Four Verses in the Utopian Tongue

Download this Section »

A METER OF FOUR VERSES IN THE UTOPIAN TONGUE,
BRIEFLY TOUCHING AS WELL THE STRANGE BEGINNING,
AS ALSO THE HAPPY AND WEALTHY CONTINUANCE,
OF THE SAME COMMONWEALTH1

Utopos ha Boccas peu la chama polta chamaan.

Bargol he maglomi baccan ſoma gymno ſophaon.

Agrama gymnoſophon labarembacha bodamilomin.

Voluala barchin heman la lauoluola dramme pagloni.

Which verses the translator, according to his simple knowledge and mean understanding in the Utopian tongue, hath thus rudely Englished:

My king and conqueror Utopus by name,

A prince of much renown and immortal fame,

Has made me an isle that once no island was,

Full fraught with worldly wealth, with pleasure and solace.

I one of all other without philosophy,

Have shaped for many a philosophical city.

And mine I have nothing dangerous to impart,

So better to receive I am ready with all my heart.


1. This is a translation and explanation of the Utopian poem reproduced on the previous page. It was included in the first edition of Utopia in 1516, and returned in 1518. The quartet, as well as the whole Utopian language, is fabricated from a fanciful mixture of Greek and Latin. The author is probably Peter Giles (see letter from Giles to Busleyden); the translation and explanation are by Ralph Robynson.

 

Comments are closed.