Tuesday, June 21, 2011


An Exiled Line of Verse

Ovid, Tristia. Ex Ponto, tr. Arthur Leslie Wheeler, 2nd ed. rev. G.P. Goold (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988; rpt. with corrections 1996 = Loeb Classical Library, 151), p. 287 (translating Ex Ponto 1.4.1-8):
Now is the worse period of life upon me with its sprinkling of white hairs, now the wrinkles of age are furrowing my face, now energy and strength are weakening in my shattered frame. On a sudden shouldst thou see me, thou couldst not recognize me; such havoc has been wrought with my life. I admit that this is the work of the years, but there is yet another cause—anguish and constant suffering.
The translation of Wheeler and Goold omits line 4. Here is the Latin, with line 4 underlined:
Iam mihi deterior canis aspergitur aetas,
  iamque meos vultus ruga senilis arat:
iam vigor et quasso languent in corpore vires,
  nec, iuveni lusus qui placuere, iuvant.
nec, si me subito videas, agnoscere possis,
  aetatis facta est tanta ruina meae.
confiteor facere hoc annos, sed et altera causa est,
  anxietas animi continuusque labor.
After "my shattered frame" add something like "nor do the games which pleased me when I was young still delight me."

Thanks to my son for the gift of this book.


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