1555 Lyon Bonhomme

La verge en main mise au milieu de BRANCHES
De l’onde il moulle & le limbe & le pied.
Vn peur & voix fremissent par les manches,
Splendeur diuine. Le diuin pres s’assied

Line 1. OF ‘verga’ = rod. OF ‘de’ can mean ‘of’ or ‘with’.
OF ‘BRANCHES’ is typically capitlized to emphasize that this is a proper noun, probably at one with the prophetic clan Branchides, descendants of Branchus (the demi-god Apollo’s son by a kind of ‘virgin birth’) who was instrumental in establishing the Apollo Temple of Didyma in Miletus, pre-Sixth Century B.C.

(Greeks and Romans exercised much ingenuity in justifying the name ‘Didyma’ for the place of the famous temple as there was no known twin of Branchus.)

Line 3, OF ‘peur’ = fear (but in Modern French can mean ‘frisson’). OF ‘peur’ as a variation of ‘peuplier’ would be poplar wood. OF ‘voix’ = OF ‘vois’ = voice: Roman augury was from the voices of frightened birds (but in Modern French ‘vois’ can mean see).
‘OF ‘fremissement’ = OF ‘tremblement’ and means a tremor caused by a passion.

OF ‘manche’ = an instrument’s handle (OF vars. are ‘mance’ and ‘mange’).

Line 4, OF ‘divine’ = divine. OF ‘divin’ = OF ‘divinateur’ a seer.

(OF ‘Splendeur divine. Le divin pres s’assied’ = The splendorous ‘divine’ sits next the ‘divin’ or seer.)

With rod in hand placed in the middle with BRANCHES,
With water sprinkles both the limb and the foot:
To augur tremors run up through the handles:
Splendorous divine sits next the seer.

Following the sloping flame of Nostradamus Quatrain I 1, we now get clairvoyance, augury, clairaudience, Branchic oracular preparations, water divining, splendor, supportive apparition and inspired divination – all the bases are covered. Let the divinations commence.

                                                             Nigel Raymond Offord © 2012