Timothy Adès : Poet and Translator

You are here: Poetry TranslationsOther › Gerard Manley Hopkins: Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889): Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend

Translated by Timothy Adès

Justus quidem tu es, Domine, si disputem tecum; verumtamen justa loquar ad te: Quare via impiorum prosperatur? &c.

Thou art indeed just, Lord, if I contend
With thee; but, sir, so what I plead is just.
Why do sinners’ ways prosper? and why must
Disappointment all I endeavour end?
Wert thou my enemy, O thou my friend,
How wouldst thou worse, I wonder, than thou dost
Defeat, thwart me? Oh, the sots and thralls of lust
Do in spare hours more thrive than I that spend,
Sir, life upon thy cause. See, banks and brakes
Now, leavèd how thick! lacèd they are again
With fretty chervil, look, and fresh wind shakes
Them; birds build — but not I build; no, but strain,
Time’s eunuch, and not breed one work that wakes.
Mine, O thou lord of life, send my roots rain.

iustus es, Omnipotens, si per discrimina tecum
   contendam; tamen haec altera iusta loquar.
cur est pravorum via prospera? Cur ego fallor
   omnibus inceptis, spesque caduca perit?
num peius, sit u meus hostis, amice, fuisses,
   laederer? Et tantas ferre necesse moras?
florent, quos agitat vacua et vinosa libid;
   sed mea languescit dedita vita tibi.
en ubi praetexta scsndice et murride serta
   frondibus et densis ripa rubusque virent,
egelidusque movet Zephyrus, texuntque volucres;
   texit avis, sed mi deest avis instar opus:
nitor ego sterilis. radicibus implue, vitae
   tu domine, ut mea sit denique viva seges.

Latin verse translation © Timothy Adès
Published in the Balliol Record.

Content: copyright © Timothy Adès 2010–2020; all rights reserved

Website designed and hosted by Lab 99 Web Design