Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pomp and circumstance

.. I must essay a path by which I too
may rise from earth a triumph fluttering on the lips of men.
I first, if only life prolong, into my country returning
will lead the Muses from the Aonian mount,
and in the green field a marble temple plant
at water's edge, where in slow turns wanders
great Mincius fringing its banks with supple reeds.
In its nave I will have Caesar, and he will have its dominion.
In his honour I, a victor dazzling in Tyrian purple,
will drive a hundred quadrigs along the river.

  Meanwhile it flies,
  time flies irretrievably,
  while captivated with love
  we ramble through minutiae.

Kimberly Johnson, translator
Georgics: A poem of the land
  Book III, 8-18, 284-285
Penguin Classics, 2009©

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