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QUI ALTA CONTEMPLANTUR
cadere.

Those who contemplate the heights come to grief

Emblema 103.

Dum turdos visco, pedica dum fallit alaudas,
Et iacta altivolam figit[1] arundo gruem,
Dipsada non prudens auceps pede perculit: ultrix
Illa mali, emissum virus ab ore iacit.
Link to an image of this page Link to an image of this page [Ll1v f265v]Sic obit, extento qui sidera respicit arcu,
Securus fati quod iacet ante pedes.[2]

While he tricks thrushes with bird-lime, larks with snares, while his speeding shaft pierces the high-flying crane, the careless bird-hunter steps on a snake; avenging the injury, it spits the darting venom from its jaws. So he dies, a man who gazes at the stars with bow at the ready, oblivious of the mishap lying before his feet.

Notes:

1. Corrected by hand in the Glasgow copy.

2. See Anthologia graeca 7.172 and Aesop, Fables 137.


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POTENTISSIMUS AFFECTUS
amor.

Love, the all-powerful emotion

Emblema 104.

Aspice ut invictus vires auriga leonis,
Expressus gemma pusio vincat Amor.
Utque manu hac scuticam tenet, hac ut flectit habenas,
Utque est in pueri plurimus ore decor.
Dira lues procul esto: feram qui vincere talem
Est potis, nobis temperet anne manus?[1]

Look - here’s Love the lad, carved on a gem. He rides triumphant in his chariot and subdues the lion’s might. In one hand he holds a lash, with the other he guides the reins, and on his countenance rests the loveliness of youth. - Dread pestilence keep far away. Would one who has the power to conquer such a beast keep his hands from us?

Notes:

1. This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.221, an epigram about a seal carved with a representation of Eros driving a chariot drawn by lions.


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