Urbem

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Exaudi, Regina tui pulcherrima mundi,
inter sidereos Roma recepta polos;
exaudi, genetrix hominum genetrixque deorum,
non procul a caelo per tua templa sumus.
te canimus semperque, sinent dum fata, canemus:
sospes nemo potest immemor esse tui.
obruerint citius scelerata oblivia solem
quam tuus ex nostro corde recedat honos.
nam solis radiis aequalia munera tendis,
qua circumfusus fluctuat Oceanus.
volvitur ipse tibi, qui continet omnia, Phoebus,
eque tuis ortos in tua condit equos.
te non flammigeris Lybie tardavit arenis,
non armata suo reppulit Ursa gelu:
quantum vitales natura tetendit in axes,
tantum virtuti pervia terra tuae.
fecisti patriam diversis gentibus unam,
profuit iniustis, te dominante, capi,
dumque offers victis proprii consortia iuris,
urbem fecisti quod prius orbis erat.
(Rutilius Namatianus, De Reditu Suo 47-66)

Listen, O fairest queen of thy world, Rome, welcomed amid the starry skies, listen, thou mother of men and mother of gods, thanks to thy temples we are not far from heaven: thee do we chant, and shall, while destiny allows, for ever chant. None can be safe if forgetful of thee. Sooner shall guilty oblivion whelm the sun than the honour due to thee quit my heart; for benefits extend as far as the sun’s rays, where the circling Ocean-flood bounds the world. For thee the very Sun-God who holdeth all together doth revolve: his steeds that rise in thy domains he puts in thy domains to rest. Thee Africa hath not stayed with scorching sands, nor hath the Bear, armed with its native cold, repulsed thee. As far as living nature hath stretched towards the poles, so far hath earth opened a path for thy valour. For nations far apart thou hast made a single fatherland; under thy dominion captivity hath meant profit even for those who knew not justice: and by offering to the vanquished a share in thine own justice, thou hast made a city of what was erstwhile a world. (tr. John Wight Duff & Arnold M. Duff)

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