18 November 2012

Sunday Evening: Fortuna, Imperatrix Mundi

Fortune, Ruler of the World

From Carmina Burana, By Carl Orff, Germany, 1936

The Wheel of Fortune:
I shall reign, I reign, I have reigned, I am without a realm

English translation of the Latin lyrics

O Fortune,
like the moon
you are changeable,
ever waxing and waning;
a despised life
first oppresses
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
poverty and power
it melts them like ice.

Fate – monstrous and empty,
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vanity
and always fades to nothing,
shadowed and veiled
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my naked self
to your villainy.

Fate is against me
in health
and virtue,
driven on
and weighted down,
always enslaved.
So at this hour
without delay
pluck the vibrating strings;
since Fate
strikes down the mighty,
everyone mourn with me!