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Carmen Olympicum Londinii

Ode for the London Olympics – Bijan Omrani

(cited in the London Evening Standard)

Orbis et caeli venerande Rector,
Numen aeternum recubans in alto,
Fata quod Romae Latiumque colles
Usque fovebas,

Linque sublimes Capitolii arces
Atque Romanos celebres triumphos;
Non iuvant omnis Tiberina ripa
Templaque Martis.

Ecce iam iuxta Tamesem resurgunt
Romulae turres aliusque Circus
Maximus, quo grex populum relictis
Irruit oris.

Seres et firmi Garamantes adsunt,
India cedunt vidua, Sabaei
Neglegunt deserta loca et relinquunt
Caspia regna.

Rite nos omnes alacres venimus
Carmen ut dicamus acutum Olympo
qui dedit Romae superare tempus
Nomine claro.

Non potestatem petimus Quirini,
Iamdiu sceptris positis paternis.
Mundus Augustum trepidus recusat
Bella ferentem.

Pax super terras miseras benigna
Proferet regnum placidum colendis
Dulcibus Ludis, recreans dolentes
Tempore duro.

Nunc ubi naves nitidi beatae
Mercibus Gangis stationem adibant,
Faustitas felix ibi rursus ora
Pulchra levabit.

Hercule Oetaeo citius propinquant
Incluti heroes properanti ad umbras;
Altius turba saliunt Gigantum,
Fortius Hydra.

Sicut Alcides, celebratus aris,
Belua Caco rabida necata,
Praebuit luctans Italis subactis
Gaudia magna.

Roborent athletae animum iuventae
laudi ut aspiret meritae, feratque
Pace laetorum cupidis reperta
Lumina grata.

BIJAN OMRANI September 2011

*****
Translation:
' Most holy ruler of the earth and sky,
Eternal power, resting on the deep,
Who always cherished the fates of Rome
And the hills of Italy.

Leave behind the soaring strongholds of the
Capitol, and the glorious triumphs of Caesar;
not every bank of the Tiber is pleasing, or the
temples of Mars.

Behold, now by the Thames are rising again
Roman towers and another Circus Maximus,
to where the flock of the nations, having left
behind their shores, are hurrying.

The Chinese and the strong Africans are
present, India is left empty, the Arabs leave
behind the deserts and lay aside the Caspian
realms.

In the due time we all eagerly come to sing a
keen song to Olympus, which gave to Rome
the power to overcome time by a glorious
name.

We do not seek the power of Rome, and a
long time since did we lay down our paternal
sceptre. The trembling world does not seek
an Augustus bringing wars.

Let kindly Peace advance her gentle realm
over the wretched earth so that the wonderful
Games may be celebrated, healing those
weighed down with care in a difficult age.

Now where the ships laden with the wealth of
the opulent Ganges once used to come into
harbour, happy Prosperity will again lift up
her beautiful face.

Famous heroes are approaching more swiftly than Oetan Hercules rushing to Hades; they leap higher than the crowd of the Giants, and more boldly than Hydra.

Just as Hercules, honoured with altars,
having overcome the furious monster Cacus,
brought forth by his struggle great joy to the
oppressed of Italy,

Now in this way may the athletes stir up the
spirit of youth to aspire for worthy praise,
and also to bring, once peace is spread over
the earth, a graceful light to those hoping for
joy.

'