Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chapter One, Stanza One: Walter Arendt's Literal Translation (1972)

"My uncle of most honest principles,
When in good earnest he fell ill,
Compelled [others] to respect him,
And could not have contrived [a] better [way].
His example [is] a lesson to others;
But, oh my goodness, what a bore
With a sick man to sit both day and night,
Not going [off] even a step away!
What low cunning
To amuse one half alive,
Adjust the pillows for him,
Sadly bring up to him his medicine,
To sigh and think in private:
Come, when will the Devil take you?"