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The Hymns of Prudentius   By: (348-)

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First Page:

THE HYMNS of PRUDENTIUS

TRANSLATED by R. MARTIN POPE.

MDCCCCV PUBLISHED BY J.M. DENT AND CO: ALDINE HOUSE LONDON W C

CATHEMERINON LIBER OF PRUDENTIUS

HYMNS FOR THE CHRISTIAN'S DAY

NEWLY TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH VERSE

PRAEFATIO

Per quinquennia iam decem, ni fallor, fuimus: septimus insuper annum cardo rotat, dum fruimur sole volubili. Instat terminus et diem vicinum senio iam Deus adplicat. 5 Quid nos utile tanti spatio temporis egimus? Aetas prima crepantibus flevit sub ferulis: mox docuit toga infectum vitiis falsa loqui, non sine crimine. Tum lasciva protervitas, 10 et luxus petulans (heu pudet ac piget) foedavit iuvenem nequitiae sordibus ac luto. Exin iurgia turbidos armarunt animos et male pertinax vincendi studium subiacuit casibus asperis. 15 Bis legum moderamine frenos nobilium reximus urbium, ius civile bonis reddidimus, terruimus reos. Tandem militiae gradu evectum pietas principis extulit 20 adsumptum propius stare iubens ordine proximo. Haec dum vita volans agit, inrepsit subito canities seni oblitum veteris me Saliae consulis arguens: ex quo prima dies mihi 25 quam multas hiemes volverit et rosas pratis post glaciem reddiderit, nix capitis probat. Numquid talia proderunt carnis post obitum vel bona vel mala, cum iam, quidquid id est, quod fueram, mors aboleverit? 30 Dicendum mihi; Quisquis es, mundum, quem coluit, mens tua perdidit: non sunt illa Dei, quae studuit, cuius habeberis. Atqui fine sub ultimo peccatrix anima stultitiam exuat: 35 saltem voce Deum concelebret, si meritis nequit: hymnis continuet dies, nec nox ulla vacet, quin Dominum canat: pugnet contra hereses, catholicam discutiat fidem, conculcet sacra gentium, 40 labem, Roma, tuis inferat idolis, carmen martyribus devoveat, laudet apostolos. Haec dum scribo vel eloquor, vinclis o utinam corporis emicem liber, quo tulerit lingua sono mobilis ultimo. 45

PREFACE

Full fifty years my span of life hath run, Unless I err, and seven revolving years Have further sped while I the sun enjoy. Yet now the end draws nigh, and by God's will Old age's bound is reached: how have I spent And with what fruit so wide a tract of days? I wept in boyhood 'neath the sounding rod: Youth's toga donned, the rhetorician's arts I plied and with deceitful pleadings sinned: Anon a wanton life and dalliance gross (Alas! the recollection stings to shame!) Fouled and polluted manhood's opening bloom: And then the forum's strife my restless wits Enthralled, and the keen lust of victory Drove me to many a bitterness and fall. Twice held I in fair cities of renown The reins of office, and administered To good men justice and to guilty doom. At length the Emperor's will beneficent Exalted me to military power And to the rank that borders on the throne. The years are speeding onward, and gray hairs Of old have mantled o'er my brows And Salia's consulship from memory dies. What frost bound winters since that natal year Have fled, what vernal suns reclothed The meads with roses, this white crown declares. Yet what avail the prizes or the blows Of fortune, when the body's spark is quenched And death annuls whatever state I held? This sentence I must hear: "Whate'er thou art, Thy mind hath lost the world it loved: not God's The things thou soughtest, Whose thou now shalt be... Continue reading book >>




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