What does dum meminero mei mean in this passage?

kmp

Civis Illustris
Hi -

I was looking at a little poem by the Renaissance poet Marcantonio Flaminio and I had trouble with this sentence:

Seu redibo seu negaverint Parcae,
dum meminero mei, tui memor vivam,
formosa silva, vosque lucidi fontes,
et candidarum templa sancta Nympharum.

The meaning is generally clear - whether I return or whether the Fates forbid it, while I remember of myself, I will live with you in mind (mindful of you), beautiful forest, and you clear springs, and the holy temples of the dazzling nymphs.

It's that dum meminero mei that I can't quite find the meaning of.

Can anyone help?

Ken
 
meminero is a form of the defective verb memini, which is morphologically perfect (cf. tetigi) but present in meaning: 'I remember'. Thus, the form meminero, which would normally be future perfect, is functionally just the future: 'I will remember' (+ dum = 'for so long as I (shall) remember).

Verbs of remembering/forgetting may take a genitive object; the genitive of ego is mei. In the Consolatio of Boethius, you find oblitus est sui 'He hath forgotten himself'.
 
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kmp

Civis Illustris
Thanks. I mainly understood the grammar but was struggling to find a good meaning in this context. It seems that the best that can be done with it is "For as long as I remember myself I will remember you" - which I still find to be a bit weak (as poetry) and even a bit nonsensical.
 

DucuntFata

New Member
Forgetting oneself (one’s self) is a tragedy, nothing will be the same, a world gone. “I shall live mindful of you”. I like it.
 
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Thanks. I mainly understood the grammar but was struggling to find a good meaning in this context. It seems that the best that can be done with it is "For as long as I remember myself I will remember you" - which I still find to be a bit weak (as poetry) and even a bit nonsensical.
Oh, sorry, my mistake. I thought you italicized the passage which you may've gotten elsewhere & were wondering 'how did that translator arrive at this'?

Hmm, it doesn't seem to be so nebulous/nonsensical as all that. One's memory of other people depends on the 'intactness' of one's own memory. That is to say, 'for as long as I can recall my own self, (more importantly) I can live on remembering you.'
Secondarily, not 'to remember' but rather to 'be mindful of', as in remember one's place/comport oneself well, it makes just as much sense. I don't know the context, but that would seem to mean 'as long as I act prudently, I will be able to return/remember you'.
 

kmp

Civis Illustris
For anyone interested, this is the complete poem. It's rather sweet.

Ad agellum suum

Formosa silva, vosque lucidi fontes,
Et candidarum templa sancta Nympharum,
Quam me beatum, quamque dis putem acceptum,
Si vivere, et mori in sinu queam vestro!
Nunc me necessitas acerba longinquas
Adire terras cogit, et peregrinis
Corpusculum laboribus fatigare.
At tu Diana, montis istius custos,
Si saepe dulci fistula tuas laudes
Cantavi, et aram floribus coronavi,
Da cito, dea, ad tuos redire secessus.
Sed seu redibo, seu negaverint Parcae,
Dum meminero mei, tui memor vivam,
Formosa silva, vosque lucidi fontes,
Et candidarum templa sancta Nympharum.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Concinne atque dilucide scriptum, totum enim carmen uno haustu accepi! ;)
 
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