epigrammata ausonii de diversis rebus
I.—IIροσωποποιία in Chartam
Si tineas cariemque pati te, charta, necesse est, incipe versiculis ante perire meis. “malo, inquis, tineis.” sapis, aerumnose libelle, perfungi mavis quod leviore malo. 5ast ego damnosae nolo otia perdere Musae, iacturam somni quae parit atque olei. “utilius dormire fuit, quam perdere somnum atque oleum.” bene ais: causa sed ista mihi est: irascor Proculo, cuius facundia tanta est, 10quantus honos. scripsit plurima, quae cohibet. hunc studeo ulcisci; et prompta est ultio vati: qui sua non edit carmina, nostra legat. huius in arbitrio est, seu te iuvenescere cedro, seu iubeat duris vermibus esse cibum. 15huic ego, quod nobis superest ignobilis oti, deputo, sive legat, quae dabo, sive tegat.
epigrams of ausonius on various matters
I.—A Personal Address to his Paper
If worms and decay must needs be thy lot, my sheet, begin to perish under my verses first. “Rather,” thou sayest, “the worms.” Wisely, my woeful little book, dost thou choose to endure the lesser evil. But I like not to lose the leisure given to the wasteful Muse, who causes loss of slumber and lamp-oil too. “It had been better to sleep than to lose both slumber and oil.” Well said: but this is my reason for it. I am angry with Proculus1 whose eloquence is equal to his rank. He has written reams, but keeps all close. On him I long to be avenged, and a poet has vengeance ready to hand: let him who publishes not his own verse read mine. For him is it to decide whether to bid thee keep thy youth with cedar oil,2 or to be food for cruel worms. To him I commit all that I have to show for my inglorious leisure, either to scan what I shall give him or to ban it.
- 1Possibly the son of Titianus, Count of the East in 382-3, executed 392 a.d.
- 2Cedar-oil was used to preserve books from the attacks of worms.