Iam, Dulcis Amica
This poem is translated from the eleventh-century Latin Cambridge Songs.
Copyright © Thor Ewing 2002

Now, my sweet beloved,  come to me,
Since you are as dear as my heart to me,
Come inside my little apartment
Which I have decked out with ornament.

Everywhere there are scattered cushions
And the room is festooned with curtains,
Flowers too through the room I’ve scattered
And many herbs which are sweetly scented.

Laid out there upon the table
Is every manner of eatable;
There is fine wine there in plenty
And everything, dear, that you might fancy.

There is the sweet sound of harmony
And the whistle’s shrill melody;
A boy and girl are there, who skillfully
Shall sing songs for you beautifully.

He plucks the lute-string with a plectron,
She strikes the lyre in unison;
And servants shall wait on you with possets
Of spiced wine in brimming goblets.

Such a banquet does not bring me pleasure
Like the sweet talk that comes after
Nor lavish overabundances
Like loving familiarities.

Come then, now, my chosen sister
Who I love more than any other,
Who is to my eyes the bright daylight
Who is the best part of my spirit

I have been alone in the forest
and loved the places that were remotest;
I have often fled from the bustle
And from the sight of crowds of people.

Now the snows and ice are thawing,
The green leaves and the herbs are growing;
The nightingale is loudly singing
In the heart’s chamber, love is burning

My dearest do not longer tarry;
Now it is love that we must study!
Without you, I’m barely living;
Now is the time for acts of loving.

What is the use, love, in delaying
The thing that we must soon be doing?
Do what has to be done,  this moment;
For me there can be no postponement.

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