Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Dulcia Secreti Otia Ruris

Ausonius, Epistles 6.19-34 (to Paulinus; tr. Hugh G. Evelyn White):
For I am weary at the sight of throngs of people, the vulgar brawls at the cross-roads, the narrow lanes a-swarm, and the broadways belying their name for the rabble herded there. Confused Echo resounds with a babel of cries: "Hold!" — "Strike!" — "Lead!" — "Give!" — "Look out!" Here is a mucky sow in flight, there a mad dog in fell career, there oxen too weak for the waggon. No use to steal into the inner chamber and the recesses of your home: the cries penetrate through the house. These, and what else can shock the orderly, force me to leave the walled city and seek again the sweet peace of the retired country and the delights of trifling seriously; and there you may arrange your own hours and have the right to do nothing or else what you will.

Nam populi coetus et compita sordida rixis
    fastidientes cernimus        20
angustas fervere vias et congrege volgo
    nomen plateas perdere.
turbida congestis referitur vocibus echo:
    "Tene, feri, duc, da, cave!"
sus lutulenta fugit, rabidus canis impete saevo        25
    et impares plaustro boves.
nec prodest penetrale domus et operta subire:
    per tecta clamores meant,
haec et quae possunt placidos offendere mores,
    cogunt relinqui moenia,        30
dulcia secreti repetantur ut otia ruris,
    nugis amoena seriis;
tempora disponas ubi tu tua iusque tuum sit,
    ut nil agas vel quod voles.

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