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IN VICTORIAM DOLO
PARTAM.

On victory won by guile.

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Aiacis tumulum[1] ego perluo virtus,
Heu misera albentes dilacerata comas.
Scilicet hoc restabat ad huc [=adhuc] , ut iudice graeco[2],
Vincerer & causa stet potiore dolus.[3]

I, Virtue, bedew with tears the tomb of Ajax, tearing, alas, in my grief my whitening hairs. This was all it needed - that I should be worsted with a Greek as judge, and that guile should appear to have the better cause.

Notes:

1.  This neither makes sense nor scans without lacrimis, cf. other editions.

2.  The Greek assembly awarded the arms of the dead Achilles to the cunning and eloquent Ulysses, not the brave and straight-forward Ajax. For Ajax’ subsequent suicide, [A31a039].

3.  See Anthologia graeca 7.145.


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GRATIAM REFERENDAM.

Show gratitude.

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Aėrio insignis pietate Ciconia nido,
Investes pullos pignora grata fovet.
Taliaque expectat sibi munera mutua reddi,
Auxilio hoc quoties mater egebit anus.
Nec pia spem soboles fallit, sed fessa parentum.
Corpora fert humeris praestat & ore cibos.[1]

The stork, famed for its dutiful care, in its airy nest cherishes its featherless chicks, its dear pledges of love. The mother bird expects that the same kind of service will be shown her in return, whenever she needs such help in her old age. Nor does the dutiful brood disappoint this hope, but bears its parents’ weary bodies on its wings and offers food with its beak.

Notes:

1.  See Pliny, Natural History 10.32.63: cranes care for their parents’ old age in their turn. See also Aelian, De natura animalium 3.23.


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