But what was it that delighted me save to love and to be loved? Still I did not keep the moderate way of the love of mind to mind — the bright path of friendship. Instead, the mists of passion steamed up out of the puddly concupiscence of the flesh, and the hot imagination of puberty, and they so obscured and overcast my heart that I was unable to distinguish pure affection from unholy desire. Both boiled confusedly within me, and dragged my unstable youth down over the cliffs of unchaste desires and plunged me into a gulf of infamy.
[Et quid erat quod me delectabat, nisi amare et amari? Sed non tenebatur modus ab animo usque ad animum quatenus est luminosus limes amicitiae, sed exhalabantur nebulae de limosa concupiscentia carnis et scatebra pubertatis, et obnubilabant atque obfuscabant cor meum, ut non discerneretur serenitas dilectionis a caligine libidinis. Utrumque in confuso aestuabat et rapiebat inbecillam aetatem per abrupta cupiditatum atque mersabat gurgite flagitiorum.]
Confessions, Book 2, ch. 2 / ¶ 2 (2.2.2) (c. AD 398) [tr. Outler (1955)]
Agonizing over how horny he was at age 16.
(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:
And what was it that I delighted in, but to love, and be loved? but I kept not the measure of love, of mind to mind, friendship's bright boundary: but out of the muddy concupiscence of the flesh, and the bubblings of youth, mists fumed up which beclouded and overcast my heart, that I could not discern the clear brightness of love from the fog of lustfulness. Both did confusedly boil in me, and hurried my unstayed youth over the precipice of unholy desires, and sunk me in a gulf of flagitiousnesses.
[tr. Pusey (1838)]
But what was it that I delighted in save to love and to be beloved? But I held it not in moderation, mind to mind, the bright path of friendship, but out of the dark concupiscence of the flesh, and the effervescence of youth exhalations came forth which obscured and overcast my heart, so that I was unable to discern pure affection from unholy desire. Both boiled confusedly within me, and dragged away my unstable youth into the rough places of unchaste desires, and plunged me into a gulf of infamy.
[tr. Pilkington (1876)]
And what was it that delighted me, but to love and to be loved? But the intercourse of mind with mind was not restricted within the clear bounds of honest love; but dense vapours arose from the miry lusts of the flesh, and the bubblings of youth, and clouded and darkened my heart; so that the clearness of true love could not be discerned from the thick mist of sensuality. Both boiled together confusedly within me, and carried away my weak young life over the precipices of passion, and merged me in a whirlpool of disgrace.
[tr. Hutchings (1890)]
Now what was it that gave me pleasure, save to love and to be loved? But I could not keep within the kingdom of light, where friendship binds soul to soul. From the quagmire of concupiscence, from the well of puberty, exhaled a mist which clouded and befogged my heart, so that I could not distinguish between the clear shining of affection and the darkness of lust. Both stormed confusedly within me, whirling my thoughtless youth over the precipices of desire, drowning it in the eddying pool of shame.
[tr. Bigg (1897)]
My one delight was to love and to be loved. But in this I did not keep the measure of mind to mind, which is the luminous line of friendship; but from the muddy concupiscence of the flesh and the hot imagination of puberty mists steamed up to becloud and darken my heart so that I could not distinguish the white light of love from the fog of lust. Both love and lust boiled within me, and swept my youthful immaturity over the precipice of evil desires to leave me half drowned in a whirlpool of abominable sins.
[tr. Sheed (1943)]
What was there to bring me delight except to love and be loved? But that due measure between soul and soul, wherein lie the bright boundaries of friendship, was not kept. Clouds arose from the slimy desires of the flesh and from youth’s seething spring. They clouded over and darkened my soul, so that I could not distinguish the calm light of chaste love from the fog of lust. Both kinds of affection burned confusedly within me and swept my feeble youth over the crags of desire and plunged me into a whirlpool of shameful deeds.
[tr. Ryan (1960)]
I cared for nothing but to love and be loved. But my love went beyond the affection of one mind for another, beyond the arc of the bright beam of friendship. Bodily desire, like a morass, and adolescent sex welling up within me exuded mists which clouded over and obscured my heart, so that I could not distinguish the clear light of true love from the murk of lust. Love and lust together seethed within me. In my tender youth they swept me away over the precipice of my body’s appetites and plunged me in the whirlpool of sin.
[tr. Pine-Coffin (1961)]
And what was it that delighted me? Only this -- to love and be loved. But I could not keep that true measure of love, from one mind to another mind, which marks the bright and glad area of friendship. Instead I was among the foggy exhalations which proceed from the muddy cravings of the flesh and bubblings of first manhood. These so clouded over my heart and darkened it that I was unable to distinguish between the clear calm of love and the swirling mists of lust. I was storm-tossed by a confused mixture of the two and, in my weak, unstable age, swept over the precipices of desire and thrust into the whirlpools of vice.
[tr. Warner (1963)]
And what was it that gave me joy but to love and to be loved, love that was not held by that restraint which lies between mind and mind, where runs the boundary of friendship? From the miry, bubbling fleshly lust of youth, fogs arose which overclouded and darkened my heart, so that the difference between a tranquil affection and the blackness of lust was blurred. They boiled together in confusion, and snatched my weak years down the screes of impure desires to plunge me in a whirlpool of manifold wickedness.
[tr. Blaiklock (1983)]
What was it that delighted me? Only loving and being loved. But there was no proper restraint, as in the union of mind with mind, where a bright boundary regulates friendship. From teh mud of my fleshly desires, and my erupting puberty, belched out murky clouds that obscured and darkened my heart, until I could not distinguish the clam light of love from the fog of lust. The two swirled about together and dragged me, young and weak as I was, over the cliffs of my desires, and engulfed me in a whirlpool of sins.
[tr. Boulding (1997)]
Added on 3-Jul-23 | Last updated 3-Jul-23
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