This is a video which I posted a little while back (when I actually had time).
Apologia Pro Vita Sua
Aut lego vel scribo, doceo scrutorve sophiam:
obsecro celsithronum nocte dieque meum.
Vescor, poto libens, rithmizans invoco Musas,
dormisco stertens: oro deum vigilans.
Conscia mens scelerum deflet peccamina vitae;
parcite vos misero. Christe Maria, viro.
My latin is all but intermediate and while I’ve done some poetical translation I don’t have a great foundation in it, or a great knowledge of it. I did do my own translation of this, and while there are some words that I simply cannot find (I imagine later words, not in my classical lexicon) I have to say that I am curious why the translator of the version I read chose their words as they did. Here is my translation, not giving even a wink or a nod to English metre or cadence (I’ll leave that to the pros):
I read or write, I teach or seek out wisdom:
By night and by day I beseech the High Throne.
I feast, I joyfully drink, I invoke the muses,
Snoring, I sleep: Waking, to God I pray.
Aware of the wickedness of my life, my heart bewails
You, O Christ, O Mary: this miserable man, Spare.
Like any poet and like any translation I took some liberties and introduced, I am sure, some bias. In the book translation the author used truth for sophiam. I took wisdom to be a more apt translation simply because of the close relation σοφια and wisdom long ago (I think specifically of Boethius, to name one).
Celsithronum was translated as God though because of how odd a word it is I wanted tease out the nature of the word, which is actually a compound. Celsi– which can mean high, lofty, or elevated and thronum, which I take to simply be throne–thus, the High Throne.
While I do like the translators words for the fourth line, ‘and snoring sleep, or vigil keep…’ I wanted to capture the sort of opposition he sets up between the sleeping and the waking, and give more credence to the participial aspect of vigilans that Scottus used, ‘waking,’ and in the first half of the line, ‘sleeping.’
The final line is quite imperative. Parcite I took in pure imperative form together with vos, ‘you…spare!’
For any other Latinists who may be reading I would welcome any comment or discussion, or even your own translation.
For more on Sedulius Scottus, see the Wikipedia article here.