Duncan Smith

  • IN THE HEART OF THE TINMAN: AN ESSAY ON JOHN CHAMBERLAIN

    . . . las plantas leves

    de tres sueltos zagales

    la distancia sincopan tan iguales,

    que la atención confunden judiciosa.

    De la Peneida virgen desdeñosa,

    los dulces fugitivos miembros bellos

    en la corteza no abrazó, reciente,

    más firme Apolo, más estrechamente,

    que de una y otra meta gloriosa

    las duras basas abrazaron ellos

    con triplicado nudo.

    —————————

    ( . . . with light-footed ease

    Three mountain shepherds ran,

    Abridging in such equal time the span

    As baffled those who watched most warily.

    Apollo clasped not with such urgency

    Peneus’ scornful maid, whom

  • A FVNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORVM (IN THE NAME OF LOVE)

    IN BOOK BOOK IV, Chapter II, of St. Augustine’s The City of God (ca. 412 A.D.) the famous church father ridicules the many pagan gods by naming only “one god” to rule the ether, air, sea, and earth, as opposed to Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, and Pluto, along with the copious other deities affixed to whatever entities. Furthermore, he says, that “one god” should also “open the infant’s mouth when the baby wails, and be called the god Vaticanus” (my emphasis). The Latin dictionary yields Cicero’s words, “sed ego fortasse vaticinor”—“but perhaps I rave.”

    The Vaticanus, the hill on the west side of the