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Sunk in the gulf, immerged in guilt he lies,
Has not the power, nor yet the will to rise.
Great Sire of Gods, let not thy thunder fall
On princes when their crimes for vengeance call;
But let remembrance punish guilty kings,
And conscience wound with all her thousand stings;
Let Truth's fair form confess'd before them rise ;
And Virtue stand reveal’d to mortal eyes,
Astonish tyrants by her placid mien,
And teach them, dying, what they might have been.
Does he feel keener pangs, acuter pains,
Whom, doom'd to death, the brazen bull contains ?
Or, clothed in purple, was that wretch more bless’d
Whom slaves attended, and whom courts caress'd,
While from the roof, suspended by a thread,
The pointed sword hung threatening o'er his head;
Than that bold wretch, who, unappallid at crimes,
By mad ambition urged to grandeur climbs;
From his dark bosom dares not lift the veil,
Shudders in thought, and at himself grows pale,
Trusting to none the secrets of his life,
Not even confiding in his weeping wife?
Oft, when a boy, unwilling still to toil,
To shun my task, I smear'd my face with oil,
Great Cato's dying speech neglected lay,
And all my better thoughts to sport gave way;
With anxious friends my partial father came,
And sweating saw his son exposed to shame.
Alas, no pleasure then in books I knew,
But still with dexterous hand the dice I threw,
Scire, erat in voto : damnosa canicula quantum
Raderet, angustæ collo non fallier orcæ:
Neu quis callidior buxum torquere flagello.
Haud tibi inex pertum curvos deprendere mores,
Quæque docet sapiens braccatis inlita Medis
Porticus insomnis, quibus et detonsa juventus
Invigilat, siliquis, et grandi pasta polenta.
Et tibi quæ Samios diduxit littera ramos,
Surgentem dextro monstravit limite callem.
Stertis adhuc ? laxumque caput compage soluta
Oscitat hesternum dissutis undique malis ?
Est aliquid quò tendis, et in quod dirigis arcum?
An passim sequeris corvos, testaque, lutoque,
Securus quò pes ferat, atque ex tempore vivis ?
Helleborum frustra, cum jam cutis ægra tumebit,
Poscentes videas : venienti occurrite morbo.
Et quid opus Cratero magnos promittere montes ?
Discite ô miseri, et causas cognoscite rerum,
Quid sumus, et quidnam victuri gignimur, ordo
Quis datus, aut metæ quàm mollis flexus, et unde :
Quis modus argento, quid fas optare, quid asper
Utile nummus habet: patriæ, carisque propinquis
Quantum elargiri deceat: quem te Deus esse
Jussit, et humana qua parte locatus es in re.
None with more art the rattling box could shake;
None reckon'd better on the envied stake;
None was more skill'd, along the level ground,
To chase the whirling top in endless round.
But you, what arts, what pleasures can entice
To wander in the thorn; paths of vice;
You, who so lately from the porch have brought
The godlike precepts which great Zeno taught ;
You, who in schools of rigid virtue bred,
On simple fare with frugal sages fed,
Where watchful.youth their silent vigils keep,
And midnight studies still encroach on sleep;
You, who have listen'd to instruction's voice,
And with the Samian sage have made your choice;
Are you content to lose life's early day,
Or pass existence in a dream away?
Ah, thoughtless youth, ere yet the fell disease
Blanch your pale cheek, and on its victim seize,
Apply the remedy, nor idly wait
Till hope be fed, and medicine come too late!
Contemplate well this theatre of man;
Observe the drama, and its moral plan;
Study of things the causes and the ends;
Whence is our being, and to what it tends;
Of fortune's gifts appreciate the worth;
And mark how good and evil mix on earth :
Observe what stands as relative to you,
What to your country, parents, friends, is due.
Consider God as boundless matter's soul,
Yourself a part of the stupendous whole;
Disce: nec invideas, quod multa fidelia putet
In locuplete penu, defensis pinguibus Umbris,
Et piper, et pernæ, Marsi monumenta clientis :
Mänaque quod prima nondum defecerit orca
Heic aliquis de gente hircosa centurionum
Dicat, Quod sapio, satis est mihi : non ego curo
Esse quod Arcesilas, ærumnosique Solones,
Obstipo capite, et figentes lumine terram,
Murmura cum secum, et rabiosa silentia rodunt,
Atque ex porrecto trutinantur verba labello,
Ægroti veteris meditantes somnia, gigni
De nihilo nihilum, in nihilum nil posse reverti.
Hoc est, quod palles : cur quis non prandeat, hoc est,
His populus ridet, multumque torosa juventus
Ingeminat tremulos naso crispante cachinnos.
Inspice: nescio quid trepidat mihi pectus, et ægris
Faucibus exsuperat gravis halitus, inspice sodes,
Qui dicit medico; jussus requiescere, postquam
Tertia compositas vidit nox currere venas,
Think that existence has an endless reign, Yourself a link in the eternal chain. Weigh these things well, and envy not the stores, Which clients bring from Umbria's fruitful shores ; Forego, without regret, the noisy bar, Its din, its wrangling, its unceasing war; Forsake that place where justice has a price, And suits are gain'd for fish, or ham, or spice. But here, perhaps, some blustering son of Mars, Will treat my doctrine as an idle farce. “ What,” doth he cry, “ do I not know enough, " That I must listen to this learned stuff? “ I do not wish to be esteem'd a sage, « Nor to be held the Solon of my age. "I hate the dull philosopher who sits, “ Pores o'er his book, and talks and thinks by fits; “ Whose crazy head with metaphysics teems, “ Who deeply ruminates on sick men's dreams, “ Who holds, that nothing is from nothing brought; “ And then again, that nought returns to nought. « And is it this which racks that head of thinc? “ Is it for this, that thou hast fail'd to dine? Now roars the laugh, and now the noisy crowd Of listening fools, delighted, shouts aloud.
Some one there was, who finding strength to fail, His body meagre, and his visage pale, For the physician sent, and told his case, And show'd health's roses faded on his face. Three days' repose the fever's force restrains, And cools the current boiling in his veins.