Vos etiam, quos nulla mihi cognatio iunxit,
sed fama et carae religio patriae
et studium in libris et sedula cura docendi,
commemorabo viros morte obita celebres.
fors erit ut nostros manes sic asserat olim
exemplo cupiet qui pius esse meo.
(Ausonius, Commemoratio Professorum Burdigalensium: Praefatio)
Your memories, too, I will recall as famous men now dead, whom no kinship linked with me, but renown, and the love of our dear country, and zeal of learning, and the industrious toil of teaching. Perchance one day another in the same way may make my shade his theme, and after my example will seek to do a pious deed. (tr. Hugh G. Evelyn White)
Quas inter medias furvae caliginis umbram
dispulit inconsultus Amor stridentibus alis.
agnovere omnes puerum memorique recursu
communem sensere reum, quamquam umida circum
nubila et auratis fulgentia cingula bullis
et pharetram et rutilae fuscarent lampados ignem.
agnoscunt tamen et vanum vibrare vigorem
occipiunt hostemque unum loca non sua nanctum,
cum pigros ageret densa sub nocte volatus,
facta nube premunt: trepidantem et cassa parantem
suffugia in coetum mediae traxere catervae.
(Ausonius, Cupido Cruciatus 45-55)
Into the midst of these Love rashly broke scattering the darkness of that murky gloom with rustling wings. All recognized the boy, and as their
thoughts leapt back, they knew him for the one transgressor against them all, though the damp clouds obscured the sheen of his golden-studded
belt, his quiver, and the flame of his glowing torch. Yet they recognize him, and essay to wield their phantom strength against him, and upon their one
foe, now lighted on a realm not his own where he could ply his wings but feebly under the clogging weight of night, gathering in a throng they press:
him trembling and vainly seeking to escape, they dragged into the midst of the crowding band. (tr. Hugh G. Evelyn White)
Purior hic campis aër Phoebusque sereno
lumine purpureum reserat iam sudus Olympum;
nec iam consertis per mutua vincula ramis
quaeritur exclusum viridi caligine caelum;
sed liquidum iubar et rutilam visentibus aethram
libera perspicui non invidet aura diei.
in speciem tum me patriae cultumque nitentis
Burdigalae blando pepulerunt omnia visu:
culmina villarum pendentibus edita ripis
Et virides Baccho colles et amoena fluenta
subter labentis tacito rumore Mosellae.
(Ausonius, Mosella 12-22)
In these plains the air is purer, and Phoebus, now cloudless, opens glittering Olympus with his untroubled light. The heavens are no longer shut out by a green gloom and to be sought in the tangle of intertwining branches; and the free air of bright day does not begrudge to the beholder a clear radiance and a dazzling sky. Everything moved me in this charming scene by its resemblance to the splendour of shining Burdigala (Bordeaux), my native land: the tops of the villas standing out above the overhanging banks, the hills green with vines, and the pleasant waters of the Mosella flowing beneath with a muted murmur. (tr. Frank Stewart Flint)
Versus monosyllabis et coepti et finiti ita ut a fine versus ad principium recurrant
RES hominum fragiles alit et regit et perimit FORS
FORS dubia aeternumque labans: quam blanda fovet SPES
SPES nullo finita aevo: cui terminus est MORS
MORS avida, inferna mergit caligine quam NOX
NOX obitura vicem, remeaverit aurea cum LUX
LUX dono concessa deum, cui praevius est SOL
SOL, cui nec furto in Veneris latet armipotens MARS
MARS nullo de patre satus, quem Thraessa colit GENS
GENS infrena virum, quibus in scelus omne ruit FAS
FAS hominem mactare sacris: ferus iste loci MOS
MOS ferus audacis populi, quem nulla tenet LEX
LEX naturali quam condidit imperio IUS
IUS genitum pietate hominum, ius certa dei MENS
MENS, quae caelesti sensu rigat emeritum COR
COR vegetum mundi instar habens, animae vigor et VIS:
VIS tamen hic nulla est: tantum est iocus et nihili RES.
(Ausonius, Technopaegnion 3)
Verses beginning and ending with monosyllables so contrived that the word which ends one verse makes the beginning of the next
Things that concern man are frail, prospered, guided, and destroyed by Chance – Chance the unstable, ever-changing goddess, who is flattered by fond Hope – Hope, who knows no bounds of time; whose only end is Death – Death the insatiate, who is steeped in infernal gloom by Night – Night, who must yield place on the return of golden Light – Light bestowed by Heaven’s gift, whose harbinger is the Sun – the Sun, who even in their stolen loves beholds Venus and warrior Mars – Mars unbegotten of a father, who is worshiped by the Thracian race – a race of uncurbed folk, with whom every crime is right: – Right bids them offer men in sacrifice: such is their savage wont – wont of a savage and daring folk, all unrestrained by Law – Law, which was founded by the natural sway of Right – Right which is sprung from man’s natural affection, Right which is God’s unerring mind – mind which bedews with heavenly influence the deserving heart – the heart, alive, formed like the globe, the life’s power and its strength: – strength, however, there is none in this: ’tis but a jest and a worthless thing. (tr. Hugh G. Evelyn White)