Carl Orff: Ecce Gratum (“Behold, the Pleasant”)

Giambattista Tiepolo. Saint Cicilia.

“Behold, the Pleasant”

“They glory
and rejoice
in honeyed sweetness
who strive
to make use of
Cupid’s prize;
at Venus’ command…”

ECCE GRATUM

Ecce gratum
et optatum
ver reducit gaudia,
purpuratum
floret pratum,
Sol serenat omnia.
Iam am cedant tristia!
Estas redit,
nunc recedit
Hyemis sevitia.

Iam liquescit
et decrescit
grando, nix et cetera,
bruma fugit,
et iam sugit
Ver estatis ubera;
illi mens est misera,
qui nec vivit,
nec lascivit
sub Estatis dextera.

Gloriantur
te letantur
in melle dulcedinis,
qui conantur,
ut utantur
premio Cupidinis:
simus jussu Cypridis
gloriantes
et letantes
pares esse Paridis.

Behold, the pleasant
and longed-for
spring brings back joyfulness,
violet flowers
fill the meadows,
the sun brightens everything,
sadness is now at an end!
Summer returns,
now withdraw
the rigours of winter.
Ah!

Now melts
and disappears
ice, snow and the rest,
winter flees,
and now spring sucks
at summer’s breast:
a wretched soul is he
who does not live
or lust
under summer’s rule.
Ah!

They glory
and rejoice
in honeyed sweetness
who strive
to make use of
Cupid’s prize;
at Venus’ command
let us glory
and rejoice
in being Paris’ equals.
Ah!

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