Pamela Dellal, mezzo soprano

 

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Miscellaneous Translations

Cantata Misericordium

Benjamin Britten
(1913-1976)

text by Patrick Wilkinson

Tenor, Baritone
CHORUS
Beati misericordes.
Beati qui dolore corporis afilictis succurrunt. Audite vocem Romani:

TENOR
'Deus est mortali iuvare mortalem'.

CHORUS
Audite vocem Iudaei:

BARYTONUS
'Proximum tuum, sicut te ipsum, ama'.

TENOR   ET  BARYTONUS
At proximus meus quis est?

CHORUS
Iesu parabola iam nobis fiat fabula.
CHORUS
Blessed are the merciful.
Blessed are those who succour the afflicted in body. Hear the voice of a Roman:

TENOR
'For man to love man is God'.

CHORUS
Hear the voice of a Jew:

BARITONE
'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself'.

TENOR  AND  BARITONE
But who is my neighbour?

CHORUS
Let us enact now a parable of Jesus.

CHORUS
En viator qui descendit ab Jerusalem in Jericho.

VIATOR (Barytonus)
Ah quam longa est haec via, quam per deserta loca. Terret me solitudo, terret omnis rupes, omne arbustum. lnsidias timeo. Heus, asine, propera, propera.

CHORUS
Cave, viator, cave! Latent istis in umbris latrones. lam prodeunt, iam circumstant. Cave, viator, cave!

VIATOR
Qui estis homines? Cur me sic intuemini? Atat! Plaga! Atatae! Pugnis, fustibus vapulo. lam spolior, nudor. Quo fugit asinus? Eheu relinquor humi prostratus, semivivus, solus, inops.

CHORUS
Ubi nunc latrones isti? Quam cito ex oculis elapsi sunt. Solitudo ubique, solitudo et silentium. Quis huic succurret in tanta vastitate?

CHORUS
Behold a traveller going down from Jerusalem to Jericho.

TRAVELLER (Baritone)
Ah how long this way is, how desolate the country! I am afraid of the solitude, of every rock, of every shrub. I fear an ambush. Hey, donkey, hurry, hurry.

CHORUS
Beware, traveller, beware! Robbers are lurking in those shadows. Now they are coming forward, now they are surrounding you. Beware, traveller, beware!

TRAVELLER
What  men are you? Why  do you look at me like that? Oh,  a blow! Oh! Oh! Fists and cudgels! Robbed and stripped!  Where  has my  donkey  gone?  Alas,  I  am  left prostrate on the ground, half dead, alone, helpless.

CHORUS
Where have those robbers gone? How quickly they have vanished.  Solitude  everywhere, solitude  and  silence. Who will help this man in such a wilderness?

Passage of time: Orchestra

CHORUS
Bono nunc animo es, viator. Nam tibi appropinquat iter faciens qui habitu est sacerdos. Is certe sublevabit. Compella eum.

VIATOR
Subveni, ah subveni: ne patere me mori.

CHORUS
Dure sacerdos, quid oculos avertis? Quid procul praeteris? Ut praeterit, ut abit ex oculis homo sacerrimus.

CHORUS
Be of good cheer, traveller: there is someone approaching along the road who by his dress is a priest. Surely he will rescue you. Hail him.

TRAVELLER
Help, oh help me: do not let me die.

CHORUS
Hard-hearted priest, why do you look away, why do you pass by on the other side? See, he is passing by, he is vanishing from sight, the accursed holy man!

Passage of time: Orchestra

CHORUS
En alter  in conspectum  venit.
Tolle rursus, abiecte, animos.
Qui accedit est Levita. Is certe sublevabit.

VIATOR
Fer opem, fer opem atrociter mihi vulnerato.

CHORUS
O ferrea  hominum  corda!  Hic quoque conspexit iacentem, praeteriit, acceleravit gradum. Timetne cadaveris ne tactu polluatur?  I nunc, sacrosancte Levita, cordis tuae praescriptiones inhumanas observa.

CHORUS
Look,  another is coming in sight. Raise your spirits, outcast, again. The man who is coming is a Levite. He surely will rescue you.

TRAVELLER
Give me aid, give me aid; I am terribly wounded.

CHORUS
Oh the hard hearts of men! This one too saw him lying there, passed by and hastened his pace. Is he afraid of being polluted by touching a corpse? Go on, sacrosanct Levite, observe the inhuman prescriptions of your heart.

Passage of time: Orchestra

CHORUS
Ecce, tertius apparet – sed languescit spes auxilii: nam propior  videtur esse contemptus  Samaritanus.  Quid interest Samaritani  Iudaei negotia suscipere molesta?

VIATOR
Miserere mei, hospes, affiicti.

SAMARITANUS  (Tenor)
Ah, di boni! Quid audio? Quid ante pedes iam video? Iacet  hie nescioquis immania passus. Age, primum haec vulnera adligem. Ubi mihi vinum?  Ubi oleum? Sursum,  iam sursum  imponam  te in tergum iumenti mei.

CHORUS
Vincit, ecce, vincit  tandem  misericordia. Hic  pedes ipse comitatur eum in deversorium.

CHORUS
See now, a third is appearing – but hope of relief is fading: for from near he is seen to be only a despised Samaritan. What interest has a Samaritan in raking up the troublesome affairs of a Jew?

TRAVELLER
Pity me, stranger, pity me: I am suffering.

SAMARITAN  (Tenor)
Ah, good gods! What do I hear? What do I see before my feet? Here lies someone who has been horribly treated. Come, first let me bind up these wounds. Where is my wine, my oil? Up, now I will lift you up on to the back of my beast.

CHORUS
Triumph! Mercy is triumphing at last. This man is accompanying him to an inn himself on foot.

SAMARITANUS
Ohe, caupo, siquid audis: aperi portam. Viatorem adfero  a  latronibus  spoliatum.  Aperi,  quaeso  .  . . Benigne.

Para nobis cenam, caupo , para cubiculum, amabo. Mihi eras abeundum erit. Cura hunc dum convalescat. Dabo tibi duos denarios.

VIATOR
lam rursus revivesco. lam spes in animum redit. Optime hospitum, quis es? Unde es gentium? Salvus quomodo  tibi gratias referam dignas?

SAMARITANUS
Quis sim, unde sim gentium, parce quaerere.
Dormi nunc, amice, dormi: iniuriarum obliviscere.

SAMARITAN
Ho, innkeeper, do you hear? Open the door. I have with me a traveller who has been stripped by robbers. Open, please ... Thank you.

Prepare  us  supper,  inkeeper,  and  a  room, please. Tomorrow I shall have to go on. Look after this man till he gets better. I will give you two denarii.

TRAVELLER
I am coming back to life again. Hope is reviving in me. Best of strangers, who are you? From what people do you come? I am saved, and how can I thank you worthily?

SAMARITAN
Who I am,and what my people, ask no more. Sleep now, my friend, sleep: forget your injuries.

CHORUS
Mitis huius adiutoris qui servavit saucium
Proximumque sibi duxit hospitem incognitum,
O si similes existant ubicumque gentium! Morbus gliscit, Mars incedit, fames late superat;
Sed mortales, alter quando alterum sic sublevat,
E dolore procreata caritas consociat.

TENOR  ET  BARYTONUS
Quis sit proximus tuus iam scis.

CHORUS
Vade et tu fac similiter.

CHORUS
O that men like this gentle helper, who saved a wounded man and treated as his neighbour an unknown stranger, may be found all over the world.
Disease is spreading, war is stalking, famine reigns far and wide.
But when one mortal relieves another like this, charity springing from pain unites them.

TENOR  AND  BARITONE
Who your neighbour is, now you know.

CHORUS
Go and do likewise.