Am I coming to terms with a stand-alone masterpiece of spiritual writing, or just trying to translate Hebrew poetry out of Latin into English?
“Cum invocarem” (Psalm 4)
- In finem, in carminibus. Psalmus David.
- Cum invocarem exaudivit me Deus justitiae meae, in tribulatione dilatasti mihi. Miserere mei, et exaudi orationem meam.
- Filii hominum, usquequo gravi corde? Ut quid diligitis vanitatem, et quaeritis mendacium?
- Et scitote quoniam mirificavit Dominus sanctum suum; Dominus exaudiet me cum clamavero ad eum.
- Irascimini, et nolite peccare; quae dicitis in cordibus vestris, in cubilibus vestris compungimini.
- Sacrificate sacrificium justitiae, et sperate in Domino. Multi dicunt: Quis ostendit nobis bona?
- Signatum est super nos lumen vultus tui, Domine: dedisti laetitiam in corde meo.
- A fructu frumenti, vini, et olei sui, multiplicati sunt.
- In pace in idipsum dormiam, et requiescam;
- quoniam tu, Domine, singulariter in spe constituisti me.
Unto the end, in songs. A Psalm of David
When I cried He heard me, the God of my justice, in tribulation You have enlarged me. Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
O sons of men, how long with heavy heart, so that what you love is vanity, and what you seek is a lie?
And know that the Lord makes wonderful His holy one; the Lord will hear me when I cry to Him.
Be angry, and sin not; what you say in your hearts, on your beds repent.
Sacrifice a sacrifice of justice, and hope in the Lord. Many say: Who shows us good things?
It is signed over us, the light of Your face, O Lord: You have given joy in my heart.
From their fruit of grain, wine, and oil, they have been multiplied.
In peace upon the self-same thing I will sleep, and I will rest;
for You, O Lord, singularly have established me in hope.
Sure, I could give up and unify the 2nd person/3rd person discrepancy in the second verse. As written, you could play interesting games with the vocative.
I tried a different approach to Ut quid. Normally it’s rendered with Ut as the question (“How,” twisted to mean “How long?”) and then the rest lines up neatly: quid is the direct object of the two verbs, and vanity and mendacity are predicates of that direct object. Mine takes the Greek/Latin grammar more straightforwardly and slips the punctuation–a good old result clause.
in idipsum. This is one of those super-fancy phrases that St. Augustine turns into an entire theology of divine attributes and super-abundant existence. I think a boringly mundane translation would just be that I lie down to sleep on the self-same thing–that is, the fructus-harvest of the previous verse. Go read St. Augustine’s commentary on Psalms for the cooler version.