Friday, November 20, 2020


No Change of Consuls Troubles His Repose

Elizabeth Tollet (1694-1754), "Claudian's Old Man of Verona," in her Poems on Several Occasions (London: John Clarke, 1755), pp. 9-10:
Felix qui propriis ævum transegit in arvis.

Happy the Man, whom prudent Wishes bound,
Within the streight Inclosure of his Ground.
Who, ancient, leaning on his Staff's Support,
Reviews the grateful Scene of infant Sport:
Then, with his Mansion's Age computes his own,
And tells the Circles whirling Years have run.
The busy World he shuns, nor loves to roam;
Nor weary makes a foreign clime his Home.
Nor he the stormy Winds or Waves does fear;
Nor he that dreadful Sound of horrid War:
The noisy Courts are all to him unknown;
To him, who never saw the neighbouring Town.
No Change of Consuls troubles his Repose;
The Spring by Flow'rs, by Fruit he Autumn knows:
The Sun, whom his paternal Fences bound,
Rises and sets within his little Ground.
He does Verona and Benacus' Lake,
For the Red Sea and distant India take.
Yet, firm in Age, a long Descent he sees,
And, chearful, visits his coæval Trees;
Others rough Seas, and foreign Countries see;
How few so long, so blest a Life as he!
Claudian, Carmina Minora 20:
Felix, qui propriis aevum transegit in arvis,
  ipsa domus puerum quem videt, ipsa senem;
qui baculo nitens in qua reptavit harena
  unius numerat saecula longa casae.
illum non vario traxit fortuna tumultu,
  nec bibit ignotas mobilis hospes aquas.
non freta mercator tremuit, non classica miles,
  non rauci lites pertulit ille fori.
indocilis rerum, vicinae nescius urbis
  adspectu fruitur liberiore poli.
frugibus alternis, non consule computat annum:
  autumnum pomis, ver sibi flore notat.
idem condit ager soles idemque reducit,
  metiturque suo rusticus orbe diem,
ingentem meminit parvo qui gemine quercum
  aequaevumque videt consenuisse nemus,
proxima cui nigris Verona remotior Indis
  Benacumque putat litora Rubra lacum.
sed tamen indomitae vires firmisque lacertis
  aetas robustum tertia cernit avum.
erret et extremos alter scrutetur Hiberos:
  plus habet hic vitae, plus habet ille viae.
Hat tip: Alan Crease.

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