This is part 2 of 2. Part 1 is here.
Numquid talia proderunt
carnis post obitum vel bona vel mala,
cum iam, quidquid id est, quod fueram, mors aboleverit?
dicendum mihi: “quisquis es,
mundum, quem coluit, mens tua perdidit;
non sunt illa Dei, quae studuit, cuius habeberis.”
atqui fine sub ultimo
peccatrix anima stultitiam exuat;
saltem voce Deum concelebret, si meritis nequit.
hymnis continuet dies,
nec nox ulla vacet, quin Dominum canat;
pugnet contra hereses, catholicam discutiat fidem;
conculcet sacra gentium,
labem, Roma, tuis inferat idolis;
carmen martyribus devoveat, laudet apostolos.
haec dum scribo vel eloquor,
vinclis o utinam corporis emicem
liber, quo tulerit lingua sono mobilis ultimo.
(Prudentius, Cathemerinon: Praefatio 28-45)
Will such things, good or bad, be of any profit after my flesh is dead, when death shall have wiped out all that I was? It must be said to me: “Whosoever thou art, thy soul hath lost the world it cherished; not to God, who will claim thee as His, belong the things for which it was zealous.” Yet as my last end draws near let my sinning soul put off her folly. With voice at least let her honour God, if with good deeds she cannot. With hymns let her link the days together, and no night pass without singing of her Lord. Let her fight against heresies, expound the Catholic faith, trample on the rites of the heathen, strike down thy idols, O Rome, devote song to the martyrs, and praise the apostles. And while I write or speak of these themes, O may I fly forth in freedom from the bonds of the body, to the place whither my busy tongue’s last word shall tend. (tr. Henry John Thomson)
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