Monday, February 04, 2013


Country Pursuits

De habitatione ruris (Anthologia Latina 26 Riese = 13 Shackleton Bailey, my translation):
Staying in the country, asked "What do you do?", I answer briefly.
In the morning, I pray to the gods. I visit my servants, then my fields.
I divide up and assign suitable tasks to my servants.
Then I read, invoke Phoebus, and challenge the Muse.
After this I rub my body with oil, and with gentle gymnastics               5
I exercise as I please. Joyful in mind and free from debt,
I eat, drink, sing, play, wash, dine, rest.
Until my small lamp uses up its bit of oil,
I compose these poems, offerings to the nocturnal Muses.

Rure morans, 'quid agis?', respondeo pauca, rogatus:
mane deos oro; famulos, post arva, reviso
partitusque meis iustos indico labores.
deinde lego Phoebumque cio Musamque lacesso.
hinc oleo corpus fingo mollique palaestra               5
stringo libens. animo gaudens et fenore liber
prandeo, poto, cano, ludo, lavo, ceno, quiesco.
dum parvus lychnus modicum consumit olivi,
haec dat<a> nocturnis elucubrata Camenis.

1 agis codd. rell.: agam cod. Salmasianus (i.e. Parisinus Lat. 10318)
9 dat codd.: data Shackleton Bailey: dato Baehrens
   elucubrata codd. rell.: nox lucubrata cod. Leidensis Voss. Lat. Q.86
Alexander Pope, letter to Henry Cromwell (March 18, 1708):
If you have any curiosity to know in what manner I live, or rather lose a life, Martial will inform you in one line:
Prandeo, poto, cano, ludo, lego, coeno, quiesco.
Every day with me is literally another yesterday, for it is exactly the same. It has the same business, which is poetry, and the same pleasure, which is idleness. A man might indeed pass his time much better, but I question if any man could pass it much easier.

<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

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