Prepare the altar with glad full plenty Auspicat. Victoria Caesari. Inger ingentes pateras minister
Prepare the altar with glad full plenty,
cup-bearer let Bacchus' wine bubble,
strew roses, here is an ode for the feast,
joy's song,

Inger ingentes pateras, minister,
Et rosa undantem Bromium corona,
His dapes festas simul apparato
Non sine cantu.

Here is a fountain of mead*, greenery
among branches of oaks and ilex;
bring the lyre and lute into the
kind shade.

Affer argutam citharam chelymque
Huc, ubi ad fontis caput Hydroelli
Quercus atque ilex foliata densa
Procubat umbra.

Caesar walks in triumph; the trumpets sound
victory; the exultant shout echoes
hymns of triumph heard across
the known world.

Caesaris jam jam video triumphum,
Jam tubas audire licet sonantes,
Jamque io et voces resonare ovantium
Littus ad Istri.

Bloody armed men redden the river's waves
from such struggles, from the sea's center
the shapeless remains of dead bodies
wash ashore.

Qui, coloratis violenter undis
Sanguine involvit galeas virosque,
Ac liquens divae in gremium marinae
Corpora versat.

The daring Spaniard, intrepid Belgian,
the Italian with a Roman honor
and ancient faith in his heart have tested
the enemy.

Barbarus sensit quid Iberus audax
Quidque jam possit metuendus hasta
Belga, quid testata patrum vigorem
Itala pubes.

Here the rebel German humbly begs for
pardon and the Landgrave now defeated,
captured, repents having undertaken
this war.

En petit supplex veniam rebellis
Teutonus, jam langravium inchoati,
Poenitet belli, solida revinctum
Colla catena;
Since such was the Gods' will, the altars
are plundered, our sacred temples destroyed,
many statues wholly reduced to
these ashes.

Ille (name Dî sic voluere laesi)
Quod sacras auro spoliavit aras,
Templa dejecit, simulacra divis,
Ignibus arsit,

The avenging thunder of kings is heard;
vainly, senselessly, this army brandished
their swords with savage hands against
the Gods.

Sensit ultorem scelerum tonantem,
Ac sui oblitus, rationis expers
In Deos vana temerarius vi
Arma paravit.

The new Casar drew his armies from afar,
he consecrated himself to a cause,
pitiless, his armies boasted they knew
no fear.

Militem nullo procul aere duxit
Caesarem huic se se fore polliceri
Dum coruscantis Jovis arma jactat
Nulla timere,

No one thought how sharp Jove's knives cut
blasphemers; they forgot humbled countries
of Gods, the silent landscapes of
the dead.

Nescius quantum pater ille Divûm
Fulminet telo horribili prophanos,
Aetera attollens humiles, superbos
Trudat ad arcum.

Those who scorn the laws and the old religion,
who violate the oaths of their fathers,
Caesar will suppress or crush, you will see
them mocked.

Ergo quid lex relligiove spreta,
Sanctio aut possit temerata patrum,
Quid fides fraudata, quid ira justa
Caesaris, ipse

And all the while I pour the nectar of
Bacchus and desire only to wed
a song to the lyre in praise of

Videris; tuto at mihi nunc licebit
Bromium siccare merum, meique
Caesaris laudes resonare plectro ut
Cumque loquaci.


Chiapetti 3:351-353; Amaduzzi 17-18. Previous translation (into Italian) by Amaduzzi, 19-20. The poem and Amaduzzi's Italian translation are also printed in Chimenti, pp. 49-53. For Key see A Note on the Italian texts


*Idroele the Lake Idro. Both Amaduzzi and Chiapetti state that the poem was written to celebrate Charles V's victory on 25 April 1547 at Mühlberg. Gambara was 62 when she composed this paean to power.

The full story is told by Chimenti, pp. 49-53. In 1530 after the Congress of Cologna Charles V assembled the Diet of German princes to discuss religious questions. The Protestants presented a document drawn up by Melancthon which argued for a new basis in beliefs; Charles V responded by rigidly exiling everyone who protested according to the Edict of Worms. The Protestant princes formed the League of Smalcalda (1531); they allied themselves with Francois I, but suffered a bad defeat at Mhuhlberg where the emperor's forces took prisoner a number of the leaders, including the Landgrave of Assia and the Elector of Sassonia.

Secrete Selve Reverende, Secret Sacred Woods
Contact Ellen Moody.
Pagemaster: Jim Moody.
Page Last Updated: 29 July 2003