Exspectanda

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Iam stabant Thebae, poteras iam, Cadme, videri
exilio felix: soceri tibi Marsque Venusque
contigerant; huc adde genus de coniuge tanta,
tot natos natasque et, pignora cara, nepotes,
hos quoque iam iuvenes; sed scilicet ultima semper
exspectanda dies hominis, dicique beatus
ante obitum nemo supremaque funera debet.
(Ovid, Met. 3.131-137)

Thebes has been founded now, and even though
an exile still, you might seem fortunate
in having Mars and Venus as your in-laws,
Cadmus; nor is this all, for in addition
are offspring worthy of your noble wife,
your sons and daughters, the pledges of your love,
and grandsons too, already grown to manhood.
But “fortunate”? A judgment best reserved
for a man’s last day: call no one blest, until
he dies and the last rites are said for him.
(tr. Charles Martin)

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