Disconvenit

8fb8fb112c421bdf96d2c2830a8d2d90

Si curatus inaequali tonsore capillos
occurri, rides; si forte subucula pexae
trita subest tunicae, vel si toga dissidet impar,
rides: quid, mea cum pugnat sententia secum,
quod petiit spernit, repetit quod nuper omisit,
aestuat et vitae disconvenit ordine toto,
diruit, aedificat, mutat quadrata rotundis?
insanire putas sollemnia me neque rides
nec medici credis nec curatoris egere
a praetore dati, rerum tutela mearum
cum sis et prave sectum stomacheris ob unguem
de te pendentis, te respicientis amici.
ad summam: sapiens uno minor est Iove, dives,
liber, honoratus, pulcher, rex denique regum,
praecipue sanus, nisi cum pituita molesta est.
(Horace, Ep. 1.1.94-108)

If some ham-fisted barber has cropped my hair and I
Meet you, you laugh: if I happen to wear a tired shirt
Under my tunic, or my toga sits poorly, all
Awry, you laugh: yet if my judgement contends
With itself, spurns what it craved, seeks what it just put down,
Wavers, inconsistently, in all of life’’s affairs,
Razing, re-building, and altering round to square:
You consider my madness normal, don’’t laugh at all,
Don’’t think I need the doctor, or a legal guardian
The praetor appoints, given you, in charge of all
My affairs, are annoyed by a badly-trimmed nail
Of this friend who looks to you, hangs on your every word.
In sum: the wise man is second only to Jove,
Rich, free, handsome, honoured, truly a king of kings,
Sane, above all, sound, unless he’’s a cold in the head!
(tr. Tony Kline)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s