Laus Matrimonii ex Horatio (Felices ter) (Johann Walter)
- Editor: Stuart McIntosh (submitted 2000-11-28). Score information: A4, 4 pages, 100 kB Copyright: CPDL
- Edition notes: Sibelius file is zipped.
Title: Laus Matrimonii ex Horatio (Felices ter)
Composer: Johann Walter
Original text and translations
Felices ter et amplius,
quos irrupta tenet copula
nec malis divulsus querimoniis
Suprema citius solvet amor die.
Translation supplied by Paul Pascal, Professor Emeritus of Classics, University of Washington
Thrice happy, and more, are those
Whom an unbreakable union holds,
Nor will love, undisrupted by vicious quarrels,
End sooner than their final day.
Johann Walter chose for musical setting the four final lines of one of the less familiar Odes (I.13) of the Roman lyric poet Horace. The subject of the preceding sixteen lines of the poem is a detailed description of the turbulent love affair of Lydia, who is infatuated with an abusive and brutal lover named Telephus. This infuriates the jealous poet, who concludes that those lovers are much happier who stay together permanently. Marriage is not explicitly mentioned in this conclusion of the poem, and naming the excerpt "In Praise of Matrimony" may well be regarded as something of a distortion.