Est Amor

I composed this personal piece in 2007 for the wedding of my friend, Szabolcs Brickner. The performance is by my mother Julia Pászthy and me. The piece has three sections and it is based on excerpts on the 14th century poem by the English poet, John Gower.


3. Est amor

Carmen quod Iohannes Gower super amoris multiplici varietate sub compendio metrice composuit.
3. Love Is

A song that John Gower composed in a few verses about the many different types of love.






Est amor in glosa pax bellica, lis pietosa,
Accio famosa, vaga sors, vis imperiosa,
Pugna quietosa, victoria perniciosa,
Regula viscosa, scola devia, lex capitosa,
Cura molestosa, gravis ars, virtus viciosa,
Gloria dampnosa, flens risus et ira iocosa,
Musa dolorosa, mors leta, febris preciosa,
Esca venenosa, fel dulce, fames animosa,
Vitis acetosa, sitis ebria, mens furiosa,
Flamma pruinosa, nox clara, dies tenebrosa,
Res dedignosa, socialis et ambiciosa,
Garrula, verbosa, secreta, silens, studiosa,
Fabula formosa, sapiencia prestigiosa,
Causa ruinosa, rota versa, quies operosa,
Urticata rosa, spes stulta fidesque dolosa.

Magnus in exiguis variatus ut est tibi clamor,
   Fixus in ambiguis motibus errat amor.
Instruat audita tibi leccio sic repetita;
   Mors amor et vita participantur ita.

Lex docet auctorum quod iter carnale bonorum
Tucius est, quorum sunt federa coniugiorum,
Fragrat ut ortorum rosa plus quam germen agrorum,
Ordo maritorum caput est et finis amorum.
Hec est nuptorum carnis quasi regula morum,
Que saluandorum sacratur in orbe virorum.
Hinc vetus annorum Gower, sub spe meritorum
Ordine sponsorum tutus adhibo thorum.
In the glossaries love is a warlike peace, a loving litigation,
Infamous lawsuit, wavering fate, unforceful force,
A peaceful fight, a ruinous victory,
A rule besmirched, an erroneous school, an irregular law,
A troublesome cure, a grievous art, a vicious virtue,
A damnable glory, a weeping laughter and a merry anger,
A sorrowful muse, a joyful death, a precious fever,
Poisoned food, sweet gall, life-giving hunger,
Sour grapevine, drunken thirst, furious mind,
A frosty flame, a bright night, a shadowy day,
A scornful condition, collegial and ambitious,
Prattling, wordy, secretive, silent, zealous,
A beautiful fiction, a juggling wisdom,
Cause catastrophic, revolving wheel, laborious rest,
A stinging rose, a foolish hope and a faith that lies.

Just as a great public outcry can be divided into small words,
   So love wanders in ambiguous movements but on a fixed course.
Thus a lecture heard repeatedly may instruct you:
   In this manner death, love, and life have their shares.

The law of the authorities teaches that the fleshly journey of good men
Is safer, when they have covenants of matrimony;
As the rose of the garden smells more fragrant than a bud of the fields,
The condition of the wedded is the beginning and the end of love.
For those married in the flesh this is like their rule of morality
Which makes it sacred in the world for those who are to be saved.
Thus I, Gower, old in years, in hope of favor,
Safely approach the marriage bed in the order of husbands.