Sunday, August 23, 2009



Martial 1.15, tr. William Hay:
Thou, whom (if faith or honour recommends
A friend) I rank amongst my dearest friends,
Remember, you are now almost threescore;
Few days of life remain, if any more.
Defer not, what no future time insures:
And only what is past, esteem that yours.
Successive cares and trouble for you stay;
Pleasure not so; it nimbly fleets away.
Then seize it fast; embrace it ere it flies;
In the embrace it vanishes and dies.
"I'll live to-morrow," will a wise man say?
To-morrow is too late, then live to-day.
The same, tr. Goldwin Smith:
Friend of my heart—and none of all the band
Has to that name older or better right—
Julius, thy sixtieth winter is at hand;
Far spent is now life's day, and near the night.

Delay not what thou would'st recall too late;
That which is past, that only call thy own:
Cares without end and tribulations wait,
Joy tarrieth not, but scarcely come, is flown.

Then grasp it quickly, firmly to thy heart;
Though firmly grasped, too oft it slips away;
To talk of living is not wisdom's part:
To-morrow is too late: live thou to-day!
The original Latin:
O mihi post nullos, Iuli, memorande sodales,
    si quid longa fides canaque iura valent,
bis iam paene tibi consul tricensimus instat,
    et numerat paucos vix tua vita dies.
non bene distuleris videas quae posse negari,
    et solum hoc ducas, quod fuit, esse tuum.
exspectant curaeque catenatique labores,
    gaudia non remanent, sed fugitiva volant.
haec utraque manu conplexuque adsere toto:
    saepe fluunt imo sic quoque lapsa sinu.
non est, crede mihi, sapientis dicere 'Vivam':
    sera nimis vita est crastina: vive hodie.

Martial 5.58, tr. Abraham Cowley:
To-morrow you will live, you always cry:
In what far country does this morrow lie,
That 't is so mighty long ere it arrive?
Beyond the Indies does this morrow live?
'T is so far fetch'd this morrow, that I fear
'T will be both very old and very dear.
To-morrow I will live, the fool does say:
To-day itself's too late; the wise liv'd yesterday.
The same, tr. Edward Sherburne:
Still, still thou cry'st, "Tomorrow I'll live well:"
But when will this to morrow come? canst tell?
How far is't hence? or where's it to be found?
Or upon Parthian or Armenian ground?
Priam's or Nestor's years by this 't has got;
I wonder for how much it might be bought?
Thou'lt live to morrow?—'Tis too late to day:
He's wise who yesterday, "I liv'd," can say.
The original Latin:
Cras te victurum, cras dicis, Postume, semper.
    dic mihi, cras istud, Postume, quando venit?
quam longe cras istud, ubi est? aut unde petendum?
    numquid apud Parthos Armeniosque latet?
iam cras istud habet Priami vel Nestoris annos.
    cras istud quanti, dic mihi, possit emi?
cras vives? hodie iam vivere, Postume, serum est:
    ille sapit quisquis, Postume, vixit heri.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?