Ad Mortem Festinamus Quenyanna


So…. I’m enjoying medieval poetry translation. This time, let’s go with……Latin! This song, Ad Mortem Festinamus, is part of the  Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (“Red Book of Montserrat”), a 14th century book containing medieval songs, located in the Monastery of Montserrat, located in Spain. This song belongs to a special genre of art named Memento mori (“Remember your mortality”…..totally not Elvish, huh?), that has exactly this purpose: to make you remember you’re a mortal being.

This song’s name means “We rush into death”….. no explanations needed, I guess.

It also has been recorded several times recently. For instance, I know Qntal’s version, which doesn’t please me so much, and Gothart’s, that is fantastic. So, I present you, Ad Mortem Festinamus Quenyanna!

Ad mortem festinamus

Quenya Version

Merin tecë i ulco Ambaressë
rucin i lúmello autuva ve vanwa
I lúmë utúlië cuivien
I cendelessë qualmeva,
I cendelessë qualmeva.

I sinta coivië tuluva mettan,
Qualmë tulë arrato nó polil savë,
Nancaris ilqua
ar umis órava,
ar umis órava.

Nalvë rimpa mir qualmë
Ámë hauta úcarë.
Ámë hauta úcarë.

Qui umil nanquerë ar nal ve hína,
ar umil vista coivielya,
úval tenta, ve alassëa,
i Aranië Eruva,
i Aranië Eruva.

Talumë i hyóla lamya, Aurë Namiéva
utúlië. I Námo tana immo
ar canas hínalyar Aranieryan,
mal i húna Angamandonna,
mal i húna Angamandonna.

Nalvë rimpa mir qualmë…

Original Latin Version

Memento_Mori25Scribere probosui de contemptu mundano
ut degentes seculi non mulcentur in vano
iam est hor surgere
a sompno mortis pravo
a sompno mortis pravo

Vita brevis breviter in brevi finietur
mors venit velociter quae neminem veretur
omnia mors perimit
et nulli miseretur
et nulli miseretur

Ad mortem festinamus
peccare desistamus
peccare desistamus

Ni conversus fueris et sicut puer factus
et vitam mutaveris in meliores actus
regnum Dei beatus
regnum Dei beatus

Tuba cum sonuerit dies erit extrema
et iudex advenerit vocabit sempiterna
electos in patria
prescitos ad inferna
prescitos ad inferna

Ad mortem festinamus…

And, for those like me that can’t read Latin:

English Version

I want to write of the evil in the worldcementeriodelaRecoleta-Buenos Aires
lest the time should pass unused.
The time has come to awake
in the face of death,
in the face of death.

The short life soon will end,
death comes faster than you would believe.
It destroys everything
and has no mercy,
and has no mercy.

We rush into death,
let us refrain from sinning,
let us refrain from sinning,

If you don’t turn back and become like a child
and you don’t change your life,
you won’t go into, as a happy one,
the Kingdom of God,
the Kingdom of God.

When the trump resounds, Judgement Day
has come. The judge appears
and calls the chosen ones to his Kingdom
but the damned to hell,
but the damned to hell.

We rush into death…


Hope you enjoyed it, namárië!




Filed under Art, History, Latin, Music, Poem, Quenya, Tengwar

6 responses to “Ad Mortem Festinamus Quenyanna

  1. I like the QNTAL version but never heard Gothard’s. I guess I shoul look for it. 🙂

    Happy New Year!

    • I listened to Qntal and errr…well it’s ok….but then I listened to Gothart’s and then YEEEEAAAHHHHHHHHHH! Right on!

      You should try that too!

      I don’t celebrate those kind of festivities.

  2. brihtuhn

    I fundamentally really like the concept of memento mori for keeping us in touch with our mortality—that it’s both personal and universal—but often not the associated reminders to be a more «faithful» person (because otherwise you’ll go to Hell). I was not familiar with this piece and thank you very much for sharing it. I tend to love everything that comes out of Catalunya. 🙂

    • I understand perfectly what you mean! I’m not a religious person but I have studied thoroughly the Scriptures and don’t fear the Hell concept as there is no such thing. It’s just an erroneous idea translated and fed by the Catholic Church. After all, a fair God who is described as “love” himself wouldn’t create a place where one would be tormented eternally due to some years of sins. That’s unbalanced, unfair and a surpassing cruel punishment coming from someone who is love.

      • brihtuhn

        Yes. How does one convey “oxymoron” in Quenya? 😉

        PS: Nice snow!

        • Well, that’s something hard to do. Sometimes oxymora are easier to translate sometimes the mere translation tends to disintegrate the true meaning of them.

          PS: Let it snow!

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