Petronius, Poems

LCL 15: 410-411

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Petronius Arbiter

palmitibus plenis Bacchum vincire, Palemque pastorum gaudere manu; † nutat obrutus †1 omnis Neptunus demersus aqua; Pallasque2 tabernas vindicat; et voti reus et qui vendidit orbem,3 iam sibi quisque deos avido certamine fingit.

77 P.L.M. B. XXXIII.


Nolo ego semper idem capiti suffundere costum nec noto4 stomachum conciliare mero. Taurus amat gramen mutata carpere valle et fera mutatis sustinet ora cibis. Ipsa dies ideo nos grato perluit haustu, quod permutatis hora recurrit equis.

78 P.L.M. B. XXXIV.


Uxor legitimus5 debet quasi census amari. Nec censum vellem semper amare meum.

79 P.L.M.


Linque tuas sedes alienaque litora quaere, o6 iuvenis: maior rerum tibi nascitur ordo. Ne succumbe malis: te noverit ultimus Hister, te Boreas gelidus securaque regna Canopi, quique renascentem Phoebum cernuntque cadentem: maior in externas fit qui7 descendit harenas.



garland Bacchus with the fruitful vine-branch, and made Pales1 to rejoice in the shepherd’s work; Neptune . . . wholly plunged beneath the waters of the world, Pallas watches over shops, and the man who wins his prayer or has betrayed the world for gold now strives greedily to create gods of his own.

I would not always steep my head with the same sweet nard, nor strive to win my stomach with familar wine. The bull loves to enjoy his pasture by a change of valley, and the wild beast maintains his zest by change of food. Even to be bathed in the light of day is pleasant only because the night-hour races with altered steeds.

A wife should be loved like a fortune got legally. But I would not wish to love even my fortune for ever.

Leave thine home, O youth, and seek out alien shores: a larger range of life is ordained for thee. Yield not to misfortune; the far-off Danube shall know thee, the cold North-wind, and the untroubled kingdoms of Canopus,2 and the men who gaze on the new birth of Phoebus or upon his setting: he that disembarks on distant sands, becomes thereby the greater man.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.petronius-poems.1913