Saturday, June 03, 2006
To the Grim Ferry All Must Go
When, in haughty exultation, thou durst laugh in
Or when thou hast sunk down weary, trampled in
The ceaseless race,
Dellius, think on this I pray thee — but the
Twinkling of an eye,
May endure thy pain or pleasure; for thou knowest
Thou shalt die,
Whether on some breeze-kissed upland, with a
Flask of mellow wine,
Thou hast all the world forgotten, stretched be-
Neath the friendly pine,
Or, in foolish toil consuming all the springtime
Of thy life,
Thou hast worked for useless silver and endured
The bitter strife,
Still unchanged thy doom remaineth. Thou art
Set towards thy goal,
Out into the empty breezes soon shall flicker
Forth thy soul.
Here then by the plashing streamlet fill the
Tinkling glass I pray,
Bring the short lived rosy garlands, and be
Happy — FOR TODAY.
Aequam memento rebus in arduis
servare mentem, non secus in bonis
ab insolenti temperatam
laetitia, moriture Delli,
seu maestus omni tempore vixeris
seu te in remoto gramine per dies
festos reclinatum bearis
interiore nota Falerni.
Quo pinus ingens albaque populus
umbram hospitalem consociare amant
ramis? Quid obliquo laborat
lympha fugax trepidare rivo?
Huc vina et unguenta et nimium brevis
flores amoenae ferre iube rosae,
dum res et aetas et Sororum
fila trium patiuntur atra.
Cedes coemptis saltibus et domo
villaque, flavus quam Tiberis lavit,
cedes, et exstructis in altum
divitiis potietur heres.
Divesne prisco natus ab Inacho
nil interest an pauper et infima
de gente sub divo moreris,
victima nil miserantis Orci;
omnes eodem cogimur, omnium
versatur urna serius ocius
sors exitura et nos in aeternum
exilium impositura cumbae.
John Addington Symonds:
In trouble keep your courage high
And calm, but yet in happier fate
Be not with rapture too elate —
For one day, Dellius, you must die.
Whether through dreary days you pine,
Or on the far sequestered grass
Luxurious holidays you pass
Quaffing your old Falernian wine:
I know the spot — by poplar pale
And lofty pines a friendly shade
With intertwining branches made;
And hard by struggles through the vale
The winding water: — there we'll set
Wines and rich perfumes; boys shall bring
Roses, too briefly blossoming;
While youth and Fortune smile, while yet
Their dark threads spin the sisters three.
Ah me! your parks, your pleasant home
Washed by the Tiber's tawny foam
You'll leave; and all your wealth shall be
But for your heir. If rich and one
Of Inachus' old line and name,
Or poor and basest born, the same
Your doom to Orcus pitying none.
To the grim ferry all must go;
Our lots are cast into one urn,
And soon or late comes out our turn
For endless banishment below.