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99

tetrastichon.

Quid Libitina[1] facit? Quid ponderat illa bilance?
An iustum faciet pondus avara manus?
Pauperibus Reges, & sceptra ligonibus aequat,
Quos Fors distinguit, Mors facit esse pares.

What is Libitina doing? What is she weighing in her double scales? Will a miserly hand make an honest measure? She equates poor men and kings, and sceptres with mattocks: those whom Chance parts, Death makes into comrades.

quatrain.

Quand la mort tient en sa main la balance,
Les sceptres sont & les rateaux esgaux:
Pour demontrer, que quand la mort s’avance,
De mesme poix sont les Roys & vassaux.

Notes:

1. áLibitina: archaic Roman goddess of death (or synonymn for death itself).


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