Monday, August 25, 2014


Soon Enough

Seneca, Hercules Furens 861-874 (tr. John G. Fitch):
All around is turbid emptiness, unlovely darkness,
the sullen colour of night, the lethargy
of a silent world, and empty clouds.
Late may old age carry us there!
No one comes too late to that from which,
once come, he never can return.
What is the good of hurrying harsh fate?
All this crowd that wanders the great earth
will join the shades and set sail
on lifeless Cocytus. For you grows all
that the rising and setting sun beholds;
be lenient, since we must come;
we are groomed for you, o Death.
You can be slow, we hasten of ourselves.
The hour that first gives life, erodes it.

stat chaos densum tenebraeque turpes
et color noctis malus ac silentis
otium mundi vacuaeque nubes.
sera nos illo referat senectus!
nemo ad id sero venit, unde numquam,
cum semel venit, potuit reverti;
quid iuvat durum properare fatum?
omnis haec magnis vaga turba terris
ibit ad manes facietque inerti
vela Cocyto. tibi crescit omne,
et quod occasus videt et quod ortus:
parce venturis; tibi, Mors, paramur.
sis licet segnis, properamus ipsi;
prima quae vitam dedit hora, carpit.

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