The Consolation of Philosophy

By Boethius; P. G. Walsh | Go to book overview

that the final burden imposed by hostile Fortune is the general belief that wretches charged with some offence deserve all the punishment which they get. For myself, I have been parted from 45 my possessions, stripped of my offices, blackened in my reputation, and punished for the services I have rendered. By contrast, 46images appear before my eyes of criminals in their dens, wallowing in sensual joys, the most abandoned of them plotting renewed false accusations, while good men are prostrate with fear as they survey my danger. I see evildoers, one and all roused by their impunity to venture on wicked deeds, and by rewards to see them through; I see innocent men deprived not only of safety, but also of the right to defend themselves. This is what stirs my cry of lament.


Chapter 5

'Creator of the starry sphere,✳
Seated upon your timeless chair,
You move the sky in swift gyration,
Ordering with law each constellation.
So now the hornèd moon entire 5 Reflects in full her brother's fire,
And gleaming, shrouds the lesser stars;
Soon, close access to Phoebus mars
And dissipates its crescent light.
The evening star at fall of night 10 First makes its frigid presence known,
But then, as Lucifer at dawn,
Relinquishing its earlier rein
Pale presence with the sun maintains.

You, as cold winter strips the trees, 15 Draw in the light on shorter lease;
You, when the heat of summer lours,
Abbreviate night's fleeting hours.
Your power adjusts the changing year.
Leaves that through Boreas disappear 20 Return when the mild Zephyr blows.
The seeds that Arcturus first sows
As tall crops Sirius roasts dry.✳
Nought can your ancient law deny
Or fail its function to perform; 25 All things you govern with fixed norm.

-13-

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The Consolation of Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface and Acknowledgements v
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations viii
  • Introduction xi
  • Summary of the Treatise li
  • A Note on the Text liii
  • Bibliography liv
  • Book I 3
  • Chapter 1 3
  • Chapter 2 5
  • Chapter 3 6
  • Chapter 4 8
  • Chapter 5 13
  • Chapter 6 15
  • Chapter 7 18
  • Book 2 19
  • Chapter 1 19
  • Chapter 2 21
  • Chapter 3 23
  • Chapter 4 25
  • Chapter 5 28
  • Chapter 6 32
  • Chapter 7 34
  • Chapter 8 37
  • Book 3 40
  • Chapter 1 40
  • Chapter 2 41
  • Chapter 3 44
  • Chapter 4 46
  • Chapter 5 48
  • Chapter 6 49
  • Chapter 7 50
  • Chapter 8 51
  • Chapter 9 53
  • Chapter 10 57
  • Chapter 11 61
  • Chapter 12 65
  • Book 4 71
  • Chapter 1 71
  • Chapter 2 73
  • Chapter 3 77
  • Chapter 4 80
  • Chapter 5 94
  • Book 5 97
  • Chapter 1 97
  • Chapter 2 99
  • Chapter 3 100
  • Chapter 4 104
  • Chapter 5 108
  • Chapter 6 110
  • Explanatory Notes 115
  • Index and Glossary of Names 166
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