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Latin/Vitai lampada


Neil Baxter wrote at 2014-11-16 00:29:33
It may also be a reference to the poem by Sir Henry Newbolt taught to English school kids of my parents' generation in school in the 1930's - I suppose its theme would be 'passing the torch':

Vitae Lampada

There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night --

Ten to make and the match to win --

A bumping pitch and a blinding light,

An hour to play and the last man in.

And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,

Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,

But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote

"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

The sand of the desert is sodden red, --

Red with the wreck of a square that broke; --

The Gatling's jammed and the colonel dead,

And the regiment blind with dust and smoke.

The river of death has brimmed his banks,

And England's far, and Honour a name,

But the voice of schoolboy rallies the ranks,

"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

This is the word that year by year

While in her place the School is set

Every one of her sons must hear,

And none that hears it dare forget.

This they all with a joyful mind

Bear through life like a torch in flame,

And falling fling to the host behind --

"Play up! play up! and play the game!"

Sir Henry Newbolt

Maria wrote at 2014-11-17 19:15:31
Actually  Henry Newbolt's poem's title  "Vitae lampada" or "Vitai lampada"  is just a quotation from Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, book II, line 79:"et quasi cursores vitai lampada tradunt" whose theme is exactly 'passing the torch' with reference to the generations of living creatures that  like runners  pass on the torch of life.

In short, Henry Newbolt used Lucretius quotation as a title of his poem.

Best regards,



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