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Desiderium Amoris [66]


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Desiderium Amoris.translation
L. Iustin. Idem.
AMor desiderijs nutritur, desideria autem ab a-
more tanquam calor ab igne prodeūt. & sunt
veluti ignita iacula quæ cor amantis in amatum
sagittat, quare absque magnâ remunerationis
mercede esse non poterit quisquis sancto deside-
riorum ardore accensus extiterit. parum quippe
operatur, quamuis multa agat, qui non amplius
agit affectu quam actu. non meruit secreta scire
cælestia, Propheta Daniel, quia ieiunauit, sed quia
concupiuit, dicente Angelo, ego autem veni vt in-
dicarem tibi, quia vir desideriorum es. & quis po-
test verbis propalare sanctorum desideria? soli ex-
perti norunt amantium affectus, quam sæpe desi-
derio patiuntur, dilaniantur, vruntur, occumbunt.
quod si liceret, non segnius sustinerent actu, quam
desiderijs concupiscant. immensa est Amoris vis,
& nullo abbreuiata fine, quæ sicut nutritur de se,
ita dilatatur in se, non alieno indiget adminiculo,
sibi ipsi sufficit, dum virtutem suam exercere
valet. translation

Domine, ante te omne desiderium meum, et
gemitus meus a te non est absconditus. Ps. 34.1

Le Ciel escoute et voit mes voeux
Allez donc mes souspirs aux cyeux.

Desir de l'Amour.
Que ne peut elle pas ceste flame diuine,
Qui au fond de mon cœur, au sein de ma poictrine,
Sans la pouuoir cacher, s'y est ouuert le iour?
Combien est il heureux, celuy qui la desire,
Et mourant comme moy, en son ardeur expire,
Essayant ce que peut l'embrassement d'Amour.

Artificio es del amor
Que en el cielo los suspiros
Hagan effeto de tiros.

Den Hemel siet mijn soete minn'.
Vliech op mijn hert/ en treckt daer in.

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Facsimile Images

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Desire of love.
Love is nourished by desires; now desires result from love like heat from fire, and they are as it were ignited arrows, that the heart of the lover shoots towards the beloved. This is why it will be impossible for anybody to become inflamed by the sacred heat of desire if the costs are not compensated by a great reward.2 For he who operates less out of passion than out of action3 indeed achieves very little, although he acts a lot. The prophet Daniel did not deserve to remain ignorant of the secrets of heaven because he fasted, but because he desired, for the angel said "now I have come to show to you, because you are a man of desires".4 And who can make fully known in words the desires of the saints? Only those who have experienced these feelings know those of lovers; how often through desire they suffer, are tortured, burnt, die. If they could, they would be as quick to hold their own through action, as they are now prone to lust through their desires. The power of love is immense and is not stopped short by any bound; just as it feeds of itself, so it expands in itself; it does not need another's support, it is self-sufficient, so long it can exercise its power.
Lord, all my desire is set before You, and my groaning is not hidden from You.5

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    Sources and parallels

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    The soul opens her dress for an arrow leaving her heart; sacred love points at her and at three arrows that are flying upwards

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    Not Ps. 34, but 37(38):10.
    'This is why ... by a great reward': the meaning of the Latin is quite obscure, and the translation is given exempli gratia.
    'less out of passion than out of action': the somewhat punning use of actus and effectus in the Latin ('what one does' and 'what is done to one' respectively) is based on the idea that lovers operate a lot of things, but in fact they are mainly operated on, manipulated, viz., by love, and the beloved.
    'a man of desires', 'vir desideriorum': the standard translation of 'desideriorum', 'much loved', would not make much sense in this context. 'Man of desires' is a literal translation of the Hebrew original, meaning "a much beloved man", which is the translation found in vernacular versions of the Bible. E.g.: "I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved" (KJV).
    'Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee' KJV (in KJV Ps. 38:9).