Wednesday, November 07, 2018


The Departing Guest

Horace, Satires 1.1.117-119 (tr. John Davie):
And so it happens that we seldom can find a man who claims to have lived a happy life, who quits life in contentment when his time is up, like a guest who has dined well.

inde fit, ut raro, qui se vixisse beatum
dicat et exacto contentus tempore vita
cedat uti conviva satur, reperire queamus.
Lucretius 3.938-939 (tr. W.H.D. Rouse, rev. Martin F. Smith):
Why not, like a banqueter fed full of life, withdraw with contentment and rest in peace, you fool?

cur non ut plenus vitae conviva recedis
aequo animoque capis securam, stulte, quietem?
Lucretius 3.957-960:
But because you always crave what you have not, and contemn what you have, life has slipped by for you incomplete and ungratifying, and death stands by your head unexpected, before you can retire glutted and full of the feast.

sed quia semper aves quod abest, praesentia temnis,
inperfecta tibi elapsast ingrataque vita,
et nec opinanti mors ad caput adstitit ante
quam satur ac plenus possis discedere rerum.

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