Unanimes Esse Qui Secula
JOHN GOWER, THE MINOR LATIN WORKS: NOTESABBREVIATIONS: CA: Gower, Confessio Amantis; CB: Gower, Cinkante Ballades; Cronica: Gower, Cronica Tripertita; CT: Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales; CVP: Gower, Carmen super multiplici viciorum pestilencia; IPP: Gower, In Praise of Peace; Mac: Macaulay edition; MO: Gower, Mirour de l'Omme; TC: Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde; Thynne: William Thynne, printer, The Works of Geffray Chaucer (1532) [prints IPP from Tr]; Traitié: Gower, Traitié pour essampler les amantz marietz; VC: Gower, Vox Clamantis.
All biblical citations are to the Vulgate text, and, unless otherwise noted, all biblical translations are from the Douai-Rheims. For a list of manuscript abbreviations, please see Manuscripts in the Introduction.
12. UNANIMES ESSE QUI SECULA: NOTESThe marginal Latin glosses, identified by a capital L in the left margin next to the text, are transcribed and translated in the notes and can be accessed by clicking on the L at the corresponding line.
Unanimes esse qui secula: Also probably datable ca. 1402, although on slim evidence. In the manuscripts it occurs between Presul and Orate pro anima, a poem likely very late, perhaps ca. 1408, when Gower died. If "heri" in line 7 can be taken as a reference to Richard II's reign, and at roughly face value, it may denote a date of composition not long after Henry IV took power. The structure is unisonant hexameter couplets exhibiting five disyllabic rhymes, with the final line an elegiac distich.
The text here is based on C, read against H, G, and E.
1-2 Unanimes . . . amor superesse. The opening echoes Boethius: compare De cons. 3.met.9 and 2.met.8.
6 errorem quasi pestis. Gower often depicts heresy as plague; see Presul, note to line 1.
12. Unanimes esse qui secula
Unanimes esse qui secula duxit ad esse
Nos iubet expresse, quia debet amor superesse;
Lex cum iure datur, pax gaudet, plebs gratulatur,
Regnum firmatur, ubi verus amor dominatur.
Sicut yemps florem, divisio quassat amorem,
Nutrit et errorem quasi pestis, agitque dolorem.
Quod precessit heri docet ista pericla timeri,
Ut discant veri sapientes secla mederi.
Filius ipse Dei, manet in quo spes requiei,
Ex meritis fidei dirigat acta rei.
12. To Be of One Mind He Who the Ages
To be of one mind He who the ages brought into being
Orders us expressly, because Love should be supreme;
Law and rights are observed, peace rejoices, the people are happy,
The kingdom is strong, where true Love rules.
As winter destroys the flower, so division destroys love,
And like the plague fosters error and brings on grief.
What happened yesterday teaches that such dangers are to be feared,
So that men of true wisdom can learn to heal the times.
May the Son of God himself, in whom rests our hope of repose,
From the merits of faith give direction to deeds and events.
Let us love each other.
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