Translating Psalms to Understand Medieval Writers (1)

I had a thought sometime in the last year that it was time for me to memorize the Psalms.   Given all my other constraints, that’s a bit unlikely.  But consider this my virtual Benedictine practice, or a necessary literary foundation, or both.

“Beatus vir” (Psalm 1)

  1. Beatus vir qui non abiit in consilio impiorum, et in via peccatorum non stetit, et in cathedra pestilentiae non sedit;
  2. sed in lege Domini voluntas ejus, et in lege ejus meditabitur die ac nocte.
  3. Et erit tamquam lignum quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarum, quod fructum suum dabit in tempore suo: et folium ejus non defluet; et omnia quaecumque faciet prosperabuntur.
  4. Non sic impii, non sic; sed tamquam pulvis quem projicit ventus a facie terrae.
  5. Ideo non resurgent impii in judicio, neque peccatores in concilio justorum,
  6. quoniam novit Dominus viam justorum; et iter impiorum peribit.

Blessed the man who has not gone astray in the counsel of the wicked, and in the way of sinners stood not, and in the chair of pestilence sat not;

but in the law of the Lord is his will, and in His law shall he meditate day and night.

And he will be like a branch which is planted beside a course of waters, which will give its fruit in its time: and its leaf will not wither; and all things whatsoever shall he do shall prosper.

Not so the wicked, not so; but like dust which the wind blasts from the face of the earth.

Therefore they shall not rise, the wicked, on the judgment, nor sinners in the counsel of the just,

for the Lord knows the way of the just; and the path of the wicked shall perish.


*Those quods are actually pretty interesting if you take them as “because.”

If I could paint: a stream of blood and water flowing from and alongside the wood of the Cross.  The third verse is His triumph.


4 thoughts on “Translating Psalms to Understand Medieval Writers (1)

  1. Dear Rob, you say it’s “time for me to memorize the Psalms.” Are you really going to memorise them all, or did you mean to type “translate” rather than “memorise”? Either way I’m impressed and enjoying the fruit of your labours. 🙂


    1. I did mean memorize, although that is almost certainly best left to my younger self. Translating them all, while a commitment, won’t be nearly so bad. I’ve got the first 15 queued up already…who knows, perhaps I can even keep myself disciplined enough to finish before the end of Easter!


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