Saturday, February 9, 2013


Water III

the river Pesa as it flows below Le Ripe

       In the valley the Pesa flows past Le Ripe, creating a natural boundary and the actual boundary of our property. Some of the river-border is inaccessible thanks to tall banks and thickets, but some runs alongside two meadows. Of these two meadows, one was used for fodder and an orchard, the other for summer corn. We call them, rather unimaginatively, the first meadow and the second meadow. The old names were il campo di sotto (the field below) and il campo della raia (the field of the raia - meaning uncertain). The first meadow has easy access to the river although we have yet to 'lounge with friends in the soft grass' (see below) down there...
 Lucretius also describes the beauty of nature 
on the banks or "ripe" of rivers

           "...ergo corpoream ad naturam pauca videmus               
esse opus omnino: quae demant cumque dolorem,
delicias quoque uti multas substernere possint
gratius inter dum, neque natura ipsa requirit,
si non aurea sunt iuvenum simulacra per aedes
lampadas igniferas manibus retinentia dextris,             

lumina nocturnis epulis ut suppeditentur,
nec domus argento fulget auroque renidet
nec citharae reboant laqueata aurataque templa,
cum tamen inter se prostrati in gramine molli
propter aquae rivum sub ramis arboris altae             

non magnis opibus iucunde corpora curant,
praesertim cum tempestas adridet et anni
tempora conspergunt viridantis floribus herbas."

Therefore we see that our corporeal life
Needs little, altogether, and only such
As takes the pain away, and can besides
Strew underneath some number of delights.
More grateful 'tis at times (for Nature craves
No artifice nor luxury), if forsooth
There be no golden images of boys
Along the halls, with right hands holding out
The lamps ablaze, the lights for evening feasts,
And if the house doth glitter not with gold
Nor gleam with silver, and to the lyre resound
No fretted and gilded ceilings overhead,
Yet still to lounge with friends in the soft grass
Beside a river of water, underneath
A big tree's boughs, and merrily to refresh
Our frames, with no vast outlay- most of all
If the weather is laughing and the times of the year
Besprinkle the green of the grass around with flowers.

Lucretius De Rerum Natura   Book II  verses 20-33
trans. William Ellery Leonard 

river bank by our first meadow with violets

flowers besprinkling the green of the grass

...content by De Rerum Natura

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