Care venis subito, subito quoque, care, recedis:
audio, non video, video tamen intus et intus
amplector fugientem et corpore, non pietate.
certus enim ut fueram, semper eroque foveri
corde tuo me, corde meo te. nec mihi tempus
suadeat ullum aliud, tibi nec persuadeat ullum.
visere si poteris, sat erit, si videro gratum.
sin alias, rescribe aliquid, tua tristia novi
atque dolens recolo. dolor est possessio mundi,
quaeque serena putas, magis haec in nubila tristes
et tenebras fugiunt; volucri qui pendet in orbe,
nunc scandit, nunc descendit, rota sic trahit orbem.
(Walahfrid Strabo, Ad Liutgerum Clericum)
TO THE CLERIC LIUDGER
My dear, you come suddenly, and suddenly too you leave;
I hear, I do not see. Yet I do see inwardly, and inwardly
I embrace you even as you flee from me – in body but not in faithfulness.
For just as I have been sure, so am I now, and so will I always be
That I am cherished in your heart, and you in mine. May passing time
Never persuade me or you of anything else.
If you can visit me, it will be enough to see my dear one.
But at other times, write me, write me anything; I have known your sorrows
And reflect on them with grief; grief is the world’s province.
The things you consider bright and happy flee all the faster into clouds
And sad shadows. Like a bird that hovers above the world,
Now climbing, now falling, so is the wheel of the world in its turning.