Masterpieces of Latin Literature: Terence: Lucretius: Catullus: Virgil: Horace: Tibullus: Propertius: Ovid: Petronius: Martial: Juvenal: Cicero: Caesar: Livy: Tacitus: Pliny the Younger: Apuleius; with Biographical Sketches and Notes

By Gordon Jennings Laing | Go to book overview

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO EPICURUS1

II., 1 seq.)

I.

WHEN storms blow loud, 't is sweet to watch at ease
From shore, the sailor laboring with the seas:
Because the sense, not that such pains are his,
But that they are not ours, must always please.

II.

Sweet for the cragsman, from some high retreat
Watching the plains below where legions meet,
To wait the moment when the walls of war
Thunder and clash together. But more sweet,

III.

Sweeter by far on Wisdom's rampired height
To pace serene the porches of the light,
And thence look down--down on the purblind herd
Seeking and never finding in the night

IV.

The road to peace--the peace that all might hold,
But yet is missed by young men and by old,
Lost in the strife for palaces and powers,
The axes, and the lictors, and the gold.

V.

Oh sightless eyes! Oh hands that toil in vain!
Not such your needs. Your nature's needs are twain,

____________________
1
This selection bears on the principal aim of Epicurean ethics,-- to teach men how best to live in peace and tranquillity. The version is taken from Mr. Mallock's Lucretius on Life and Death, in the metre of Omar Khayyám.

-71-

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Masterpieces of Latin Literature: Terence: Lucretius: Catullus: Virgil: Horace: Tibullus: Propertius: Ovid: Petronius: Martial: Juvenal: Cicero: Caesar: Livy: Tacitus: Pliny the Younger: Apuleius; with Biographical Sketches and Notes
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