Italian and Latin — closer than you might think!

This curious piece of poetry, attributed to Butturini di Salò, demonstrates the affinity that still exists between Classical Latin and modern Italian. The poem reads perfectly well, both in Latin and Italian, with very much the same sense.

Te saluto, alma Dea, Dea generosa,
O gloria nostra, o veneta regina!
In procelloso turbine funesto
Tu regnasti serena; mille membra
Intrepida prostrasti in pugna acerba;
Per te miser non fui, per te non gemo,
Vivo in pace per te. Regna, o beata!
Regna in prospera sorte, in pompa augusta,
In perpetuo splendore, in aurea sede!
Tu serena, tu placida, tu pia,
Tu benigna, me salva, ama, conserva!

Here is another poem that shares the same curious feature, now in a medieval style:

Salve Regina! Te saluto, o pia,
nostra tutela in tenebrosa via,
in sinistra terrifica procella
benigna stella.

Quando te non saluto, o nostra vita,
gemo in amaritudine infinita;
in tranquilla quiete, te invocata,
vivo, o beata.

Saluto te, Regina gloriosa,
arca divina, intemerata rosa;
te, bella oliva, Iris serena, pura,
nivea figura.

Quando miser vacillo in vento infido,
Regina generosa, in te confido;
in te confido in fausta, in dura sorte,
in vita, in morte.

Finally, two shorter examples:

* * *

In mare irato, in subita procella,
Invoco te, nostra benigna Stella.

* * *

Vivo in acerba pena, in mesto orrore,
Quando te non imploro, in te non spero,
Purissima Maria, et in sincero
Te non adoro et in divino ardore.

The texts are taken mostly from New Englander, Jan. 1843.

See also:
Latin quotes and phrases
Latin derivatives

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