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Dulcedo Amoris [80]


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Dulcedo Amoris.translation
Alu. Paz. Idem. August.
BEnignissimus Dominus qui totum hominem
diligit, & non solum animæ, potioris partis
nostræ, verum & corporis rationē habet; in mensâ
contēplationis vtrique cibū, quo reficiatur, appo-
nit. animæ parat lucē intelligentiæ, feruorē Amo-
ris & spirituales delicias: corpori vero ac sensibus
eius ineffabilē suauitatē, quæ & magna & pura,
& efficax & generalis est. Magna, que omnes alias
corporeas voluptates ex rebus sensibilibus exor-
tas, admodū superat. pura, quæ nihil habet, quod
spurcitias & vilitates carnis perituræ & impuri
corporis sapiat. efficax, quæ ipsum corpus aliquā-
do ita roborat & cōfortat, vt dura & difficilia, &
supra omnē imbecillitatē humanā ardua sustineat.
generalis, quæ totum corpus peruadit, & viuifico
quodam ac purissimo calore complet, & sensus
omnes quasi conuenientissimis & proprijs obie-
ctis afficit. Hæc est illa vberū suauitas, hæc est illa
Amoris dulcedo, quæ S. Stephano lapides torren-
tis dulcorauit: quæ craticulā S. Laurentio dulcē fe-
cit: quæ ipsos Apostolorum Principes sic repleuit,
vt pro ipsa Crucis patibulum vnus eligeret, alter
quoque ferienti gladio caput supponere non ti-
meret. pro hac emendâ, Bartholomæus propriam
pellē dedit: pro hâc quoque gustandâ, veneni po-
culum intrepidus Ioannes potauit. Quam magna
multitudo dulcedinis tuæ, Domine, quam abscon-
disti, timentibus te! omnes igitur gustate & vide-
te, quoniam suauis est Dominus.translation

Meliora sunt vbera tua vino. Cant. 2. translation

Que sunt amour vos deux mamelles? Sources de douceurs eternelles.

Douceur de l'Amour.
Silençe icy mon cœur, silençe foible plume,
Il ne faut pas qu' icy, tāt soit peu, tu presume,
Ton vers est begue icy, muet est ton discour,
Laissés dire à l'Amour, laissés parler l'Amante,
Car aussy bien celuy qui ne l'experimante,
Ne peut, ne vaut, ne sçait, ce quicy fait l'Amour.

Este amor cria con sangre
Y porque haga prouecho
La derrama por el pecho.

Hy vyndt/ die aen dees borsten weydt/
Hier rust/ en naemaels salicheyt.

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Sweetness of love.
The Lord, who loves man in his entirety, is most benign, and He does not only take account of the soul, our better part, but also of the body. On the table of contemplation He places food for both for refreshment. For the soul He prepares the light of understanding, the fervour of love, and spiritual delights, but for the body and its senses unspeakable sweetness, that is large and pure, and effective and general; large: it wholly surpasses all other bodily delights derived from things belonging to the world of the senses; pure: it has nothing that may taste of the squalor and vileness of the flesh, destined to perish, and of the impure body; effective: at times it so strengthens and comforts the body itself, so that it can endure hard and difficult situations and adversities far too much for human weakness; general: it pervades the whole body and fills it with a kind of live-giving heat and a heat most pure, and it affects all the senses with as it were the most fitting and proper objects. This is that attraction of charms1 we all know of, this is that sweetness of love that dulcified the hail of stones for St. Stephanus,2 that sweetened the gridiron for St. Laurentius,3 that filled the princes of the apostles4 so much that for the very sake of this love one chose the yoke of the cross, the other did not fear to present his head to the blow of the sword. To purchase this love St. Bartholomeus gave his own skin.5 To taste this love John drank a cup of poison without fear.6 How great, Lord, is the multitude of Your sweetness, which You have hidden, for those who fear You! Therefore taste, all of you, and see, for the Lord is sweet.
Your charms are better than wine.7

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    Sources and parallels

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    References, across this site, to this page:

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    Christ is feeding the soul who is kneeling with her face against his chest

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    'attraction of charms', 'vberum suauitas', cf. Cant. 1:1; Cant. 1:3, 'laetabimur in te memores uberum tuorum'. Literally 'ubera' means 'riches', 'lavishness'.
    'S. Stephano lapides torrentis dulcorauit': St. Stephanus, "the first martyr", was stoned to death, Act. 7:58.
    'gridiron': St Laurentius was roasted alive.
    'the princes of the apostles': St Peter was crucified, as the legend has it, upside down. This happened at his own request because he thought himself unworthy of dying in the same way as Jesus; St Paul was decapitated, because, as he was a Roman citizen, execution by means of crucifixion was not allowed by Roman law.
    'St Bartholomeus gave his own skin': St Bartholomew was flayed alive, in Armenia. He is one of the patron saints of the Armenian Church.
    'John drank a cup of poison without fear', NOTE EDITORS: the (allegedly) medicinal herb St. John's Wort (Dutch: St. Janskruid) blooms on the day of St. John the Baptist. It is not clear (yet) to what event, legendary or historical, this allusion refers, nor to which John (so 'St.' is absent). The Baptist was, of course, beheaded at Salome's request.
    'Your charms are better than wine': the vernacular translations have (the equivalents of) 'love' for 'ubera'. The quotation is from Cant. 1:2, not Cant. 2.