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IN FERTILITATEM[1] SIBI IPSI
DAMNOSAM.

Fruitfulness bringing its own destruction

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Ludibrium pueris lapides iacientibus hoc me,
In trivio posuit rustica cura nucem.
Quae laceris ramis perstrictoque ardua libro,
Certatim fundis per latus omne petor.
Quid sterili posset contingere turpius? eheu,
Infoelix fructus in mea damna fero.[2]

A countryman’s care placed me, a nut tree, at this cross-roads, where I am the butt of stone-throwing boys. I have grown tall, but my branches are broken, my bark bruised, I am attacked with sling-stones, competing on every side. What worse fate could befall a barren tree? Alas, cursed tree that I am, I bear fruit to my own destruction.

Notes:

1.  Textual variant: foecunditatem.

2.  This is a translation of Anthologia graeca 9.3, see also Aesop, Fables 152.


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EX LITERARUM STUDIIS
immortalitatem acquiri.

Immortality won through literary pursuits

Neptuni tubicen, cuius pars ultima coetum,
Aequoreum facies indicat esse deum.
Serpentis medio Triton comprenditur orbe
Qui caudam inserto mordicus ore tenet.
Fama viros animo insignes praeclaraque gesta.
Prosequitur, toto mandat & orbe legi.[1]

Triton, Neptune’s trumpeter, whose tail shows him as a sea-monster, his face as a god of the sea, is surrounded by an encircling snake which bites on its own tail, gripped fast in its mouth. Fame follows after men of outstanding intellect and their noble achievements, and bids them be read throughout all the world.

Notes:

1.  The trumpet represents fame, the encircling serpent eternity.


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