the Deacon in 58 The attribution is discussed by Norberg, Paulinus, p. 82.

 



Page 29

the Historia Romana this planctus adds the passionate tones of a Biblical lamentation that might serve as an antithesis to Aachen. Where the account of the building of the new Rome in `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' builds up to a Frankish symbol of an enduring ideal of empire, the destruction of the former capital of the Veneto, in the Versus de Aquileia, offers a cautionary example of the punishment wreaked in the past on the sin of pride. The planctus on Aquileia takes its place in a body of Carolingian poetry which dates from the rich final decade of the eighth century and from the first decade of the ninth, praising the rise or lamenting the fall of cities, churches and monasteries. From Alcuin's elegy on Lindisfarne to his epic on York, from the political symbolism of Aachen in `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' to the moralistic planctus on Aquileia, the diverse poems within this tradition share common debts to learned models which can be traced back to Antiquity.59 A vivid contrast to this body of erudite and allusive verse is provided by an urban encomium in which the Carolingian culture of the Veneto finds one of its most authentically provincial and original expressions: the rhythmical poem known as Versus de Verona (22). The originality of the Versus de Verona can be assessed in terms of its deliberate departures from its model, the Versum de Mediolano Civitate of c. 738. This earlier urban encomium sets out to establish Milan as the spiritual capital of northern Italy, invoking its people's piety, the protection of its saints, its wealth and its links with the Lombard royal family.60 The only surviving manuscript of this text is now at Verona, and it was there that it served as a source for the Versus de Verona which were composed in 795-806 and have been doubtfully assigned to the scholar and bibliophile Pacificus (archdeacon 803, 846).61 The Versus de Verona were written in praise of the city in which the court of Pippin, Charlemagne's son and king of Italy, had settled in 799. The bishopric had come into the hands of two gifted reformersEginus, who was consecrated c. 780, and Ratoldus, who succeeded him in 79962 and who undertook, with the aid of King Pippin, the restoration of the cathedral of St. Zeno. Unlike the Milan encomium, which is firmly rooted in the present and mentions only functionary buildings, the Versus de 59 There is still no detailed treatment of the early medieval urban encomium. See C. J. Classen, Die Stadt im Spiegel der

Descriptiones und Laudes urbium (Hildesheim/New York, 1980), pp. 37ff. (with bibliography). 60 The text is edited by G. B. Pighi, Versus de Verona, Versum de Mediolano Civitate (Bologna, 1960). For the spiritual

ambitions of the encomium see G. Fasoli, `La coscienza civica nelle Laudes Civitatum' in Convegno del Centro di Studi Sulla Spiritualità Medievale xi (Todi, 1971), pp. 11-14 (= id., Scritti di storia medievale Bologna, 1974), pp. 293-318). 61 On the ascription see Norberg, Poésie, p. III anti G. G. Meersseman and E. Adda, Manuale di computo con ritmo

mnemotecnico dell' archidiacono Pacifico di Verona (844) (Padua, 1966), pp. 46-8. The best study of Pacificus' (very different) verse is by A. Campana, `Veronensia' in Miscellanea Giovanni Mercati ii, Studi e Teste 122 (Vatican City, 1946), pp. 52-91. 62 See the discussion by G. G. Meersseman, E. Adda, J. Deshusses, L'orazionale dell' arcidiacono Pacifico e il Carpsum del

cantore Stefano, Spicilegium friburgense 21 (Freiburg, 1974), pp. 3ff. (with bibliography).

 



Page 30

Verona include the splendid but unused monuments of the past, such as the amphitheatre and the temples. Civic pride mingles with religious reservations in the poem's account of pagan antiquity's contribution to the noble reputation of Verona (vv. 22-4), but the underlying sentiment is favourable. Where the lament on Aquileia ascribed to Paulinus sees nothing but sin in the early Christian history of the city, the Versus de Verona return to the more distant pagan past and discover qualities even there. The splendour of Aquileia's former architecture and its primacy among towns of the Veneto provide the measure of its former arrogance and present decline in the pessimistic planctus attributed to Paulinus; a contrasting spirit of aggressive optimism inspires the Versus de Verona whose author not only commends each and every one of Verona's amenities but even asserts the city's pre-eminence by means of spurious authority.63 Perhaps the most remarkable difference between the Versus de Verona and contemporary poems in the same genre lies in the conscious rivalry with the Versum de Mediolano Civitate which they display. Where the Milan encomium selects a few of the most famous of Milanese saints, the Versus de Verona minutely list, in topographical order, the 12, apostles, 40 martyrs and 35 saints associated (sometimes tenuously) with the city, adopting the form of a Roman itinerarium or pilgrim's guide.64 From the catalogue of towns counted among Verona's admirers at vv. 88-93 Milan is pointedly omitted, for the poet is concerned to assert the primacy of Verona over the rest of Italy, including its chief rival to the title. His claim does not rest solely on Verona's beauty or riches. Its superiority derives from the throngs of its spiritual protectors, and its eminence in the hierarchy of Italian cities is guaranteed by the relics of these mighty guardians. In style as well as substance the Versus de Verona differ from the encomium on Milan which served as their model. The recurrent syllabic irregularity of their verses and their anomalies of prosody, morphology and grammar have often been contrasted with the poet's scholarly use of archival and archaeological sources of great historical value.65 Is he an ignoramus, incapable of writing a correct and intelligible Latin; the linguistic inferior of the Milanese poet whom he sets out to surpass? Or is there some other explanation? Many discussions of early medieval Latin employ the contrasting categories of `learned' and `popular' poetry to describe literature of this kind. Implicit in such a contrast are an appeal to classicising standards on the one hand and an allusion to vernacular affinities on the other. Neither of these alternatives adequately represents the Latinity or the intentions of the author of the Versus de Verona. The poet did not commit such vulgarisms as egredere for egredi (v. 8), sternatum for stratum (v. 10), intransitive for transitive habet, etc., because he knew no better; before 63 See note to 22, v. 2. 64 J.-C. Picard, `Conscience urbaine et culte des saints. De Milan sous Liutprand ô Vérone sous Pépin 1cr d'Italie' in

Hagiographie, culture et sociéteés IVc-XIIc siècles (Paris, 1981), pp. 458-9 65 Cf. Norberg, Poésie, pp. 109-10.

 



Page 31

him in each of these cases (and many others) lay the grammatically correct evidence provided by the text of the Milan encomium upon which his own work is based.66 This gifted and intelligent author sought to write at a different level of language from that employed by his mediocre Milanese precursor. The 'vulgarisms' which stud his text are not marks of ignorance but the sign of a cultivated author's conscious attempt to compose a Latin intelligible to fellow clerics as their spoken lingua Fanuc. His language is thus neither 'popular' nor 'learned', for these rigid polarities do not accommodate what is effectively a separate level of style and register. The clerical colloquialism of the Versus de Verona reflects a Latinity as actual to its audience as the city that is its subject; a Latinity that is deliberately different from the classicising poetry of Charlemagne's court circle and a bold step in the stylistic direction taken by Paulinus of Aquileia when he chose to incorporate 'vulgar features' in his rhythmical verse.67 It is in this context that the poem on the submission of the Kagan of the Avars to King Pippin in the summer of 796 takes its place (23). Written at Verona at the end of the eighth century68 (and thus contemporaneous with the Versus de Verona), this paean of praise for Pippin's victory over the most terrible of barbarian peoples on the borders of Francia has been likened to a popular ballad and condemned for its supposed faults of grammar, style and form.69 Both these terms of description and criticism derive from the allegedly opposing categories of 'popular' and 'learned' literature in which the Versus de Verona have also been considered, and neither is truly applicable to the kind of poetry which the author of King Pippin's Victory over the Avars was attempting to write. Variants such as Pippín and Tarcán and departures from the normal verse structure of 8 + 7 syllables do not destroy the essential regularity of the poem's rhythmical form,70 and its distinctive combination of hybrid orthography, disjunctive syntax and unorthodox grammar reflects an admixture of colloquialism and learning closely comparable to what we find in the Versus de Verona. Beginning with thanks to God, moving forward through swift narrative and a dialogue that can rise to subtletyas in the Kagan's speech of homage appropriately couched in the language of legal formulas (s. 11)and ending with praise of Pippin that assumes the character of an acclamatory chant, this rhythmical poem celebrates the victory of Charlemagne's son in the Latinity of the capital of Carolingian Italy. As a poem intended to be sung or recited, and as a text designed to be read, it is no less versatile than the Versus de Verona. At Verona, the chief centre of rhythmical verse in the north of that kingdom,71 provincial poets thought about the form and purpose of their work with no less individu66 Cf. Pighi, op. cit., p. 156, note 3. 67 See Norberg, Paulinus, Introduction, passim. 68 Norberg, Introduction, p. 35. 69 Cf. P. A. Becker, 'Vom Kurzlied zum Epos', Zur romanischen Literaturgeschichte. Ausgewahlte Studien und Aufsatze *

(Berne/Munich, 1967), p. 192. 70 See Norberg, Introduction, pp. 35-6, 143-4. 71 See Norberg, Poésie, pp. 104-12.

 



Page 32

ality in a traditional medium than was displayed by the miniaturist of the 'Egino-codex', their exact contemporary.72 In the monastery of Bobbio, on the occasion of Charlemagne's death in 814, an unidentified poet wrote a lament which combines personal grief with an expression of universal sorrow at the emperor's passing (26).73 Several strands in the texture of early Carolingian poetry are woven together in this planctus. Its opening adapts the first line of a famous hymn by the fifth-century poet Caelius Sedulius, but it is no more a mixture of 'popular dirge with . . . rhetorical devices'74 than are the encomium on Verona and the panegyric on Pippin's victory over the Avars. In the flexible medium of rhythmical poetry, hymnody is altered to planctus on a secular ruler,75 and the source lends point to the text into which it is integrated. A solis ortu, the Sedulian work sung at Christmas and at great festivals of the Church, serves as the starting point for planctus: joy gives way to lamentation, and the occasion of Charlemagne's passing is placed in solemn contrast to the event of Christ's birth. For the patron who had enriched Bobbio in 774 the prayers of its founder are invoked: the sorrow of Saint Columbanus expresses figuratively the grief of the community which he had founded and which Charlemagne had fostered.76 The neumes (to the first two strophes) preserved in the Paris manuscript (lat. 1154) in which this planctus, like Paulinus' Lazarus Rhythmus, is transmitted77 reflect a characteristic of early Carolingian rhythmical poetry: the natural co-existence of features of recitation and performance in texts drawing on learned sources and in texts dealing with contemporary events. Once the poet speaks in propria persona of the nightmares brought upon him by the emperor's death (s. 15), but it would be tendentious to argue from his work or from any other poem written during Charlemagne's lifetime that it contains a premonition of the turbulence of the future. On the evidence of the verse, unlike the prose, sources of the last years of Charlemagne's reign, it is not possible to speak of the 'disintegration' of the empire,78 for the early history of Carolingian poetry, even allowing for the vicissitudes of its manuscript 72 Berlin, Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, MS. Phillips 1676; plate in W. Braunfels, Die Welt der Karolinger und ihre Kunst

(Munich, 1968), p. 282, no. 188. The poem O admirabile Veneris idolum (Schaller-Könsgen 10806), often attributed to Carolingian Verona, does not appear in this book because its date is inc. saec. X/XI. 73 The best study of the historical context of this poem is by H. Löwe, DA 37 (1981), pp. 3ff 74 Raby, SLP, p. 211. 75 That the poem is not a hymn in the strict sense is emphasised by J. Szövérffy, Weltliche Dichtung des lateinischen Mittelalters

i (1970), p. 513. 76 See Löwe, DA 37 (1981), pp. 3-4. 77 See H. Spanke, 'Rhythmen- und Sequenzstudien', SM N.S. 4 (1931), P. 291 [= id., Studien zu Sequenz, Lai und Leich, ed. H.

Aarburg, (Darmstadt, 1977), P. 5 (132b)] and Jacques Chailley, L'École musicale de Saint-Martial de Limoges jusqu'à la fin du XIc siècle (Paris, 1960), pp. 133, 144. 78 This term is taken from the title of François Ganshof's celebrated article, 'La fin du règne de Charlemagne. Une

décomposition', Zeitschrift fur schweizerische Geschichte 28 (1948), pp. 433-52 [= id., The Carolingians and the Frankish Monarchy. . ., translated J. Sondheimer (London, 1971), pp. 240ff.]

 



Page 33

tradition, is one of qualified continuity and growing sophistication. Both at court and in the provincial centres linked with it, Charlemagne's reign had witnessed the development of a body of poetry which drew upon traditions both sacred and profane, and was equal to adapting its style and register to the varying requirements of public recitation and private exchange. The commonplace of diversity within unity should not be applied to this heterogeneous corpus of literature, for its authors did not proceed as systematic agents of a comprehensive cultural design but wrote when occasion demanded and their other occupations allowed. None the less their art displays a mounting awareness of its direct bearing on the spiritual and secular needs of the age, and it exemplifies no less impressively than any programme of legislation the cultural and ideological objectives of the ruler upon whose patronage it depended. The Latin verse produced between 780 and 814 has a range, quality and tangible sense of its own traditions that set it in a class apart from anything that survives from the regional, predominantly monastic, centres of early medieval Europe. This renaissance in Carolingian poetry is among the most impressive, and least recognised, achievements of Charlemagne's reign. (IV) The unsmiling emperor The last work of early Carolingian poetry was written in a monastery, and monasteries were to become the dominant, although not the exclusive, centres of poetic activity during the reigns of Charlemagne's successors. The names of Fulda and Reichenau, Tours and Corbie, Saint-Amand and St. Gall loom large in the literary history of the ninth century, as the focus of poets' endeavour shifts away from the court. The circle of writers whom Charlemagne gathered about him in the 780s and continued to support during his lifetime proved as temporary and transient as the group of painters, illuminators and ivory-carvers of the short-lived 'palace school'.1 Here the evidence of court art and the case of court poetry are directly parallel, because both relied on the largesse and encouragement of the emperor. The forbidding figure of Louis the Pious, whose dourness as evinced by his biographer Thegan provides the title of this chapter, was not a patron of secular verse on the scale or in the style of his father. The re-organisation of the court and the emphasis upon sacred learning and monastic reform which followed his accession influenced the literature produced during Louis's reign, and it is no mere accident of political history that two of the most talented poets at work between 814 and 840Theodulf of Orléans (confined first at Angers and later at Le Mans after the rebellion of 817) and Ermoldus Nigelluswrote in exile, banished from court. The preface of Walahfrid Strabo's recension of Einhard's Life of Charlemagne is often cited in this regard: 'Of all kings Charlemagne was the most eager diligently to search for wise men . . . l Cf. w. Braunfels, 'Karolingischer Klassizismus als politisches Programm und karolingischer Humanismus als

Lebenshaltung' in Spoleto . . . Settimane xxvii (1979), p. 830.

 



Page 34

and he thereby made the entire kingdom which God had entrusted to him in a state of darkness and, so to speak, of virtual blindness radiant with a blaze of fresh learning, hitherto largely unknown to our barbarism . . . But now once more the pursuit of scholarship is falling back into decline; the light of wisdom is less loved, and is dying out in most men. . .'2 For Raby and others this passage served as the basis of a stark contrast between the literary brilliance of Charlemagne's lifetime and the dimness of his son's3a contrast which is conventionally drawn in the areas of the politics and administration of the period as well. Recent scholarship has challenged this negative view of the cultural and political history of Louis the Pious's reign,4 and the need increasingly felt for a revaluation of the years 814 to 840 is strengthened by a fresh appraisal of Ludowician poetry. Walahfrid Strabo wrote the preface to his recension of Einhard's Vita Karoli Magni in the early 840swhen Louis had already ceased to be emperor. From Walahfrid's romantic nostalgia, rhetorically expressed, for the undeniable achievements of Charlemagne's reign it is not legitimate to infer an absolute decline that set in directly after 814. Moreover, this telling critic of 'the decadence of his own generation', as Walahfrid seemed to Raby5 and others, not only occupied a privileged position as panegyrist to the emperor Louis and as tutor to his son, the future Charles the Bald, but also ranks as perhaps the most accomplished of the many gifted poets active while Louis was on the thronehardly the most convincing witness to the collapse of the court and the decay of letters. It is not through Walahfrid's recension of Einhard that changes in literary life and the ambiguities which attended the composition of poetry under Louis the Pious are best approached, but rather by the attractive route of Walahfrid's poetic oeuvre.6 Born in 808/9 of a modest Swabian family, Walahfrid (whose unflattering nickname Strabo, 'the Squinter', appears from a passage in one of 2 . . . [Karolns] qui, omnium regum avidissimus erat sapientes diligenter inquirere . . . ideoque regni a Deo sibi commissi

nebulosam et, ut ita dicam, pene caecam latitudinem totius scientiae nova irradiatione et huic barbariei ante partim incognita luminosam reddidit . . . Nunc vero relabentibus in contraria studiis lumen sapientiae, quod minus diligitur, rarescit in plurimis' (ed. Halphen, p. 106). 3 Raby, CLP, p. 177. 4 B. Bischoff, 'Die Hofbibliothek unter Ludwig dem Frommen' in id., Mittelalterliche Studien iii, pp. 170-86. See R. Schieffer,

'Ludwig "der Fromme". Zur Entstehung eines karolingischen Herrscherbeinamens', FmStud 16 (1982), pp. 58-73, especially 72-3, with note 101. 5 Raby, CLP, p. 177. 6 The best account of Walahfrid's poetry is by A. Önnerfors, 'Walahfrid Strabo als Dichter' in Die Abtei Reichenau. Neue

Beitrage gut Geschichte und Kultur des Inselklosters, ed. H. Maurer (Sigmaringen, 1974), pp. 83ff. [= id., Mediaevalia, pp. 169201]. See too id., 'Philologisches zu Walahfrid Strabo', MlatJb 7 (1970), pp. 41ff. [= Mediaevalia, pp. 58-118]. There is a good survey by K. Langosch in Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon iv (Berlin, 1953), columns 734-69, ibid. v (1954), 1111ff. The essays of F. von Bezold, 'Kaiserin Judith und ihr Dichter Walahfrid Strabol', Historische Zeitschrift 130 (1924), pp. 37ff. and of A. Bergmann, 'Die Dichtung der Reichenau im Mittelalter' in Die Kultur der Abtei Reichenau. Erinnerungsschrift i (Munich, 1925), pp. 71ff. are still valuable. For further bibliography see below.

 



Page 35

his poems to refer to a real physical defect) early in life entered the monastery of Reichenau and was taught there by a number of masters including one Wetti whose death-bed vision Walahfrid recounted in the first of his major works. In Reichenau too he became a friend of the controversial Gottschalk. Walahfrid spent the years 826-9 in Fulda, moving to Aachen in 829 and becoming tutor to Charles in the summer of that year. During the troubles of 830-4 Walahfrid remained loyal to the cause of Louis the Pious, of the empress Judith and of their son Charles the Bald, and he was rewarded with the abbacy of Reichenau in 838, a position from which he was later expelled by a rival candidate. He was not fully reinstated until 842. While on a mission from Louis the German to Charles the Bald in 849 Walahfrid was drowned in the Loire. In Reichenau Walahfrid had received a training comparable to the best available to any writer of Charlemagne's reign. In Fulda, under Hrabanus Maurus, his education was enriched by the legacy of Alcuin's influence. And at court he continued to compose in those genresfrom dream-poetry7 to verse-epistlesin which early Carolingian poets excelled. But none of the works in Walahfrid's many-sided corpus of verse can be regarded as a response to the writing of any other author at court. Carolingian court poetry of the previous generation is the work of a self-conscious literary élite which composed not only for a patron but also for (and against) its own members. Walahfrid maintained its traditions with a flair at least equal to that of the writers of Charlemagne's entourage, but his work is distinguished from theirs by the crucial fact that very little of it was conceived under the influence of his contemporaries. Instead of the group of court poets active under Charlemagne, there was under Louis the Pious only one court poet. The continuities with the verse of Alcuin, Angilbert and Theodulf displayed in the style, genres and forms of Walahfrid Strabo's court poetry stand in marked contrast to this major discontinuity in its context. In Visio Wettini, the work that effectively opens Walahfrid's poetic career, the changed temper of literary life under Louis the Pious is already apparent. At the age of eighteen (c. 826), Walahfrid turned into verse a prose account of a vision of the other world experienced by his teacher Wetti shortly before his death in 824. After an invocation of Christ, an account of the early history of Reichenau and a vision of the devil from whom Wetti is protected by his guardian angel, Walahfrid comes to the core of his poem. In a second vision of Hell, Wetti is confronted by the spectacle of the tortures endured by sinful clerics and laymen, including a number of near-contemporaries. There, in the midst of the torments, stands Charlemagne, his genitals being torn by a beast (27). The great and glorious emperor mourned in the Lament on the death of Charlemagne (26) is depicted in a poem written little more than a decade after his death, as the penitent sufferer of this apposite punishment for lust (27, 7 See H. J. Kamphausen, Traum und Vision in der lateinischen Poesie der Karolingerzeit, Lateinische Sprache und Literatur

4 (Berne/Frankfurt, 1975), especially pp. 132ff.

 



Page 36

v. 449).8 Charlemagne's name is never explicitly mentioned in this passage, but an acrostic spells out what is already clear enough from the context. Polygamy was censured in a capitulary of Pope Eugenius II, issued in the very year in which Walahfrid's poem was written, and Charlemagne's concubines, whose modest number is calmly recorded by Einhard, roused a criticism in Louis the Pious's reign that is voiced in more than one contemporary source.9 Politics enters poetry in this earliest Carolingian account of a vision in verse.10 Visio Wettini is thus a product of local piety, and it is something more calculating. It would be naÏve to imagine that Walahfrid became Charles the Bald's tutor only three years later, at the age of twenty-one, simply on the strength of his Latinity. The timely subject of his well-judged work held an obvious appeal for reforming circles at court, and in recounting Wetti's vision of the other world Walahfrid had a shrewd eye to his place in this one. However he came to achieve his position in the emperor's entourage,11 it is clear that Walahfrid's dedicatory epistle to the influential Grimald, arch-chaplain to Louis the Pious,12 did him no harm at all. Visio Wettini is a young man's bid for advancement, and the means which it employs to win favour with Louis the Pious is a graphic portrayal of the punishment of Charlemagne's sins. None the less, as early as 829, the year of Walahfrid's arrival at court, in the complex poem known as De Imagine Tetrici, this ambitious and gifted young author was to recommend his pupil Charles the Bald to follow the example of his grandfather Charlemagne 'in name, deeds and morals'.13 The enigmas of Walahfrid's political and poetic career have still to be unravelled. The political context of Walahfrid's writing demands a detailed study to itself, but not all the poetry which he addressed to the emperor or to his followers is single-mindedly political. Differences of tone, style and spirit are detectable in the astonishing diversity of his works, and a protean element of irony eludes any simple or single definition. What, for example, is the tone of his epigram (28) on the bone of a doe, killed by Louis the Pious when hunting, through which a tree had begun to grow'All things exist to serve you, great emperor: you go hunting for deer and a forest grows up from their bones! Hail!'? Does the black humour of the hyperbole applied to this faintly ludicrous subject reflect 8 Cf. C. Fritsche, 'Die lateinischen Visionen des Mittelalters bis zur Mitte des 12 Jahrhunderts. . .', Romanische Forschungen

iii (1887), p. 339. 9 See D. A. Traill, Walahfrid Strabo's 'Visio Wettini'. Text, Translation and Commentary, Lateinische Sprache und Literatur des

Mittelalters 2 (Berne/Frankfurt, 1914), pp. 148-9. 10 Cf. W. Levison, 'Die Politik in den Jenseitsvisionen des frühen Mittelalters', Aus rheinischer und frankischer Fruhzeit

(Düsseldorf, 1948). It is often claimed that Walahfrid attempted the first (medieval Latin) description of an other-world vision in poetic form. This is incorrect. Alcuin, writing more than three decades before Walahfrid, had both versified the account of Dryhthelm's vision which appears in Bede (Historia Ecclesiastica 5. 12) and described a vision of the other world experienced by one of his contemporaries (Godman, Alcuin, pp. 72ff. [vv. 876ff.] and pp. 130ff. [vv. 1602ff.]). 11 See Traill, op. cit., pp. 3-4. 12 See Fleckenstein, Hofkapelle, p. 69 and note 145. 13 Ed. Dümmler, MGH, Poetae ii, p. 376, vv. 189-9.

 



Page 37

back on Walahfrid himself, in an elegant mockery of the excesses of his own panegyrical style? Or does genuine virtuosity combine here with ambiguous flattery in a measure intended to create a residual doubt as to the sincerity of the compliment? Walahfrid, deliberately, never reveals whether the humour of his epigram is merely self-reflexive or really risqué Irony, in the hands of an imperial panegyrist, is a two-edged weapon. Unironical and impassioned is a poem-epistle (30) which Walahfrid addressed to Ruadbern (probably the laicus elsewhere referred to as a chamberlain of Charles the Bald) whose steadfast allegiance to Louis the Pious and Judith during the revolt of 833 and the subsequent imprisonment of the empress at Tortona commanded the poet's ardent admiration. Self-commendation readily combines with an elaborate courtoisie of friendship in the verse epistles of Charlemagne's reign, but Walahfrid, writing under Louis the Pious, exploits this form and its characteristic features to a more serious and public purpose. Loyalty, personal and political, is the quality which his poem proclaims: Walahfrid's devotion to Ruadbern and his affirmation of the imperial cause complement and reinforce one another. Nor is praise of Ruadbern's daring couched in the nebulous abstractions or time-worn metaphors of conventional panegyric: what Walahfrid offers is a concrete, vivid and exciting account of the dangers incurred by that enterprising follower of Louis the Pious. Much of this poem-epistle is a poignant narrative of Ruadbern's adventures, recounted in a stirring but reflective style. Repeatedly, Walahfrid seeks to imagine his subject's state of mindRuadbern's doubts, his anxieties and his grim determination in the face of hardshiprecurrently, he punctuates his narrative with expressions of astonishment and enthusiasm. Extolled with a precision and a detail rare in Carolingian encomium, Ruadbern is then assured (vv. 76ff.) of the success of his actions and the poem turns to a condemnation of disloyalty conceived as a violation of a natural order that is presented in medical imagery (vv. 90-2,). If the outward form of Walahfrid's work is identifiable as a verse-epistle, its true character defies such ready classification. For this remarkable combination of narrative and panegyrical poetry contains the seeds of something greater. At the end of 30 Walahfrid speaks, not entirely conventionally, of his enthusiasm for his great subject and of his belief that jr. deserves. to be celebrated at fuller length (vv. 95-8). That this brilliantly talented poet never lived to write an epic on the events through which he had lived and about the cause of which he was a. partisan is one of the gravest disappointments of Carolingian intellectual history. The 'personal' poetry of Walahfrid is less tied to identifiable circumstances and historical events. Undoubtedly the most famous and perhaps the finest of these works is an epigram in which. imagery of moonlight, linked by an ancient poetic tradition with love and sorcery, is employed as a symbol of friendship (29).14 Two friends who are apart are to stand in the radiance of the moon 'divided in body but conjoined by love in their minds' (v.5). In a beautiful image, which has no exact parallel in 14 The poem is admirably discussed by Önnerfors, Mediaevalia, pp. 115-18.

 



Page 38

earlier verse, Walahfrid visualises the bond that unites them, despite physical distance, as a fellowship of light: If we could not gaze upon each other's beloved face, at least let this moonlight serve as a pledge of our affection. (vv. 6-7).

The vividness of Walahfrid's light-imagery can easily blind us into a Romantic reading of his poem. Ad amicum is the imprecise attribution given the work by the St. Gall manuscript 869; de amicitia might be more appropriate, for Walahfrid's subject is not a specific individual but a general concept of friendship. The kind of amicitia which this poem evokes can overcome barriers of distance in time and place: just as the quality of closeness it conjures up is metaphysical, so its audience, for all the appearance of intimacy, remains undetermined and inexplicit by design. Superficially the most personal of his poems, Walahfrid's epigram on friendship is, in this sense, impersonal. Much of Walahfrid's writing invites comparison with the verse of Venantius Fortunatus which serves as one of its principal sources. The wit, the geniality, and the gourmandise of the polished Merovingian poet, who can compose with ready facility an engaging epigram on fingerprints left in a dish of cream or refer, with wry self-irony, to the Aeolian storms of the Aeneid in order to poke fun at his indigestion, all seem to foreshadow what we find in Walahfrid. Virtuosity, cultivated for its own sake in much of Venantius' secular poetry, is also a salient feature of Walahfrid's work, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the tone and style of the earlier author. But Walahfrid surpasses his model. Consider, for example, the account of the growth of the gourd (31) from De Cultura Hortorum, the major work of Walahfrid's maturity and the earliest detailed description of a monastic garden in medieval Latin poetry, written when he was abbot of Reichenau.15 In this miniature tour de force the full range of Walahfrid's irony is given free play. Described in a series of human similesthe lowliness of the gourd's origins, in contrast to the loftiness of its achievements (v. 95); the rapid progress of the thongs coiling about its supports and over the roofs, like girls drawing their balls of wool to the spindle (vv. 119-25)the growth of the vegetable is related with a visual exactitude that is matched in Carolingian poetry only by the writings of Theodulf: '. . . from every angle they look just as regular in shape as if you were gazing upon wood turned on a lathe, polished in the middle, and finished with a bowdrill' (vv. 127-9). Slender when they begin to grow, gourds become flabby as they ripen. When mature, 'they are all belly, all paunch'the metaphor derives much of its humour from its manifest overtones of middle-age spread. Compressed into a distinctively small compass, the wit of this passage from De Cultura Hortorum, reminiscent of Venantius and characteristic of the poem as a whole, has not stirred the interest of its critics, the majority of whom have been horticulturists. They have demonstrated that Walah15 Önnnrfors, Mediaevalia, p. 191

 



Page 39

frid's reading in the ancient authorities on this subject was wide and extensive,16 and that his powers of observation were acute. But De Cultura Hortorum is much more than 'pure gardening literature'17 or a 'cultural monument to the study of nature'18 in ninth-century Reichenau. It is an imaginative work of a high order, in which plants and vegetables, care and cultivation of the garden are presented in graphically human terms. The dense and intricate imagery of the passage discussed above is illustrative of Walahfrid's baroque fantasy, which can unite a profusion of similes and metaphors into a single coherent picture. The technique, judged in terms of exact horticultural information, is uneconomical; and there is much that is comic about the application of such self-conscious elaboration to so humble a subject. In these respects Walahfrid's writing sustains comparison with the secular verse of Venantius Fortunatus. But the ironical extravagance that is employed by Venantius fulfils a less ornamental function in Walahfrid. Gardening is only his ostensible theme: what De Cultura Hortorum truly celebrates is a good-humoured vision of the vita tranquilla extolled in its opening lines. The plants and vegetables of the poem are emblematic of a type of activity that was radically different from the bustle and agitation of Walahfrid's earlier career. Withdrawn to Reichenau after years spent embroiled in politics, the vita activa relinquished, the abbot takes up the study of horticulture and the poet makes of his garden not merely the subject of a botanical treatise in verse but an amiable image of the studious charms of the vita tranquilla. Irony and allusiveness are adopted as the suitably cultivated but unpompous means with which to express Walahfrid's refined ideal of retirement, and style is subordinated to the requirements of a form more finely integrated than anything attempted in Venantius' secular verse. The individuality of Walahfrid's writing is rivalled by the work of his friend and contemporary Gottschalk whose less contented career began in Fulda, under the abbacy of Hrabanus Maurus. Educated both there and at Reichenau, Gottschalk contrived to be released from his monastic vows by a decree of a synod of Mainz in 829, and travelled subsequently to Reims, Rome and the court of Eberhard, count of Friuli. Gottschalk's teachings on predestination19 were condemned by a synod of 848 and at the council of Quiercy in 849, and he was imprisoned in the monastery of Hautvilliers. His controversial life ended some time before 870. Both Gottschalk and Walahfrid wrote poems that have been considered autobiographical elegies on the subject of their own sufferings and exile. In the case of Walahfrid's Elegy on Reichenau (32) this description is an 16 See most recently G. Barabino, 'Le fonti classiche dell' Hortulus di Valafrido Strabone' in I classici nel Medioevo et nel

Umanesimo (Genoa, 1975), especially p. 258; and the commentary of Roccaro with bibliography. 17 G. H. M. Lawrence in Walahfrid Strabo. Hortulus, translated by R. Payne, commentary by W. Blunt (Pittsburg, 1966), p. v. 18 H. Sierp in Die Kultur der Abtei Reichenau ii, p. 756. 19 Gottschalk's theological works are examined by J. Jolivet, Godescale d'Orbais et la Trinité. La méthode de la théologie

carolingienne (Paris, 1958); his place in the predestination debate of the mid-ninth century is discussed by D. Ganz in Charles the Bald, pp. 355ff. with ample bibliography.

 



Page 40

accurate one, because his own difficulties are certainly the explicit subject of that arresting work, composed probably when Walahfrid was studying at Fulda under the abbacy of Hrabanus Maurus. Walahfrid leaves us in no doubt about the hardships he endured during his years at Fuldafrom the lack of sympathy on the part of his teachers to the goose-pimples caused by the cold. Nostalgia for Reichenau turns naturally from an expression of personal sorrow into grateful praise of that monastery. The example set by Gottschalk in Ut quid iubes? (33), a lyric which may date from c. 825, possibly influenced Walahfrid; direct dependence is scarcely demonstrable since the priority of Gottschalk's work is far from certain and since it served, at most, as an inspiration rather than a source for Walahfrid.21 The setting of Gottschalk's lyric is often taken to be Reichenau, and his poem has similarly been interpreted as an autobiographical elegy.22 But there are difficulties inherent in this approach. It is possible to reject the older view which represents the pusio invoked at the beginning of the poem as the Christ Child,23 and yet to doubt whether Gottschalk's lyric is directly related to the actual circumstances of his own career. Readings of the work now current effectively exclude anything but a literal interpretation of Ut quid iubes? The following paragraphs reconsider this problem, and point in a different direction. Gottschalk speaks of himself twice as an exile (s. 1, 4; s. 9, 1) on a sea (s. 1, 5; s. 9, 2). Whence does he regard himself as being exiled? Hardly from Fulda, a monastery which he cordially detested and from which he spent his youth energetically attempting to escape. Moreover, Carolingian autobiographical poetry, like Carolingian planctus, is historically specificwitness the example of Walahfrid, Gottschalk's contemporary, on a personal theme (32). Gottschalk's lyric is not like this. Compared with Walahfrid's work, Ut quid lubes? is imprecisely allusive, and this raises questions about the validity of biographical interpretations of Gottschalk's writing. If Gottschalk set out to compose an autobiographical poem on the subject of his hardships on Reichenau, how are his lack of precision and his allusiveness to be explained? By a tactful concern for the good opinion of his superiors which is so signally absent from every other action of his turbulent career? Or does Gottschalk's poem defy biographical analysis because its subject is less limited than has sometimes been assumed? From Gottschalk's use of the language of exile and from his allusions to the sea, it does not necessarily follow that he is lamenting his absence from Fulda or even seeking to describe his circumstances on Reichenau. 20 This poem was written in 827-9 and is therefore earlier than the extract from De Cultura Hortorum which precedes it. It is

printed out of chronological order to facilitate comparisons with Gottschalk's lyric. 21 See D. Traill, 'The addressee and interpretation of Walahfrid's ''Metrum Saphicum'' ', Mediaevalia et Humanistica N.S. ii

(1971), pp. 69-75. 22 Discussions of this lyric by Bischoff, Mittelalterliche Studien ii, pp. 26-34; Dronke, Medieval Lyric, pp. 34-6 with melody (p.

231), and G. Vinay, Alto medioevo latino (Naples, 1978), pp. 290-3 23 See Bischoff, Mittelalterliche Studien ii, pp. 33-4.

 



Page 41

Exile as a metaphor for the condition of suffering and sorrow has a long tradition in patristic exegesis, in Latin and vernacular poetry, and in the liturgy, where it is used to describe the Christian's separation from his heavenly home and the tribulations he endures as a pilgrim in this vale of tears.24 Gottschalk himself employs this metaphor elsewhere in his verse (34, s. 29, 2), and it is commonly attested in the works of other Garolingian poets, including Alcuin (10, vv. 2-3) and Dhuoda (41, v. 17). Even authors writing on the subject of physical or historical exile are lured from the literal to the metaphorical use of the term (43). The exemplum of the Babylonian captivity taken from Psalm 136 is used by Gottschalk to describe his own plight, and the exile of the people of Israel was widely interpreted by ninth-century poets, following a tradition of Biblical exegesis whose mainspring was St. Augustine's Enarrationes in Psalmos, in a similar religious sense.25 The sea on which Gottschalk describes himself as suffering has been regarded as the waters around Reichenau, but this term also appears, as a spiritual metaphor of comparable antiquity to that of exile, to describe danger, hardship and what the modern cliché calls 'alienation'.26 These complementary metaphorsof exile and of the seaare recurrent in medieval Latin prose and poetry, and they are pertinent to the under. standing of another major lyric of the ninth century which has never been elucidated (59; cf. 40, vv. 169ff.). In their Carolingian context they would irresistibly evoke religious and symbolic associations to which the liturgy gave currency (54) and to which Gottschalk's modern interpreters have proved deaf.27 Whether the actual site of Reichenau, encircled by its lake, recalled to Gottschalk ideas already familiar to him from these sources is a matter for beguiling but unprovable conjecture. What matters here is a recognition of the possibility of a symbolic reading of Ut quid iubes? Whatever the personal circumstances of this poem's composition, nothing in the text licenses us to interpret it biographically, nor do we need to do so. Gottschalk's enchanting lyric, with its progression from a playful refusal to sing belied by the song itself, the reigned self-preoccup-ation in its pleas for compassion, and its seemingly ornamental exemplum of exile and afflictionin fact a Biblical counter-point to the poet's own 24 For the liturgical evidence see Blaise, pp. 53940. For the ascetic and monastic connotations of the term see A. Angenendt,

Monachi Peregrini (Munich, 1972), pp. 127ff., 152. The symbol in Old English poetry is discussed by G. Ehrismann, Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur xxxv, pp. 213ff. and by E. G. Stanley, Anglia Ixxiii, pp. 461ff. 25 Cf. 33, ss. 5-7; 54, vv. 16ff. See Augustine CC 40, pp. 1964ff; Cassiodorus CC 98, pp. 1231-2; Jerome CC 78, pp. :295-6. 26 See Hugo Rahner, Symbole der Kirche. Die Ekklesiologie der Vater * (Salzburg, 1964), pp. 272ff. For the sea's associations

with dissimilitudo see G. Dumeige in Dictionnaire de spiritualité 22-23 (Paris, 1956), cols. 1330ff. For its interpretation by St. Augustine see H. Ronder, 'Le symbolisme de la mer chez Saint Augustin' in Augustinus Magister ii (Paris, 1954), pp. 691ff., F. Châtillon in Mélanges E. Podéchard (Lyons, 1945), pp. 85ff. and G. Vinay, Alto medioevo latino, p. 293. 27 With the exception of P. yon Moos who has some acute observations on this question at FmStud 5 (1975), P. 339, note 93.

Witty, if elliptical, remarks in Vinay, Alto medioevo latino, p. 293.

 



Page 42

affective stateoscillates between praise of the Trinity and prayer for personal deliverance. This is poetry of a different order from Walahfrid's autobiographical elegy. Gottschalk's theme is less the difficulties he experienced on Reichenau while exiled from Fulda than a condition of mind; and his poem derives much of its imaginative effect from the delicacy with which it places particular emotive detail in a symbolic setting that is never obtrusive. The result is more than 'poetry of friendship heightened to virtuoso lament';28 it is poetry symbolic of a state of sensibility in which consciousness of personal suffering vies with the duty of divine praise. It is no mystery, then, but in the nature of the text that attempts to identify the pusio to whom Gottschalk's poem is directed have proved futile. Ut quid iubes? is not destined for a friend whose name we can no longer recover. It is constructed as an address to a poetic alter ego which projects, first with tender indulgence and then with firm insistence, the opposing aspects of Gottschalk's self-division. And there is tact in this choice of form. By eschewing Walahfrid's autobiographical manner, by choosing not to speak wholly about himself in propria persona but to seem to write his poem at the behest of another whose sympathy he seeks, Gottschalk resolves his conflicting impulses into a form that makes them intelligible and attractive to his audience without incurring the charge of narcissism. To read this lyric as a type of elusive autobiography is thus to miss the point of Gottschalk's technique, for its symbolism reaches' beyond its author, and makes Ut quid iubes? one of the most masterly and moving works of medieval European poetry. The suffering and sins of man, together with God's mercy, are the central themes of Gottschalk's no less powerful work, O my guardian (34).29 Influenced by the form of an Augustinian confessio, this poem's combination of penance and prayer links the Biblical examples of the Prodigal Son and of Lazarus, directly confronting Man and God in the series of passionate invocations which dominate the text from its outset. The structure of Gottschalk's O my guardian is tripartite: in the first third the repentant sinner invokes triune God; in the second, the example of the Prodigal Son serves as an exemplum of the paternal kindness of the Creator toward His children; and the third, opening with Christ the Redeemer raising Lazarus from the dead, ends in praise of the Holy Ghost. Gottschalk's trinitarian theology is embodied in the form as well as the content of his work, and the outward contrition with which he invokes the deity is accompanied by the underlying confidence of one predestined to be among the elect.30 The emotive style of Gottschalk's prayer, rich in allusion to Scripture that is reinforced by rhyme and by an elaborate parallelism of word-position and clause-structure, underscores its repeated contrast between ego and tu. Supplication and self28 Bischoff, Mittelalterliche Studien ii, p. 34. 29 This poem is the subject of an exhaustive study by Peter von Moos, 'Gottschalks Gedicht O mi custoseine Confessio', FmStud

4 (1970), pp. 201-30; ibid. 4 (1971), pp. 317-58, upon which this paragraph draws. 30 Cf. id., FmStud 4 (1970), p. 214.

 



Page 43

accusation are the means of its progress toward an understanding of the condition of fallen man. The Biblical account of the Prodigal Son is presented both typologically and as a symbol of Gottschalk's fallen state. Like Joseph, Gottschalk prays (ss. 33-6) to return home from exilethe same scriptural metaphor employed in the lyric discussed aboveand the fulfilment of his prayer lies in strophes 37-42. Divine mercy is invoked by a human misery that is not assuaged but deepened by the due recognition of its dependence upon its maker's grace; and Lazarus who, unlike Joseph, did not make his own way to redemption but was saved by the intervention of Christ, becomes symbolic of the sinner's blindness for which the Saviour laments. Penance is accompanied by sorrow in the mind of this second Lazarus, as the work moves towards its final prayer. Only the penultimate strophe (72) holds out any hope of peace. Like the rhythmical religious verse of Paulinus of Aquileia, Gottschalk's poem arises in the context of the liturgy,31 and draws on the legacy of exegesis. But Gottschalk differs sharply from Paulinus in the degree of his imaginative identification with the sufferings of Lazarus. Where Paulinus recreates, dramatises and explains Scripture, Gottschalk relives and recasts it: Lazarus is both a Biblical figure and a symbol of his own sins and aspirations. In this forceful and individual confession of transgression and repentance, lyric and liturgy are held fast in a bond that is distinctive of the best Carolingian religious verse. The religious element predominates too in the poetry of Gottschalk's arch-enemy, Hrabanus Maurus, but individuality is hardly the hallmark of his writing. A favourite pupil of Alcuin's, Hrabanus became abbot of Fulda in 822 and archbishop of Mainz in 842, and he died in 856. A champion of orthodoxy and an implacable foe of Gottschalk's heresies, Hrabanus is best known as a transmitter of learning and as a compiler of authorities.32 A collection of twenty-eight acrostics with the title De laudibus sanctae crucis.33 provides the earliest examples of Hrabanus' poetry and, like so much of his work, it is deeply influenced by the model provided by Alcuin. Whole poems that pass under the name of Hrabanus Maurus are simply pastiches of his master's verse, and the satisfaction which he describes finding in the act of writing (36) is seldom shared by his readers. Even the famous and influential poem Veni, Creator Spiritus (35) sometimes attributed to, though not certainly by, Hrabanus relies heavily upon the model provided by an Advent hymn of St. Ambrose.34 Prayer, for Hrabanus, fulfils an entirely different function from the 31 id. ibid. 5 (1971), pp. 338ff. 32 M. Rissel, Rezeption antiker und patristischer Wissenschaft bei Hrabanus Maurus, Lateinische Sprache und Literatur des

Mittelalters 7 (Berne/Frankfurt, 1976), especially pp. 324-48. 33 The transmission and context of this collection are studied by H. G. Miller, Hrabanus MaurusDe laudibus Sancta[e] Cruces,

Beihefte zum Mlat Jb 11 (Ratingen/Kastelldaun/Düsseldorf, 1973). 34 See Rissel, op. cit., p. 322(i), H. Lausberg, FmStud 4 (1970) p. 434 and the discussion by A. Wilmart, Auteurs spirituels et

textes dévots du moyen âge (Paris, 1932), pp. 32-45. For the influence of this hymn on the vernacular see H. Gneuss, Hymnar und Hymnen im englischen Mittelalter (Tübingen, 1968), p. 430.

 



Page 44

emotionally charged and many-sided purposes it serves for Gottschalk. The conception of Hrabanus' work is static, and its pleas for light, love and deliverance are passionless. Instead of the animation of the Biblical accounts of redemption, to which Gottschalk responds so urgently; Veni, Creator Spiritus offers a bland statement of belief whose security borders on dullness. Hrabanus writes in the first person plural, not in the first person singular; and he studiously avoids the very subjectivity that gives Gottschalk's poetry its particular strength and power. In terms of the development of Carolingian poetry, it is possible to argue that much of Hrabanus' work marks a dead end; to note that when Notker, later in the ninth century, came to write on the same subject,35 his approach was entirely different and that other poets refashioned Hrabanus' work for a variety of dissimilar purposes.36 One might concede that Hrabanus dedicated verse to Louis the Pious37 as Alcuin had dedicated it to Charlemagne and that he could imitate, within a limited range, Alcuin's characteristic subjects and style, but conclude by dismissing Hrabanus on the grounds that he set no new trends himself. There is truth in this view, but it is partial, for Carolingian poetry offers no more faithful testimony to the authority of tradition than the work of Hrabanus Maurus. His stress, in 36, on the primacy of the written word of Scripture is reflected in habits of excerption and compilation and adaptation that link his poetry with his exegesis. The result, if unexciting, is none the less representative, for in the shadow cast by the position and the industry of this great name lurk a host of smaller frythe generally anonymous authors of inscriptions, hymns or commemorative verse, active in their monasteries, whose poetry is of a piece with Hrabanus' own. Derivative and dependent upon the limited means at their disposal, the work of these minor authors shares with the poetry of Hrabanus Maurus a practical ideal of erudition; an ideal that owes much to a tradition which Alcuin had contributed to create.38 Hrabanus, as poet, never attempted to be more than its conscientious continuator. Yet the imitative monotony of much of his verse offers clear evidence of the magnetism of the recent literary past and, in particular, of the preceding generation's achievements. And if we think beyond Hrabanus to the less prolific but able men for whom the composition of something so modest as a metrical epitaph in an acquired language, using the imperfect philological tools available to them, seemed and indeed was no small feat, then we grasp something of the importance and vigour of tradition for a Carolingian poet. Change and innovation are not the only signs of literary vitality. The adherence of Alcuin's principal pupil to the model of his master illustrates, in concentrated form, a phenomenon more widely diffused elsewhere. Alcuin's influence continued to be felt, in lyric and narrative 35 See pp. 65-69 and von den Steinen ii, p. 189. 36 See (e.g.) P. Stotz, Ardua spes mundi. Studien zu lateinischen Gedichten in Sankt Gallen (Berne/Frankfurt, 1972), pp. 154,

179. 37De Laudibus S. Crucis is preceded by a prose preface dedicated to the emperor. 38 Cf. W. Edelstein, eruditio und sapientia. Untersuchungen zu Alcuins Briefen (Freiburg, 1965).

 



Page 45

verse, throughout the ninth century. Authors of secular narrative poetry expanded on the example set by the poem on York, and writers of debate-poems and eclogues, of verse-epistles and acrostics were stimulated by the example of Alcuin and of other early Carolingian poets. But the reception accorded to a number of the genres that had flourished during Charlemagne's reign was very different under Louis the Pious. Narrative verse, to whose development Alcuin had made an important contribution, provides an example of this change. The only instance of this form surviving from the years 814. to 840 is a work by Ermoldus Nigellus, a Ludowician poet writing with a lively apprehension of the literary life of the preceding generation. Ermoldus, the court poet manqué of his generation, was exiled to Strasbourg for his part in the dynastic struggles of the late 820s. There he composed two verse epistles in praise of Louis's son, Pippin, king of Aquitaine.39 Much has been made of Ermoldus' attempts to regain favour by these worksnot least by Ermoldus himselfbut what has been ignored is the jocular imitation of arguments employed by earlier Carolingian authors in the first of his poems. Ermoldus had read Moduin, the gifted panegyrist writing in praise of Charlemagne and his circle of court poets in the first decade of the ninth century, and the author of a consolatory epistle to Theodulf of Orleans in his exile. Alive to Moduin's example, Ermoldus applied it to his own situation with an irony that should again make us suspicious of the traditional biographical readings of his work. The first verse-epistle to King Pippin begins with an address by the poet to his Muse. She is Thalia, patroness of pastoralan appropriate choice of deity, emphasising both Ermoldus' rustication (at Strasbourg) and the humility of his style. Here the influence of Alcuin is evident,40 and the greetings sent to the court in hierarchical order at the beginning of this work recall, in form and style and verbal echoes, the poem-epistles of the 790s.41 Ermoldus was consciously seeking to recreate the literary atmosphere of Charlemagne's court circle, and his letter continues in a similar vein. After a description of Aquitaine that takes the form of a dialogue between the personified Rhine and the Vosges, the Muse denounces the barbarism of Ermoldus' place of banishment and pleads for his restoration to favour. Pippin's ironical answer is that exile did good to a number of famous men, and he illustrates his point with the historical examples of Ovid and Virgil. The first of these instances was employed by the old man in Moduin's Egloga to caution the ambitious puer against the dangers of writing poetry (24, vv. 62ff.) and, in another work, Moduin uses it to reconcile Theodulf of Orleans to his exile.42 So too the example of Virgil had served both to argue the case of Moduin's puer for the patronage of his poetry (24, vv. 71-5) and to comfort his banished friend.43 The remainder of this catalogue of creative captivities is also directly dependent on Moduin.44 But there is little cheer in Pippin's 39 Ed. Dümmler, MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 79-91. 40 See Godman, Alcuin, p. 129 (commentary to vv. 159ff.) 41 See Dümmler, MGH, Poetae ii, p. 80, vv. 17ff. (with apparatus ad loc.) and cf. 6, 7, 15. 42 Dümmler, MGH, Poetae i, p. 571, vv. 47-8.

 



Page 46

refusal to grant Ermoldus the pardon which he seeks.45 Ermoldus envisages the failure of his own plea for patronage partly in the terms in which it was successfully acquired two decades earliertimes, the poet wryly acknowledges, have changedand partly in terms of the cold comfort given by Moduin to Theodulf, who was never released from his exileplus ça change, is Ermoldus' second implication, plus c'est la même chose. Comparably imaginative adaptations of earlier Carolingian literature are found in Ermoldus' four-book panegyrical poem on Louis the Pious. Behind the form and design of this work lies the influence of the fragmentary epic on Charlemagne written not long after 800. But even in passages which draw upon 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' Ermoldus goes far beyond his model, and in some of his detailed descriptions of actuality he proves an important historical source. Ermoldus' account of the paintings which adorned the church and aula of the imperial palace of Ingelheim, the fullest description of narrative art in all Carolingian poetry (37 (I)), has been brilliantly set in its political and archaeological context by Walter Lammers.46 Beginning on the left-hand side of the church, with a series of scenes taken from the Old Testament, moving through the paintings of New Testament subjects on the church's right-hand side, forward to the royal aula on which are depicted the events of secular history, from the earliest of world empires to the Carolingian period, with the dynasty of Charlemagne displayed on the apsis itself, Ermoldus' poem gives prominence to this vivid iconographic expression of an imperial ideal. The paintings at Ingelheim recounted by Ermoldus set the Carolingian royal family within a scheme of universal history reaching back to Creation itself, and in the hall in which Louis the Pious convened the assembly of magnates of 826 and received the homage of barbarian kings, the cruelties of heathen tyrants were contrasted with the achievements of the Christian emperors Constantine and Theodosius to whom Charlemagne was depicted as a natural successor. Almost three millennia of history and the four world empiresBabylon, Africa-Carthage, Macedonia, and Romethus provided a stage on which the Frankish imperium was displayed to those who gazed on the paintings at Ingelheim. Translated from one medium to another, the political symbolism of these cycles of painting is recreated by Ermoldus with a painstaking detail not attempted in Carolingian poetry since Theodulf's moral-didactic work on justice (16 (I)). No less politically motivated is Ermoldus' description in the same work of Louis the Pious at the hunt (37 (II)), with its swift glance at Lothar and its lingering focus upon the empress Judith and the young Charles. Ermoldus was well aware of where influence lay at court, and his account 43MGH, Poetae i, p. 571, vv. 51-2. 44 Cf. MGH, Poetae ii, p. 85, vv.. 191-6 with MGH, Poetae i, p. 571, vv. 57-64. 45Pace G. Brugnoli, 'La prima elegia a Pipino di Ermoldo Nigello', Cultura Neolatina 15 (1955), p. 137. 46 'Ein karolingisches Bildprogramm in der Aula Regia yon Ingelheim', Festschrift für W. Heimpel zum 70. Geburtstag. . .

(Göttingen, 1972), pp. 226-89 [= id., Vestigia Mediaevalia. Ausgewählte Aufsätze mittelalterlichen Historiographie, Landes- und Kirchengeschichte 19 (Wiesbaden, 1979), pp. 219-83.]

 



Page 47

of the exploits of the prince find of his mother was written with an eye to the main chance. Drawing both on Virgil and on the chase described in 'Karolus Magnus el Leo Papa' (25, vv. 137ff.), Ermoldus creates a vivid and amusing vignette of his own.47 Less is made of Aeneas' son in the hunting expedition recounted in the Aeneid (4. 129ff.) and of Charlemagne's children in 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' than Ermoldus makes of the future Charles the Bald in his poem. The boy's anxious desire to go to the hunt, restrained only by his mother and by his tutor; the miniature prey (bestiola) suited to his size and struck down by the prince afire with enthusiasm; the likeness which Virgil draws between Aeneas and Apollo (Aeneid. 4. 143-150) applied not to Louis the Pious but to his son; the deliberate play of conflicting sympathies for the frightened doe and the child's longing to imitate his father: none of this is to be found in Ermoldus' sources. Drawing on the example of Virgil and of the major epic of the reign of Charlemagne, Ermoldus fashions an encomiastic vignette which represents an unmistakable bid for favour. The point of his work does not appear to have been taken by the audience for which it was intended. Ermoldus was ignored. Poetry in the style of Charlemagne's reign was not welcome in the altered literary world of Louis the Pious. Ermoldus' contemporary, Paschasius Radbertus, abbot of Corbie (842-c. 852) and an important theologian, composed an Eclogue of Two Nuns which is attached to his Life of Adalhard, former abbot of Corbie and founder of Corvey (38).48 The poem is arranged as a lamentation sung by Phyllis, whom the preface identifies as Corbie, and Galathea, who stands for Corvey. Both names are taken from the Eclogues of Virgil. The pastoral trappings of Paschasius' poem reinforce the Christian metaphor of the shepherd as spiritual guardian which is exploited elsewhere in Carolingian Latin verse, and the eclogue-form is employed not merely as a means of 'embellishment'49 but for its elegiac and dramatic potential. When Paschasius envisages the funeral of Adalhard with the clergy singing antiphonal songs and the vulgus responding with a hymn, he describes a lament which his own poem enacts. At this level the Eclogue of Two Nuns is a ritualistic consolatio; at another it serves a more institutional purpose. The bonds between Corbie and Corvey are defined by means of the two personifications, in terms that are both mystical and familial. Galathea stands in the same relationship to Adalhard as the church stands to Christ in allegorical exegesis of the Song of Songs; Phyllis' love for Galathea is that of a daughter for her mother. Paschasius repeatedly stresses the reciprocal duties of the two foundations, lays emphasis on their common grief, and underscores the subordination of the newer monastery to the older. At the point of potential crisis following the death of Adalhard, this insistence on the harmony and the unity of Corbie and 47 Here I draw on my contribution to Charles the Bald, p. 300. 48 The poem is studied by Cooper, Pastoral, pp. 15-16 and P. von Moos, Consolatio. Studien zur mittellateinischen Trostliteratur

uber den Tod und zum Problem der christlichen Traue?? (Munich, 1971), pp. 137-46. 49 A. Cabaniss, Charlemagne's Cousins (New York, 1967), p. 15.

 



Page 48

Corvey, embodied in the form and content of Paschasius' poem, cannot but have been intended to recall both communities to their mutual dependence and to the wishes of Corvey's founder. Paschasius' ingenious use of the eclogue, matching form to theme, is only one of several new departures in poetry during the reign of Louis the Pious which can match the major achievements of the age of Charlemagne. The development of a sophisticated symbolism in the religious and lyrical verse of Gottschalk; the range and subtlety of Walahfrid's writings; the evolution of secular narrative in the work of Ermoldus Nigellusall these features of literary history under Louis the Pious require us to reconsider the conventional dismissal of the years 814 to 840 as an era of decline. Continuity is apparent in Ludowician authors' explicit debts to their Carolingian precursors, with the weight of tradition lying heavy but not moribund in the pastiche of Hrabanus Maurus. But the poetry composed under Louis the Pious does not possess even the underlying coherence and interdependence of poetry written under Charlemagne, in large measure because its authors lacked the unifying centre of the imperial court. Walahfrid Strabo's work is in many respects exceptional and isolated, and the verse epistles by a number of different writers responding to one author, which provide such revealing evidence of life at court during Charlemagne's period of rule, are largely absent from the literary history of the reign of his son. The natural focus of poetic activity between 814 and 840 ought to have been Fulda, but the clash of personality and of belief between Hrabanus Maurus and Gottschalk and the mischance that the friendship of Gottschalk and Walahfrid was never permitted by the course of their careers to develop into a real literary partnership ruled out the obvious alternative to an increasingly embattled court. Poetry' under Louis the Pious takes a course that is not dim but disrupted, nor are its limits marked by the decorous division imposed by a work such as the Bobbio planctus on Charlemagne. The transition from Ludowician poetry to that of the reigns of Louis's sons occurs abruptly, with the interposition of a body of literature that raises a protest against the brutality which was to follow. (V) Charles the Bald and his brothers The battle of Fontenoy of 25 June 841 between the armies of Charles the Bald and Louis the German, in league against that of their elder brother Lothar, was commemorated in a rhythmical poem written by a participant in this struggle called Angelbert, who was a follower of Lothar (39, s. 8). This sombre and majestic work points further in a direction taken by poetry in the reign of Charlemagne, and its combination of novelty and tradition has provoked many conflicting interpretations. For some, it is a ballad of victory,1 influenced by vernacular Germanic poetry. 1 P von Winterfeld, 'Hrotsvits literarische Stellung' 2 Mimus und Siegesballade', Archiv fur das Studium der neueren

Sprachen und Literaturen cxiv (1905). pp. 26ff.

 



Page 49

For others, it is a learned planctus2 which draws on exclusively Latinate conventions.3 Interpretations differ according to the speciality of the scholars advancing them, and they, typify the polarities between 'popular' and 'learned' literature which have been questioned earlier. Can a simple choice between these two alternatives resolve the problem of the poem's nature and origins? The Battle of Fontenoy is the work of a talented author writing in a learned language. His form is a rhythmical imitation of the trochaic septenarian metre of a famous hymn by Venantius;4 the three-line quinde-casyllabic strophes being a form frequently adopted during the eighth and ninth centuries in spiritual cantica, with the alphabetic arrangement of letters at the beginning of each strophe (A-P) employed as a mnemonic technique for public recitation. Angelbert's text draws on the Bible and on earlier Carolingian poetry. The disloyalty shown to Lothar by his generals is likened (s. 5) to Judas's betrayal of Christ, and the lamentations of Jeremiah and of Job in his affliction and the sorrow of Rachel at the death of her sons are employed to assimilate its maledictions on the battle to a Scriptural cycle of tragedy. The anguish of David in the Book of Samuel, recalled by Paulinus of Aquileia to invoke the vengeance of nature for the murder of Eric of Friuli,5 is repeated by Angelbert to express the elements' horror at a conflict which he considered a crime (s. 7, 1-2; s. 8, 1). The poet was thus working within a tradition of lament, Biblical in origin but recently adapted to secular as well as religious purposes; and he describes the occasion of the demon's triumph in a striking collocation of the Christian name for Saturdaythe day of the week on which the battle took placeand of the image of Hell's cauldron (s. 3, 1, with note). Features of The Battle of Fontenoy have been compared to Germanic poetry. The beasts and birds of prey devouring the corpses (s. 14) have been thought reminiscent of the vernacular, even though this image never occurs in the Germanic language which Angelbert's critics have assumed that he spokeOld High Germanbut must be inferred from the evidence in Old English and Old Norse. Moreover, the appearance of similar descriptions in Carolingian Latin poetry6 suggests that the), do not refer to an image originating in the Germanic literaturesor even an image at all, rather than a real feature of the grim aftermath of the battle, observed by a poet who claims to have been a participant in it. The emphasis on fidelity to one's lord and on the evil of the devil is common in many traditions and settings other than the Germanic, and 2 See H Naumann, Das Ludwigslied und die verwandten lateinischen Gedichte. Studien zur Fruhgeschichte des

germanischen Preisliedes (Halle, 1932), p. 84 and note 110. 3 See V. Capetti, 'Di alcuni caratteri speciali del "Planctus" di San Paolino di Aquileia;, Memorie sto??che forogiuliensi iii

(1907), pp. 49ff.; K. Strecker, 'Zum Rhythmus von der Schlacht bei Fontanetum', ZfdA 57 (1920), P. 180 and id., 'Zum Planctus Lotharii', NA xlv (1923). pp 360ff. 4Cam. ii. 2 ('Pange, lingua': Leo p. 27; Schaller-Könsgen, 11583). 5 Norberg. Paulinus, p. 101, s. 8. 2. 6 Radbod, MGH, Poetae iv, 1, p 165a. s. 15.

 



Page 50

their evocation by Angelbert is not sufficiently specific to justify the assumption that he relied on a vernacular source. These are the natural terms for a Christian and a loyal soldier to adopt in such a context, and their appearance in both Latin and Old High German poetry proves nothing about their priority at this date in either language.7 The situation mourned in The Battle of Fontenoythe conflict of kinsmen and the breaking of family bondsbears a resemblance to that described in the Hildebrandslied, but wholly absent from the Latin poem are the elements of mistaken identity and heroic duty integral to the tragedy recounted in Old High German. Unlike the Ludwigslied, that paean of praise which does not even name the place of the conflict it describes, The Battle of Fontenoy, is rich in personal detail that ranges from the poet's own name to the macabre image of the battlefield's whiteness with the linen garments of the slain (s. 10, 2-3). Victory, for the poet of the Ludwigslied (vv. 55ff.), is a matter for approbation. For Angelbert, Lothar's defeat serves only as a source of reproach to the emperor's followers that they had not matched his bravery and thereby restored harmony more swiftly: Fontenoy, in Angelbert's eyes, was a crime (s. 8, 1); its occasion a cause for sorrow and lamentation. This original author was not commemorating the events of 25 June 841 in the manner of a Germanic poet but employing a verse-form and style comparable to those of the encomium on Verona (22) or the panegyric on Pippin's victory over the Avars (23), in order to describe the actual events of his own lifetime. Set squarely in its Carolingian context of Latin rhythmical poetry, The Battle of Fontenoy is intelligible without analogues borrowed from the vernacular. Authors writing in Old High German on tragicheroical and historical subjects share neither the form nor the conception of Angelbert's autobiographical planctus. One of the major textual witnesses to Angelbert's work is the famous Bibliothèque Nationale manuscript lat. 1154, produced at Saint-Martial of Limoges.8 The abbey was situated in the Aquitainian domain of King Pippin, an ally of the emperor Lothar. The Aquitainian or, at least, partisan view of the dissension between the sons of Louis the Pious reflected in Angelbert's Battle of Fontenoy differs sharply from the treatment of the same subject by Florus of Lyons. Florus, a pupil of the polemical Agobard, bishop of Lyons, views the turbulence of the 840s in the light of Biblical prophecies of the Last Days. There are few autobiographical elements in his stern and admonitory Lament on the division of the Empire, (40), urging repentance on the Franks and appealing to the ideal of the empire's unity under Charlemagne.9 Nor is there any trace of regionalism. 7 On the development of the OHG comitatus vocabulary in this context see the illuminating discussion by D. H. Green, The

Carolingian Lord (Cambridge. 1965), pp. 115ff. 8 J. Chailley, L'École musicale de Satnt-Martial de Limoges jusqu'à la fin du XIe siècle (Paris, 1966), p. 134. Cf. p. 27 and note

52. This text has neumes. Variations between the texts of the three manuscripts which preserve this poem may be due to oral transmission. Cf. D. Schaller, Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters. Verfasserlexikon2 ii. 2 (Berlin, 1983), col. 357. 9 See R. Faulhaber, Die Reichseinheitsidee in der Literatur der Karolingerzeit bis zum Vertrag von Verdun (diss. hist. Berlin,

1931). For the link see H Beumann, 'Unitas EcclesiaeUnitas ImperiiUnitas Regni Von der imperialen Reichseinheitsidee zur Emheit der Regna', Spoleto . . . Settimane xxvii (1979) pp 531-71

 



Page 51

In Florus' poetry, we hear the formal tones of clerical response to the conflicts that followed the death of Louis the Pious. In the absence of human compassion, the sympathy of the elements is invoked before the spectacle of universal suffering (vv. 8ff.). Florus' apostrophe to the world about him is not dissimilar to Angelbert's (39, s. 11 vv. 2-3), save in tone and context. Angelbert appeals to the quarters of the globe to witness the barbarism of the battle in which he had fought. His vision is fixed on the pathos and the horror of that single, monstrous event. Florus' perspective is broader, both historically and morally. For him, the decline of secular unity is accompanied by a decay of ecclesiastical authority (vv. 13ff.) which is to be deplored. Nostalgia accompanies Florus' idealised description of the Carolingian realms under Charlemagne, and it is expressed with an epigrammatic vividness rare in the turgid polemic of Carolingian debate on this issue: But now that pinnacle of power, fallen from its great heights, like a garland of flowers cast down from the head, once splendid with the different scents of sweet-smelling herbs, is trodden underfoot by all, stripped of its crown. (vv. 69-72)

Like Alcuin in his elegy on the destruction of Lindisfarne (10), Florus reflects on mutability and the wrath of God. But Florus' poem has a coherent political message which Alcuin's lacks. Turning from the theme of divine chastisement to a plea for contrition and mercy that culminates in divine praise, The lament on the division of the Empire presents the events of the 84os as a fulfilment of the words of Amos and of Luke, earnestly reasserting the secular and religious standards of the past with an eloquence that has been largely ignored by modern historiography of the years preceding the treaty of Verdun.10 Catastrophe for Alcuin is a spiritual matter, to be faced with repentance and faith. For Angelbert, it is a source of sorrow and a cause for weary complaint. Florus does not rest there. He pungently reaffirms the political as well as the religious values of Charlemagne's age in the urgent tones of a reformer. Florus is combative in the thick of dissension where Angelbert is resigned in defeat. At the same time at which Angelbert was writing his lament on the battle of Fontenoy, Dhuoda, the wife of Bernhard, duke of Septimania, was composing (841-3) her Liber Manualis for her son William who had been given into the keeping of Charles the Bald as a guarantor of his father's loyalty. Dhuoda is the only woman identifiable as a writer of Carolingian poetry, and her work reflects a secular strain in Frankish culture, idiosyncratic and yet not wholly inconsistent with a pattern of literary activity which has been traced from the late eighth century. Almost all we know about Dhuoda derives from her own book. Deprived of her two sons, separated from her husband and bidden to reside at Uzès, Dhuoda wrote her Liber Manualis to serve a doubly didactic purpose. Feudal loyalty to his lord and familial loyalty to his father are enjoined upon her son William as duties analogous to faith in God. 10 See the slender bibliography in Wattenbach-Levison-Löwe ii, p 353, note 195.

 



Page 52

Dhuoda's language is studded with allusion to the Bible, and her prose, charged with an intensity reminiscent of Augustine (from the title of one of whose books Dhuoda took her own),11 often assumes an almost poetic tone. 12 The spirituality, Biblical learning and moral-didactic impulse that inform Dhuoda's Liber Manualis as a whole are reflected in the four poems included in her book. In the first of these works (41), following a dedication to her son William, Dhuoda invokes the Creator. Her petition of divine grace for herself and for her son is mingled with the elements of autobiography and personal tenderness that make her writing so distinctive.13 Ignorant, she seeks understanding from God; helpless, she implores divine aid; fervently, she commends her son to the Creator. The dutiful prayer, which begins along conventional lines, suddenly breaks into an unanticipated assertion of Dhuoda's closeness to her son: No one will ever be what I am to him, unworthy though I may be, I am his mother. (vv. 52-3)

Dhuoda is at pains not to seem possessive, and she insists that her special relation to William simply gives her a stronger title to entreat God on his behalf. But the undercurrent of anxiety is barely concealed: I am prey to many doubts that crowd in, while I feebly attempt to intercede for him. (vv. 53-6)

Writing at Uzès, with her son in the hands of Charles the Bald, effectively a hostage for his father's conduct, in the midst of the political chaos of the early 84os (v. 70), Dhuoda seeks for stability from above. There is little serenity in her prayerit moves abruptly from earnest supplication to eager thanks and, denying its own worthiness to express its doubts, it gives them a voice that is both self-confident and self-mistrusting. In the moral-didactic mirror which Dhuoda holds up to her son the most vivid reflection is of herself. In this poem, as elsewhere in her Liber Manualis, Dhuoda's Latin (or that of her copyist) veers between grammatical and morphological confusion14judged by the standards of a Carolingian court poetand a hypercorrectness15 that is often mannered and sometimes obscure. But the attempt to 'emend' her style to conform to classical standards is as misleading as the hypothesis that her language and verse-form are a species of proto-Romance.16 11 On the title Enchiridion, see P. Riché, Dhuoda, Manuel pour mon fils, Sources chrétiennes 225 (Paris, 1975), P. 12 and

note 2 12 See P. A. Becker, 'Dhuoda's Handbuch', Zeitschrift fur romanische Philologie XXI (1897), pp. 73-101. 13Cf. Georg Misch, Geschichte der Autobiographie ii (Bern, 1955), PP. 471-4. 14There is no adequate study of Dhuoda's Latin. Brief remarks in Riché, ed. cit, pp. 38ff. 15 Cf. v. 6 and note; v. 51 and note. 16 As argued by A. Burger in Mélanges . . . J. Marouzeau . . . (Paris, 1948), pp. 85-102 and see Norberg, Poésie, p. 15 and n. 26,

p. 16.

 



Page 53

Dhuoda displays to the full the modest but not negligible learning which she could muster, and her work is part of an experimental trend in Carolingian poetry which includes the Veronese writers of the late eighth century and Angelbert, author of The Battle of Fontenoy. Behind the variable syllabic structure of Dhuoda's verses. lies a liturgical model,17 and her attempt at freer rhythmical composition has its origins in chant.18 The once-conventional picture of a naïve semi-literate now needs to be replaced by the more authentic and interesting image of Dhuoda the member of this poetic avant-garde.19 Neither Dhuoda nor Florus nor Angelbert wrote verse at a Carolingian court. Their example is increasingly typical of the conditions of poetic composition in the mid- and later ninth century, including the part of Francia in which Charlemagne had made his capital. Aachen never recaptured the importance in literary life which it had occupied in the last two decades of Charlemagne's reign. In the emperor Lothar's sphere of influence several talented writers remained at provincial centres and courted a variety of patrons. The poet Sedulius Scottus, for example, wrote not only for Lothar and the empress Irmgard but also for Louis the German, Charles the Bald, and other members of the Carolingian house.20 Much of his poetry was composed in Liége, and bishop Hartgar became its chief recipient before Sedulius removed to Cologne, Metz and Italy. Middle Francia was no longer the focus of poetic activity which it had been under Charlemagne; and for Sedulius, who was acutely aware of the value of patronage, Liége had more to offer than Aachen. Sedulius Scottus was one of a number of Irish poets working on the Continent during the eighth and ninth centuries.21 Active before him at the court of Charlemagne were a group of Irishmen whose verse has never been fully investigated. 'Hibernicus Exul',22 Bernowin23 and Cadac-Andreas24 were among the scholars whom Notker in his Gesta Karoli Magni (I. I) describes flocking to Francia, and in the early ninth century25 the Irish author Colman composed the first Latin poem on St. Brigid, which transforms one of her miracles into a lyrical vignette of great charm (42), together with a gentle envoi from an elderly Irishman to his younger compatriot returning home (43). 17 See Norberg, Introduction, p. 147, note 3. 18 Ibid., pp. 136ff. 19 I am preparing a study of the rhythmical form of Dhuoda's verse in relation to that of earlier Carolingian poets. 20 A useful catalogue is provided by Penndorf, Reichseinheitsidee, p. 16, note 103. 21 For a good account of the evidence for his career see Brunhölzl, Geschichte, pp. 449-50 and R. Düchting in Die Iren und

Europa im fruheren Mittelalter ii (Munich, 1982), pp. 866-75. 22 See pp. 24-5 and 20, 21. 23 On the canon of Bernowin's (and Angilbert's) poetry see O. Schumann, 'Bernowini Episcopi Carmina', Historische

Vierteljahrschrift XXVL (1931), PP. 225ff. 24 See p. 6, n. 17. 25 Dating by M. Esposito, 'The poems of Colmanus ''Nepos Cracavist'' and Dungalus "Praecipuus Scottorum" '; JTS XXXIII

(1932), p. 118. These poems are earlier than those which precede them, and their position in this book is intended to facilitate comparison with the work of other poets of Irish origin.

 



Page 54

Of all these Scotti peregrini Sedulius Scottus has left the most varied and distinguished body of poetry.26 The comfortable cpicurean of his autobiographical sketch (44), eating and drinking with a will and snoring in his sleep, is also the author of an elegant nature-debate of the kind initiated in the circle of Alcuin. Sedulius' Debate of the Rose and the Lily (45) is couched as an interchange between these two flowers, with Spring as arbiter and the Poet as a participant. It begins in a more courtly manner than the Alcuinian Conflictus Veris et Hiemis (14). The rose boasts of its allurements and the lily, matching its claims, retorts that the rose's blush is a sign of its shame. Abuse soon follows (v. 21), and only Spring's intervention restores harmony. Human traits are attributed to the flowers, as in Walahfrid's De Cultura Hortorum, with the rose giving physical expression to its sense of pique by nipping the lily with its thorns. But there are none of the additional implications of form and style that are such pronounced features of the earlier Carolingian eclogue. Sedulius' lighter conception of idyll distinguishes his Debate from the rhetorical and political, allegorical and elegiac uses of this form in previous Carolingian poetry; and pastoral, in one of its many metamorphoses, now becomes the setting for a comedy of manners. The remainder of Sedulius' poetry is less disinterested. Much of it is concerned with housing and with sheep, and these two improbable categories are conjoined by his recurrent pleas for patronage. A poetic evocation of winter serves to introduce Sedulius' own plight (46). The harsh north wind terrifies learned grammarians and pious priests like him; and bishop Hartgar should give shelter to the Irish scholars who solicit it, for in protecting them he behaves as a dutiful shepherd to his sheep. Here the conventional Christian metaphor of pastoral care is employed, in a manner distinctive of Sedulius, to justify the poet's requests from his patron. The same idea will re-emerge pointedly in other contexts to be discussed below. In yet another plea for patronage the motif of housing appears. The bishop's palace, freshly painted, is adorned with colours more lasting than the flowers in the garden of the Hesperides (47), but Neptune washes Sedulius' home, which is darker than the labyrinth, with pelting rain. Classical allusion heightens the comic hyperbole of Sedulius' condemnation of this miserable dwelling. Unworthy of scholars like himself, it is fit only for bats and moles. Lambert, invoked in his double rô1e as patron saint of Liége and of sufferers from eye afflictions, is invited to transfer there his sightless devotees.27 This latter-day Orpheus and Virgil of Liége,28 as Sedulius styles himself, deploys a dazzling parade of allusion and irony to the humbler subject of home redecoration. The now familiar setting of Hartgar's episcopal palaceor a monastery dedicated to St. Vaast and decorated just as splendidly as his patron's residenceprovides the context for Sedulius' description of a ceremony 26 Excluded from this book are the poems in Sedulius Liber de Rectoribus Christianis (ed. Traube, MGH, Poetae iii, pp.

154-66), which I shall discuss elsewhere. 27 Düchting, Sedulius, p. 36, note 43. 28MGH, Poetae iii, p. 173. vv. 11, 20.

 



Page 55

in which monks apply the mystical longings of sacred texts to the profane subject of comradeship in drink (48).29 In a series of punson the name of Liber, god of wine, and the liberating effect of alcohol; on the moral virtue of measure and the actual measures of drinkSedulius calls on Saint Vaast as patron saint of tippling. This characteristic mixture of archness and allusion which we have traced through all three poems (46, 47, 48) appears in its most comic form in Sedulius' chef d'oeuvre, a mock epyllion on the sufferings of a wether or gelded ram (49).30 Sedulius' poem on the wether opens with an account of creation which places these beasts at the centre of the animal kingdom. The poet's devotion to them is rivalled only by the passion of a number of mythological figures which include appropriately the zodiacal sign Aries, or the Ram, who cherished Sedulius' wether with a chaste love (v. 31)inevitably, given the circumstances, for its gelding allowed him little choice. Sedulius' praise of this beast is accompanied by adulation of Hartgar, for wethersas Sedulius makes amply clear elsewhere in his poetry31were one of the bishop's chief forms of patronage. Eulogy of the beast's appearance is succeeded by a description of its adversities. Stolen by a briganda descendant of Goliath and a match for wicked Cacus (vv. 43-4)the wether and his thief were pursued by a pack of dogs. A skirmish ensued, the wether took flight, and was eventually killed by a hound swifter and more savage than the rest. To this incongruous subject Sedulius applies an elaborate panoply of classical allusion. The ram is described (vv. 47 and 52) in the standard Virgilian epithets for Aeneas. Like an epic hero, he makes a speech (vv. 65ff.) which includes a well-placed compliment to bishop Hartgar. A further dimension of parody is added by Sedulius' play on Biblical exegesisGoliath, to whom the thief is likened, was figuratively interpreted by St. Augustine and others as a symbol of the devil. The wether meeting his end among the thorn bushes recalls the ram of Genesis 22:13a figure of the crucified Christ in Scriptural commentary. But the most explicit allusions to the Bible come when Sedulius attributes to the wether a series of saintly qualities: 'it did not drink wine or cider'the virtues of John the Baptist; 'its usual supper'pastus sollemnicus (also the term for Holy Communion)'was grass'; 'it wore no splendid garments of scarlet and purple, and journeyed not on horseback but on foot.' As if to make the comic intentions of his parody a matter for no doubt, Sedulius proclaims: No liar was he, nor empty were his words, Báá or béé: mystical were his utterances!

Envisaged as a martyr following the example of Christ (vv. 121ff.), the wether is commemorated in an epitaph that sustains the humour of the 29 See Bischoff, Mittelalterliche Studien ii, pp. 66-7. 30 The poem is best discussed by R. Düchting, 'Vom Hammel den ein Hund gerissen' in Das Tier in der Dichtung. ed. U. Schwab

(Heidelberg, 1970), pp. 114-27 31 Ed MGH, Poetae iii, pp. 178-9 (II, X) and ibid. 200-1 (II, XXXVI, 4ff.).

 



Page 56

previous lines. The warm bath offered to the beast at v. 135 carries overtones of the stew-pot; the poet's solicitude, expressed in a parody of the Maundy Thursday ritual of washing the feet of the poor (an episcopal duty of bishop Hartgar), suggests at the same time preparations for dinner; and the longing for more sheep in the final lines of the epitaph combines sincere regret with a none too oblique request for further helpings. The techniques of ironical hyperbole and parody in the context of recurrent pleas for patronage are distinctive features of Sedulius' poetry, but nowhere else does he, or any other Carolingian author, achieve so ingenious a fusion of the sacred with the profane. Sheep and shepherds, poet and patron are the associated ideas on which this brilliant comedy depends, for implicit in Sedulius' poem are a notion of bishop Hartgar's pastoral duties to his protégé conceived now in metaphorical, now in pointedly literal terms. At Liége, in the midninth century, the level of literary sophistication implied by poetry of this order was equal to that of any Carolingian court. To each of the sons of Louis the Pious Sedulius addressed verse extolling his descent from Charlemagne and praising his achievements, but neither Lothar nor Louis the German nor even Charles the Baldthe muchvaunted promoter of letters32counts as the major patron of Sedulius' work.33 Sedulius wrote for several audiences, and with an eye to the main chance. In this respect his example is typical of poets active during the third quarter of the ninth century not only in Middle Francia but also throughout the Carolingian realms, including the West Frankish kingdom of Charles the Bald. The pattern of patronage under the sons of Louis the Pious, complex and unsystematic though it was, does not obscure the fact that in certain respects Charles the Bald's practiceoften represented as radically dissimilar from that of his brothers34differed from theirs less in kind than in degree. Poetry is a case in point. Charles the Bald's intellectual interests were broader than those of Lothar or of Louis the German and more verse was dedicated to him than to any of his contemporaries, but only exceptionally was he the primary patron of the poets at work during his reign. Here lies a marked difference between Charlemagne and his grandson, which can be partly explained by Charles the Bald's failure to acquire the stable headquarters that Charlemagne had provided at Aachen. Charles 32 This. subject is discussed by P. Rich,, 'Charles le Chauve et la culture de son temps', Jean Scot Érigène, pp. 37-46; R.

McKitterick, 'Charles the Bald and his library: the patronage of learning', EHR 95 (1980), PP. 28-47; and id., 'The palace school of Charles the Bald, in Charles the Bald, pp. 385-400. See further below. 33 Hartgar of Liége remains Sedulius' principal patron even if one takes J. M. Wallace-Hadrill's point ('A Carolingian

Renaissance Prince: the Emperor Charles the Bald, PBA LXIV (1978), p. 158 and note 4, P. 182) that the Liber de rectoribus Christianis (poetry: MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 154-66) was dedicated not to Lothar II but to Charles the Bald. 34 Eg. by R. Bezzola, Les Origines et la formation de la littérature courtoise en Occident 1 (Paris. 1944), PP. 195ff.

 



Page 57

waited expectantly for his grandfather's capital in vain.35 Its absence meant that authors like Sedulius Scottus were never lured from Middle Francia to become permanently resident at the West Frankish court; nor indeed were any of the West Frankish poets whose work has been used to authenticate the over-stated claim that a 'second Carolingian Renaissance' took place at Charles the Bald's 'palace school'. This dubious term, or rather a loose approximation to it, makes its most celebrated appearance in Heiric of Auxerre's dedication of his Life of St. Germanus to Charles the Bald. The relevant passage is worth citing in full: So completely has the pursuit of liberal culture become concentrated into that part of the world over which you hold sway, despising the rest, that it is in my opinion likely that it would long ago have entirely disappeared from the face of the earth, hated by lazy mortals, had it not been preserved by your full and moral influence, in whichit is as plain as the dayliberal culture has wondrously found its unique, its highest and its finest expression. And so, despite the ancient dictum 'laws have no voice among weapons', these subjects always have very great standing with you in times both of peace and of war: to such an extent that 'school' might be an appropriate name to give to a palace whose head participates daily in the scholarly no less than the military disciplines.36

Heiric asserts rhetorically that Charles the Bald's palace might be called a school, not that it was one. The context is a prose preface (which has literary conventions of its own); the tone is panegyrical; and the author is courting a patron. Heiric is not offering an account of the composition of the West Frankish king's 'palace school' but extolling Charles's personal culture and intellectual magnetism. To render the final clause of the passage cited above as 'the palace which merited the name of school because every day one might devote oneself to scholarly as well as to military exercise'37 is grossly to misinterpret it. Apex does not mean 'one', it means 'head'; and the head referred to is the head of the palatium: Charles the Bald himself, described only a few clauses earlier by the closely synonymous terms culmen and fastigium. One cannot extract a generalised account of a 'palace school' from this piece of personal panegyric directed, specifically, to the West Frankish king; nor is it even 35 Wallace-Hadrill, PBA LXIV (1975), P. 169. 36 Ita namque spretis ceteris in cam mundi partem, quam vestra potestas amplectitur, universa optimarum artium studia

confluxerunt, ut verisimile habeam iamdudum eas humanae perosas inertiae terris paenitus excessisse, nisi vestrae integritatis amplitudine tenerentur; in quo etiam unicum suae professionis culmen ac fastigium (ut palam eminet) mirabiliter collocarunt. Hinc est, quod, cum sit perantiqua sententia 'silent leges inter arma, haec tamen tam belli quam pacis tempore apud vos plurimum semper obtinent dignitatis; ita ut merito vocitetur scola palatium, cuius apex non minus scolaribus quam militaribus consuescit cotidie disciplinis . . . (MGH, Poetae iii, p. 429, 31-8). 37 McKitterick in Charles the Bald, p. 385 (my italics), following Riché in Jean Scot Érigène, p. 38 (where the reading palatium

is corrupted into palatinus).

 



Page 58

clear from Charles the Bald's itinerary38 where such a palace could have been sitedCompiègne39 is only one possibility among several. Scepticism about the existence of a 'palace school' increases when one considers the life and works of the author who is supposed to have written about it, for Heiric of Auxerre was no more a court poet of Charles the Bald than was Sedulius Scottus, who freely addressed the king in equally fulsome terms. In likening the palace of Charlemagne's grandson to a school Heiric was not offering even an idealised description, in the manner of Alcuin, Angilbert or Theodulf, of the actual setting in which he himself had studied and taught. Heiric was trained at Auxerre, Ferrières and Saint-Médard in Soissons. The subject of his Vita S. Germani was admirably suited to the cult of the patron saint of the monastery of Saint-Getmain at Auxerre in which Heiric spent much of his life, and in terms of the development of Carolingian poetry his work marks a return to the hagiographical subjects dominant in pre-Carolingian and ever more frequent in Ludowician narrative verse. Moreover, Heiric's chosen topic, like his milieu, is characteristic of the nature of poetic activity in the reign of Charles the Bald. Not from the royal entourage but from a number of monastic centres linked with the courtAuxerre, Laon, Saint-Amand, Reims, Metz and Liégepoets dedicated works to Charles the Bald, wrote about his ancestry, and praised his intellectual interests. But the Latin poetry of Charles the Bald's reign does not mark a return to even the relative unity of literary culture under Charlemagne. The circumstances in which poetry was composed and the character that it assumed continue to reflect the fragmentation of literary life under Louis the Pious. Its point of focus in West Francia was not so much the court as the king, and not only Charles the Bald but also the local religious communities, some of which exercised a wide intellectual influence, where most of the verse of his reign was written. The illusion of a 'court poetry', like that of a 'court school', is founded on the one significant exception to this pattern. This exception is given prominence by Heiric of Auxerre when, describing Charles the Bald's concern with learning, he hailed philosophy as the principal Liberal Art and spoke of the crowds of Irish philosophers migrating to the shores of Francia.40 To one of these immigrantsJohn Scottus, called EriugenaCharles granted a personal patronage which no West Frankish poet enjoyed. The king was less concerned to encourage John's verse than to foster his work in theology, philosophy and translation. But 38 C Brühl, Fodrum, gistum, servitium regis Studien zu den wirtschaftlichen Grundlagen des Konigtums im Frankenreich

und in den frankischen Nachfolgestaaten Deutschland, Frankreich und Italien, vom 6. bis zur Mitte des 14. Jahrhunderts (Cologne, 1968), pp 39-48 39 K. Nordenfalk and A Grabar, Early Medieval Painting (Lausanne, 1957)- P. 154, followed by McKitterick in Charles the

Bald. p. 394 40MGH, Poetae ili. p 429. 17-18, 24-5.

 



Page 59

because John Scottus brought to the verse he composed41 the same preoccupations which are expressed in his other writings, Carolingian poetry in the reign of Charles the Bald was to take a new stylistic direction. Between poetry and theology John detected a natural affinity: 'just as the art of poetry, by means of imaginary fables and allegorical likenesses, develops moral and cosmological interpretations to rouse human minds . . . so theology, like a poetess, employs imaginary inventions to adapt Holy Scripture to the capacities of the intellect.'42 John can make poetry serve the practical purpose of a dedication, as in the case of the poems prefatory to his Latin translation of the works of the pseudo-Dionysius, one of which is printed here (51). This loose account of the life of pseudo-Dionysius and elliptical paraphrase of the themes of his Celestial Hierarchies contains traces of the stylistic virtuosity which was to exert a powerful influence over subsequent writers.43 Grecisms and words or entire lines in Greek characters adorn John's text with an abundance unparalleled in any previous medieval Latin poet. The exploitation of this stylistic feature sets John's verse apart from the tentative efforts at macaronic composition of earlier medieval Latin authors, such as Aldhelm, who derived their grecisms from glossaries. At the court of Charles the Bald, where Greek culture and the Greek language were the rage, writing for a patron who was sensitivetoo sensitive for the tastes of some of his subjects44to the example of Constantinople, John not only responded to the intellectual fashions of his milieu but outstripped them with the same audacity which distinguishes his philosophical and theological writings from those of his contemporaries. Even in the poems prefatory to his translation of the pseudo-Dionysius, when he claimed to be no more than a beginner in Greek philology,45 John had already taken to the task with zest. Greek, which he regarded as the superior language,46 was first integrated experimentally into his Latin verse and then came to submerge it entirely. There is no more striking testimony to the intensity of John's passion for Greek than those occasions when he abandons the acquired medium of his second language and begins, however haltingly, to write complete poems in his third.47 Experimentation, reflected in the maca-tonic verse which, like Ausonius before him, John wrote to display his Hellenism and to assert his virtuosity, becomes obsession in his own Greek poetry. Homer's songs of the Greeks and Virgil's of the Trojans are repudiated 41 Little has been written on the poetry of John Scottus. To the bibliography cited below add M Cappuyns, Jean Scot

Érigène, sa vie, son oeuvre, sa pensée, (Louvain/Paris, 1933), PP. 76-8 and M. Foussard, 'Aulae sidereae. Vets de Jean Scot au roi Charles . . .', Cahiers archéologiques 21 (1971). pp. 79-88. 42PL 122. 146 B-C. Cited and discussed by P. Dronke in Jean Scot Érigène. pp 243ff 43 See M. Lapidge, 'Linfluence stylistique de la poésie de Jean Scot, Jean Scot Érigène, pp. 441ff. 44Annales Fuldanenses s.a. 876: Wallace-Hadrill, PBA LXIV (1978. p. 181. 45 See E. Jeauneau, 'Jean Scot Érigène et le grec', Archivum Latinitatis Medii Aevi XLI (1978), especially pp 13ff. 46Ibid., p 8. 47Ed Traube, MGH, Poetae iii. pp. 540-2, 545. 546: see Betschin, p 137.

 



Page 60

by John Scottus in a poem that opens with a contrast between pagan and Christian poetry, common since late Antiquity (50). But John's subject is not entirely conventional nor even primarily theological: he uses poetry, like many of his contemporaries, to make a political statement about his own times. In 858 Louis the German invaded West Francia, an act which incited widespread defections from Charles the Bald. Hincmar of Reims, Heiric of Auxerre, and others spoke out in vociferous condemnation of this act, and John's voice was raised among theirs. The rebukes which he directed at Louis the German are sharp and undiplomatic (vv. 65-78). Just as the lessons of Scripture are employed to censure the invasion (vv. 77-8), so praise of Christ turns into a paean of thanksgiving for Charles the Bald's victory; and in the West Frankish king's triumph over the upheavals of the 85os John detects a fulfilment of the teaching of Matthew. In this part of his poetic oeuvre, with its sharper and more direct style, the biting epigram on archbishop Hincmar (52), even if dubiously the work of John Scottus, may not be incongruous. For the metaphysician who devised the elaborate system of the Periphyseon was also a poet who entered boldly into the clash of politics and personalities during Charles the Bald's uneasy reign. The avid attention paid to John's philosophical and theological works, and to his translations, is sometimes denied to this aspect of his writing. To the thought and stylistic example of John Scottus Heiric responded in his ingenious six-book versification of Constantius of Lyons' Life of St. Germanus. The invocation which opens that work is a hotchpotch of ideas and terms taken from the Periphyseon, but Heiric's muddled allusions to John Scottus are not the immediate responses of one court author to another, like the reactions of early Carolingian poets to each other's productions in prose and verse.48 The pattern of literary influence in Charles the Bald's reign was less direct: transmitted from court to regional centres, it no less frequently travelled by the opposite route from regional centres to court. Heiric shared intellectual interests with Wulfad, dedi-catee of the Periphyseon and abbot of Saint-Médard during the years (862 to 865) when Heiric was also in Soissons.49 There John Scottus' treatise was almost certainly, introduced to him by Wulfad. In dedicating the Vita S. Germani to Charles the Bald in 876/7 from the monastery of Saint-Germain in Auxerre, Heiric began his poem with an invocation couched in the philosophical terms distinctive of the king's protégé, thus adopting a style calculated to receive a warm response from the patron whose favour Heiric, like John Scottus before him, was seeking. The prefaces of each of the six books of Heiric's Life of St. Germanus are composed in a number of lyric metres, and its stylistic complexity is accompanied by a sophisticated awareness of form and of genre. Heiric's 48MGH, Poetae ill. pp. 432ff.; see J Marenbon, From the Circle of Alcuin to the School of Auxerre (Cambridge, 1981), pp.

114-15 49 See R. Quadri, I Collectanea di Eirico di Auxerro, Spicilegium Friburgense (Fribourg. 1966), pp 18-24: J. Contreni, The

Cathedral School of Laon from 850 to 930. Its Manuscripts and its Masters. Munchener Beitrage zur Mediavistik und Renaissance-Forschung 29 (Munich. 1978), pp 145-6.

 



Page 61

decision to write a poetic counterpart to the fifth-century Life of St. Germanus can be set in a tradition of verse paraphrases of earlier prose works which reaches back to antiquity,50 and his poem provides an example of Carolingian revision of earlier hagiography. Heiric follows his source closely but not slavishly. His narrative is enlivened by a wry sense of humour, as in the half-ironical description of St. Germanus' asceticism (53). Heiric begins with a catalogue of the various afflictions which Germanus imposed upon himselfthe bed composed of planks and hard-packed cinders, covered with bristles, providing no support for his head. On this grim scene Constantius dryly comments: 'among these torments [Germanus] could not get to sleep for a long time' (Vita S. Germani 1. 4). Heiric wryly alters the tone of Constantius' solemn aside into the amused understatement: among all these torments who wouldn't be kept from his sleep? (v.137)

The debate between the two sides of the author's mind that followsone part telling him to get on with the work, the other enjoining him to linger over his subject (vv. 127-8)is rare in ninth-century poetry and is employed here as an instance of comic indecisiveness. The gentle irony previously directed at Constantius is now pointed at Heiric himself. The contrast which Heiric draws between the luxuries enjoyed by Germanus before his conversion and the austerities which he endured after it differs from the account of Constantius, not only in points of detail. The prose Life of St. Germanus (1, 2-4) informed Heiric that the saint had renounced his former career and had gone to live a life of asceticism, eating cinders and barley-bread, drinking only water, and dressing like a monk. On this simple framework Heiric erects an elaborate account of the fine wines, delicate dishes and elegant garments which he imagines Germanus had given up. The self-denial of the saint is magnified by contrast with his past self-indulgence, and in an enthusiastic catalogue of Germanus' hardships Heiric loses track of what he has related about Germanus' bed only a few lines before and portrays him sleeping on the earth (v. 165). Paraphrase gives way to free invention as Germanus becomes the focus of an expansive series of contrasts between luxury and asceticism. Among all the verse hagiography of the ninth century, Heiric's Vita S. Germani combines the liveliest sense of poetic form with the sharpest wit. A more sombre impulse inspired the moral-didactic poem On Sobriety written by Milo of Saint-Amand (809871/2) and presented by his nephew Hucbald (c. 840-930) to Charles the Bald c. 875. This memorable pair produced some of the most curious poetry of the Carolingian period. Hucbald is the author of a work on baldness, the so-called Egloga de 50 Discussion and bibliography in Godman, Alcuin, pp. lxxviiiff.

 



Page 62

Calvis, every word of whose 146 hexameters begins with the letter c.51 His uncle Milo wrote on the subjects of sobriety, which he regarded as the principal virtue, and of the vices that opposed it. Stimulated by the Anglo-Saxon Aldhelm ( 709) and by the fourth-century poet Prudentius, Milo turned to an allegorical account of Scripture viewed in the light of this theme. Where Prudentius and Aldhelm had presented their moral-didactic subjects as a struggle between the virtues and the vices, Milo takes the sin of gluttony as the common factor in a long succession of allegorical interpretations of the Old Testament that represent the most sustained and single-minded piece of poetic exegesis attempted in Latin since late Antiquity. In his preface to this daunting work Milo offers an arresting piece of autobiography. Describing how inspiration descended upon him as he listened to the brothers singing in church (54), Milo recalls that the psalm being chanted on that occasion was number 136the very text which Gottschalk employs as a Biblical counterpoint to his own plight in Ut quid iubes? (vv. 16ff; cf. 33, s. 7. 5-6). The exile of the people of Israel was immediately associated in Milo's mind with the spiritual exile of Man since the Fall, and from there it was but a step to allegorising the Babylonian captivity as the suffering and temptations faced by Christians in this vale of tears. The process of thoughtfrom Scripture to allegoryis more straightforward than Gottschalk's but the two authors draw on the same ideas. The preface of Milo's On Sobriety reminds us of a form of association that contributed to the creation of Ut quid iubes?, natural to the clerical audience of both poems, without which neither can be understood today. Milo also composed a Life of St. Amand whose second edition was similarly dedicated by Hucbald to Charles the Bald. One of Charles's sons had been abbot of Saint-Amand; two of them had been educated there under Milo; and the king, like his father, had enriched the monastery with revenues and lands. In this sense the dedication of Milo's Vita S. Amandi is a gesture comparable to the presentation of splendid Biblical codices to Charles the Bald, and reflects the links between royal patronage and cultural life in Saint-Amand.52 But the audience for which the Vita S. Amandi, like Milo's poem On Sobriety, was first intended was the monastic community of Saint-Amand itself. So too Heiric's Vita S. Germani was written for the abbey of SaintGermain at Auxerre, just as the versified genealogy of the Carolingian house, composed at the beginning of Charles's reign and misleadingly called Carmen de exordio gentis Francorum,53 51 Ed. P. von Winterfeld, MGH, Poetae iv. pp. 267-71; see K. U. Jäischke in Rheinische Vierteljahrsblaitter 34 (1970), PP.

208-18 and Godman in Charles the Bald, p. 303 52 See R. McKitterick, EHR xcv (1980), pp. 42ff. 53MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 141-5. This is presumably the same work referred to by McKitterick (art. cit.) as 'one hundred and forty

five hexameters' [the poem has 146] 'on the origin of the Frankish nation . . .' which she cites (p. 32, note 4) from MGH, Poetae iii, p. 145remarkably, since that is part of Traube's edition of poetry by the archpriest Samson. The text described by McKitterick as the work of 'an anonymous chronicler who wrote for Charles in about 855 a Carmen de Exordio Gentis Francorum' (p. 32) and edited by Bouquet in his Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France [not: Recueil . . . de l'ancienne Gaule, art. cit., n. 5] 11, pp. 663-4 is not the same poem but the prose Chronica regum Francorum (Wattenbach-Levison-Löwe v, p. 512, n. 72). I cannot conjecture a secondary source which

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 63

reflects the interests of the church of Metz. These literary products of regional centres were dedicated to Charles the Bald in order to court his future patronage and to demonstrate the salutary effect of what had already been received. But Charleswith only one exceptionwas the recipient rather than the instigator of most of the verse addressed to him. The primary impulse behind the predominantly hagiographical, historical and moral-didactic poetry of Charles the Bald's reign is a local one; and this in turn accounts for much of its diversity. Court poetry, in the sense of verse composed in the royal entourage and reflecting the interests of the king in the manner in which the works of early Carolingian poets reflect the interests of Charlemagne, is attested during Charles the Bald's lifetime only in the writings of John Scottus. However zealously Charles's poets might compare him to Charlemagne, the locally inspired, principally religious verse of his reign has closest affinities with the poetry of Louis the Pious's period of rule. In this area of Carolingian literature there is a greater continuity between the developments of 840 to 877 and those of the years immediately preceding them than the rhetoric of dedications to the West Frankish king, repeatedly likening him to his grandfather, might suggest. Charles the Bald was more of his father's son than he, or his poets, cared to admit. (VI) The later ninth century The later ninth century witnessed the disintegration of the empire under internal pressures and external threats. The poetry of these turbulent years reflects something of the consequent divisions and tensions, and yet it is one of the most fruitful and inventive periods of the entire Carolingian age. The siege of Paris by the Viking army and the incursions of 885-6 and 896 were commemorated by Abbo of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, author of the first major historical narrative poem since Ermoldus Nigellus. Abbo's 'hermeneutic' style, which cultivates grecisms and glossary words,1 is often convoluted and obscure, but his poem combines a serious and impassioned tone of moral outrage with a mounting sardonic humour. Abbo reports or invents the grim jibe which the defenders of Paris, after pouring boiling oil from the walls of their city on to the heads of the unsuspecting Danes, threw after their fleeing adversaries: 'Run quickly to the waters of the Seine, where your hair will be restored and more elegantly coiffured!' (55, vv. 105-6). Even more absurd exaggeration is employed to recount the exploits of Abbo's unconventional martial hero, Ebolus, the abbot of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Skewering seven men with (Footnote continued from previous page) might account for these confusions, since both Wattenbach-Levison-Löwe and Manitius (Geschichte I. p. 599) are perfectly clear. 'Carmen de Exordio Gentis Francorum' is dated c 844. (See O. G. Oexle, FmStud 1 (1967), pp. 250ff.). The Chronica regum Francorum dates from 855. 1 Sec M.L W. Laistner in Archvvum Latinitatis Medii Aevi 1 (1924). pp. 27-31; D R Bradley in Classica et Mediaevalia 28

(1967). pp. 334-56.

 



Page 64

a single arrow (sic), Ebolus orders them to be conveyed to the kitchen (v. 110). Heroic hyperbole gives way to slapstick in this most grotesque of culinary metaphors. But there is also an admonitory and political element in Abbo's writing. His apostrophe to Francia, with its graphic picture of luxury and moral corruption, is written from a standpoint which is exclusively West Frankish. The larger perspective of the old Garolingian empire is entirely absent from his poem; and in its place he substitutes a specific personification of the kingdom that was to become France. The admonitory tradition of Carolingian political poetry in which the Bella Parisiacae Urbis stands is now adapted to the not dissimilar aims of a poet writing in one of the embattled Frankish kingdoms. In this 'fragment of a former empire', whose dissolution had been deplored so vehemently by Florus of Lyons (40), the legacy of earlier Carolingian poetry was pressed into the service of Abbo's particularist polemic. Like the epic, the nature poetry of the late ninth century also marks a development from the work of earlier Carolingian authors. A poem on a swallow (56) by Radbod, bishop of Utrecht (899-917), examines the ethical analogues between man and nature in a manner that is reminiscent of the style and structure of Alcuin's lyric on his nightingale (13). Radbod's poem opens obliquely, its riddle-like description of the attributes of the swallow leading gradually to an identification of the bird in terms of an etymology made current by Isidore (56, vv. 11-14). Linked first with the movement of the seasons and then with the will of God, the measure of the swallow's excellence is simultaneously an index of Man's superiority by virtue of his faith, reason and intellect. Natural imagery is integrated by Radbod into a conception of lyric that is metaphysical and moralistic, as the swallow becomes a symbol of the points of correspondence between the divine and natural worlds. To dismiss this poem as a mere rhetorical exercise 'tricked out with erudition and aimed at edification'2 is implicitly to evoke a Romantic divison of lyrical from didactic verse that is alien to the ninth century. Like Alcuin before him, Radbod was writing in a Carolingian tradition of nature-poetry that takes much of its point from its ability to blend these two categories in true symbolic harmony. The flowering of the sequence, one of the finest of all medieval poetic forms, occurs late in the Carolingian period. The sequence is an arrangement of half-strophes, musically and syllabically parallel, based on a principle of progressive repetition. The earliest extant evidence for this form, which was to have an unbroken tradition throughout the Middle Ages, derives from the first half of the ninth century. Even the earliest sequences which survive were set and sung polyphonically, and their intimate connection with the liturgy may not preclude a link with secular 2 Curtius. p. 159

 



Page 65

and vernacular song long before this date.3 The acknowledged master of the sequence-form was Notker 'Balbulus' (912), a monk of St. Gall, whose artistry is the subject of a full and sensitive study by Wolfram von den Steinen. The existence of a poet whom we can name and date, and whose oeuvre of forty poems, organised liturgically for the Church year, survives in a subtly unified collection known as the Liber Hymnorum, is exceptional in the early history of the sequence. Most examples of this form from the Carolingian period are anonymous, and in their precarious transmission the monastery of Saint-Martial at Limoges, which has already appeared as an important centre in the survival of rhythmical poetry, played a crucial rôle.4 One of the reasons for the exceptionally secure textual basis of Notker's work is the relative immunity which St. Gall enjoyed from the political turbulence of the late ninth century. Far from the unstable eastern frontier and protected from both Norman and Saracen incursions, the monastery had taken a new lease of cultural life under Gozbert, abbot from 816 to 837, a period which witnessed a boom in the production and illumination of manuscripts together with the building programme adumbrated in the famous plan of St. Gall.5 The monastery during Notker's lifetime had close connections with Charles the Fat and with the abbey' of Fulda; and Notker's choice of the sequence-form may reflect West Frankish and Lotharingian influences.6 The genesis and descent of Notker's work thus reflect a cultural tradition in St. Gall that was strengthened by external contacts at a period of great internal vitality. It is often said, following yon den Steinen, that Notker never prays for anything; that prayer to him is a disinterested affirmation of faith. Nor does the apparent serenity of his poetry diminish the depth and complexity of thought which lies behind it, as is evident from the dense fusion of imagery achieved in a sequence which Notker composed to be sung on the Feasts of Holy Women (51). 3 The vernacular affinities of the sequence are discussed by P. Dronke in 'The beginnings of the sequence', Beitrage zur

Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur 87 (1965). pp. 43-73-Dronke's arguments for the existence of a tradition of sequence-composition antedating the earliest extant evidence are persuasive; his discussion of the links between the Latin sequence and vernacular song requires careful re-examination, as does his use of the 'St. Michael sequence falsely attributed to Alcuin. Recent studies of the sequence are by R. L. Crocker, The Early Medieval Sequence (Berkeley/Los Angeles/London, 1977) and S. F Ryle, 'The Sequence-reflections on literature and liturgy'. Papers of the Liverpool Latin Seminar (1976). pp. 171-82 4 See pp. 27. 50. The importance of St. Martial in this connection is stressed by H. Spanke, Studien zu Sequenz, Lai und Leich

(Darmstadt, 1977). pp. 1ff., 107ff. . J. Chailley, L'Ecole musicale de Saint-Martial de Limoges jusqu'à la fin du Xléme siècle (Paris, 1960) passim; and Bischoff, Mittelalterliche Studien ii, pp. 26ff. 5 The best study of the development of the monastery in Notker's lifetime is by yon den Steinen, I, pp. 13ff. On the plan of St.

Gall see W. Horn and E. Born, The Plan of St. Gall: A Study of the Architecture and Economy of and Life in, a Paradigmatic Carolingian Monastery. 3 vols. (Berkeley, 1979) with the incisive review of P. Meyvaert, University Publishing 9 (1980). pp. 1819 6 Discussed by Crocker in The Early Medieval Sequence, although many of his conclusions should be regarded with caution.

 



Page 66

Drawing on details presented in an account of two dreams experienced by the virgin Perpetua before her martyrdom in 203 A.D. (ss. 1-6), Notker's poem depicts a ladder stretching up to heaven, guarded by a dragon and an Ethiop, with a radiant young man bearing a golden bough at its top. The imagery of the dragon and the Ethiop coalesce into a vision of Christ's triumph at the Harrowing of Hell, and the radiant young man becomes the Lord in majesty (ss. 5-6). Eve's sins, annulled by Mary, are now associated (ss. 7-8) with this vision; and God's challenge to Job is fulfilled by Christ (ss. 9-19). But the vision of heaven which Notker's poem offers is not the starting-point for praise of Perpetua or for celebration of the Virgin Marythe customary subjects of earlier sacred songs. The figural associations of suffering and redemption at the beginning of the poem are now linked to the less spectacular struggles of the righteous, and the victory of Perpetua and the triumph of Mary find their parallel in his own day in the accomplishments of virtuous women (ss. 11ff.). Such is the view of Notker's work given us by two fine critical readings of this poem.7 Yet they leave unanswered a number of perplexing questions. Why did Notker draw on the Passio Perpetuae? The Latin recension of this work is rare in the early Middle Ages,8 and no other Carolingian author displays such distinctive debts to it. If Notker was attempting to associate 'the Perpetuas of this world' and 'Everyman',9 why then does he never mention Perpetua by name? An unidentified allusion to the Passio Perpetuae is hardly comparable to a borrowing from the Bible or from a well-known classical author which might be understood by a cultivated clerical audience in a setting far removed from its original context. Perpetua's account of her martyrdom, given its limited diffusion in the Carolingian period, required an identification which Notker does not supply. And a further complication is introduced by the fact that the subject and tone of Notker's poem could hardly be more different from those of the Passio Perpetuae. This impassioned Montanist text,10 inspired by an apocalyptic conviction of the imminence of the Last Days 'that no human convention or punishment would deter, and no earthly loyalty could shake'11 is not obviously compatible with Notker's serene emphasis on the virtues of everyday wives and mothers. The selectivity with which the poet draws on the Passio Perpetuae suggests that he was alert to this fact. It is noteworthy that Notker never describes the sufferings or the martyrdom of Perpetua. His poem simply fuses two of her dreams: the one of a ladder, guarded by a dragon, mounting up to heaven; the other of the defeat of 7 Von den Steinen i. pp 408ff. and Dronke, The Medieval Lyric, pp. 41-4 8 C. N. J. van Beek, Passio Sanctarum Perpetuae et Felicitatis (Nijmegen, 1936). pp. 104ff. The ninth-century St. Gall

manuscript 577 contains the Latin Passio. 9 Dronke, p. 4310 On the Montanist character of the Passio Perpetuae see T. D. Barnes, Tertullian (Oxford, 1971). PP. 77ff. 11 W. H C. Frend, Martyrdom and Persecution in the Early Church (Oxford. 1965). p 365

 



Page 67

an Ethiop.12 The tramplings underfoot of such foes are Christian metaphors for vanquishing the Devil, amply attested in a Scriptural, liturgical and poetic tradition much older than the Passio Perpetuae.13 These metaphors for the crushing of evil, actualised in Perpetua's dreams, express her longing for martyrdom.14 Notker, returning to the metaphors of which Perpetua's dreams are fashioned, with them set out to create something new. For Perpetua Notker substitutes ordinary, even flawed, womenwives, mothers and whores. He celebrates a visionary quality of heroism triumphant over evil by means of metaphors borrowed from the Passio Perpetuae, but without reference to Perpetua's own deeds. Nor does Notker mention the fantasy that she became a man in her quasi-erotic struggle with the Ethiop, although 'manly' qualities of the female saint had been stressed by St. Augustine (Sermones 280-2) and others when they described her achievements. What Notker chooses to develop instead is a second and different strand in Augustine's thought on Perpetua. Augustine cmphasises that Perpetua was 'not just a woman but a wife . . . and mother',15 and in doing so he draws attention to the aspect of Perpetua's experience about which Perpetua herself says least. She never refers to her husband by name, nor does he once appear in her Passio. Perpetua's most intense relationship is with her father, whom ultimately she rejects in what has been called 'a political act against her environment'.16 It is this crucial aspect of Perpetua's experience which Notker chooses to alter. Drawing on the Passio Perpetuae, he consciously writes its antithesis. Notker's poem celebrates the very familial virtues which Perpetua herself repudiated. After recalling the metaphors of which Perpetua's dreams were composed in his poem's dream-like opening, Notker leads us to a real world of everyday experience whose achievements, if less sensational, arc no less spiritually impressive than those of the late antique martyr. His poem is not written in indiscriminate praise of 'the Perpetuas of this world or Everyman',17 for the theme of Notker's sequence is much more daring. Instead of Perpetua he praises Everyman, and celebrates the extraordinary qualities in the ostensibly commonplace virtues of holy women. In Natale Sanctarum Feminarum, not In Natale Sanctae Perpetuae, is the pointed title of this work, for there is independence of mind in Notker's choice of subject. This sensitivity to the human dimension of faith, set in a figural and biblical context, is further expressed with superb restraint in Notker's 12Passio 4. 10 edited and translated by H. Musurillo, The Acts of the Christian Martyrs (Oxford, 1972). PP 110, 118 13 See F. Dolger, Antike und Christentum iii (1932). pp. 117-18, and E. R. Dodds, Pagan and Christian in an Age of Anxiety

(Cambridge. 1965). esp. p. 51. 14 See Perpetua's own interpretation. Passio 10.14. p. 118. 15PL, 38, col. 1281 (my italics). 16 M Lefkowitz, Heroines and Hysterics (London, 1981), p. 58. and cf her valuable discussion ibid. pp 53-8. See too M L. von

Franz in C G. Jung, Aion (Zurich, 1931), pp. 389-495. 17 Dronke, ibid., p 43

 



Page 68

Rachel-sequence (58). From the stark account of Rachel's sorrow at the death of her sons in the Gospel of Matthew, Notker creates a lyrical lament. The Massacre of the Innocents, which is the occasion of Rachel's sorrow, is also treated in another of his poems,18 but the assured and triumphant thanksgiving for the murdered children's heavenly reward in that work is alien to the contrasting and ambiguous tones of Notker's planctus on Rachel. The planctus opens with a voice questioning Rachel's grief. To her sorrow it responds not with solemn words of consolation but by teasingly recalling her beauty. It won her favour with Jacobhe would not have liked her bleary-eyed sister (Leah of Genesis 29:17)and tears do not suit her loveliness (1-6). Rachel answers in anguish for her son who would have protected her and provided for his brothers (7-10). With gentle sternness a voice replies in the message of Notker's sequence on the Massacre of the Innocents: 'grief is misplaced, for the dead intercede for you with God in heaven.' The Rachel-sequence, with its lack of any introductory strophe or formal coda, is unusual in ninth-century poetry. Many of its distinctive features of form and style remain unexplained, partly because Notker is deliberately inexplicit. Composed entirely of direct speech, the poem never makes it plain who is speaking. Is the voice of strophe 11 the same one which opens the sequence, replying to Rachel's laments first in a jocular then in a firmer tone? Or is it rather an inner voice, adopting the sterner accents of conscience? There is no foundation in the text for the notions, frequently canvassed, that it is Joseph himself or an angel who seeks to console Rachel at the opening of this planctus. Is it not possible that Notker declines to attribute the voices to identified speakers because what he wishes to present is the contrasting positions of a dramatic interior monologue? Notker's poem dramatises not just the lamentations of Rachel, but the grief of any maiden at the loss of her loved ones.19 Both the particular and the general religious meaning of his work are heightened if we imagine it being performed, in its natural context of the Mass, with parts taken by two or three unspecified voiceswithout their being identified as those of Rachel and her consoler(s). While the words sound anonymously from the void, human suffering is invested with the dignity of Rachel's affliction; the example of the Bible is charged with personal significance; and the path to consolation is pointed as it were from within. Then the dramatic moment passes, brief and vivid. At this point, reflection begins. The figural associations of Rachel with Mary and with Ecclesia, the Christian Church, as opposed to her sister Leah or Synagoga, the Jewish church, of the lost son as Christ and of his foolish brothers as the sinners for whom the Church grieves, and of the consolation found for the human 18 Ed. von den Steinen 11. p. 18 19 I agree here with P Dronke, Poetic Indvviduality in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1970). p. 141 and note 1.

 



Page 69

Rachel in the Redemption just as it is found for earthly Ecclesia in the intercession of heavenly Ecclesia underlie Notker's text and magnify its spiritual significance. But Rachel and Ecclesia are not equated, as yon den Steinen20 and others have alleged, for the subtlety of Notker's lyric does not lie in a straightforward version of symbolism. Figural associations follow the attitudes of suffering and sorrow, humour and consolation that are first enacted in human terms. If the opening of Notker's sequence on the holy women has a dream-like complexity, his Rachel sequence is doubly compelling for its dramatic simplicity. Notker's mastery of this form is rivalled only by one early author of sequences. Who he was we cannot tell, for his work is preserved anonymously in the oldest collection of sequences from Saint-Martial in Limoges.21 In Clangam, filii or the 'Swan-Sequence' (59) a swan, trapped at sea, laments her inability to fly away, and her beautiful song has received a bewildering variety of radically different readings. For a medieval copyist of this text, it was an allegory of Man's fall from grace. For Bruno Stäblein and others it is a late ninth- or early tenth-century poem based on an older melody; the literary descendant of a ritual lament of Germanic origin for a prince or a hero.22 In my view, it is the medieval and not the modern interpretation which hits nearest the mark. The planctus of the swan in Clangam, filii has nothing in common with the ritual grief for the hero of Beowulfthe context which Stäblein invokes. Animal imagery is absent from the lament in which Beowulf is mournedif we are to look for parallels for what the Old English poet relates, they lie not in the Swan Sequence but in the ceremonies at the death of Attila recounted by Jordanes or even in Homer's account of the lamentation for Patroclus.23 Heroic verse is not the context of Clangam, filii, nor has it any close affinities with beast poetry in the Germanic vernaculars at large. It was Hans Spanke who pointed the way to a truer reading of this text when he noted its resemblances to the liturgical sequencethe a-assonance of the halfstrophes and the brief doxology24-and (one might add in view of these connections) the opening invocation filii. Moreover, Clangam, filii is a lyrical lament which draws on imagery that is strikingly religious. Bird-imagery is frequently attested in patristic exegesis, Carolingian moral-didactic thought and vernacular poetry to represent the activities of the mind ranging in thought across sea and land. The tradition reaches from Ambrose and Augustine to Alcuin and the Old English elegies 20 i, pp. 399ff 21 Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale 1240. See J. Chailley, L'École musicale de Saint-Martial de Limoges jusqu'au XIc siècle (Paris,

1960), pp. 79, 316. 22 'Die Schwanen-Klage. Zum Problem Lai-Planctus-Sequenz', Festschrift G. Fellerer zum sechzigsten Geburtstag. ed. H.

Hüschen (Regensburg, 1962), pp. 491-502 and cf. Dronke, art. cit, pp. 54-5, note 36. 23Beowulf 3169ff., Jordanes, Getica c. 49: Homer, Iliad 24. 16ff. See C. W. Macleod, Homer, Iliad, Book 24 (Cambridge. 1982),

p. 86 (ad loc.). 24Studien zu Sequenz, Lai und Leich, ed. U. Aarburg (Darmstadt, 1977). P. 110.

 



Page 70

inaccurately called The Wanderer and The Seafarer.25 Furthermore, the soul is likened to a bird in the Dialogues of Gregory the Great (iv. 10) and in Boethius' Consolatio Philosophiae (IV, prosa I and metrum I). In the Vita S. Gregorii Magni, written by a Whitby monk between 704 and 714,26 the soul of Paulinus of York is represented as ascending to Heaven in the form of a swan. The swan in Clangam, filii is trapped on the sea and in exile (4b). These are the same Christian metaphors which Gottschalk employs to construct his poetic symbol of a suffering and alienated condition of mind. Caught among the close-packed waves, the swan gazes down, unable to soar to the heights. The antithesis mortifera-supera is again explicitly Christian, and the contrast it evokes is between Heaven and earth, immortality and death. The fish upon which the swan longs in vain to feed recall the apostolic metaphor of Mark 1:7 and Matthew 4:9 also employed in the liturgy.27 The swan prays for light, with its spiritual connotations of revelation, in contrast to the darkness in which she finds herself,28 and, with the coming of dawn, she rises up rejoicing among the starssymbol of heavenand flies to dry land. This progression from the darkness of night to the light of dawn is symbolic of the winning of redemption by the individual soul in a wide range of exegetical and liturgical sources: Clangam, filii dramatises what Church Fathers such as Gregory the Great discuss.29 The consistently metaphorical and liturgical connotations of the imagery of the Swan Sequence make it clear that this text is not a species of Parliament of Fowls avant la lettre. The final summoning of other birds to divine praise and the religious doxology complete a spiritual poem that draws upon a fund of Christian symbolism made accessible by exegesis and by the liturgy. The resemblances between the allied images of birds and the soul, of flight and thought, of exile and the sea in vernacular verse such as The Wanderer and The Seafarer and in Latin poetry can now be understood in terms of their debts to these common sources. But what sets the Swan Sequence apart from The Wanderer and The Seafarer, with their abrupt shifts from a lyrical to an admonitory style, and distinguishes it from the allegorical poem known as The Phoenix, doubtfully attributed to Lactantius, is the unparalleled harmony of form and imagery in Clangam, filii. Like Gottschalk in Ut quid iubes?, the poet speaks in a borrowed voice. He does not 'cry out the lament of the swan', but cries out in the swan's lament, the adoption of the ablative (ploratione una) indicating the assumption of her symbolic persona. With equal imaginative tact, the swan's lament is conducted in isolation, as a kind 25 I draw in this paragraph on the excellent remarks of P. A M. Clemoes, 'Mens absentia cogitans in The Seafarer and The

Wanderer' in Medieveal Literature and Cwilisation: Studies in Memory of G M Garmonsway, edd. D. A. Pearsall and R A. Waldron (London, 1969), pp. 62-77. esp pp. 64-9. 26c. 17- See B. Colgrave, The Earliest Life of Gregory the Great . . . (Kansas, 1968). p. 100 with p. 150, note 68. 27 See Blaise. p 305. 28 References p 105 s.v tenebrae. 29 See commentary ad loc.

 



Page 71

of interior monologue, perfectly suited to express the inner processes of the soul. What appears at first to be the swan's speech is later revealed as her silent thoughts (7a). She invokes light and the winds to drive away the night (6a-6b). When dawn comes it is not in a cloud-burst of sunlight, but in a breeze that enables her to regain her strength, for the operation of grace is gradual. The swan flies rejoicing into the skies, soars over the seas and, singing sweetly, comes to dry land (8a-9a). Only when she arrives are the other birds summoned to call out in praise of God (9b-10): the process of achieving redemption is a solitary one. Spanke was right to propose a liturgical context for the Swan Sequence, and the medieval copyist who interpreted it as an allegory of the Fall (and, one should add, of the Redemption) understood it better than many of its later readers, for the poem takes its imagery, its meaning, and its conditions of performance from this Christian ritual. Of all the many 'children of the liturgy', as von den Steinen called the sequence,30 Clangam, filii is most intimately bound to its mother. The clerical milieu in which the Swan Sequence was composed and the non-learned traditions which enter and extend beyond it continue to be bridged in the verse of the late Carolingian period. The song of the watchmen of Modena (60), a hauntingly beautiful lyric written in the final decades of the ninth century,31 descends to us in a state of interpolation, and the poem's character is correspondingly hybrid. It fuses the legend of the capture of Troy by the Greeks and the story of the geese's prevention of the storming of the Roman Capitol, based on Virgil, and supplemented by detail from the 'greater' Servius, with an invocation of Christ, the Virgin Mary and St. John in whose honour a chapel was consecrated at Modena on 26 July 881. Literary allusion and contemporary actuality mingle in this text, and assume a form which the opposing categories of 'popular' and 'learned' poetry once again do not adequately describe. For Novati33 and others the poem which survives is a literary remaniement of a popular song composed by a cleric in his cell as he listened to the echo of the chant of the garrison on the city walls of Modena. A less Romantic interpretation is more probable. Traditions of liturgical vigils were observed by the ninth-century Christians of Modena, as they had been observed by the early Christians in the catacombs, and this ritual was complemented by traditions of vigiliae murorum, or watch-keeping on the city walls, familiar to both clerics and soldiers.34 At the end of the ninth century the defences of Modena were strengthened against the mounting Hungarian incursions, prayers for delivery from which are preserved in the manuscript in which the lyric is transmitted. The context 30 Id., 'Die Anfänge der Sequenzdichtung IV', Zeitschrift fur schweizerische Kirchengeschichte 41 (1947). p. 144 and cf. P.

von Moos, FmStud 5 (1971), p. 350 Is it merely coincidence that the poem of Notker's with the rubric Cignea (von den Steinen II, p. 20) invokes the redemptive power of Mary? 31 A detailed and imaginative interpretation of this text is provided by A. Roncaglia, 'Il ''Canto delle scolte modenesi'' ', Cultura

neolatina 8 (1948), pp 5-47, 205-22. 32 Roncaglia, art. cit., pp. 9ff. 33 F. Novati, Le Origini della letteratura italiana (Milan, 1926), p. 156. 34 Roncaglia. pp 25ff.

 



Page 72

of The song of the watchmen of Modena is therefore not exclusively literary, and its invocation of the Virgin Mary and St. John is far from being a gratuitous interpolation. Their inclusion was a natural one when, each night, the garrison assembled in the chapel of S. Maria and S. Giovanni at the city walls to invoke divine protection for the city, and the poem was chanted by the officiating clergy, accompanied by the watchmen. Neither 'popular' nor 'learned', neither 'ecclesiastical' nor 'secular', The song of the watchmen of Modena is one of several places where these parallel streams in Carolingian poetry reach a point of confluence. The origins and setting of a poem of greater complexity than The song of the watchmen of Modena are more intractable. Behind Waltharius (61), an anonymous epic on the theme of the escape from the court of Attila the Hun by Waltharius and Hiltgundson and daughter of the Aquitanian and the Burgundian kings, lies an ancient legend, possibly of Visigothic-Aquitanian origin. Waltharius, the masterpiece of early medieval Latin epic and narrative poetry, has often been associated with the Carolingian period, and the question of its dating continues to stimulate fierce scholarly debate. One enters this controversy at one's peril, and yet the problem cannot be shirked. If Waltharius was written in the ninth century, as many have thought, then our judgment of Carolingian poetry must take this into account. If Waltharius is an Ottonian work, then our assessment of what was possible in the literature of the ninth century must be modified accordingly. The following paragraphs make no claim to solve the problem. Economy allows them only to adumbrate a number of literary and historical considerations which will be argued in detail elsewhere. There are two extremes of opinion on the date of Waltharius: the first assigns it to the early or mid-ninth century;35 the second attributes it to Ekkehard I, abbot of St. Gall (c. 900-973).36 The earlier of these two dates has been challenged in a number of recent studies;37 the later one has never been rebutted, although some of the grounds on which it is based have been eroded by time and scholarship. Yet even the partisans of Ekkehard I have acknowledged the numerous affinities of Waltharius with ninth-century verse. If the poem does belong to the tenth century, it is by far the most Carolingian of all Ottonian narrative poemsa point that has been argued principally on grounds of style. The cautious formulation of Karl Strecker'everything points to the Carolingian rather than the Ottonian period'38highlights this difficulty in its deliberate imprecision. Extracts from Waltharius appear near the end of this book, because if it is Carolingian, then it is in my judgment late-Carolingian, and fits best in a period of transition such as the final decades of 35 Dronke, Barbara, pp. 66-79; A. Önnerfors, 'Die Verfasserschaft des WalthariusEpos aus sprachlicher Sicht', Rheinisch-

Westfalische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Vortrage, G. 236 (Opladen, 1979). 36 Notably K. Langosch, Waltharius: Die Dichtung und die Forschung (Darmstadt, 1979). On Ekkehard see now P. Stotz in Die

deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters. Verfasserlexikon II (Berlin, 1978-) 447-53. Cf. also H. Haefele, ibid. 455-65, on Ekkehard IV. 37 R. Schieffer, DA XXXVI (1980), pp. 193-201 and D. Schaller MlatJb 18 (1984) pp. 63-83: K. Langosch, ibid., pp. 84-9 38MGH, Poetae vi, 1, p. 2.

 



Page 73

the ninth century or the early decades of the tenth. Why then has Waltharius been compared with earlier Carolingian poetry? Secular epic is rare in the ninth century. The two poems to which Waltharius has been likened most frequently are 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' and Ermoldus' In Honorem Hludowici Pii.39 But neither of these works is truly analogous to Waltharius. 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa', as Dieter Schaller has recently demonstrated,40 is not a complete epic at all but the surviving third book of a lost larger whole which shares with Ermoldus' poem a predominantly panegyrical purpose. Both these works celebrate the achievements of the emperors of their own day. Actuality is of their essence. They are political poems, set squarely in the events of the early ninth century, and as such they differ fundamentally from Waltharius. Waltharius treats of a theme which was already of considerable antiquity when its author set about writing. His work is set in the distant past of the Germanic invasions. Like the Beowulf-poet, he selected a subject which was designedly archaic and presented it with a sophistication that is difficult to measure by the linear methods of literary history. Nor is it a mere coincidence that views on the dating of Beowulf41 are at least as divergent as opinions on the dating of Waltharius. Gifted poets writing on legendary themes are notoriously difficult to pin down in the absence of compelling external evidenceand this is what first distinguishes Waltharius from 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' or Ermoldus' work on Louis the Pious. These two early Carolingian poems are inextricably bound to their own time and place. To liken Waltharius to such political panegyrics in narrative form is as misleading as it would be to place the Old English verses on the battle of Maldon in the same category as Beowulf. In this connection the nebulous misnomer 'epic' can only obscure differences between two genres of poetry which are cognate but distinct. These points of dissimilarity which divide historical and panegyrical verse such as 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' or In Honorem Hludowici Pii from Waltharius, a sustained epic on a legendary theme, are further reflected in their structure and in their style. It is possible to take a passage of 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' or of Ermoldus' poem on Louis the Pious and to compare it with a similar description in Waltharius. All three authors write with skill and ingenuity; none of them slavishly follows his sources; and each of them is imaginatively indebted to the Aeneid and to Virgil's later imitators, as the examination of comparable scenes taken from each work can show.42 But stylistic analysis of a single vignette cannot yield an adequate or representative account of 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' or of Waltharius, because it places undue emphasis upon individual passages and ignores marked dissimilarities in the larger structure, as well as the theme and subject, of these works. 39 Extracts from these poems appear as 25 and 37. 40Aachener Epos, passim. 41 The discordia is conveniently assembled by C. Chase (ed.), The Dating of Beowulf (Toronto, 1981). 42 Cf. Dronke, Barbara. pp. 78-9.

 



Page 74

'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' is seen to best advantage in its vignettes, as is natural in a poem whose character is panegyrical. What it exhibits in incomplete form is displayed at full length in Ermoldus' work. The four books of In Honorem Hludowici Pii are rich in individual episodes but poor in unifying design. If we select a passage from Ermoldus's poem and set it beside the passage of 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' which served as its source, or beside the Aeneid, upon which the earlier Carolingian poem also draws, we can detect a pattern of interdependence and creative adaptation. But if we attempt to place any given episode from these poems on Charlemagne and Louis the Pious in their place in the structure of the work as a whole, the coherence falters, the pace flags, and it is plain that the interest of this declamatory poetry lies in the rapid succession of encomia and descriptions with which it attempts to dazzle its audience.43 Considered as attempts to write court panegyric on a major scale, both 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' and In Honorem Hludowici Pii are accomplished works of art. Judged as sustained narrative, they are much less successful. Episodic and digressive, they jolt from one purple passage to the nexttheir very discontinuity is a mark of the difficulties encountered by early ninth-century poets in their rare attempts to construct an independent narrative in verse. It was with reason that most Carolingian authorseven Walahfrid Strabo, who clearly felt the attraction of secular narrative poetrychose to adhere to the pre-existing model of older prose works. They provided a model upon which ninth-century poets could build. Narrative verse composed without an older counterpart in prose develops only gradually in the early Carolingian period, not because there was a dearth of learned or talented authors to write it or because developments in literary history move in predetermined patterns but because the context in which secular and historical poetry on an extended scale was needed and could fulfil its proper, panegyrical, function was the court. Only in the circle of Charlemagne was this kind of poetry actively encouraged; Ermoldus' attempt to write in the style of an earlier age failed to achieve its object; and none of the sons of Louis the Pious provided the conditions in which court poetry, along the lines of 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' or In Honorem Hludowici Pii, might flourish. In the monastic context of later Carolingian literature, moral-didactic and hagiographical narrative verse naturally continued to be written. But neither the literary products of these local centres nor the court panegyric of the early ninth century offers anything that will bear comparison with the splendidly integrated structure of Waltharius, which now demands attention. Waltharius opens against the grand background of Attila's expanding empire. The poet moves swiftly to an account of the Huns' conquest of the Burgundians and the Franks. That his work was not intended for a Frankish audience or at least for a readership aware of the self-image of the Franks seems scarcely credible, for it stresses the legendary Trojan origin of the Frankish hostage Hagan (61 (I), vv. 27-8) and voices the fear of Heiric, king of the Burgundians, at the prospect of Attila's onslaught by 43 Cf Godman, Alcuin, pp xcff.

 



Page 75

means of an unfavourable comparison of his people's courage with the celebrated valour of the Franks (vv. 56-63). The recurrent themes of Frankish historiography are employed by the Waltharius-poet to lend dignity to the Franks even in their ancient defeat. The first of the poet's many subtle touches of irony occurs when the Burgundians sue for peace. Attila receives them in tones of self-righteousness so grandiloquent that they have generally been taken on their own terms: The Huns prefer to rule in peace but reluctantly suppress with arms those whom they see are rebellious. (vv. 69-70)

But the condescension here contains a none too implicit threat. Attila has come as an invader. The Burgundians are not rebels because they are not yet his subjects. The Hunnish conqueror arrogates to himself moral as well as military superiority, placing his victims at a double disadvantage. The Aquitanians are the next to capitulate, their king echoing in his speech the reasons given by the Burgundian Heiric for surrender (vv. 86-91). Attila takes Waltharius, son of the Aquitanian king, to his court as a hostage together with Hiltgund, the Burgundian princess to whom Waltharius was betrothed in childhood. Both children distinguish themselves in the royal service and win the favour of Attila and his queen. Attila attempts unsuccessfully to secure Waltharius' loyalty by offering him a bride, but the young man refuses, mindful of his bond with Hiltgund. Returning from a successful campaign, Waltharius encounters her in the scene printed below (61 (II), vv. 215ff.).44 Waltharius is welcomed by the palace servants who run eagerly to greet him. He hastens past, his shortness with them explained in an apologetic parenthesis, distinctive of the courtesy and the speed which inform this scene, and comes upon Hiltgund. Suddenly the pace changes. Waltharius' haste gives way to an unsuspected romantic hesitancy. He drinks the wine Hiltgund brings him in order to quench his thirst, and she stands in silence watching him. The thought of their betrothal in both their minds is introduced in another swift parenthesis which makes explicit to the reader what remains unclear to both the characters. Waltharius attempts to draw her out; but Hiltgund interprets his allusions to their engagement as ironical. Her pride stung, she rebukes him. Seeing her uncertainty, Waltharius replies with a reassurance. This moment in Waltharius has been compared with Paul the Deacon's account of the action of Authari, the Lombard prince, who, on deciding to be betrothed to Theudelinda, daughter of the Bavarian king, ran his hand over her face when she offered him wine, before she knew that he was to be her husband. Theudelinda's shock and embarrassment are described at Historia Langobardorum III, 30. Her offering of wine to Authari 44 This scene has been admirably discussed by H. J. Westra, MlatJb 15 (1980), pp. 51-6; a number of points of dissent from

his interpretation are presented in the next paragraphs.

 



Page 76

has been interpreted as a parallel to Hiltgund's similar action, and Waltharius' drinking has been regarded as a 'symbolic claiming of the bride'.45 But the tone of these two passages is markedly different. Authari is brash, even insolent; Theudelinda bewildered and abashed. What Paul the Deacon recounts is a flaunting of social custom: the Waltharius-poet is less clear-cut. Emphasising the uncertainty of external attitude and action, he achieves a masterly portrayal of the lovers' hesitancy by the technique of implication. Waltharius resorts to periphrasis, attempting to draw Hiltgund out.46 He does not speak of his engagement to her or of his plans to escape: he refers more obliquely to their exile and to their parents' plans for their future (vv. 230-4). Hiltgund is uncertain of his sincerity. She reflects that he may have spoken per hyroniam (v. 235), and she voices her mistaken apprehension in a tone that contains an underlying plea for reassurance. Waltharius replies sapienshis shrewdness here is a mark of sensitivitywith a declaration to which Hiltgund can accede. The quality of irony at this point in the poem depends not only on a recognition by the reader of the discrepancy between what each of the characters says and what he or she thinks but also upon the hints in both Waltharius' and Hiltgund's words of their own tentativeness and ambiguity. The delicacy of this scene is distinctive of the best of the Waltharius-poet's art, and it is without parallel in Carolingian poetry. Divine love is a recurrent theme of ninth-century narrative verse, but of human love there is hardly a trace and of romantic sentiment there is nothing at all. For anything remotely comparable to what we find here in Waltharius we must attend the emergence of romance in the eleventh century and the world of the Ruodlieb. Another aspect of the art of the Waltharius- poet is illustrated by a scene which occurs after the escape of Waltharius and Hiltgund from Attila's court. Waltharius provides a splendid banquet at which all the Huns get hopelessly drunk. The lovers profit from their captors' stupor to take to flight as they have planned in advance. Hiltgund's apprehension at the whispers of the wind or the cries of the birds is graphically recounted as the poet describes that journey, and against this background Attila wakes, appears with his head in his handsone of the earliest descriptions of a hangover in medieval Latin poetry (cf. 16 (II))and gives voice to impotent fury at Waltharius' disappearance (61 (II), vv. 358ff.). Attila's grandiose gestures of grief only emphasise his comic ineffectuality. He rends his garments, and is racked by a divided mind, as the Aeolian storms churn up the sands (v. 384). The allusion here is to Virgil, Aeneid 5. 791, a passage adapted by Venantius Fortunatus to describe his indigestion (Carm. 7. 14-31). This adaptation of the Aeneid suggests that the comic potential of Virgil's line had been recognised by a writer earlier than the Waltharius-poet, but it does not require us to imagine the audience of Waltharius simultaneously recalling both the original context and its 45 Westra, art. cit., p 54. 46 Ibid, pp. 54ff.

 



Page 77

Merovingian parody.47 The subjectsthe indigestion of a gourmet and the indecision of a world-conquerorare radically disparate, and the comedy of Wltharius depends upon a recognition of the solemnity of the epic style being altered but not pilloried in the manner of Fortunatus. In Wltharius Virgil's heroic simile is applied to the unheroic action of Attila with twofold irony, for everything he does or says is overstated. But Attila is not absurd in the way that Venantius portrays himself as being with amiable self-depreciation. The Waltharius-poet, here as elsewhere, operates with a technique of implication that is subtler than Venantius'. To reduce his allusion to mere parody is to diminish its humour. Attila goes on to promise his followers great wealth if they will pursue Waltharius: 'Oh, if anyone would bring me that runaway, that Waltharius, bound like a mangy bitch I'd soon clothe such a man in twice-smelted gold, from all sides I'd load him down with gold and, as I live, bar his way with talents from all sides.' (vv. 402-7)

This speech is of a different tone and tenor from what immediately precedes it: 'against the phrases of conflict and anticlimax, with their strongly disjunctive syntax, he sets a threefold variant on the notion of a reward, that amounts inexorably to a climax. . . the picture of a barbarian prince in the fullness of his might.'48 This is eloquently expressed, but not quite what the poet says. Attila makes his high-sounding offer of reward for Waltharius' capture and return but not one of his followers will accept it: In so great a kingdom there was not one prince, duke, count, knight or squire . . . who . . . would dare to pursue angry Waltharius . . . Nor was it in the king's power to persuade any of his men to accept on these terms the wealth he had promised. (vv. 408-9, 413, 417-18)

Attila's flamboyant speech has no effect. None of his followers will do what he wishes. What the Walthariuspoet shows us here is not 'a barbarian prince in the fullness of his might' but a mere tyrant, his bombast deflated, reduced to utter ineffectuality. And against this setting of uproar and thwarted purpose Waltharius and Hiltgund quietly effect their escape: travelling through a silence which favoured their journey. (v. 401)

The aims of the Waltharius-poet cannot be equated with a ramifying 47 As suggested by P. Dronke in Classical Influences on European Culture A.D. 500-1500, ed. R. R. Bolgar (Cambridge,

1971), p. 161. 48 Dronke, art cit, p 162

 



Page 78

parody of Christian heroism, as some have attempted to portray them,49 for very different forms of poetic technique are present in each of the scenes considered above. At one level we see Attila condescending to those whom he is about to conquer as though they had always been his subjects, at another the mistaken apprehensions of Waltharius and Hiltgund as they declare their love, and finally the fecklessness of the world-conqueror while his fearful captives pass from his grasp. As the poet's focus shifts from one part of the work to another, the effect is to make us simultaneously aware not only of different strands of action but also of different qualities of perceptionthe half-concealed threat in Attila's unctuous claims, the timorous uncertainty that lies in Hiltgund's rebuke, the double absurdity of the king's grandiloquence and inaction after Waltharius's disappearance. By juxtaposition of contrasting attitudes and actions and, above all, by a sustained technique of implication, the Waltharius-poet unobtrusively draws his reader into his work and elicits from him a kind of complicity through his growing recognition of the co-existence of its different levels of meaning. This is a technique entirely different from that of the narrative poetry of the early Carolingian period. Explicitness is a virtue in panegyrical verse; in moral-didactic and hagiographical literature it is a necessity. Just as the Waltharius-poet eschews their choice of historical or religious subjects, so he avoids their direct and often discontinuous style of exposition. Drawing upon earlier Carolingian poetry and upon the sources which it adapts, the author of this legendary epic creates with consummate mastery a form of epic poetry of which no early ninth-century writer had dreamt. No single work marks the end of Carolingian poetry, but an account of its development finds a natural conclusion in the five books in verse written between 888 and 891 about the deeds of Charlemagne by an anonymous Saxon author. 'Poeta Saxo' based his work on the annalistic and biographical sources for Charlemagne's reign,50 and his poem contains a powerful testimony to the enduring reputation of the member of the Carolingian dynasty who did most to foster learning and letters. 'Poeta Saxo' speaks of the deeds of Charlemagne's forefathers, celebrated in vernacular poetry, and he asserts that the emperor's achievements surpass even those of the greatest figures in Roman history (62 (I)). Neither Caesar nor Pompey can equal Charlemagne; in Heaven he keeps company with Constantine and Theodosius' and enjoys the fame of Davidthe emperor's greatness is presented by this Saxon poet in the very images which Charlemagne himself had ohosen. But 'Poeta Saxo' goes beyond received and conventional ideas. He visualises the converted Christian people on Judgment Day appearing before the throne of Christ, led by their respective apostles (62 (II).)51 In the company of Saints Peter, 49 D. M. Kratz, Mocking Epic, Waltharius, Alexandreis and the Problem of Christian Heroism (Madrid, 1981), pp. 15ff. 50 The best study of 'Poeta Saxo's' sources is by J. Bohne, Der Poeta Saxo in der historiographischen Tradition des 8.-10.

Jahrhunderts (diss. hist. Frankfurt-am-Main, 1965), (with bibliography). 51 See Bischoff, Mittelalterliche Studien iii, pp. 253ff.

 



Page 79

Paul and Matthew appears Charlemagne at the head of the Saxons for whose conversion at the point of the sword he had been responsible less than a century earlier. No trace of recollection of the massacre on the Weser of 782 when, according to the royal Frankish annalist, 4,500 Saxon rebels were put to death at Charlemagne's command: what matters to 'Poeta Saxo' is the martial and moral example provided by the famed emperor whom he urges King Arnulf to imitate.52 There are few more moving tributes to Charlemagne than this celebration of his achievements by a Saxon poet drawing on a Carolingian literary tradition which the emperor had done so much to promote. (VII) The poetic tradition 'Poeta Saxo's' sense of tradition, like that of many of the authors of Carolingian poetry whose work has been explored in this Introduction, takes its impetus from the reign of Charlemagne. The burst of literary activity at the end of the eighth century and in the first decade of the ninth made an enduring impact to which subsequent poets both consciously and unconsciously responded. The genres of Carolingian poetryfrom the verse epistle to the eclogue, from lyric to narrative verseexploited in different contexts during the later ninth century owe much of their vitality to an earlier phase of intense creativity which the circles of Alcuin, Theodulf, Angilbert and their successors had helped to stimulate. The literary ambitions of subsequent poets were formulated, time and again, in terms of the forms and conventions revivified and invented by early Carolingian authors, themselves refashioning the poetic heritage of classical and late antiquity and of the early Christian era. All these writers were employing the medium of an acquired languageone rich in allusion to the Bible, to the liturgy and to profane as well as religious literature. Their linguistic as much as their literary achievements cannot be divorced from a context of adaptation and transformation of inherited material. To speak, in this connection, of 'the invention of medieval Latin'1 is an absurdity, for 'Carolingian Latin'in the area of poetrynever existed as a distinct or coherent entity. The images of refurbishment, renewal and re-creation of the past so often employed by the authors considered in these pages accurately represent a sense of tradition, reaching back eight centuries and extending forward to their own days, from which even the most daring and original of their works are indivisible.2 Within this tradition, experimentation and individuality are amply attested. In rhythmical poetry, in particular, we can trace a series of 52 Cf. Penndorf, Reichseinheitsidee, p. 154 1 R. Wright, Late Latin and Early Romance in Spain and Carolingian France (Liverpool, 1982), pp. 104ff. 2 Cf. the acute remarks of G. Orlandi, Spoleto . . . Settimane XXVII (1979), pp. 807-8.

 



Page 80

attempts to write on contemporary themes in an idiom as actual to the audiences for which this verse was intended as the subjects which it treats. The development of secular narrative poetry with a panegyrical and political purpose is accompanied by the evolution of a body of lyric verse, dramatic in conception and subtly allusive in its symbolism, which has a place among the finest achievements of the Latin Middle Ages. The sophistication of literary form in a work such as Walahfrid's De Cultura Hortorum, or in the poetry of Notker, all point to new developments within a medium that could be adapted to formal commemoration or personal elegy, could be sung in the mass or recited publically at court. Antitheses such as 'learned' or 'popular', 'traditional' or 'original' are of doubtful pertinence to this body of literature which often encompasses them both, and the consequent abandonment of these polarities brings with it a sobering recognition of the interdependence and complexity of allegedly distinct forms of poetic composition in the eighth and ninth centuries. No single formula or simple conclusion can be admitted at this preliminary stage of a fuller investigation. But if the term 'renaissance' has any meaningin the sense of a revival of literary activity and of a creative return to the models of antiquitythen it can scarcely be denied to the rich diversity of Carolingian poetry. A case has been made for the stature and the interest of this body of literature, in the study of which so much remains to be done; and further explorers, equipped only with this imperfect chart, will find qualified comfort in Heiric of Auxerre's rueful remark: Incepisse aliquid iam pars est quantula facti. (To have begun something is already a part, however small, of completing it).

 



Page 81

I Charlemagne and the New Age The great Charles, after capering all over Europe, reaping heads and laurels alike with his long sword, after strangling, blinding or mutilating three-quarters of the Saxon world and thus obtaining the respectful submission of the rest, was taking a short rest at last with all his trophies round him. He was at Aix-la-Chapelle, a city as justly famed for its holy relics as for its needles. All was going well with his vast Empire. The wise Alcuin was busy bathing his dirty subjects in the sacramental waters of baptism, cutting off their red beards and long nails, and opening to a few the treasuries of an inexhaustible wisdom; he was sweetening the lips of others with the honey of the Word, or instructing them in grammatical roots, or teaching them that the same goosequill which speeds an arrow can also serve for writing. The happy Emperor spent his days with little to do except count the eggs his chickens laid, play with his daughters and his elephanta gift from the Calif Arounand track down guilty murderers and bandits on whom he imposed a small fine while those of his subjects who ate meat on Fridays or were caught spitting after Communion were hanged from the branches of trees. (Emmanuel Royidis, Pope Joan, translated by Lawrence Burrell)

 



Page 82

              1. Paul the Deacon               Verba tui famuli, rex summe, adtende serenus,                       Respice et ad fletum cum pietate meum.               Sum miser, ut mereor, quantum vix ullus in orbe est,                       Semper inest luctus tristis et hora mihi.               Septimus annus adest, ex quo nova causa dolores              5                       Multiplices generat et mea corda quatit.               Captivus vestris extunc germanus in oris                       Est meus afflicto pectore, nudus, egens.               Illius in patria coniunx miseranda per omnes                       Mendicat plateas ore tremente cibos.              10               Quattuor hac turpi natos sustentat ab arte,                       Quos vix pannuciis praevalet illa tegi.               Est mihi, quae primis Christo sacrata sub annis                       Excubat, egregia simplicitate soror.               Haec sub sorte pari luctum sine fine retentans              15                       Privata est oculis iam prope flendo suis.               Quantulacumque fuit, direpta est nostra supellex                       Nec est, heu, miseris qui ferat ullus opem.               Coniunx est fratris rebus exclusa paternis                       Iamque sumus servis rusticitate pares.              20               Nobilitas periit, miseris accessit egestas.                       Debuimus, fateor, asperiora pati,               Sed miserere, potens rector, miserere, precamur                       Et tandem finem his, pie, pone malis.               Captivum patriae redde et civilibus arvis,              25                       Cum modicis rebus culmina redde simul,               Mens nostra ut Christo laudes in saecla frequentet,                       Reddere qui solus praemia digna potest.               2. Peter of Pisa               1. Nos dicamus Christo laudem genitoris unico,                       mundi legitur librorum qui creator paginis,                       cuius fine clemens venit liberare perditos.               2. Ante saecula qui natus paterna substantia,                       ut salvaret quos creavit, carnem nostram induit                       et innumeris ostendit virtutem miraculis.               1. Text: Neff, pp. 53-5; Schaller-Könsgen, 17090; Introduction, p.9. 3. Cf v. 22.               5-7. In April 776 the uprising of Arichis of Benevento was suppressed and Paul's brother               taken captive; this poem was therefore written in or after May 782, shortly before Paul               joined Charlemagne's court circle (Introduction, p. 9 and O. Bertolini, in Karl der Grossei,               p. 630).               20. rusticitas in its material and social sense as opposed to nobilitas (v. 21).               26. culmina = 'roof', 'dwelling' (Neff, p. 55 ad loc.) or possibly 'high rank' (v. 21).

 



Page 83

              1. A plea to Charlemagne               Listen with serenity, highest of kings, to the words of your servant,               look upon my tears with kindness.               I am more unhappy, and with reason, than almost anyone in the world;               for me there is always mourning and hours of sadness.               For seven years now a violent change has been creating               many anxieties and has broken my heart.               For so long my brother has been a captive in your land,               desolate and disheartened, naked and needy.               In our homeland his poor wife goes begging for food               by the highways and byways with trembling lips.               By this shameful means she brings up four children               whom she scarcely manages to cover with rags.               I have a sister, an excellent woman of simple character,               dedicated to Christ from her earliest years, who sits in wait,               endlessly giving voice to her grief at a similar fate;               she has almost lost her sight through crying.               Our furniture, meagre though it was, has been stolen,               and there is no one, alas, to lend us help in our wretchedness.               My brother's wife is debarred from what he inherited               from our father and we are reduced to the lowly level of slaves.               Our noble station has perished; want dogs our miserable steps.               We should have suffered a harsher fate, I admit,               but do take pity, powerful ruler, take pity, we pray               and, of your kindness, at last put an end to our sufferings.               Return the captive to his homeland, to the lands that are his by right,               and restore his house and modest property as well,               so that our spirits may sing forever in praise of Christ               who alone can bestow just rewards.               2. To Paul the Deacon               1. Let us speak in praise of Christ, only-begotten son of the Father,                       who, as we read in the pages of books, is the creator of the world,                       and has come in His mercy at the world's end to free lost souls.               2. Born before time from His Father's being,                       He took on human flesh to save those whom He had created                       and revealed His power in countless miracles.               2. Text: Neff, pp. 59-62; Schaller-Könsgen, 10559; Introduction, pp. 9-10. The poem in               which Peter of Pisa, writing in the persona of Charlemagne early in 783, hails Paul the               Deacon's linguistic achievements with ironical exaggeration is one of the earliest instances               of poetic rivalries in the royal entourage. On Paul's actual knowledge of Greek see notes               to 3, s. 6. 1-3 below.               1-3. The prayer to Christ which opens the poem in solemn religious style prepares the               way for the mock-solemnity of Peter's praise of Paul.

 





Page 84

              3. Rupit tartara calcato draconis imperio,                       cuius mors terrarum orbem vastabat invidia,                       vinctos diu paradysi perduxit ad gaudia.               4. Qui te, Paule, poetarum vatumque doctissime,                       linguis variis ad nostram lampantem provinciam                       misit, ut inertes aptis fecundes seminibus.               5. Graeca cerneris Homerus, Latina Vergilius,                       in Hebraea quoque Philo, Tertullus in artibus,                       Flaccus crederis in metris, Tibullus eloquio.               6. Tu nos gestu docuisti exemplorum credere,                       quod amoris agro nostri plantatus radicitus                       tenearis nec ad prisca cor ducas latibula,               7. cum grammaticae Latinis fecundare rivulis                       non cesses nocte dieque cupientis viscera,                       partiumque ratione Graecorum sub studio,               8. haec nos facit firmiores doctrina laudabilis                       vestra de permansione, qua fuit dubietas,                       quod te restis nostrae cinxit nec dimittit anchorae.               9. Credimus post Graecam, multis quam ostendis, regulam                       te iam doctis traditurum Hebraeorum studia,                       quibus ille Gamalihel doctor legis claruit.               10. Magnas tibi nos agamus, venerande, gratias,                       qui cupis Graeco susceptos erudire tramite.                       Quam non ante sperabamus, nunc surrexit gloria!               4. Peter of Pisa had been active before Paul's arrival at the Frankish court, and this               emphasis on its provincialism and cultural torpor contains a pointed irony about Peter's               own work. Self-deprecation veils a jibe at the cocksure newcomer.               5. Peter alleges that Paul knows the tres linguae sacraeLatin, Greek, and Hebrew (best               discussed by Berschin, pp. 30-1)and selects examples of famous authors in all three               languages. Homer was not read in the original, although his name was adopted as a               pseudonym by Angilbert (Introduction, p. 6 and 6, v. 9 with note ad loc.). Knowledge of               Greek in the circle of Paul and Peter was limited (Berschin, pp. 136-7). Philo was known               in the West only in Latin translation. 'Tertullus' has never satisfactorily been identified;               the allusion may be to the orator of Acts 24:1 (cited by Alcuin as the representative of the               'judicial class' of oratory; cf. W. S. Howell, The Rhetoric of Alcuin and Charlemagne (Princeton,               1941), p. 72). If so, Peter's allusion to the man who abused Paul the Deacon's saintly               namesake may contain a latent insult. Although early Carolingian poets made little use of

(Footnote continued on next page)

 

page_84





Page 85

              3. He smashed Hell, treading underfoot the dominions of the dragon                       whose weapon, death, was devastating the world with hatred,                       and led those who had long been in chains to the joys of paradise.               4. He sent you, Paul, most learned of poets and bards,                       to our back-water, as a shining light with the various languages                       you know, to quicken the sluggish to life by sowing fine seeds.               5. In Greek you are an acknowledged Homer, in Latin a Virgil,                       in Hebrew a Philo, Tertullus in the arts. You are deemed                       a Horace in metre and a Tibullus for your eloquence.               6. You have taught us by the example you set to believe                       that you stand firm-rooted in the field of our love,                       nor does your heart yearn for its former dark lair,               7. since by day and night, with streams of Latin grammar,                       you ceaselessly fertilise the hearts of those who wish to learn,                       and this your praiseworthy teaching of the parts of speech               8. in the study of Greek reassures us that you will remain here,                       which once we had doubted, since we have roped                       and anchored you firmly and will not let you go.               9. I believe that after explaining the rules of Greek to many pupils                       you will then provide those you have taught with a course in Hebrew,                       the subject in which Gamaliel, the teacher of the law, won fame.               10. Let us thank you greatly, venerable Paul, who wish                       to teach your protégés in the ways of Greek.                       Now the glory for which we had not dared to hope has arisen! (Footnote continued from previous page)               either Horace or Tibullus in their own works, both the Ars Poetica and the entry 'Albi               Tibulli Lib. II' figure in the list of books available at Charlemagne's court, drawn up by               members of Peter's and Paul's circle and containing a number of poems by them. See B.               Bischoff in Karl der Grosse ii, p. 59.               6.2. The image is Biblical; cf. Daniel 11:7.               6.3. latibula: Monte Cassino, to which Paul returned in 787.               7.3. partium MS: artium Godman: pratorum Traube. ratione MS: satione Traube. I take the               manuscript reading to mean partium ratione (ablative), i.e. grammar's chief component parts               (cf. s. 7. 1).               9.1. Paul cannot have taught Greek to anything more than an elementary level. Cf.               Berschin, pp. 136-7.               9.3. Gamalihel: Cf. Acts 5:34 (the teacher of St Paul).

 





Page 86

              11. Haud te latet, quod iubente Christo nostra filia                       Michaele comitante sollers maris spatia                       ad tenenda sceptra regni transitura properat.               12. Hac pro causa Graecam doces clericos grammaticam                       nostros, [ut] in eius pergant manantes obsequio                       et Graiorum videantur eruditi regulis.               3. Paul the Deacon               1. Sensi, cuius verba cepi exarata paginis,                       nam a magno sunt directa, quae pusillus detulit.                       Fortes me lacerti pulsant, non inbellis pueri.               2. Magnus dicor poetarum vatumque doctissimus                       omniumque praeminere gentium eloquio                       cordis et replete rura fecundis seminibus.               3. Totum hoc in meam cerno prolatum miseriam,                       totum hoc in meum caput dictum per hyroniam.                       Eheu, laudibus deridor et cacinnis obprimor!               4. Dicor similis Homero, Flacco et Vergilio,                       similor Tertullo seu Philoni Memphitico,                       tibi quoque, Veronensis o Tibulle, conferor.               5. Peream, si quenquam horum imitari cupio,                       avia qui sunt sequuti pergentes per invium;                       potius sed istos ego conparabo canibus!               6. Graiam nescio loquellam, ignoror Hebraicam.                       Tres aut quattuor in scolis quas didici syllabas,                       ex his mihi est ferendus maniplus ad aream.               11. In 781 Charlemagne's eldest daughter (6, vv. 43-4; 15, v. 81), acclaimed for her               learning, was engaged to marry Constantine 11, son of the Byzantine empress Irene; the               engagement was broken off in 787 as a result of the political and theological dispute               between East and West following the second council of Nicaea. Michael was the Byzantine               ambassador at the Frankish court in 783 responsible for conducting marriage negotiations.               12. Cf. 3, s. 11.               3. Text: Neff, pp. 64-8; Schaller-Könsgen, 14894; Introduction, pp. 9-10.               1.1. exarata: the primany image of ploughing is applied to words initially fashioned on a               wax tablet.               2. Summarises 2, s. 4.

 



Page 87

              11. You know well that, at Christ's command, my knowledgeable                       daughter, accompanied by Michael, is swiftly preparing to cross                       the ocean-reaches in order to hold sway over her kingdom.               12. For this reason you teach Greek grammar to our scholars,                       so that they may accompany her with unswerving obedience,                       and seem learned in the rules of Greek.               3. Reply to Peter               1. I well understand whose words I received written on these pages,                       for they have been sent by a great man but conveyed by a page.                       Strong muscles beat me, not those of a stripling boy.               2. I am called a great poet and the most learned of bards,                       am said to be an authority on the languages of all peoples,                       and to fill the lands of the heart with fruitful seeds.               3. All this, I see, is bandied about to make a fool of me,                       all this is thrown with irony in my teeth.                       Alas, derided by praise, I am the butt of ridicule!               4 I am said to be like Homer, Horace and Virgil,                       I am compared to Tertullus and Philo of Memphis,                       and likened also to Tibullus from Verona.               5. May I perish, should I wish to imitate any of them                       who have gone into the impenetrable wilds;                       I would rather compare them to mongrels!               6. I do not know Greek, I am ignorant of Hebrew.                       The three or four syllables which I learnt at school                       are all I have to carry my handful to the threshing-floor.               3. The anaphora with rhyme underlines the comedy of the mock lamentation.               4.3. The reply to 2, s. 5. Paul may be confusing Catullus' native city Verona with               Tibullus' (unless he is preserving a piece of local tradition now lost).               5.2. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 2. 736f. the allusion is to the errors of pagan authors.               6.1-3. Paul was educated in the royal school at Pavia and had lived in Benevento, which               under his patron Arichis I (758-787) experienced Byzantine influence (Berschin, pp. 118               and 137). The grammatical manuscript Berlin, Diez B. 66, linked with Paul's circle (2, s.               5 and note), contains items in Greek written with Latin letters. Paul's knowledge of Greek               may, thus not have been as negligible as he asserts, but nothing in the Berlin manuscript               allows us to infer a level of Greek learning which would have enabled Paul to translate an               item in the Palatine Anthology (note to s. 12 below).

 



Page 88

              7. Nulla mihi aut flaventis est metalli copia                       aut argenti sive opum, desunt et marsuppia.                       Vitam litteris ni emam, nihil est, quod tribuam.               8. Pretiosa quaeque vobis dona ferant divites,                       alii conportent gemmas Indicosque lapides:                       meo pura tribuetur voluntas in munere.               9. Anchora me sola vestri hic amoris detinet,                       nectar omne quod praecellit quodque flagrat optime.                       Non de litteris captamus vanae laudem gloriae.               10. Nec me latet, sed exulto, quod pergat trans maria                       vestra, rector, et capessat sceptrum pulchra filia,                       ut per natam regni rites tendantur in Asiam.               11. Si non amplius in illa regione clerici                       Graecae proferent loquellae quam a me didicerint                       vestri, mutis similati deridentur statuis.               12. Sed omnino ne linguarum dicar esse nescius,                       pauca, mihi quae fuerunt tradita puerulo,                       dicam, cetera fugerunt iam gravante senio:               De puero qui in glacie extinctus est               Trax puer adstricto glacie dum ludit in Hebro,                       frigore concretas pondere rupit aquas.               Dumque imae partes rapido traherentur ab amni,                       praesecuit tenerum lubrica testa caput.               Orba quod inventurn mater dum conderet urna,                       'Hoc peperi flammis, cetera', dixit, 'aquis.'               7. The poverty of the poet is a long-established topos. See R. G. M. Nisbet and M.               Hubbard, A Commentary on Horace Odes Book 11 (Oxford, 1978), p.299 on Odes 2. 18. 10, and               cf 20 which develops the theme that literature is the poet's only true resource. Paul uses               this device as a captatio benevolentiae, stressing his modesty in contrast to the grandiose               pretentions attributed to him by Peter of Pisa. He is not implying that were he wealthy he                would be able to redeem his brother from captivity, as Neff (p. 64) suggests.               8. Cf. 20, vv,. 1-5.               9. 1-2 Contrast Paul's letter to Theudemar, abbot of Monte Cassino (778-797), in the               same year (783): 'The palace is a prison to me in comparison with your monastery and in

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 89

              7. I have no supply of golden ore,                       of silver or of riches, and I even lack a purse.                       Unless I earn my living by what I write, I've nothing to give.               8. May rich men bring' you all kinds of precious gifts,                       let others bear jewels and Indian stones:,                       sheer good will is all that my gift will be.               9. Only the anchor of your love holds me here,                       surpassing all nectar with its choice fragrance.                       From literature I will not seek to win praise and vainglory.               10. I am well aware and delighted, my king, that your beautiful daughter                       is to travel across the seas and acquire a throne,                       so that through her your mighty realms may stretch into Asia.               11. If your scholars speak in that land no more                       Greek than what they learned from me,                       they will be laughed at like dumb statues.               12. But lest it be said that I am an ignoramus in languages,                       I shall repeat a few of the lines which were taught to me                       as a boy; the rest have slipped my mind as old age weighs upon me.               The boy who was killed on the ice               While a Thracian boy was playing on the packed ice of the Hebrus,               the waters which had frozen together broke under his weight.               And as his lower parts were carried away by the rapid river,               a slippery potsherd cut off his dear little head. When his               bereaved mother placed the remains she had found in an urn, she said:               'I gave birth to this part for the flames, the rest for water.' (Footnote continued from previous page)               contrast to the immense quiet where you are living here is like being in a storm' (Neff,               PP. 71, 18-20)               12. Paul's implication is that the poem which follows is his own version of Palatine               Anthology 7. 542 (see M. Rubensohn, Jahrbucher * für Theologie and Padagogik 147 (1893),               PP. 764-5), Many scholars (see Neff, pp. 67-8) have instead regarded it as a Latin trans              lation which Paul may have learnt at school. External evidence of knowledge of Greek in               Paul's circle does not resolve the difficulty (see note to s. 6. 1-3). But even if Paul did not               compose these lines he is at least aware that they are a translation from a Greek sourceas               is his intended audience.

 



Page 90

              4. Paulinus of Aquileia               1. Fuit domini dilectus languens a Bethania                       Lazarus beatus sacris olim cure sororibus,                       quas Iesus aeternus amor diligebat plurimum,                       Martham simul et Mariam, felices per secula.               2. Haec Maria fuit illa domini gratissima,                       quae unguenti pretiosi rote mixto balsami                       ante diem festum paschae libram nardi pistici                       fracto fudit alabastro, corpus unxit domini.               3. Dabat dulcia per sacros pedes strictim basia,                       non cessabat lacrimarum resolutis crinibus                       undas tergere; sacratis domini de labiis                       audiebat uerbum; domus flagrabat odoribus.               4. Fracture signat alabastrum Iesu corpus mystice,                       quod in crucis est altare passionis tempore                       fossum clauis et aperture per scissuram lanceae,                       de quo sanguis redundauit, unda fluxit laticis.               5. Hoc de fonte pietatis odor flagrantissimus                       emanauit, quo repletus mundus illum caruit                       sordidum foetorem, dudum, pro dolor, heu miseri                       quem tulerunt protoplasti serpentis de gutture.               6. Hoc de fonte mundus omnis ablutus a crimine                       pretiosi modo spirat odoris flagrantiam,                       candidis indutus stolis scissa perizomata                       est exutus peccatorum contexta de foliis.               7. Est Maria baptizata hoc in fonte, credula                       est et Martha, quarum frater infirmatus Lazarus                       mortis atque uitae stabat summo in confinio,                       pro quo nuncium sorores triste ferunt domino:               4. Text: Norberg. Paulinus. pp. 103-13; Schaller-Könsgen, 5405: Introduction, pp 26-8.               The Biblical account of Lazarus' death and resurrection, together with the allegorical and               moral interpretations of these events current since St. Augustine (In Iohannis evang. tract. 49,               cf. Bede, Expos. in Luc. evang. 8) are developed in Paulinus' rhythmus with a clarity of               exposition and expression unequalled in eighth- and early ninth-century rhythmical poetry               (cf. Norberg, Poésie, pp. 87ff). The poem is transmitted in a number of abridged anti               incomplete forms (see Norberg, Paulinus. p. 103).               1-27. The first twenty-seven strophes are chiefly devoted to the historical facts of the               Biblical account. Paulinus closely follows the Gospel of St. John (1:11ff.), changing its prose

(Footnote continued on next page)

 





Page 91

              4. Versus de Lazaro: The Lazarus Rhythmus               1. Blessed Lazarus, a man from Bethany beloved of the Lord,                       once lay ill, tended by the holy sisters                       whom Jesus, source of eternal love, held in great affection.                       They were Martha and Mary, who live in happiness forever.               2. It was Mary who was most pleasing to the Lord,                       for she had broken an alabaster cruse and had poured out                       a pound of spikenard mixed with liquid balsam, a precious ointment,                       before Easter day and anointed the Lord's body.               3. She pressed sweet kisses on His holy feet,                       did not cease to wipe away the floods of tears                       with loosened hair and heard the Word of the Lord                       from His hallowed lips; the house was flagrant with the scents.               4. The broken alabaster mystically signifies Jesus' body,                       which is on the altar of the cross at the time of the Passion,                       pierced with nails, bearing an open gash from a lance                       out of which the blood streamed forth and flowed in waves.               5. From this fount a most fragrant scent of goodness                       spread forth to fill the world that was thereby freed                       from its vile foulness which the wretched first-created men,                       alas, had long suffered in pain from the serpent's bite.               6. From this fount the entire world was washed clean of sin                       and breathed the fragrance of its precious scent,                       putting on white robes, it took off                       the torn girdle woven from the leaves of sin.               7. Mary was baptised in this fount, as was Martha too,                       after she became a believer. Their brother Lazarus in his illness                       stood on the very boundary between life and death                       and the sisters bore this sad news to the Lord: (Footnote continued from previous page)               into rhythmical verse by small additions and alterations (e.g. s 1 3 aeternus amor,, cf. s. 13.1,               Norberg. Paulinus, p. 41.)               2. Cf John 11:2, 12:3.               3. Cf. John 12:3.               4.1-7.3 The first strophe of explicit exegesis: as the alabaster cruse represents Christ's               body, so the scent of Martha's ointment is associated (5-6) with redemption from original               sin. Cf. Mark 14:3               63-4. Cf Genesis 3:7.               7.4-8 1. Cf John 11:3.

 



Page 92

              8. 'Ecce, domine, quem amas, infirmatur Lazarus,                       iam decumbit resolutis membris languens miseris.                       Nisi ueneris et aegrum uiuiscere iubeas,                       desolatas, heu, relinquit germanas et obiit.'               9. 'Non ad mortem nunc est' inquid Iesus 'haec infirmitas,                       sed ad gloriam est dei.' Retulit discipulis:                       'Lazarus amicus noster dormit. Vadam protinus,                       ut a somno vigilanter illum cito suscitem.'               10 'Domine, si dormit', aiunt confestim discipuli,                       'saluus erit', aestimantes quod de somno diceret.                       Ille uero de sopore mortis causam protulit                       more dei, quia cuncta uiuunt illi perpetim.               11. Manifeste post haec dixit: 'Lazarus est mortuus,                       reuertamur in Iudaeam.' Quo contra discipuli:                       'Num querebant te Iudaei nuper interficere                       nunc ''illuc'' quo pacto dicis "reuertamur iterum"?'               12. 'Non offendit', dixit Iesus, 'per diem qui graditur,                       sed qui noctis tetra carpit, inpingit per tenebras.'                       Dixit Didimus, cui fixum Thomas nomen resonat:                       'Nos eamus et cum eo moriamur pariter.'               13. Venit ergo tunc in loco Iesus, mundi gloria,                       ubi Martha iam defuncto fratre currit obuiam.                       Mox prostrata super terram pedes tenet domini,                       adorauit et in uoce dixit lacrimabili:               14. 'Hic si, domine, fuisses, meus frater mortuus                       non fuisset. Sed hoc scio quia, quod poposceris,                       dabit tibi deus.' Ait Iesus: 'Martha, Lazarus                       surget. Credere si possis, uides dei gloriam.'               8.2-4. These are precisely the sentiments which Augustine, upon whom Paulinus else              where relies (61ff and note), stresses that Mary and Martha did not dare to voice (Tract,               in Ioh. 49. 5). Jesus' love for Lazarus and for all sinners was sufficient ground for raising               him from the dead in Augustine's account; Paulinus, by contrast, emphasies and expands               upon the pathetic quality of the Biblical narrative. Cf. ss. 13 and 18-19, and notes ad loc.               9. Cf. John 11:4, 11:11. The following stanzas contain some of the most sustained dialogue               and direct speech in early rhythmical poetry; the possibility of dramatic recitation may not               be discounted (Introduction, p. 27).

 



Page 93

              8. 'Behold Lord, Lazarus whom You love is failing,                       already he lies back in a faint, his poor limbs enfeebled.                       Unless You appear and command him, ill as he is, to come to life                       he has diedalasand has left his sisters grief-stricken.'               9. 'This present illness', said Jesus, 'shall not serve the ends of death                       but shall glorify God.' He reported to His disciples:                       'Our friend Lazarus is sleeping. I shall go immediately,                       to arouse him from sleep with vigilance and speed.'               10. 'Lord, if he is sleeping,' the disciples said forthwith,                       'he will be safe,' thinking that He was speaking about a dream.                       But He spoke about the sleep of death in the divine manner,                       because, for Him, all things live perpetually.               11. Afterwards He spoke plainly: 'Lazarus is dead,                       let us return to Judaea.' His disciples objected:                       'Were not the Jews recently seeking to kill You?                       Why are You now saying "let us return there once more"?'               12. 'He who walks by day', said Jesus, 'does not stumble,                       but the man who chooses the hideous night, blunders into darkness.'                       Didymus, who had the famous name Thomas given him, spoke:                       'Let us go and die with him too.'               13. So Jesus, glory of the world, then came to the place                       where Martha, her brother having died, ran to meet him.                       Immediately she fell prostrate to the ground, clasped the Lord's feet,                       adored Him and said in a tearful voice:               14. 'Had You been here, Lord, my brother would not have died.                       But I know that God will grant You what you ask for.'                       Jesus said: 'Martha, Lazarus will rise again.                       If you are capable of faith, you shall see the glory of God.'               10.1-2. Cf. John 11:12-13. The facts of the strophe are founded on Scripture, but the               expansion at s. 10.3-4 is Paulinus' own. The basis of the distinction is implicit in Augustine,               Tract. in Ioh. 49, 9-11.               11. Cf. John 11:14, 11:7ff.               12. Cf. John 11:9-10, 16.               13. Cf. John 11:17ff. Paulinus compresses the Biblical detail and adds the dramatic touch               of Martha prostrating herself before Christ.               14. Cf. John 11:21ff.

 



Page 94

              15. 'Scio, domine, resurget in die nouissima.'                       'Ego sum' respondit Christus 'uitae resurrectio.                       In me si quis credit, uiuit, etiam si mortuus                       fuerit. Credis hoc, Martha?' 'Credo' dixit 'domine.               16. Tu es unicus aeterni genitoris filius.                       Si tu praesens hic fuisses, meus frater uiueret.'                       O quam bene, Martha, credis, recta fide loqueris!                       Vbi uita praesens adest, mots abesse creditur.               17. His in domini benignis consolata labiis                       cursim pergens et Mariam uocauit silentio:                       'Ecce noster adest bonus magister et uocat te.'                       Mox exiliens audito Iesu sancto nomine               18. Currens anxia peruenit, erat ubi dominus,                       crinibus auulsis sparsim, soluta caesarie,                       pectus pugnis sauciatum, lacrimarum riuolis                       teneris infectis genis, madefacta facie.               19. Nam qui solet se suffundi rubor uenustissimus                       mixtus roseo candore, simulatus liliis,                       in pallore mox conuersus lusit pulchritudini.                       Iam singultu quatiente uox stridebat gracilis.               20. Mox amplexos incuruata Christi pedes strinxerat:                       'Heu me, domine, si praesens adfuisses, Lazarus                       non fuisset delicatus meus frater mortuus.'                       Flebant Martha seu Maria, cunctus flebat populus.               21. Quod ut Martham uidit flere ac Mariam dominus,                       tactus cordis est dolore, benigna clementia                       semet ipsum mox turbauit, fremuit in spiritu:                       lacrimatus est et ipse totus dulcis dominus.               22. Nostra tamen miseratus fleuit de substantia,                       quam suscepit, pietatis exigente uiscere.                       In quo deus erat uerus, flere nunquam potuit                       nec turbari potest illa dealis essentia.               15-16.2. Cf. John 11:24-7.               16. 3-4. Cf. Augustine, Tract. in Ioh. 49-15.               17. Cf. John 11:28ff.               18-19. These strophes are Paulinus' own invention, in an attempt to visualise Mary's               grief-stricken appearance. The colours of the lily and the rose, whose harmony is tradition-

(Footnote continued on next page)

 





Page 95

              15. 'I know, Lord, that he will rise again on Judgement day.'                       'I', replied Christ, 'am the resurrection and the life.                       He that believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.                       Do you believe this, Martha?' 'Lord,' she said, 'I believe.               16. You are the only begotten son of the eternal creator.                       If You had been here, my brother would be alive.'                       O how well, Martha, you believe, speaking with unwavering faith!                       Where there is life, we believe that death cannot exist.               17. Comforted by these words from the kindly lips of the Lord,                       she ran in haste to Mary and quietly called her:                       'Look, our good master is here and He summons you.'                       Mary went out immediately on hearing Jesus's holy name,               18. and ran full of care to where the Lord was,                       her locks torn and scattered, her hair loose,                       her chest bruised by blows from her fists, her tender cheeks stained                       and her face drenched with little rivers of tears.               19. For the lovely high colour tinged with rosy fairness                       which used to spread over her face suddenly turned as pale                       as the lily, and belied her beauty.                       Her voice began to grow shrill and harsh, and shook with sobbing.               20. Of a sudden she fell to her knees and embraced Christ's feet:                       'Woe is me, Lord, had You been there,                       my beloved brother Lazarus would not have died.'                       Martha and Mary wept, and all the people wept with them.               21. When the Lord saw that Martha and Mary were crying,                       His heart was touched by pain, and in His mercy and kindness                       He became deeply troubled, groaned in spirit:                       the Lord Himself, who is all gentleness, wept.               22. However, in His pity He wept in our state of being,                       which He took on prompted by the utmost goodness.                       In that He was truly God He could never weep,                       nor can the divine essence be disturbed by emotion. (Footnote continued from previous page)               ally employed to describe ideal feminine beauty, are here presented in a striking discord               to underscore the pathos of Mary's grief.               20.1. Cf. John 11:32-3               22. Cf. Augustine, Tract. in Ioh. 49. 18.               22.4. dealis probably a Paulinian coinage (Norberg, Paulinus, p. 39).

 





Page 96

              23. 'Vbi posuistis eum', Iesus inquit, 'dicite.'                       'Veni, domine, nunc uide.' Fleuit rursus dominus,                       flebant nimium Iudaei dicentes ad inuicem:                       'O quam tenere uiuentem diligebat Lazarum.'               24. 'Patefacite speluncam, remouete lapidem.'                       'Heu me, domine, iam fetet reliquatis carnibus.                       Quarto radio iam solis effugatis tenebris                       lux in orbe radiauit, ex quo iacet mortuus.'               25. Tunc ad caelos eleuatis uenerandis oculis                       his aeternum coepit patrem Iesus sacris precibus                       exorare: 'Pater, tibi summas ago gratias,                       quia semper me exaudis. Scio quia audis me.               26. Sed hoc dico propter turbam circumstantem populi,                       ut me credat ate missum de supernis sedibus.'                       Haec dicens et ad sepulchrum conuersus cum lacrimis                       uoce magna exclamauit: 'Veni foras, Lazare!'               27. Mox exiliens ligatus manus, pedes institis                       strictim, facie obpanso tecta de sudario.                       'Hunc resoluite, sinite iam abire liberum!'                       dixit dominus, qui uiuum reduxit ab inferis.               28. Quam feliciter, Maria, uestrae, Martha, lacrimae                       sunt in gaudium conuersae mille modis melius                       quam fuerunt ante luctum, quia mitis dominus                       uos dilexit et aeterna praecinxit laetitia!               29. Haec est illa terra priscis repromissa patribus,                       quam fluentem melle, lacte scriptura commemorat.                       Christi caro per hanc terram, quam sumpsit ex uirgine,                       recte potest designari per figuram typice.               30. Mel et lac dulcedo potest sentiri roriflua,                       quae de fonte redundauit dei sapientiae,                       necnon opus pietatis, uirtutum miracula                       quae per mundum radiauit signis mirabilibus.               23. Cf. John 11 34-6.               24. Cf John 11:39. The detail of decomposing flesh at s. 24.2 is Paulinus' addition.               25-7. Cf. John 11:41-4.               29 2. Cf. Exodus 13.5.               29.4. figuram: after a stanza of rejoicing and expostulation, Paulinus turns to a figural               interpretation of Scripture, in which selected events of the Old Testament are presented as

(Footnote continued on next page)

 





Page 97

              23. 'Tell me', said Jesus, 'where you have placed him.'                       'Come, Lord, see now.' The Lord wept again                       and the Jews wept bitterly, saying to one another:                       'O how tenderly He loved the living Lazarus.'               24. 'Open the cave, remove the stone.'                       'Woe is me, Lord, now it smells badly from the decomposing flesh.                       The sun has shone four times on the world,                       putting darkness to flight, since he lay dead.'               25. Then lifting His revered gaze up to the heavens                       Jesus began to entreat His immortal father with these holy prayers:                       'Father, I thank you greatly, for You always                       heed my words. I know that You listen to me.               26. But I say this because of the crowd of people standing nearby,                       to make them believe that I have been sent by You from heaven.'                       Saying this He turned to the tomb with tears in His eyes                       and cried out in a loud voice: 'Come forth, Lazarus!'               27. Immediately Lazarus appeared, his hands bound, his feet tightly                       wrapped in winding-clothes and his face covered with a napkin.                       'Now unbind him, allow him to go free!'                       said the Lord, who brought him back alive from the other world.               28. How happily, Mary and Martha, your tears were turned                       into rejoicing and became a thousand times better than they had                       been before your grief, for the gentle Lord loved you                       and surrounded you with eternal delights!               29. This is the land that the Lord again promised to the fathers of old,                       which Scripture describes as flowing with milk and honey.                       The flesh of Christ that he took from the Virgin may be represented                       as this land, by an accurate allegory, through figura.               30. The milk and honey can be understood as the dripping sweetness                       which has flowed abundantly from the fount of God's wisdom                       and also as His acts of piety, the powerful miracles                       which he brilliantly spread throughout the earth in wondrous signs. (Footnote continued from previous page)               prefigurations of the New (see E. Auerbach, 'Figura' in id., Scenes from the Drama of European               Literature (New York, 1959). PP. 28ff.). Although Norberg (Paulinus, p. 43) is right to stress               that there is no lacuna here, Strecker's proposal of one after s. 28.4 is understandable in               the light of Paulinus' method. He works 'backwards', starting with the allegory of Mary's               and Martha's joy in relation to Exodus and Deuteronomy, and going on (ss. 34-6) to a               personal prayer for grace. Not until ss. 41ff. is this transition made explicit.

 





Page 98

              31. Nam quid dulcius Mariae, quid Marthe suauius                       esse potuit quam uerbi degustasse pabulum,                       quod ex eius meruerunt labiis percipere                       uel quo uiuum receperunt de sepulchro Lazarum?               32. O quam felix et beata constat illa anima,                       ad hanc terram quae per fidem cordis cum munditia                       intrat passibus amoris cincta dei gratia!                       Hoc, quod credit corde, firmat uenerandis actibus.               33. Quam infelix quamque tea semper miserabilis,                       ad hanc terrain quae non intrat, reprobata uitiis,                       quam reppellit infidelis et peruersus animus!                       Haec ad tartari tormenta descendit sulphorea.               34. Praesta mihi, deus meus, rerum bone conditor,                       in hanc terram recta fide mundo corde gradiens                       introire, Jam Iordane transmisso balsigero,                       quod designat per figuram sacramentum baptismi,               35. Huius ut possim indignus lactis de dulcedine                       ac de mellis satiari sapore mitissimo,                       quod destillat illa terra, quae sumpta de uirgine                       lacte, melle semper rigat corda spiritaliter.               36. Grandia te posco nullis confisus de meritis,                       sed haec tua supplex peto certus de clemencia,                       grandia qui nosti dare munere gratuito                       multo melius quam quisquam te possit exposcere.               37. Haec est illa petra, Moses de qua sanctus cecinit:                       'Suxerunt de petra mella, de saxo durissimo                       oleum', quod docet sanctum per enigma spiritum,                       quem post gloriam triumphi flauit in discipulos.               38. Potest accipi doctrina per mellis dulcedinem,                       quam rorauit totus dulcis et desiderabilis                       Iesus, esset cum infirma passioni dedita                       eius caro, que surgendo facta est fortissima.               39. Haec est, inquam, que percussa his uirga largifluas                       fudit undas, satiauit quae turbas innumeras.                       Christus est petra, per lignum qui crucis percussus est,                       iuxta Pauli uocem sancti, doctoris egregii.               34-6. Three stanzas of prayer interrupt Paulinus exegesis.               36.3. Cf. 34. v. 62.

 

page_98





Page 99

              31. For what to Mary could have been sweeter, to Martha more delightful                       than to have tasted the nourishment of the Word                       which they were privileged to take from His lips                       and by which Lazarus was restored to them alive from the grave?               32. O how fortunate and blessed is that soul                       which enters into this land through its faith                       with pureness of heart, walking in love, protected by God's grace!                       By admirable deeds it strengthens its heartfelt beliefs.               33. How unhappy, how guilty and how eternally wretched is that soul,                       condemned for its vices, which does not enter into this land,                       and shuns it faithlessly and wickedly!                       Down it goes to the brimstone and tortures of Hell.               34. Lord God, kindly creator of the universe, grant                       that with upright faith and pure heart                       I may enter into this land, crossing balsam-laden Jordan,                       which stands figuratively for the sacraments of baptism,               35. so that, although unworthy, I may be filled with the sweetness                       of its milk and the exceedingly mild savour of the honey                       with which that land drips, and with milk and honey                       taken from the Virgin always waters the heart spiritually.               36. With no confidence in my worth, I ask great things from You,                       but in my humble entreaty I am certain of Your mercy,                       since You have known how freely to give great gifts                       much finer than anything one can ask from You.               37. This is the stone about which holy Moses has sung: 'They have                       sucked honey from the stone, and oil from the hardest rock',                       for it teaches in this oblique manner about the Holy Spirit                       which after His glorious triumph He breathed into His disciples.               38. Doctrine can be understood as the sweetness of honey                       which Jesus, the wholly sweet and desirable, made to flow                       like the dew, when His flesh in its weakness was given up                       to the Passion and through the resurrection became very strong.               39. This, I declare, is the rock twice struck by the rod, that poured                       forth in generous floods water which sated the numberless crowds.                       Christ is the rock who was transfixed by the wood of the cross                       according to the words of the excellent teacher Saint Paul.               37. Cf. Deuteronomy 32:13.               39.1 Cf Numbers 20:11.               39.3-4. Cf. I Corinthians 10:4

 





Page 100

              40. Quando se pro nobis sanctum fecit sacrificium,                       tunc de lateris fissura fons uiuus elicuit,                       de quo mistice fluxerunt duo simul flumina:                       sanguis nam redemptionis et unda baptismatis.               41. Salua namque ueritate decenter historiae                       requiramus diligenter sensus allegoricos.                       Facta nostri redemptoris plena sunt mysteriis,                       habent aureas radices, fructus suauissimos.               42. Nam Iesus saluator mundi sicut ipse dixerat:                       'Pater meus operatur, nunc et ego operor.'                       Vt tunc Lazarum in carne suscitauit mortuum,                       modo mortuos in culpa suscitat per gratiam.               43. Lazarus humanum genus per figuram typicat,                       quod diffusum est per mundi quadrufixos cardines.                       Vnde quarto iam sub die sepultus adseritur,                       quia mortuum sub mundi plagis fuit quattuor.               44. In peccato protoplasti mortuum describitur,                       quod Iesus aeterna uita precioso sanguine                       suscitauit * * *                       [exclamauit] uoce magna et emisit spiritum.               45. Mori uoluit et mortem sua morte perculit;                       resurrexit, ut ad uitam mortuos reduceret,                       caelos omnes penetrauit, ut ad caeli gaudia                       sua morte liberatos mitteret ruricolas.               46. Lapis ille, qui speluncae dicitur inpositus,                       insensibiles demonstrat humanas praecordias,                       quae tunc lapides, non deum adorabant. Similes                       illis facti quasi graui iacebant sub pondere.               47. Queri potest quid sorores Lazari significent,                       quae pro morte fratris Iesum postulant tam anxie?                       Legem puto seu prophetas per has sanctas feminas                       non absurde designari sensim per enigmata.               41. Paulinus distinguishes systematically between the historical, allegorical and tropolog              ical senses of the text. Cf. H. de Lubac, Exégèse médiévale ii, 2 (Paris, 1959), pp. 396ff. and               see 50 1 with note ad loc

 



Page 101

              40. At the moment when He made Himself a holy sacrifice for us                       a living spring trickled from the cleft in His side,                       and from it two rivers flowed mystically at once:                       the blood of redemption and the wave of baptism.               41. Preserving as we should the truth of history,                       let us diligently seek the allegorical meaning.                       The deeds of our Redeemer are full of mystery,                       their roots are golden and their fruits are of the sweetest.               42. For as Jesus the saviour of the world said Himself:                       'My Father works and I now work too.'                       As He then raised Lazarus in the flesh from the dead,                       through His grace He now raises those who have died in sin.               43. Lazarus stands figuratively for the human race                       which is scattered throughout the four fixed poles of the world.                       And so on the fourth day He is said to have been buried, for the                       human race was dead throughout the four quarters of the world.               44. Mankind is said to have died by the sin of first-created man,                       for Jesus, the eternal life, with His precious blood                       brought it back to life * * *                       He called out in a great voice and sent forth His spirit.               45. He wished to die and struck down death by dying Himself,                       He rose from the dead to bring the dead back to life,                       He entered into all the heavens, to despatch                       men, freed by His death, to heaven's joys.               46. The stone that is said to have been placed before the cave                       stands for the unfeeling hearts of men which at that time                       worshipped stones and not God. Like stones,                       they seemed to be lying under a heavy weight.               47. It may be asked, what do the sisters of Lazarus,                       who ask Jesus so anxiously about their brother's death, signify?                       By these holy women the law or the prophets are, I think,                       most aptly represented in an oblique and hidden manner.               42.2. Cf. John 5:17.               43. On Lazarus as the symbol of the human sinner, cf. 34. vv. 47ff.               44.4. Cf. Mark 15:37; Matthew 27:50.

 



Page 102

              48. Si prophetae uel legales reuoluantur pagine,                       inuenimus deprecantes Iesum dei filium,                       ut ueniret et saluaret quasi fratrem Lazarum                       genus hominum, quod serpens ueneno necauerat.               49. Nihil obstat, si per duas has beatas feminas                       duo quoque testamenta uolumus exprimere,                       uetus scilicet ac nouum. Vtrorumque series                       Iesum diligit et orat humano pro genere.               50. Quod si cuncta peruolantes summatim theoricas                       replicemus et succincte tangamus moraliter                       singula, quae sunt per stilum promulgata tropicum,                       possumus haec conpetenter aliter intellegi.               51. Potest Lazari per mortem peccatoris anima                       unaquaeque designari, quae cordis in speleo                       sub peccato consopita quasi superpositum                       portat lapidem, qui mentis ostendit duritiam.               52. Haec introrsus dumque furtim latet obstinaciter                       nec se foras confitendum desperata prodidit,                       foetet graui sauciata peccati putredine,                       quam respectu pietatis Iesus bonus suscitat.               53. Quid est dicere nam Iesum 'Veni foras, Lazare'                       nisi hoc, quod in peccati iam dimersum baratrum                       uocat pius peccatorem mox per donum gratiae,                       ut se uiuus foras prodat confitendum crimina.               54. Cuius care sunt sorores spes et fides gemine.                       Martha fidei ostentat typum, cui dicitur:                       'Si credideris, uidebis, Martha, dei gloriam.'                       Spei formulam Maria certo tenet pectore.               55. Non arguitur Maria de tepore fidei,                       sed ut uenit, ueneranter adorato domino,                       meruit salutem suis adipisci precibus,                       quia spes effectum capit, si non est ambigua.               56. Potest ratio doceri atque conscientia                       per has duas mulieres, que quasi pro mortuo                       fratre spiritu exorant dei sapientiam,                       ut in scelere sepultum suscitet ad ueniam.               50.1. The superiority of the 'moral' or tropological interpretation over the historical facts.               On theoricas (= acc. pl.) see Norberg, Paulinus, p. 39.               51.4. Cf. Psalm 94:8. The term is also liturgical. See Blaise, p. 559.

 





Page 103

              48. If the prophets or pages of the laws are turned over,                       we find people entreating Jesus the son of God                       to come and save the human race which the serpent                       killed with poison, as He saved their brother Lazarus.               49. There is nothing to prevent us if by these two women                       we wish to refer to the two testaments,                       that is the Old and the New. Both in turn                       love Jesus and pray for the human race.               50. But if we consider everything, reflecting topic by topic on these                       allegories, touching succinctly in a moral vein on each point                       that is revealed by means of tropology,                       we can readily understand these matters in a different way.               51. By the death of Lazarus is meant the soul of every sinner                       which is lulled to sleep by sin in the heart's recess                       and carries upon itself, as it were, a stone                       which signifies the harshness of its mind.               52. While this soul lurks inside secretly and obstinately,                       in its despair not venturing outside to make confession,                       wounded by the extreme vileness of its sins, it grows foul,                       but good Jesus rouses it by means of His kindness.               53. For what does it mean when Jesus says: 'Come forth, Lazarus'                       other than that He in His kindness calls upon a sinner,                       already drowned in hellish sin, through the gift of grace                       to come forth while still alive and admit his wrong-doing?               54. His dear twin sisters are hope and faith.                       Martha displays the essential character of faith; to her was said:                       'If you believe, Martha, you will see God's glory.'                       Mary holds in the certainty of her heart the ideal of hope.               55. Mary is not reproached for the lukewarmness of her faith,                       but when she came, after worshipping the Lord with reverence,                       she deserved to gain salvation by her prayers,                       for hope achieves its purpose if it does not waver.               56. Reason and conscience can be taught                       through these two women, who, as if on behalf of a dead brother,                       pray in their hearts that the wisdom of God                       may rouse to forgiveness those who are buried in sin.               54.3. Cf John 11:40.               56.3. dei sapientiam = Christ. Cf. I Corinthians 1:24.

 

page_103





Page 104

              57. Auferatur ergo primum lapis iussu domini,                       ut peccator uocem Christi audiens exiliat                       et spelunca patefacta, id est cordis aditu                       reserato, paenitendum reuiuiscat animus.               58. Veniant iste sorores, pro salute mortui                       Iesum lacrimis exorent ut clementer animam,                       que est mortua, respectu pietatis suscitet,                       insensibilem rigorem de corde remoueat.               59. Possunt etiam per duas has sorores congrue                       duae uitae figurari utreque perspicue:                       altera laboriose quae sudat in opere,                       altera quae se suspendit raptim super aetera.               60. Una bona nam seruilis, altera sed optima;                       haec turbatur circa multa, haec de multis libera;                       ista sui conditoris speciem desiderat,                       ardet ignibus amoris, querit, amat, diligit.               61. Tunc quatriduanum fertur iacuisse mortuum,                       cuius numeri figura sic datur intellegi:                       quattuor modis peccatum nequiter efficitur,                       per quod noster prorsus homo moritur interior.               62. Primum nascitur in corde mala cogitatio,                       quam consensus prauus fouet atque delectatio.                       Hac in specie formata lingua foras parturit,                       dum loquendi dat effectum per uerba mortifera.               63. Post haec peius ablata prorumpit in opere.                       Quarta dies pertinacem peccatoris animum                       non inmerito designat, per longam incuriam                       sub peccato delitiscens dum defendit crimina.               64. Quattuor his modis iacet in spelunca pectoris                       anima sepulta, Iesus quam supernus arbiter                       alta uocat pietate, quatenus per gratiam                       uiuat mortuus et culpam paenitendum defleat.               65. Serpens mala persuasit, Eua delectata est,                       Adam praebuit consensum: his tribus speciebus                       protoplasti delinquerunt. [Modum qua]rtum repperit,                       quando scelus excusauit arguente domino.               57.3-4. The language is again liturgical. See Blaise. p. 331.               58. Cf. 34, vv. 12ff.               59ff. The superiority of the contemplative over the active life is a distinction often made

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 105

              57. Therefore let the stone first be taken away by the Lord's command                       so that the sinner, hearing Christ's voice, may go out,                       and when the cave is opened, that is on the unbarring                       of the entrance to the heart, the soul may live again to do penance.               58. Let those sisters come on behalf of the dead man,                       to entreat Jesus in tears, so that with clemency He may revive                       the dead soul through His mercy,                       removing the unfeeling hardness from its heart.               59. Through those two sisters two kinds of life                       can fittingly be symbolised, both of them clearly:                       the one which laboriously sweats at the task,                       the other which swiftly floats above the heavens.               60. For one servant is good but the other is excellent.                       The one is perturbed about many things, while the other from many                       is free. That one longs for the sight of her creator,                       burns with the fires of passion, seeks, loves, cherishes.               61. Then He is held to have lain dead for four days,                       and the symbolism of this number is given to be understood thus:                       sin is wickedly committed in four ways                       and by it our inner man perishes entirely.               62. First evil thoughts are born in the heart                       and nourished by wicked indulgence and pleasure.                       The tongue produces things shaped in this likeness                       and gives them effective expression with deadly words.               63. After this it degenerates and breaks into violent action.                       The fourth day stands with perfect justice for the sinner's                       stubborn soul, through long neglect lying hidden                       under sin while it defends its wrong-doing.               64. In these four ways the soul lies buried in the cave                       of the heart, and Jesus the supreme judge                       calls it with deep kindness until, through grace,                       the dead man lives to lament his sin and do penance.               65. The serpent urged a wicked course, Eve was seduced,                       Adam offered his agreement: by these three kinds of action                       first-born man did wrong. He learnt a fourth kind                       when he found a pretext for sin which the Lord forbade. (Footnote continued from previous page)               Cf. John Scottus' discussion of the Apostles Peter and John in his homily on the prologue               of John (ed E. Jeauneau, Sources chrétiennes 151 (Paris, 1969), pp. 210ff. with commentary).               61.4. The soul. See Paul, Ephesians 3:6, II Corinthians 4:16.

 



Page 106

              66. Hinc est igitur quod Christus tres mortuos suscitat:                       infra domum nam puellam, extra portam iuuenem,                       Lazarum quatriduanum. Mente lingua opere                       mortuos ad uitam uocat relaxando facinus.               67. Quartus uocem nunciantis audiuit tunc mortuus.                       Sed siletur eius uita, quia ualde rarum est,                       ut resurgat desperatus ac negator criminis.                       Surgit forte, sed per dei facta mirabilia.               68. Quattuor uirtutes possunt designari animae                       isti quattuor quin immo dies. Principaliter                       est prudentia, secunda namque temperantia,                       tertia nam fortitudo, quarta sed iusticia.               69. Ab his regitur uirtutum quattuor praesidiis,                       dei gratia preuenta, conpetenter anima.                       Prima scitur, sed secunda temperat scientiam,                       firmat tercia, sed quarta fortia iustificat.               70. Splendor lucis, te precamur, nate patris unice,                       qui cum patre deus regnas sanctoque cum spiritu,                       ut quos proprio cruore redemisti seruulos                       a peccatis absolutos mittas ad caelestia.               5. Paulinus of Aquileia (?)               1. Ad flendos tuos, Aquileia, cineres                       non mihi ulle sufficiunt lacrimae;                       desunt sermones, dolor sensum abstulit                               cordis amari.               2. Bella, sublimis, inclita diuitiis,                       olim fuisti celsa aedifitiis,                       menibus clara, sed magis innumeris                               ciuium turmis.               66.2. Cf. Luke 7:12-15.               68. The alternative interpretation of-the four days spent by Lazarus in the tomb as the               four virtutes animae is loosely connected to the preceding account. See S. Mähl, Quadriga               virtutum. Die Kardinaltugenden in der Geistesgeschichte der Karolingerzeit (Cologne/Vienna, 1969),               p. 43, and cf. 41, vv. 47ff. with note.               5. Text: Norberg, Paulinus, pp. 166-9; Schaller-Könsgen, 172; Introduction, pp. 28-9. The               lament on Attila's destruction of Aquileia in 454 has been attributed to Paulinus of Aquileia               on the grounds that it is written in pseudo-sapphics, the verse-form which he probably               invented, and that it treats of an important event in the history of the town of which he               was the patriarch. But philological reasons (Norberg, Paulinus, p. 82), together with a

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 107

              66. And this was why Christ made three dead people rise:                       a girl inside the house, outside the door a young man, Lazarus                       on the fourth day. Those who are dead in mind, tongue and deed                       He calls to life by releasing them from sin.               67. Then the fourth dead man heard the voice of the messenger.                       But his life is still, for it is very rare                       for a man without hope and a denier of his sins to be resurrected.                       He may perhaps rise again, but only by a miracle performed by God.               68. The four virtues of the soul can be symbolized                       by those selfsame four days. In the first place                       there is prudence, the second is temperance,                       the third is courage, but the fourth is justice.               69. By the protection of these four virtues the soul is guided                       with skill, watched over by God's grace.                       The first is known, but the second controls knowledge,                       the third strengthens, but the fourth justifies strength.               70. Splendour of light, we pray that You, only child of the Father,                       who rule as God with the Father and with the Holy Spirit                       may despatch Your lowly servants, whom You redeemed                       with Your own blood, absolved from sin, to heaven.               5. The destruction of Aquileia               1. To lament your ashes, Aquileia,                       no tears of mine can suffice;                       words fail me, bitter grief at heart                       has taken away my understanding.               2. Beautiful, exalted, rich and eminent,                       you were once famous for your buildings,                       renowned for your walls, but more renowned                       for your countless throngs of citizens. (Footnote continued from previous page)               manuscript attribution to Paul the Deacon, make the ascription to Paulinus far from certain.               The sacking of the town is described both by Jordanes, Getica 42 and in Paul the Deacon's               Historia Romana 14.9, whose accounts are expanded into a homily upon transience and sin.               Cf. 10.               1. Aquileia is celebrated in a continuous tradition of ancient encomia- see A. Grilli,               Aquileia e l'Occidente (Udine, 1981), pp. 89ff.- although Paulinus' lament is the first planctus               proper (Introduction, p. 28-9).               2ff. On Aquileia before Attila's conquest see B. F. Tamaro et al., Da Aquileia a Venezia               (Milan, 1980), pp. 99ff. and 578ff. On Aquileian urban and ecclesiastical architecture see               L. Bertacchi and P. Testini in Aquileia nel secolo ii (Udine, 1982), pp. 337ff., 369ff.

 





Page 108

              3. Caput te cuncte sibimet metropolim                       subiecte urbes fecere Venetiae,                       uernantem clero, fulgentem aecclesiis                               Christo dicatis.               4. Dum cunctis simul polleres deliciis,                       inflata multo tumore superbiae,                       iram infelix sempiterni iudicis                               exaggerasti.               5. E caelo tibi missa indignatio                       gentem crudelem excitauit protinus,                       quae properaret ad tuum interitum                               solis ab ortu.               6. Fremens ut leo, Attila seuissimus,                       ignorans deum, durus, impiissimus,                       te circumdedit cum quingentis milibus                               undique gyro.               7. Gestare uidit aues fetus proprios                       turribus altis per rura forinsecus,                       presciuit sagax hinc tuum interitum                               mox adfuturum.               8. Hortatur suum ilico exercitum,                       machinis murum fortiter concutiunt,                       nec mora, captam incendunt, demolliunt                               usque ad solum.               9. Illa quis die luctus esse potuit,                       cum inde flammae, hinc seuirent gladii,                       et nec etati tenere nec sexui                               parceret hostis?               10. Kaptivos trahunt, quos reliquit gladius,                       iuuenes, senes, mulieres, paruulos,                       quicquid ab igne remansit diripitur                               manu predonum.               3. The episcopate of Cromatius (388-401) witnessed the height of Aquileia's ascendancy               as metropolis of a region incorporating some twenty Italian bishoprics and ten beyond the               Alps. See Tamaro, Da Aquileia a Venezia, pp. 59ff. and G. C. Menis, La Basilica palaeocristiana               nelle regioni delle Alpi Orientali (Udine, 1976).

 



Page 109

              3. All the other towns in the Veneto were your subjects                       and acknowledged you as their capital and chief city,                       with your flourishing clergy and resplendent churches                       dedicated to Christ.               4. While you had at your command every sort of delight,                       puffed up with swelling pride, unhappily                       you incited the wrath                       of the eternal judge.               5. Anger vent from heaven upon you                       immediately stirred up a cruel people                       which hastened from the rising of the sun                       to destroy you.               6. Roaring like a lion, most savage Attila,                       knowing not God, pitiless, most impious,                       surrounded you on every side                       with five hundred thousand men.               7. He saw the birds carrying their young                       from the lofty towers out into the countryside                       and shrewdly foresaw from this that your destruction                       was soon to take place.               8. Instantly he urged on his army,                       violently they shook the walls with engines,                       without delay they captured and burned down Aquileia,                       levelling it to the ground.               9. What grief could there be on that day,                       when flames and swords raged in fury on every side,                       and the enemy had no mercy                       upon tender years or sex?               10. Those spared from the sword they took captive,                       young men and old, women, little children;                       whatever remained from the fire was plundered                       by the brigands' hands.               6. On the portrayal of Attila, see 62, v. 11, note.               7. The text here is closest to Paul the Deacon, Historia Romana 14. 9: cernit repente aves               . . . fetusque suos sublatos rostris per rura forinsecus deportare.               8. Cf. ibid . . . adhibitis machinis . . . hortatur suos, acriter expugnat urbem.

 



Page 110

              11. Legis diuine testamentum geminum,                       uel quae doctorum repperit ingenium,                       subiecto igni concremauit etnicus                               furor iniquus.               12. Mortui iacent sacerdotes domini,                       nec erat membra qui sepulcro conderet.                       Post tergum uincti captiuantur alii                               iam seruituri.               13. Nequissimorum sacra uasa manibus                       et quicquid turba optulit fidelium,                       sorte diuisa exportantur longius                               non reditura.               14. O quae in altum extollebas uerticem,                       quomodo iaces despecta, inutilis,                       pressa ruinis, nunquam reparabilis                               ternpus in omne!               15. Pro cantu tibi, cythara et organo,                       luctus aduenit, lamentum et gemitus,                       ablate tibi sunt uoces ludentium                               ad mansionem.               16. Que prius eras ciuitas nobilium,                       nunc, heu, facta [es] rusticorum speleum.                       Urbs eras regum, pauperum tugurium                               permanes modo.               17. Repleta quondam domibus sublimibus                       ornatis mire niueis marmoribus                       nunc ferax frugum metiris funiculo                               ruricularum.               18. Sanctorum aedes solite nobilium                       turmis impleri nunc replentur uepribus,                       pro dolor, facte uulpium confugium                                 siue serpentum.               19. Tetras per omnes circumquaque uenderis,                       nec ipsis in te est sepultis requies,                       proiciuntur pro uenali marmore                               corpora tumbis.               14ff The sacking of the town by Attila was succeeded by waves of barbarian invasions,               and the patriarchs of the seventh century were no longer resident in the abandoned city.

 



Page 111

              11. The two testaments of God's law                       and the ingenious findings of scholars                       the pagan in his wicked madness threw                       into the fire and burned up.               12. The priests of the Lord lay dead                       and there was no one to bury their limbs.                       Others, their hands bound behind their backs, were captured                       and carried into slavery.               13. Clutched by the wicked, the holy vessels                       and all the offerings of the throngs of the faithful                       were divided by lot and sent abroad                       never to return.               14. Once you raised your head high in pride,                       now you lie shunned, useless,                       crushed and in ruins, never to be repaired                       for all time!               15. Instead of your singing, your lyres and pipes,                       mourning, lamentations and groans are come upon you,                       the voices of those playing in the place where you stood                       have disappeared.               16. Once a city of nobles,                       you have now become a yokels' cave.                       Formerly a royal city, you now survive                       as a hovel for paupers.               17. Once you were richly provided with superb houses,                       wondrously adorned with snow-white marbles,                       now you bear fruit at harvest, your boundaries marked                       by the paltry ropes of peasants.               18. The temples of the saints that used to be packed with throngs                       of noblemen are now filled with thorns;                       alas, they have become a refuge                       for foxes and serpents.               19. You are put up for sale everywhere throughout the world,                       nor is there rest even for those buried in you,                       soon their bodies are cast out of the tombs                       for the sake of their marble which is bartered. (Footnote continued from previous page)               See G. Cuscito in Da Aquileia a Venezia, pp. 668ff.               15.4. mansionem: literally 'resting-place'; cf. Numbers 33:1.

 





Page 112

              20. Vindictam tamen non euasit impius                       destructor tuus, Attila seuissimus;                       nunc igni simul gehennae et uermibus                               excruciatar.               21. Xriste rex noster, iudex inuictissime,                       te supplicamus, miseratus respice,                       auerte iram, tales casus prohibe                               famulis tuis.               22. Ymnos precesque deferamus domino,                       ut frenet gentes et constringat emulos,                       protegat semper nos potenti brachio,                               clemens ubique.               23. Zelo nos pio, summe pater, corrige,                       preueni semper tuos et subsequere,                       ut inoffenso gradientes tramite                               salues in evum.               6. Angilbert               Surge, meo domno dulces fac, fistula, versus!               David amat versus; surge et fac, fistula, versus!               David amat vates, vatorum est gloria David,               Quapropter, vates cuncti, concurrite in unum,               Atque meo David dulces cantate camenas!              5               David amat vates, vatorum est gloria David;               Dulcis amor David inspiret corda canentum,               Cordibus in nostris faciat amor ipsius odas!               Vatis Homerus amat David; fac, fistula, versus!               David amat vates, vatorum est gloria David.              10               Inclita, dulcisono taceas ne, tibia, plectro,               Nomen in ore tuo resonet per carmina David,               Illius atque tuum repleat dilectio pectus!               David amat vates, vatorum est gloria David.               David amat veterum sacratos noscere sensus,              15               6. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 360-3 and Green, pp. 11-13, 52-62; Schaller-Könsgen, 15892.               The first of a sequence of three poetic epistles addressed to Charlemagne and his court (cf.               7 and 15 and see Introduction, pp. 10-13), this work proceeds, in hierarchical order,               through the royal family and court officials in a manner that was later observed by Alcuin               and Theodulf in their poems on the same subject. The refrains, or versus intercalares, modelled               on Virgil's Eclogue 8, distinguish each of the three major sections of the poem: vv. 1-31 are               devoted to panegyric of Charlemagne, vv. 32-92 to the royal family and the court, vv.               93-108 to the boys of the palace school.               1. The opening verse, modelled on Psalm 109:3 (Green, pp. 53-4), is reworked at vv. 37,               42, 47, 51, 55, 62, 67, 71 as a versus intercalaris with a musical and declamatory quality               appropriate in verse intended to be read aloud. The pastoral overtones of the term fistula

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 113

              20. But your impious destroyer, Attila the savage barbarian,                       did not escape vengeance;                       now by hell-fire and worms                       he is tortured.               21. Christ our king, most invincible. judge,                       we entreat You, look upon us with pity,                       turn away Your wrath, prevent such a fate                       from coming to Your servants.               22. Let us offer hymns and prayers to the Lord,                       so that He may curb the heathen and check the envious,                       and protect us always with His powerful arm                       in His mercy everywhere.               23. Correct us, highest father, with Your kindly zeal,                       guide and attend Your followers' path,                       so that, taking the untroubled course,                       we may be saved by You for all eternity.               6. To Charlemagne and his entourage               Rise, pipe, and make sweet poems for my lord!               David loves poetry; rise, pipe, and make poetry!               David loves poets, David is the poets' glory,               and so, all you poets, join together in one,               and sing sweet songs for my David!               David loves poets, David is the poets' glory,               may David's sweet love inspire the hearts of singers,               and love for him make poetry in our hearts!               Homer the poet loves David; make poetry, my pipe!               David loves poets, David is the poets' glory.               Let your fine pipe with its sweet-sounding tune not fall silent;               may David's name resound on your lips in poetry,               and love for him fill your heart!               David loves poets, David is the poets' glory.               David loves to understand the hallowed knowledge of the ancients, (Footnote continued from previous page)               (pan-pipe) are now lost (Schaller, Medium Aevum Vivum. Festschrift W. Bulst, p. 32).               2. On the use of the pseudonym David, see Introduction, pp. 5, 7. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue               3.84ff.               3. vatorum: a common variant for the gen. pl. vatum (v. 36).               5. David: undeclined dative.               7. amor David: grammatically ambiguous. It could mean 'love by David' or 'love for               David'.               9. Homerus: Angilbert's reference to himself by a pseudonym and in the third person is               common in early Carolingian poetry. Cf. Alcuin at 9, v. 21.               15ff. Cf. 25, 67ff., Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni 24, and Introduction, pp. 10, 23.

 



Page 114

              Divitiasque senum gnaro percurrere corde,               Scrutarique sacrae gestit secreta sophiae.               David amat vates, vatorum est gloria David.               David habere cupit sapientes mente magistros               Ad decus, ad laudem cuiuscumque artis in aula,              20               Ut veterum renovet studiosa mente sophiam.               David amat vates, vatorum est gloria David.               Fundamenta super petram quoque ponit in altum,               Ut domus alma deo maneat firmissima Christo.               Felix sic lapides posuit [sua] dextera primum,              25               Inclita celsitrono fierent ut templa tonanti.               David amat vates, vatorum est gloria David.               Auxilietur opus Christi clementia sanctum,               Auxilientur opus caelestes, quaeso, ministri,               Sanctorumque simul numerus, precor, adiuvet illud!              30               David amat Christum, Christus est gloria David.               Surge, meis caris dulces fac, fistula, versus!               Inclite, cur taceam, iuvenis te, Carle, camenis?               Tu quoque magnorum sobolis condigna parentum,               Tu decus es aulae, regni spes indolis almae,              35               Quapropter laudat omnis te fistula vatum.               Surge, meis caris dulces fac, fistula, versus!               Tu quoque sacra deo virgo, soror inclira David,               Carmine perpetuo nostra iam Gisla valeto!               Te, scio, sponsus amat, caelorum gloria Christus,              40               Nam cui tu soli semper tua membra dicasti.               Surge, meis caris dulces fac, fistula, versus!               Rothrud carmen amat, mentis clarissima virgo,               Virgo decora satis, et moribus inclira virgo.               Curre per albentes campos et collige flores,              45               Ex veterum pratis pulchram tibi pange coronam!               Surge, meis caris dulces fac, fistula, versus!               Virginis egregiae Bertae nunc dicite laudes,               Pierides mecum, placeant cui carmina nostra:               Carminibus * * * Musarum digna puella est.              50               Surge, meis caris dulces fac, fistula, versus!               Tibia vos laudet pariter nunc nostra, puellae,               Praefragiles annis, maturae in moribus almis.               23ff.This reference to Luke 6:48 is not simply meant typologically; Angilbert also refers               to the construction of the Dom at Aachen. The sequence of thoughtfrom Charlemagne's               encouragement of scholars and learning to his building plansis paralleled in 25, vv.               67-136.               31. Cf. 92, 108.               32. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 8. 21-61.               33. Charles, eldest son of Charlemagne, who died in 811; cf. 15, v. 71.               38-41. Charlemagne's sister, Gisela, abbess of Chelles; a correspondent of Alcuin's. See

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 115

              and to examine the riches of old in the shrewdness of his heart;               he is eager to ponder the secrets of holy wisdom.               David loves poets, David is the poets' glory.               David wishes to have wise teachers               to lend distinction and fame to every discipline at his court,               and with studious spirit to revive the learning of the ancients.               David loves poets, David is the poets' glory.               He lays his foundation upon a rock on high,               so that his house may stand firm and blessed by divine Christ.               He first succeeded in placing stones to form               a fine church dedicated to Almighty God, enthroned in heaven.               David loves poets, David is the poets' glory.               May Christ in His mercy assist the holy work;               let heaven's servants, I ask, participate in the task               and may the companies of saints help in it, I pray.               David loves Christ, Christ is David's glory.               Rise, pipe, and make sweet poetry for my dear ones!               Charles, distinguished youth, how can I say nothing about you?               You are a child worthy of your great parents,               the idol of the court, hope of the kingdom, of gentle temperament,               and so all the pipes of the poets sing your praises.               Rise, pipe, and make sweet poetry for my dear ones!               I greet you too, Gisela, God's holy virgin,               distinguished sister of David, in my never-ending poem.               You are loved, I know, by Christ, your husband and the heaven's glory,               for to Him alone you have dedicated your body.               Rise, pipe, and make sweet verses for my dear ones!               Hrothrud, a maiden celebrated for her intellect, loves poetry;               she unites great beauty with high moral qualities.               Hurry through the shining fields, pick flowers, and make               a beautiful crown for yourself from the meadows of the ancients.               Rise, pipe, and make sweet verse for my dear ones!               Speak now with me, Muses, in praise of Bertha,               may that excellent maiden like my poetry,               and she is worthy of the Muses' songs.               Rise, pipe, and make sweet verses for my dear ones.               Let my pipe now also sing in praise of the girls,               tender in years, but mature in gentle character (Footnote continued from previous page)               Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni 18. Cf. 15, v. 81.               43-4. Hrothrud, daughter of Charlemagne; cf. 15, v. 81. The metaphor for Scripture               and for literary composition is frequent in Alcuin; see Schaller, Vortragsdichtung, pp. 34-5.               Hrothrud and Gisela encouraged Alcuin to write his Commentary on John.               48. Bertha: Charlemagne's daughter and Angilbert's mistress (Wattenbach-Levison-Löwe               ii, pp. 238-9). Cf. 15, v. 18.               50. lacuna: cunctis Wattenbach: crebris Green.               52. On Charlemagne's other daughters see Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni 18; 15, v. 99.

 



Page 116

              Praepulchram speciem vitae iam vicit honestas.               Surge, meis caris dulces fac, fistula, versus!              55               Cur te non memorem, magnae primicerius aulae,               Aaron quippe prius magnus sub Mose sacerdos               In te nunc nostra subito reviviscit in aula?               Tu portas effoth, sacrumque altaribus ignem,               Ore poli clavem portas manibusque capellae,              60               Tu populum precibus defendis semper ab hoste.               Surge, meis caris dulces fac, fistula, versus.               Thirsis amat versus, dicamus carmine Thirsin,               Ardua quippe fides canuto vertice fulget;               Fulget amor Thirsin quapropter pectore puro.              65               Alma fides Thirsin faciet quoque Davide carum.               Surge, meis caris dulces fac, fistula, versus!               Uvidus imbrifero veniet de monte Menalcas,               Ut legat hos versus aulae condignus amore,               Dignus amor rutilat vatorum in corde Menalce.              70               Surge, meis caris dulces fac, fistula, versus!               Cartula, curre modo per sacra palatia David,               Atque humili cunctis caris fer voce salutem               Basia dans dulci modulamine semper amicis               Atque mei David pedibus prostrata camenas              75               Mox expande tuas, decies dic mille salutes,               Atque pedum digitis da basia dulcia sacris!               Sic te verte meis caris proferre salutem               Atque puellarum cameras percurre canendo               Et pete castra primo, carta, clarissima Iuli,              80               Et dic multimodas iuveni per carmina laudes.               Et sic ad sacram citius tunc curre capellam.               Pacificam utque feras cunctis in ore salutem               Et quicumque tibi occurrat per strata fidelis               Vir pater aut frater forsan, iuvenesque senesque             85               Semper in ore feras sacratam pacis olivam,               Dic [et]: 'Homerus amat vestram per secla salutem.               Vos deus omnipotens semper conservet ubique,               Te quoque * * * Christus, David, conservet in evum!'               David amor noster, David super omnia carus.              90               David amat vates, vatorum est gloria David.               David amat Christum, Christus est gloria David.               56. Hildebald: arch-chaplain and future archbishop of Cologne. Cf. 7, vv. 30-2; 15, v.               125; Hincmar IV (p. 60, 266 and note 125).               59. effoth: the ephod Aaron wore on his shoulders (Exodus 28 and 39). Cf. I Samuel               2:28.               60. Note the play on Matthew 16:19. capellae: the palace-chapel. See Fleckenstein, Hofka              pelle, pp. 11ff.               63ff. Meginfrid: chamberlain; cf. 15, v. 117; Hincmar v (p. 72, 362 and note 167).               68ff. Menalcas: Audulf the seneschal and steward; cf. 15, v. 181; Hincmar v (p. 74, 373

 



Page 117

              whose upright life surpasses their extreme beauty.               Rise, pipe, and make sweet verse for my dear ones.               Why should I not mention you, steward of the great court,               for in you Aaron, once a great priest under Moses,               is now wondrously given a second life in our palace?               You carry the ephod, the holy fire, to the altars,               bearing on your lips heaven's key and in your hands the chapel key.               With your prayers you constantly defend the people from the foe.               Arise, pipe, and make sweet verses for my dear ones.               Thyrsis loves poetry, let us speak of Thyrsis in song,               for his lofty faith shines from his white locks;               Thyrsis' love glows from his pure heart.               His sweet faith will make him dear to David.               Arise, pipe, and make sweet verse for my dear ones.               Menalcas will come dripping from the rainy mountain               to read these verses and earn the court's affection;               proper love of poets gleams in Menalcas' heart.               Rise, pipe, and make sweet verses for my dear ones.                       Little letter, run now through the holy palaces of David,               and bring greetings to all my dear ones with humble voice,               ceaselessly embracing my friends in sweet tune,               and prostrate yourself at the feet of my David,               declaim your poetry, say ten thousand greetings,               and sweetly kiss the hallowed toes on his feet!               Then turn to bring greetings to my dear ones,               run singing through the girls' chambers,               first seeking the famous camps of Julius               and sing many kinds of poetic praise to that young man.               Then hurry back swiftly to this holy chapel,               bearing on your lips the greetings of peace to all men.               And whomsoever among the faithful you meet in the streets               a husband, a father, or perhaps a brother, young men and old               always carry the hallowed olive branch of peace in your mouth,               and say: 'With Homer's love, greetings forever!               May omnipotent God preserve you forever and everywhere.               May Christ preserve you, David, forever!'               David is our love, David is dear above all.               David loves poets, David is the poets' glory.               David loves Christ, Christ is David's glory. (Footnote continued from previous page)               and note 169)               69. The poem is to be read before being recited in public. Cf. 15, note to v. 201.               72ff. The poet's instructions to his letter, a technique employed by Alcuin (MGH, Poetae               i, pp. 220-3, translated by H. Waddell, More Latin Lyrics (London, 1976), pp. 150-5). Cf.               15, v. 11 and note.               80. Iuli: Charlemagne's son Pippin. castra is not military but metaphorical (cf. v. 102).               83. utque MS.: atque Green.

              89. lacuna: amat Green, probably rightly; cf. vv. 87-8.

 



Page 118

                      Post haec, carta, cito hortos percurris amoenos,               Cum pueris quos iam habitare solebat Homerus.               Cerne salutifero pulchros de gramine flores,              95               Si bene se teneant, crescant si germine laeto,               Si non hostis edax inimico pollice rumpat,               Undique cingantur firmis si sepibus illi,               Si domus et pueri vigeant, si tecta domorum.               Laeta deo laudes facies, si prospera cuncta              100               Invenies, et dic pueris: 'Servate fideles               Castra, precor, veniat ad vos dum vatis Homerus,               Ne vel flamma vorax vel fur devastet in istis               Iam septis quicquam, summo miserante tonante.               Vosque valete, mei pueri, pia cura poetae,              105               Et portate meo dulci mea carmina David!'               David amat vates, vatorum est gloria David.               David amat Christum, Christus est gloria David.               7. Alcuin               Venerunt apices vestrae pietatis ab aula,               O dilecte deo, David dulcissime, Flacco               Portantes vestrae nobis pia dona salutis,               Quam deus omnipotens semper superaugeat, opto.               Tu laus spesque tuis, toto tu gaudia regno,              5               Tu decus ecclesiae, rector, defensor, amator.               Tu dignos equidem misisti sorte ministros               Ordinibus sacris iam per loca nota capellae.               Ecce sacerdotes Christi sua iura tenebunt,               Officiale decus servant sibi rite ministri              10               Nathaneique suo gaudent sub principe certo.               Accurrunt medici mox, Hippocratica secta:               Híc venas fundit, herbas hic miscet in olla,               Ille coquit pultes, alter sed pocula praefert.               Et tamen, o medici, cunctis impendite gratis,              15               Ut manibus vestris adsit benedictio Christi:               Haec mihi cuncta placent, iste est laudabilis ordo.               Quid Maro versificus solus peccavit in aula?               93ff. The metaphor of a garden is applied to the palace-school, and the pueri are its               pupils. See Schaller, Vortragsdichtung, pp. 31-5. Cf. 6, vv. 1ff. with note.               95. Cf. 9, vv. 5-6.               102. The poem is written in 794 (during Angilbert's absence at the synod of Frankfurt)               or in 795 (part of which he spent in his abbey of Saint-Riquier); Schaller, Vortragsdichtung,               p. 36.               7. Text: MGH, Poetae i. pp. 245-6; Schaller-Könsgen, 17047: Iutroduction, pp. 10-11.               The poem is conceived as a reply to a letter from Charlemagne, written probably in 796,               and addressed to the court as well as the king. Alcuin observes a hierarchical order (cf. 6               and 15), beginning (vv. 7-11) with the three divisions of clerical rank in the court chapel               and progressing through (vv. 12-17) the physicians, (vv 18-24) the palace school, (vv. 24-9)

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 119

                      After this, letter, run swiftly through the pleasant gardens               where Homer used to live with his boys.               See the beautiful flowers growing from the healthy grass,               whether they do well, whether they grow abundantly, whether               the ravening foe does not break them with his cruel touch.               See whether they are on all sides enclosed with strong hedges,               whether the house and the boys flourish, and the buildings too.               Happily sing praises to God if you find everything               going well and say to the boys: 'Guard the camp               faithfully, I pray, until the poet Homer comes to you.               Let the devouring flame and the thief do no damage               within these confines, by the grace of almighty God.               And you, my children, proper concern of this poet,               carry my works to my sweet David!'               David loves poets, David is the poets' glory.               David loves Christ, Christ is David's glory.               7. On the court               Your kind letter came from court,               most sweet David, beloved of God, bearing               to me, Flaccus, the welcome news of your good health               which I hope almighty God will always increase.               You are a source of praise, hope and joy to all your kingdom,               you are an ornament to the church, its ruler, defender and lover.               You have appointed deacons thoroughly worthy of their station               in a sacred hierarchy to determined places in the chapel.               See how the priests of Christ carry out their proper duties               and His deacons perform their noble office,               the sub-deacons rejoicing in their dependable leaders.               The doctors hurry up at once, disciples of Hippocrates,               one taking blood from veins, another mixing herbs in a pot,               one brewing poultices, and another serving up potions.               And yet, doctors, tend to everyone without charge,               so that Christ may bless and guide your hands:               of all these things I approve, this is an order which I can praise.               Was the poet Virgil the only one to do wrong at court? (Footnote continued from previous page)               the imperial chancery and its scriptorium, (vv. 30-40) officials of the court chapel again,               (vv. 41-4) Charlemagne's daughter and her enthusiasm for astronomy, (vv. 45-6) Angilbert,               (vv. 47-51) holders of secular office.               2. Flacco: one of the pseudonyms which Alcuin adopted at Charlemagne's court.               7. For the etymology. cf. Jerome, Ep. 52.5.               7-11. On the tripartite division of the clergy of the court chapel into priests, deacons               and sub-deacons, see Schaller, Vortragsdichtung. pp. 25-6 (with bibliography).               11. Nathaeique: sub-deacons; the origin of this usage is Biblical (temple servants). Schaller               compares Nehemiah 11:3 and Isidore, Etymologiae 7.12.23.               12ff. Cf. 9. vv. 5-6. For the emphasis on doctors, see p. 10, note 3 and cf. 9 vv. 5-6.

              18. Maro = Virgil = poetry. Alcuin laments that the art of poetry is alone deprived of               any master to teach it at court, while all other professions are well represented.

 



Page 120

              Non fuit ille pater iam dignus habere magistrum,               Qui daret egregias pueris per tecta camenas?              20               Quid faciet Beleel Hiliacis doctus in odis?               Cur, rogo, non tenuit scolam sub nomine patris?               Quid faciet tardus canuto vertice Drances,               Consilio validus, gelida est cui dextera bello?               Zacheus arborem conscendit parvus in altam,              25               Ut videat turbam scriptorum currere circum;               Litterulis, cartis miseris solatia praestat.               Non tangat, caveat puerorum sportula dextras!               Iam tenet ordo suum proprie nunc quisque magistrum,               Presbyter egregius, toto sub pectore plenus,              30               Iste sacerdotes factis et voce gubernat               Ante illos gradiens, clarissima forma salutis.               Ordo ministrorum sequitur te, Iesse, magistrum,               Vox tibi forte sonat Christi taurina per aulam,               Ut decet ex alto populis pia verba legenti.              35               Candida Sulpicius post te trahit agmina lector,               Hos regat et doceat, certis ne accentibus errent.               Instituit pueros Idithun modulamine sacro,               Utque sonos dulces decantent voce sonora.               Quot pedibus, numeris, rithmo stat musica discant!              40               Noctibus inspiciat caeli mea filia stellas,               Adsuescatque deum semper laudare potentem,               Qui caelum stellis ornavit, gramine terras.               Omnia qui verbo mundi miracula fecit.               Fistula tunc Flacci proprium tibi carmen, Homere,              45               Iam faciet, tu dum sacram redieris ad aulam.               Perpetuum valeat Thyrsis simul atque Menalca,               Ipse Menalca coquos nigra castiget in aula,               Ut calidos habeat Flaccus per fercula pultes.               Et Nemias Graeco infundat sua pocula Bacho,              50               Qui secum tunnam semper portare suescit.

              20. Cf. 9, v. 22.               21. Beleel: Einhard. The pseudonym is that of Bezaleel, the builder of the tabernacle               (Exodus 31:2-11; 35:30;38:22), and the allusion is to Einhard's role as 'un véritable ministre               des Beaux-Arts' (L. Halphen, Etudes critiques sur l'histoire de Charlemagne (Paris, 1921),               PP- 73-4). Hiliacis . . . odis: the Aeneid, epic of the Trojan hero Aeneas.               23. Drances: the pseudonym is taken from Virgil, Aeneid. 9. 336-9. Cf. the portrayal of               Lentulus, 15, v. 151; the two have sometimes been identified (Schaller, Vortragsdichtung,               p. 25, note 27).               25. Zaccheus: the chief publican of Luke 19:2-4, who climbed on a tall tree to see Christ               passing by. The name is used as a pseudonym for Ercambald, head of the royal chancery.               The tall tree of the Biblical account is a reference to his elevated writing desk. On his office               see Hincmar IV (p. 271-7 and note 130).

              28. The boys of the royal chancery and scriptorium. For the inversion of subject and               object (conversio), cf. 15, vv. 148-9.               30-2. Hildebald: the arch-chaplain and archbishop of Cologne. Cf. 15, v. 125.               33-5. The deacons were headed by Jesse, bishop of Amiens.

 



Page 121

              Did that distinguished man deserve not to have any teacher               who could assign fine poetry to the boys in the palace?               What will Bezaleel, learned in the poems about Troy, do?               Why, I ask, did he not direct the school in place of his father?               What about slow Drances with his white head of hair?               He is powerful in counsel, but his hand is too sluggish for warfare.               Little Zaccheus has climbed up on the tall tree               to watch the crowd of scribes running about,               with small letters and parchment he provides help to the needy.               May the boys look out and not lay hands on bribes!               For every rank now has its own master:               an excellent, full-hearted priest               governing others in deed and word,               going before them and setting a distinguished example of salvation.               A succession of servants follows the master Jesse               whose bull-like voice may resound in the temple of Christ,               as is proper for one who reads to the people God's word from on high.               After him Sulpicius the reader leads out his white-robed ranks:               may he guide and teach them not to err about fixed quantities.               Idithun has taught the children holy chant,               so that they sing sweet sounds with sonorous voices.               Let them learn the feet, numbers and rhythms in which music consists!               May my daughter at night-time gaze upon the stars in the sky               and grow accustomed to giving constant praise to mighty God               who arrayed the heavens with stars and the earth with grass,               and by His word performed all the miracles in the world.               Flaccus's pipe will now compose a poem specially dedicated to you,               Homer, until you return to the sacred court.               May Thyrsis and Menalcas always be well,               and Menalcas chide the cooks in the black hall,               so that Flaccus has hot porridge in regular courses.               Let Nemias fill his goblet with Greek wine,               for he is always accustomed to carry a barrel with him.

              36-7. On Sulpicius, a lector in the capella, see F. Brunhölzl in Karl der Grosse ii, p. 30.               38. Idithun, the Biblical pseudonym for the music-master, is aptly taken from king David's               chief musician (Psalm 38:1).               41. Alcuin wrote to Charlemagne's daughter Gundrada De animae ratione (MGH, Epp. iv,               pp. 473ff.); his letters on the stars and the planets are addressed to Charlemagne (e.g. ibid.,               pp. 237ff., 249ff.).               45-6. Angilbert, absent from court either on a diplomatic mission or in Saint-Riquier               early in 796.               47. See 6, notes to vv. 63ff. and 68ff.               50. Nemias (Nehemiah: II Ezra 1): Eppinus-Eberhard, the cupbearer. Cf. 15, v. 187;               Hincmar v (pp. 74, 373 and note 170).

              51. No complete Carolingian poem-epistle ends in this abrupt manner, without a formal               coda (cf. 2, 3, 15). Context and general convention provide grounds for suspicion that this               text, transmitted only in the 1617 edition by André Duchesne, itself based on a lost Saint              Bertin manuscript, is incomplete. I propose a lacuna after v. 51.

 



Page 122

              8. Alcuin               En tuus Albinus, saevis ereptus ab undis,                       Venerat, altithrono nunc miserante deo,               Te cupiens apelperegrinislare camenis,                       O Corydon, Corydon, dulcis amice satis.               Quicquid tu volitas per magna palatia regum,              5                       Ut ludens pelago aliger undisono;               Qui sophiae libros primis lac ore sub annis                       Suxisti et labris ubera sacra tuis?               Dum tibi, dum maior per tempora creverat aetas,                       Tunc solidos sueras sumere corde cibos,              10               Fortia de gazis veterum et potare Falerna;                       Sensibus et fuerant pervia cuncta tuis.               Quicquid ab antiquo invenerunt tempore patres,                       Nobile cuncta tibi pandit et ingenium,               Ac divina tuis patuit scriptura loquelis,              15                       Aedibus in sacris dum tua vox resonat.               Quid tua nunc memorem scolastica carmina, vatis,                       Qui cunctos poteras tu superare senes?               Viscera tota tibi cecinerunt atque capilli                       Nunc tua lingua tacet; cur tua lingua tacet?              20               Nec tua lingua valet forsan cantare camenas,                       Atque-reordormit lingua tibi, Corydon?               Dormit et ipse meus Corydon, scolasticus olim,                       Sopitus Bacho! Ve tibi, Bache pater!               Ve, quia tu quaeris sensus subvertere sacros              25                       Atque meum Corydon ore tacere facis!               Ebrius in tectis Corydon aulensibus errat                       Nec memor Albini, nec memor ipse sui.               Obvia non misit venienti carmina patri,                       Ut canerent 'salve': tu tamen, ecce, 'vale!'              30               Rusticus est Corydondixit hoc forte propheta                       Virgilius quondam: 'Rusticus es Corydon'.               Dixerat ast alter, melius sed, Naso poeta:                       'Presbyter est Corydon', sit cui semper ave!               8. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 249-50; Schaller-Könsgen, 4464. Written either in 786 or in               793, after one of Alcuin's visits to England, this work is among the lightest and most skilful               of his admonitory, poems. The changes of tonefrom grandiloquent praise of the pupil,               whose pseudonym Corydon is pointedly taken from the bumpkin shepherd of Virgil's second               Eclogue (Introduction, p. 18), to mock bewilderment at his drunken misdemeanours, ending               in a subtle twist of Virgil's words to incite 'Corydon' to reformset this poem apart from               the stern letters which Alcuin wrote on the same subject (e.g. MGH, Epp. iv, pp. 107-9).               1. Albinus: a pseudonym for Alcuin, possibly originating from the period before he came               to Charlemagne's court in 781/2.               1-2 Cf. Virgil, Aeneid. 1 596. The mock grandiloquence of the opening prepares for the               comic exaggeration that is to follow.               3. The awkward tmesis is possibly a self-parody, indicating the kind of poetry, Alcuin

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 123

              8. To a truant pupil               Your Albinus had just returned, saved from the waves' fury               by merciful God, enthroned on high,               wishing to sumwith poems written abroadmon you,               O Corydon, Corydon, dear, dear friend.               Why do you fly through the great palaces of kings               like a bird, playful on the ocean's sounding main?               In your earliest years you sucked milk from the books of Wisdom               and pressed her holy breasts to your lips.               As you grew older and years passed               then you would take solid food and drink strong Falernian               wine from the precious stores of the ancients.               All things were accessible to your understanding:               whatever the fathers discovered in ancient times               your noble intelligence revealed to you.               Divine Scripture was expounded in your words               while your voice resounded in the holy church.               Why now should I recall the verse you composed at school               you who as a poet could surpass all the old men?               Every bone in your body, every hair on your head made poetry               now your tongue is silent; why is your tongue silent,               can it be that your tongueperhapsjust can't recite verse               andI wonderisn't your tongue asleep, Corydon?               Corydon, my pupil, a sometime scholar, sleeps,               dumbfounded by drink! Woe upon you, father Bacchus!               Alas, for you try to upturn holy understanding               and make my Corydon fall silent!               Corydon wanders drunken in the court,               forgetting Albinus, forgetting even himself.               He did not send poems to meet his father on return               and sing 'Greetings'. To you, rather: 'Farewell!'               Corydon is a bumpkinVirgil the prophet               once chanced to say: 'You are a bumpkin, Corydon!'               But another poet, Naso, put it better:               'Corydon is a priest'; greetings to him forever! (Footnote continued from previous page)               would have written from abroad. It is imitated in the translation.               4. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 2. 69.               7ff. The metaphors of nourishment are used of the scriptural and secular learning of the               pupil.               10. Cf. Hebrews 5:12.               17-19. On the absence of poetry as a sign of intellectual decline, cf`. 9, vv. 19-22.               18. The puer-senex topos (Curtius, 98ff.) is used not for praise but for reproach.               32 Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 2. 56.               33. A. Ebert (ZfdA 22 (1878), pp. 329ff.) conjectures that the quotation is from 'Corydon'               himself` and that he is identical with 'Naso'. For such a doubling of` pseudonym there are

              no parallels in early Carolingian poetry, and it is less strained to assume that the quotation               is from the poet whom we know to have employed the name 'Naso'Moduin of Autun.

 



Page 124

              9. Alcuin               O mea cella, mihi habitatio dulcis, amata,                       Semper in aeternum, o mea cella, vale.               Undique te cingit ramis resonantibus arbos,                       Silvula florigeris semper onusta comis.               Prata salutiferis florebunt omnia et herbis,              5                       Quas medici quaerit dextra salutis ope.               Flumina te cingunt florentibus undique ripis,                       Retia piscator qua sua tendit ovans.               Pomiferis redolent ramis tua claustra per hortos,                       Lilia cum rosulis candida mixta rubris.              10               Omne genus volucrum matutinas personat odas                       Atque creatorem laudat in ore deum.               In te personuit quondam vox alma magistri,                       Quae sacro sophiae tradidit ore libros.               In te temporibus certis laus sancta tonantis              15                       Pacificis sonuit vocibus atque animis.               Te, mea cella, modo lacrimosis plango camaenis                       Atque gemens casus pectore plango tuos;               Tu subito quoniam fugisti carmina vatum                       Atque ignota manus te modo tota tenet.              20               Te modo nec Flaccus nec vatis Homerus habebit,                       Nec pueri musas per tua tecta canunt.               Vertitur omne decus secli sic namque repente:                       Omnia mutantur ordinibus variis.               Nil manet aeternum, nihil immutabile vere est,              25                       Obscurat sacrum nox tenebrosa diem.               Decutit et flores subito hiems frigida pulcros,                       Perturbat placidum et tristior aura mare.               Qua campis cervos agitabat sacra iuventus,                       Incumbit fessus nunc baculo senior.              30               Nos miseri, cur te fugitivum, mundus, amamus?                       Tu fugis a nobis semper ubique ruens.               Tu fugiens fugias, Christum nos semper amemus,                       Semper amor teneat pectora nostra dei!               9. Text' MGH, Poetae i, pp. 243-4; Schaller-Konsgen, 10934; Godman, pp. 555-83.               Written in the late 790s, after his move to Tours in 796, Alcuin's poem laments the decline               of the spiritual, intellectual and literary milieu which he had enjoyed in the palace school               at Aachen. With complimentary allusion to an earlier poem of Angilbert's (6, vv. 93ff.),               Alcuin adapts Angilbert's idyllic description of the same setting in which they had both               taught (Introduction, pp. 18-19).               1-16. cella: the term is used generally of the locus amoenus of spirituality and learning               which is described in these lines, and not specifically of a single monastic cell (Godman,               pp. 567-70). The near-epanalepsis in the opening couplet perhaps echoes one of Angilbert's               poems written in this form.               13. The reference is to Alcuin himself and to Angilbert (Godman, p. 575 and cf. v. 21)               18. The decline to which Alcuin refers expresses regret at the loss of the way of life which               he had shared with Angilbert at Aachen in the palace school that is reflected in his letters

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 125

              9. Elegy on his life at Aachen               O my cell, my sweet, beloved dwelling,               forever and ever, o my cell, farewell.               Trees with rustling boughs surround you on all sides,               a little wood always lush with blooming foliage.               All the meadows will blossom with medicinal herbs               that are sought for healing by the doctor's hand.               Rivers encircle you, their banks all a-flower,               where the fisherman joyously casts his nets.               Throughout your enclosed gardens apple-boughs smell sweetly,               and white lilies are mingled with little red roses.               Every kind of bird rings forth its morning tune               praising in its song God the creator.               In you the gentle voices of teachers could once be heard               expounding with their hallowed lips the books of Wisdom.               In you at set times holy praise of God               resounded from peaceful minds in peaceful words.               For you, my cell, I now lament with tearful poetry;               groaning, I bewail at heart your decline,               for you suddenly fled from the songs of the poets               and a stranger's hand now has you in its grasp.               You shall belong neither to Flaccus nor to Homer the poet,               and no boys sing songs under your roof.               All temporal beauty changes in this sudden way,               all things alter in different fashions.               Nothing remains eternal, nothing is truly immutable;               the shadows of night cover the holy day.               Cold winter suddenly shakes down the beautiful flowers               and a dreary breeze churns up the peaceful sea.               In the fields where the holy youths chased the stag               the old man now leans wearily on his staff.               Why do we wretches love you, fugitive world?               You always fly headlong from us.               May you flee away, and let us always love Christ,               let love of God always possess our hearts. (Footnote continued from previous page)               (Godman, pp. 574ff.).               21. Flaccus . . . Homerus: the coupling of Alcuin's and Angilbert's pseudonyms recalls their               common intellectual activity (Godman, pp. 569ff.). For the third-person reference see ibid.               P 575.               23-4. The abruptness of the lines typifies their subject, unpredictable mutability.               24-5. Cf. 10, vv. 11-12 (written in 793).               26. Ibid. vv. 17-18.               27. Cf. 7, v. 20; Schaller, Vortragsdichtung, pp. 34-5 and F. Brunhölzl in Karl der Grosse ii,               p. 29.               29-30. Ibid. vv. 101-2.

              30. The old man's weary tread is underlined by the ponderous spondaic movement of               the verse.               33. Cf. 10, v. 119.

 



Page 126

              Ille pius famulos diro defendat ab hoste,              35                       Ad caelum rapiens pectora nostra, suos;               Pectore quem pariter toto laudemus, amemus:                       Nostra est ille pius gloria, vita, salus!               10. Alcuin               Postquam primus homo paradisi liquerat hortos                       Et miseras terras exul adibat inops,               Exilioque gravi poenas cum prole luebat,                       Perfidiae quoniam furta maligna gerit,               Per varios casus mortalis vita cucurrit,              5                       Diversosque dies omnis habebat homo.               Fatali cursu miscentur tristia laetis,                       Nulli firma fuit regula laetitae.               Nemo dies cunctos felices semper habebat,                       Nemo sibi semper gaudia certa tenet.               10               Nil manet aeternum celso sub cardine caeli,                       Omnia vertuntur temporibus variis.               Una dies ridet, casus eras altera planget,                       Nil fixum faciet tessera laeta tibi.               Prospera conturbat sors tristibus impia semper,              15                       Alternis vicibus ut redit unda maris.               Nunc micat alma dies, veniet nox atra tenebris,                       Ver floret gemmis, hiems ferit hocque decus.               Sidereum stellis culmen depingitur almis,                       Quas nubes rapiunt imbriferae subito.              20               Et sol ipse die media subducitur ardens,                       Cum tonat undosus auster ab axe poli.               Saepius excelsos feriunt et fulgura montes,                       Summaque silvarum flamma ferire solet:               Sic maior magnis subito saepissime rebus              25                       Eveniet casu forte ruina malo.               Haec exempla dedit periturus et undique mundus,                       Divitiis florens, qui perit in pelago.               Voce prophetarum partes per quatuor orbis                       Iam praedicta rides subruta regna modo.              30               10. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 229-35: Schaller-Könsgen, 12275 This elegy is an extended               poetic meditation on the central themes of two letters which Alcuin sent to Hygebald, abbot               of Lindisfarne, after the sacking of the monastery by the Norsemen m 793 (MGH, Epp. iv.               pp. 53-9). It initiates a sequence of poems on the subjects of mutability and transience               that culminates in O mea cella (9) to which it is closely related (see note to vv. 101ff.). See               further Introduction, p. 20.               1ff. The example of Adam sets the tone for the Biblical and historical illustrations of               mutability which follow. Their point in Alcuin's letter is not only to demonstrate the               universal character of temporal transience but also to offer hope for the future in this world

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 127

              May He in His goodness always defend His servants from the enemy,               ravishing us and our hearts up to Heaven.               Let us also praise and love him wholeheartedly,               for He, the kindly one, is our glory, life, and salvation.               10. The destruction of Lindisfarne               After the first man had left the gardens of Paradise               and entered the lands of misery, needy and banished,               in burdensome exile he and his children began to pay the penalty               for the wicked act of treacherous theft he had committed.               Human life passes rapidly through many sorts of disasters               and every man has had different kinds of days.               In the course of fate sadness will be mixed with joy;               no one has firm control over delight.               No one has had success every day,               no one always enjoys predictable happiness.               Nothing remains eternal under the tall dome of the sky,               all things change at different times.               One day smiles, the next laments a catastrophe,               no stability is granted by a token of luck.               Unkindly chance always throws sadness and prosperity together,               as the sea waves return with their ebb and flow.               Soft daylight gleams one moment, then comes the darkness of black night;               spring blossoms with buds whose beauty winter destroys.               The heights of heaven are picked out with fine stars.               which the rain clouds suddenly snatch from view,               and the burning sun hides too in the middle of the day,               when the south wind thunders with watery torrents from high heaven.               Lightning most often hits the loftiest hills               and flames usually strike the tops of the woods:               in this way greater ruin most often comes suddenly               to great things by chance and by ill fortune.               Everywhere the world, doomed to perish, teaches this lesson,               it flourishes with wealth and is lost in the seas.               Through the four corners of the earth you can now witness               the collapse of kingdoms foretold by the words of the prophets. (Footnote continued from previous page)               as well as the next (see MGH, Epp. iv, pp. 57, 32-6; Godman, pp. 581ff.).               2-3. On the metaphor of exile, see Introduction, p. 41.               12. Cf. 9. v. 24. A full list of parallels between these two poems (and Alcuin's other               poetic works) is set out in Godman. pp. 559-63.               16ff. Natural change is presented as parallel to the historical examples foretold by the               prophets (vv. 29-30) which follow.               17. Cf. 9. v. 26.               23-4. The expression, derived at second hand from Horace, Odes. 2. 10. 11, is proverbial               in this context. 29-30. Cf. 40 vv. 117ff., especially vv. 129ff.

 



Page 128

              Nobilis urbs regno et prima potentia regum                       Perdidit, o, Babilon Caldea regna potens.               Egregium bello et magnis te, Persa, triumphis                       Obruit, heu, iaculis femina sola suis.               Victorem mundi medio sors, ecce, secundis              35                       Rebus Alexandrum invida flore tulit.               Roma, caput mundi, mundi decus, aurea Roma,                       Nunc remanet tantum saeva ruina tibi.               Gloria castrensis gladiis aequata remansit,                       Lutea pars tegetum sola videtur iners.              40               Quid te, sancta, canam, David urbs inclita regis,                       In mundo nullis aequiparanda locis?               In te templa dei, cultus, laus, gloria, virtus,                       In te mansit ovans sancta propago patrum.               Dum tua, quis teneat lacrimas nunc, ultima cernit:              45                       Gens inimica deo iam tua tecta tenet.               Heu, Iudea, tuis habitator in urbibus errat                       Rarus in antiquis, laus tua tota perit.               Nobile nam templum, toto et venerabile in orbe,                       Quod Salomon fecit, Caldea flamma vorat.              50               Deicit hoc iterum Romana potentia bellis                       In cineres solvens moenia, tecta simul.               Ecce, relicta domus Siloe per secla remansit,                       In qua sancta dei arca potentis erat.               Sic fugit omne decus, hominis quod dextera fecit,              55                       Gloria seclorum sic velut umbra volat.               Ut sitiens liquidas frustra sibi somniat undas,                       Sic gazas mundi dives habebit inops.               Tempora cur tantum luctu longinqua retexam,                       Et veterum miseros carmine plango dies,              60               Dum praesens aetas patitur peiora per orbem,                       Et misera mundus nunc ditione dolet?               Asia lata gemit paganis pressa catenis,                       Quam premit et spoliat gens inimica deo.               Africa Jam servit, magni pars tertia mundi,              65                       Pro dolor, heu, tota pestiferis dominis!               31ff. Alcuin's list of examples is based on Orosius' Historiae (see below) and a number               of the instances which he chooses were depicted on the wall-paintings of the imperial palace               at Ingelheim described by Ermoldus Nigellus. See 37 (1) vv. 246ff., 261ff.               31-2. Cf. Orosius, Historiae 2. 6.               33-4. Cyrus II, killed in battle against the Scythians. Their queen Tamaris avenged               herself on his bloodthirstiness by decapitating him and throwing his head into a skin filled               with human blood. Cf. Orosius, Historiae 2. 7. 1-7 and 37 (1) vv. 251-2.               35-6. Cf. Orosius, Historiae 3.16-20; 37 (1), v. 265.               37. On Rome's reputation, see P. Schramm, Kaiser, Rom, und Renovatio (Düsseldorf, 1962),               pp. 37ff.               38ff. Alcuin had visited Rome at least twice before the composition of this poem (see               Godman, Alcuin, p. xxxvi and note 5). The city during the pontificate of Hadrian I (772-795)

              had suffered from recent Lombard incursions and from a longer period of neglect (concise

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 129

              The noblest city in the realm and chief bulwark of its kings,               mighty Babylon, alas, lost the kingdom of Chaldea.               The Persian who excelled in war and won great triumphs,               was brought down by a solitary woman with her darts.               Envious fate cut off Alexander, conqueror of the world,               in the prime of his life and at the height of his success.               Of Rome, capital and wonder of the world, golden Rome,               only a barbarous ruin now remains.               Its military glory has been levelled by the sword,               and only a lifeless part of its muddy rooftops is visible.               What should I now sing about the holy and excellent city of King David               to which no place in the world can be compared?               In it was God's church, worship, praise, glory, virtue;               in it the holy children of the fathers lived joyously.               How shall any man restrain his tears when he looks upon its end,               for a people hostile to God now holds sway over its dwellings?               Alas, Judaea, few are the inhabitants who wander               in your ancient cities; all praise of you has died.               The noble temple, revered throughout the world,               which Solomon built, the Chaldean flame devoured,               the power of Rome once again demolished it in battle,               reducing its walls and houses to ashes.               For centuries now has stood derelict the house of Shiloh               in which the holy ark of mighty God was kept.               So it is that all beauty made by the hand of man flees away,               and the glory of the ages flies by like a shadow.               As the thirsty man vainly dreams of flowing waters for himself,               so the pauper hopes to become rich and enjoy the world's wealth.               Why should I only deal mournfully with distant times               and lament the miserable days of the ancients in my poetry,               when throughout the world the present age endures worse things               and the earth now grieves in doleful subjection?               Broad Asia groans, oppressed by the chains of pagans,               ground down and despoiled by a people hostile to God.               Africa, the third part of the great world, is now enslaved;               she is entirely given upalasto baneful masters! (Footnote continued from previous page)               analysis in R. Krautheimer, Rome. Profile of a City, 312-1308 (Princeton, 1980), pp. 109ff.)               and this description of decay, although rhetorical (cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile 1.24ff.), is not               grossly exaggerated. What Alcuin does not mention is the work of restoration sponsored               by Hadrian I (Krautheimer, pp. 111ff.).               43. Cf. 9, v 38.               53. For the house of Shiloh see Judges 18:31.               61ff. The following examples of recent history do not occur in Alcuin's prose letters on               this subject. A similar attempt to comment on recent events is attested in his poem on               York. See Godman, Alcuin, pp. iv-lx. The tripartite division of the world here derives from               Isidore, Etymologiae 14. 2 (Europe is implied by vv. 67ff.).               63-6. The reference is to the Arab conquests of the eastern provinces of the Roman

              empire (lost 636-41), of Mesopotamia and the Persian Empire (conquered 634-51), and of               Africa (subdued 641-98). Cf. Bede, On Genesis 16. 12.

 



Page 130

              Hesperiae populus, quondam gens inclita bello,                       Invisis sceptris servit et ipsa modo.               Quicquid habent pulchri domini vel templa decoris                       Vastavit, rapuit ethnica dextra sibi.              70               Hoc generale malum relevet speciale per orbem:                       Quod patitur solus quisque, ferat levius.               Iam domus alma dei, princeps qua corpore pausat                       Petrus, apostolica primus in arce pater,               Perfidiae manibus fertur vastata fuisse,              75                       Dum preciosa domus impia dextra tulit.               Planxerat Italia Gothorum tempore tota,                       Vastavit templa hostis ubique dei,               Et natat effusus sanctorum sanguis in aula,                       Qua prius almus honor omnipotentis erat.              80               Hunorum gladios ter ternis senserat annis                       Gallia tota suis expoliata bonis.               Ecclesias, urbes, vicos, castella, sacratas                       Cum populus pariter ignis edax rapuit.               Talia, cur, Iesu, fieri permittis in orbe              85                       Iudicio occulto, non ego scire queo.               Vita tuis alia servatur in arce polorum,                       Qua pax alma viget, praelia nulla fiunt.               Aurum ut flamma probat, iustos temptatio mundat,                       Purior utque anima sidera celsa petat.              90               Haec est vita viro iusto temptatio tota,                       Auribus ut cecinit pagina sacra tuis.               Quemque pater natum caro complectat amore,                       Saepius huic tristi dura flagella dabit:               Sic deus omnipotens sanctos per saeva probavit              95                       Verbera, post reddens premia laeta polo.               Non vos conturbet, sancti, inconstantia, fratres,                       Nec mundana quidem gurgitibus variis.               Sic fuit atque tier secli versatilis ordo,                       Laetitiae numquam sit cui certa fides.              100               Qui iacet in lecto, quondam certabat in arvis                       Cum cervis, quoniam fessa senectus adest.               Qui olim strato laetus recubabat in ostro,                       Vix panno veteri frigida membra tegit.               Longa dies oculos atra caligine claudit,              105                       Solivagos athomos qui numerare solent.               67-8. Hesperiae populas: not Italy but Spain (see Isidore 9.2. 126 and 14. 19.266) conquered               by the Arabs in 711.  Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 2.241.               73-6. Not only the barbarian sackings of the city but also the perfidia of Lombard               hostilities in the pontificate of Stephen.               77-84. Cf. Alcuin. 'Practically the whole of Europe was laid waste by the sword and fire               of the Goths and Huns', MGH, Epp. iv, pp. 57, 32-3.               81ff. Cf. Orientius, Commonitorium 2.181ff.               85. See Godman, pp. 578ff.

              89. Cf. Zechariah 13:9

 



Page 131

              The people of Spain, once a race excellent at warfare,               are now enslaved by the hands of a power they hate.               All the lords' beautiful possessions, all the finery in the churches,               the hands of pagans have ravaged and seized for themselves.               May this general suffering reduce the grief of individuals in the world:               may each man bear more lightly what he suffers alone.               Now the sweet house of God in which rests the body of Peter,               the father pre-eminent among the ranks of the apostles,               is said to have been devastated by treacherous hands,               when the impious laid their grasp on the precious objects in the church.               The whole of Italy lamented in the time of the Gothic invasions,               when the enemies of God laid waste to the temples everywhere,               and the blood of the saints was shed in waves in the halls               where due respect was once paid to omnipotent God.               For nine years the whole of Gaul suffered at the swords               of the Huns, despoiled of its goods,               while hallowed churches, towns, villages and castles               and the peoples in them were devoured by the ravening fire.               Why, Jesus, You allow such things to happen in the world               by Your impenetrable judgement, I cannot tell.               A different life is reserved for Your followers in highest Heaven,               where gentle peace thrives and no battles are fought.               As flame tempers gold, so the just are cleansed by their trials,               to enable their purer souls to seek the stars on high.               This life is all trial for a just man,               as the holy writings have sung in your hearing.               Fathers who hold their sons in affection and love them               will often beat them harshly.               So too omnipotent God tested the saints through savage blows,               later granting them the rewards of joy in heaven.               Holy brothers, be not bewildered by want of resolution,               nor by the inconstancy of this world's many maelstroms.               Thus was the order of this world subject to change and so it will be,               let no one have trust in the permanence of joy.               He who once hunted in the fields for the stag               lies in bed, now that weary old age is at hand.               He who once reclined joyously on his purple couch               can scarcely cover his chill limbs with an old rag.               The long day closes in black darkness eyes               which used to count each solitary wandering mote.               91-2. Cf. Ecclesiasticus 27:6.               93-4. Cf. Hebrews 12:6-7.               100. Cf. v. 8.               101ff. Cf 9, vv. 29ff.               103. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1.700.               104. Cf. ibid. 12. 868.               105. Cf. ibid. 11.876.

              106. qui . . . solent: Godman, p. 577, note 51. athomos: cf. Alcuin, MGH, Epp. iv, p. 104, 4.

 



Page 132

              Dextera, quae gladios, quae fortia tela vibrabat,                       Nunc tremit atque ori porrigit aegre cibos.               Clarior ecce tuba subito vox faucibus haesit,                       Auribus adpositis murmura clausa ciet.              110               Quid Jam plura canam? Marcescit tota iuventus,                       I am petit atque cadit corporis omne decus,               Et pellis tantum vacua vix ossibus haeret,                       Nec cognoscit homo propria membra senex.               Quod fuit, alter erit, iam nec erit ipse, quod ipse:              115                       Fur erit ipse suus temporibus variis.               Sic ventura dies mentes mutabit et artus                       Atque utinam melior proficiat meritis!               Quapropter potius caelestia semper amemus                       Et mansura polo quam peritura solo.              120               Hic variat tempus, nil non mutabile cernis:                       Illic una dies semper erit, quod erit.               Quo tu queso meus mentem rogo dirige lector:                       Invenies quicquid cor cupit ecce tuum.               Qua tua te numquam fallit spes, advena mundi,              125                       Aspicies patriam, quam tuus optat amor.               Invenies veniens illic bona gaudia vitae                       Perpetuae, quae tu semper habere pores.               Laetus in aeternum Christo sociabere civis;                       Ille manet semper, tu quoque semper eris.              130               Quid tu pertristis aurum te perdere plangis?                       Est auro melius lucrificare deum.               Quid species vanas lacrimosis, nate, querellis                       Prosequeris, haec tu cur peritura cupis?               Talia iam mundi, non Christi luget amator              135                       Sit, rogo, non aurum: sit tibi Christus amor.               Ad vos, o fratres, vertam, mea cura, camenas,                       Alloquar et paucis vos modo versiculis.               Vos regale genus, sobolis veneranda parentum                       Sanctorum, qui vos iam genuere deo.              140               Illorum bibulas meritis caelestibus aures                       Nunc adhibete pio pectore, mente, manu,               Ut sanctum precibus conservent semper ovile,                       Pectore concordi quod statuere deo.               Horrida non frangat vestras temptatio mentes,              145                       Impia quam vobis gessit iniqua manus,               108. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 12. 868.               113. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 3. 103.               115. The style is originally epigraphical. Cf. v. 230 and note. For examples of the theme               in Carolingian epigraphy, see Bernt, Epigramm, pp. 249-50. On Alcuin's use of inscriptional                sources, see L. Wallach, Alcuin and Charlemagne (Ithaca, N.Y., 1955), pp. 178ff.               119. Cf. 9, v. 33.               120. On internal rhyme in Alcuin's poetry see Godman, Alcuin, pp. civ-cv.               124. Cf. Caelius Sedulius, Carmen Paschale, praef 11-12; Godman, Alcuin, p. 122, vv.

              1536-7.

 



Page 133

              Hands which once brandished swords and mighty weapons               now tremble and can barely convey their food to their mouths.               Voices, clearer than trumpets, suddenly stick in the throat               summoning up a subdued whisper for attentive listeners.               Let my poem be brief. All youth fades away,               all physical beauty perishes and falls,               only the empty skin clings with difficulty to the bones,               and when a man grows old he does not even recognise his own limbs.               What he was, another will be, nor will he continue to be what he is,               he will act as a thief from himself at different times.               And so the day to come will change minds and bodies               and may it mark better progress in good deeds!               Therefore let us always love instead the things of the higher world,               and what will remain in heaven rather than what will perish on earth.               Here time changes and you see nothing that is not mutable;               there one day will always be what it will be.               Turn your mind in that direction, I beg and entreat, my reader,               there you will find all that your heart desires.               Where your hopes never deceive you, stranger from the world,               you will recognise the homeland that you love and long for.               Arriving there you will discover the fine joys of eternal life               which are yours always to possess.               A joyous citizen, you will be joined to Christ in eternity;               He lives forever, and so will you too.               Why do you lament so dejectedly that you have lost your gold?               To bring riches to God is better than gold.               Why do you pursue vain beauty, my son, with tearful complaints?               Why do you long for these things which shall perish?               They are grieved for by lovers of the world, not of Christ.               May Christ, not gold, be your love, I pray.               To you, my brothers for whom I care, my poem is addressed;               I shall speak to you now in a few minor verses.               You are a royal race, venerable children of holy parents               who sired you to do service to God.               Cause them to listen with ears thirsty for achievements worthy of heaven,               by calling upon them now with pious hearts, minds and hands,               so that they may always guard with their prayers the holy flock               which they created for God in a spirit of harmony.               May your resolve not be shattered by the hideous trials               that the designs of wicked and impious men have placed in your path;               125-9. Cf. Ephesians 2;19. The contrast advena - civis is also liturgical. See Blaise, p. 527.               138. paucis . . . versiculis: the convention of modesty is reinforced by the ideal of brevity.                Cf. Godman, Alcuin, p. 5, note to v. 18.               139-40. Cf. I Peter 2:9.               143. conservent: this is the reading of British Library, Harley 3865; the subject is the saints               of v. 140 whose intercession is invoked at vv. 141-2. The clause at vv. 143-4 is dependent               on vv. 141-2.

 



Page 134

              Sed magis ad studium vitae melioris abundet,                       Incitet et mentes semper adesse deo,               Erigit elisos, qui vulnerat atque medetur,                       Qui ferit atque sanat, conterit atque levat.              150               Nocte dieque simul precibus insistite sanctis,                       Ut vos conserver Iesus ubique plus.               Et si quae placeant concordi addiscite corde,                       Atque implete manu, quod pia mens cuplat.               Sic tandem vobis clipeus descendit ab alto              155                       Et domini dextra proteget atque reget.               Vos estote patrum memores, quis semper ab alto                       Venerat auxilium, dante tonante, pium.               Iam Moyses melius precibus quam fortis in armis                       Expandens palmas praelia sacra gerit.              160               Plurima pro lacrimis sternuntur milia morte                       Ezechiae regis pestiferi populi;               Huic quoque ter quinos clemens deus addidit annos                       Pro prece, quam moriens fundit ab ore deo.               Vobis nota canam, fratres, quae fecerat olim              165                       Ecclesiae vestrae pontificalis apex.               Praesulis egregii precibus se flamma retorsit                       Aedani quondam Bobban ab urbe procul.               Composuit precibus Eadberht minitantia mortem                       Flabra, plus praesul vester et ipse pater.              170               Magnus et ipse pater, praesul pastorque sacerdos                       Cudberhtus, vestrae Jam decus ecclesiae,               Quanta piis precibus, domino donante, peregit,                       Non opus est nostris dicere versiculis,               Dum prius heroicis praeclarus Beda magister              175                       Versibus explicuit inclita gesta patris,               Laudibus ac celebrat quem tota Britannia crebris                       Et precibus rogitat se auxiliare piis.               Hi simul atque alii, si sic praecepta tenetis                       Illorum fixo semper amore dei,              180               Instanter precibus vestrum tueantur ovile,                       Hostibus expulsis moenia vestra favent.               Posteriora vobis meliora prioribus esse.                       Legistis, fratres: sic quoque vestra fient,               Si in domino toto speratis pectore, qui post              185                       Iam maiora solet verbera dona dare.               At tu, sanctorum praesul successor avorum,                       Qui pascis populum, qui loca sancta tenes,               149 Cf. Psalm 144:14. Job 5:18               159-60 Cf. Exodus 17:11.               161-2. Cf. Isaiah 37:36. Cited by Alcuin, MGH, Epp. iv, p. 44, 16-17. 165       For the special connections of Cuthbert with the church at Lindisfarne, see Godman,

              Alcuin. pp. lii-liii               167-8 The story is related by Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica 3 16, but is not paraphrased by

              Alcuin in the reworking of Bede's history in his poem on York.

 



Page 135

              may they increase your determination to pursue a better life,               urging your minds always to concentrate on God               who raises up the downcast, who both wounds and heals,               strikes and cures, crushes and uplifts.               Persevere both day and night with holy prayers,               so that in every place kindly Jesus may watch over you.               Learn with peaceful hearts whatever pleases Him               and perform all that a pious spirit might wish.               And so at length a shield will descend to you from on high               and the Lord's right hand will protect and rule over you.               Remember the fathers to whom divine help               granted by the Almighty always came from on high.               Moses, by stretching out his hands, waged a holy war               more effectively with prayers than by the force of his weapons.               Many thousands of the baneful people               were laid low in death by the tears of the king Ezekiah,               to whose life God in His mercy added fifteen years               in answer to the prayer which he poured forth to Him as he lay dying.               I shall speak, brothers, of deeds familiar to you               performed by the bishop who was head of your church.               The flame drew back at the prayers of the excellent bishop               Aidan and retreated afar from the city of Bamburgh.               Eadberht, your kindly bishop and father, quelled with his prayers               the gusts of wind which were threatening his flock with death.               That great father, bishop, pastor and priest,               Cuthbert, the paragon of your church,               achieved such prodigies by his holy prayers and God's grace               that there is no need to speak of them in my paltry verses,               since Bede, the outstanding teacher, in heroic poetry               has described the distinguished deeds of that father               whom all of Britain celebrates with constant praise               and entreats to help her with pious prayers.               May these men and others, providing you always follow               their teachings with a steadfast love of God,               zealously protect your fold with their intercession,               guard your walls and rout the enemy.               You have read, brother, that what is to come will be better for you               than what has gone before, so too it shall be with you               if you wholeheartedly place your hope in God               who after striking you often grants you greater gifts.               And you, bishop, successor to holy forebears,               who feed the people and hold sway over hallowed places,               169-70. Eadberht, bishop of Lindisfarne (688-698).               173-8. These lines are closely parallel to Alcuin's declarations in his poem on York (vv.               686-7, Godman, Alcuin, pp. 56-7) and reflect too the cult of Bede (cf. ibid., vv. 1207ff.,               pp. 94-5) to which this is a further testimony.               175-6. Bede's metrical Life of St. Cuthbert (ed. W. Jaager, Palaestra 198 (Leipzig, 1935) ).               184. Cf. Judges 16:14. 185-6. Cf. vv. 165ff. 187

              

. Hygebald, bishop of Lindisfarne (780-803).

 



Page 136

              Es magno, ut video, curarum pondere pressus,                       Quod tam dira fuit tempore plaga tuo.              190               Tecum plango tuos casus, karissime frater,                       Ora fluunt lacrimis, pectora mesta dolent.               Saepius ingeminans tacito sub murmure mecum                       Omnibus, heu, quam sit illa dolenda dies,               Qua pagana manus, veniens a finibus orbis,              195                       Navigio subito litora nostra petit               Expoliansque patrum veneranda sepulcra decore,                       Necnon foedavit templa dicata dei               Atque dei Christi mundissima vinea Sorech                       Vulpinis subito dentibus esca fuit,              200               Et lapides vivi pereunt altaria circum,                       Quapropter cithara plus gemit ecce mea.               Victima facta fuit, domino quae ferre solebat                       Munera; credo, pium munus et ipsa fuit.               Felix illa dies illis, si tristia nobis              205                       Pectora fecisset; sic petiere polum.               Et sanctis socii facti sunt sanguine sacro,                       Qui se pro Christo subiciunt gladiis.               Hos puto quapropter nobis non esse gemendos,                       Quos melior caelo vita sibi rapuit.              210               Desine quapropter lacrimis hos plangere, praesul,                       Quos sibi perpetuo Christus habet socios.               Teque magisque tua facias virtute paratum,                       Ut, quo pervenias, tristia nulla fiant.               Inclita perpetuam praestat patientia vitam,              215                       Ut vox veridica iusserat ipsa dei.               Fer patienter onus Christi tu triste sacerdos:                       Iob exempla dabit victor et ipse tibi,               Miles et ecclesiae Paulus per mille triumphos,                       Qui sua non doluit vulnera mente potens.              220               Quis sine vel miles capiat certamine palmam?                       Bella nefanda dabunt praemia magna suis.               Per gladios, mortes, pestes, per tela, per ignes                       Martyrio sancti regna beata petunt.               Stemmate iam gaudet belli, qui stemmate vincit,              225                       Praelia post terrae regnat in arce poll.               Si quid displicuit Christo iam cuncta videnti,                       Moribus in vestris corrigite hoc citius,               Ut pius egregium conservet pastor ovile,                       Ne rapidis capiat hoc lupus insidiis.              230               189. Cf. Aldhelm, De Virginitate Metrica 2401.               191-2. Cf. 9, vv. 17-18.               195ff. The first of a series of Viking raids which Alcuin regarded as God's judgment               against the Northumbrians (Godman, p. 581; P. Sawyer, Kings and Vikings (London, 1982),               pp. 78-9).               199. Cf. Judges 16:4 200

              

. Cf. Song of Songs 2:15

 



Page 137

              you are oppressed, I see, by a great weight of cares,               because such a dire blow has been struck in your lifetime.               Most beloved brother, I lament your disaster,               tears flow down my cheeks, my heart grieves with unhappiness,               often groaning to myself in a speechless               murmur of how painful to everyone was that day when, alas,               a pagan warband arrived from the ends of the earth,               descended suddenly by ship and came to our land,               despoiling our fathers' venerable tombs of their finery               and befouling the temples dedicated to God,               and Sorech, the most pure vine of the divine Christ,               was suddenly gnawed by the teeth of foxes.               The living stones perished about the altars               and so my lute groans, as you see, all the more sadly.               She who used to make offerings to the Lord, herself became the sacrifice,               and I believe that she was a holy offering.               Happy was that day for them, heavy-hearted               though it made us, for it provided them with a route to heaven.               Those who give themselves up to the sword for Christ's sake               have become the companions of the saints by shedding their holy blood.               And so I do not think that we should groan for these men               who have been snatched away to a better life in heaven.               Cease then, bishop, to lament for them with your tears,               since they are Christ's companions forever.               Make yourself more ready by your virtue,               so that there shall be no sadness in the place to which you shall come.               Distinguished patience offers eternal life,               as God's voice, speaking the truth, predicted.               Bear Christ's sad burden patiently, priest:               Job in his victory sets you an example,               as does Paul, the soldier of the church, through a thousand triumphs;               his mighty spirit did not grieve for his wounds.               Without them what soldier could win the palm of victory in the struggle?               Wicked wars will provide Christ's followers with great prizes.               Through swords, death and plague, through weapons and fire,               the saints in martyrdom seek the realms of blessedness.               He rejoices in a noble war who wins it nobly               and after battles on earth reigns in the heights of heaven.               If anything in your behaviour displeased Christ               who sees all things, correct it swiftly,               so that the pious shepherd may save the excellent fold               and the wolf not capture it by his swift snares.               201. Cf. I Peter 2:5               203. Cf. Blaise, pp. 202-3.               215-16. Cf. Luke 21:19.               221ff. For the language, cf. Blaise, pp. 231ff.               223. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 2.358.               230. On the inscriptional source see Godman, Alcuin, p. 56, vv. 672-3.

 



Page 138

              Non est quippe deus poenis culpandus in istis,                       Sed nostra in melius vita ferenda cito               Et pia flectenda est precibus clementia nostris,                       Quatenus a nobis transferat ipse plagas               Atque suis clemens praestet solacia servis              235                       Tempora concedens prospera cuncta quibus,               Hymnidicas laeta laudes ut mente canamus                       Celsithroni cuncti semper ubique simul:               Laus cui, cultus, honor, virtus, benedictio, carmen                       Semper in aeternum gloria magna deo.              240               11. Alcuin               Hic sedeant sacrae scribentes lamina legis,                       Nec non sanctorum dicta sacrata patrum;               Hic interserere caveant sua frivola verbis,                       Frivola nec propter erret et ipsa manus,               Correctosque sibi quaerant studiose libellos,              5                       Tramite quo recto penna volantis eat.               Per cola distinguant proprios et commata sensus                       Et punctos ponant ordine quosque suo,               Ne vel falsa legat, taceat vel forte repente                       Ante pios fratres lector in ecclesia.              10               Est opus egregium sacros iam scribere libros.                       Nec mercede sua scriptor et ipse caret.               Fodere quam vites melius est scribere libros:                       Ille suo ventri serviet, iste animae.               Vel nova vel vetera poterit proferre magister              15                       Plurima, quisque legit dicta sacrata patrum.               12. Alcuin               Crux, decus es mundi, Iessu de sanguine sancta.               Rex deus ex cruce donavit caeleste tribunal.               Victor tollendo mala regnat, vicit et hostem               11. Text: MGH, Poetae i, p. 320; Schaller-Könsgen, 6704. Intended for a scriptorium,               probably of St. Martin at Tours, Alcuin's admonitions to scribes on the punctuation of               manuscripts in order to facilitate reading in church (vv. 9-10) make it clear that liturgical               texts are primarily what he has in mind. Alcuin emphasises the importance of correct               punctuation in a letter of 799 to Charlemagne: 'Although distinctions and sub-distinctions               of punctuation set off the meaning of expressions to beautiful advantage, they have none               the less virtually ceased to be used by scribes because of their lack of cultivation. But just               as all fine wisdom and splendid salutary learning has begun to be renewed by your noble               industry, so it seems a very good idea to restore the use of these things in the hands of               scribes' (MGH, Epp. iv. p. 285, 1620) and cf. Alcuin, Carm. 69, vv. 183ff. (MGH, Poetae i,               p. 292).

 





Page 139

              For God is not to be blamed for these our punishments,               but our lives should swiftly be improved               and our prayers should appeal to His kindly mercy,               so that He take tribulation away from us,               and grant solace in His clemency to His slaves,               bestowing prosperity at all times upon them,               that with joyous minds we may all sing hymns in praise               of Him who is enthroned on high everywhere at once.               Let there be praise, worship, honour, virtue, blessing and song               and great glory to God forever and ever.               11. On scribes               May those who copy the pronouncements of the holy law               and the hallowed sayings of the saintly fathers sit here.               Here let them take care not to insert their silly remarks;               may their hands not make mistakes through foolishness.               Let them zealously strive to produce emended texts               and may their pens fly along and follow the correct path.               May they distinguish the proper meaning by colons and commas,               and put each point in the place where it belongs,               so that the lector makes no mistakes nor suddenly happens               to fall silent when reading before the pious brothers in church.               It is an excellent task to copy holy books               and scribes do enjoy their own rewards.               It is better to write books than to dig vines:               one serves the belly but the other serves the soul.               Anyone who reads the hallowed sayings of the fathers               can expound many subjects both old and new.               12. The Holy Cross               Cross, you are the world's delight, sanctified in Jesus's blood.               God our king dealt out heaven's judgement from the Cross.               Christ rules victoriously, destroying evil and vanquishing the devil,               7. On punctuation per cola et commata, see R. W. Müller, Rhetorische und syntaktische Interpunk              tion . . ., diss. Tübingen (1964), pp. 28ff.               8. punctos: 'points', in ascending order of height to indicate the increasing length of pause.               See Müller, pp. 70ff. and B. Bischoff, Paläographie des römischen Altertums und des abendlandischen *               Mittelalters (Berlin, 1979), P. 214.               12. Text: H. B. Meyer in Festschrift Jungmann, Paschatis Solemnia (1959), pp 96-107; MGH,               Poetae i, p. 244; Schaller-Könsgen, 2901.               1ff. On the genre of Cross-poems and veneration of the Cross in Alcuin's work, see               Godman, Alcuin, p. 39. note to vv. 427ff., and .Meyer (art.cit.), pp. 102ff. (For the present              ation of this poem as the acrostic, see pp. 142-3)

 





Page 140

              Xristus, nostra cruci grandis, en, hostia fixa.               Pastor oyes moriens dextra sanante redemit.              5               Inclyta sancta salus, ligni venerabilis ore               Absolvendo trahit praedam carnale ligamen.               Vinctus enim nos rex summus solvebat, et ipse               Ex tradendo cruci vitam de morte triumphat.               Regia sancta patet mundi sic hoste perempto.              10               Amplius haec toto laudanda vigore patebunt               Signa gerenda bonis; nam cernent omnia sensu,               Altius ut videant quot solvit passio sancta               Luctibus aeternis, unumque a tempore victum,               Ut pressos plagis sanaret ab hostis; et istic              15               Sit nunc nostra salus, excelsus verus Joseph,               Passus in arce crucis sic, ne seduceret error               Afficiens homines trudensque ex luce fidei.               Rector in orbe tuis sanavit saecla sigillis.               Te, mea vita, salus! Tibi tantum cantica condet              20               Et generosa canet vox semper carmina, aperto               Si liceat plectro, quia clarus carmine David               Insistendo probat pretioso sancta coturno               Nobis testificare decens esse inde paratum,               Quem primum incoepi, tu Christi sume superni,              25               Vera salus, calamum, tu lux pia sanctaque. Dein               Alma crucis vexilla canunt gentilia saecla,               Tota tremens tellus effertur et unite nomen               Testificat crucis. En, orans subtilia pandit               Viscera: nunc vanus, confossus, iniquus avete!              30               Omnipotens fulget! Sit corde beata fides nec               Rursus ylidrus agat veteri ut pectora retro.               Optimus ad regnum nos fidus et ille redemptor               Reddidit et rigidum signo superavit in isto               Belligerum evertens de regni sorte Satanan.              35               Inclyta crux, mundus debet tibi solvere vota.               Suscipe sic talem rubicundam, celsa, coronam.               6-7. ligni . . . ore: the expression is Biblical, the subject Christ.               8ff. Christ is visualised as triumphant over death; the Cross is represented both as a               throne and as a sceptre in the context of paschal celebration.               9. ex tradendo MS.: et tradendo Dümmler.

 



Page 141

              a mighty sacrifice raised on the Cross for us.               In death that shepherd redeemed His sheep with His healing hand,               peerless, holy salvation, from the venerable Cross               He took the spoils of victory, casting off the bonds of the flesh.               Although lettered, the highest King set us free:               by giving His life to the Cross He triumphed over death.               The kingdom of heaven stood open when the world's enemy had perished.               This sign will be fully revealed and all good men shall bear it,               praising it, as they should, with all their strength. Let them reflect so that               they perceive more profoundly how many people His holy passion releases               from eternal grief, and see one being vanquished by time               to save those afflicted by the devil's torments.               There may the exalted and true Joseph now be our salvation,               He who has suffered high upon the Cross in such a way that error               cannot seduce and poison men and drive them from the light of faith.               The ruler of the world saved generations of men by the sign of the Cross.               O my life and salvation! My voice shall always find hymns for You alone,               and ever sing noble songs, even with loud stringed instruments,               for David, famed for his song, provides convincing proof               that it is proper for us to praise               Your holiness in an elaborate style. And so, true salvation,               divine and holy light of Christ on high,               accept this poem which I have just begun.               The pagan world now sings in praise of the holy standard of the Cross,               the entire earth trembles and in unison proclaims               the fame of the Cross, for in prayer it reveals               its inmost heart. Foolish men, buried in evil, listen!               The Almighty shines in all His power! May joyous faith be in your hearts,               and the serpent not drive them back to their former perdition.               Our best and true Redeemer has restored us to His kingdom               and has conquered the proud one by the sign of the Cross,               toppling war-like Satan down from the throne he chanced to gain.               Excellent Cross, the world must give its thanks to you!               And so, exalted Cross, accept from me this brilliant crown!               12. laudanda in the future sense.               16. Joseph is presented as a figura of Christ.               21-4. Divine praise of Christ follows the example of David, the calamus of v. 26 being the               Cross itself.

 



Page 142

Alcuin de Sancta Cruce

 



Page 143

Versus Acrostici               a Crux, decus es mundi, Iessu de sanguine sancta.               b Suscipe sic talem rubicundam, celsa, coronam.               c Crux pia, vera salus partes in quatuor orbis.               d Alma teneto tuam, Christo dominante, coronam!               e-f Salve, sancta rubens, fregisti vincula mundi!               g-h Signa, valete, novis reserata salutibus orbi!               i-k Surge, lavanda tuae sunt saecula fonte fidei!               l-m Rector in orbe tuis sanavit saecla sigillis.

              The lines of the acrostic themselves form a pattern. The figure of the diamond               contained within the cross, upon which it is founded represents the world re              deemed by the instrument of Christ's death and the symbol of His faith. Each               line of the acrostic spells out the message of salvation.               a = v. I.               b = v. 37.               c   Cross of piety, true salvation in the four parts of the world.               d   Sweet cross, accept your crown under Christ's rule.               e-f  Hail, holy, brilliant cross; you have broken the world's bonds!               g-h  Miracles appear, revealed anew to the world in deeds of salvation!               i-k  Rise, the world should be washed in the fount of your faith!               l-m = v. 19.

 



Page 144

              13. Alcuin               Quae te dextra mihi rapuit, luscinia, ruscis,                       Illa meae fuerat invida laetitiae.               Tu mea dulcisonis implesti pectora musis                       Atque animum moestum carmine mellifluo.               Quapropter veniant volucrum simul undique coetus              5                       Carmine te mecum plangere Pierio.               Spreta colore tamen fueras non spreta canendo,                       Lata sub angusto gutture vox sonuit,               Dulce melos iterans vario modulamine Musae                       Atque creatorem semper in ore canens.              10               Noctibus in furvis nusquam cessavit ab odis                       Vox veneranda sacris, o decus atque decor.               Quid mirum, cherubim, seraphim si voce tonantem                       Perpetua laudent, dum tua sic potuit?               Felix o nimium, dominum nocteque dieque              15                       Qui studio tali semper in ore canit.               Non cibus atque potus fuerat tibi dulcior odis,                       Alterius volucrum nec sociale iugum.               Hoc natura dedit, naturae et conditor aimus,                       Quem tu laudasti vocibus assiduis,              20               Ut nos instrueres vino somnoque sepultos,                       Somnigeram mentis rumpere segniciem.               Quod tu fecisti, rationis et inscia sensus,                       Indice natura nobiliore satis,               Sensibus hoc omnes, magna et ratione vigentes              25                       Gessissent aliquod tempus in ore suo.               Maxima laudanti merces in secla manebit                       Aeternum regem perpes in arce poli.               14. Alcuin (?)               Conveniunt subito cuncti de montibus altis               Pastores pecudum vernali luce sub umbra               Arborea pariter laetas celebrare camenas.               Adfuit et iuvenis Dafnis seniorque Palemon;               Omnes hi cuculo laudes cantare parabant.              5               13. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 274-5; Schaller-Könsgen, 12888; Introduction, p. 20.               15. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 4. 657.               21. Cf. ibid. 2. 265.               14. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 270-2; Green, pp. 36-45; Schaller-Könsgen, 2750; Cooper,               Pastoral, pp. 13-15. This poetic debate between the seasons, the earliest of the Carolingian

(Footnote continued on next page)

 





Page 145

              13. The nightingale               Nightingale in the broom, the hand which stole you               from me was envious of my joy.               You filled my heart with sweet-sounding poetry               and my unhappy mind with honeyed song.               May throngs of birds come at once from all sides               to lament with me for you in Pierian song. Spurned though you were               for your colour, for your singing you were not spurned;               your swelling voice sounded in your narrow throat,               repeating its sweet tunes in different melodies,               always singing odes to the Creator.               On gloomy nights your adorable voice never ceased               your sacred songs, my pride and beauty.               What wonder is it that the cherubim and seraphim praise               the Almighty in eternal song, if your voice has such power?               How happy is he who both day and night               with such zeal always has songs for the Lord on his lips!               Neither food and drink were sweeter to you than song,               nor were the bonds of companionship with other birds.               This was the gift of Nature and of Nature's kindly creator               whom you praised with unceasing voice,               in order to urge us when sodden with wine and slumber               to shake off the idleness of our minds, clogged with sleep.               What you did, ignorant of reason or understanding,               with natural instinct as your much nobler guide,               everyone with active understanding and powerful reason               ought to have done for some time with their speech.               The greatest rewards shall await eternally in the heights of heaven               the man who forever praises the eternal king.               14. The debate of Spring and Winter               All the shepherds of the flocks suddenly gathered               from the mountain-tops on a bright spring day,               to sing joyous poetry together in the shade of the trees.               Young Daphnis was there, as was aged Palaemon,               all of them making ready to sing the cuckoo's praises. (Footnote continued from previous page)               pastoral eclogues, has often been attributed to Alcuin. It draws on the conventions of               Virgilian pastoral (cf. Eclogue 3) but avoids the political allegory and literary history

              incorporated into the later Carolingian genre (Introduction, pp. 20-21).               1ff. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 10. 16-27; Aeneid 10. 707.               4. Daphnis occurs in Virgil, Eclogues 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, Palaemon in Eclogue 3.50-9, 108-11,               and cf. 24, v. 24.

 





Page 146

              Ver quoque florigero succinctus stemmate venit,               Frigida venit Hiems rigidis hirsuta capillis.               His certamen erat cuculi de carmine grande.               Ver prior adlusit ternos modulamine versus:               Vet               §Opto meus veniat cuculus, carissimus ales!              10               Omnibus iste solet fieri gratissimus hospes               In tectis modulans rutilo bona carmina rostro.'               Hiems               Tum glacialis hiems respondit voce severa:               'Non veniat cuculus, nigris sed dormiat antris!               Iste famem secum semper portare suescit.'              15               Ver               'Opto meus veniat cuculus cum germine laeto,               Frigora depellat, Phoebo comes almus in aevum.               Phoebus amat cuculum crescenti luce serena.'               Hiems               'Non veniat cuculus, generat quia forte labores,               Proelia congeminat, requiem disiungit amatam,              20               Omnia disturbat: pelagi terraeque laborant.'               Ver               'Quid tu, tarda Hiems, cuculo convitia cantas,               Qui torpore gravi tenebrosis tectus in antris               Post epulas Veneris, post stulti pocula Bacchi?               Hiems               'Sunt mihi divitiae, sunt et convivia laeta,              25               Est requies dulcis, calidus est ignis in aede.               Haec cuculus nescit, sed perfidus ille laborat.'               6-7. Green (p. 40) compares these descriptions to Ovid, Metamorphoses 2. 127 and              130               but does not consider the implications of his parallel. There is scant evidence for a first              hand knowledge of Ovid in Alcuin's writings (Godman, Alcuin, p. Ixxii and note 7). If the               borrowing is genuine, then it constitutes evidence against the ascription of this text to               Alcuin; or it reflects rare knowledge of an author whom Alcuin can only have read after               his arrival at Charlemagne's court.               8. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 7. 16; Calpurnius 2. 9. On the incidental imitation of this author               by 'first generation' Carolingian poets, see L. Castagna, I Bucolici Latini Minori (Florence,               1976), p. 264.

 





Page 147

              Spring came too wearing a garland of flowers,               chill Winter was present, his hair standing up in bristles.               They had a great debate about the cuckoo's song.               Spring first playfully sang three verses in tune:               Spring               'I hope that my cuckoo will come, dearest of birds!               He is always everyone's favourite visitor,               as he sings good songs with his shining beak on the roofs.'               Winter               Frozen Winter replied in severe tones:               'Let the cuckoo not come, let him instead sleep in the black caves:               he is always accustomed to bring hunger with him.'               Spring               'I hope that my cuckoo comes when the seed blossoms;               may he, Phoebus' ever sweet companion, drive away the cold.               Phoebus loves the cuckoo as the serene light increases.'               Winter               'Let the cuckoo not come, for he may happen to cause work,               he stirs up battle after battle, disturbs the rest ! love,               and throws all into turmoil: the seas and the land toil.'               Spring               'Why, slow Winter, do you sing in criticism of the cuckoo?               You lie hidden with heavy sluggishness in the shadowy caves               after the feasts of love, after drinking stupefying wine.'               Winter               'I have wealth, I have joyous banquets,               I have sweet rest and a hot fire at home. Of this               the cuckoo knows nothing; he toils like a faithless wretch.'               11. omnibus; cf. v. 53.               12. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 5. 14.               13. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 3. 285. No lacuna needs to be posited (pace K. Schenkl, Wiener               Studien II (1880), pp. 296-7): the units are of three verses each and this symmetry is not               interrupted by one of description rather than dialogue.               15 Cf. 7, v. 51.               20 Spring is the season in which campaigning began.               24Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 3. 354.               25Cf. Virgil, Georgic 1.301.

 



Page 148

              Ver               'Ore feret flores cuculus et mella ministrat,               Aedificatque domus, placidas et navigat undas,               Et generat soboles, laetos et vestiet agros.'              30               Hiems               'Haec inimica mihi sunt, quae tibi laeta videntur,               Sed placet optatas gazas numerare per arcas               Et gaudere cibis simul et requiescere semper.'               Ver               'Quis tibi, tarda Hiems, semper dormire parata,               Divitias cumulat, gazas vel congregat ullas,              35               Si ver vel aestas ante tibi nulla laborant?'               Hiems               'Vera refers: illi, quoniam mihi multa laborant,               Sunt etiam servi nostra ditione subacti;               Iam mihi servantes domino quaecumque laborant.'               Ver               'Non illis dominus, sed pauper inopsque superbus,              40               Nec te iam poteris per te tu pascere tantum,               Ni tibi qui veniet cuculus alimonia praestet.'               Palemon               Tum respondit ovans sublimi e sede Palemon               Et Dafnis pariter, pastorum et turba piorum:               'Desine plura, Hiems; rerum tu prodigus atrox.              45               Et veniet cuculus, pastorum dulcis amicus!               Collibus in nostris erumpant germina laeta,               Pascua sit pecori, requies et dulcis in arvis,               Et virides rami praestent umbracula fessis,               Uberibus plenis veniuntque ad mulctra capellae              50               Et volucres varia Phoebum sub voce salutent!               Quapropter citius cuculus nunc ecce venito!               Tu iam dulcis amor, cunctis gratissimus hospes:               Omnia te expectantpelagus tellusque polusque               Salve, dulce decus, cuculus, per saecula salve!'              55               32. Cf. Horace, Satire 1.1.67.               45. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 5. 19.               50. Cf. Horace, Epode 16. 49 and see P. von Winterfeld, Rheinisches Museum LX (1905),               pp. 35-6. If the quotation is first-hand it may be an argument against Alcuin's authorship

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 149

              Spring               'The cuckoo will carry flowers in his mouth and serve up honey,               build houses and sail the peaceful seas,               sire children and array the fields with blossoms:               Winter               'The things I hate are those which seem delightful to you.               I like to count my coveted treasures in their chests               to take pleasure in food and always rest.'               Spring               'Slow Winter, forever ready to sleep, who amasses               any of this wealth for you or gathers your treasure               if neither Spring nor Summer has toiled before on your behalf?.'               Winter               'What you say is true. Since they work a great deal for me,               they are my slaves and absolute bondsmen;               for me, their lord, they save up all they labour to produce.'               Spring               'You are not their lord, but an arrogant and needy pauper.               You're not even capable of feeding yourself without help,               unless you are provided with food by the cuckoo who is about to come.'               Palaemon               Then Palaemon replied joyously from his lofty seat               and Daphnis too, with the crowd of goodly shepherds:               'Say no more, Winter, you terrible squanderer of wealth.               The cuckoo, sweet friend of shepherds, shall come!               Let the seeds burst luxuriantly into bud on our hills,               may there be pasture and sweet repose in the fields for the flocks,               the green boughs offer shade to the weary,               and the goats come to the pail with full teats,               let the birds greet Phoebus with their different songs!               So come now, cuckoo, swiftly!               Sweet love, everyone's most welcome guest,               everything awaits youthe sea, earth and heavens               greetings, sweet beauty! Cuckoo, greetings forever! (Footnote continued from previous page)               (see note to vv. 6-7). Borrowing from a florilegium or a later author would otherwise account               for the reference (cf. note to v. 55 below).               55. The expression is adapted from Horace, Odes 1.1.2 by Venantius Fortunatus (Carm.               1.1.5.1. et passim).

 



Page 150

              15. Theodulf               Te torus laudesque tuas, rex, personat orbis;                       Multaque cum dicat, dicere cuncta nequit.               Si Mosa, Rhenus, Arar, Rodanus, Tiberisque, Padusque                       Metiri possunt, laus quoque mensa tua est.               Res satis inmensa est tua laus, inmensa manebit,              5                       Dum pecori atque homini pervius orbis erit.               Quam bene si nequeo studiis explere loquendi,                       Tantillus tantam temno tacere tamen.               Ludicris haec mixta iocis per ludicra currat,                       Saepeque tangatur qualibet illa manu,              10               Laude iocoque simul hunc illita carta revisat,                       Quem tribuente celer ipse videbo deo.               O facies, facies ter cocto clarior auro,                       Felix qui potis est semper adesse tibi               Et diademali sat dignam pondere frontem              15                       Cernere, quae simili cuncta per arva caret;               Egregiumque caput, mentum, seu colla decora,                       Aureolasque manus, pauperiem quae abolent,               Pectora, crura, pedes, est non laudabile cui nil,                       Omnia pulchra vigent, cuncta decora nitent,              20               Atque audire tui perpulchra affamina sensus,                       Quo superes cunctis, est tibi nemo super.               Est tibi nemo super, sollers prudentia cuius                       Tanta cluit, nullus cui puto finis inest.               Latior est Nilo, glaciali grandior Histro,              25                       Maior et Euphrate est, non quoque Gange minor.               Quid mirum, aeternus si talem pastor alendis                       Pastorem gregibus condidit ipse suis?               Nomine reddis avum, Salomonem stemmate sensus,                       Viribus et David, sive Ioseph specie.              30               Tutor opum es, vindex scelerum, largitor honorum,                       Atque ideo dantur haec bona cuncta tibi.               15. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 483-9; Schaller-Könsgen, 16129; Introduction, pp. 11-13. The               poem divides into four principal parts: I (vv. 1-12) Prologue: II (vv. 13-60) Panegyric: III                (vv. 61-236) Descriptive Section comprising (vv. 61-114) the king and the royal family, (vv.               115-88) officials and scholars of the court, (vv. 189-200) the feast, (vv. 201-36) recital of               Theodulf's poem and attack on his enemies, the king retires: IV (vv. 237-44) Epilogue.               1ff. The poem-epistle, written during Theodulf's absence from court, begins with a topos               of inexpressibility: the whole earth sings in praise of Charlemagne without doing justice to               his achievements. The geographical range of the panegyric (cf. vv. 25ff.) and the contrast               between the splendour of the subject and the poet's humility are standard features (Curtius,               pp. 159ff.), themselves treated with a touch of irony in the exaggerated pedantry of (e.g.)               vv. 25-6 (Introduction, p. 11). 9-11. The work is to be circulated and read at court before being recited publicly. On

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 151

              15. On the court               The entire world resounds in your praise, my king;               however much it says, it cannot say all.               If the Meuse, Rhine, Saône, Rhône, Tiber and Po               could be measured, then praise of you is measurable too.               Limitless is your praise, and unlimited it shall remain               so long as the world is traversed by man and beast.               Incapable though I am of expressing it fully in careful speech,               my lowliness is loth to mute your might.               May this poem-epistle race among jests and jokes,               may it often be touched by every hand,               and, showered with praise and fun, may it reach               Charlemagne whom, by God's grace, I shall soon see.               The sight of you is more brilliant than thrice-smelted gold,               and he who can always be near you is fortunate indeed,               who can gaze upon that forehead, so worthy of its weighty crown,               which throughout the entire world has no peer;               or set eyes upon that excellent head, chin, or lovely neck,               those golden hands which take poverty away.               Chest, legs and feet: nothing in Charlemagne is not worthy of praise.               All is in beautiful health; all is radiant and lovely,               and how lucky is he who listens to your splendid, wise utterances               in which you surpass all, and none surpasses you.               None surpasses you, for your skill and judgement are so widely famed               that there is, I think, no limit to them.               They are broader than the Nile, greater than the icy Danube,               larger than the Euphrates and no smaller than the Ganges.               What wonder is it if the eternal shepherd made               so great a man His pastor to tend His flocks? Your name               recalls your grandfather, your noble understanding Solomon's,               your strength reminds us of David and your beauty is Joseph's own.               Guardian of treasure, avenger of crimes, dispenser of honours               because this is what you are, all these good things are granted to you. (Footnote continued from previous page)               elements of humour in panegyric, see Curtius, p. 423.               11. carta: a generic term for a poem-epistle. See Schaller, Vortragsdichtung, p. 19, note 16               and cf. 6, v. 72.               13. Cf. 25, vv. 24ff. and contrast the less idealised view at Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni 22.               14. Cf. Virgil, Georgic. 2.450.               21. Cf. I Kings 10:4.               21-6. For the emphasis on Charlemagne's wisdom, one of the traditional attributes of               an epic hero here assimilated to panegyric (Curtius, pp. 176ff.), cf. vv. 113ff., 137-40 and               25, v. 67ff.               29. nomine reddis avum: Charles Martel. Cf. 11 (1), v. 275 and note.               29-30. Two of these Biblical pseudonyms are frequently applied to Charlemagne after               794; rarer is the comparison with Joseph's beauty.

 



Page 152

              Percipe multiplices laetanti pectore gazas,                       Quas tibi Pannonico mittit ab orbe deus.               Inde pias celso grates persolve tonanti,              35                       Cui, solet ut semper, sit tua larga manus.               Adveniunt gentes Christo servire paratae,                       Quas dextra ad Christum sollicitante vocas.               Pone venit textis ad Christum crinibus Hunnus,                       Estque humilis fidei, qui fuit ante ferox.              40               Huic societur Arabs. Populus crinitus uterque est:                       Hic textus crines, ille solutus eat.               Cordoba, prolixo collectas tempore gazas                       Mitte celer regi, quem decet omne decens.               Ut veniunt Abares, Arabes Nomadesque venite,              45                       Regis et ante pedes flectite colla, genu.               Nec minus hi quam vos saevique trucesque fuere,                       Sed hos qui domuit, vos domiturus erit:               Scilicet in caelo residens, per Tartara regnans,                       Qui mare, qui terras, qui regit astra, polum.              50               Ver venit ecce novum, cum quo felicia cuncta                       Teque, tuosque adeant, rex, tribuente deo.               En renovatur ovans aeternis legibus annus                       Et sua nunc mater germina promit humus.               Silvae fronde virent, ornantur floribus arva,              55                       Sicque vices servant, en, elementa suas.               Undique legati veniant, qui prospera narrent,                       Praemia sint pacis, omnis abesto furor!               Mox oculis cum mente simul manibusque levatis                       Ad caelum, grates fertque refertque deo.              60               Consilii celebretur honos, oretur in aula,                       Qua miris surgit fabrica pulchra tholis.               Inde palatinae repetantur culmina sedis,                       Plebs eat et redeat atria longa terens.               Ianua pandatur, multisque volentibus intrent              65                       Pauci, quos sursum quilibet ordo tulit.               Circumdet pulchrum proles carissima regem,                       Omnibus emineat, sol ut in arce solet.               Hinc adstent pueri, circumstent inde puellae,                       Vinea laetificet sicque novella patrem.              70               33-6. Eric of Friuli, commanding Charlemagne's forces, stormed the Ring of Avars in               795 and sent booty to the king in Aachen at the end of that year. The submission and               baptism of the Avar Tudun took place early in 796, before Charlemagne set out on his               summer campaign against the Saons. See J. Deér in Karl der Grosse i, pp. 715ff., especially               pp. 769ff. Cf. 23.               37-50. The real historical events described earlier in the poem are combined with an               imagined extension of Charlemagne's sovereigntyan ethnographical counterpart to the               geographical terms in which he is praised (vv. 3ff., 25ff.). Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 8. 720ff.               45. Abares = Avares: the Huns. Cf. 23, 61, v. 40.               50. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1.236: Prudentius, Apotheosis 153.

 



Page 153

              Behold with joyous heart the manifold gifts               which God has sent you from the realm of Pannonia.               And so give pious thanks to almighty God on high,               make offerings to Him generously, as you always have done.               The heathen peoples come prepared to serve Christ;               you call them to Him with urgent gestures.               Behind the Huns with their braided hair come to Christ,               once fierce savages, now humbled in the faith.               Let them be accompanied by the Arabs. Both peoples have long hair:               one of them plaits it; may the other let it flow loosely.               Cordoba, send swiftly your long-amassed treasures               to Charlemagne who deserves all that is fine!               As the Avars come, the Arabs and Nomads should come too,               bowing neck and knee before the king's feet.               They were no less barbarous and fierce than the Huns,               but He who conquered them will conquer these peoples too,               seated in Heaven and holding sway in Hell               who reigns over the sea, the earth, the stars and the sky.               Behold, a new spring has come and with it may all happiness               attend you and your subjects, my king, by God's grace.               The seasons are joyously renewed according to eternal laws,               and mother earth now brings forth her seeds.               The woods are green with leaves, the fields are lovely with flowers,               and so the elements preserve their pattern of change.               Let messengers come from all sides to tell good tidings;               let us be rewarded with peace: all savagery begone!               Presently, with his eyes, hands and mind raised to Heaven               Charlemagne gives repeated thanks to God.               Let honour be paid to His wisdom, let there be prayers in the Dom               which rises up, a beautiful building with a wondrous cupola.               From there let them return to the lofty palace residence,               may the common people come and go along the lengthy atria.               Let the door be opened: although many wish to enter,               may only the few go in, raised up in their respective ranks.               May his dear children surround the handsome king               while he towers above them all like the sun in zenith.               Let the boys be on one side, the girls on the other,               like the tender vine to rejoice their father's heart.               51-6. Spring is celebrated here as both the actual season (of 796) in which the poem is               written and as a conventional feature of panegyric (Curtius, p. 194, note 18). Contrast               Alcuin's references to natural change, 10, vv. 11ff.               60ff. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1. 438.               61-2. The octagonal cupola of the palace church at Aachen remained for centuries the               broadest and tallest structure of its kind north of the Alps. See F. Kreusch, Karl der Grosse               iv, especially pp. 469ff.; illustration of its mosaics in W. Braunfels, Die Welt der Karolinger               und ihre Kunst (Munich, 1968), plate 137 (p. 240).               63-4. On the atrium before the church, see Kreusch, art. cit. (note to vv. 61-2), pp. 505ff.               67ff. Cf. Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni 19.

              70. Cf. Psalm 127:3.

 



Page 154

              Stent Karolus Hludowicque simul, quorum unus ephebus,                        Iam vehit alterius os iuvenale decus.               Corpore praevalido quibus est nervosa iuventa,                        Corque capax studii, consiliique tenax.               Mente vigent, virtute cluunt, pietate redundant,              75                        Gentis uterque decor, dulcis uterque patri.               Et nunc ardentes acies rex flectat ad illos,                       Nunc ad virgineum flectat utrimque chorum,               Virgineum ad coetum, quo non est pulchrior alter,                       Veste, habitu, specie, corpore, corde, fide:              80               Scilicet ad Bertam et Hrodtrudh, ubi sit quoque Gisla,                       Pulchrarum una soror, sit minor ordo trium.               Est sociata quibus Leutgardis pulchra virago,                       Quae micat ingenio cum pietatis ope.               Pulchra satis cultu, sed digno pulchrior actu,              85                       Cum populo et ducibus omnibus una favet.               Larga manu, clemens animo, blandissima verbis,                       Prodesse et cunctis, nemini obesse parat.               Quae bene discendi studiis studiosa laborat,                       Ingenuasque artes mentis in arce locat.              90               Prompta sit obsequio soboles gratissima regis,                       Utque magis placeat, certet amore pio.               Pallia dupla celer, manuum seu tegmina blanda                       Suscipiat Carolus et gladium Hludowic.               Quo residente, suum grata inter basia munus              95                       Dent natae egregiae, det quoque carus amor.               Berta rosas, Hrodtrudh violas dat, lilia Gisla,                       Nectaris ambrosii praemia quaeque ferat;               Rothaidh poma, Hiltrudth Cereren, Tetdrada Liaeum,                       Quis varia species, sed decor unus inest.              100               Ista nitet gemmis, auro illa splendet et ostro,                       Haec gemma viridi praenitet, illa rubra.               Fibula componit hanc, illam limbus adornat,                       Armillae hanc ornant, hancque monile decet.               Huic ferruginea est, apta huic quoque lutea vestis,              105                       Lacteolum strophium haec vehit, illa rubrum.               Dulcibus haec verbis faveat regi, altera risu,                       Ista patrem gressu mulceat, illa ioco.               Quod si forte soror fuerit sanctissima regis,                       Oscula der fratri dulcia, frater ei.              110               Talia sic placido moderetur gaudia vultu,                       Ut sponsi aeterni gaudia mente gerat,               71. Charles: the eldest son of Charlemagne; cf. 6, v. 33. Louis: the future emperor Louis               the Pious. Aged c. 25 and c. 19 respectively.               77. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 12. 670.               81ff. On Bertha, Hrothrud and Gisela, see 6, vv. 31-41, 43-4, 48 (with notes) and P.               Stafford, Queens, Concubines, and Dowagers (London, 1983), p. 104.

 



Page 155

              Let Charles and Louis stand together, one of whom is a young man,               while the other's face sports the glory of manhood.               Youthful and strong, of powerful build,               their hearts are fired with enthusiasm and resolute in their purpose.               Their active intelligence, outstanding virtue, and full piety               make both an ornament to their dynasty and a delight to their father.               Let the king's fiery gaze now turn to them,               may he now look upon the throngs of maidens on either side,               on the gathering of young girls lovelier than any other               in dress, bearing, beauty, figure, heart and faith:               that is Bertha and Hrothrud and Gisela as well;               she is one of the three beautiful sisters, even if the youngest.               The lovely maiden Liutgard joins their ranks;               her mind is inspired with acts of kindness.               Her beautiful appearance is surpassed only by the grace of her actions,               she alone pleases all the princes and people.               Open-handed, gentle-spirited, sweet in words,               she is ready to help all and to obstruct none.               She labours hard and well at study and learning,               and retains the noble disciplines in her memory.               May the king's dear children be very swift to obey him               and vie in dutiful love to please him all the more.               Let Charles swiftly take up his father's double cloak or soft gloves               for his hands, and may Louis take his sword.               As he sits down let his excellent daughters offer him               charming kisses, as duty and dear affection demand.               Bertha gives roses, Hrothrud gives violets, Gisela lilies;               may each of them offer choice nectar and ambrosia;               Ruadhaid brings apples, Hiltrud corn, Theodrada wine:               their appearances differ, but their beauty is one and the same.               The one is agleam with gems, the other shines with gold and purple,               the one is resplendent with sapphires, the other with rubies.               One has her appearance set off by a brooch, the other by a girdle,               one wears a fine armband, the other a becoming necklace.               A dark-red dress suits one, a dress of yellow the other,               one wears a snow-white bodice, another a bodice of red.               May one please the king with sweet words, another with her laughter,               may one delight her father by her walk, another by her jesting.               If the king's most holy sister should happen to be there               let her give kisses to her brother, and he to her.               Let her restrain her great joy with a tranquil expression,               and bear in mind the joys fitting for the eternal husband.               83. Liutgard, Charlemagne's future queen.               90. Cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria 2. 121.               99. Daughters of Charlemagne by his queen Fastrada and by a concubine.               101. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 4. 134.               103. Cf. ibid. 4. 137, 139.               109. Gisela, abbess of Chelles, sister of Charlemagne. Cf. 6, vv. 38-41.

 



Page 156

              Et bene scripturae pandi sibi compita poscat,                       Rex illam doceat, quem deus ipse docet.               Adveniant proceres, circumstent undique laeti,              115                       Complere studeat munia quisque sua.               Thyrsis ad obsequium semper sit promptus herile,                       Strenuus et velox sit pede, corde, manu.               Pluraque suscipiat hinc inde precantia verba,                       Istaque dissimulet, audiat illa libens;              120               Hunc intrare iubens, hunc expectare parumper                       Censeat, hunc intus, hunc tamen esse foris.               Regalique throno calvus hic impiger adstet,                       Cunctaque prudenter, cuncta verenter agat.               Adsit praesul ovans animo vultuque benigno              125                       Ora beata ferens et pia corda gerens.               Quem sincera fides, quem tantus culminis ordo,                       Pectus et innocuum, rex, tibi, Christe, dicat.               Stet benedicturus regis potumque cibumque,                       Sumere quin etiam rex velit, ille volet.              130               Sit praesto et Flaccus, nostrorum gloria vatum,                       Qui potis est lyrico multa boare pede,               Quique sophista potens est, quique poeta melodus,                       Quique potens sensu, quique potens opere est.               Et pia de sanctis scripturis dogmata promat,              135                       Et solvat numeri vincla favente ioco.               Et modo sit facilis, modo scrupea quaestio Flacci,                       Nunc mundanam artem, nunc redibens superam,               Solvere de multis rex ipse volentibus unus                       Sit bene qui possit solvere Flaccidica.              140               Voce valens, sensuque vigil, sermone politus,                       Adsit Riculfus, nobilis arte, fide.               Quiet si longinqua fuerit regione moratus,                       Non manibus vacuis iam tamen inde redit.               Dulce melos canerem tibi, ni absens, dulcis Homere,              145                       Esses sed quoniam es, hinc mea Musa tacet.               Non Ercambaldi sollers praesentia desit,                       Cuius fidam armat bina tabella manum,               Pendula quae lateri manuum cito membra revisat,                       Verbaque suscipiat, quae sine voce canat.              150               114. On Charlemagne as a teacher, cf. 25, vv. 67-8.               117. Thyrsis: Meginfrid, the chamberlain. Cf. 6, vv. 63ff. and note; 7, v. 47.               125. Hildebald: the arch-chaplain. Cf. 6, v. 56 and note, and 7, vv. 30-2.               131. Flaccus: see note to 7, v. 3.               136. The work which most nearly approximates to this description is the Propositiones ad               acuendos iuvenes ascribed to Alcuin and edited by M. Folkerts, Denkschriften der osterreichischen               Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-naturwissenschaftliche Klasse 116;6. Abhandlung               (Vienna, 1978), pp. 15-78.

 



Page 157

              Should she request that the ways of Scripture be revealed to her,               may the king, himself taught by God, teach her.               Let the leading men appear and stand about happily on all sides,               each of them carefully performing his duty.               May Thyrsis always be ready to carry out his master's commands,               swift and energetic in step, heart and hand.               Let him listen to many words of entreaty from all sides,               may he dissemble at some and hear others willingly,               telling one man to enter, he may decide to order another               to wait for a momentone inside and another out of doors.               Let his bald figure tirelessly attend the royal throne,               doing everything prudently and performing all with respect.               May the bishop be present with joyous mind and kindly expression,               his appearance genial and his sentiments pious.               His spotless faith, high and mighty rank               and blameless heart dedicate him to Christ's service.               Let him stand there and bless Charlemagne's food and drink,               and fly whenever the king so much as wishes to partake.               Let Flaccus be there, the glory of our poets,               who is capable of writing high-sounding verse of lyric measure.               He is a stimulating teacher and a melodious poet,               of powerful understanding and efficient in his work.               Let him expound the teachings of Holy Scripture               and unbind the chains of number with a laugh of encouragement.               Whether Flaccus' question happens to be easy or stiff,               now on a secular subject, now on a sacred one,               among the many who wish to solve the problems Flaccus sets,               may the king alone be capable of finding the right answer.               Let Riculf attend with his strong voice, alert intelligence               and polished speech, noble in his accomplishments and in his faith.               Even if he dailies long in a distant region,               nonetheless he does not return empty-handed.               I would sing a sweet song for you, gentle Homer,               were you not away, but since you are, my Muse is silent.               The resourceful presence of Ercambald is not lacking from the throng;               his double tablet serves as a weapon to his trusty arm.               The tablet hanging down at his side will swiftly come to his hands,               take receipt of his words and render them tonelessly.               137-140. Theodulf loosely refers to Alcuin's theological and rhetorical teaching at court.               What is visualised in these lines is not a riddle (pace G. Baesecke, Das lateinische-althochdeutsche               Reimgebet . . . (1948), pp. 44-6) but a discussion-debate between king and scholar, such as               the Disputatio de Rhetorica et de Virtutibus which is cast in the form of an imagined interchange               between Alcuin and Charlemagne. Cf. 25, v. 73 and note.               141. Riculf, archbishop of Mainz (787-813).               145. On Angilbert's absence from court, see 7, vv. 45-6 and note.               147. Ercambald; cf. 7, v. 25 and note.

 



Page 158

              Lentulus intersit laturus dulcia poma,                       Poma vehat calathis, cordis in arce fidem.               Cui sunt arguti sensus, alia omnia tarda:                       Ocior esto, probus Lentule, voce, pede.               Nardulus huc illuc discurrat perpete gressu:              155                       Ut, formica, tuus pes redit itque frequens.               Cuius parva domus habitatur ab hospite magno,                       Res magna et parvi pectoris antra colit.               Et nunc ille libros, operosas nunc ferat et res,                       Spiculaque ad Scotti nunc paret apta necem.              160               Cui, dum vita comes fuerit, haec oscula tradam,                       Trux, aurite, tibi quae dat, aselle, lupus.               Ante canis lepores alet aut lupus improbus agnos,                       Aut timido muri musio terga dabit,               Quam Geta cum Scotto pia pacis foedera iungat;              165                       Quae si forte velit iungere, ventus erit.               Hic poenasve dabit fugietve simillimus Austro,                       Utque sit hic aliud, nil nisi Scottus erit.               Cui si litterulam, quae est ordine tertia, tollas,                       Inque secunda suo nomine forte sedet,              170               Quae sonar in 'caelo' prima, et quae in 'scando' secunda,                       Tertia in 'ascensu', quarta in 'amicitiis',               Quam satis offendit, pro qua te, littera salvi,                       Utiturhaud dubium quod sonat, hoc et erit.               Stet levita decens Fredugis sociatus Osulfo,              175                       Gnarus uterque artis, doctus uterque bene.               Nardus et Ercambald si coniungantur Osulfo,                       Tres mensae poterunt unius esse pedes.               Pinguior hic illo est, hic est quoque tenuior illo,                       Sed mensura dedit altior esse pares.              180               Pomiflua sollers veniat de sede Menalcas                       Sudorem abstergens frontis ab arce manu.               Quam saepe ingrediens, pistorum sive coquorum                       Vallatus cuneis, ius synodale gerit.               Prudenter qui cuncta gerens epulasque dapesque              185                       Regis honoratum deferat ante thronum.               Adveniat pincerna potens Eppinus et ipse,                       Pulchraque vasa manu, vinaque grata vehat.               Iam circumsedeant regalia prandia iussi,                       Laetitiae detur munus ab axe poll.              190               151. Lentulus: see note to 7, v. 23 on the problem of the identity of this figure. Note the               word-play at v. 154.               155ff. Nardulus: Einhard.               156. For the punctuation and interpretation of this line, see Schaller, Interpretationsprobleme,               p. 164, note 15. Cf. 25, v. 146 and note, and Ovid, Ars Amatoria 1.93.               158. Cf. Prudentius, Psychomachia 6.               162ff. Theodulf's allusion is to the etymology of his own name (Theodulfus = Gothic thiuda               (people) + wulfs (lupus, wolf). For examples of etymological word-play in the context of

              poetic rivalries see Schaller, FsBischoff pp. 124ff.

 



Page 159

              May Lentulus be there to bring sweet apples:               bearing apples in his basket but faith in his heart.               His senses are sharp but all else is slow               be swifter, honourable Lentulus, in words and step.               May Nardulus forever scurry to and fro:               like your foot, ant, he comes and goes, time and again.               His small house is inhabited by a great guest,               greatness dwells in the caverns of his little heart.               Now let him carry books, let him bear the burden of affairs,               and prepare barbs to destroy the Irishman.               I shall send these kisses to him as long as I live;               these the fierce wolf gives you, ass with long ears.               Sooner will the dog feed the hare or the cruel wolf feed the lambs,               or the cat turn and flee from the timid mouse,               than a Goth will join with an Irishman in a friendly treaty of peace.               Should an Irishman wish to enter into one it would be all air.               An Irishman shall pay his penalty or flee like the south wind,               however different he may try to be, he is nothing but Irishman.               If you take away the letter which is third in the alphabet,               the letter which happens to occupy the second position in his name               is the first which sounds in caelo, the second in scando,               the third in ascensu, the fourth in amicitiis,               which he pronounces badly, using instead of it the letter that saves him,               and he will doubtless be the very sound that he makes.               Let the fine deacon Fredugis stand in company with Oswulf               both of them experts on grammar, both of them highly learned.               Were Nardus and Ercambald to be joined to Oswulf               their three feet could belong to one table.               Ercambald is fatter than Nardus, Nardus is more slender than he,               but a higher criterion made them equals.               Let clever Menalcas come from his estate that is rich in apples,               wiping with his hand the sweat from his curved brow,               often entering, surrounded by serried rows of bakers and cooks,               he lays down the law as though in a synod.               Organising everything wisely, let him serve food for the feast               before the king's honoured throne.               Let Eppinus the mighty cupbearer arrive,               carrying in his hand beautiful vessels and fine wines.               May they sit down as bidden to the king's banquet,               and the gift of joy be granted from heaven on high.               169-74. If the letter c is deducted from the name of Scottus you are left with what the               Irishman is: sottus, an idiot. c is the letter of salvation (salvi) because it saves the Scottus               from being Sottus. 'Lenition' of c, a peculiarity of Irish morphology, is referred to at vv.               173-4; see Schaller FsBischoff p. 129, note 3.               175. Fredugis: Alcuin's pupil and future abbot of Tours. Oswulf, another of Alcuin's               pupils and a follower of Charlemagne's son Charles.               181. Menalcas: Audulf. Cf. 6, v. 68ff. and note, and Virgil, Eclogue 10. 20.               187. Eppinus: cf. 7, v. 50 and note.

 



Page 160

              Et pater Albinus sedeat pia verba daturus,                       Sumpturusque cibos ore manuque libens,               Aut si, Bacche, tui, aut Cerealis pocla liquoris                       Porgere praecipiat, fors et utrumque volet,               Quo melius doceat, melius sua fistula cantet,              195                       Si doctrinalis pectoris antra riget.               Este procul, pultes et lactis massa coacti,                       Sed pigmentati sis prope, mensa, cibi.               Participent mensis epulas, et dulcia sumant                       Pabula, vina bibant stansque sedensque simul.              200               His bene patratis, mensis dapibusque remotis,                       Pergat laetitia plebs comitante foras.               Hacque intus remanente sonet Theodulfica Musa,                       Quae foveat reges, mulceat et proceres.               Audiat hanc forsan membrosus Wibodus heros,              205                       Concutiat crassum terque quaterque caput.               Et torvum adspiciens vultuque et voce minetur,                       Absentemque suis me obruat ille minis.               Quem si forte vocet pietas gratissima regis,                       Gressu eat obliquo vel titubante genu,              210               Et sua praecedat tumefactus pectora venter,                       Et pede Vulcanum, voce Iovem referat.               Haec ita dum fiunt, dum carmina nostra leguntur,                       Stet Scottellus ibi, res sine lege furens,               Res dira, hostis atrox, hebes horror, pestis acerba,               215                       Litigiosa lues, res fera, grande nefas,               Res fera, res turpis, res segnis, resque nefanda,                       Res infesta piis, res inimica bonis,               Et manibus curvis, paulum cervice reflexa,                       Non recta ad stolidum brachia pectus eant.              220               Anceps, attonitus, tremulus, furibundus, anhelus,                       Stet levis aure, manu, lumine, mente, pede.               Et celeri motu nunc hos, nunc comprimat illos,                       Nunc gemitus tantum, nunc fera verba sonet.               Nunc ad lectorem, nunc se convertat ad omnes              225                       Adstantes proceres nil ratione gerens.               Et reprehendendi studio ferus aestuet hostis,                       Cui sit posse procul, iam quia velle prope est.               Plurima qui didicit, nil fixum, nil quoque certum;                       Quae tamen ignorat, omnia nosse putat.              230               Non ideo didicit, sapiens ut possit haberi,                       Sed contendendi ut promptus ad arma foret.               191. Albinus: for this pseudonym, cf. 8, v. 1.               197. Cf. 7, v. 49 and Introduction, p. 12.               201ff. Cf. Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni, 24, vv. 213, 225.               206. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 1. 179.               213. Limping and shouting thunderously.               213. Carmina nostra: poetic plural. On the synchronism see Introduction, pp. 12-13.

 



Page 161

              Let father Albinus be seated and pronounce words of wisdom,               with pleasure taking his food in hand and mouth.               He may order glasses of wine or of beer               to be fetched, or chance to want both of them,               to make his teaching all the better, so that his pipe has a finer tune,               if he waters the caverns of his learned heart.               Begone porridge and lumps of curd,               let us have a table spread with spiced meat!               May those at table take part in the banquet, eat succulent foods               and drink wine both standing and sitting.               When this is completed and the food and tables are cleared away,               may the commoners go outdoors, joy attending them,               while inside gaiety remains. May Theodulf's Muse sound forth,               for it wins over kings and flatters important men.               Wibod the brawny hero may chance to hear these lines               and shake his thick head three or four times,               darting a black look, he may menace me with his expression and words,               and rain threats upon me in my absence.               If the king with kindly goodness should happen to call him,               let him go with sideward gait and trembling knee,               his bloated belly before him,               his step like Vulcan's and his voice like Jove's.               While this is happening, while my poem is being read,               let the miserable Irishman stand there, a lawless and raging thing,               a dire thing, a hideous enemy, a horror of dullness, a terrible plague,               a bane of quarrelsomeness, a wild thing, a great abomination,               a wild thing, a foul thing, a lazy thing, a wicked thing,               a thing hateful to the pious, a thing opposed to the good,               with curved hands, its neck bent back a little,               may it fold its crooked arms across its stupid chest.               Doubting, astonished, trembling, raging, panting,               let it stand there, unstable of hearing, hand, eyes, mind and step.               With swift movement let it repress now one, now another feeling,               at one moment bellowing forth mere groans, at another fierce words.               May it turn now to the reader, now to all the chief men               who are there, doing nothing rationally.               May that savage enemy seethe with the wish to criticise,               but let his ability not match his desire to censure.               He has learnt many things, but nothing fixed and sure.               He, a numbskull, thinks he knows everything.               He did not learn in order to be considered a sage,               but so that he would have arms ready at hand for the fray.               214ff. The anaphora of res and the asyndeton heighten the insults. For the identification               of the Scottus, see Introduction, p. 6, n. 17.               219. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 8. 633.               221. Cf. 16 (11), vv. 407-8.               223. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 8. 20.               225. lectorem: see note to vv. 201ff.

 



Page 162

              Multa scis et nulla sapis: plura inscie nosti.                       Quid dicam inde magis? Non sapis atque sapis!               Rex sua fulcra petat, habeat sua mansio quemque,              235                       Rex bene laetus eat, plebs bene laeta meet,               At tu posce pio reditum mea fistula regi,                       Et cunctis veniam, quos ciet iste iocus.               Qui ne quem offendat, placeat dilectio Christi,                       Omnia quae suffert, cui bona cuncta placent.              240               Hac ope qui vacuus, qui tanto est munere nudus,                       Sit licet infensus, est mihi cura levis.               Quite mundani regni, rex, extulit arce,                       Praemia perpetui det meliora tibi.               16. Theodulf               (I)               Magna catervatim nos contio saepe frequentat,                       Aetas quod dicat sexus et omnis habet               Parvulus, annosus, iuvenis, pater, innuba, celebs,              165                       Maior, ephoebus, anus, masque, marita, minor.               Quid moror? instanter promittit munera plebes,                       Quodque cupit factum, si dabit, esse putat.               Hoc animi murum tormento frangere certant,                       Ariete quo tali mens male pulsa ruat.              170               Hic et cristallum et gemmas promittit Eoas,                       Si faciam alterius ut potiatur agris.               Iste gravi numero nummos fert divitis auri,                       Quos Arabum sermo sive caracter arat,               Aut quos argento Latius stilus inprimit albo,              175                       Si tamen adquirat predia, rura, domos.               Clam nostrum quidam submissa voce ministrum                       Evocat, ista sonat verba sonanda mihi:               'Est mihi vas aliquod signis insigne vetustis,                       Cui pura et vena et non leve pondus inest,              180               233ff. Cf. Martial 8.20.2.               240.I Corinthians 13:7.               244. Cf. Aldhelm, De Virginitate Metrica 2005.               16. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 493-517; Schaller-Könsgen, 8493. Theodulf's great poem of               satire and admonition on the judicial practices of his day descends to us without a title.               The various titles confected for it (Paraenesis ad Iudices by Pierre Daniel in the editio princeps               of 1598 and Contra Iudices by Dümmler) are of doubtful accuracy. On the poem as a whole,               see Introduction, pp. 13-15. The commentary refers to extracts printed below. The heading               (I) Bribery covers vv. 163-204. For (II) A judge with a hangover (vv. 401-10) see Introduction. p.              13               163. On Theodulf's duties and powers as missus dominicus, see F. Ganshof, Frankish               Institutions under Charlemagne, translated by Bruce and Mary Lyon (New York, 1970),

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 163

              You know many things and have no wisdom: you're a learned ignoramus!               What more shall I then say? Facts you have, understanding you don't.!               Let the king retire, let each man return home,               may the king go joyously and the people go joyously too,               but you, my poem, ask the goodly king if you may withdraw,               and beg forgiveness from all to whom this joke refers.               May Christ in His love please grant that this offend no one,               through Him who suffers all things, to whom all goodness is pleasing.               He who is without this bounty, who is bereft of so great a reward,               although he be my enemy, I care little.               May he, sire, who raised you to head this realm on earth               grant you the superior rewards of the heavenly kingdom.               16. Temptations and tribulations of a judge               (I) Bribery               My assemblies are thronged with great droves of people               of every age and sex, all with something to ask               little children, old men, youths, fathers, spinsters, bachelors,               the old and the young, adults, crones, husbands and wives.               What more can I say? The commoners press upon me promises of bribes,               thinking gifts a means of getting whatever they want done.               By this device they seek to crack the walls of my resolve,               so that, badly shaken by this stratagem, my determination collapses.               One promises crystal and the gems of the East               if I'll let him get his hands on another man's fields.               Another brings rich gold coins of heavy weight,               engraved with Arabic words and stamp,               or coins of fine silver bearing an impress in Latin script,               providing he gains estates, lands or houses.               On the sly one of them calls my servant in an undertone               and utters these words which are supposed to resound in my ear:               'I have a remarkable vase of ancient design               made of pure metal and of no light weight, (Footnote continued from previous page)               pp. 23-6 (= id., Karl der Grosse ii, pp. 366-70).               173-5. The documentary evidence for Carolingian familiarity with Muslim coins is sparse.               F. M. Lowick in The Numismatic Chronicle (1973), PP. 173-82, discusses Frankish imitations               of Muslim dinars. See too P. Grierson, Dark Age Coinage, Variorum Reprints (London,               1979), pp. 1059ff. (with updated references).               177. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 7.90.               179ff. Theodulf's description of the metal vase offered to him as a bribe figures as one               of the earliest and most detailed depictions of fine art in Carolingian literature (see T. yon               Schlosser, Schriftquellen zur Geschichte der karolingischen Kunst (Vienna, 1892) 1134, pp. 427-9).               The interest in classical themes (cf. 18) and in the depiction of figurative subjects attested               elsewhere in Theodulf's poetry (cf. poems xlvi and xlvii, MGH, Poetae i, pp. 544-8) is also               reflected in the Libri Carolini (see A. Freeman, Speculum 32 (1957), pp. 695ff.).

 



Page 164

              Quo caelata patent scelerum vestigia Caci,                       Tabo et stipitibus ora soluta virum,               Ferrati scopuli variae seu signa rapinae,                       Humano et pecudum sanguine tactus ager.               Quo furor Herculeus Vulcanidis ossa retundit,              185                       Ille fero patrios ructat ab ore focos;               Quove genu stomachum seu calcibus ilia rumpit,                       Fumifluum clava guttur et ora quatit.               Illic rupe cava videas procedere tauros                       Et pavitare iterum post sua terga trahi.              190               Hoc in parte cava planus cui circulus ore est,                       Nec nimium latus signa minuta gerens,               Perculit ut geminos infans Tirintius angues,                       Ordine sunt etiam gesta notata decem.               At pars exterior crebro usu rasa politur,              195                       Effigiesque perit adtenuata vetus,               Quo Alcides, Calidonque amnis, Nessusque biformis                       Certant pro specie, Deianira, tua.               Inlita Nesseo feralis sanguine vestis                       Cernitur et miseri fata pavenda Lichae.              200               Perdit et Anteus dura inter brachia vitam,                       Qui solito sterni more vetatur humo.               Hoc ego sum domino'dominum me forte vocabat                       'Laturus, votis si favet ille meis.'               . . .               (II)               Nam qui se nimiis epulis somnoque sepelit,                       Corporis atque animae vim sibi demit hebes.               Cum venit ad causas nudatus acumine sensus,                       Marcidus et segnis et sine mente sedet.               Dum sit in ambiguo causae sollertia habenda,              405                       Quaestio et alterna sit vice versa diu,               Ille piger, madidus, ructans, temulentus, anelus                       Oscitat et marcet, nauseat, angit, hebet;               Et modo iuncturas dicit, modo viscus inesse,                       Et modo tota simul membra gravata sibi.              410               Inficit hunc primum somnus post vina dapesque,                       Proximus est illi luxoriare labor.               . . .               181. Theodulf describes the representation of Hercules' triumph over Cacus carved in               relief on the vase. His source is Virgil, Aeneid 8. 193ff. For Theodulf's allegorical reading of               this myth, cf. 18, vv. 24ff. and see 16, v. 21; 23, v. 44.               187. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 7.26.               191ff. The inside of the vase has fine engravings of the twelve labours of Hercules, one               of which is described at ,vv. 193-4; the primary. source is Ovid (see notes below).               193. Cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria 1.187. Hercules, according to legend, was brought up in               Tiryns, in Argolis; the reference is to his strangling of the snakes in his cradle. This feat is

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 165

              on which are clearly engraved the imprints of Cacus' crimes,               the gore and the decapitated heads of men stuck on stakes,               the iron cliffs and various signs of ravage,               the fields covered with the blood of men and of beasts.               There Hercules in his fury crushed the bones of Vulcan's son,               Cacus' bestial mouth belched smoke as if from his father's hearths;               there Hercules' knee and boots ripped open Cacus' stomach and ribs,               smashing with his club that smoke-filled mouth and throat.               There you might see the bulls coming from the recess of the cave               afraid that they would again be dragged backwards by the tail.               This curved part has a broad circle at its edge               and a well-proportioned surface bearing tiny figures               showing how Hercules as a child struck down two snakes,               with his ten labours embossed in order as well.               But the outer part is polished smooth by being used so often               and the old likeness, worn thin, is being destroyed.               On it Hercules, the river Calydon, and two-formed Nessus               vie for the beautiful Deianira.               One can make out the fatal garment smeared with Nessus' blood               and the terrible lot of the wretched Lichas.               Antaeus loses his life in the sturdy arms that clasp him,               since he could not be laid flat on the ground in the usual way.               This I shall bring to my lord'lord he happened to call me               'if he looks favourably on my wishes.'               . . .               (II) A judge with a hangover               For he who buries himself in excessive banqueting and sleep               becomes a dullard, robbed of strength of body and force of mind.               When he comes to the trial stripped of his sharp understanding,               languid, indolent and mindless, he takes his seat.               When there is need of a sharp wit in the doubtful points of a case               and a prolonged debate ensues on either side,               lazy, sodden, belching, tipsy and breathless,               he gasps, feels apathetic and ill, tense and stifled,               saying that at one moment his joints, at the next his bowels               and finally all his limbs together are getting him down.               Sleep is the first thing to strike him, after food and wine,               and the work he takes to is living it up.               . . . (Footnote continued from previous page)               distinct from the ten labours additionally (etiam, v. 194) described at vv. 194ff.               197ff. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 9.98ff.               199. Cf. ibid. 9.153.               201-2. Antaeus, giant son of Poseidon, took strength from contact with his mother the                Earth. To vanquish him, Hercules raised him into the air and crushed him.               401. Cf. 13, v. 21 and note.

              407-8. For the violent asyndeton in a context of abuse, cf. 15, vv. 215ff.

 



Page 166

              (III)               Esto et sollicitus propriae de parte iugalis,                       Ne mentem maculet inliciendo tuam!               Oscula quae genibus, manibus, colloque, genisque                       Blanda dabit, miscet lenia verba quibus,               Sueta preces tali proprias armare veneno,              695                       Armat ut architenens inpigra tela suo.               Si tua mens fuerit munita casside forti,                       Tela ut conspiciat hinc resilire sua,               Inde gemens rediet ficta et suspiria dando,                       Flensque suas pondus non habuisse preces.              700               Mox puer, aut nutrix, aut fors ancillula mendax,                       'Cur dominae', dicet, 'despicis orsa meae?'               Haec vultu verso tacito dabit ista susurro:                       'Qui modo conspicitur est mihi semper honor,               Quaeque petunt aliae, referunt, prosuntque, nocentque,              705                       Voti nullius ast ego compos eo.'               Ilia roget demum dicent, et ad oscula currat,                       Et tibi: 'Cur pateris esse molestus ei'               At tua mens pugnet redeunti obsistat ut hosti,                       Bellaque ne vincant te recidiva time!              710               . . .               17. Theodulf               Saepe dat ingenium quod vis conferre negabat,                       Compos et arte est, qui viribus impos erat.               Ereptum furto castrensi in turbine quidam,                       Accipe, qua miles arte recepit equum.               Orbus equo fit, preco ciet hac compita voce:              5                       'Quisquis habet nostrum, reddere certet equum.               Sin alias, tanta faciam ratione coactus,                       Quod noster Roma fecit in urbe pater.'               Res mover haec omnes et equum fur sivit abire,                       Dum sua vel populi damna pavenda timet.              10               Hunc herus ut reperit, gaudet potiturque reperto,                       Gratanturque illi, quis metus ante fuit.               Inde rogant, quid equo fuerat facturus adempto,                       Vel quid in urbe suus egerit ante pater.               692. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 10.851.               695. Cupid. Cf. 18, vv. 33-4.               697-8. Cf. Prudentius' depiction of Ira's unsuccessful onslaught on Patientia, Psychomachia               137-44.               706. Cf. Ovid, Ars Amaoria 1.486.

 





Page 167

              (III) A woman's wiles               Watch out for your own wife,               let her not corrupt your mind with temptations!               On your knees, hands, neck and cheeks               she will press sweet kisses mingled with soft words,               practised at spiking her prayers in the poison               with which the archer tirelessly equips his shafts.               If you are protected by a helmet of strongmindedness               which makes her see that her weapons bounce off it,               she will then retreat groaning and heave feigned sighs,               grieving that her prayers have no weight.               Soon a servant boy or a nurse or perhaps her lying little maid               will say: 'Why do you spurn my lady's requests?'               She will cast down her gaze and say with a muted sigh:               'He whom I now see is the one I always honour,               whatever other women ask for, they get, for good or for ill,               but I am the one who gains none of her wishes.'               They will tell her to make her request and run to kiss you,               and to you they will say: 'How can you bear to be horrid to her?'               But may your mind fight back as it would resist the return of an enemy;               be careful that a fresh onslaught does not see you beaten!               . . .               17. A lost horse               Brains often achieve what brawn could not attain;               by cleverness you succeed when with force you fail.               Listen to how cleverly a soldier got back a horse               stolen from him in the uproar of the camp.               When he had lost his mount he went shouting these words high and low:               'Let whoever has my horse hurry to give it back!               Otherwise, forced as I am by such urgent necessity,               I will do what my father did in the city of Rome.'               This upset everyone, and the thief allowed the horse to go free,               since he feared that he or his people would suffer terribly.               When its owner found the horse, he rejoiced and took possession of it.               Those who previously had been afraid were now pleased.               They asked what he would have done if the horse had remained lost,               and what his father had done before in the city.               17. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 551-2; Schaller-Könsgen, 14481. The verbal humour, simple               to the point of slap-stick, of this ridiculum dictum contrasts with the irony and sophistication               of Theodulf's satirical and moral-didactic poetry (cf. 15, 16) and links it with the later               medieval fabliau (see J. Beyer, Schwank und Moral (Heidelberg, 1969). pp. 70ff.).               13. Indirect question with the indicative.

 





Page 168

              'Sellae', ait, 'adiunctis collo revehendo lupatis              15                       Sarcinulisque aliis ibat onustus inops.               Nil quod pungat habens, calcaria calce reportans,                       Olim eques, inde redit ad sua tecta pedes.               Hunc imitatus ego fecissem talia tristis,                       Ni foret iste mihi, crede, repertus equus.'              20               18. Theodulf               Namque ego suetus eram hos libros legisse frequenter,                       Extitit ille mihi nocte dieque labor.               Saepe et Gregorium, Augustinum perlego saepe,                       Et dicta Hilarii seu tua, papa Leo,               Hieronymum, Ambrosium, Isidorum, fulvo ore Iohannem,                       Inclyte seu martyr te, Cypriane pater,               Sive alios, quorum describere nomina longum est,                       Quos bene doctrinae vexit ad alta decus.               Legimus et crebro gentilia scripta sophorum,                       Rebus qui in variis eminuere satis.              10               Cura decens patrum nec erat postrema piorum,                       Quorum sunt subter nomina scripta, vide:               Sedulius rutilus, Paulinus, Arator, Avitus,                       Et Fortunatus, tuque, Iuvence tonans;               Diversoque potens prudenter promere plura              15                       Metro, o Prudenti, noster et ipse parens.               Et modo Pompeium, modo re, Donate, legebam,                       Et modo Virgilium, te modo, Naso loquax.               In quorum dictis quamquam sint frivola multa,                       Plurima sub falso tegmine vera latent.              20               Falsa poetarum stilus affert, vera sophorum,                       Falsa horum in verum vertere saepe solent.               18. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 543-4; Schaller-Könsgen, 9975; Introduction, p. 16.               1ff. The list of authors whom Theodulf claims to have read divides into five principal               sections: 1 (vv. 2-8) named patristic authorities; 2 (vv. 9-10) unspecified pagan philosophers;               3 (vv. 11-16) Christian Latin poets; 4 (v. 17) grammarians; 5 (vv. 18-19) Virgil and Ovid.               Theodulf's verse description of his reading draws on a poetic tradition reaching back to               Venantius Fortunatus. The most recent example of this genre was Alcuin's poem on York               (cf. Godman, Alcuin, pp. 122-7). On the opening see Bernt, Epigramm, pp. 219ff.               3-6. This section, comprising fathers of the Church, lists authors used by Theodulf. The               reference to John Chrysostom (John of the golden mouth) is to the Latin translations of               his work extant since the fifth century.               7. The omission of names in the interest of brevity is a convention of such catalogues.               Cf. Godman, Alcuin, p. 126, vv. 1561-2.               13-14. Many of the same authors of late antique Biblical epic and Christian Latin poetry               between the fourth and seventh centuries whose names are listed by Alcuin and whose               works had begun to form a 'school canon'. See G. Glauche, Schullektüre im Mittelalter               (Munich, 1970), pp. 11-12, and Godman, Alcuin, lxxi-lxxii. Paulinus = Paulinus of Nola;

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 169

              'He tied the bridle,' said he, 'to the saddle and on his neck               carried it along, burdened with other bits of baggage, down at heel,               having nothing to spur, carrying his spurs on his boots,               an erstwhile horseman, he then returned home on foot.               I would have sadly followed this example, believe you me,               had not my horse been found.'               18. The books I used to read               These were the books which I was accustomed to read frequently               and this was the work before me night and day.               I very often read Gregory and Augustine               and the words of Hilary and of Pope Leo,               Jerome, Ambrose, Isidore and golden-mouthed John               and you, father Cyprian, the distinguished martyr,               together with others whose names it would take long to relate               and whose distinction in learning bore them to the heights.               I have often read the writings of the pagan sages               who achieved eminence in various subjects.               My attention was not slow duly to turn to the fathers               whose names are written below for you to see:               brilliant Sedulius, Paulinus, Arator, Avitus,               Fortunatus as well as thundering Juvencus,               and the poet who was capable of composing many pieces               in different metresPrudentius, my fellow-countryman.               And then sometimes I would read Pompeius and Donatus,               while at others I would study Virgil and wordy Ovid.               Although there are many frivolities in their words,               much truth lies hidden under a deceptive surface.               Poets' writing is a vehicle for falsehood, philosophers' brings truth;               they transform the lies of poets into veracity. (Footnote continued from previous page)               Avitus = Alcimus Avitus; Fortunatus = Venantius Fortunatus.               15-16. Theodulf's reference to Prudentius is one of the chief pieces of evidence for               claiming that he was of Spanish origin (see E. Dahlhaus-Berg, Nova Antiquitas et Antiqua               Novitas (Vienna, 1975), p. 6); his detailed first-hand knowledge of Prudentius' works,               unusual among early Carolingian poets, suggests that Theodulf first read Prudentius before               coming to Charlemagne's court.               17. Pompeium: the author of a commentary on Donatus, the famous fourth-century gram              marian whos e widely circulated Ars minor became a standard text-book.               18. Virgil was widely read and closely studied but Ovid never played so important a               role in the Carolingian school curriculum or in the culture of any other early Carolingian               poet (cf. Glauche, Schullektüre, p. 12). Here, as in the case of Prudentius (15-16), Theodulf's               reading is exceptional. Naso loquax: cf. 24, v. 62.               19ff. On this topos see J. Seznec, The Survival of the Pagan Gods, English translation               (Princeton, 1953), pp. 9o-1 and L. Gompf, 'Figmenta Poetarum' in FsLangosch, pp. 53ff.               21. The sophi are not modern poets (H. Glunz, Die Literaturästhetik des europäischen Mittelal              ters (Bochum-Langendreer, 1937), p. 27) but philosophers.

 



Page 170

              Sic Proteus verum, sic iustum Virgo repingit,                       Virtutem Alcides, furtaque Cacus inops.               Verum ut fallatur, mendacia mille patescunt,              25                       Firmiter hoc stricto pristina forma redit.               Virginis in morem vis iusti inlaesa renidet,                       Quam nequit iniusti conmaculare lues.               Gressibus it furum fallentum insania versis,                       Ore vomunt fumum probra negando tetrum.              30               Vis sed eos mentis retegit, perimitque, quatitque,                       Nequitia illorum sic manifesta patet.               Fingitur alatus, nudus, puer esse Cupido,                       Ferre arcum et pharetram, toxica tela, facem.               Quod levis alatus; quod aperto est crimine, nudus;              35                       Sollertique caret quod ratione puer.               Mens prava in pharetra, insidiae signantur in arcu,                       Tela, puer, virus, fax tuus ardor, Amor.               Mobilius, levius quid enim vel amantibus esse                       Quit, vaga mens quorum seu leve corpus inest?              40               Quis facinus celare potest quod Amor gerit acer,                       Cuius semper erunt gesta retecta mala?               Quis rationis eum spiris vincire valebit,                       Qui est puer effrenis et ratione carens?               Quis pharetrae latebras poterit penetrare malignas,              45                       Tela latent utero quot truculenta malo,               Quo face coniunctus virosus prosilit ictus,                       Qui volat, et perimens vulnerat, urit, agit?               Est sceleratus enim moechiae daemon et atrox,                       Ad luxus miseros saeva barathra trahens.              50               Decipere est promptus, semperque nocere paratus,                       Daemonis est quoniam vis, opus, usus ei.               Somnus habet geminas, referunt ut carmina, portas.                       Altera vera gerit, altera falsa tamen.               Cornea vera trahit, producit eburnea falsa,              55                       Vera vident oculi, falsa per ora meant.               Rasile nam cornu, tener et translucet ocellus,                       Obtunsumque vehit oris hiatus ebur.               Non splendorem oculus, non sentit frigora cornu,                       Par denti atque ebori visque colorque manet.              60               Est portis istis virtus non una duabus:                       Os fert falsa, oculus nil nisi vera videt.               Pauca haec de multis brevibus constricta catenis                       Exempli causa sit posuisse satis.               24. Theodulf allegorises the myth he describes as being engraved on a vase at 16 (1).               29. The language recalls the theft of the cows by Cacus. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 8.209-11;              16,               v. 190.               30. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 8. 198-9               33ff. On the allegory of Cupid, see Servius on Aeneid 2.663; Isidore, Etymologiae 8. 11.80;               Seznec, op. cit., pp. 90ff., and E. Panofsky, Studies in Iconology (New York, 1962), pp. vii,               104ff.

 



Page 171

              Thus Proteus represents truth, Virgo justice,               Hercules virtue and needy Cacus theft.               A thousand lies blatantly attempt to pervert the truth;               when it is plainly revealed, it returns in its previous beauty.               The untainted power of justice shines like a virgin,               the foulness of injustice cannot corrupt it.               Madness walks backwards, stepping like cunning thieves,               from its mouth belching foul smoke and denying what is right.               But forceful resolve exposes, destroys and crushes them               and so their wickedness is starkly revealed.               Cupid is represented as a winged and naked boy               carrying a bow and a quiver, deadly weapons and a torch.               Winged because fickle and naked because of his manifest crimes,               he is represented as a boy because he lacks skill and reason.               His depraved mind is symbolised by the quiver, his trickery by the bow,               the boy's arrows are poison and his torch is the ardour of love.               For what could be more changeable or fickle than lovers               whose minds wander and whose bodies are lascivious?               Who can conceal the crimes passionately committed by Love               whose evil deeds will always be exposed?               Who with the coils of reason could bind               that boy who is uncontrollable and irrational?               Who could see into the wicked darkness of his quiver               to count how many cruel weapons lie in the evil womb               whence shoots its blow, poisoned and mingled with fire,               which soars, deals a deadly wound, burns, and hounds us on.               The demon of fornication is terrible and wicked,               it drags wretches down to the brutal purgatory of loose living.               It is prompt to deceive and always ready to do harm,               since it has the Devil's force, resources and experience at its command.               Sleep has two doors, so poetry relates,               one bears the truth and the other falsehood.               The gate of horn draws in truth, the ivory gate brings out falsehood,               the eyes see the truth and falsehood passes through the lips.               For horn is smooth, and the eye is also tender and translucent,               while the opening of the mouth bears a barrier of ivory.               The eye experiences no light, and horn feels no cold,               the tooth and ivory alike have strength and colour.               Those two gates do not have the same properties,               the mouth bears falsehoods, the eye sees nothing but the truth.               Let it suffice to have set down a few points               as examples, bound as they are by constraints of brevity.               53ff. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 6.893-6. Theodulf develops the exegesis of Servius on Aeneid 6.893               and of Macrobius, Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis 1.3. 17-20.               55ff. The connection, explained by Servius and Macrobius, between horn and truth is               the eye; and between ivory and lies the link is the mouth. Both eye and horn are translucent               and the mouth has ivory teeth (vv. 57-8).               59. oculus Godman: oculis Sirmond. The allusion is to the eye in sleep.

 



Page 172

              19. Theodulf               Rebus et exemplis quaedam bene nosse valemus,                       Cum non divinem, haec scio res quid agat.               Miraque sint per idem cum tempus plurima visa,                       Hoc etiam visum est, quod recitare paro.               Quod mihi Gairardus retulit, Paschasius illi:              135                       Hic audita mihi, visa et ei ille refert.               Nempe Tolosani locus est rurisque Caturci                       Extimus; hoc finit pagus uterque loco.               Illic campus inest, cuius sunt extima silvis                       Cincta, hominesque manent non satis inde procul.              140               Quem volucres magno complerunt impete multae,                       Planitie inque eius multa resedit avis,               Quas fluvius, quas habet nemus et quas squalida tellus,                       Quae scopulis nidos composuisse solent.               Quis cibus est varius, cantus, color atque volatus,              145                       Penna ungues rostrum mos locus officium.               Nam zephiri pars has, aquilonis vexerat illas,                       Partem et utramque putes signa habuisse sua.               Sederunt campis acies altrinsecus illis,                       Et spatium extabat inter utrasque aliquod.              150               Inter utramque aciem legatos ire putares,                       Qui pugnae aut pacis iura referre parent.               Interea alterutro paucae ex utraque volabant                       Parte, vices complent ista vel illa suas.               Egerit illa nihil quod tunc legatio pacis,              155                       Sorte patet: post hanc grandia bella cient.               Utque diu Poenos inter populumque Quiritum                       Currunt legati, donec in arma ruant,               Haud secus inter eas, postquam sat utrimque volatum est,                       Vi, qua quaeque valet, in fera bella ruunt.              160               Ardent ad pugnam volucrum hinc inde manipli,                       Cumque ala ala coit, cumque cohorte cohors.               Vis est militiae diversa, sed una voluntas;                       Quod maior miles, vult quoque parvus idem.               Nullum opus aut currus, nullum aut habet usus equorum,              165                       Usus abest calibis, spicula nulla volant.               19. Text: Schaller, Philologische Untersuchungen, pp. 47-9 and id., Tierdichtung, pp. 104-11;               Schaller-Könsgen, 7018. This poem, traditionally known as 'The Battle of the Birds' from               the marginalia in three of its manuscripts, is in fact part of a poetic epistle to Moduin of               Autun (Introduction, pp. 15-16) which Theodulf wrote while confined in Le Mans to assert               his innocence from the charge of complicity in the uprising of Bernard of Italy in 817. The               poem continues to v. 224 with a description of a second battle; only the first account (vv.               131-90) is printed here.               133. At this point in the poem Theodulf has related a number of other portents, such as               the drying up of rivers. Cf. Florus of Lyons, 40, vv. 89ff.

 



Page 173

              19. The battle of the birds               We can understand certain things from exemplary events,               although I am no diviner, I know what this occurrence means.               Though very many wondrous sights were reported at the same time,               the one which I shall recount was truly observed.               Gairard related this one to me and Paschasius to him: Gairard               told me what he had heard and Paschasius told him what he had seen.               There is a place at the very edge of the region around               Toulouse and Cahors: both districts end at this place'.               In that spot is a field whose borders are enclosed by woods               and men live not very far away from there.               Many birds filled that place in a great throng,               and on the plain settled the many winged creatures               which live in the streams, woods and wilderness               and are accustomed to make their nests in the cliffs.               Their food, song, colours and manner of flying are different,               as are their feathers, talons, beaks, habits, regions, and tasks.               Some had come from the west, others from the east,               and you would think that both sides had war-standards of their own.               They settled in battlelines on either side of the fields,               leaving an amount of space between them.               You would have thought that between both armies ambassadors went               to and fro, preparing to bring back a decision as to war or peace.               Meanwhile a few birds flew back and forth,               each side completing its exchanges with the other.               That these missions of peace achieved nothing is plain from the way               in which things turned out: after them a mighty war was declared.               Just as long ago emissaries rushed between the Carthaginian               and Roman peoples until they joined in pitched battle,               so the birds, after they had finished flying about on either side,               rushed furiously into the fray with all the force each side could muster.               On both sides the troops of birds were eager to do battle:               wing clashed with wing, cohort with cohort.               Their forces differed in strength, but their intentions were identical:               what the greater troop desired was the smaller one's object as well.               They had no need of a chariot, no need to make use of horses,               they did not touch steel, no arrows flew about. In place of helmets               135. Paschasius: the otherwise unknown eye-witnesses of the event. Gairard: Theodulf's               similarly unidentifiable informant.               143. Sic MS.: quas fluvius habet et nemus et . . . Bulst.               157. Poenos . . . populumque Quiritum: the diction is rare in early Carolingian poetry, its               flavour archaic. The allusion is to the Punic wars.               162. Note the word-play on the military and the primary, avian, sense of the term. Cf.               vv. 167-8.               165ff. The purpose of this comparison with human warfare is not parody of heroic poetry               (Schaller, Tierdichtung, pp. 101ff.), unlike the use of a similar technique in 49, vv. 59ff.

 



Page 174

              Pro galea crista est, pro cuspide rostra vel ungues,                       Et sua pro lituis carmina quaeque sonat.               Ala levis parmam, volucris fert pinnula sicam,                       Et toracis habet pluma minuta locum.              170               Iamque dies sextus conventus fluxerat huius,                       Certatim in bellum parte ab utraque ruunt.               Inque vicem laniant se hinc morsibus, ictibus illinc,                       Ingenti bellum surgit utrimque animo.               Hinc Rutilos, illinc videas consurgere Teucros,              175                       Saevire et Martem parte ab utraque ferum.               Glans cadit autumno veluti de stipite querna,                       Maturum et folium iam veniente gelu,               Non aliter avium moriens exercitus illic                       Decidit et magna strage replevit humum.              180               Nam teres aestivis impletur ut area granis,                       Campus ita extincta sic ave plenus erat.               A borea in boream veniens pars parva reversa est;                       Tota in utraque cohors parte perempta iacet.               Res sonat ista, venit populus factumque stupescunt,              185                       Mirantur variae membra iacentis avis.               Ipse Tolosana praesul quoque venit ab urbe                       Mancio; plebs rogat, haec ales an esca fiat.               'Inlicitis spretis, licitas adsumite', dixit.                       Plaustra onerant avibus, in sua quisque redit.              190               . . .               20.  'Hibernicus Exul'               [Poeta]               'Dum proceres mundi regem venerare videntur               Ponderibus vastis ingentia dona ferentes               Inmensum argenti pondus, fulgentis et auri,               Gemmarum cumulos sacro stipante metallo               Purpura splendentes aurato tegmine vestes,               Spumantes et equos flavo stringente capistro               Ardua barbarico gestantes colla sub auro               166. The language is taken from human warfare (volant, cristas, rostra). Cf. the pun on ala               (wing, squadron) at v. 162.               175. The war between the Rutulians and Trojans described in the later books of the               Aeneid.               20. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 396-7; Schaller-Könsgen, 4049. The fragmentary poem by               'Hibernicus Exul', the Irish poet variously identified as Dungal and Dicuil, which celebrates               Charlemagne's victory in 787 over the rebellious Tassilo III (748-788), duke of Bavaria               (see K. Reindel in Handbuch der bayerischen Geschichte i, pp. 127-33 and in Karl der Grosse i,

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 175

              they had crests; instead of spears, beaks and talons,               and, in lieu of a clarion, each bird sang its song.               Their light wings served as shields, their little feathers as daggers,               and their delicate plumage did the work of a breastplate.               When the sixth day of their meeting had passed,               from both sides they rushed headlong into battle.               They tore at one another everywhere with blows and bites,               and both sides waged war with fierce determination.               Here you might think you were seeing the Rutilians, there the Trojans               roused to action, and a fierce battle raging on both sides.               As acorns tumble in autumn from the oak trees               and full-grown leaves fall when the frost comes,               so the army of birds was cut down and died on that spot,               the enormous mass of their corpses covering the earth.               Just as the smooth threshing-floor is filled with grain in summer,               so that field was filled with birds who had been slaughtered.               A small number coming from the north were turned back northwards;               an entire cohort lay destroyed on either side.               News of the event was spread abroad, people came and were amazed,               marvelling at the limbs of the different birds lying there.               Mancio the bishop himself came from the city of Toulouse,               and the common people asked whether these birds could be eaten:               'Take what is allowed, leave what is not,' he said.               They loaded their wagons with birds and each man returned home.               . . .               20. In praise of poetry               [The Poet]               'While the leading men of the world are seen to revere the king,               carrying huge gifts of massive weight,               an enormous load of silver and of gleaming gold,               the holy ore thickly encrusted about the massed gems,               the vestments gleaming with purple and gold thread,               with a shining halter reining in the foaming horses               whose necks arch high under trappings of barbarian gold (Footnote continued from previous page)               pp. 220ff.) is the first of the major Carolingian political eclogues and offers one of the               earliest statements of the public, panegyric function of court poetry (Introduction, pp. 24-5;               cf. 24). Vv. 1-40 are printed here.               1ff. The poem begins as a series of questions between the Poet and his Muse; parts are               not assigned in the manuscript and my attribution of speeches differs at one point (v. 20               and note) from Dümmler's. A similar technique of dialogue was employed by Walahfrid               Strabo in a later work (MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 370ff.).               3. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1.359.               5-6. Cf. ibid. 7. 279.

 



Page 176

              Annua sublimi haec debentur munera regi               Dic mihi, quae pariter reddemus, garrula Musa,               Ne forte in vanum regi servire videmur,              10               Quae tali ac tanto patri munuscula demus?'               [Musa]               'Carmina quin etiam modolata voce canamus?               Dulcisonas regi promamus pectore laudes,               Et nostris cunctus reboet clangoribus orbis.'               [Poeta]               'O sola ante alias cantus dulcedine capta,              15               Divitiis orbis componis carmina, Musa?               Sed dic, quid valeant nostri iam carminis odae?'               [Musa]               'Heu, numquid sotius Musarum nomina nescis,               Aut forte inludens nostrorum munera tempnis,               dilectus sotius, Musae quoque dulcis alumnus?'              20               [Poeta]               'Haud quidem ignoro Musarum dulcia dona.               Sed dic nunc, veterum vatum mihi maxima nutrix,               Quae nostrae laudis concludent saecula finem?'               [Musa]               'Sidereae summus dum sedis volvitur axis,               Et nox obscura claris dum pellitur astris,              25               Splendidus ex imis surgit dum phosforus umbris,               Et celer aequoreas ventus dum verberat undas,               In mare dum properant spumosis cursibus amnes,               Nubila dum tangunt minaci vertice montes,               Atque iacent humiles limoso limite valles,              30               8. annua . . . munera: yearly 'gifts', paid on an originally voluntary basis, became real taxes               on the aristocracy and the Church under Charlemagne. Payment was often in kind, especi              ally in horses and arms: the poet thus describes real rather than imagined events. See F.               Ganshof, Frankish Institutions under Charlemagne, translated by B. and M. Lyon (New York,               1970), p. 43 and note 321 [= Karl der Grosse i, p. 381 and note 251].               15. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 1. 709. The emphasis on the sweetness of poetry is repeated               at v. 21. The term had long been adapted from rhetoric to poetry. See Thesaurus Linguae               Latinae 5. 1. 2183, 56ff.; 2184, 22ff.; H. Lausberg, Handbuch der literarischen Rhetorik ii (Munich,               1960), p. 280 (545); Curtius, p. 459 (Juvencus).

 





Page 177

              for these gifts arc due annually to the exalted king               tell me, talkative Muse, what tribute shall we pay with them,               lest the service we give the king seem worthless; what small gifts               should we offer to a lord of his stature and might?'               [The Muse]               'Why should we not sing poetry in harmonious voices?               From our hearts we shall utter sweet-sounding praises to the king,               and may the Whole world echo our clamorous song.'               [The Poet]               'Muse, you alone before others were impressed by my song's sweetness,               but can you compare verse to the riches of the world?               Do tell me, what is the value of my poetry?'               [The Muse]               'Alas, friend, can it be that you are unaware of the names of the Muses               or perhaps deceive us and despise the gifts of our followers,               beloved comrade and sweet pupil of the Muse?'               [The Poet]               'I am well aware of the Muses' sweet gifts.               But tell me now, mighty nurse of the ancient poets,               will the course of time make an end of my panegyric?'               [The Muse]               'While the highest vault of the starry sky revolves,               and the dark night is driven away by the bright planets,               while the morning-star rises in splendour from the deepest shades,               and the swift wind beats upon the ocean waves,               while the rivers run their foaming courses to the sea,               while the mountain-tops threaten to touch the clouds,               and the valleys lie low in their muddy tracks,               16. componis Godman: comparis MS.: conpares Dümmler.               20. Dümmler assigns this line to the Poet, but to do so is to imply that there is a third               speaker. The Muse is reminding the Poet of his special bond with her: v. 20 affirms their               closeness.               21. Cf. Venantius Fortunatus Carm. 3.27. 4, and note to v. 15.               24.sedis Schaller (cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria 2.39): situs MS: spherae Mai.               26.ex imis Godman: eximiis MS.               28. Cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile 4. 299.               29. Cf. Venantius Fortunatus Carm. 10. 9.25.

 



Page 178

              Aut summi extollunt praerupta cacumina colles,               Regumque obrizo candor dum fulminat auro,               Munera Musarum saeclis aeterna manebunt!               His regum veterum clarescunt inclita gesta,               Praesentum et saeclis narrantur facta futuris,              35               Musarum et donis laudatur conditor orbis,               Sedibus aethereis fulgens virtutibus almis,               Nostris assiduis gratatur cantibus aequis.               His igitur donis regem venerare memento               Ast ego praecipuo comitabor fistola cantu.'              40               . . .               21. 'Hibernicus Exul'               (I)               Discite nunc, pueri! Docilis cito vertitur aetas,                       Tempora praetereunt axe rotante diem.               Ardenti ut sonipes carpit celer aequora cursu,                       Sic volat, heu, iuvenis non remanente gradu.               Curvantur facili vi lenta cacumina virgae,              5                       Sed rigidos ramos flectere nemo valet.               Dum faciles animi vobis sint forte, sodales,                       Discere ne pigeat scita superna dei.               Ne bene concessum spatium perdatis inane,                       Nam sine doctrina vita perit hominum.              10               (II)               Quemlibet hic segnem levitatis culpa remordet,                       Aut puer aut iuvenis nullus inultus erit!               Grandevi torquendi dulci carendo lyeo,                       At pigri infantes seva flagella ferent.               Malueram potius cuncti sed sponte parerent;                       Gratia quo meritis, ultio nulla foret.              5               34ff. The panegyrical as well as the religious function of poetry is placed in direct parallel;               for the emphasis on the present as well as the past, cf. 24, v. 84ff.               38. gratatur Schaller: gratulatur MS.               21.Text: MGH, Poetae i, p. 403. Cf. 20 & 22. These two epigrams, written by the same               unidentified Irish poet known as 'Hibernicus Exul', lightly illustrate opposite but timeless

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 179

              and the highest hills rear up their rugged crests,               while the splendour of kings blazes forth in purest gold,               the art of poetry will remain for all time!               In poetry are famed the distinguished deeds of ancient kings,               and the actions of the present are told to future ages,               by the gifts of the Muses is praised the world's creator,               resplendent with sweet virtues in His heavenly home,               who takes pleasure in our unceasing, fitting poetry.               And so remember to do honour to the king by these gifts,               and my pipe will accompany you with fine song.'               . . .               21. A master to his pupils:  two versions               (I) Encouragement               Learn now, boys! The age for learning passes swiftly,               time goes by, as the heavens revolve the days follow.               Just as the swift charger gallops eagerly over the fields,               so youth flies by without lingering as it passes.               The pliant tip of the twig curves beneath an easy pressure               but no one can bend the stiff boughs.               While your minds happen to be receptive, my friends,               waste no time and learn the divine commands of God.               Do not squander the period generously granted to you,               for without learning the life of man perishes.               (II) Threats               Whoever is indolent here will be castigated for frivolity,               no boy will go unpunished whether he is younger or older.               The older ones will suffer by being deprived of sweet wine,               but lazy infants shall be given a thrashing with the whip.               However, I should prefer everyone to obey of his own will;               for those who win favour by good conduct will not be punished. (Footnote continued from previous page)               clichés of the same pedagogical style. The first, with its hackneyed imagery and ample               borrowings from proverbial sources such as the Disticha Catonis (v. 10 and note), is devoted               to a recurrent theme in early Carolingian poetry. The second, bluntly specific and intimi              dating even in the final line where it seeks to be conciliatory, is the obverse of the medal.               (1) 10. Cf. Disticha Catonis, praef. 6.

 



Page 180

              22. Anonymous               Magna et preclara pollet        urbis in Italia               in partibus Venetiarum,         ut docet Isidorus,               que Verona uocitatur         olim antiquitos.              3               Per quadrum est compaginata,        murificata firmiter;               quaranta et octo turres        fulget per circuitum,               ex quibus octo sunt excelse,       qui eminent omnibus.              6               Habet altum laberintum        magnum per circuitum,               in qua nescius ingressus        non ualet egredere,               nisi igne lucerne     uel a filo glomere;              9               foro lato, spatioso,        sternato lapidibus,               ubi in quatuor cantus         magnus istat forniceps               plateas mire sternate         de sectis silicibus;              12               fana, tempora, constructa        a deorum nomina,               Lunis, Martis et Mineruis,        Iouis atque Veneris,               et Saturnis sive Solis,      qui prefulget omnibus.              15               Et dicere lingua non ualet        huius urbis scemeta:               intus nitet, foris candet        circumsepta luminis;               in ere pondos deauratos        metalla communia;              18               castro magno et excelso        et firma pugnacula;               pontes lapideos fundatos         super flumen Adesis,               quorum capita pertingit          in orbem in oppidum.              21               Ecce quam bene est fundata        a malis hominibus,               qui nesciebant legem dei         nostri atque uetera               simulacra uenerabantur          lignea lapidea!              24               22. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 120-2; G.B. Pighi, Versus de VeronaVersum de Mediolano               Civitate (Bologna, 1960), pp. 152-4; Schaller-Könsgen, 1974. Modelled on an earlier urban               encomium in praise of Milan (c. 738) the Versus de Verona of 796-805 are among the               outstanding literary works written in Garolingian Verona and a testimony to that city's               ambitions to primacy among other towns in the Veneto during the late eighth and early               ninth centuries (Introduction, pp. 29-30.)               2. Venetiarum: possibly an affectation of the correct ancient plural. Isidore, Etymologiae 15.               1. 59, often cited as a parallel here, in fact describes Mantua and has only a loose               verbal correspondence to this passage. The poet consciously adduces spurious authority for               Verona's claims to be an ancient metropolis, because he knew the text of Isidore. See vv.               7ff. with note.               4. Cf. Jerusalem of Apocalypse 21:16. On the symbolic associations of Verona, see the               note and reference to vv. 16ff.               4-6. The reconstruction of Verona had made considerable progress in the reign of               Charlemagne; rebuilding of the walls and towers was accompanied by restoration of               churches under bishop Eginus. The forty regular towers and the eight that are taller (at

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 181

              22. In praise of Verona               This great and famous city is pre-eminent in Italy               in the area of the Veneto, as Isidore teaches,               and it has been called Verona since time out of mind.               It forms a square, its walls are strongly built,               forty-eight towers in a circuit brilliantly gleam,               and eight lofty ones among them are taller than all the others.               It has a high labyrinth in the shape of a great ring               from which he who enters unknowingly cannot escape,               except by the light of a lantern or with a ball of thread.               It has a wide and spacious forum paved with stones,               at each of its four angles stands a great arch,               and its streets are wondrously laid with flagstones.               Its shrines and temples were built and dedicated to the gods               the Moon, Mars, Minerva, Jupiter and Venus,               Saturn and the Sun which surpasses all in its light.               No tongue could express the beauty of this town:               inside it gleams, outside it shines surrounded by plating               of heavily gilded bronze and rare metals;               a great and lofty citadel provides a strong bastion against attack,               there are stone bridges built over the river Adige,               the heads of which link the town and the citadel.               See how well it was founded by evil men               who knew not the law of our God and worshipped               ancient images of wood and stone! (Footnote continued from previous page)               the gates) may reflect a choice of two perfect numbers (2 × and 2 × 4; see F. W. Lenz,               Orpheus 7.2 (1960) p. 37.)               7ff. Cf. Isidore, Etymologiae 15. 2.36.               8.  egredere = egredi. Cf. vulgarisms at vv. 10, 12, 14. 10. sternato = strato.               13. The ancient temples are not mentioned in the earlier encomium on Milan: the               Veronese poet, by contrast, begins with an attempt to integrate the pagan history of Verona               into its Christian present.               14-15. Lunis, Minerviis, Saturnis: genitives. The names of the temples are the names of               the days of the week. On the other hand a temple of Minerva was in the vicinity of the               church of S. Elena near the Duomo; a temple of Jove was on the Capitol, as was usual in               antiquity.               16ff. Cf. Apocalypse 21:11ff. The resemblances between Verona and the Heavenly Jerus              alem are further discussed by G. Ropa, Quadrivium v (1962), pp. 93ff.               19. The Roman citadel on the opposite bank of the Adige to the main settlement.               21. orbem = urbem: from the town one crosses by one of the two stone bridges to the

              citadel.

 



Page 182

              Sed postquam uenit ergo sacer,        plenitudo temporum,               incarnauit diuinitatem        nascendo ex virgine,               exinaniuit semetipsum,       ascendit patibulum;              27               inde depositus ad plebem           Iudeorum pessimam               in monumento conlocatus,           ibi mansit triduo;               inde resurgens cum triumpho           sedit patris dextera.              30               Gentilitas hoc dum cognouit,        festinauit credere               quare erat ipse deus      celi terre conditor,               qui apparuit in mundo       per Marie utero.              33               Ex qua stirpe processerunt        martyres, apostoli,               confessores et doctores       et vates sanctissimi,               qui concordauerunt mundum       ad fidem catholicam.              36               Sic factus adimpletus        est sermo dauiticus,               quod celi clariter enarrant        gloriam altissimi               ad summo celorum     usque terre terminum.              39               Primurn Verona predicauit        Euprepis episcopus,               secondum Dimidrianus,         tertius Simplicius,               quartus Proculus confessor         pastor et egregius;              42               quintus fuit Saturninus        et sextus Lucilius;               septimus fuit Gricinus       doctor et episcopus;               octauus pastor et confessor       Zeno martyr inclitus,              45               qui Veronam predicando        reduxit ad bapctismo,               a malo spiritui sanauit        Galieni filiam,               boues cum homine mergentem        reduxit ad pelago,              48               et quidem multos liberauit        ab hoste pestifero,               mortuum resuscitauit         ereptum ex fluuio,               idola multa destruxit per crebra ieiunia.              51               Non queo multa narrare        huius sancti opera,               que ad Syriam ueniendo        usque in Italiam               per ipsum omnipotens Deus       ostendit mirabilia.              54               25ff. Cf. Galatians 4:4. The expostulation against the pagans of vv. 22-4 gives way to a               version of the Credo that introduces the spiritual reading of Verona's early history.               27. Cf. Philippians 2:7.               34. Where the Milan encomium selects only the most famous of the city's saints, the               Versus de Verona minutely list the 35 saints, 12 apostles and 40 martyrs in topographical               order, adopting the form of a Roman itinerarium or pilgrim's guide (J.-C. Picard, in Hagiogra              phie, Culture et Sociétés, XVe-XIIe siècles (Paris, 1981), p. 458. This 'suburban tour' of saints'               relics in the vicinity of the city emphasises its spiritual importance relative to other Italian               cities (91-3).               37-9. Cf. Psalm 18:1ff.

 



Page 183

              But when the holy one came in the fullness of time,               being born from the Virgin He made godhead incarnate,               and brought death upon Himself by mounting the gallows;               then He was taken down by the wicked Jewish people               and placed in a tomb where He remained for three days;               rising from there in triumph He sat at the right hand of the Father.               When the pagans understood this they made haste to believe               that God in heaven truly is the creator of the world,               who appeared on earth through Mary's womb.               From this stock came the martyrs, apostles,               confessors and teachers and most holy prophets               who reconciled the world to the catholic faith.               So the prophecy of David became deed and was fulfilled,               and the skies brightly recount the glory of the Most High               from the heights of heaven to the ends of the earth.               The first to preach at Verona was bishop Euprepius,               the second Demetrian, the third Simplicius,               the fourth was Proculus, an excellent pastor and confessor.               The fifth was Saturninus and the sixth Lucilius,               the seventh was Gricinus, a teacher and bishop,               the eighth pastor and confessor was Zeno, a distinguished martyr.               By his preaching he led Verona to baptism               and cleansed the daughter of Galienus from an evil spirit,               saving the drowning cattle and a man from the water,               and indeed he freed many people from the terrible enemy,               reviving a dead man whom he had rescued from the river,               and destroying many idols with frequent fastings.               I cannot recount the many deeds of this saint,               which extended from Syria into Italy,               through whom omnipotent God displayed His miracles.               40ff. Among the list of bishops only Proculus and Zeno enjoyed a local cult. A comparable               succession of Veronese bishops is embroidered on the so-called Velo di Classe prepared for               bishop Anno c. 760. See C. Cipolla in Velo di Classe, ed. G. B. Pighi (Verona, 1972).               45ff. The poem is probably independent both of the Sermo de Vita S. Zenonis attributed to               'Coronatus notarius' and of the poetic Vita Zenonis. See Pighi, p. 82 ad loc., and contrast               Norberg, Poésie, pp. 104-8.               48. pelago = aqua. See Norberg, Au Seuil du Moyen Age (Padua, 1974), P. 78. Cf. 29, v.               105.               49. The Devil.               53. A detail missing from the Sermo and Vita of Zeno.

 



Page 184

              O felicem te Verona        ditata et inclira,               qualis es circumuallata         custodes sanictissimi,               quite defendet et expugnat          ab hoste iniquissimo.              57               Ab oriente habet    primurn martyrem Stephanum,               Florentium, Vindemialem     et Mauro episcopo,               Mamman, Andronico et Probo     cum quaranta martyribus,              60               deinde Petro et Paulo,        Iacobo apostolo,               precursorem et baptistam        Iohannem, et martyrem               Nazarium una cum Celso,       Victore, Ambrosio;              63               inclitus martyr Christi        Geruasio et Protasio,               Faustino atque Iouitta,        Eupolus, Calocero,               domini mater Maria,        Vitale, Agricola.              66               In partibus meridiane        Firmo et Rustico,               qui olim in te susceperunt       coronas martyrii,               quorum corpora ablata        sunt in maris insulis.              69               Quando complacuit domno,        regi inuisibili,               in te sunt facta renouata       per Annonem presulem,               temporibus principum regum       Desiderii et Adelchis.              72               Qui diu morauerunt        sancti nunc reuersi sunt,               quos egregius redemit       cum sociis episcopus               Primo et Apollenare      et Marco et Lazaro:              75               quorum corpora insimul        condidit episcopus               aromata et galbanen,        stacten et argoido,               myrra et gutta et cassia       et tus lucidissimus.              78               Tumulum aurem coopertum        circumdat preconibus;               color sericus fulget,     mulcet sensus hominum,               modo albus modo niger     inter duos purpureos.  81               58ff. The east of the city. The church of S. Stefano is on the left bank of the Adige.               61. The relics of S. Giacomo were kept in the church of S. Paolo.               62. Iohannem: S. Giovanni in Valle.               63-4. The martyrs and saints listed here are Milanese.               65. The church of SS. Faustina e Giovitta (Brescian martyrs). Eupolus was a Catanian               deacon, Colocerus a Roman martyr.               66. Santa Maria in Organo, an abbatial church. The martyrs Vitalis and Agricola are               Bolognese.               69. The tenth-century Translatio SS. Firmi et Rustici relates that after their martyrdom the               two saints' bodies were transported from Verona to Africa, then to Capri and Trieste

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 185

              O happy are you, Verona, enriched, distinguished,               and surrounded by a throng of holy guardians               to defend and drive the wicked enemy away from you.               On the east you have Stephen the first martyr,               bishops Florentius, Vindemialis and Maurus,               Mamma, Andronicus and Probus with the Forty Martyrs.               Then the apostles Peter, Paul and James,               and John the Baptist, Christ's precursor, and               the martyr Nazarius together with Celsus, Victor and Ambrosius;               Getvase and Protasius the distinguished martyrs of Christ,               Faustinus and Jovita, Eupolus, Calocerus,               Mary, the mother of God, Vitalis and Agricola.               In the southern parts are Firmus and Rusticus               who once received the crowns of martyrdom in Verona               and whose bodies have been taken away to the islands in the sea.               When it pleased God, the invisible king,               they were restored by bishop Anno               in the time of kings Desiderius and Adelchis.               The saints who long delayed have now returned,               redeemed, together with their companions, by the excellent bishops               Primus and Apollinaris, Marcus and Lazarus.               Their bodies the bishop buried together               with fragrant spices, galbanum, gum resin and argoidum,               myrrh, amber, cinnamon and brilliant frankincense.               He covered and encircled the golden tomb with images of cherubim,'               the silken hues gleam and soothe the senses of men,               now white, now black, among two shades of scarlet. (Footnote continued from previous page)               whence bishop Anno brought them back and buried them in the same sarcophagus. Full               details in A. Rimoldi, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastique 17 (1971), column               264.               72. Lombard kings. The period in question is c. 750-60.               74-5. The relics of the martyrs translated from Istria with SS. Firmus and Rusticus and               buried in the same sarcophagus.               77. Cf. Exodus 30:34. On perfumes as symbolical of messianic virtue, see G. Ropa,               Quadrivium v (1962), pp. 82-3. Cf. v. 89.               78. Cf. Psalm 44:9.               79. praeconibus: cherubim, flanking the altar. See Ropa, Quadrivium v (1962), pp. 87-9.

 





Page 186

              Hec, ut ualuit, parauit      Anno presul inclitus;               per huius cinus flamma claret      de bonis operibus               ab austro, finibus terre,     usque nostri terminus.              84               Ab occidente custodit        Systus et Laurentius,               Ypolitus, Apollenaris,        duodecim apostoli               domini, magnus confessor        Martinus sanctissimus.              87               Iam laudanda non est tibi,        urbis in Auxonia               splendens pollens et redolens        a sanctorum corpora,               opulenta inter centum        sola in Italia.               90               Nam te conlaudant Aquilegia,        te conlaudant Mantua,               Brixia, Papia, Roma     insimul Rauena;               per te portus est undique usque    in fines Ligurie.              93               Magnus habitat in te rex        Pipinus piissimus,               non oblitus pietatem        aut rectum iudicium,               qui bonis agens semper       cunctis facit prospera.              96               Gloria canemus domno        regi inuisibili,               qui talibus te adornauit        floribus mysticis,               in quantis nites et resplendes       sicut sol irradians.              99               Sancte Zeno, ora pro me        et cunctis mortalibus.               23. Anonymous               1. Omnes gentes qui fecisti, tu Christe, dei suboles,                       tetras, fontes, rivos, montes et formasti hominem,                       Avaresque convertisti ultimis temporibus.               2. Multa mala iam fecerunt ab antico tempore,                       fana dei destruxerunt atque monasteria,                       vasa aurea sacrata, argentea, fictilia.               84. Cf. Habakkuk 3:3. Interpreted by Jerome and other Church Fathers as a sign of light               (redemption).               85. Hippolytus was a Roman saint; Apollinaris was Ravennese. The Basilica of the               Apostles was situated outside the city.               91-3. Milan is pointedly omitted from the list of Verona's admirers; perhaps a further               sign of rivalry between the two cities.               94-6. After the conquest of Pavia in 774 Charlemagne made his son Pippin king of Italy.               In 799 the court of Pippin was transferred to Verona. The revival of the Veronese church               in his reign under bishops Anno and Ratold and the presence of the Carolingian court               enhanced the civic pride reflected in this poem.               98. The saints and martyrs.               100. The poem is symbolically constructed of 33 strophes and 3 verses. On this type of               numerical composition, see Curtius, p. 505, and cf. 30 and v.  98 with note.

 



Page 187

              This the famous bishop Anno prepared to the best of his ability,               a flame shines forth from his ashes by virtue of his good deeds,               from the region of heaven to the ends of the earth.               From the west Verona is guarded by Sixtus and Laurentius,               Hippolytus, Apollinaris, the twelve apostles               of the Lord and the great confessor, most holy Martin.               No city in Ausonia deserves more praise than you,               splendid, powerful and fragrant from the bodies of saints,               among a hundred cities the most opulent in Italy.               For you are praised by Aquileia, Mantua,               Brescia, Pavia, Rome and Ravenna,               and you are the universal gateway to the bounds of Liguria.               In you lives the great and most pious king Pippin,               who remembers the goodness and righteousness of judges,               and intervenes to ensure all good men's happiness.               We shall sing glory to God, the invisible king,               who adorned you with these mystical flowers,               which make you shine in splendour like the radiant sun.               Saint Zeno, pray for me and all mortals.               23. King Pippin's victory over the Avars               1. Christ, son of God, who created all peoples,                       lands, springs, rivers, mountains and formed mankind,                       has converted the Avars in the recent past.               2. Since antiquity they have done much evil,                       destroying God's shrines and monasteries,                       their hallowed vessels of gold, silver and pottery.               23. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 116-17; Schaller-Könsgen, 11231. The rhythmical poem               commemorating King Pippin of Italy's victory over the Avars in 796, with its combination               of narrative and dialogue, reflects a level of clerical colloquialism comparable to that of the               Versus de Verona (22) and is part of an experimental trend in Carolingian verse (Introduction,               PP. 31-2).               1ff. Hostilities between Charlemagne and the Avars began in 782 with the appearance               of an Avar army on the river Enns. In 795 Eric, duke of Friuli, plundered the Ring and               sent the booty to Aachen (cf. 15, v. 33ff. and note and see J. Deér, Karl der Grosse i,               pp. 719ff., especially pp. 770ff.)               2ff. The poem's censure of the Avars is of a piece with the language of its contemporary               annalistic and historical sources. See Deér, Karl der Grosse i, p. 727. antico: for the vulgarism,               a confusion of c and qu or g, cf. plagare (s. 10, v. 3) and crande (s. 15, v. 1)               2.3. Cf. II Timothy 2:20.

 



Page 188

              3. Vestem sanctam polluerunt de ara sacratissima,                       linteamina levitae et santaemonialium                       muliebribus tradita suadente demone.               4. Misit deus Petrum sanctum, principem apostolum,                       in auxilium Pippini magni regis filium,                       ut viam eius comitaret et Francorum aciem.               5. Rex accintus dei virtute Pippin, rex catholicus,                       castra figit super flumen albidum Danubium                       hostibus accingens totum undique presidia.               6. Unguimeri satis pavens, Avarorum genere,                       regi dicens satis forte: 'Tu, Cacane, perdite!'                       atque Catunae mulieri, maledictae coniugi:               7. 'Regna vestra consumata, ultra non regnabitis,                       regna vestra diu longe Cristianis tradita,                       a Pippino demollita, principe catholico.               8. Adpropinquat rex Pippinus forti cum exercitu                       fines tuos occupare, depopulare populum,                       montes, silvas atque colles ponere presidia.               9. Tolle cito, porta tecum copiosa munera;                       sceptrum regis adorare, ut paullum possis vivere.                       Aurum, gemmas illi offer, ne te tradat funeri!'               10. Audiens Cacanus rex, undique perterritus,                       protinus ascendens mulam cum Tarcan primatibus,                       regem venit adorare et plagare munere.               11. Regi dicens: 'Salve princeps! Esto noster dominus!                       Regnum meum tibi trado cum festucis et foliis,                       silvas, montes atque colles cum omnibus nascentiis.               12. Tolle tecum proles nostras, parent tibi obsequia,                       de primatibus nec parcas, terga verte acie:                       colla nostra, proles nostras dicioni tradimus.'               3.2. linteamina: the word is well-attested in the Vulgate and common in patristic sources;               the charge is again one levelled in other sources (Deér, Karl der Grosse i, p. 735).               5.1. Cf Psalm 64:7.               6.1. Cf 15, v. 45; 61, v. 40.               6.2. The Kagan, or king, of the Huns (cf. s. 10. 1)               8.2. The pleonasm is again Biblical. Cf Judith 3:3 and 11:3.               8.3. A failure of grammar: the first four nouns are to be taken as if ablatives.               10.2. The Tarchans were high office-holders under the Avar princes; the parenthetical               primatibus suggests that this title required explanation even in the author's own day.

 



Page 189

              3. They polluted the holy trappings of the most sacred altars,                       the linen vestments of the deacons and the nuns                       were given to their women at the Devil's urging.               4. God sent Saint Peter, the prince of the apostles,                       to help Pippin, the great king's son,                       to accompany him and his army of Franks on their way.               5. King Pippin, protected by God's power, a catholic monarch,                       pitched his camp on the banks of the clear river Danube,                       on all sides stationing look-out posts against the enemy.               6. Unguimer the Hun, in terrible fear,                       took the bold step of saying to his king: 'You, Kagan, are lost',                       and to the woman Catuna, his cursed wife:               7. 'Your kingdom is finished, no longer will you rule.                       Already your realms have been given to the Christians                       and destroyed by Pippin, the catholic king.               8. King Pippin approaches with a powerful army                       to take possession of your territories and massacre your people                       and place his garrisons on your mountains, woods and hills.               9. Rise swiftly, take lavish gifts with you,                       pay homage to his royal might so that you might live a little longer.                       Offer him gold and gems, lest he deliver you up to death!'               10. Hearing this, Kagan their king was utterly terrified;                       he immediately climbed on a mule with the Tarchans, his chieftains,                       and came to do homage to the king and placate him with gifts.               11. He said to king [Pippin]: 'Hail, prince! Be our lord!                       I hand over to you every straw and leaf of my kingdom,                       its woods, mountains and hills with all that grows on them.               12. Take with you my children; let them offer you allegiance                       and do not spare my leading men, turn back with your army;                       I commit my life and my children into your power.'               11.2. The homage of the Kagan in the summer of 796 had been preceded a year earlier               by the submission and conversion to Christianity of the Avar prince Tudun. The language               is used of property transactions and, more widely, in a legal context. See the fine discussions               by K. Amira, 'Der Stab in der germanischen Rechtssymbolik', Abhandlungen der bayerischen               Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-philologische Klasse xxv. 1 (1909), especially               pp. 157ff. and R. Bordone in Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiyen liv (1974),               pp. 18ff. A good range of examples is to be found in J. F. Niermeyer, Mediae Latinitatis               Lexicon Minus s.v. fistula p. 420 and G. Arnaldi, Latinitatis Italicae Medii Aevi . . . Lexicon               Imperfectum s.v. p. 222. See further Introduction, p. 31.               11.3. See note to s. 8.3.

 



Page 190

              13. Nos fideles Cristiani deo agamus gratiam,                       qui regnum regis confirmavit super regnum Uniae                       et victoriam donavit de paganis gentibus!               14. Vivat, vivat rex Pippinus in timore domini!                       Avus regnet et senescat et procreet filios,                       qui palatia conservent in vita et post obitum!               15. Qui conclusit regnum crande, amplum, potentissimum,                       quae regna terrae non fecerunt usque ad diem actenus,                       neque Cesar et pagani, sed divina gratia.                       Gloria aeterna patri, gloria sit filio.               24. Moduin               Puer               Tu frondosa, senex vates, protectus opaca               Arbore, iam tandem victrici palma potitus,               Ludis habens nivea circumdata tempora lauro,               Arguto tenui modularis carmine musa.               Nulla senex pateris proclivi naufraga mundi,              5               Nulla pericla times paternis tutus in arvis.               Nos egra variis agitati mente procellis,               Fluctibus in mediis ferimur per naufraga ponti,               Litora nulla fuit mihimet spes certa videndi,               Non votis patriam neque pinguia rura meorum:              10               Tu cane, tu vates meruisti nomen habere,               Mentitoque senex vocitaris nomine miles,               Depositis propriis veteranus victor in armis.               Magnus amor fesso ruerat contingere sedes               Davidicas, insigne caput nam cernere mundi.              15               14ff. Praise of Pippin assumes the character of an acclamation. On public recitation of               this text, see Introduction, p. 31.               15. The diction is originally religious and liturgical. Cf. Blaise, p. 252.               24. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 385-6; Green, pp. 14-17, 70-80; D. Korzeniewski, Hirtengedichte               aus spatrömischer und karolingischer Zeit (Darmstadt, 1976), pp. 76-87, 138-42; Schaller              Könsgen, 16514. The first book of Moduin's Egloga is among the most sophisticated               expressions of early Carolingian poets' sense of the literary past and the place and nature               of poetry (Introduction, pp. 25-26, and cf. 20). The generally accepted dating to 804-10               is discussed by Green, MlatJb 16 (1981), pp. 43ff., and see vv. 87-8 with note.               The puer is often taken to be Moduin himself (Korzeniewski, p. 138; Green, p. 66) but               an identification of the two, besides being unnecessary, would diminish the irony of vv. 62ff               (see note ad loc.). Nor have biographical critics of the poem found a candidate for the               identity of the senex.

 





Page 191

              13. Let us, as faithful Christians, give thanks to God,                       who established the rule of our king over the realm of the Huns,                       and granted us victory over the pagan peoples.               14. Let king Pippin live and prosper in fear of the Lord!                       May he reign on in ripe old age and father sons                       who will preserve his palaces in his lifetime and after his death!               15. The creator of the great, wide and most powerful realm,                       unmatched by the kingdoms of the earth up to this day,                       is neither Caesar nor the pagans but the grace of God.                       Eternal glory be to the Father, glory to His son.               24. Egloga: Poetry and the New Age               The boy               Old poet, protected by the shade of the leaves on the tree,               you have at last gained the palm of victory,               and relax, your snow-white temples encircled with laurel,               by composing tuneful poetry on a refined theme.               Old man, you suffer none of the disasters of the perilous world,               no dangers do you fear, safe in the fields of your fatherland.               Anxious and troubled, I am buffeted by many a storm,               driven amid the sea-waves in danger of shipwreck;               for me there has been no sure hope of seeing the shore               or my homeland or the fertile lands of my people for which I pray.               Sing, poet, you have earned your reputation.               Old man, it would be false to call you a soldier,               since you have laid down your arms as a veteran in victory.               In my weariness my great passion was to set foot               in the palace of David, for that is to see the famous capital of the world.               1ff. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 1.1. For senex vates, cf. 25, v. 90.               3.The older poet is surrounded by the traditional emblems of success. Cf. Calpurnius               2.29.               4.Metaphors for pastoral poetry; cf. Virgil, Eclogue 1.2.               5ff. Cf. ibid. 1.46-56.               8.The metaphors of the sea for danger (Introduction, p. 41, n. 26) and for literary               composition (25, v. 1ff. with note) are closely associated here. Cf Cooper, Pastoral, p. 10.               9.Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 2.137.               10. vates MS.: vatis Dümmler.               12-13. Cf. vv. 93-5 and note.               15. Cf. vv. 40-2. For Charlemagne as caput orbis, cf. 25, v. 92. The grammar does not               make it clear whether the subject is Charlemagne's palace or the emperor himself. The               expression is used by Virgil of Rome.

 



Page 192

              Improba mens hominum! Infelix ego saepe putavi               Hoc satis esse, semel si David forte vidissem.               Credideram post haec nil duri posse laboris               Sentire: illi etenim bene cognita inertia nostra est.               Audierat nostros, heu, duros saepe labores;              20               Ille etiam quondam blando mea munera vultu,               Ut memini, accipiens grates persolvit opimas,               Saepius et nostris gaudebat denique votis.               Prospicit alta novae Romae meus arce Palemon               Cuncta suo imperio consistere regna triumpho,              25               Rursus in antiquos mutataque secula mores.               Aurea Roma iterum renovata renascitur orbi!               Senex               Hic, audax iuvenis, qui te cupis esse poetam,               Rustica raucisonae meditaris carmina Musae?               Huc tibi, stulte puer, quae causa palatia tanta,              30               Quae fuit alta novae cernendi moenia Romae?               Hic frustra in longum deducis carmina tractum:               Publica nulla canis, nulli tua carmina digna,               Sed cunctis despecta patent, vilissime vates.               Horrida precipuus nuper tua carmina David              35               Sprevit et ingratae delusit munera Musae,               Nec te, credo, velit tantus cognoscere Caesar.               Puer               O felix vates, senioris nomen adeptus,               Arboreis recubas formosus miles in umbris.               Quo caput orbis erit, Roma vocitare licebit              40               Forte locum: omnis erit huc, omnis sexus et aetas.               Hic requies fessis demum venientibus extat,               16ff. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 10.501. The ironical self-depreciation is belied by vv. 20ff.               20. audierat: on the interchangeability of the pluperfect and perfect tenses metri causa, see               Godman, Alcuin, p. xcix, 2.               22. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1.600.               24ff. novae Romae: Aachen, Cf. 25, vv. 94ff. Palaemon = Charlemagne, a direct adaptation               of Virgil, Eclogue 3; cf. 14, v. 43, where Palaemon is the arbiter in a singing-contest. Here               the emperor turns from the poet's work to survey the rebirth of antiquity in his unified               empire, in a manner made explicit later (vv. 38ff., 71ff.). The two actions are naturally               linkedpoetry is, and should be, an expression of the new Rome. There is no need to posit               a quotation from an earlier work in these lines (Green, p. 72), for the suddenness of the               transition is intended to reflect adversely on the poetic skills of the puer (Introduction,               p. 25). On the concept of nova Roma see W. Hammer, Speculum 19 (1944), PP. 50-62               26-7.Cf. Calpurnius 1.42one of the echoes of Calpurnius (and Nemesianus) which               distinguish Moduin's deliberate imitations of these classical pastoral poets from the inter              mittent borrowings of earlier Carolingian authors. See note to 14, v. 8 with Castagna, op.               cit., pp. 266ff. and B. Bischof in Serta philologica Aenipontana (Innsbruck, 1962), pp. 387-423.               Cf. 10, vv. 37ff. and note.

 



Page 193

              How selfish are men's hopes! In my unhappiness I have often thought               that it would be enough if but once I were to see David.               I had believed that afterwards I should have nothing to do               with hard work: for my laziness is well-known to him.               He has often listened, alas, to the tale of my hardship               and once received my gifts with a kindly expression,               as I recall, giving me the finest of thanks,               frequently taking pleasure in the good wishes I had expressed.               My Palaemon looks out from the lofty citadel of the new Rome               and sees all the kingdoms forged into an empire through his victories.               Our times are transformed into the civilisation of Antiquity.               Golden Rome is reborn and restored anew to the world!               The old man               Presumptuous young man, who aspire to be a poet, is it here               that you plan to write uncouth poetry in your rasping style?               What was your reason, stupid boy, for coming here to gaze               upon the mighty palaces and lofty walls of new Rome?               Here to no avail you stretch out your poem at great length,               you say nothing of public events, your poetry satisfies no one,               but is despised by all, most miserable poet.               Splendid David has spurned your hideous verse               and has mocked the gifts of your unappealing Muse,               nor do I believe that the mighty emperor would wish to recieve you.               The boy               Successful poet, you have achieved the standing of age and wisdom,               and sit back, a handsome victor in the shade of the trees.               Where the world's capital is to be found we may perhaps call Rome,               for people of every age and sex will flock there.               It provides a last haven for those who come in weariness,               29. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 3.84; Calpurnius 4. 147-8. Rustica carmina: uncultivated poetry, not               pastoral in contrast to political verse.               30. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 1.26.               31. The old man's scepticism is directed not at the idea of Charlemagne's renovatio (pace               J. Szövérffy, Weltliche Dichtungen des lateinischen Mittelalters: (Berlin, 1970), p. 495) but at the               pretensions of the aspirant poet. His admonition to `public poetry'panegyricis seized               on and capped by the young poet in the following lines. See A. Ebenbauer, MlatJb 11               (1976), pp. 16ff., Introduction, p. 25.               32. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.4.               33. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 9.16.               36. Cf. 20, v. 33 et passim.               40-1. Moduin describes the idea of world supremacy represented by Rome, now trans              ferred to Aachen, that is dependent on the emperor and his court (cf. L. Falkenstein, Der               `Lateran' der karolingischen Pfalz zu Aachen (Cologne/Graz, 1966), p. 109); that the term caput               orbis is used of Charlemagne at 25, v. 92 does not demonstrate that this verse refers               exclusively to him. See further P. Classen, DA ix (1951), pp. 103-21.

 



Page 194

              Ipse locus magnos modicosque ex ordine cunctos               Quippe receptat ovans, meritis pro premia reddit.               Spreta adeo domino non sunt mea carmina magno:              45               Ille solet calamo silvestri ludere saepe,               Nec vilem tantus iudex me iudicat esse.               Ante cadunt imis miscentia sidera terris,               Sese aut ad summos extollunt flumina caelos,               Ante peregrinis errans fetus exul in arvis              50               Heridanus Nilo properet pugnantibus undis,               Aut Tigris Rhodanum furioso verberet ictu,               Inque vicem miscent famosa flumina rixas,               Ibimus aut vastum quaerentes regna per aequor               Forte toris miserans tandem nos ultima Thule              55               Suscipiet, Thetis quo nos miserata videbit,               Ignotisque loci tribuet stipendia fessis               Illius inmensas quam cesset fistula laudes               Promere nostra sacro gracili modulamine cantu!               Senex               Dic, quae causa, puer, haec te cantare coegit,              60               Unde tibi venit modulandi tanta cupido?               Carmine Naso loquax iamdudum lusit inani,               Dicta peregrinis cumulavit plurima biblis,               Caesaris invisam demens delapsus in iram;               Nequicquam variis mulcebant carmina verbis,              65               Nulla suae tribuere sibi suffragia Musae.               Unde venire putas igitur tibi premia tanta?               Quis te Musarum tantus seduxerat error?               Rura colendo fuit melius tibi stiva tenere,               Agricolam patrio cantando imitarier usu.              70               Puer               Nonne senex nosti vates, post perdita rura               Romam Virgilium quondam venisse poetam?               Desperata suis hic dulcibus arva reduxit               Carminibus; post haec opibus florebat opimis,               Dux propriis vates generosus factus in oris.              75               46.Virgil, Eclogue 1.10. The pastoral metaphor for poetry is applied to Charlemagne               himself. The fiction of poetry written in persona Karoli Magni is illustrated by 2.               48ff.For the adynata, cf. Virgil, Eclogue 1.59-63.               54ff. The fresh flight of fancy, drawing chiefly on Virgil (Georgic 1. 30ff.) and Ovid               (Metamorphoses 11.784ff.), degenerates into obscurity: the young poet has not yet found his               feet (Introduction, p. 26).               58ff. Cf. Nemesianus 1.75ff.               62ff.A barbed reference to the tribulations of the poet from whom Moduin took his               pseudonym, for the example of Ovid's exile is also used by Moduin to reconcile Theodulf

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 195

              since that place joyously receives all the great and the humble in order,               rewarding each of them according to their deserts.               My poems are not so utterly despised by the great lord,               for he is often accustomed to play on a woodland pipe,               nor does that great judge think that I am beneath contempt.               The stars shall fall and be mingled in the bowels of the earth               or the rivers rear up to the highest heavens,               the Po will wander, wild and homeless, in foreign lands,               and hasten to do battle with its waves against the River Nile,               or the Tigris lash the Rhône with furious strokes,               the famous rivers meeting and clashing one with another,               or I shall go seeking kingdoms through the vast oceanperhaps               Thule at the end of the earth will eventually pity me from her banks               and take me to where Thetis will look mercifully upon me               and reward me, a weary stranger, with a place in which to live               before my poetry will cease to proclaim in holy song               with a graceful tune countless praises of Charlemagne!               The old man               Tell me, boy, what reason has forced you to sing these things,               why do you wish to write poetry on such great subjects?               Ovid long ago babbled and jested in fruitless song               piling together countless words from foreign texts.               When in his madness he incurred Caesar's terrible wrath               his flattering poems with their varied style were of no avail,               and the Muses did not provide him with help,               so how do you think that you will win such great rewards?               How have the Muses deceived you into so huge a mistake?               It would have been better to stay in the country and stick to your plough               and be like a farmer, singing traditional songs.               The boy               Don't you know, old poet, that once upon a time,               after losing his estate, the poet Virgil came to Rome?               By his sweet poetry he regained the lands of which he had despaired               and after this prospered with the finest riches               that poet became a noble duke in his own region. (Footnote continued from previous page)               to his banishment (Introduction, p. 45 and note 42), a fate which Moduin declares he has               no wish to share (loc. cit., vv. 25ff.)               69.stiva: acc. sing.               71ff. The examples chosen are not writers on martial topics, as alleged by Szövérffy,               (Weltliche Dichtungen i, p. 495), but poets of the past and the present who won success by               panegyric (Introduction, p. 26)               71-5. A medieval recasting of Virgil's biography as ` from Eclogue 9.7-10.               73. Cf. Calpurnius 4.55.

 



Page 196

              Depositis quondam miles crudelibus armis               Lucanus cecinit famosi Caesaris arma:               Idcirco pollebat opum ditissimus heros.               Carmina lusit item variis en maximus odis               Ennius ingenio scribens monimenta priorum;              80               Propterea in terris tenuit turn culmen honoris.               Ast alios plures simile cernemus honore               Ditatos, longum quos est tractare per omnes.               Sic iterum haec etiam nostro nunc tempore cerne:               Nam meus ecce solet magno facundus Homerus              85               Carminibus Carolo studiosis saepe placere.               Ni Flaccus calamo modulari carmina nosset,               Non tot presentis tenuisset premia vitae.               Theudulfus gracili iam dudum lusit avena:               Plurima cantando meruit commercia rerum.              90               Aonias vide solitus recitare camenas               Nardus ovans summo presenti pollet honore.               Cede, senex, victus dudum puerilibus armis,               Crede, satis gratas dominis consistere Musas,              95               Praecipuis meritis hinc esse memento poetas.               . . .               25. Einhard (?)               Rursus in ambiguos gravis ammonet anchora calles               Vela dare, incertis classem concredere ventis;               Languida quae geminas superarunt membra procellas               77ff. An invented biography of Lucan to suit the context.               79ff. Moduin's knowledge of Ennius is derived second-hand, and the detail of his eminence               is confected to suit the context.               80. Cf. Ovid, Tristia 2.424.               85ff. Moduin lists the poets of the present who have won advancement through their               verse.               85-6. Homerus: Angilbert. Cf. 6, v. 9 and note.               87-8. These lines have been taken to imply that Alcuin (804) was dead at the time of               this poem's composition. Green (p. 79 and MlatJb 16 (1981), p. 45) rightly points out that               nosset may be either imperfect or pluperfect and that tenuisset may have been formed by               attraction; but this does not constitute an argument against the traditional dating. The               crucial point at vv. 87-8 is not the tense but the mood. Moduin's use of the subjunctive               here is distinct from all the other cases presented at vv. 84ff. The clauses of unreal condition               emphasise the reality of Alcuin's past achievements. Vv. 87-8 make a different kind of               statement from vv. 85 and 92, whose present indicatives stress that both authors are still               active in the present, or from v. 89 where the adverb iarndudum implies the recent past.               Moduin is thus describing the poets of his own and of the previous generation: nostro nunc               tempore at v. 84 conflates two phases of literary activity at Charlemagne's court. Alcuin and               Theodulf belong in the earlier phase, but Alcuin died before Theodulf, who lived into Louis               the Pious's reign. These facts are reflected in Moduin's description, which places Alcuin               in a slightly more distant past than Theodulf. Given Carolingian poetic freedom with tense

              and mood, no argument based upon these criteria can be decisive. 24 and 25, at the present               stage of research, appear roughly contemporary. External, not internal, evidence will decide               the question of priority.

 



Page 197

              After his soldiering Lucan put down his cruel weapons               and sang of famed Caesar's exploits in war,               and thus he became a famous plutocrat.               Great Ennius also experimented for fun in various odes,               commemorating figures of the past in brilliant writing,               and so he gained the highest honours on earth.               But we shall see so many others enriched with similar honours               that it is tedious to go through them all.               Consider how similarly these things are arranged in our time:               for instance, my eloquent friend Homer is often accustomed               to please Charlemagne with learned poetry.               Had Flaccus not known how to play songs on his pipe               he would not have gained so many rewards in this life.               For a long time Theodulf has been composing elegant verse               on amusing themes and has thereby won many material advantages.               See how Nardus, accustomed to recite Aonian songs,               today happily enjoys the highest honours.               Yield, old man, vanquished at last by the weapons of a boy,               understand that poetry is what our masters hold in special affection,               and remember that this is how poets do outstanding service.               . . .               25 `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa'               Again the heavy anchor urges me to set sail on uncertain course               and to trust my ship to unpredictable winds,               commanding my weary limbs which have won through two storms               91-2. Nardus: Einhard. Cf. 15, v. 155 and note. See Schaller, Aachener Epos, pp. 163ff on               the attribution of 25 to Einhard.               93.Recalls the metaphor of vv. 12-13: the victor vanquished.               94-5. Cf. 20.               25. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 366ff.; Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa, Ein Paderborner Epos vom               Jahre 799, H. Beumann, F. Brunhölzl, W. Winkelmann (Paderborn, 1966); Schaller              Könsgen, 14418. The work traditionally known as `Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa' takes its jy               (modern and not wholly accurate) title from the meeting it describes between Pope Leo I               and Charlemagne at Paderborn. The text as it survives represents the third book of an               otherwise lost work composed in the first decade of the ninth century. In the passage               selected (vv. 1-176) an extensive panegyric of Charlemagne is combined with an eloquent               account of the foundation of Aachen, the Frankish `Rome of the future', and with a               description of the emperor's preparations for the hunt. This text exercised an important               influence on later Carolingian poetry, and marks a turning point in the development of               narrative verse during Charlemagne's reign (Introduction, pp. 22-4).               1ff. The opening lacks all the features traditional to the exordia of Latin epic and narrative               poetry on a comparable scale (Schaller, Aachener Epos, pp. 136ff.) and is indebted to the               beginning of the third book of Venantius Fortunatus' Vita S. Martini metrica. On the metaphor               of ships and sailing for literary composition, see Curtius, pp. 128-30.               3. The `two storms', in context, are the preceding two books of the poem, now lost. P.               Dronke (Cahiers de Civilisation médiévale xxiii (1980), pp. 62-3) conjectures that Moduin is               the author of this poem and that the reference here is to the two books of his Egloga. The

              stylistic resemblances between Moduin's poem and `Karolus Magnus . . .' have long been

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 198

              Ad nova bella iubet lassos reparare lacertos,               Victricemque manum gravidis consurgere remis,              5               Quo vocat aura levis, placidis superare profundum               Flatibus aequoreas temptando classibus undas,               Tendere ad ignotas celerique per aequora terras               Cursu et praecipites scopulos pulsare natatu.               Vela movet placidus tremulis cita flatibus Eurus,              10               Cogens me rapido nunc tendere in ardua gressu,               Europae quo celsa pharus cum luce coruscat.               Spargit ad astra suum Karolus rex nomen opimum;               Sol nitet ecce suis radiis: sic denique David              15               Inlustrat magno pietatis lumine terras!               Res tamen una duos variando separat istos               Et vice disiuncti mutata saepe feruntur:               Illum aliquando tegunt nimboso nubila tractu,               Hunc ullae numquam possunt variare procellae;               Ille caret proprio bissenis lumine horis,              20               Iste suam aeterno conservat sidere lucem;               Pace nitet laeta, pariter pietate redundans               Nescit habere pio lapsurum lumine casum.               Vultu hilari, ore nitet, semper quoque fronte serena               Fulget et aeterno pietatis lumine Phoebum              25               Vincit, ab occasu dispergens nomen in ortum.               Armipotens Karolus, victor pius atque triumphans               Rex, cunctos superat reges bonitate per orbem:               Iustior est cunctis cunctisque potentior exstat.               Ille duces magno et comites inlustrat amore;              30               Blandus adest iustis, hilarem se praebet ad omnes,               Iustitiae cultor cultores diligit omnes,               lustus in exemplum cunctis se donat habendum.               Ingreditur prior ipse, sequi quo se cupit omnes;               Temptat iter, facile cuncti quo iure sequantur.              35               Iniustos merito duris constringit habenis,               Atque iugum inponit gravidum cervice superbis,               Discere iustitiam divinis ammonet actis;               Impia colla premit rigidis constricta catenis               Et docet altithroni praecepta implere tonantis.              40 (Footnote continued from previous page)               acknowledged; what has not been demonstrated is that they are both by the same poet.               (Some of the reasons for thinking that Moduin and the author of `Karolus Magnus . . .' are               not identical are considered by R.P.H. Green, MlatJb 16 (1981), pp. 43-53.) Formally, the               two works are strikingly different: the debate-form is subtly employed by Moduin for               praise of Charlemagne and of the poet's rôle (Introduction, p. 26), while the succession of               panegyrical vignettes in `Karolus Magnus . . .' more closely resembles the narrative poetry               of Ermoldus Nigellus (Introduction, pp. 46-7, 73-4). The nautical metaphor, in Carolingian               poetry, is generally employed of large-scale narrative verse, not debate poetry or eclogue. 12. Cf. Venantius Fortunatus, Vita S. Martini 1.48-9. On this use of the term `Europa',

              see J. Fischer, Oriens-Occidens-Europa. Begriff und Gedanke `Europa' in der spaten * Antike und im               frühen Mittelalter (Wiesbaden, 1957), pp. 80ff.

 



Page 199

              again to prepare their tired muscles for new strife,               and my victorious hands to push the weighty oars               forward to where the light breeze calls, sailing over the deep               with gentle winds behind, pitting my ship against the ocean waves,               rapidly to speed in the direction of unknown lands,               beating hard by the steep cliffs in my course.               The gusts of the mild east wind swiftly shake and fill the sails               rapidly driving me on to the hard course before me,               to where the beacon of Europe gleams with light from afar.               Charlemagne's outstanding name is broadcast to the stars;               look, the sun is now shining with beams of lightthat is how David               illumines the earth with the brilliance of his great love!               There is however one point of difference between the two of them               and, with the change of seasons, this distinction is often marked:               the sun from time to time is covered with clouds and rainy weather,               but storms can never alter Charlemagne;               for twelve hours the sun is without its light,               but Charlemagne continues to shine like an everlasting star,               bright with happiness and peace, brimming over with goodness,               his kindly radiance never fails nor flounders.               His expression is cheerful, his face bright, its serene appearance               is always aglow, surpassing the sun with the eternal gleam of his kindness,               his fame extending from the sunset into the dawn.               Charlemagne, a powerful warlord, a compassionate victor               and triumphant king excels in goodness all the kings in the world,               standing out as more just and powerful than them all.               He bathes his dukes and counts in the brilliance of his great love,               he is gentle to the righteous and displays good humour to everyone.               Himself a lover of justice, he holds all who love it in affection,               and presents himself as an example of justice to all.               He is the first to enter where he wants everyone to follow him               and clears the way where all follow with righteousness and ease,               binding the unjust with harsh bonds as they deserve,               and placing a heavy yoke on the necks of the proud,               he admonishes them to learn justice by godly deeds,               bowing the heads of the impious, shackling them with stiff chains,               and teaching them to fulfil the commands of God enthroned on high.               13ff. A foreshadowing of the etymological word-play fully developed at vv. 55-6 (with               note).               24ff. The description of the physical and moral qualities of Charlemagne present him as               an embodiment not only of royal and imperial virtues but also of the cultural ideals of the               court poets; cf. 6, vv. 14ff.; vv. 67ff. and note; Introduction, p. 23.               26. pius: the standard Virgilian epithet for Aeneas is used frequently of Charlemagne in               this poem. On the explicit comparison between the two heroes, see vv. 97ff. and note,               Introduction, p. 24.               32. Cf. Venantius Fortunatus, Carm. 6. 1a. 21.               37-47. Cf. Luke 1:52 and Virgil, Aeneid 6.854ff. See J. M. Wallace-Hadrill, Early Medieval               History, (Oxford, 1975), PP. 182ff. (with bibliography).

              38. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 6.620.

 



Page 200

              Quod mens laeva vetat suadendo animusque sinister,               Hoc saltim cupiant implere timore coacti;               Quod non sponte prius miseri fecere rebelles,               Exercere student avidi instimulante timore.               Qui pius esse fero iam dudum more repugnat,              45               Fitque timore pio pius impius ille coactus.               Erigit hinc humiles, humilesque extollit in altum,               Prona colit relevans ad celsa cacumina colla;               Ora trahit summissa gradus rex iustus ad altos,               Colla suprema premit subdens excelsa petentes;              50               Et quantum miseri conantur surgere ad alta,               Rursus ad ima facit merito descendere tantum.               Strenuus ingenio Karolus, sapiensque, modestus,               Insignis studio, resplendens mente sagaci,               Nomen et hoc merito `Karolus' sortitur in orbe:              55               Haec `cara' est populis `lux' et sapientia terris.               Omne decus pariter famulis, ornatus et omnis               Exstat, honor populi et plebis spes, gloria summa               Nominis. Hunc olim terris promisit origo               Tam clarum ingenio, meritis quam clarus opimis              60               Fulget in orbe potens, prudens gnarusque, modestus,               Inluster, facilis, doctus, bonus, aptus, honestus,               Mitis, praecipuus, iustus, pius, inclitus heros,               Rex, rector, venerandus apex, augustus, opimus,               Arbiter insignis, iudex, miserator egenum,              65               Pacificus, largus, solers hilarisque, venustus.               Grammaticae doctor constat praelucidus artis,               Nullo umquam fuerat tam clarus tempore lector;               Rethorica insignis vegetat praeceptor in arte:               Summus apex regum, summus quoque in orbe sophista,              70               Exstat et orator, facundo famine pollens;               Inclita nam superat praeclari dicta Catonis,               Vincit et eloquii magnum dulcedine Marcum               Atque suis dictis facundus cedit Homerus               Et priscos superat dialectica in arte magistros.              75               Quatuor ast alias artes quae iure secuntur               Discernit simili rerum ratione magistra;               Doctus in his etiamque modo rex floret eodem.               Solus iter meruit doctrinae adipiscier omne,               Occultas penetrare vias, mysteria cuncta              80               55-6. On the etymological pun Karolus (Charles) = cara lux (dear light), see G. Silagi,               DA 37.2 (1981), pp. 786ff. Cf. Notker, Gesta Karoli Magni 2.6.               64. augustus: the imperial title is consistent with Charlemagne's royal titles in a number               of texts written after 814; the use of terms such as rex is therefore no argument for dating               this poem to 799 (Schaller, Aachener Epos, especially pp. 153-4); cf. vv. 92-5.               67ff. Cf. 6, vv. 14ff.; 15, vv. 137-40. See Introduction, p. 23.               72. dicta Catonis: these late antique moralistic distichs falsely attributed to the elder Cato

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 201

              What men refuse to do, when urged, out of malevolence and ill-will               they hasten to perform when confronted with intimidation;               what miserable rebels at first would not do of their own initiative               spurred by fear they eagerly complete.               Those who, barbarian-like, have long refused to be pious               are compelled from impiety to piety by a pious fear.               Charlemagne thus raises up the humble and exalts them on high,               cherishing them and lifting their bowed heads to lofty eminence.               Justly the king raises the downcast to a superior station, crushing               the necks of the mighty and subduing those with overweening ambition;               the higher these wretches attempt to climb,               the baser he forces them to become, as they deserve.               Energetic and intelligent, he is wise and modest,               outstanding at study with a splendid, shrewd mind.               It is appropriate that his name on earth happens to be `Charles',               for he provides a `dear light' to the people and wisdom to the nations.               To his servants, he is the source of all grace and honour; to his people,               high and low, the fount of distinction and the source of hope               is the high glory of his reputation. His birth once gave the world promise               of one whose brilliant intellect would match the excellent achievements               for which he is famed on earth: powerful, prudent, wise, modest,               illustrious, affable, learned, good, able, upright,               gentle, distinguished, just, pious, an outstanding hero,               a king and a ruler, held in highest respect, august, excellent,               a distinguished arbiter and judge, compassionate to the poor,               peaceful, generous, skilful, good-spirited, handsome.               He is a brilliant teacher of the art of grammar,               never was there such a famous lecturer,               he instructs with distinction and flair in the art of dialectic:               the greatest of kings, the greatest sage in the world,               an orator, too, of powerful and eloquent expression,               he surpasses the choicest sayings of the famous Cato               and outdoes great Mark in the sweetness of his fine words;               eloquent Homer yields to the sayings of Charlemagne,               and he vanquishes the masters of old in the art of dialectic.               The four other arts which duly follow               he judges with similar magisterial skill and command,               learned in them, there too the king has similar success.               He alone has deserved to take possession of all approaches to learning,               to penetrate its hidden paths and understand all its mysteries, (Footnote continued from previous page)               had a wide circulation among early Carolingian poets. Cf. 21 (1), v. 10.               73.Marcurn: Cicero. Charlemagne figures in an rhetorical exchange with Alcuin whose               principal source is Cicero's De Inventione. See W. S. Howell, The Rhetoric of Alcuin and               Charlemagne (Princeton, 1941), pp. 22ff. and cf. 15, vv. 137-40.               74. Homer: neither the Iliad nor the Odyssey were known to the Carolingians at first hand.               76ff. After describing Charlemagne's mastery of the trivium (grammar, dialectic, and               rhetoric) the poet asserts his mastery. of the quadrivium.

 



Page 202

              Nosse, deo serie revelante ab origine rerum.               Omnem quippe viam doctrinae invenit et omnem               Artis opacum aditum secretaque clancula verba.               Omnia solus enim meruit pius ille talenta               Suscipere et cunctis praefertur in arte magistris:              85               Scilicet imperii ut quantum rex culmine reges               Excellit, tantum cunctis praeponitur arte.               Quis poterit tanti praeconia promere regis,               Quisve putat sermone rudi se principis acta               Posse referre, senes cum vincant omnia vates?              90               Exsuperatque meum ingenium iustissimus actis               Rex Karolus, caput orbis, amor populique decusque,               Europae venerandus apex, pater optimus, heros,               Augustus, sed et urbe potens, ubi Roma secunda               Flore novo, ingenti magna consurgit ad alta              95               Mole tholis muro praecelsis sidera tangens.                       Stat pius arce procul Karolus loca singula signans               Altaque disponens venturae moenia Romae.               His iubet esse forum sanctum quoque iure senatum,               Ius populi et leges ubi sacraque iussa capessant.              100               Insistitque operosa cohors; pars apta columnis               Saxa secat rigidis, arcem molitur in altum;               Ast alii rupes manibus subvolvere certant,               Effodiunt portus, statuuntque profunda theatri               Fundamenta, tholis includunt atria celsis.              105               His alii thermas calidas reperire laborant,               Balnea sponte sua ferventia mole recludunt,               Marmoreis gradibus speciosa sedilia pangunt.               Fons nimio bullentis aquae fervere calore               Non cessat; partes rivos deducit in omnes              110               Urbis, et aeterni hic alii bene regis amoenum               Construere ingenti templum molimine certant.               Scandit ad astra domus muris sacrata politis,               Pars super in summis populi procul arcibus ardens               Saxa locat, solido coniungens marmora nexu;              115               Altera stat gradibus portantum sorte receptans               Pars onera atque avidis manibus praedura ministrat               84.Cf. Matthewe 25:20.               92. Cf. 24, v. 15 and note.               93. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 5. 358.               94ff.Attempts to regard this hyperbolic description of Aachen as an account of actual               buildings and events are treated with timely scepticism by L. Falkenstein, Der `Lateran' der               karolingischen Pfalz zu Aachen (Cologne/Graz, 1966), pp. 95-110, especially pp. 103ff. urbe               potens: by dramatic anticipation, Charlemagne is described as master of a city whose               construction is traced in the following lines. Roma secunda: Cf. 24, v. 24 and note. On the               play of perspective in this passage, see T. M. Andersson, Early Epic Scenery (Ithaca and               London, 1976), Pp. 107ff.               95. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 4. 142.

 



Page 203

              for to him God reveals the universe's development from its beginnings.               He has discovered every path of learning and all the recondite'               aspects of the disciplines and the secret hidden words.               He alone was capable in his piety of taking up all talents               and leaving all masters behind him in his accomplishments:               for, just as he surpasses other kings in the loftiness of his power,               so he outstrips everyone else in his culture.               Who could find words to praise so great a king,               who could think that the prince's deeds might be described               in uncultivated style, when they are all too much for veteran poets?               My abilities are unequal to Charles, a king most just in his deeds,               head of the world, love and paragon of his people,               venerable hero of Europe, excellent father, hero,               emperor, and lord too of the city where a second Rome               flowers anew, its mighty mass rising up to the great heights,               the lofty cupolas on its walls touching the sky.                       Pious Charles stands on the high palace, from afar pointing out               each site, overseeing the construction of the high walls of future Rome.               In one place he orders a forum to be built, in another a holy senate,               where the people receive judgements and laws and God's commands,               The throng of workers press on: some hew stones in readiness               for the straight columns, and labour to build the citadel on high.               Others eagerly roll up the blocks of stone with their hands,               digging out warehouses, making the theatre's foundations firm and deep,               and covering the palace with lofty cupolas.               In one place others work hard to find hot springs               and dig baths which bubble naturally from the rock,               attaching fine rows of seats to the marble steps.               A spring incessantly foams forth with warm water,               its streams leading off to all parts of the city.               Elsewhere others strain with immense effort to build               a church fitting for the eternal king;               the hallowed building with polished walls mounts up to heaven.               Some of the people keenly place stones far up               on the top of the towers, joining the marble in solid slabs,               others stand on the steps receiving in turn the loads the bearers bring               and pass on the heavy rocks with eager hands,               97ff. Cf. 24, vv. 24-7. This passage is indebted to Virgil's descriptions of the buildings               of Carthage at Aeneid 1. 418-40. and of the foundation of Segesta (ibid. 5. 755ff.); Charlemagne               himself is cast as a second Aeneas. See O. Zwierlein, FsLangosch, pp. 44-52; Introduction,               pp. 23-4.               101ff. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1. 423-8.               102. Cf. ibid. 424.               104.Cf. ibid. 427.               106-11. On Charlemagne's fondness for the thermal waters at Aachen, see Einhard, Vita               Karoli Magni 22.               116. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 4. 167.

 



Page 204

              Saxa; alii subeunt, volvunt ad moenia rupes,               Ingentes passim fasces cervice reflexa               Deponunt humeris, valido sub pondere fessi;              120               Plaustraque dant sonitum; vastus fragor aethera pulsat,               Fit strepitus, magna consurgit stridor in urbe;               Itque reditque operosa cohors, diffusa per urbem,               Materiam Romae certatim congregat altae.               His alii arma parant acuentes utile ferrum,               125               Marmora quo possunt sculpi et quo saxa secari.               Ferret opus; velutique solent aestate futurae               Pulchra hiemis non inmemores alimenta ciborum               Cum facere, ore legunt carpentes floscula apesque               Per latices, per thima volant stridentibus alis,               Floribus insidunt aliae praedaque redire               Accepta studeant, redolentia castra revisant               Aut foetus aliae certant educere adultos               Aut cum nectareas componunt ordine cellas               Roscida stipantes sinuoso poplite mella;              135               Haud aliter lata Franci spatiantur in urbe.                       Non procul excelsa nemus est et amoena virecta               Lucus ab urbe virens et prata recentia rivis               Obtinet in medio, multis circumsita muris.               Hic amnem circumvolitat genus omne volucrum;              140               In ripis resident rimantes pascua rostris;               Nunc procul in medio summergunt flumine sese,               Nunc quoque praecipiti properant ad litora cursu;               Hosque toros iuxta cervorum pascitur agmen               Riparum in longa per amoenaque pascua valle.              145               Huc illuc timido discurrit dammula gressu:               Fronde retecta vacat; passim genus omne ferarum               His latet in silvis. Etenim nemora inter opaca               Hic pater adsidue Karolus, venerabilis heros,               Exercere solet gratos per gramina ludos              150               Atque agitare feras canibus tremulisque sagittis               Sternere cornigeram nigraque sub arbore turbam.               Exoritur radiis cum primurn Phoebus honestis,               Et iubar ignicomo perlustrat lumine montes,               Praecipites scopulos et summa cacumina tangens              155               Silvarum, thalamo properat delecta iuventus               Regali, parte ex omni collecta, resistit               118. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 8. 333.               122. Cf. ibid. 1. 725.               127ff. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 4. 169. See too Schaller, Interpretationsprobleme, pp. 165-7.               128ff. Cf. the similar transition in Virgil, Aeneid I. 441ff.; the poet's primary source. The               description refers to a wood and a stretch of meadowland near to Aachen. The walls in               question are not the town-walls but the boundaries of a hunting park. See Schaller,               Interpretationsprobleme, pp. 168-9, and K. Hauck in Deutsche Königspfalzen, Beiträge zu ihrer               historischen und archaologischen * Erforschung I (Göttingen, 1963), p. 40. This passage is adapted by

              Ermoldus Nigellus (37 (II)). See Introduction, pp. 46-7.

 



Page 205

              while others approach from below and roll blocks of stone up to the walls;               here and there, their necks bending, they put the immense burden               down from their shoulders, worn out by the mighty weight.               The waggons make a loud noise, a vast din beats upon the heavens;               there is an uproar, a hubbub rises in the great city;               the busy throng comes and goes, scattered throughout the town,               enthusiastically gathering material to build lofty Rome.               Here others prepare tools, sharpening the useful iron               with which to carve marble and cut rocks.               They work fervently at the task, as bees in summer,               remembering the winter that is to come, make fine provisions for food,               taking suck and plucking at the little flowers,               flying through the brooks and thyme with humming wings,               some settling on the blossoms, seizing their booty               and eagerly return to their sweet-smelling hives,               or others vie to lead out their grown-up brood               or build cells of nectar one beside the other,               packing together the dewy honey with bended knee:               so the Franks come and go through the broad city.                       Not far from the peerless town are a wood and a pleasant lawn,               holding in their midst a verdant glade, its meadows fresh               from the streams, and encircled by many walls.               Here all kinds of birds fly about the river,               sitting on the banks and pecking for food,               sometimes diving far out in the middle of the river,               sometimes hurrying to the shore in a swift flurry.               By this raised ground feeds a herd of deer in the long valley               formed by the river banks and throughout its pleasant pastures.               With timid gait the little doe runs to and fro               resting where the leaves provide cover. Here and there in the woods               all kinds of wild beasts make their lairs. Among these shady glades               Charlemagne, the admirable hero, would often               go hunting in the grassy fields, as he loved to do,               and give chase to the wild beasts with dogs and whistling arrows,               laying low multitudes of antlered stags beneath the black trees.                       When the sun with its noble rays first rises,               its radiance bathing the mountains in fiery light,               touching the steep cliffs and the very tops of the wood,               the pick of the young men hurry to the king's bed-chamber               drawn together in a party from all sides,               146. Schaller (Interpretationsprobleme, pp. 163-4) conjectures that Einhard (if he is the               author of the poem) here parodies Theodulf's witty description of him (15, vv. 155-6). It               is difficult, however, to see how the ant of Theodulf's poem can become a doe in Einhard's               work (if it is his) and yet retain a real affinity with the earlier description. The only points               of contact between these two passages are the words huc illuc discurr[i]t. . . gressu which are               hardly uncommon. Stylistic repetitions are a recurrent feature of Carolingian poetry and               too much should not be built on them. Cf. note to 61, v. 322.               157. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 3. 242.

 



Page 206

              Nobilium manus expectans in limine primo.               Fit strepitus, clamor consurgit vastus in urbe;               Desuper ex alto respondent culmine tecta              160               Aerea; praecipuus conscendit stridor in auras;               Hinnit equusque ad equum, conclamat turba pedestris,               Inque vicem proprio revocatur pignore quisque               Ad dominum famulusque suum sequiturque vocantem.               His phaleratus equus gravidis auroque metallis,              165               Terga recepturus regem in sua gaudet opimum               Stans movet acre caput, montes cupit ire per altos.               Egreditur tandem; circum stipante caterva               Europae veneranda pharus se prodit ad auram.               Enitet eximio vultu facieque coruscat;              170               Nobile namque caput pretioso amplectitur auto               Rex Karolus; cunctos humeris supereminet altis.               Lata ferunt iuvenes ferro venabula acuto,               Retia quadruplici coniunctaque linea limbo               Atque canes avidos ducunt per colla revinctos,              175               Ad praedam faciles furiosoque ore molosos.               . . .               26. Anonymous               1. A solis ortu usque ad occidua                       littora maris planctus pulsat pectora.                               Heu mihi misero!               2. Ultra marina agmina tristitia                       tetigit ingens cum merore nimio.                               Heu mihi misero!               3. Franci, Romani atque cuncti creduli                       luctu punguntur et magna molestia.                               Heu mihi misero!               4. Infantes, senes, gloriosi praesules,                       matronae plangunt detrimentum Caesaris.                               Heu mihi misero!               159. Cf. v. 122.               167. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 3.412.               168. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1. 497.               169. Cf. v. 12.               170. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 4. 150.               172.Cf. ibid. 4. 501.               173. Cf. ibid. 4. 131.

 





Page 207

              and stand waiting, a band of nobles, at his threshold.               There is a din, a vast clamour rises in the city,               the brazen roofs echo the sound from on high,               a loud roar mounts into the air,               horse neighs to horse, the crowd on foot cries out,               each of the servants is summoned in turn to his duty,               and follows his lord who calls on him.               Here the horse, bedecked with gold and weighty ore,               rejoices that the excellent king is about to mount on its back;               it stands tossing its fiery head, longing to cross the high mountains.               At length he sets out, a throng encircling him on all sides,               the venerable beacon of Europe makes his way before the breeze.               Charlemagne's excellent face shines and gleams,               and his noble head is encircled by precious gold;               he towers over everyone with his tall shoulders.               The young men bring up thick hunting-spears with sharp iron points               and linen nets fastened with square mesh,               leading the excited dogs with leashes round their necks,               the hounds, their mouths ravening, and keen for the prey.               . . .               26. Lament on the death of Charlemagne               1. From the rising of the sun to the sea-shores                       where it sets, lamentation beats upon the hearts of men.                       Alas for me in my misery!               2. Beyond the ocean-reaches men have been touched                       by immense sadness and extreme sorrow.                       Alas for me in my misery!               3. The Franks, the Romans and all believers                       are tormented by grief and great distress.                       Alas for me in my misery!               4. Children, old men, glorious bishops                       and matrons lament the loss of the emperor.                       Alas for me in my misery!               26. Text: MGH, Poetae i, pp. 435-6; Schaller-Könsgen, 32; Introduction, pp. 32-3. The               planctus written at Bobbio after Charlemagne's death in 814, with its emphasis on universal               and personal lament conceived in semi-religious terms, is a first step toward the formal               hymnody in which the cult of Charlemagne was later expressed. The form is romance               strophe with a refrain that often ceases to make a division between each of the strophes               and functions instead as a parenthesis in otherwise continuous syntax.               1.1. The opening pointedly adopts the incipit of a famous hymn by Caelius Sedulius               (Schaller-Könsgen, 33); cf. 25, v. 26: sorrow at Charlemagne's death equals the extent of               his fame while alive.

 





Page 208

              5. Iamiam non cessant lacrimarum flumina,                       nam plangit orbis interitum Karoli.                               Heu mihi misero!               6. Pater communis orfanorum omnium,                       peregrinorum, viduarum, virginum                               Heu mihi misero!               7. Christe, caelorum qui gubernas agmina,                       tuo in regno da requiem Karolo!                               Heu mihi misero!               8. Hoc poscunt omnes fideles et creduli,                       hoc sancti senes, viduae et virgines.                               Heu mihi misero!               9. Imperatorem iam serenum Karolum                       telluris tegit titulatus tumulus.                               Heu mihi misero!               10. Spiritus sanctus, qui gubernat omnia,                       animam suam exaltet in requiem!                               Heu mihi misero!               11. Vae tibi Roma Romanoque populo                       amisso summo glorioso Karolo!                               Heu mihi misero!               12. Vae tibi sola formonsa Italia,                       cunctisque tuis tam honestis urbibus!                               Heu mihi misero!               13. Francia diras perpessa iniurias                       nullurn iam talem dolorem sustinuit                               Heu mihi misero!               14. Quando augusturn facundumque Karolum                       in Aquisgrani glebis terrae tradidit.                               Heu mihi misero!               15. Nox mihi dira iam retulit somnia,                       diesque clara non adduxit lumina                               Heu mihi misero!               6. These traditional regnal virtues, emphasised by Einhard (Vita Karoli Magni 27), are               not as prominent in the panegyric of Charlemagne's lifetime as his intellectual, martial and               moral qualities. Contrast the sterner pictures of 6, 7, 15.

 



Page 209

              5. Rivers of tears are now endless,                       for the world bewails the death of Charlemagne.                       Alas for me m my misery!               6. Father of all orphans,                       pilgrims, widows and maidens alike                       alas for me m my misery!               7. Christ, You who rule over the hosts of heaven,                       grant peace to Charlemagne in Your kingdom!                       Alas for me m my misery!               8. All the faithful and believers ask for this;                       this is the request of holy men, widows and maidens.                       Alas for me in my misery!               9. Now a tomb in the ground with an inscription                       covers the serene emperor Charlemagne.                       Alas for me m my misery!               10. May the Holy Spirit which governs all things                       raise his soul to rest on high!                       Alas for me in my misery!               11. Woe upon you Rome and the Roman people,                       you have lost the great and glorious Charlemagne!                       Alas for me in my misery!               12. Woe upon you beautiful Italy without peer,                       and upon all your fine cities!                       Alas for me m my misery!               13. Francia, which has endured dire hardships,                       has never suffered such grief                       alas for me m my misery!               14. as when it buried the august and eloquent Charlemagne                       in the sods of earth at Aachen.                       Alas for me in my misery!               15. Darkness has brought nightmares upon me,                       and the day has returned without its bright light                       alas for me m my misery!               9. On the inscription on Charlemagne's tomb, see H. Beumann in Karl der Crosse iv,               P. 13.          11ff. As at s. 3, Rome is addressed as the capital of the Romanum imperium assumed by               Charlemagne in 800.

 





Page 210

              16. Quae cuncti orbis christiano populo                       vexit ad mortem venerandum principem.                               Heu mihi misero!               17. O Columbane, stringe tuas lacrimas,                       precesque funde pro illo ad dominum                               Heu mihi misero!               18. Pater cunctorum, misericors dominus,                       ut illi donet locum splendidissimum!                               Heu mihi misero!               19. O deus cunctae humanae militiae                       atque caelorum, infernorum domine                               Heu mihi misero!               20. In sancta sede cum tuis apostolis                       suscipe pium, o tu Christe, Karolum!                               Heu mihi misero!               17.1. The apostrophe is to St. Columbanus, founder and powerful patron of Bobbio, and               not the author's address to himself as is suggested, among other things, by the change from               the second person there to the first person in the refrain. Columbanus is depicted as

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 211

              16. the day which for Christian peoples throughout the world                       delivered the venerable prince up to death.                       Alas for me in my misery!               17. O Columbanus, hold back your tears,                       pour forth prayers on his behalf to the Lord                       alas for me in my misery!               18. so that the father of all, lord of mercy,                       may grant Charlemagne a place of great splendour!                       Alas for me in my misery!               19. O God of the hosts of all mankind                       and of the heavens, lord over hell                       alas for me in my misery!               20. O Christ, receive into your holy dwelling                       among your apostles the pious Charlemagne!                       Alas for me in my misery! (Footnote continued from previous page)               weepinga well-attested image of saints in early Carolingian artfor Charlemagne who               had richly endowed Bobbio after the storming of Pavia in 774. (See the fine discussion of               this strophe by H. Löwe, DA 37 (01981), pp. 3-4.)

 



Page 213

II The Successors of Charlemagne Louis the Pious never raised his voice in laughter, not even on major festivals when musicians, jesters and actors accompanied by players of the lute and the cithern would go forth to amuse the people while he sat at table. The commoners laughed uproariously before him but Louis never showed his white teeth in a smile. (Thegan, Vita Hludowici Pii xix) The dregs of the Carlovingian race no longer exhibited any symptoms of virtue or power, and the ridiculous epithets of the bald, the stammerer, the fat, and the simple distinguished the tame and uniform features of a crowd of kings alike deserving of oblivion. (Gibbon., The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire xlviii)

 



Page 214

              27. Walahfrid Strabo               Contemplatur item quendam lustrata per arva,               Ausoniae quondam qui regna tenebat et altae               Romanae gentis, fixo consistere gressu,               Oppositumque animal lacerare virilia stantis               Laetaque per reliquum corpus lue membra carebant.              450               Viderat haec, magnoque stupens terrore profatur:               `Sortibus hic hominum, dum vitam in corpore gessit,               Iustitiae nutritor erat saecloque moderno               Maxima pro domino fecit documenta vigere               Protexitque pio sacram tutamine plebem.              455               Et velut in mundo sumpsit speciale cacumen,               Recta volens dulcique volans per regna favore.               Ast hic quam saeva sub conditione tenetur,               Tam tristique notam sustentat peste severam,               Oro, refer.' Tum ductor: `In his cruciatibus', inquit              460               `Restat ob hoc, quoniam bona facta libidine turpi               Fedavit, ratus inlecebras sub mole bonorum               Absumi et vitam voluit finire suetis               Sordibus, ipse tamen vitam captabit opimam,               Dispositum a domino gaudens invadet honorem.'              465               . . .               28. Walahfrid Strabo               Arboris est altrix quondam vagina medullae,                       Tibia germen habetnempe bonum omen erit.               Quod cortex humore caret, quod durior ipso est                       Robore miramur: talis in osse vigor.               Nil, Caesar, tibi, magne, vacat: venabere dammas,              5                       Ossibus ex quarum silva orietur! Ave!               27. Text: MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 318-19; Schaller-Könsgen, 2200; commentary in D. Trail,               Walahfrid Strabo's `Visio Wettini' (Berne/Frankfurt, 1974), pp. 144-9. Walahfrid Strabo's first               poem, the Visio Wettini, written when he was barely eighteen, is a verse adaptation of the               Reichenau monk Heito's prose account of a vision experienced by Wetti, Walahfrid's               teacher, shortly before his death. The acrostic spells `CAROLUS IMPERATOR'; Charle              magne's torments in hell are described, although less explicitly, in a number of other               contemporary visions (Trail, pp. 144-5 and B. de Gaiffier, Études critiques d'hagiographie et               d'histoire (Brussels, 1967), pp. 262-5). A confusion with Charles Martel who was seen in               hell by Eucharius, bishop of Orleans, in a vision may be behind this account. See R. Folz,               Le Souvenir et la légende de Charlemagne dans l'Empire germanique médiéval (Paris, 1950), p. 11.               453. iustitiae nutritor: cf. Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni, preface (ed. Halphen), p. 2 and note 1

(Footnote continued on next page)

 





Page 215

              27. Visio Wettini: Charlemagne in Hell               Considering also a man in the fields which they had surveyed,               Ausonia's sometime ruler and master of the mighty               Roman people, standing rooted to the spot,               Opposite him was an animal tearing at his genitals,               Lucky were the rest of the limbs on his body not covered with gore,               Under this impression, staggered and terrified, Wetti cried out:               `Sheer luck among men made of him, while he was still alive,               Instigator of justice for our modern age.               Mighty was the witness he bore to the cause of the Lord,               Protection and defence were duly given by him to God's people,               Eminence of a unique kind he achieved, as it seemed, in this world,               Righteousness he desired and sweet popularity he enjoyed in his realms.               Awful is the plight in which he is held here.               Terrible too is the heavy punishment and grim affliction he endures.               O, I beg you, explain!' His guide replied: `In these torments he               Remains, because he defiled his good deeds with foul lust,               thinking his wantonness would be effaced by the mass               of his good actions and wishing to end his life in the vileness               to which he was accustomed; however he will attain the ideal life and               enter joyously the place of honour the Lord has set aside for him.'               . . .               28. The bone of a little doe               What once covered bone-marrow now nurtures a tree.               A shin-bone produces a seedthat must be a very good omen.               I am astonished that the bark is not damp and that it is               tougher than the very wood: such is the strength in the bone.               All things exist to serve you, great emperor: you go hunting for deer               and a forest grows up from their bones! Hail! (Footnote continued from previous page)               (p. 3). Contrast the panegyrical context of 25, v. 32.               455. Cf. Prudentius, Peristephanon 343.               461. The accusation of lust (Charlemagne took a number of concubines in addition to               his four wives) reflects moralistic reform under Louis the Pious; polygamy was prohibited               by a capitulary of Pope Eugenius 11 in 826.               28. Text: MGH, Poetae ii, p. 382. On the sources and imitations of this epigram, Walah              frid's wittiest, see Bernt, Epigramm, pp. 258-9; Introduction, pp. 36-7.               5-6. On elements of ironical humour in panegyric, cf. 15, vv. 1ff., 9-11.               6. Bernt (Epigramm, p. 258, note 91) compares Martial 8.21.11, but the hyperbole of that               poem lacks the ambiguity of Walahfrid's epigram (Introduction, p. 37).

 





Page 216

              29. Walahfrid Strabo               Cum splendor lunae fulgescat ab aethere purae,               Tu sta sub divo cernens speculamine miro               Qualiter ex luna splendescat, lampade pura,               Et splendore suo caros amplecitur uno               Corpore divisos, sed mentis amore ligatos.              5               Si facies faciem spectare nequivit amantem,               Hoc saltem nobis lumen sit pignus amoris.               Hos tibi versiculos fidus transmisit amicus;               Si de parte tua fidei stat fixa catena,               Nunc precor, ut valeas felix per saecula cuncta.              10               30. Walahfrid Strabo               Ex quo fama tui celebrem mihi nominis auram                       Attulit et fidei robur rerumque tuarum               Cognovi seriem, magno te pronus amore                       Amplectens iugi mecum venerabar honore.               Et quia quaesitum merui cognoscere tandem,              5                       Crevit amor, quanto propius pia notio crevit.               Quis numerabit enim, quantos persaepe labores                       Sustuleris quantisque tuam, Radberne, periclis               Credideris vitam? Dominorum damna gemendo,                       Dum fraus saeva pium premeret sibi noxia regem              10               Reginamque humilem Ligurum clausisset in urbe,                       In manibus posuisti animam, nec grande putabas               Exitium casusque tui discrimina, si quem                       Moliri posses iuris pro parte vigorem.               Quando horum cauta mecum sub mente recordor,              15                       Miror et in lacrimas commoto pectore solvor,               Et, quantum accipio, domini solatia vires                       Has tribuisse tibi, certo pro munere, credo.               Heu quibus insidiis artissima septa viarum                       Alpibus in mediis sollers custodia cinxit?              20               29. Text: MGH, Poetae ii, p. 403. Imagery, of moonlight, linked by poetic tradition with               love and sorcery, is here employed as a symbol for friendship visualised as a fellowship of               light (A. Fiske, Speculum 40 (1965), p. 453). On the rhyme, see F. Neumann, MlatJb 2               (1965), p. 61; on the title, cf. Introduction, pp. 37-8.               2. Miro MS: puro Önnerfors (Mediaevalia, pp. 114-15, 118).               3. See Önnerfors, ibid., pp. 113ff. for the punctuation and a discussion of the metaphor's               analogues.               6Cf I Corinthians 13:12.               30. Text: MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 388-90; Önnerfors, Mediaevalia, pp. 195-201, 391-3;               Schaller-Kónsgen 4754. The poem-epistle celebrating the achievements of Ruadbern (prob              ably the layman elsewhere referred to as a chamberlain of Charles the Bald) in the service               of Louis the Pious and the empress Judith during the troubled years 833/4 is an affirmation

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 217

              29. On friendship               When the clear moon shines in splendour from the sky,               stand beneath the heavens, gazing with wonder as you behold               how it gleams with light from the bright lamp of the moon,               and with its radiance embraces dear ones               divided in body but conjoined by love in their minds.               If we could not gaze upon each other's beloved face,               at least let this moonlight serve as a pledge of our affection.               Your faithful friend has sent you these little verses;               if for your part the bond of loyalty remains firm,               I now pray that you may be happy and prosper forever and ever.               30. To Ruadbern               From the moment your renowned name was brought to me on the winds               of fame and I learned of the strength of your loyalty and the list               of your achievements, I felt great longing and affection               for you and never ceased to hold you in deep respect.               And since my wish to know you was at long last granted,               my love for you has increased as our acquaintance has grown closer.               Who can count the mighty labours which you have so often endured,               or the enormous dangers, Ruadbern, to which you have exposed               your life? Grieving at losing your masters, when our goodly king               was overpowered by savage treachery, its own enemy,               and our queen was humiliated by being imprisoned in the Ligurian town,               you took your life in your hands, thinking little of the dangers               you incurred or the mortal risks you ran, providing you might achieve               something in the cause of righteousness by your efforts.               When meditatively and in private I reflect on these things,               I marvel, my emotions are stirred, and I burst into tears,               for, so far as I can see, it was the Lord's hand               which bestowed this strength on you for a particular mission.               Alas, did the crafty enemy set his troops to lie in ambush               over the narrow defiles in the midst of the Alps? How you must (Footnote continued from previous page)               of the cause that animates much of Walahfrid Strabo's political poetry. The restoration of               the emperor and the empress's release from captivity in 834 vindicated the loyalty displayed               by Ruadbern.               1. Nothing can be inferred about Ruadbern's birth from this opening; the reference is to               the fame of his achievements as described in the following lines.               2-3. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1.641.               8. Cf. ibid. 12.33.               10. Cf. v. 80. The revolts of the sons of Louis the Pious culminated in 833 with the               emperor's deposition and substitution by his son Lothar.               11. Judith was imprisoned in the town of Tortona, north of Genoa.               12. Cf. Judges 12:3. 13

               . Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1.204.               14. iuris pro parte: the cause of Louis the Pious.               17. solatia = aid. See Önnerfors, Mediaevalia, p. 392, n. 5; E. Lófstedt, Late Latin (Oslo,               1959), pp. 148-9.

 



Page 218

              Quanta per ingentes fluviorum angustia cursus                       Terruit, et quotiens trepidum tenuere latebrae,               Pauperies pressit, praesens metus, omnia dura!                       Nullum tempus erat securo munere plenum,               Nox obscura diem, noctem lux ipsa timebat;              25                       Nulla domo campove quies, timor undique pulsans.               Sola fides rectique sibi mens conscia tantum                       Suasit opus docuitque aliquam sperare salutem.               Caetera sed nimio terrore pericla furenti                       Saevitiae cessere hominum; qua saepe coactus              30               Commutasti habitum famulique vice apta per artem                       Servitia explesti supplex, et mille gerebas               Ingeniis quod praecipua virtute nequires.                       Sed mens plena fide, nullo defessa labore,               Non ante assumptum quavis formidine munus              35                       Deseruit requiemve habuit, quam prima potentum               Corda per Hesperiam scriptis verboque coegit                       Sacrilegum gemuisse nefas; his deinde peractum est               Consiliis, ut fessa diu et compressa malorum                       Ponderibus regina feris educta tenebris              40               Non sine honore foret; tandemque occultus et arte                       Usus adumbrata venisti et dulcia coram               Suscipiens mandata pio celer ipse libensque                       Caesari et adiunctis portasti primus amicis.               Nec minus illud iter recidivo horrore molestum              45                       Insidiisque dolisque tibi fuit undique plenum,               Cumanum quando arta lacum custodia nisa est                       Praeclusisse tibi; domini sed dextra secundos               Inmittens ventos inimico a litore vexit.                       Rursus in aeriis nivium vis Alpibus altas              50               Fecit habere moras, requiei inamabile tempus,                       Has quoque decutiens studiis iniuncta benignis               Nuntia sollicito retulisti ex ordine regi.                       His tibi pro causis et tam felicibus, inquam,               Ausibus ille redux rex et regina soluta              55                       Et cuncti pariter pleni pietate fideles               Altius ascribent laudes et nomen honestum.                       Insuper omnipotens, statuit qui iura fidemque,               Qui dominos famulosque una radice creatos                       Non aequa ditione facit, sed amore et honore              60               Concordare sibi, redder tibi praemia vera                       Haud dubiae fidei, quae non cum laude volantis               21Cf. Caelius Sedulius, Carmen Paschale 3. 174.               25. Cf Virgil, Aeneid 4.461.               27. Cf. ibid. 1.604.               28. Cf. ibid. 2.354.               39ff. Cf. Nithard, Historiae 1.4.               39. Cf. Lucan, Bellum Civile 7.162.

 



Page 219

              have been terrified by having to ford vast rivers at a hair's breadth,               how often you must have been trapped in dread in your hiding-place,               oppressed by poverty, faced by fear and all kinds of hardship!               Not a moment allowed you peace of mind, the darkness               of night made you dread the day, day held forebodings of night,               inside or out of doors was no rest, everywhere anxiety drove you on.               Only loyalty and a mind conscious of your righteousness impelled you               to do what you did and taught you to hope for deliverance.               But the rest of the dangers gave way before the terrifying               and furious savagery of men which often forced you               to disguise yourself. Like a slave, humbly, you cunningly performed               the services suited to that station; a thousand clever devices enabling               you to carry out what you could not achieve by a show of boldness.               But your mind was filled with a loyalty that no hardship could weary;               and it would not abandon the task it had previously undertaken               out of any fear or rest until, by means of the written and spoken word,               you managed to rouse the hearts of leading magnates throughout               the West to indignation at this unholy wickedness, and it was finally               agreed on your advice that the queen, exhausted and long oppressed               by the weight of her sufferings, should be released with great honour               from the barbarism and darkness in which she was held; at length,               and by covert means of stealth you reached her and, taking her sweet               messages, swiftly, with a good will, you were the first to carry them               to the pious emperor and to his closest friends.               No less terrible for you was the journey back with its renewed horrors,               every stage of it filled with treachery and ambush,               when a troop of guards tightly ringed about Lake Como and               attempted to bar your entry to it, but the hand of the Lord               sent favourable breezes and carried you back from the enemies' shores.               Again a snowstorm detained you high in the windy Alps               and forced upon you a period of unwelcome delay.               But shaking this off you carried to the harassed king               with fitting kindness and zeal the news entrusted to you.               For these services, on account of your successful exploits,               the king on his return and the queen on being set free,               and all their faithful retainers, filled with gratitude, shall               exalt your reputation in ever higher praise.               In addition, almighty God who established laws and loyalty,               who created lords and slaves from the same stock               but not with equal power and made them live in affection and harmony               with one another, shall grant you true rewards for your unswerving               loyalty which will not pass away like the praise that flees with time               50.cf. Virgil, Georgic 3.474.               52-3. See Nithard, Historiae 1.4.               56. pleni Önnerfors (Mediaevalia, p. 393, note 10): plena MS.               57. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 5.78.               58. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 2.541.               59. Cf. Acts 17:26.

 



Page 220

              Temporis intereant, sed in omnia saecla redundent.                       Haec aetate quidem invalida, dum tempora nondum               Pube sua teneris florerent tincta sub annis,               65                       Aemula pauperies dum grandia facta vetaret               Improbitate sua, temet potuisse volentem                       Miramur, quae posse dedit deus ordine certo.               Ergo quis in reliquum de te dubitare sinetur                       Quantum pro dominis, quantum pro iure fideque,              70               Si locus affuerit melior maiorque facultas,                       Desudare velis, qui prima incommoda forti               Sustinuisti animo, rebus non victus amaris,                       Spemque metumque inter dubio discrimine pendens               Ante oculos duro versabas pondere mortem?              75                       Ergo age, fer domino grates et munera laudum,               Iustitiamque simul dominorum attende merentum                       Tristia deserere, et rursus in laeta redire.               Nam quid erat maesto tam desperabile regno                       Quam sua deposita iterato posse yenire              80               Sceptra statumque illos adipisci posse priorem?                       Sed deus, occulti iudex atque arbiter aequus,               Hos illosque sua iuvit virtute fideles.                       Laetare, exulta mecum! Nam gaudeo tecum,               Hoc quia compleri et completum parte videmus,              85                       Ipse quod optavi, saltimque audire cupivi,               Quodque per ingentem quaesisti rite laborem.                       Felix participem qui se cognoscit honesti               Et consortem operis! Quantum sibi conscius ille                       Perfidiae confusa globis per pectora tabet,              90               Tantum, vel potius multo magis, omnia secum                       Laetitiae fomenta habeant, qui fida reservant               Corda suis dominis casusque invicta per omnes.                       Iam videor nimium fortasse loquacibus usus               Exametris, dum magna meos extendit amores              95                       Materies, breviterque pudet dixisse, quod alto               Sit dignum ingenio dignumque poemate longo.                       Dat decies denos vilis tibi denique versus               Strabo rogans, solito ut tecum mediteris amore                       Iussa dei, valeasque simul per saecula cuncta.              100               65-6. While a beardless youth.               74. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1.218.               80. See Nithard, Historiae 1.3.               82. Cf. Romans 2:16.               84. Cf. Psalm 9:3.

 





Page 221

              but shall resound throughout the aeons of eternity.               I am amazed that when you had not reached the age of maturity,               while in your tender years your face was not yet covered with the sign               of your blooming manhood, oppressed by cruel and envious poverty               which thwarts great deeds, you should have wished to achieve what God               has determined that men shall attain only in a predetermined pattern.               And so who in the future shall be permitted to doubt your willingness               to strive mightily on behalf of your masters and in the cause of justice               and loyalty if a better occasion and greater opportunity occur;               since you have endured your first trials in a spirit of courage,               undaunted by the acuteness of your hardships,               and, divided between hope and fear, you have been in two minds,               looking death in the eye with deadly earnest?               Go, give thanks and grateful praise to the Lord               and observe the justice of your masters, as their mournful sadness               leaves them and they are restored once more to happiness.               For what seemed more hopeless in the kingdom's saddest hours               than the possibility that they might once again take power,               after being deposed, and regain their former position?               But God, the judge and fair arbiter of what is hidden from men,               aided them and their faithful subjects with His power.               Rejoice, exult with me! For I share in your joy,               since what I have wished for, or at least what I have wished to hear               and what you have rightly sought with immense effort to bring about,               is visibly being accomplished and has already been partly achieved.               How lucky is the man who recognises that he is a participant               and sharer in an honourable enterprise! Just as the man aware               of his treachery wastes away, his breast racked by its poison,               so, or rather much more, may those who have kept in their hearts               an allegiance to their lords that has proved invincible               in all disasters discover every balmy joy.               But now perhaps I shall seem to have written too long a poem,               since this great subject has kindled my enthusiasm,               but I would be ashamed to speak briefly on a theme               that deserves a high talent and merits a lengthy work.               Unworthy Strabo ends by presenting you with ten times ten verses,               asking that with your customary love you reflect               upon God's commands and wishing you well for all time.               90-2. The metaphor, as Önnerfors notes (Mediaevalia, p. 393, n. 16), is medical: the               contrast being between the image of consumption (caused by treachery) at v. 90 and that               of remedy or solace (the fomentum of loyalty rewarded) at v. 92.               93. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 11.244.               98. On numerical composition see Curtius, pp. 501 ff.

 



Page 222

              31. Walahfrid Strabo               Haud secus altipetax semente cucurbita vili               Assurgens, parmis foliorum suscitat umbras              100               Ingentes, crebrisque iacit retinacula ramis.               Ac velut ulmum hedera implicuit cum frondibus altam,               Ruris abusque sinu toti sua brachia circum               Laxa dedit ligno, summumque secuta cacumen               Corticis occuluit viridi tutamine rugas;              105               Aut arbustivum vitis genus, arbore cum se               Explicuit quavis, ramorumque alta corimbis               Vestiit et propria sursum se sponte levavit               Visitur ergo rubens aliena in sede racemus               Dependere, premit tabulata virentia Bachus,              110               Pampinus et frondes discernit latior altas               Sic mea sic fragili de stirpe cucurbita surgens               Diligit appositas, sua sustentacula, furcas,               Atque amplexa suas uncis tenet unguibus alnos.               Ne vero insano divelli turbine possit,              115               Quot generat nodos, tot iam retinacula tendit,               Et quoniam duplicem producunt singula funem,               Undique fulturam dextra levaque prehendunt,               Et velut in fusum nentes cum pensa puellae               Mollia traiciunt spirisque ingentibus omnem              120               Filorum seriem pulchros metantur in orbes,               Sic vaga tortilibus stringunt ammenta catenis               Scalarum, teretes involvuntque ilico virgas,               Viribus et discunt alienis tecta cavarum               Ardua porticuum volucri superare natatu.              125               Iam quis poma queat ramis pendentia passim               Mirari digne? Quae non minus undique certis               Sunt formata viis, quam si tornatile lignum               Inspicias medio rasum, quod mamfure constat.               Illa quidem gracili primum demissa flagello              130               Oblongo, tenuique ferunt ingentia collo               Corpora, tum vastum laxatur in ilia pondus,               Totum venter habet, toturn alvus, et intus aluntur               Multa cavernoso seiunctim carcere grana,               Quae tibi consimilem possunt promittere messem.               135               31. Text: De Cultura Hortorum, 99-151; MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 339-40; C. Roccaro, W. Strabone,               Hortulus (Palermo, 1979), PP. 118-23 (text and translation), 180-8 (horticultural and philo              logical commentary); Schaller-Kónsgen, 6156. The earliest detailed description of a               monastic garden in medieval Latin poetry, De Cultura Hortorum is a work of Walahfrid's               maturity (Önnerfors, Mediaevalia, p. 191) probably written while he was abbot at Reichenau               (Introduction, p. 38-9).               99. altipetax . . . vili: the contrast is between the aspiring plant (described in a rare               compound adjective) and the lowliness of its origins. A general source of this passage is

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 223

              31. De cultura hortorum: Gourds               The gourd, too, straining up to the heights from a lowly seed,               casts huge shadows with its shield-like leaves,               and, putting out a profusion of stems, holds itself firm.               Just as the ivy with its fronds has entwined the tall elm,               from the bosom of the earth stretching in loose embrace               about the entire tree and, following up to the very top,               has covered the wrinkled bark with its protective green;               or, like the species of vine that grows on trees,               spreading itself on one, has covered the high boughs in clusters               of its fruit and pulled itself up of its own accord,               with the result that a red bunch could be seen hanging in the place               it had usurped, the grapes pressing down on the levels of greenery,               its broader tendrils parting the high leaves,               so the gourd, my subject, rising up on its delicate stem,               welcomes the props put there to support it,               and with curling tentacles hugs the alders which it makes its own.               So that it cannot be plucked out by even a wild whirlwind,               it throws out a tendril on every node it develops,               and since each one produces a double rope,               it takes hold of support on every side, both right and left,               like girls when spinning, drawing their soft heaps of wool               with enormous coils to the spindle, measuring               the sequence of threads into beautiful balls,               so the wandering thongs and twisted chains               form ladders, and straightway coil about the smooth sticks,               learning with borrowed strength swiftly to glide               over the lofty roofs of the covered cloisters.               Whose astonishment can do justice to the sight of their fruit               hanging here and there on the boughs? From every angle               they look just as regular in shape as if you were gazing upon wood               turned on a lathe, polished in the middle, and finished with a bow-drill.               At first they hang attached to a slender stalk and               the neck which supports the massive body is thin.               Then they widen out to a great weight at the waist;               they are all belly, all paunch; inside their cavernous confines               many seeds, each in its place, are nourished,               capable of promising a harvest comparable to the last. (Footnote continued from previous page)               Pliny NH 19.69-74 and see note to vv. 143ff., but Walahfrid relies chiefly on personal               observation.               102. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.599.               103. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 2.792.               114. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.479.               119. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 1.390, 4.348. But Virgil provides only the starting-point for a               simile which Walahfrid makes his own.               120. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 2.217.

              126. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 1.37.               132. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 5.447.

 



Page 224

              Ipsos quin etiam tenero sub tempore fructus,               Ante humor quam clausa latens per viscera sero               Autumni adventu rarescat, et arida circum               Restiterit cutis, inter opes transire ciborum               Saepe videmus, et ardenti sartagine pinguem               140               Combibere arvinam, et placidum secmenta saporem               Ebria multotiens mensis praestare secundis.               Si veto aestivi sinitur spiramina solis               Cum genitrice pati et matura falce recidi,               Idem foetus in assiduos formarier usus              145               Vasorum poterit, vasto dum viscera ventre               Egerimus, facili radentes ilia torno.               Nonnunquam hac ingens sextarius abditur alvo,               Clauditur aut potior mensurae portio plenae,               Amphora quae, piceo linitur dum gluttine, servat              150               Incorrupta diu generosi dona Liei.               . . .               32. Walahfrid Strabo               1. Musa nostrum plange soror dolorem,                       pande de nostro miserum recessum                       heu solo, quem continuo pudenda                               pressit egestas.               2. Nam miser pectus sapiens habere                       quaero; quam ob causam patriam relinquo,                       et malis tactus variis, perosus                               plango colonus.               3. Nulla solatur pietas docentum,                       nec bonus quisquam refovet magister;                       sola sustentant alimenta corpus                               vile ciborum.               4. Frigus invadit grave nuditatem,                       non calent palmae, pedibus retracta                       stat cutis, vultus hiemem pavescit                               valde severam.               141-2. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 7.627.               143ff. Cf. especially Pliny NH 19.71, and Virgil, Georgic 4.29.               147. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 3.38, Georgic 2 449.               32. Text: MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 412-13; Schaller-Könsgen, 9915. Walahfrid's Strabo's elegy               on Reichenau, perhaps inspired by his friend Gottschalk's Ut quid iubes? (D. Trail, Mediaev              alia et Humanistica N.S. 2 (1971), pp. 69-75), is among the most famous of his lyrical poems.

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 225

              When these fruit are still at a tender stage,               before the hidden moisture sealed inside dries up               at the late coming of autumn and the withered skin               contracts about them, we often see them passed around               among the good things at table, in a piping hot dish soaking up               the rich lard. Their intoxicating slices, served as a pudding,               have a flavour that repeatedly provides contentment.               But if the gourd is allowed to stay on its parent tree               to enjoy the breezes of the summer season and be cut down late               in the year with a. sickle, the same fruit can often be put to use               as a vessel, when we scoop out the contents of its vast belly,               easily shaving its sides with a lathe.               Frequently a king-sized pint will go into this paunch,               sometimes it holds the better part of a full measure,               and, as a wine jar sealed with gummy pitch, it keeps               the product of the noble vine in good condition for many a day.               . . .               32. Elegy on Reichenau               1. Sister Muse, lament for my pain,                       speak of my sad parting,                       alas, from the land of my fathers, ceaselessly                       harassed as I was by shameful penury.               2. Wretched, I seek heart-felt wisdom,                       and so I leave my homeland,                       stricken by many kinds of hardship, I lament,                       loathed and in exile.               3. No kindly teacher consoles me,                       nor does any good master hearten me;                       the only thing that keeps my miserable body alive                       is the food I eat.               4. Bitter cold assails my naked flesh,                       there is no warmth in my hands,                       goose-pimples stand out on my feet                       and my face flinches before the harsh winter. (Footnote continued from previous page)               Personal lament gives way to a praise of Reichenau that ends with a prayer for Walahfrid's               return (Introduction, pp. 35-40).               1-2. In 827 Walahfrid Strabo left Reichenau to study under Hrabanus Maurus at Fulda,               and it is there that this poem was written between 827 and 829.               2.2. Cf. Ovid, Heroides 7.115.               3.1-2. The reference is presumably to strained relations between Hrabanus and Walah              frid, perhaps deriving from Walahfrid's friendship with Gottschalk.               3.3-4. Cf. Aldhelm, De Virginitate Metrica 342.

 



Page 226

              5. In domo frigus patior nivale,                       non iuvat cerni gelidum cubile,                       nec foris lectove calens repertam                               prendo quietem.               6. Si tamen nostram veneranda mentem                       possidens prudentia contineret,                       parte vel parva, ingenii calore                               tutior essem.               7. Heu pater, si solus adesse posses,                       quem sequens terrae petii remota,                       credo nil laesisse tui misellum                               pectus alumni!               8. Ecce prorumpunt lacrimae, recordor,                       quam bona dudum fruerer quiete,                       cum daret felix mihimet pusillum                               Augia tectum.               9. Sancta sis semper nimiumque cara                       mater, ex sanctis cuneis dicata,                       laude, profectu meritis, honore,                               insula felix.               10. Nunc item sanctam liceat vocare,                       qua dei matris colitur patenter                       cultus, ut laeti merito sonemus:                               insula felix!               11. Tu licet cingaris aquis profundis,                       es tamen firmissima caritate,                       quae sacra in cunctos documenta spargis,                               insula felix.               12. Te quidem semper cupiens videre,                       per dies noctesque tui recordor,                       cuncta quae nobis bona ferre gestis,                               insula felix.               13. Nunc valens crescas, valeas vigendo,                       ut voluntatem domini sequendo                       cum tuis natis pariter voceris                               Augia felix!               7. The addressee is Grimald, abbot of Weissenburg, to whom Walahfrid's De Cultura               Hortorum (31) is dedicated.

 



Page 227

              5. Indoors I suffer the icy cold,                       the sight of my frozen bed gives no pleasure,                       warm neither when I get up nor where I sleep,                       I snatch what rest I can.               6. If only wisdom which I esteem                       could take hold in my mind                       even the smallest part of it, the warmth of my wits                       would make me safer.               7. Alas, father, if only you were there                       you whom I have followed to the ends of the earth                       I believe that no harm would have come                       to the poor little heart of your pupil.               8. Look, tears burst forth as I recall                       how good was the peace I long ago enjoyed,                       when happy Reichenau gave me                       a modest roof over my head.               9. May you always be my holy and dear, dear                       mother, consecrated by your throngs of saints,                       through praise-giving, the promotion of good deeds, and worship,                       happy island.               10. Now too let us call that island holy                       because there the mother of God is richly worshipped,                       so that we joyously cry out as we should,                       happy island!               11. Although you are surrounded by deep waters,                       nonetheless your foundations are firm in love,                       and you spread its holy teachings among all men,                       happy island.               12. Always wishing to see you,                       I remember you day and night,                       recalling all the kindness you bring me,                       happy island.               13. Grow now and flourish, develop and prosper                       so that, following the Lord's will,                       with your children you may be called                       happy Reichenau!

 



Page 228

              14. Donet hoc Christi pietas tonantis,                       ut locis gaudere tuis reductus                       ordiar dicens: `Vale, gloriosa                               mater, in aevum!'               15. Christe, rex regum, dominus potentum,                       qui patris prudentia nominaris,                       nostra digneris refovere corda                               dogmate vitae.               16. Da, precor, vitae spatium, redemptor,                       donec optatos patriae regressus                       in sinus, Christi celebrare laudis                               munera possim.               17. Gratias summo canimus parenti,                       prole coniuncta patulo favore,                       spiritu virtute pari regente                               tempora saecli. Amen.               33. Gottschalk               1. Ut quid iubes,                pusiole,                       quare mandas,           filiole,                               carmen dulce      me cantare,                               cum sim longe      exul valde                                               intra mare?                                       O cur iubes canere?               2. Magis mihi,                miserule,                       flere libet           puerule,                               plus plorare      quam cantare                               carmen tale,      iubes quale,                                               amor care.                                       O cur iubes canere?               3. Mallem scias,                pusillule,                       ut velles tu,           fratercule,                               pio corde      condolere                               mihi atque      prona mente                                               conlugere.                                       O cur iubes canere?               15.1-2 Cf. I Corinthians 1:24.               33. Text: MGH, Poetae iv, pp. 731-2; Bischoff, Mittelalterliche Studien ii, pp. 26-34; Schaller              Kónsgen, 16895. Gottschalk's symbolic poem on exile, possibly composed c. 825 during his               period at Reichenau, is among the most outstanding works of ninth-century rhythmical               poetry. Its progression from personal lament to divine praise, interrupted by prayer for               delivery, takes place within a symmetrical structure of two pairs of six stanzas linked by               one (s 7) of confession (Introduction, pp. 40-2).

 



Page 229

              14. Let almighty Christ grant in His mercy                       that I may return and rejoice on your site,                       saying: `Hail, glorious mother,                       forever!'               15. Christ, king of kings, lord of the mighty,                       you who are called wisdom of the Father,                       deign to refresh my heart                       with the teaching of life.               16. Grant, redeemer, I pray, a span of years,                       so that, on returning to the bosom of my fatherland                       for which I have longed, I may sing                       to Christ in songs of praise.               17. We sing in thanks to the highest father,                       joined to His son in all-embracing love                       and to the Spirit ruling with equal power                       forever and ever. Amen.               33. Ut quid iubes?               1. Why ever are you commanding, little boy,                       Why, little son, are you telling me                               To sing a sweet song,                               Although I am in exile, far away                               On this sea?                               O why are you telling me to sing?               2. Poor little one, I would rather weep,                       Rather lament, my son,                               Than sing a song, As you ask,                               Dear love.                               O why are you telling me to sing?               3. You should know, little one,                       That I would sooner, little brother,                               That you sympathised with pious heart                               And, with humble spirit,                               Grieved for me.                               O why are you telling me to sing?               1ff. The refusal to sing is a topos which belies itself. The addressee, described in luxuriant               diminutives, otherwise rare in Gottschalk's writing (Bischoff, Mittelalterliche Studien ii, p. 34).               is a poetic alter ego, as in Walahfrid Strabo's lament on Reichenau (32). On the virtuoso               monorhyme, see A. Luiselli, Quademi Urbinati i, (1966), p. 53.               1.4. On the symbolism of exile see Introduction, p. 41 and note 24.               1.5. On the symbolism of the sea see Introduction, p. 41 and note 26.

 





Page 230

              4. Scis, divine                tyruncule,                       scis, superne           clientule,                               hic diu me       exulare,                               multa die      sive nocte                                               tolerare.                                       O cur iubes canere?               5. Scis captive                plebicule                       Israheli           cognomine                               praeceptum in       Babilone                               decantare        extra longe                                               fines Iude.                                       O cur iubes canere?               6. Non potuerunt                utique,                       nec debuerunt           itaque.                               Carmen dulce      coram gente                               aliene      nostri terre                                               resonare                                       o cur iubes canere?               7. Sed quia vis                omnimode,                       o sodalis          egregie,                               canam patri      filioque                               simul atque      procedente                                               ex utroque.                                       Hoc cano ultronee.               8. `Benedictus                es, domine,                       pater, nate,           paraclite,                               deus trine,      deus une,                               deus summe,      deus pie,                                               deus iuste.'                                       Hoc cano spontanee.               9. `Exul ego                diuscule                       hoc in mari           sum, domine,                               annos nempe       duos fere                               nosti fore,       sed iam iamque                                               miserere.'                                       Hoc rogo humillime.               5-6. The Biblical exemplum (from Psalm 136) is only superficially playful and inconse              quent; taken as a figure for spiritual exile it presents a counterpoint to Gottschalk's affective               state. The refrain, hitherto a repeated insistence on his reluctance to sing, now turns into               an affirmation of faith and prayer. Cf. 54, 28, vv. 28ff. and Introduction, p. 41.

 



Page 231

              4 You know, divine little pupil,                       You know, heavenly little protégé,                               That I have long been here in exile                               And suffer much                               Both day and night.                               O why are you telling me to sing?               5. You know that the captive little people                       Called Israel                               Was ordered to sing                               In Babylon, far away                               From the bounds of Judah.                               O why are you telling me to sing?               6. They simply couldn't,                       And so they didn't have to.                               O why do you command me                               To sing a sweet song                               Before the people of a land                               Foreign to ours?               7. But because you will have me to do so,                       O excellent companion,                               I shall sing to the Father and the Son                               And to That which issues                               From both.                               This I willingly sing.               8. `Blessed art Thou, Lord,                       Father, Son, Holy Ghost,                               God in Three, God in One,                               Almighty God, kindly God,                               Just God.'                               This I sing voluntarily.               9. `For some little time I have been in exile                       On this sea, Lord,                               You know it has been almost two years now:                               Do at long last                               Take pity.'                               This I ask most humbly.               7. The turning-point of the text setting the theme of praise of the Trinity.               8ff. The confession of sin, profession of faith and divine praise are interspersed with the               personal hopes for delivery.               8.3-5. Cf. 34, s. 14.1-2.               9.3. P. von Moos (FmStud 5 (1975), p. 340, note 93) compares Jeremiah 28:3, 11.

 





Page 232

              10. `Plenus enim                facinore                       ego sum, o            rex optime,                               pleniorem        sectae verae                               pietatem        novi esse                                               fateorque.'                                       Hoc credo firmissime.               11. `Propterea,                piissime,                       miserere            iam, domine,                               pietatis,       rector clare,                               famulique,       rex aeterne,                                               memorare.'                                       Prono posco pectore.               12. `Reduc me ve-                locissime,                       o ductor cle-            mentissime.                               Nolo hic me          magis esse,                               pater sancte,          flatus alme                                               veridice.'                                       Hoc rogo praecipue.               13. Interim cum                        pusione                       situs hac in                    regione                               psallam ore,                psallam corde,                               psallam die,                psallam nocte                                               carmen     dulce,                                       tibi, rex piissime.               34. Gottschalk               1. O mi custos, o mi heros,        mi pater misericors,                       flecte, precor, ad me tuos   miseranter oculos,                       lucem super omnem pulchros,   super solem splendidos.               2. Tuque, mi redemptor, Christe,                fili patris optime,                       dignare tuo cum patre           me, queso, respicere,                       ut respectus possim flere          miser amarissime.               11. 4-5. Cf. Luke 1:54.               12.4. Cf. 34, s. 68.3.               34. Text: MGH, Poetae vi, pp. 89-97; Schaller-Könsgen, 10936. Gottschalk's poetic medi              tation on divine mercy and the suffering of Man is a work in which lyrical and liturgical               poetry mingle. Profoundly influenced by the form of an Augustinian confessio (P. von Moos,               FmStud 4 (1970), PP. 210ff., 5 (1971), PP-317ff.) its combination of penitence and prayer,

(Footnote continued on next page)

 

page_232





Page 233

              10. `I am full of sin,                       O best of kings,                               Your true followers                               Have fuller faith:                               This I know and admit.'                               I believe it most firmly.               11. `Therefore, most gentle Lord,                       Take pity on me.                               Almighty God,                               King eternal, remember Your mercy,                               and Your servant.'                               I ask with humble heart.               12. `Lead me back most swiftly                       O merciful leader,                               I want to be here no longer,                               Sacred Father, truth-telling breath                               Of sweetness.'                               This I ask above all.               13. Meantime, with my little boy,                       Here in this place,                               I shall give praise with my lips,                               With my heart, both day and night                               In sweet song for You,                               Most gentle King.               34. O my guardian               1. O my guardian, o my Lord, my merciful Father,                       I pray, mercifully turn upon me your gaze that is0                       more beautiful than all light, more splendid th'an the sun.               2. And You, my redeemer, Christ, excellent son of the Father,                       deign to gaze upon me with Your Father, I entreat, so that                       when You have looked upon me I may weep sadly in great bitterness. (Footnote continued from previous page)               employing the Biblical examples of Lazarus and of the Prodigal Son, intimately links God's               grace with delivery from human sin (Introduction, pp. 42-3).               1ff. The first four stanzas are devoted to an invocation of the Trinity. Note the rhyme               on os and e.               2.2-3. The polyptoton serves to emphasise the relation of dependence between Creator               and creation that is at the centre of Gottschalk's poem.

 



Page 234

              3. Tuque, spiritus o sancte,                 pie mi paraclite,                       qui ex patre filioque           procedis assidue,                       me tuo misellum more           conturbandum cormmove.               4. Novi namque me peccasse        contra te gravissime,                       sicut die, ita nocte,   corde, ore, opere;                       laboravi semper valde    te, deus, offendere.               5. Laboravi, inquam, valde        plura mala facere                       quam sint homines in orbe,  quam astra in aethere,                       vel quam pisces intra mare,  arena in litore.               6. Volo unde nunc lugere,        sed non possum, domine;                       sine te quivi peccare,   sed nequeo plangere,                       sine te sum lapsus male,   sed non possum surgere.               7. Non enim possum plorare        nec lamenta fundere,                       potui multa patrare    qui mala cotidie,                       quorum soli patet tuae    numerus scientiae.               8. Caro ita quidem mea        sine te est arida,                       sicut terra sine aqua,   sicut petra rigida,                       oculorum est pupilla   ceu cristallum frigida,               9.Sicque sicut silex dura        cuncta sunt precordia;                       ideo non valet ulla  emanare guttula,                       exque me nec saltem una  ire potest lacrima.               10. Proinde meorum multa        criminum cum milia                       sint et plura quam arena    marina per litora                       atque multo graviora    massa extent plumbea,               11. Clamat, ecce, supplex mea        nunc ad te miseria                       petens, ut digneris tua     me misericordia                       hac respicere in hora     torpentem socordia.               12. Age iam mei mollita        de cordis duricia                       educ, queso, modo multa     lacrimarum flumina                       ad facinora deflenda     simul et flagitia.               13. Graviter peccavit mea        nam tibi dementia,                       fortiter succurrat tua     sed mihi clementia,                       quoniam est tibi tanta     ceu nulli potentia.               3.3. The self-description echoes 2.3; the diminutive emphasising the penitent's self              abasement (cf. s. 18.3) and picked up by the later stress on misericordia.               4-20. Confession and prayer, following the Augustinian division, succeed Gottschalk's               exordium.

 



Page 235

              3. And You, Holy Spirit, my kindly defender,                       who proceed directly from the Father and Son,                       by Your will move me, a little wretch, to be shaken by emotion.               4. I know that I have sinned most grievously against You                       both day and night; in heart, word and deed,                       I have always striven hard, God, to trespass against You.               5. I have striven hard, I say, to do more harm                       than there are men in the world, stars in the sky,                       fishes in the sea, sand on the shore.               6. And so I now want to mourn, but I cannot, Lord;                       without You I could sin, but I cannot lament;                       without You I have fallen badly but I cannot rise.               7. I cannot cry or pour forth lamentation,                       I who every day could commit many evil deeds                       whose number is plain only to Your wisdom.               8. Without You my flesh is dry,                       like the land without water, like the hard rock,                       the pupils of my eyes are as cold as ice.               9. All my inner being is like the hard flint,                       and so the tiniest drop cannot flow forth                       nor can even a single tear be shed by me.               10. Therefore, since my crimes in their many thousands                       are more numerous than the sand on the seacoast                       and much weightier than a mass of earth,               11. my misery now calls out to You in supplication,                       entreating You to deign mercifully to turn Your gaze                       upon me in my dull foolishness at this hour.               12. Come now, transform the hardness of my heart into softness,                       bring forth, I entreat, many streams of tears                       to lament my sins and wrong-doings.               13. In my madness I have transgressed gravely against You,                       but may You in Your mercy succour me stoutly,                       since You have immense power like none other.               5.1. Cf. s. 10.2.               5.2-3 Cf. Genesis 22:17. intra mare: cf. 33, s. 1. 5.               10.2. Cf. s. 5.2-3.               12.1. Cf. Psalm 94:8 and Blaise, p. 559.

 





Page 236

              14. Tu es trinus, tu es unus,        tu es potentissimus,                       tu es pius, tu benignus,     tu es clementissimus,                       ob hoc meis da dignatus    flumina luminibus.               15. Tu petram in stagna dudum        convertisti laticum                       atque rupem in aquarum    fontes multiplicium,                       tu potes cor ita meum   emollire ferreum.               16. Tu pectus adamantinum        reddere ut carneum,                       tu mutare nunc belvinum    in humanum animum                       veteremque vel antiquum    in iam novum spiritum.               17. Ad cadendum sola mea        sufficit miseria,                       ad surgendum eget tua    sed misericordia,                       quia inest mihi multa,    pro dolor, vecordia.               18. Porrige iam lapso manum,        da luctum, da gemitum,                       dona fletum, dona planctum    ploratumque plurimum,                       facque cor humiliatum,    conturbatum spiritum.               19. Plorem, pater, vehementer        te donante iugiter;                       plorem, fili patris, semper,   flagito suppliciter;                       plorem, spiritus o sacer,   te favente inpiger;               20. Lacrimer indesinenter        et incessabiliter,                       lamenter necnon instanter,    infatigabiliter,                       ut post perpetim consoler    tecum et exhilarer.               21. Summe pater, miserere        ac misericordiae                       miseranter, queso, tuae    clemens reminiscere                       et ad meum me adtrahe    forti Iesum robore.               22. Tuque, domine o Christe,        o caput ecclesiae,                       adtractum, deposco, ad te    me dignanter recipe                       et receptum solidare    in te noli spernere.               23. Tuque, spiritus o sancte        ac dulcis paraclite,                       mei semper meminisse    noli, rex, contemnere,                       sed da patrem filiumque    atque te diligere.               24. Deus trine, deus une,        deus clementissime,                       trinitas colenda corde,     mente atque pectore,                       unitas amanda valde     omni nobis tempore,               14.1-2. Cf. 33, s. 8. 3-4.               15. 2. Cf. Psalm 113:8.               16.1 Cf. Ezekiel 11:19. In Gottschalk's De Praedestinatione (ed. Lambot, p. 232) this               passage is cited as an instance of the need for bona voluntas before redemption.               18. On the compunctio invoked here, see P. von Moos, FmStud 4 (1970), P. 217.               18.3. Cf. s. 3.3

 



Page 237

              14. You are three, You are one, You are most powerful,                       You are good, You are kindly, You are most merciful,                       and so deign to grant streams of tears to my eyes.               15. Once upon a time You changed stone into ponds of water                       and the cliffs into springs with many streams,                       and so You can soften my iron-like heart.               16. You can change an adamantine heart into one of flesh,                       You can transform the soul of a beast into a human soul,                       and the old or ancient spirit into a new one.               17. I, wretch that I am, am only capable of causing my own fall,                       in order to rise again I need Your mercy,                       since there isalasgreat folly in me.               18. Stretch out Your hand to me in my fallen state, grant me mourning,                       groans, weeping, lamentation, and much wailing,                       humble my heart and trouble my spirit.               19. Father, I wish passionately to lament forever, by Your grace;                       I earnestly entreat, Son of the Father, let me always lament;                       by Your favour, Holy Spirit, I wish to lament ceaselessly.               20. Would that I might weep endlessly and incessantly,                       would that I might lament urgently and tirelessly, so that later                       in Your company I might be comforted and cheered perpetually.               21. Father Almighty, take pity and remember Your mercy                       with compassion and kindness, I pray,                       and draw me to my lord Jesus with Your powerful strength.               22. And You, O lord Christ, head of the church,                       draw me to You, I entreat, and receive me as I deserve,                       and do not disdain to strengthen me when I am received by You.               23. And You, Holy Spirit and sweet defender,                       my king, do not refuse to remember me always,                       but grant that I may love the Father, the Son and You.               24. God in three, God in one, most merciful God,                       Trinity which we should love with heart, mind and soul,                       oneness which we should greatly cherish at all times,               21ff. The invocation of all three members of the Trinity follows the emphasis to be found               in Gottschalk's De Trinitate: to call on God alone is to do wrong to Christ and the Holy               Spirit.               22.1. Cf. Ephesians 5:23.               24.1. Cf. 33, s. 8. 3; s. 14. 1-2.

 





Page 238

              25. Qui es quadri diligendus        orbis in climatibus,                       sed mei plus irritatus    corporis, heu, sensibus                       quam sis mundi a totius,    credo, peccatoribus.               26. Miserere, queso, deus,        miserere concitus;                       succurre, deposco, prius    quam inferni abyssus                       me absorbeat, quo nullus    utilis est gemitus.               27. Respice quapropter prius,        pater, fili, spiritus,                       trine atque une deus,    pereat quam famulus,                       quem plasmasti tuis pius    miserando manibus.               28. Manuum tuarum opus        respice clementius;                       si respexeris, ploratus   sequetur uberrimus,                       immo simul ululatus   erit amarissimus.               29. Ego, pater, ille tuus        prodigus sum filius,                       abs te procul exul factus,    qui fui diutius                       meretricibus coniunctus     et consumptis omnibus,               30. Quae tu bonis es largitus;        panis miser, indigus,                       effectus fui subulcus,    saturari cupidus                       siliquis, sed dedit nullus,    quae dabantur suibus.               31. In me autem nunc reversus,        cum sire mendicissimus,                       cumque tuae sciam prorsus    multos penetralibus                       mercennarios in domus    abundare panibus;               32. Reminiscens, quod benignus        es atque piissimus,                       pietate tua fisus,    quamvis indignissimus                       nomine servi misellus    filiique penitus,               33. Advolutus clamo tuis        eiulans vestigiis:                       pater mi, peccavi meis    in celum miseriis                       atque coram te delictis    gravibus et nimiis.               34. Non sum dignus dici tuus        servus, nedum filius,                       sed iamiam dignetur meus    pater clementissimus                       tractare suam benignus    pietatem cicius.               35. Eripe de portis mortis        me, pater amabilis,                       pereat ne tui iuris    suis plasma meritis;                       abest panis, adest famis,    pestis miserabilis.               28.1. Cf. Genesis 5:29               29ff. Cf. Luke 15:11ff.

 



Page 239

              25. You should be loved in the four regions of the world                       but are more angered, alas, by the sensations of my body,                       I believe, than by all the sinners in the world.               26. Take pity, I beseech, God, take pity when I call on You,                       help me, I entreat, before I am swallowed up                       by the abyss of Hell, where groans are no avail.               27. And so look upon me Father, Son and Holy Ghost,                       God in three and in one, before Your servant perishes:                       in Your kindness You have created him with Your hands.               28. Look with mercy upon the work of Your hands,                       if You gaze upon me, tears will then flow abundantly,                       and there will be bitter wailing.               29. I, father, am your prodigal son                       and have become an exile far from You,                       long consorting with whores and eating up               30. all the good things which You have bestowed:                       wretched and in need of bread,                       I have become a swineherd longing to be filled with husks,                       but no one would give to me what was given to pigs.               31. I have now reverted to my former state since I am most needy                       and know well that the many hired servants in Your house                       have as much bread as they need and to spare.               32. Remembering that You are most goodly and kindly,                       trusting in Your kindness, although the least worthy,                       a thoroughly miserable being called Your slave and Your son,               33. I cry out, wailing and stooped at Your feet:                       my Father, I have sinned against heaven by my miserable deeds,                       and I have trespassed against You with grave and weighty sins.               34. I am not worthy to be called Your slave, let alone Your son,                       but may my most merciful Father yet deign                       swiftly to display His kindness to me.               35. Save me from the gates of death, beloved Father,                       lest the being created by Your righteousness perish as he deserves.                       I lack bread, I suffer the terrible bane of hunger.               31.2-3. Cf. Luke 15:1.

 



Page 240

              36. Nemo panem habet vitae        preter te, altissime,                       quem nunc cernor esurire,    indignus percipere,                       sed gratuito largire    tu pius hunc munere.               37. Saginatus est occisus        fratri meo vitulus,                       qui fuit peregrinatus     a patre diutius,                       cum multis luxuriatus     miser meretricibus.               38. Qui ad te ubi reversus        fuit mendicissimus,                       consumptis paternis rebus     atque bonis omnibus                       indigens suilli victus,    sed carens hoc funditus,               39. Inops panis, dives famis,        est piis oculis                       alonge respectus patris,     est donatus osculis,                       amplexatus et benignis     vehementer brachiis.               40. Aliud nil fuit fassus,        ni quod esset filius                       eius ultra iam indignus;    servis a fidelibus                       prima stola est indutus,    inque manu anulus.               41. Est confestim sibi datus,        tegumenta pedibus,                       pariterque saginatus     est occisus vitulus,                       sicque fuit epulatus     tecum, pater, filius.               42. Ergo quia est inventus,        fuerat qui perditus,                       rediit resuscitatus    et revixit mortuus,                       gaudio magno gavisus    est cum servis dominus.               43. Igitur ego ipsius        nunc ad te fraterculus                       clamo tuis advolutus,    pie pater, pedibus,                       tuus, fateor, indignus    nihil minus filius.               44. Ecce iam petit misellus        veniam sceleribus                       pro suis, offensum quibus    te tristatur pluribus,                       quam polus ipse depictus    splendeat sideribus.               45. Ergo sicuti tunc pius        nihil herens amplius                       tam clementer es misertus    nato currens obvius,                       miserere sic dignatus    modo mei ocius.               46. Et quidem nil eo minus       verum multo amplius                       peccavi tibi protervus     diebus ac noctibus,                       ad bonum, pro nefas, tardus,     ad malum promptissimus.               36.1. Cf John 6:35.               36.1. Cf. Blaise, p. 391.               37.1. Cf Luke 15:27.               37.3. Cf. s. 29.3.

 





Page 241

              36. No one has the bread of life except You, highest one:                       what I am seen to hunger for and take in my unworthiness,                       You in Your kindness bestow freely as a gift.               37. The fatted calf has been killed for my brother                       who long ago wandered away from his father                       and lived, a wretch, in dissipation with many whores.               38. When he returned to You he was in great want,                       after dissipating his father's possessions and all his goods,                       in need of the swill of pigs, but utterly destitute,               39. deprived of bread, well-provided with hunger. When his father                       gazed upon him in kindness from afar, he was kissed                       and warmly embraced in his kindly arms.               40. He said nothing other than that he was his son                       and very unworthy; by the faithful servants                       he was clad in the finest robe and a ring for his hand               41. was swiftly given to him, his feet were shod,                       and the farted calf was killed as well,                       and so your son feasted with you, father.               42. So it was that he who had been lost was found,                       he returned, restored to life, and lived again, though he had died,                       and the lord rejoiced jubilantly with his servants.               43. In the same way I, his little brother, call out to You                       falling before Your feet, kindly Father,                       unworthy, I admit, but none the less Your son.               44. Behold, this poor wretch now begs forgiveness for his sins                       which wrong and sadden You and whose numbers are                       greater than the stars with which the spangled heavens glitter.               45. As You then in Your kindness without any hesitation                       took pity on Your son with such mercy, hurrying to meet him,                       deign in the same way swiftly to take pity on me.               46. I have sinned no less than himindeed much more                       day and night in my insolence toward You,                       wickedly slow to do good and very swift to do evil.               38.3. Cf. Luke 15:16 and s. 31.2-3 and note.               40.3. Cf. Luke 15:22.               42.3. Cf. Matthew 2:10.               43:1. For the diminutive, cf. 33, s. 3. 2.

 





Page 242

              47. Iustificavi misellus meis        facinoribus                       peccatores omnes, mundus     quos tenet quadrifidus,                       proinde peto prostratus,     miserere cicius.               48. O Iesu, quatriduanus,        bone pastor, Lazarus                       mortis in sepulcro situs   iamque nimis fetidus,                       monumento quamvis pressus,   iamiam scatens vermibus               49. Ecce iacet interemptus        multis pro criminibus,                       quae gessit econtra stultus,    segnis, hebetissimus,                       privatus velut ambobus    cum sensu luminibus.               50. Freme, freme, bone Iesu,        ac turbare spiritu,                       lacrimare pio fletu    servi pro interitu,                       propria qui semet manu    interemit iamdiu.               51. Clama, clama, Iesu Christe,        voce magna, domine:                       `prodi foras, tumulate,    veni foras, Lazare,                       exi, exi ac procede   iam mortis de carcere!'               52. Si clamaveris me, Christe,        redemptor piissime,                       exibo letus repente   ac procedam propere,                       quin vita servum vocante   fugiet mors rapide.           53. Ligatus pedes et manus                faciemque Lazarus                       prodiit ille antiquus       voce dei excitus:                       sic ego, plus licet vinctus,       non prodibo tardius.           54. Fili dei Christe vivi,                iube tui Lazari                       pedes manus ora solvi        et abire desini                       et vestigiis advolvi        sui sacris domini.           55. Iam tibi tuoque patri,                quin sancto spiritui                       trino deo atque uni    corde, ore supplici                       grates ago voce tali       honore sub triplici.           56. Benedictus sit excelsus                genitor et genitus,                       spiritus necnon et sanctus,        predulcis paraclitus,                       per quem suus est. secundus      suscitatus Lazarus.           57. Manicis qui magnis vinctus,                constrictus compedibus                       flammis eram destinatus        poenarum ultricibus,                       que tormentis extant prorsus        plene multiplicibus               48-73. There follows the prayer to Christ; cf. John 11:39ff.               48.2 Cf. 30, v. 24.

 



Page 243

              47. A little wretch, I have justified by my wrong-doings                       all the sinners throughout the four corners of the world                       and so, prostrate, I ask You swiftly to take pity on me.               48. O Jesus, good shepherd, Lazarus lay for four days                       in the tomb of death smelling most foully, and although                       beneath the weight of the gravestone and seething with worms               49. he lay dead because of the many sins which he committed                       in stupidity, laziness and great dullness, as though                       deprived of his understanding and the sight of both his eyes.               50. Groan, groan, good Jesus, and be disturbed in spirit,                       weep with kindly tears for the death of Your slave,                       who long ago slew himself with his own hand.               51. Call out, call out in a loud voice, Jesus Christ, our Lord:                       `Come forth, come forth, Lazarus who are dead and buried!                       Leave directly death's prison!'               52. If You call upon me, Christ, most kindly redeemer,                       I will go joyously and swiftly and hurry to make my way:                       death will flee speedily as life calls upon Your servant.               53. Bound at hand, foot and face Lazarus went forth,                       called in ancient times by the voice of God: I too would be                       no slower to come forth, even though my bonds are greater.               54. Christ, son of the living God, order that Your Lazarus's                       feet, hands and face be unbound and allow him                       to depart and to prostrate himself before the holy feet of his Lord.               55. Now to You and to Your Father, and to the Holy Spirit                       to God three and onewith humble heart and voice,                       I give thanks in these words with three-fold honour.               56. Blessings to be the high creator and to His begotten son,                       and to the Holy Spirit, the sweet defender,                       through whom His second Lazarus has been brought back to life.               57. I, who have been fettered by mighty shackles, bound in chains,                       destined for the flames which wreak vengeance and punishment                       and are filled with every kind of torment,               50.1ff. Cf. John 11:33ff.               56. The most explicit parallel between Gottschalk and the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

 



Page 244

              58. Gloriam cantabo sane        omni tibi tempore,                       si digneris evocare   mortis me de limine,                       cui est vita cum patre   et regnum cum flamine.               59. Tange, range, Iesu Christe,        meos clementissime                       oculos et squamas inde    serpentinas abice                       fluminaque multa valde    lamentorum elue.               60. Tactos terge et reterge,        quo plus fluant lacrime,                       fluant nocte, fluant die,    ut possint restinguere                       flammas, que sunt mihi iure    penis meis debite.               61. Spiritus o sancte, pia        respice me gratia,                       et mersum mortis in ima    me, precor, vivifica                       ac vivificatum tua    luce iam illumina.               62. Gratis nam fecisti tua        me misericordia,                       gratis, flagito, reforma    demure et resuscita;                       gratis tua dantur dona:     hinc dicuntur `gratia'.               63. Memento, domine deus,         quod, gignens ac genitus                       ut est potens utque pius,    sic tu nihilominus                       ante secla es benignus,    mitis, potens, validus.               64. In quemcumque enim spiras,        statim hunc vivificas,                       cum patre, cum prole tonas,    regis et illuminas,                       gratiam cui vis donas,    solidas et vegetas.               65. Quos placer benigne vocas,        vocatos sanctificas,                       humiles pius exaltasti    et altos humilias,                       inmundosque quos vis mundas,    impuros purificas.               66. Quid plura? Leprosos purgas,        impios iustificas,                       cum patre proleque cunctas    quas vis mentes recreas                       insuper et recreatas    pariter glorificas.               67. Quamobrem te, deus pie,        postulo, humillime,                       cito mihimet succurre    cum patre, cum sobole,                       et ovi nimis infirme    gratiam iam tribue.               68. Da, precor, in te clamare,        `Abba, pater, domine!'                       necnon atque `Iesu Christe!'    simul, queso, dicere                       quin et te `o flatus alme!'    vocare humillime.               61ff. The prayer to the Holy Ghost.               65.2. Cf. Luke 1:52.

 



Page 245

              58. shall certainly sing of Your glory at all times,                       if You deign to call me from the threshold of death,                       You who live with the Father and reign with the Holy Spirit.               59. Touch, touch, Jesus Christ, my eyes with great kindness,                       drive from them the serpent's scales,                       and wipe from them many rivers of lamentation.               60. Wipe again and again the eyes that You have touched,                       so that my tears may flow more readily day and night                       to quell the flames which are my just punishment.               61. O holy spirit, look upon me with kindly grace.                       Bring me to life, I pray, drowned as I am in the depths of death,                       and enlighten me with Your radiance when I am revived.               62. Gratis, You created me by Your mercy,                       gratis, I entreat, create me again and bring me to life;                       gratis Your gifts are granted and so they are said to be `by grace'.               63. Remember, divine Lord, that, just as the creator and created                       are so powerful and kindly, so You likewise                       before time were goodly, gentle, powerful, and strong.               64. You immediately bring to life those into whom You breathe,                       with the Father and His son You thunder, rule and enlighten,                       You strengthen and enliven the faith You give to whom You choose.               65. In kindness You call those whom You choose and sanctify the chosen,                       in Your goodness You exalt the humble and lay low the mighty,                       You cleanse the unclean You have chosen and purify the impure.               66. What more? You purify the leprous, make the impious just,                       with the Father and Son You create anew the souls you choose                       and then, when they are recreated, You glorify them as well.               67. And so, kindly God, I beseech You most humbly,                       with the Father and Son, succour me swiftly                       and bestow Your grace upon this very feeble sheep.               68. Grant, I pray, that I may call upon You: `Abba, Father, Lord'                       and also, I pray, that I may say: `Jesus Christ',                       and that I may most humbly call You `breath of sweetness'.               68. Cf. Romans 8:15.               68.3. Cf. 33, s. 12, 4.

 



Page 246

              69. Da timere, da amare,        da frequenter colere                       patrem prolem, sanctum atque    da flatum diligere                       toto corde, tota mente    toto necnon pectore.               70. Esto mihi timor ingens        atque amor vehemens,                       diligam te nimis timens    timeamque diligens,                       serviamque contremiscens,    contremiscam serviens.               71. Exue me, peto, meis,        domine, flagitiis,                       quibus te offendi nimis    retro actis seculis,                       et nunc quoque plura priscis    addo nova maculis.               72. Deduc me in viam pacis,        cum obire iusseris,                       portioque mihi lucis    tunc patescat perpetis,                       merear et cum beatis    te laudare angelis.               73. Gloria, laus, honor patri,        proli ac spiritui                       ex ambobus procedenti    ante orsa seculi,                       trinitati lux perenni,    unitati perpeti. Amen.               35. Hrabanus Maurus (?)               1.        Veni, creator spiritus,                       Mentes tuorum visita,                       Imple superna gratia                       Quae tu creasti pectora.               2.        Qui paracletus diceris,                       Donum dei altissimi,                       Forts vivus, ignis, caritas                       Et spiritalis unctio.               3.        Tu septiformis munere,                       Dextrae dei tu digitus,                       Tu rite promisso patris                       Sermone ditans guttura.               4.        Accende lumen sensibus,                       Infunde amorem cordibus,                       Infirma nostri corporis,                       Virtute firmans perpeti.               35. Text: Oxford Book, p. 116, no. 88; Schaller-Könsgen, 17048; Introduction, pp. 43-4.               The principal source of this hymn for Pentecost is the Ambrosian Advent hymn Intende, qui               regis Israel (Schaller-Könsgen, 8189). Its use of Isidore (Etymologiae 7.3) and its links with               the Aachen synod of 805 (H. Lausberg, FmStud 4 (1970), P.434) strengthen the case               for Hrabanus' authorship. Full commentary in H. Lausberg, Abhandlungen der Rheinisch-

(Footnote continued on next page)

 





Page 247

              69. Grant that I may fear and love, grant that I may continue to worship                       the Father, Son and Holy Spirit                       with all my heart, with all my mind and with all my soul.               70. Be my great fear and my powerful love,                       may I love You with great dread and dread You with love,                       may I serve in trembling and tremble as I serve.               71. Rid me, I entreat, lord, of my sins,                       through which I have done You great wrong in ages gone by                       and now add many new sins to the old ones I committed.               72. Lead me into the paths of peace when You ordain that I die,                       let my share in eternal light then be revealed,                       and may I come to deserve to praise You with the blessed angels.               73. Glory, praise and honour be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit                       proceeding from them both before the beginning of time,                       light to the eternal Trinity, the everlasting oneness. Amen.               35. Veni, Creator Spiritius               1.        Come, creator spirit,                       enter the minds of Your followers,                       fill with heaven's grace                       the hearts which You have created.               2.        You who are called the Paraclete,                       gift of God most high,                       font of life, fire, love                       and spiritual baptism.               3.        You gift is seven-fold,                       You are the finger of God's right hand,                       with the word promised by the Father                       You grace our lips.               4.        Brighten our understanding with Your light,                       pour love into our hearts,                       strengthening the weakness of our bodies                       with Your eternal power. (Footnote continued from previous page)               Westfalischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 64 (1979).               1. Strophe I acts as a proemium to the hymn and as a prayer to the Holy Ghost.               3. The seven `gifts of the holy spirit' are mirrored in the structure of the work.               3.3 Cf. Acts 2:17.               4.1. sensibus: (spiritual) understanding.

 



Page 248

              5.        Hostem repellas longius                       Pacemque dones protinus,                       Ductore sic te praevio                       Vitemus omne noxium.               6.        Per te sciamus, da, patrem                       Noscamus atque filium,                       Te utriusque spiritum                       Credamus omni tempore.               7.        Praesta, pater piissime,                       Patrique compar unice,                       Cum spiritu paraclito                       Regnans per omne saeculum.               36. Hrabanus Maurus               Lex pia cumque dei latum dominans regit orbem,                       Quam sanctum est legem scribere namque dei!               Est pius ille labor, merito cui non valet alter                       Aequiparare, manus quem faciet hominis.               Nam digiti scripto laetantur, lumina visu,              5                       Mens volvet sensu mystica verba dei.               Nullum opus exsurgit, quod non annosa vetustas                       Expugnet, quod non vettat iniqua dies:               Grammata sola carent fato, mortemque repellunt,                       Praeterita renovant grammata sola biblis.              10               Grammata nempe dei digitus sulcabat in apta                       Rupe, suo legem cum dederat populo,               Sunt, fuerant, mundo venient quae forte futura,                       Grammata haec monstrant famine cuncta suo.               7. On the seven-strophe composition of the hymn see Lausberg, pp. 23ff.               36. Text: MGH Poetae ii, p. 186; Schaller-Könsgen, 8880; Introduction, p. 43. Addressed               to Eigil, his predecessor as abbot of Fulda (817-822), Hrabanus' poem is prefatory to the               collection of tituli composed between 810 and 821 for churches which Eigil had founded. A               metrical life of of Eigil was written by Candidus/ Bruun (ed. Dümmler, MGH Poetae ii,

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 249

              5.        Drive the devil afar                       and straightway grant peace,                       under Your far-sighted guidance                       may we avoid all harm.               6.        Grant that by You we may know                       the Father and acknowledge the Son,                       and believe that You are the spirit                       in both at all times.               7.        Watch over us, most pious Father,                       only son and equal of the Father,                       with the Holy Spirit                       ruling through all eternity.               36. On writing               As God's kindly law rules in absolute majesty over the wide world,               it is an exceedingly holy task to copy the law of God.               This activity is a pious one, unequalled in merit               by any other which men's hands can perform.               For the fingers rejoice in writing, the eyes in seeing,               and the mind at examining the meaning of God's mystical words.               No work sees the light which hoary old age               does not destroy or wicked time overturn:               only letters are immortal and ward off death,               only letters in books bring the past to life.               Indeed God's hand carved letters on the rock               that pleased Him when He gave His law to the people,               and these letters reveal everything in the world that is,               has been, or may chance to come in the future. (Footnote continued from previous page)               pp. 94ff.). The stress laid upon writing and the immortality of letters is characteristic of               Hrabanus' view of intellectual activity. Cf. Baesecke, Kleinere Schriften, pp. 408-9.               1. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 9. 795.               5. Cf. 49, v. 116 (parody).               7-8. Cf. Anthologia Latina 416. 1-2 (ed. D. R. Shackleton Bailey 1, p. 322).               11-12. The reference is to the tablets of stone of Exodus 31:18.

 



Page 250

              37. Ermoldus Nigellus               (I)               Engilin- ipse pius placido tunc tramite -heim                       Advolat induperans coniuge cum sobole.              180               Est locus ille situs rapidi prope flumina Rheni,                       Ornatus variis cultibus et dapibus,               Quo domus ampla patet centum perfixa columnis,                       Quo reditus varii tectaque multimoda,               Mille aditus, reditus, millenaque claustra domorum              185                       Acta magistrorum artificumque manu.               Templa dei summi constant operata metallo,                       Aerati postes, aurea hostiola,               Inclita gesta dei, series memoranda virorum,                       Pictura insigni quo relegenda patent.              190               Ut primo, ponente deo, pars laeva recenset,                       Incolitant homines te, paradise, novi;               Inscia corda mali serpens ut perfidus Aevae                       Temptat; ut ilia virum tangit, ut ipse cibum;               Ut domino veniente tegunt se tegmine ficus;              195                       Ut pro peccatis Jam coluere solum,               Frater ob invidiam fratrem pro munere primo                       Perculit haud gladio sed manibus miseris.               Inde per innumeros pergit pictura sequaces                       Ordine sive modo dogmata prisca refert:              200               Utque latex totum merito diffusus in orbem                       Crevit et ad finem traxit ut omne genus;               Ut miserante deo paucos subvexerat archa                       Et corvi meritum, sive, columba, tuum.               Inde Habrahae sobolisque suae pinguntur et acta              205                       Ioseph seu fratrum et Pharaonis opus;               Liberat ut populum Aegypto iam munere Moyses,                       Ut perit Aegyptus, Israel utque meat;               37(1). Text: IV, 179-282 (2060-5), MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 63-6; E. Faral, Ermold le Noir.               Poème sur Louis le Pieux et Epîtres au roi Pépin (Paris, 1964), pp. 156-66; Schaller-Könsgen,               3243. The fourth book of Ermoldus Nigellus' poems on the deeds of Louis the Pious contains               a lengthy description of the paintings which adorned the church and aula of the palace               built at Ingelheim, near Mainz, by Charlemagne (Einhard, Vita Karoli Magni 17). The               fullest description of narrative painting in Carolingian poetry, Ermoldus' work also served               an ideological purpose which is discussed in the Introduction, p. 46.               179. The remains of the palace and church at Ingelheim have recently been excavated.               See W. Lammers, Vestigia Mediaevalia (Wiesbaden, 1979), pp. 219ff. for analysis and               bibliography.               180. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 10. 896.               183. Ibid.2. 310; 7. 170. According to `Poeta Saxo' these marble columns were imported               from Rome and Vienna (see Faral, p. 157, note 2).

 



Page 251

              37. In honorem Hludovici Pii               (I) The paintings at Ingelheim               The emperor then sped peacefully along the road               to Ingelheim with his wife and children.               That place is sited near to the swift course of the Rhine               in the midst of cultivated lands producing many kinds of foods.               A spacious palace stands there, firmly supported by a hundred columns,               with different kinds of passages leading to it and many sorts of buildings,               a thousand entrances and exits and a thousand inner chambers               built by the handiwork of master craftsmen.               The church of almighty God is constructed of quarried stone               with a bronze pillar and a little door of gold.               There the wondrous deeds of God and generations of famous men               are finely painted and easy to view.               First, the left-hand side shows newly created men               being placed by God in Paradise and living there: how               the treacherous serpent tempted Eve's heart which knew no evil;               how she corrupted her husband and he laid hands on the forbidden fruit;               how, when the Lord came, they covered themselves with a fig-leaf               and for their sins were made to till the earth;               how a brother out of envy for the first offering struck his brother               not with a sword but with his wretched hands.               Then the painting recounts the countless numbers who followed,               relating the teachings of the Old Testament, in order and sequence:               how the waters spread as punishment over the entire earth               and mounted up, bringing all creatures to their end;               how, by God's mercy, the ark saved a few men,               together with the good offices of the raven and the dove.               Then are painted the story of Abraham and of his sons,               the deeds of Joseph, his brothers and of Pharaoh;               how Moses freed the people from the Egyptian captivity,               how the Egyptians perished and Israel went free;               186. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1. 455.               188. Cf. ibid. 2.480.               189ff. The cycle of paintings in the church begins on the left-hand side with scenes from               the Old Testament, chiefly taken from Genesis and the first twenty chapters of Exodus.               The twenty-four scenes depicted in the text form distinct groups: (1) Paradise; (2) the               expulsion from Paradise to the Flood; (3) the first Patriarchs up to Joseph; (4) Moses; (5)               the kings; (6) the priests and princes. A comparable cycle of narrative paintings survives               in the church of St. John in Müstair, Graubünden (see W. Braunfels, Die Welt der Karolinger                und ihre Kunst (Munich, 1968), p. 94, PP. 120ff. with plates xv, xvi).               189. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1. 641.               197-8. Cain and Abel.               205-6 Two distinct paintings.

 



Page 252

              Et lex dante deo geminis descripta tabellis,                       Flumina de rupe, deque volucre cibus;              210               Et promissa diu quo redditur hospita tellus,                       Ut Hiesus populo dux bonis extiterat.               Iamque prophetarum, regum praemagna caterva                       Pingitur, acta simul et celebrata nitent;               Et Davidis opus Salomonis et acta potentis,              215                       Templaque divino aedificata opere;               Inde duces populi quales quantique fuere                       Atque sacerdotum culmina seu procerum.               Altera pars retinet Christi vitalia gesta,                       Quae terris missus a genitore dedit:              220               Angelus ut primo Mariae delapsus ad aures,                       Utque Maria sonat: 'Ecce puella dei!'               Nascitur ut Christus, sacris longe ante prophetis                       Notus, et a pannis volvitur utque deus,               Ut pia pastores capiunt mox iussa tonantis,              225                       Cernere moxque deum quo meruere magi;               Ut furit Herodes Christum succedere credens,                       Perculit ut pueros qui meruere mori;               Ut furit Aegypto Ioseph, puerumque reportat,                       Crevit ut ipse puer, subditus utque fuit;              230               Ut baptizari voluit, qui venerat omnes                       Sanguine salvare, qui periere diu;               More hominis ut tanta tulit ieiunia Christus;                       Ut temptatorem perculit arte suum;               Ut pia per mundum docuit mox munia patris,              235                       Reddidit infirmis munia prisca pius,               Mortua quin etiam ut reparavit corpora vitae,                       Daemonis arma tulit, expulit utque procul;               Discipulo ut tradente fero saevoque popello,                       More hominis voluit ut deus ipse mori;              240               Ut surgens propriis apparuit ipse ministris,                       Utque polos palam scandit et arva regit.               His est aula dei picturis arte referta,                       Pleniter artifici rite polita manu.               Regia namque domus late persculpta nitescit,              245                       Et canit ingenio maxima gesta virum:               Cyri gesta canit nec non et tempore Nini                       Proelia multimoda duraque facta nimis.               Hic videas fluvio regis saevire furorem,                       Vindicat ut cari denique funus equi;              250               209. Cf. 36, s. 10. 11-12 and note.               211. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 3. 539.               219-44. On the right-hand side of the church are depicted sixteen scenes from the New               Testament. The first three derived from Luke 1:26ff.; the rest from Matthew.               221. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 3. 101.

 



Page 253

              how the law which God gave was inscribed on the two tablets,               how the rocks produced rivers and the birds provided food;               and the land promised long ago as a home was rendered up to them,               when Joshua emerged as a good leader for the people.               Next the huge throng of prophets and kings are painted               and their famous deeds are there in shining splendour;               the achievements of David and of powerful Solomon               and the temples they built with God's aid;               then all the leaders of the people just as they were,               and the high priests and chief men.               The other part depicts the mortal life of Christ               and the miracles He performed when sent down to earth by His Father:               how the angel first descended and spoke into Mary's ears,               and how Mary exclaimed: 'Here is the maiden chosen by God!'               How Christ, foretold long ago by the holy prophets, was born               and God was wrapped in swaddling clothes.               How the shepherds soon received the Almighty's gentle commands               and there the Magi were rewarded by the sight of God;               how Herod was in a fury, believing that Christ would supplant him,               and struck down the children who deserved to die;               how Joseph fled to Egypt and took the child with him,               how He grew into a boy and remained hidden;               and how He wanted to be baptised, coming to save               with His blood all those who long ago had perished;               how Christ, as a man, endured such long fasts               and skilfully laid low His tempter;               how throughout the world He taught about the Father's kindly works,               and restored the sick to their former health;               how He brought dead bodies back to life,               took away the weapons of the demon and expelled him afar;               how, when His heartless disciple and the savage crowd betrayed Him,               He, though God, was willing to die as mortal men do;               how, rising from the dead, He appeared before His servants               and openly ascended into heaven to reign over the earth.               The church is skilfully covered with these paintings               finished by the expert touch of their artists' hands.               This magnificent building gleams from afar, ornately sculptured,               ingeniously celebrating the deeds of great men.               It tells of Cyrus' exploits and of many kinds of battle               and of the terrible atrocities in the time of Ninus.               Here you may see the king raging in fury at the stream,               as he avenges the death of his favourite horse; then how               222. Cf. Luke 1:38.               244. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 8. 426.               247-8. Cf. Orosius 1. 4. 1-3               249-50. Cf. ibid. 2. 6. 2-4. Cyrus II, enraged at the death of his favourite horse in the               Gyndes, took vengeance upon the river by breaking it up into a number of smaller streams.

 



Page 254

              Dehinc mulieris ovans infelix prenderat arva,                       Sanguinis utre caput ponitur inde suum,               Impia nec Falaris reticentur gesta nefandi,                       Utque truces populos hic necat arte fera;               Ut Pyrillus ei quidam, faber aeris et auri,              255                       Iungitur et Falari cum impietate miser               Aere celer taurum nimio fabricavit honore,                       Truderet ut hominis quo pia membra ferus;               Moxque tyrannus eum tauri conclusit in alvo,                       Arsque dedit mortem ut artificique suo.              260               Romulus et Remus Romae ut fundamina ponunt,                       Perculit ut fratrem impius ille suum;               Hannibal ut bellis semper persuetus iniquis,                       Lumine privatus ut fuit ipse suo;               Ut quoque Alexander bello sibi vindicat orbem,              265                       Ut Romana manus crevit et usque polum.               Parte alia tecti mirantur gesta paterna                       Atque piae fidel proximiora magis.               Caesareis actis Romanae sedis opimae                       Iunguntur Franci gestaque mira simul:              270               Constantinus uti Romam dimittit amore,                       Constantinopolim construit ipse sibi;               Theodosius felix illuc depictus habetur,                       Actis praeclaris addita gesta suis;               Hinc Carolus primus Frisonum Marte magister              275                       Pingitur et secum grandia gesta manus;               Hinc, Pippine, micas, Aquitanis iura remittens                       Et regno socias Matte favente tuo;               Et Carolus sapiens vultus praetendit apertos,                       Fertque coronarum stemmate rite caput;              280               Hinc Saxona cohors contra stat, proelia temptat,                       Ille ferit, domitat, ad sua iura trahit.               His aliisque actis clare locus ille nitescit;                       Pascitur et visu, cernere quosque iuvat.               . . .               251-2. Cf. Orosius. 2. 7. 1-7. Cf. 36, vv. 33-4 and note.               253-4. Cf. Orosius. 1. 20. 1-2. The Sicilian tyrant Phalaris' massacre of the inhabitants               of Agrigento.               255-60. Ibid. 1. 20. 3-4.               261-2. Cf. Orosius 2. 4. 1-3.               263. Ibid. 4. 14-20.               264. Ibid. 4. 15. 3-4; 4. 20-9.               265. Ibid. 3. 16-20.               266. Ibid. 4. 18-6.22; 7. 2-3.

 



Page 255

              that unfortunate man took pleasure in claiming a woman's lands,               and how his head was placed as a result in a skin of blood.               The impious deeds of the wicked Phalaris are not forgotten,               nor how he killed savage peoples with his barbarous skill;               how a wretch called Pyrillus, a craftsman in gold and bronze,               in league with wicked Phalaris,               swiftly built with great pomp a bull of brass,               so that savage Phalaris might thrust into it the limbs of goodly men;               the tyrant immediately shut him up in the belly of the bull,               and so that work of art brought death to its maker.               [They depict] how Romulus and Remus laid the foundations of Rome               and how the wicked man struck down his brother;               how Hannibal after a lifetime spent               in endless wicked wars lost an eye;               how Alexander claimed to conquer the world for himself               and how the might of Rome grew up to the very skies.               On another part of the building, the deeds of our fathers are a source               of wonder and much nearer to what pious faith requires.               To the imperial conquests of the excellent city of Rome               are linked the Franks and their marvellous achievements:               painted there is Constantine's dismissal of Rome from his affections               and his building of Constantinople for himself;               there the successful Theodosius is depicted with each of his deeds               and splendid attainments; then there is a painting of the first Charles,               masterly victor in the Frisian war,               and with him the great exploits he performed; then a splendid picture               of Pippin, restoring the rule of law to the Aquitanians,               and annexing them to his realms through success in battle.               Wise Charlemagne's frank expression is clear to see,               his head is crowned, as his lineage and achievements demand.               A throng of Saxons stand opposite him, waging battle,               he subdues, vanquishes and reduces them to subjection.               With these and other deeds that place shines brightly;               those who gaze on it with pleasure take strength from the sight.               . . .               267ff. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1. 455ff. There follow the Christian leaders whom the Carolingians               imitated. Cf. 63, v. 622.               269. The term Romana sedes, usually applied to the Papal See, is here used of the Roman               empire whose continuation the Frankish imperium is asserted to be.               271-2. Cf. Orosius 7.28.               273-4. Ibid. 7.34-5.               275. Charles Martel; see U. Nonn, FmStud 4 (1970), PP. 104-5.               277-8. The allusion is to Pippin's subjection of Aquitaine.               281-2. Contrast 62, vv. 687-8.

 





Page 256

              (II)               Iam nemus omne sonat crebris latratibus ictus,                       Hinc hominum voces, hinc tuba crebra furit;               Dissiliuntque ferae, fugiuntque per aspera dumi,                       Nec fuga subsidio, nec nemus estque latex.               Inter cornigeros cecidit quoque dammula cervos,              505                       Dentifer ipse cadit cuspide fixus aper.               Caesar laetus enim dat corpora multa ferarum                       Ipse neci, propria perculit atque manu;               Hluthariusque celer florens, fretusque iuventa                       Percutit ursorum corpora multa manu. 5              510               Caetera turba virum passim per prata trucidat                       Diversi generis multimodasque feras.               Forte canurn infestante fugit damella caterva                       Per nemus umbriferum, perque salicta salit;               Ecce locum, quo turba potens et Caesarea Iudith              515                       Constiterant, Carolus cure quibus ipse puer,               Praeterit instanter, pedibus spes constat in ipsis;                       Ni fuga subsidium conferat, ecce perit.               Quam puer aspiciens Carolus cupit ecce parentis                       More sequi, precibus postulat acer equum;              520               Arma rogat cupidus, pharetram celeresque sagittas,                       Et cupit ire sequax, ut pater ipse solet.               Ingeminatque preces precibus; sed pulcra creatrix                       Ire vetat, voto nec dat habere viam.               Ni pedagogus eum teneat materque volentem,              525                       More puer pueri iam volet ire pedes.               Pergunt ast alii iuvenes, capiuntque fugacem                       Bestiolam, inlaesam mox puero revehunt.               Arma aevo tenero tunc convenientia sumit,                       Perculit atque ferae terga tremenda puer.              530               Hunc puerile decus hinc inde frequentat et ambit,                       Hunc patris virtus, nomen et ornat avi,               Qualis Apollo micat gradiens per culmina Deli,                       Latonae matri gaudia magna ferens.               . . .               37(II). This passage draws on Virgil, Aeneid. 4. 129ff. and 'Karolus Magnus et Leo Papa'               137ff. See Introduction, pp. 46-7.               501. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 3. 231.               503. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 4. 526.               504. Ibid. 12.733.

 



Page 257

              (II) Louis the Pious at the hunt               At the hounds' clamorous baying the entire wood resounds,               with the uproar of men's cries and blast after blast on the horn.               The wild beasts bound away, flee into the thorny wilds;               for them flight holds no safety, nor do the woods and the stream.               Among the antlered stags is slain the baby doe,               transfixed by the spear, the tusked boar falls too.               Joyously, Louis the emperor takes many a wild beast as game,               with his own hand striking them down; while Lothar,               swift and strong, in the flower of youth,               lays low many a bear. For the rest,               his thronged retinue, in the meadows all about               slays many a beast of every kind.               The hound-pack in dire pursuit, the little doe flees               through the shady glades, leaping over the willows,               until, of a sudden, she comes to the spot where stands               a mighty throng, the empress Judith and young Charles.               Determined, she presses on, her only hope in flight,               for if fleeing does not save her, then doomed she is.               Charles catches sight of her. He longs to course the doe, like his father.               Afire with excitement, he demands, he begs for a horse.               Earnestly he asks for arms, a quiver and swift arrows;               he longs to ride in the chase, as his father does.               He pleads and pleads again, but his lovely mother               forbids him to go, will not let him have his way.               Had not his tutor and his mother held him back,               the boy would have raced off on foot, as boys will.               Other young lads speed away, capture the little doe               as it flees, and bring it back to Charles, unharmed.               Then, taking up arms suited to his tender years,               he struck the beast in the back as it stood, trembling.               A paragon of boyhood was Charles in every respect,               endowed with his father's virtue, ennobled by his grandmother's fame,               like Apollo, resplendent in progress through the heights of Delos,               bringing great joy to Latona, his mother.               . . .               509. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid, 5.430.               519. Ibid. 4.156ff.               521. Ibid. 1. 187.               534. Ibid. 1.502.

 



Page 258

              38. Paschasius Radbertus               Egloga duarvm sanctimonialium uno favoris planctu conplosa. Quas Adalhardus               velud unam sibi in coniugivm vice Christi ecclesiam enutrisse, aliam veto ex eadem               secundum monasticam disciplinam miro libramine admodvm genuisse peroratur.               Quarum quoque unam propter candorem vultus Galatheam vocari, porro aliam               propter amorem caritatis Fillidis nomine consecrasse taxatum iri non ambigitur.               Galathea               'Plangite, queso, viri, mecum pie plangite patrem,               Omnis et inploret veniam provectior aetas.               Spargite humum lacrimis, conponite floribus arvam               Patris ad excubias; hinc fletibus omnia sudent.               Officio linguae prodant sic corda vagitus,              5               Ut passim resonent etiam simul astra mugitum.               Rustica concelebret Romana Latinaque lingua,               Saxo quibus pariter plangens pro carmine dicat.               Vertite huc cuncti, cecinit quam maximus ille:               ''Et tumulum facite et tumulo superaddite carmen.''              10               Membra beata senis celebri conferte locello,               Qui nobis studuit venas aperire calentes.               Huius ad exequias clerus cum mixta caterva               Vocibus alternis divina poemata narrent.               Pastores, fuerit quod magnus, versibus edant,              15               Formosi pecoris custos formosior ipse,               Vulgus et econtra resonet: 'Deus, alme creator,               Da veniam famulo, paradysi regna precamur               Et petimus: miserere seni, miserere tuorum;               Tu quam dignus erat misereri, denique nosti!'              20               Hinc, rogo, cordis amorque dolor gemitusque resultet,               Hinc pueri virtute, senes de nomine certent.'               38. Text: MGH, Poetae iii, pp. 45ff.; Green, pp 21-5, 93ff.; Schaller-Könsgen, 12038.               Paschasius Radbertus' lament for Adalhard, his predecessor as abbot of Corbie, concludes               his Vita Adalhardi, and represents the first full allegorisation of the pastoral eclogue in early               Carolingian poetry. Used in Moduin's Egloga (24) for panegyric and in the Alcuinian               Conflictus Veris et Hiemis (14) for a debate between the personified seasons, the elegiac and               dramatic potential of this form is here exploited by Paschasius (Introduction, pp. 47-8).               The obscure and difficult preface identifies Phyllis as Corbie, where Adalhard was abbot               from 780 to 822, and Galathea as Corvey, the sister foundation set up by Adalhard in 822               and ruled by him until his death in 826.               1ff. Galathea or Corvey calls in bereavement for both communities to lament the death               of Adalhard. The allusion at v. 1 is to the monks of Corvey (not Corbie, pace Green, p. 96):               v. 2 refers indirectly to the older foundation (provectior aetas) of Corbie. On the emphasis on

(Footnote continued on next page)

 





Page 259

              38. Eclogue of two nuns               Eclogue of two nuns composed of one lament of sympathy. One of these churches               Adalhard is said to have cherished as his bride in Christ's stead, so to speak,               positively begetting from it the other with wondrous judgment and in accordance with               monastic discipline. It is also clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that one of them               should be called Galathea because of the radiance of her countenance, while the other,               on account of her love of charity, he baptised with the name of Phyllis.               Galathea               'Lament, men, I entreat, lament with me as we should for our father,               and may everyone of a more advanced age implore forgiveness.               Drench the ground in tears, cover the earth with flowers               at our father's funeral; at this let everything be bathed in tears.               May our hearts, doing duty for our tongues, express such sorrow               that all the stars echo and moan with us.               May his praises be sung in the rude Romance vernacular and in Latin,               and let the Saxon sing lamentations in response to them as well.               Listen now everyone to what that prodigious poet said:               "Make a tomb and on the tomb inscribe a poem."               Place the old man's blessed limbs in a fine coffin,               for he strove to discover burning inspiration in us.               At his funeral may the clergy mingled with a throng of the laity               recite religious poetry in antiphonal song.               May the shepherds in verse declare what a great shepherd he was,               a handsome guardian of his handsome flock.               May the common people loudly respond: 'God, gentle creator, we pray               that You grant Your servant forgiveness and the realms of Paradise,               and ask that You take pity on the old man, take pity on Your people;               You know how much he deserved forgiveness.'               May our hearts throb with love, sorrow and groans; let young men               compete to match his virtue and the old vie to achieve his fame.' (Footnote continued from previous page)               unity see Introduction, p. 48.               3. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 5.50.               7-8. Paschasius' Vita Adalhardi records that Adalhard was fluent both in German and in               Latin.               10. = Virgil, Eclogue 5.42.               12Cf. Bede, De Die Iudicu 13.               15. Paschasius exploits the pastoral and Christian overtones of Adalhard's position as               abbot.               16. = Virgil, Eclogue 5.44.               19. Cf. id., Aeneid 11.365.               20. Cf. id., Eclogue 5.54.

 



Page 260

              Fillis               'Quis, rogo, non plangat hominem super astra levatum               In cineres redigi, quam duro marmore tegi,               Cuius in orbe volat virtutum lama per omnes,              25               Prosapies augustorum est quod vermibus esca?               Heu, quid hinc facimus miseri sub morte locati?               Ploramus, gemimus; sed nec revocare valemus.               Ergo vocatur: Abestsed nec exaudit amantes.               Pectora rumpuntur, lacerantur viscera luctu             30               Ille nec exaudit lacrimas nec threna dolentum.               Et quia torquemur, laceramur corde tumultu               Luctus adest animis nec mots surdissima curat.               Pulveream servamus hinc de corpore glebam               Clarus at ille choro laetatur ad astra relatus.              35               Unde velim, virtute viri puerique puellae               Plangite, corde pio salsos producite fontes,               Ut, quia tristis origo dedit, quod patimur omnes,               Atque una ex antiquo est haec natura priorum,               Una sit et cunctis etiam conpassio mentis!              40               Mesticiae, fletus, lacrimae simul aethera pulsent;               Hinc inde unus in ora fluat fletus monachorum.'               Galathea               'Oro, senem senior tumulo, Corbeia, condas;               Porro minor ego mox tali viduata patrono               Vocibus alternis gemitum pro carmine pangam.              45               Quam dudum generans  felix  felicem mater ab uno               Atque tuo vocitans pridem de nomine faris:               "O formosa ego, tu mihi nunc eris alter in evum."               Quam fundavit ovans manibus ter ille beatus               Plura salutiferis tribuens oracula verbis.              50               Nam quo tunc demon seviebat, iniqua potestas               Et cultus fani totam fedaverat arvam,               Vertit aras, pecudum sacravit ovilia Christi.               Funditus inde procul luci radice recisa,               Sancta locavit ibi monachis caenobia plena.'              55               . . .               23ff. Cf. Venantius Fortunatus, Carm. 9. 2-43. 25. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 3.121.               26. Adalhard's father Bernhard was an uncle of Charlemagne.               27ff. Cf. Venantius Fortunatus, Carm. 9. 2.53-62.               36. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 4- 476.               38-40. The reference is to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. Cf. 10, vv. 1ff.

 





Page 261

              Phyllis               'Who, I ask, would not lament that a man raised above the stars               has been reduced to ashes and buried under such hard marble,               for the fame of his good deeds soars above everyone in the world,               but this scion of emperors has become food for worms?               Alas, what shall we wretches do, condemned as we are to die?               We weep, we groan, but we are powerless to call him back.               He is called, but he is not there. He pays no heed to those who love him.               Our spirits are broken, our innermost feelings are racked by grief,               but he does not listen to his mourners' tears or dirges.               And so we are tormented, heart-rent by anguish,               our minds are filled with lamentation and deaf fate does not hear us.               We strive to save our bodies from being laid in the crumbling earth               but he, translated into the starry heavens, sings in rejoicing.               So I would wish men, boys and girls virtuously to lament,               and to weep waves of salty tears that spring from the heart,               because our sad origin determined that we all should suffer,               and our ancestors' condition has been one and the same from ancient               times, all men should share the same suffering of mind!               May sadness, weeping and sorrow beat upon the heavens,               from both houses let a single lament flow on to the monks' cheeks!'               Galathea               'I beg you to bury the old man in a tomb, Corbie the elder,               and I, much the lesser foundation, deprived of so great a patron,               will immediately sing a lament in antiphonal chorus.               Joyously giving birth to this happy child you her mother               once called her by your very own name saying:               "I am a thing of beauty, and you will be my second self forever."               How happily the thrice-blessed Adalhard founded it on his own initiative,               making many favourable prophecies about its future.               For where the demon in his evil power was raging               and worship at his shrine defiled the entire land,               Adalhard overthrew the altars and consecrated shelters for Christ's flocks.               Then in those graves which were utterly uprooted and destroyed               he established holy monasteries filled with monks.'               . . .               43. Corbie.               46,49. Corvey.               48. Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 5.49.               49. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1.94.               50. Cf. Venantius Fortunatus, Carm. 4.11. 13.

 





Page 262

              39. Angelbert               1. Aurora cum primo mane        tetra noctis dividit,                       Sabbati non illud fuit  sed Saturni dolium.                       De fraterna rupta pace  gaudet demon impius.               2. Bella clamant. Hinc et inde        pugna gravis oritur.                       Frater fratri mortem parat,   nepoti avunculus,                       Filius nec patri suo  exhibet quod meruit.               3. Cedes nulla peior fuit        campo nec in Marcio.                       Fracta est lex christianorum;    sanguinis hic profluit                       Unda manans; inferorum    gaudet gula Cerberi.               4. Dextera prepotens dei        protexit Hlotharium,                       Victor ille manu sua    pugnavitque fortiter.                       Ceteri si sic pugnassent,    mox foret victoria.               5. Ecce olim velut Iudas        salvatorem tradidit,                       Sic te, rex, tuique duces   tradiderunt gladio.                       Esto cautus, ne frauderis    agnus lupo previus.               6. Fontaneto fontem dicunt,        villam quoque rustice,                       Ubi strages et ruina    Francorum de sanguine.                       Orrent campi, orrent silve,    orrent ipsi paludes.               7. Gramen illud ros et ymber        nec humectet pluvia,                       In quo fortes ceciderunt,   prelio doctissimi,                       Pater, mater, soror, frater,   quos amici fleverant.               8. Hoc autem scelus peractum,        quod descripsi ritmice,                       Angelbertus ego vidi    pugnansque cum aliis.                       Solus de multis remansi    prima frontis acie.               9. Ima vallis retrospexi        in collis cacumine,                       Ubi suos inimicos    rex fortis Hlotharius                       Debellabat fugientes    usque foras rivulum.               39. Text: Norberg, Manuel, pp. 166-9; Poetae ii, p. 138; Schaller-Könsgen, 1493. The               rhythmical poem on the battle of Fontenoy of 25 June 841, between the armies of Charles               the Bald and Louis the German in league against that of their elder brother Lothar, was               written by a follower of Lothar's called Angelbert who had participated in the struggle.               On its place in the development of Carolingian rhythmical poetry dealing with contempo              rary events and in the literature of the 840s, see Introduction, pp. 48-50.               1. Dawn, with its symbolism of light, forebodes a deeper darkness. Cf. ss. 12-13.               1.2. Sabbati [dies] in ellipsis; the battle took place on a Saturday. For the figure of hell's               cauldron, see Norberg, Manuel, p. 171. Note the antithesis between the pagan and Christian               names for the days of the week.               2.2-3. On the question of vernacular Germanic affinities here, see Introduction, p. 50.

 





Page 263

              39. The battle of Fontenoy               1. When in the earliest morning dawn cleaved the horrors of night                       that was not the day of the sabbath but the cauldron of Saturn.                       The wicked demon rejoices in the breaking of peace among brothers.               2. The hubbub of war resounds. A terrible battle arises on all sides.                       Brothers prepare death for brothers, uncles for nephews,                       nor do sons do their duty to their fathers.               3. There has been no worse massacre on the field of battle.                       Christian law is violated; blood flows in waves;                       and in hell the maw of Cerberus opens with glee.               4. The hand of almighty God protected Lothar                       who himself put up a valiant struggle.                       Had the rest fought like him swift victory would have been won.               5. But even as Judas once betrayed the Saviour,                       so, Sire, your generals abandoned you in the struggle.                       Be careful lest you be deceived like the lamb before the wolf.               6. Fontenoy is the name the peasants give to the spring and village                       where Frankish blood was shed in slaughter and destruction.                       The fields shudder, the woods shudder, the marshes shudder.               7. May neither dew nor showers nor rain fall on that meadow                       on which mighty men, seasoned warriors, were laid low,                       and wept for by fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, and friends.               8. I, Angelbert, witnessed this crime which I have described                       in rhythmical verse, as I fought with the others.                       I alone survived among the many in the front line.               9. From the height of the hill I looked down into the valley's depths                       where the brave king Lothar was vanquishing his enemies                       who fled to the other side of the brook.               3. campo . . . Marcio: generically, the battlefield.               4.2. victor and manu sua are to be taken together: the poet describes Lothar's personal               valour, although the battle ended in the defeat of his cause.               4.3. foret = fuisset.               6.1. rustice: 'in the vernacular'. Cf. 38, v. 7.               7.1. Cf. II Samuel 1:21. The same expression is used by Paulinus of Aquileia in his               lament on Heiric, duke of Friuli. See Introduction, p. 49.               7.2. Cf. I Maccabees 4:7; 6:30.               8. On the (unusual *) practice of a poet naming himself, see Curtius, pp. 515ff. and P.               Klopsch, MlatJb 4 (1967), PP. 9ff.               9.2. On Lothar's resistance, see Nithard, Historiae 2.10.

 



Page 264

              10. Karoli de parte vero        Hludovici pariter                       Albescunt campi vestimentis    mortuorum lineis,                       Velut solent in autumno     albescere avibus.               11. Laude pugna non est digna,        nec canatur melode.                       Oriens, meridianus,    occidens et aquilo                       Plangant illos qui fuerunt    tali pena mortui.               12. Maledictus ille dies,        nec in anni circulo                       Numeretur, sed radatur     ab omni memoria,                       Iubar solis nec illustrat    aurore crepusculum.               13. Nox et sequens dies illam       noxque dira nimium                       Nox illa, que planctu mixta    et dolore pariter,                       Hic obit et ille gemit    cum in gravi peniuria.               14. O luctum atque lamentum!        Nudati sunt mortui;                       Illorum carnes vultur, corvus,   lupus vorant acriter.                       Orrent, carent sepulturis,     vanum iacet cadaver.               15. Ploratum et ululatum        nec describo amplius.                       Unusquisque quantum potest    restringatque lacrimas.                       Pro illorum animabus    deprecemur dominum.               40. Florus of Lyons               Montes et colles, silvaeque et flumina, fontes,                       Praeruptae rupes pariter vallesque profundae,                       Francorum lugete genus, quod munere Christi                       Imperio celsum iacet ecce in pulvere mersum.               Hunc elementa sibi sumant conpuncta dolorem              5                       Terrarum tractus, maris aequora, sidera caeli,                       Ventorum flatus, pluviarum denique guttae,                       Et doleant homines, hominum quia corda rigescunt.               Omnia concrepitant divinis cincta flagellis,                       Omnia vastantur horrendae cladis erumnis,              10                       Omne bonum pacis odiis laniatur acerbis,                       Omne decus regni furiis fuscatur iniquis.               10.2-3. See Introduction, p. 50.               12ff. Cf. Jeremiah 20:14, Job 3:4-6.               12.1. anni circulo: the expression is Biblical. Cf. Leviticus 25:3.               15.1. Cf. Matthew 2:18; Jeremiah 3:21.               40. Text: MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 559-64. The dissension between the sons of Louis the Pious               in the early 840s, commemorated in the rhythmus on the battle of Fontenoy (39), was               lamented by Florus, the Lyons scholar and pupil of Agobard. Like Alcuin in his great               consolatio on the destruction of Lindisfarne (36), Florus assimilates the events to the Biblical

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 265

              10. On Charles' side and on that of Louis too                       the fields become white with the linen garments of the dead                       as they often grow white with birds in the autumn.               11. The battle does not deserve to be praised or to be the subject                       of fine song. Let every quarter of the globe                       lament for those who died with such suffering.               12. Cursed be that day, may it not be counted                       in the round of the year, but expunged from all memory,                       unlit by the brilliance of the sun or by dawn's morning-light.               13. That night and the following daythe night was especially terrible                       a night mingled with lamentations and suffering,                       when some died and others groaned in dire straits.               14. O grief and lamentation! The dead are stripped naked,                       vultures, crows, and wolves greedily devour their flesh.                       They grow stiff, and their corpses lie there, unburied, helpless.               15. I shall not describe further the weeping and wailing.                       Let each man restrain his tears as much as he is able to.                       Let us implore the Lord on behalf of their souls.               40. Lament on the division of the empire               Mountains and hills, woods and rivers, springs,               sheer cliffs and deep valleys too, mourn               for the race of the Franks, by Christ's grace exalted               to the heights of empire and now brought low in the dust.               Let the elements in sympathy share this grief               the tracts of land, the waters of the seas, the stars in the sky,               the gusts of wind and the rain-drops as well               let men grieve, for the hearts of men become hardened.               God's lash strikes on all sides; all things clash together;               everything is devastated by suffering and terrible disasters,               all the goodness of peace is rent in bitter hatred,               all the fineness of the realm is marred by insensate wickedness. (Footnote continued from previous page)               prophecies of the Last Days and urges resignation and contrition (Introduction, pp. 50-1).               1ff. The language of the opening is Biblical; its connotations prophetic of disaster (cf.               Isaiah 54:10) and of reversal (Isaiah 40:4 echoed in Luke 3:5).               3-4. The contrast between the unity and achievements of the empire (especially) under               Charlemagne is also a central theme of Nithard; cf. Historiae 4.7.               6. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 2.1: 4.222.               7. Cf. Virgil. Aeneid 7.27.               8. For the religious connotations of rigor or duritia cordis, cf. 34, s 12. 1. and note.               9. Cf. Job 19:6. For dissension visualised as divine chastisement see vv. 165ff.

 



Page 266

              Ecclesiae deiectus honos iacet ecce sepultus,                       Iura sacerdotum penitus eversa ruerunt,                       Divinae iam legis amor terrorque recessit,               15                       Et scita iam canonum cunctorum calce teruntur.               Vexantur clarae assiduis conflictibus urbes,                       Basilicae Christi prisco spoliantur honore;                       Martyribus iam nullus honos; altaribus ipsis                       Nemo metum defert; sacris reverentia nulla est.              20               Continuis praedis plebes miseranda laborat,                       Nobilitas discors in mutua funera sevit;                       Sanguine terra madet, fervescunt cuncta rapinis,                       Et rabies scelerum ruptis discurrit habenis.               Flagrat adulterium, periuria nulla timentur,              25                       Funditur innocuus nullo iam vindice sanguis,                       Iam regum legumque metus mortalia liquit,                       Tartareum clausis oculis iamque itur ad ignem.               Quis digne expediat monachorum septa revulsa,                       Sacratas domini famulas laycale subisse              30                       Infami ditione iugum, rectoribus ipsis                       Ecclesiae armorum impositum caedisque periclum?               Praesulibus plebes, viduae doctore cathedrae                       Pluribus et plures iacuerunt funditus annis;                       Principis hoc terror misera tunc clade coegit,              35                       Nunc ad tale malum quosdam atra superbia ducit.               Tristis adhuc veteri tabescit vulnere Narbo,                       Tristia Remorum pariter quoque moenia lugent,                       Egregios doctosque viros miseranda fatigant                       Exilia; improbitas saevo sedem optinet auro.              40               Floruit egregium claro diademate regnum,                       Princeps unus erat, populus quoque subditus unus,                       Lex simul et iudex totas ornaverat urbes,                       Pax cives tenuit, virtus exterruit hostes.               Alma sacerdotum certatim cura vigebat              45                       Conciliis crebris populis pia iura ministrans;                       Hinc sacris cleris, hinc plebibus eximiisque                       Principibus late resonabat sermo salutis.               Discebant iuvenes divina volumina passim,                       Littereas artes puerorum corda bibebant,              50                       Crimina tetra vigil crebro censura fugabat:                       Hos timor, hos et amor ad foedera iusta vocabat.               13-20. The decline of ecclesiastical authority and the decay of clerical privilege are               recurrent subjects in Florus' writings; cf. his defence of the church of Lyons against Moduin               of Autun (MGH, Poetae ii, pp. 555-9 (no. xxvii)).               16. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 5.324.               23. Cf. ibid. 12.691.               29. Cf. ibid. 12. 500, 503.

 



Page 267

              The honour of the church is now cast down and buried,               the rights due to priests are wholly upturned and overthrown,               love and fear of God's law have disappeared,               and all that has been determined by canon is trodden underfoot,               famous cities are harassed by conflict upon conflict,               the basilicas of Christ are despoiled of their former splendour,               no respect is paid to the martyrs; at the very altars               no one stands in dread; there is no respect for sacred things.               The commoners suffer pitiably from constant pillage,               the nobility, at logger-heads, barbarously murder one another;               the earth drips with blood, plundering runs riot everywhere,               and mad criminality goes rampant and unchecked.               Adultery is flagrant, there is no fear of breaking oaths,               innocent blood is shed with no one to avenge it,               for mortals have abandoned their fear of kings and of laws,               and make their way, eyes closed, to hell-fire.               Who could do justice to the tales of monasteries torn apart,               and nuns dedicated to the Lord forced by infamous oppression               to become laywomen, or the very rulers of the church               under duress of arms and in danger of being slaughtered?               The people are without bishops, no professors occupy their chairs,               and the more years that pass, the more of them are laid low;               once oppressive princes, wreaking terrible slaughter, forced this upon us,               now it is black pride which brings people to such an evil pass.               Bartholomew of Narbonne still languishes sadly at his old wound,               the walls of Reims grieve dismally too,               pitiable exile wears down excellent scholars;               in wickedness men vie for place with ruthless gold.               The excellent realm, its diadem sparkling, once prospered;               there was a single prince and one people as his subjects,               both laws and judges did credit to every city,               our citizens lived in peace, our might frightened the enemy away.               Priests performed their holy charges with energy, often counselling               the people and ministering to them with piety and justice:               far and wide, high and low, the word of salvation resounded               on the ears of the clergy, the people and the noble princes.               Everywhere young men learned the holy writings               and boys absorbed at heart the discipline of literature,               horrible crimes were often warded off by vigilance and judgement:               some were impelled by fear, others by love to observe justice.               37-8. Bartholomew, archbishop of Narbonne, who together with Ebbo, archbishop of               Reims, was deprived of his see in 835. See J. Devisse, Hincmar, Archevêque de Reims, 845-882               i (Paris, 1976), pp. 84ff.               42. For the ideal of imperial unity appealed to in these lines, see R. Faulhaber, Die               Reichseinheitsidee in der Literatur der Karolingerzeit bis zum Vertrag von Verdun (Berlin, 1931),               p. 91.

 





Page 268

              Quin etiam externas fidel coniungere gentes                       Cura erat et domitis inponere frena salutis.                       Hinc pagana manus iuga religionis inibat,              55                       Hinc heresis surgens pedibus substrata gemebat.               Claruit hinc nimium toto gens Francica mundo,                       Famaque virtutum fines penetravit ad imos;                       Legatos hinc inde suos procul extera regna,                       Barbara, Graeca simul Latium misere tribunal.              60               Huic etenim cessit etiam gens Romula genti,                       Regnorumque simul mater Roma inclyta cessit;                       Huius ibi princeps regni diademata sumpsit                       Munere apostolico, Christi munimine fretus.               O fortunatum, nosset sua si bona, regnum,              65                       Cuius Roma arx est et caeli claviger auctor,                       Tutor et aeternus caelorum in saecula rector,                       Qui terrestre valet in caelum tollere regnum.               At nunc tantus apex, tanto de culmine lapsus,                       Florea ceu quondam capiti deiecta corona,              70                       Quam varius texit redolenti gramine fulgor,                       Cunctorum teritur pedibus diademate nudus.               Perdidit imperii pariter nomenque decusque,                       Et regnum unitum concidit sorte triformi,                       Induperator ibi prorsus Jam nemo putatur,              75                       Pro rege est regulus, pro regno fragmina regni.               Consiliis crebris quaeruntur furta nocendi,                       Conventu assiduo populantur iura salutis.                       Cassatur generale bonum, sua quisque tuetur;                       Omnia sunt curae, deus est oblivio solus.              80               Pastores domini soliti concurrere in unum                       Discidio rerum synodalia nulla frequentant,                       Contio iam populi nulla est, ius omne recessit;                       Frustra huc legatus, aula est ubi surda, recurrat.               Quid faciant populi, quos ingens alluit Hister,              85                       Quos Renus Rhodanusque rigant Ligerusve Padusve;                       Quos omnes dudum tenuit concordia nexos                       Foedere nunc rupto divortia mesta fatigant.               Saepe malum hoc nobis caelestia signa canebant,                       Cum totiens ignitae acies seu luce pavendae              90                       Per medias noctis dirum fulsere tenebras,                       Partibus et variis micuerunt igne sinistro.               53-5. The allusion here is to the Norsemen. Cf. Ermoldus, In Laudem Hludowici Pii  4,               287ff.               62. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 6.781.               63ff. Charlemagne's imperial coronation in 800 took place in Rome.               65. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 2.458               66. Cf. 24, vv. 24ff. with note. caeli claviger = St. Peter.               69ff. This rhetorical description of the decline and disunity of the Carolingian empire               reflects a political reality. The attempted settlements of the succession to Louis the Pious

(Footnote continued on next page)

 



Page 269

              Efforts were made to convert foreign peoples               and to control them, when subdued, with the reins of salvation.               Here bands of pagans bent to the yoke of salvation,               there heresy, when it arose, was trodden groaning underfoot.               And so the Frankish race became celebrated throughout the world,               and the fame of its achievements reached the ends of the earth,               foreign kingdoms everywhere sent their emissaries from afar,               both barbarians and Greeks, to the Latin tribunal.               Even the race of Romulus yielded before this people               and Rome, fine mother of kingdoms, gave place;               there the prince of this realm was crowned               by the gift of the pope, relying on Christ's protection.               O happy would that kingdom have been, had it known its good fortune,               with Rome as its capital and, as its guardian, the keeper of heaven's keys;               its immortal protector was the timeless ruler of the skies,               who can raise kingdoms on earth into the heavens.               But now that pinnacle of power, fallen from its great heights,               like a garland of flowers cast down from the head,               once splendid with the different scents of sweet-smelling herbs,               is trodden underfoot by all, stripped of its crown.               It has lost both the name and the distinction of empire,               and the united kingdom has fallen to three lots,               for there is no one at all who is recognised as emperor, a petty king               supplants a monarch, the fragments of a kingdom replace a realm.               Councils meet frequently to decide upon theft and aggression,               salvation's laws are destroyed in bustling assemblies,               the common good comes to naught, each man looks to his own,               private concerns are everything, only God is forgotten.               The Lord's pastors, accustomed to meet together,               attend no synods in the general dissension,               there is no assembly of the people, all laws disappear; it would be               useless for ambassadors to hurry back to where the court is deaf.               What will be done by the people near whom the mighty Danube flows,               whom the Rhine, Rhône, Loire and Po wash?               Once upon a time they were bound together in harmony,               now they are troubled by sad divisions and broken treaties.               Signs from heaven often foretold this evil to us,               when battle-lines of fire, with terrifying light, so often               gleamed menacingly through the midnight darkness,               shining in different quarters with their ill-omened flames, (Footnote continued from previous page)               had resulted, by the early 840s, in an effective division of the empire into the respective               spheres of influence of Lothar, Louis the German and Charles the Bald'the rule of the               three brothers' to which v. 74 refers.               70. Cf. Ovid, Ars Amatoria 1.582.               72. Cf. ibid. 1. 491.               81. Cf. Prudentius, Contra Symmachum 2. 777.               84. An allusion to the negotiations preceding the treaty of Verdun? Cf. v. 101 and note.

              92. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 1.90.

 



Page 270

              Cum mediante die populis ieiunia festa                       Devotasque preces per templa agitantibus alma,                       Sol nitidum tristi texit ferrugine vultum              95                       Ac stellas radiare polo miro omine fecit.               Quod monstrum scimus bellum ferale secutum,                       Quo se christicolae ferro periere nefando                       Et consanguineus rupit pia foedera mucro                       Atque ferae volucresque simul pia membra vorarunt,              100               Cum diri caelo totiens arsere cometae                       Humano cladem generi excidiumque minantes,                       Inter quos unus flammanti crine coruscus                       Mense fere toto truculento lumine fulsit.               Quem regionum atrox vastatio, motio regum              105                       Et rabies belli et regni scissura secuta                       Continuis miserum quatiunt terroribus orbem.                       Quis finis quaeve ira dei mala tanta sequatur,               Quae iam vix aliquis pavitanti corde volutat,                       Vix recolit, vix inde dolens suspiria fundit.               110                       Gaudetur fessi saeva inter vulnera regni                       Et pacem vocitant, nulla est ubi gratia pacis.               Stat paries subitam minitans validamque ruinam,                       Iamdudum inclynus, scissuris undique plenus,                       Inliniturque luto fluido citiusque casuro,              115                       Mixtura hic paleae nulla est, membra omnia nutant.               Iam vatis sancti metuendum cernimus Amos                       Compleri in nobis deflendo ex ordine visum:                       Iam dominus murum linquit, deponere trullam                       Iam parat et nullam iratus vult ferre lituram.              120               Iamque etiam uncinum pomorum conspicit ille,                       Quo tota evulsis nudetur fructibus arbor.                       Iam remanet quercus foliorum tegmine nuda,                       Iam domini egregius flaccet sine fontibus ortus.               En sitis atque fames, cecinit quam praescius idem,              125                       Iuditio domini terris inmissa perurget,                       Caelestis verbi desunt iam pabula et imbres:                       Hoc Oriens Boreasque, malum hoc maria undique clamant.               95. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 1.467.               96. Cf. Nithard, Historiae 2.10.               97ff. The battle of Fontenoy of 841. Cf. 39 and Prudentius, Psychomachia 565.               101. Cf. Virgil, Georgic 1.488, and Nithard, Historiae 3. 5, who records that the comet               burned throughout December 841 and January and February 842. January would appear               to be the month (v. 104) which Florus' account shares with Nithard's and the Annals of               Fulda: early 842 is thus a terminus post quem for this poem.               102. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid 12.760.               106. Cf. ibid. 8.327.

 



Page 271

              while at midday, as the people were observing the season of fasts               and praying devoutly in the blessed churches,               the sun covered its shining face in a dismal gloom,               and made the stars gleam from heaven as a wondrous portent.               We know that this terrible apparition was followed by a savage war               in which Christian peoples wickedly attacked one another with swords,               and the bonds of duty were severed by kinsmen's blades,               both wild beasts and birds devouring their goodly limbs,               when terrible comets burned so often in the sky,               forboding disaster and destruction for mankind.               One of them, shining brightly with a tail of flame,               gleamed for almost an entire month with its grim light.               The cruel devastation of provinces, the overthrow of kings               followed, the frenzy of war and the tearing apart of the kingdom               came next, shaking the miserable world with uninterrupted terror.               Such an ending, such wrath of God may ensue from these great evils               that they can scarcely be contemplated in one's trembling heart,               recalling them with difficulty, sighing in grief for it all.               There is rejoicing as cruel wounds are inflicted on the exhausted realm               and peace they call it, where there are none of the blessings of peace,               The wall stands threatening a sudden, mighty collapse,               long leaning to one side, with gaping holes everywhere,               smeared with wet mud which soon will fall;               in it is no mixture of straw, all its parts shake.               Now we see the terrible vision of holy Amos               wreaked upon us in this lamentable manner;               for the Lord leaves the wall, preparing to put down His plumbline,               and in His anger refuses to bring any mortar.               Now indeed Amos catches sight of an apple-hook               designed to strip the entire tree of its fruit.               The oak stands uncovered and unsheltered by its leaves,               deprived of spring-water, the Lord's fine garden withers away.               The hunger and thirst about which that same prophet sang               are sent by divine judgement to scourge the earth,               and the nourishment and rain of Heaven's word are missing.               On all sides, both north and east, the seas cry out at this evil.               109. cf. ibid. 6. 185.               113ff. The image is taken from Ezekiel 13:10ff. Cf. too Arator, De Actibus Apostolorum 2.               701. In the following lines Biblical prophecies of divine wrath are applied to the civil               disunity of the Carolingian empire.               117ff. The allusion is to the prophecy of Amos at Amos 7:7.               121. Cf. ibid. 8:1.               122. Cf. Ovid, Metamorphoses 13.690.               125. Cf. Amos 8:11-12.

 





Page 272

              Vocem euangelicam divino ex ore tonantem                       Quis non iam videat doleatque instare piorum?              130                       Filius en hominis veniens ex arce polorum                       Invenietne, putas, fidel vestigia terris?               Cordibus humanis latebrosa foramina vulpes                       Inmundae et caeli nidos fecere volucres,                       Fraus haec atque tumor diri late obtinet hostis,               135                       Nec locus est Christo, quo vel caput ille reclinet.               Haec inter gemat et fidat grex ille pusillus,                       Gui pater aeterni conservat gaudia regni,                       Deducatque oculis lacrimas noctuque dieque                       Ac precibus vitae pulsans ad limina perstet.              140               Exposcat veros inhianti pectore panes                       Tres, euangelici memorat quos pagina verbi,                       Vera fides confessa deum per saecula trinum:                       His fruitur dapibus, his fidum pascit amicum.               Non lapidem sumat, si panem postulet umquam,              145                       Nec pro pisce caput virosi senciet hydri,                       Nec pro ovo fallax inludet scorpius olli,                       Fronte velut mitis, sed caudae vulnere saevus.               Nam plus ille pater, qui fons bonitatis habetur,                       Ut sol sponte micat seu fons uberrime manat,              150                       Utque ultro placidus rorat de nubibus ymber,                       Sic bona cuncta suis prono dat numine natis,               Qui tamen hunc vera fidei pietate requirunt,                       Qui quod spe sitiunt puro amplectuntur amore,                       Qui bona sive mala fluitantis temnere mundi              160                       Norunt instantique deum virtute secuntur.               O domine omnipotens, da nobis mente videre                       Tot mala, tot clades et tot lacrimanda pericla,                       Da gemere et toto fac nos ea corde dolere,                       Assiduisque tuum precibus deposcere numen.              165               Qui regis Israel, cui non dormitat in aevum                       Omnia conspiciens oculus, qui lege perenni                       Erigis elysos, elidis et ipse superbos,                       Supplicibus veniam, tumidis properando ruinam,               Tu nos, sancte pater, hic verbere caede paterno,              170                       Tu virga baculoque tuo nos corripe, firma;                       Omne malum mundi fiat purgatio nostri,                       Qui te semper amant, omni discrimine crescant,               Quatinus erepti pelagi de fluctibus atris                       Teque gubernante iam portum pacis adepti              185                       Carpamus dulcem tristi de semine frugem                       Perpetuaque tuos recinamus laude triumphos!               133-6. Cf. Luke 9:58.               137-8. Cf. Luke 12:32. Florus now turns to the Biblical teaching of hope.               140. Cf. Luke 13:25.               145ff. Cf. ibid. 11:11.

 



Page 273

              What good man cannot see and grieve that the voice               of the prophet thunders upon us in the words of God?               Will the Son of Man, coming from the heights of Heaven,               find, do you think, any trace of faith on earth?               In human hearts foxes have built their dark lairs               and the foul birds of the air have made their nests;               the devil's deceit and pride hold universal sway,               there is no place on which Christ may rest His head.               In these circumstances may that little flock groan but have trust,               the Father reserved for it the joys of the eternal kingdom.               Let tears spring forth from its eyes both night and day,               and may it keep knocking with its prayers at the door of life.               Let it ask with yearning heart for the three breads of truth               mentioned in the teaching of the Gospel book.               True faith bears witness to threefold God throughout the centuries.               It feeds upon these foods, with them it nurtures its faithful friends.               He would not receive a stone, if ever he asks for bread,               nor instead of a fish shall he feel the poisonous serpent's head,               nor shall the deceitful scorpion, in place of an egg, delude him,               seeming gentle in appearance but wounding savagely with its tail.               For as the sun shines of its own accord or the spring flows abundantly,               as the gentle rain drops spontaneously from the clouds,               so that kindly Father who is considered the fount of goodness               with divine favour grants all good things to His children               those, that is, who seek Him out with true piety and faith,               those who embrace in pure love what they thirst for in hope,               and those who know to despise the good and the evil               of this changing world and to follow God with unflinching virtue.               Almighty Lord, grant that we may understand with our minds               so many evils, so many massacres, and so many pitiable dangers,               grant that we may groan and grieve for them with all our hearts               and entreat Your divine power with constant prayers.               You who govern Israel, whose all-seeing eye               never sleeps, who by Your eternal judgement               raise up the humble and lay low the proud,               forgive the suppliant, bring swift ruin upon the arrogant,               beat us, holy father, with paternal blows,               chastise and strengthen us with Your rod and staff,               let all the evil in the world serve to cleanse us.               May those who always love You increase with every hardship,               so that, saved from the black waves of the sea,               winning through to the port of peace by Your guidance,               we may pluck sweet fruit grown from this dismal seed,               and sing again in perpetual praise of Your triumphs!               161. 4. Cf. Psalm 120:4.               163. Ibid. 144:14, Luke 1:52.               165ff. Cf. 10, vv. 93ff.               169ff. For the metaphor see Introduction, p. 51.

 



Page 274

              41. Dhuoda               Deus, summe lucis conditor, poll                       Siderumque auctor, rex aeterne, agius,               Hoc a me coeptum tu perfice clemens!                       Quanquam ignara, ad te perquiro sensum,               Vt tua capax placita perquiram,              5                       Praesens et futurum tempus curram aptum.               Omnia per cuncta trinus et unus,                       Tuis per saecula prospera largiris.               Digna dignis semper meritis ad singula                       Tribuis celsam tibi famulantes.              10               Ad te, ut ualeo, poplito flexu                       Gratias refero conditori largas.               De tua mihi, obsecro, largiri                       Opem ad dextram subleuans axem               Illic namque credo tuis sine fine              15                       Manere posse quiesci in regno.               Licet sim indigna, fragilis et exul,                       Limo reuoluta trahens ad imma,               Est tamen michi consors amica                       Fidaque de tuis relaxandi crimina.              20               Centrum qui poli contines girum                       Pontum et arua concludis palmo,               Tibi commendo filium Wilhelmum:                       Prosperum largiri iubeas in cunctis!               Oris atque semper currat momentis;              25                       Te super omnem diligat factorem.               Filiis cum tuis mereatur felici                       Concito gradu scandere culmen.               In te suus semper uigilet sensus                       Pandens: per saecula uiuat feliciter;              30               Lesus nunquam ille incidat in iram                       Neque separatus oberret a tuis.               Iubilet iocundus cursu felici,                       Pergat cum uirtute fulgens ad supra;               Omnia semper ate abta petat.              35                       Qui das sine fastu, dona illi sensum,               41.. Text: MGH, Poetae iv, p. 765; P. Riché, Dhuoda. Manuel pour mon fils. Sources chrétiennes               225 (Paris, 1975), pp. 72-9; Schaller-Könsgen, 3572. The poem that opens the Liber               Manualis, a handbook of religious and moral instruction which Dhuoda, wife of duke               Bernhard of Septimania, addressed to her elder son William in 843 (when he was aged               16), is the only work in this book that can be ascribed with certainty to a woman. On its               character and place among Carolingian rhythmical verse see Introduction, p. 53.               1ff. The acrostic reads DHUODA DILECTO FILIO WILHELMO SALUTEM LEGE.               The invocatory opening is hymnodic in character. Cf. Schaller-Könsgen, 3540, 3548, 3565,               3567. On the form see Norberg, Introduction, p. 147, note 3.               4. ad = a.

 



Page 275

              41. To God and my son               God, supreme creator of light, maker               of the stars in heaven, eternal king, holy one,               complete in Your mercy this work begun by me!               Ignorant though I am, from You I seek understanding,               to be capable of fulfilling Your will,               and to liv