Pleasant it is, when over a great sea the winds trouble the waters, to gaze from shore upon another’s great tribulation; not because any man’s troubles are a delectable joy, but because to perceive you are free of them yourself is pleasant.
Vineyards and shining harvests, pastures, arbors,
And all this our very utmost toil
Can hardly care for, we wear down our strength
Whether in oxen or in men, we dull
The edges of our ploughshares, and in return
Our fields turn mean and stingy, underfed,
And so today the farmer shakes his head,
More and more often sighing that his work,
The labour of his hands, has come to naught.
What is food to one, is to others bitter poison.
For as children tremble and fear everything in the blind darkness, so we in the light sometimes fear what is no more to be feared than the things children in the dark hold in terror and imagine will come true.
No fact is so simple that it is not harder to believe than to doubt at the first presentation. Equally, there is nothing so mighty or so marvelous that the wonder it evokes does not tend to diminish in time.
From the very fountain of enchantment there arises a taste of bitterness to spread anguish amongst the flowers.
O deaf to nature and to Heaven’s command, against thyself to lift the murdering hand!—Oh, damned despair, to shun the living light, and plunge thy guilty soul in endless night!
In the midst of the fountain of wit there arises something bitter, which stings in the very flowers.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Virgil Roman Poet
- Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) Roman Poet
- Cicero Roman Philosopher
- Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) Roman Poet
- Catullus Roman Latin Poet
- Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) Roman Stoic Philosopher
- Marcus Manilius Roman Poet
- Claudian Roman Poet
- Persius Roman Poet
- Juvenal Roman Poet