Mansus

Joannes Baptista Mansus Marchio Villensis vir ingenii laude, tum literarum studio, nec non & bellicâ virtute apud Italos clarus in primis est. Ad quem Torquati Tassi dialogus extat de Amicitiâ scriptus; erat enim Tassi amicissimus; ab quo etiam inter Campaniæ principes celebratur, in illo poemate cui titulus Gerusalemme conquistata, lib. 20.

Fra cavalier magnanimi, è cortesi
Risplende il Manso —

Is authoruem Neapoli commorantem summâ benevolentiâ prosecutus est, multaque ei detulit humanitatus officia. Ad hunc itaque hospes ille antequam ab eâ urbe discederet, ut ne ingratum se ostenderet, hoc carmen misit.


Hæc quoque Manse tuæ meditantur carmina laudi
Pierides, tibi Manse choro notissime Phœbi,
Quandoquidem ille alium haud æquo est dignatus honore
Post Galli cineres, & Mecænatis Hetrusci.
Tu quoque si nostræ tantùm valet aura Camoenæ, [ 5 ]
Victrices hederas inter, laurosque sedebis.
Te pridem magno felix concordia Tasso
Junxit, & æternis inscripsit nomina chartis.
Mox tibi dulciloquum non inscia Musa Marinum
Tradidit, ille tuum dici se gaudet alumnum, [ 10 ]
Dum canit Assyrios divûm prolixus amores;
Mollis & Ausonias stupesecit carmine nymphas.
Ille itidem moriens tibi solis debita vates
Ossa tibi soli, supremaque vota reliquit.
Nec manes pietas tua chara fefellit amici, [ 15 ]
Vidimus arridentem operoso ex ære poetam,
Nec fatis hoc visum est in utrumque, & nec pia cessant
Officia in tumulo, cupis integros rapere Orco,
Quà potes, atque avidas Parcarum eludere leges:
Amborum genus, & variâ sub sorte peractam [ 20 ]
Describis vitam, moresque, & dona Minervæ;
Æmulus illius Mycalen qui natus ad altam
Rettulit Æolii vitam facundus Homeri.
Erg ego te Cliûs & magni nomine Phœbi
Manse pater, jubeo longum salvere per ævum [ 25 ]
Miffus Hyperboreo juvenis peregrinus ab axe.
Nec tu longinquam bonus aspernabere Musam,
Quæ nuper gelidâ vix enutrita sub Arcto
Imprudens Italas ausa est volitare per urbes.
Nos etiam in nostro modulantes flumine cygnos [ 30 ]
Credimus obscuras noctis sensisse per umbras,
Quà Thamesis latè puris argenteus urnis
Oceani glaucos perfundit gurgite crines.
Quin & in has quondam pervenit Tityrus oras.
Sed neque nos genus incultum, nec inutile Phœbo, [ 35 ]
Quà plaga septeno mundi sulcata Trione
Brumalem patitur longâ sub nocte Boöten.
Nos etiam colimus Phœbum, nos munera Phœbo
Flaventes spicas, & lutea mala canistris,
Halantemque crocum (perhibet nisi vana vetustas) [ 40 ]
Misimus, & lectas Druidum de gente choreas.
(Gens Gruides antiqua sacris operata deorum
Heroum laudes imitandaque gesta canebant)
Hinc quoties festo cingunt altaria cantu
Delo in herbosâ Graiæ de more puellæ [ 45 ]
Carminibus lætis memorant Corineïda Loxo,
Fatidicamque Upin, cum flavicomâ Hecaërge
Nuda Caledonio variatas pectora fuco.
Fortunate senex, ergo quacunque per orbem
Torquati decus, & nomen celebrabitur ingens, [ 50 ]
Claraque perpetui succrescet fama Marini,
Tu quoque in ora frequens venies plausumque virorum
Et parili carpes iter immortale volatu.
Dicetur tum sponte tuos habitasse penates
Cynthius, & famulas venisse ad limina Musas: [ 55 ]
At non sponte domum tamen idem, & regis adivit
Rura Pheretiadæ cælo fugitivus Apollo;
Ille licet magnum Alciden susceperat hospes;
Tantùm ubi clamosos placuit vitare bubulcos,
Nobile mansueti cessit Chironis in antrum [ 60 ]
Irriguos inter saltus frondosaque tecta
Peneium prope rivum: ibi sæpe sub ilice nigrâ
Ad citharæ strepitum blandâ prece victus amici
Exilii duros lenibat voe labores.
Tum neque ripa suo, barathro nec fixa sub imo, [ 65 ]
Saxa stetere loco, nutat Trachinia rupes,
Nec sentit solitas, immania pondera, silvas,
Emotæque suis properant de collibus orni,
Mulcenturque novo maculosi carmine lynces.
Diis dilecte senex, te Jupiter æquus oportet [ 70 ]
Nascentem, & miti lustrarit lumine Phœbus,
Atlantisque nepos; neque enim nisi charus ab ortu
Diis superis poterit magno favisse poetæ.
Hinc longæva tibi lento sub flore senectus
Vernat, & Æsonios lucratur vivida fusos, [ 75 ]
Nondum deciduos servans tibi frontis honores,
Ingeniumque vigens, & adultum mentis acumen.
O mihi si mea sors talem concedat amicum
Phœbæos decorâsse viros qui tam bene norit,
Si quando indigenas revocabo in carmina reges, [ 80 ]
Arturumque etiam sub terris bella moventem;
Aut dicam invictæ sociali fœdere mensæ,
Magnanimos Heroas, & (O modo spiritus ad sit)
Frangam Saxonicas Britonum sub Marte phalanges.
Tandem ubi non tacitæ permensus tempora vitæ, [ 85 ]
Annorumque satur cineri sua jura relinquam,
Ille mihi lecto madids astaret ocellis,
Astanti sat erit si dicam sim tibi curæ;
Ille meos artus liventi morte solutos
Curaret parvâ componi molliter urnâ. [ 90 ]
Forsitan & nostros ducat d marmore vultus,
Nectens aut Paphiâ myrti aut Parnasside lauri
Fronde comas, at ego securâ pace quiescam.
Tum quoque, si qua sides, si præmia certa bonorum,
Ipse ego cælicolûm semotus in æthera divûm, [ 95 ]
Quò labor & mens pura vehunt, atque ignea virtus
Secreti hæc aliquâ mundi de parte videbo
(Quantum fata sinunt) & totâ mente serenùm
Ridens purpureo suffundar lumine vultus
Et simul æthereo plandam mihi lætus Olympo. [ 100 ]

Manso

Giovanni Battista Manso, Marquis of Villa, is a man in the first rank of renown among the Italians by reason not merely of his genius in literary pursuits, but also of his military valor. There is extant a dialogue on friendship addressed to him by Torquato Tasso, whose devoted friend he was, and by whom he is also celebrated among the nobles of Campania in that poem entitled Gerusalemme Conquistata, book 20:

Fra cavalier magnanimi è cortesi
Risplende il Manso . . .

Manso honored the present author during his stay in Naples with the greatest kindness, and did him many acts of courtesy. Therefore, that he might not seem ungrateful, his guest before he left the city, sent him this poem.


These verses too, Manso, the Pierides intend for your praise, for you, Manso, already so well-known to Phoebus's choir, seeing that he has deemed scarce another worthy of equal honor since the deaths of Gallus and Etruscan Maecenas. If the breath of my Muse as much avails, you too shall sit among the victor's ivy and laurels. Happy friendship once joined you with great Tasso, and inscribed your names on everlasting pages. Afterward the knowing Muse delivered to you sweet-tongued Marino, who rejoiced to be called your foster-son, while he sang at great length the Assyrian loves of the gods, and gently stupefied the Ausonian nymphs with song. So this poet when dying left to you alone his doomed bones, to you alone his latest wishes. Nor has your loving piety deceived the shade of your friend, for we see the poet smiling from the wrought bronze. But in the case of neither poet did this seem enough; your pious offices did not cease at the tomb, for, wishing to snatch them unharmed from Orcus, and, as far as you could, to cheat the greedy laws of the Fates, you described the ancestry of both, their lives harassed by varying fortune, their characters, and their gifts from Minerva. You were emulous of him, the eloquent one born on high Mycale, who related the life of Aeolian Homer. Therefore, father Manso, in the name of Clio and of mighty Phoebus, I, a youthful traveler sent from beneath the Hyperborean heaven, wish you good health through a long life. You are kind and will not spurn a foreign Muse, which, but sparely nourished under the frozen Bear, of late has indiscreetly ventured to fly through the cities of Italy. Methinks through the dusky shades of night I too have heard the swans singing in our own river, where silvery Thames with clear urns lets her gleaming locks flow wide in the waters of ocean. Indeed Tityrus once came to these shores. But we, a race that through long nights endures the wintry Boötes in that region of the world that is furrowed by the sevenfold Triones, we are not untaught and useless to Phoebus. We even worship Phoebus, and — unless age renders void the tale — we have sent him gifts, yellowing ears, rosy apples in baskets, crocuses breathing fragrance, and troops of maidens chosen from the Druid race. The Druids, an ancient people skilled in the rites of the gods, used to sing the praises of heroes and their emulable deeds. Hence as often as they circle the altars in festive song, as is their wont, the Greek maidens on grassy Delos in joyful verses commemorate Corinedian Loxo, prophetic Upis, with yellow-haired Hecaërge, their bare breasts stained with Caledonian paint. Therefore, fortunate old man, wherever Torquato's glory and great name shall be celebrated throughout the world, wherever the brilliant fame of enduring Marino waxes, your praises too will frequently be on men's lips, and flying by their side you shall enjoy their immortal flight. Then will it be said that Cynthius of his own accord has dwelt in your house, and the attendant Muses come as handmaids to your threshold; yet it was not of his own free will that the same Apollo came, a fugitive from heaven, to the farm of King Pheretiades, even though that host had received great Alcides. When he wished as much as possible to avoid the noisy plowmen, he retired to the wellknown cave of gentle Chiron amid well-watered pastures and leafy shelters beside the river Peneus. There, won by his friend's flattering desire, he used often under the dark ilex to lighten the hard labors of exile with a song to the sound of the cithern. Then neither the banks nor the rocks in the lowest chasm beneath stood fixed in their places; the Trachinian cliff tottered, nor longer felt the usual weight of its forests; the mountain ash-trees, uprooted, hastened from their hills; and the spotted lynxes were soothed by the new song. Aged man, beloved of the gods, Jupiter must have been friendly to you at birth; Phoebus and the grandson of Atlas must have shone with kindly light; for no one, unless he were dear to the gods above from his birth, could have befriended a great poet. Hence your old age blooms with lingering flowers, and, still full of life, has the benefit of the Aesonian spindles, keeping the honors of your brow still unshed, your genius flourishing, and the keenness of your mind in its prime. If ever I recall in song my native kings, and Arthur setting wars in motion even beneath the earth; if ever I tell of the high-souled heroes in the virtuous friendship of the invincible Table; and — let the spirit be present to aid me — if ever I break the Saxon phalanxes with British war; then may my lot grant me such a friend, one who knows so well how to honor the sons of Phoebus. At last when I had measured the span of a life not mute, and, full of years, should leave to ashes their due, with tear-stained eyes he would stand by my bed; and as he stood there I need only say: "Let me be under thy care." He would provide that my limbs, relaxed in livid death, be gently gathered in a little urn. Perchance he would also draw my features from marble, binding the locks on my brow with Paphian myrtle or with laurel of Parnassus, and I should rest in peace secure. Then, if there be any faith, and if there be sure rewards for the righteous, I myself, removed to the ethereal realms of the heaven-dwelling gods, whither labor, a pure mind, and ardent courage convey us, even I shall see these things from some part of that secret world — as the Fates permit — and with mind all serene, my smiling face suffused with a rosy light, I shall joyfully clap my hands on ethereal Olympus.