Iam nox hibernas bis quinque peregerat horas excubitorque diem cantu praedixerat ales, Simulus exigui cultor cum rusticus agri, tristia venturae metuens ieiunia lucis, 5membra levat vili sensim demissa grabato sollicitaque manu tenebras explorat inertes vestigatque focum, laesus quem denique sensit. parvulus exusto remanebat stipite fomes et cinis obductae celabat lumina prunae; 10admovet his pronam summissa fronte lucernam et producit acu stuppas umore carentis, excitat et crebris languentem flatibus ignem. tandem concepto, sed vix, fulgore recedit oppositaque manu lumen defendit ab aura 15et reserat casulae, quae pervidet, ostia clavis. fusus erat terra frumenti pauper acervus: hinc sibi depromit quantum mensura patebat, quae bis in octonas excurrit pondere libras. Inde abit adsistitque molae, parvaque tabella, 20quam fixam paries illos servabat in usus, lumina fida locat; geminos tum veste lacertos
- 8fomes Scaliger: fumus Ω
- 13vix Voss: lux Ω
- 15casulae DeWitt: clausae Ω ǀ quae FSL: qua GPDRM
Now had the winter’s night completed its tenth hour, and with his crowing the sentinel cock had proclaimed the advent of day, when Simulus, the rustic tiller of a little farm, fearful of grim hunger on the coming morn, slowly uplifts his limbs from the poor bed on which he had laid them, and with cautious hand feels his way through the lifeless night, and gropes for the hearth, which he at last painfully finds. In a burned-out log there still remained some tiny kindling, while ashes concealed the glow of live coal beneath. Bending low his head, he brings his lamp forward to the embers, draws out with a needle the dried-up wick, and with many a puff wakes up the sluggish fire. Rousing at last a flame, though hard the task, he draws back, and with sheltering hand guards the light from the draught, while his key, peeping through, unlocks the closet door. On the ground was poured a poor heap of corn: from this he helps himself to as much as the measure, which runs to twice eight pounds in weight, would hold.
And now he goes and takes his place at the mill; and on a tiny shelf, firmly fastened on the wall for such needs, he places his trusty lamp. Then he frees both arms from his