from "SATIRE 7"from "THE HOPES AND MOTIVES OF OUR STUDIES REST ..."
Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis)trans. John Quincy Adams
Et spes et ratio studiorum in Caesare tantum;
solus enim tristes hac tempestate Camenas
respexit, cum iam celebres notique poetae
balneolum Gabiis, Romae conducere furios
temptarent, nec foedum alii nec turpe putarent
praecones fieri, cum desertis Aganippes
uallibus esuriens migraret in atria Clio.
nam si Pieria quadrans tibi nullus in umbra
ostendatur, ames nomen uictumque Machaerae
et uendas potius commissa quod auctio uendit
stantibus, oenophorum, tripedes, armaria, cistas,
Alcithoen Pacci, Thebas et Terea Fausti.
hoc satius quam si dicas sub iudice 'uidi'
quod non uidisti; faciant equites Asiani,
quamquam et Cappadoces faciant equitesque Bithyni
altera quos nudo traducit gallica talo.
nemo tamen studiis indignum ferre laborem
cogetur posthac, nectit quicumque canoris
eloquium uocale modis laurumque momordit.
hoc agite, o iuuenes. circumspicit et stimulat uos
materiamque sibi ducis indulgentia quaerit.
si qua aliunde putas rerum expectanda tuarum
praesidia atque ideo croceae membrana tabellae
impletur, lignorum aliquid posce ocius et quae
componi dona Veneris, Telesine, marito,
aut clude et positos tinea pertunde libellos.
frange miser calamum uigilataque proelia dele,
qui facis in parua sublimia carmina cella,
ut dignus uenias hederi et imagine macra.
spes nulla ulterior; didicit iam diues auarus
tantum admirari, tantum laudare disertos,
ut pueri Iunonis auem. sed defluit aetas
et pelagi patiens et cassidis atque ligonis.
taedia tunc subeunt animos, tunc seque suamque
Terpsichoren odit facunda et nuda senectus.
...........
...........
The hopes and motives of our studies rest
Alone henceforth in Caesar's liberal breast;
He, in these dismal days, he only views
With smiles of kindness the afflicted Muse;
Whose darling votaries compelled for bread
The meanest steps of drudgery must tread:
For Gabian baths, for pastry cooks at Rome,
To cleave the fuel, is of some the doom:
Some grasp with rapture at the lot severe,
To wield the hammer of an auctioneer;
While Clio forced from Pindus to retreat
Starves in attendance on the drowsy great.
Yet - if Pieria's fountains all are dry,
Nor Nature's first, resistless wants supply,
Justly you hold it less flagitious shame
To barter Famine for Machaera's name;
At public auctions your address display,
Trunks, tables, tatters - trash, to put away,
Plays innocent of wit, and verse in prose,
Than under oath with lying lips depose.
Thus though Bithynians and Galatians do,
Outcasts from home, with neither shirt nor shoe,
Who now enjoy in native Virtue's spite
The wealth and honours of the Roman knight.
Yet, shall in fuure none to whom belong
The tuneful powers and eloquence of song,
Whose lofty brows immortal laurel binds
Need stoop to toils unworthy of their minds -
Brave youths - proceed - with Caesar's fond regard,
Whose bounty thirsts for objects to reward.
But for the wit your tablets can supply
On other patrons did your souls rely?
- Collect your faggots, heap sublime the pyre,
Give all your verses to the God of fire;
Or clos'd in coffers from the blush of day,
Let worms in darkness on your genius prey.
...........
...........

Publ. Penguin Classics


next
index
translator's next