|Smoldering Fires, Clarence Holbrook Carter, 1904-2000|
Columbus Museum of Art
O Phoebus, favour my efforts which aim for nothing grand,
nothing that the envious crowd would want.
Keep riches away from me; let others seek leadership,
let others take pleasure in great influence:
that this one is named admiral, head of the fleet, and that one
is joyful at the returns of his anxious eagerness, who seeks to take
command of another army; that the province fears his two bundles of fasces;
and that he hears triple times applause.
As for me, can I devote myself to a poor plot and poems of love,
and not pass a day without my brothers?
Grant me retirement not touched by an indolent or sordid life,
that my mind fears nothing nor desires any thing;
and enjoying my ignorance, grant that I would be released after a long painless old age,
and that my brothers be near to collect my bones for burying.
Note on the poem: this is one of my loose translations from a collection of 1st century Latin poems attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca, or pseudo-Seneca. If you have been set it as a translation exercise, don't rely on my efforts as my Latin is pretty shaky ... a full explanation for the collection is posted under 'The Madness of Exile (Exile II)'.
image from Tess Kincaid Mag 64 http://magpietales.blogspot.com/