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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

At the sources of the Jordan River (1)

[2: 34]

Gemino fonte e verde speco ombroso
Vide; se pur son ivi il fonte e l'urna
E non corre più tosto altronde ascoso
Per via secreta al sole, atra e notturna.
Non v'era il tempio che sorgea famoso
Ove i marmi vincean bianchezza eburna:
Perch'ogni opra mortal tardi o per tempo
Cede a le nostre ingiurie o cede al tempo.

He [the same character as before, i.e. a Muslim prince called Saladin - not "that" Saladin, of course] saw a twin source and a green shady cave, provided those are the [true] source and urn and it [the Jordan] doesn't rather run elsewhere, hidden in a bed secret to the sun, dark and nocturnal. There wasn't the temple, the one that once rose so famous, where the marbles outdid ivory in whiteness: because any mortal work, sooner or later, yields to our injuries or to Time.

To be continued . . .