This is part two of my experiment looking at two different Middle English poets translating a brief seasonal description from Guido of Colonna’s thirteenth-century Latin prose account of the history of the destruction of Troy: ‘the month of May was adorning the fields of the country with various flowers, and the trees, growing green with new leaves, were giving promise of fruits to come by the profusion of their blossoms…’ (trans. Meek). Part one explored John Clerk’s version in the Gest Hystoriale of the Destruction of Troy. Scroll down to find John Lydgate’s version (with a Modern English translation) of the same description of May in his Troy Book.
This week’s selection at least manages to be topical: some descriptions of May and Spring (for more lovely descriptions, see the Clerk of Oxford’s post). This is a little test-post for an idea I had about looking at various verse translations of the same source text in order to focus on poetic praxis. Guido of Colonna’s thirteenth-century Latin prose account of the history of the destruction of Troy was translated several times into Middle English poetry: into alliterative verse by John Clerk of Whalley (now called the Gest Hystoriale of the Destruction of Troy), into four-stress couplets (now called the Laud Troy Book), and into decasyllabic couplets by John Lydgate in his Troy Book.