« ZurückWeiter »
Nec me sollicitae taedia lucis habent,
Tu curae requies, tu medicina venis;
120 Tu mihi, quod rarum est, vivo sublime dedisti
Nomen, ab exsequiis quod dare fama solet. Nec qui detrectat praesentia, Livor iniquo
Ullum de nostris dente momordit opus. Nam tulerint magnos cum saecula nostra poëtas, 125
Non fuit ingenio fama maligna meo.
Dicor et in toto plurimus orbe legor.
130 Sive favore tuli, sive hanc ego carmine famam
Jure, tibi grates, candide lector, ago.
V. Ex Ponto.
THE four books Ex Ponto (letters from the Pontus) are addressed to various persons. The character of the poems differs little from that of the Tristia. The example here given is addressed by the poet to his wife.
To His Wife (i. 4).
Jamque meos vultus ruga senilis arat :
Nec, juveni lusus qui placuere, juvant.
Aetatis facta est tanta ruina meae.
Anxietas animi continuusque labor.
Crede mihi, Pylio Nestore major ero.
Fortia taurorum corpora frangat opus.
Fructibus assiduis lassa senescit humus.
Non intermissis cursibus ibit equus.
Quae numquam liquidis sicca carebit aquis,
Ante meum tempus cogit et esse senem.
Inmodicus contra carpit utrumque labor.
Quam laudem a sera posteritate ferat. At labor illius nostro leviorque minorque est, : 25
Si modo non verum nomina magna premunt. Ille est in Pontum Pelia mittente profectus,
Qui vix Thessaliae fine timendus erat. Caesaris ira mihi nocuit, quem solis ab ortu
Solis ad occasus utraque terra tremit. [Junctior Haemonia est Ponto, quam Roma sit Histro;
Et brevius, quam nos, ille peregit iter.]
At nostram cuncti destituere fugam.
Quae tulit Aesoniden, densa carina fuit.
Quas fugerem, docuit, quas sequererque vias.
Defendere meum numina nulla caput.
Quas a me vellem non didicisset Amor.
Perstiterit laesi si gravis ira dei.
45 Illo, quod subiit Aesone natus, onus. Te quoque, quam juvenem discedens Urbe reliqui,
Credibile est nostris insenuisse malis.
50 Amplectique meis corpus non pingue lacertis,
Et 'gracile hoc fecit' dicere 'cura mei :'
Sperato numquam conloquioque frui,
Dis veris, memori debita ferre manu!
Quam primum roseo provocet ore diem !
[METAMORPHOSES Book I. 1-88.] Proem (1-4). Description of Chaos (5-20). The Creator assigns the elements to their places, and divides the land from the waters: the zones and climates (21-58). The heavens are clear, and living things come forth upon the earth: lastly man, fashioned by Prometheus in the image of the immortals (69-88).
In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas
ANTE mare et terras et (quod tegit omnia) caelum,
quaque fuit tellus, illic et pontus et aër. v. 1. In nova ... corpora : at first sight, corpora mutata in novas formas would seem more natural. But formas and corpora mean nearly the same thing: the forms are changed, and so the bodies are new. - animus, spirit; hence often inclination. fert. impels Smel (a standing expression). - dicere depends on fert animus as an expression of wishing, $ 331. b; G. 423 ; H. 533, 1. 1.
2. coeptis, efforts; lit. things begun. - et, too, belonging with mutastis, for you changed them, too (and should therefore help me to tell of them).
3. mundi, the universe or system of things; a word having the original sense (like the Greek kóomos) of order or beauty.
4. perpetuum carmen, uninterrupted song, a connected story from the beginning of the world to the poet's own day.
6. orbe, sphere of space; more strictly, orbis is a flat disc, which was the ancient poetic notion of the “circle” of being.
7. chaos (cf. Greek xaivw, yawn), the yawning void. - moles, heap, as of elements, or materials, chance-piled together. - nec quicquam, and nothing, the negative and connective being combined as usual.
8. iners, i.e. lacking the skill (ars) to combine them. - eodem, into the same place.
10-14. Titan, Phoebe, Tellus, Amphitrite = Sun, Moon, Earth, Sea. As the chief of the old nature-divinities (Titans) the Sun sometimes retains this name in poetry. The variety of names of the ancient divinities comes from the fact that new sets of gods springing up or introduced from abroad were identified with the old ones.
11. Phoebe (poißn), the bright one, feminine form of Phoebus (A pollo), later identified with Diana (Artemis), goddess of the chase. -- crescendo, in her waxing: reparabat: re- means in place of the old.
12. circumfuso aere: later philosophers taught that the earth is a sphere or globe, surrounded by air, in which it hangs balanced by its own weight - ponderibus librata suis. - Tellus, the Earth as contrasted with the heavens: terra (connected with torreo is the “dry" land as contrasted with the sea.
13. longo margine, about the long outline (§ 258. f; G. 389; H. 425, II. 1).
14. Amphitrite: Amphitrite," she that enfolds," the wife of Neptune, is poetically the Sea. Observe that this is a spondaic verse: Amphitritē.
15. quaque, and where (ever).
Sic erat instabilis tellus, innabilis unda,
Hanc deus et melior litem natura diremit.
Ignea convexi vis et sine pondere caeli
Sic ubi dispositam, quisquis fuit ille deorum,
16. sic, so, i.e. in this condition of things. — instabilis, innabilis =" the earth that could not be trod, the wave that could not be swum," the opposite of their most striking properties.
17. nulli, sc. eorum. - sua, its own ($ 196. c; G. 309, 2; H. 449, 2). - manebat, was fired.
18. obstabat aliis aliud = every thing hindered every thing else. 19. calidis, dat. (§ 229. c; G. 346,6; H. 385, II. 4, 3)...
20. sine pondere (understand "with those") = levibus. ~ habentia pondus = gravia, in the same construction with frigida, umentia, mollia.
21. hanc litem, this strife, of which a case at court seemed the most natural image to a Roman: etymologically, strife=stlit- (lis).
23. spisso aere, the grosser air.
24. quae relates to the elements; terras, undas, caelum, aer: when he had unfolded these.
25. locis (§ 253; G. 397 ; H. 424): each element is supposed to have its own place, or natural level.
26. convexi, bending, as if regarded from the outside. Observe the four elements in the order of their gravity: ignea vis, aër, tellus, umor, - vis, nature. -et connects ignea and sine pondere. ---sine pondere= levis, agreeing with caeli.
27. emicuit, leaped forth, as by its nature; perhaps also as if it took the supremacy and occupied the citadel. — summa arce, the zenith (topmost height).
29. grandia, coarser.
32. ubi secuit, when he had parted: the subject is quisquis. — sic dispositam : so arranged (i.e. and had arranged it so)..
34. principio, in the beginning, qualifying glomeravit.
36. rapidis, not merely swift, but (with active force; cf. rapio) dragging the waters, which swell under them.
39. obliquis, sloping; declivia, down-flowing (clivus).
40. diversa locis : cf. v. 25. — ipsă, sc. terra (v. 37). The ab shows that the Earth is here represented as a living agent.
42. aquae, construed with campo, expanse (the sea). —ripis, litora: notice the contrast, one word meaning banks, the other shores.