Rutilius Namatianus, De Reditu Suo

LCL 434: 766-767

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Minor Latin Poets

quale per aetherios mundani verticis axes concilium summi credimus esse dei.

at mea dilectis fortuna revellitur oris, 20indigenamque suum Gallica rura vocant. illa quidem longis nimium deformia bellis, sed quam grata minus, tam miseranda magis. securos levius crimen contemnere cives: privatam repetunt publica damna fidem. 25praesentes lacrimas tectis debemus avitis: prodest admonitus saepe dolore labor. nec fas ulterius longas nescire ruinas quas mora suspensae multiplicavit opis: iam tempus laceris post saeva incendia fundis 30vel pastorales aedificare casas. ipsi quin etiam fontes si mittere vocem ipsaque si possent arbuta nostra loqui, cessantem iustis poterant urgere querelis et desideriis addere vela meis. 35iam iam laxatis carae complexibus urbis vincimur et serum vix toleramus iter.

electum pelagus, quoniam terrena viarum plana madent fluviis, cautibus alta rigent. postquam Tuscus ager postquamque Aurelius agger, 40perpessus Geticas ense vel igne manus, non silvas domibus, non flumina ponte coercet, incerto satius credere vela mari.

  • 17aetherias . . . arces Baehrem.
  • 22veneranda R: miseranda VB.
  • 34verba vir doctus apud Wernsdorf: accepit Baehrens.
  • 37vetabant Baehrens.

Rutilius Namatianus

as from ethereal pole to pole of the celestial vault we believe there abideth the council of the Deity Supreme.

But ‘tis my fortune that is plucked back from the well-loved land; the fields of Gaul summon home their native. a Disfigured they are by wars immeasurably long, yet the less their charm, the more they earn pity. ‘Tis a lighter crime to neglect our countrymen when at their ease: our common losses call for each man’s loyalty. Our presence and our tears are what we owe to the ancestral home: service which grief has prompted ofttimes helps. ‘Tis sin further to overlook the tedious tale of disasters which the delay of halting aid has multiplied: now is the time after cruel fires on ravaged farms to rebuild, if it be but shepherds’ huts. Nay, if only the very springs could utter words, if only out-very trees b could speak, they well might spur my laggard pace with just complaints and give sails to my yearning wishes. Now that the dear city slackens her embrace, my homeland wins, and I can scarce feel patient with a journey deferred so late.

I have chosen the sea, since roads by land, if on the level, are flooded by rivers; if on higher ground, are beset with rocks. Since Tuscany and since the Aurelian highway, c after suffering the outrages of Goths with fire or sword, can no longer control forest with homestead or river with bridge, it is better to entrust my sails to the wayward sea.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.rutilius_namatianus-de_reditu_suo.1934