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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [B6v p28]



Candida Cygnus avis suprema aetate canora est.
In quam verti homines tabula picta docet.
Nam sunt canitie Cygni, dulcique canore,
Virtute illustres, eloquióque senes.
Dulce vetus vinum: senis est oratio dulcis.
Dulcior hoc ipso quò sapientior est.
Οὐ γὰρ ἀπὸ γλώσσης μέλιτος γλυκίων ῥέεν αὔδη
Κυμνεῖον πυλίου ὤσμα γέροντος ἔην[1].

The bright swan sings at the end of her days. The painted picture tells that men are turned into swans. For old men, distinguished in virtue and eloquence, like swans have white hair and a lovely song. Old wine is sweet; the speech of the old is sweet, and all the sweeter, the wiser it is. For the voice dripped off his tongue like honey; the song of the Pylian elder was as sweet as a swan’s.


1.  After Alison Saunders, read: Κυκνεῖον . πυλίου. ᾀσμα..., from “The Bifocal Emblem Book”, in: A. Adams, ed., Emblems in Glasgow (1992), p. 120, n. 7. The Greek tag is an expansion of the famous Homeric line on the eloquence of Nestor, who is, of course, the ‘Pylian sage’ of Aneau’s epigram: cf. Iliad, 1.249.

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