Sunday, 10 April 2016

'Latin Lines on a Former Friendship' (Nov 1802)

I appreciate these sorts of posts are pretty dull; but I've got a few to log, here, for my own benefit (if not for anyone else's). So: Mays includes this poem as number 328; but, once again, it's not a Coleridge composition. It is from the Libri Epistolarum (1735) of Manuel Martí (1663–1737), Spanish archeologist, humanist, poet and Hellenist.

This reveals the name that Coleridge omitted from the beginning of that first line: 'Mignana' (an Italian surname, though I haven't been able to unearth the identity of the original person here). The Latin Coleridge quotes means: '[Mignana], my one-time steadfast comrade/Our delight, charming, pleasant/Whose silent absence, for all these sad years,/I have endured on the unwritten page/If a tiny spark of the old love still endures/still living amongst these ashes/Then I am not entirely dead myself!' The poem is from this collection:

And this is what Marti looked like:

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