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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [X5r p329]

In Atlantem.

On Atlas.



Distinctum stellis caelum fert maximus Atlas,
Atque humeros oneri fertur habere pares:
Unde illi cecidit tantae provincia sorti?
Quis Deus hunc tantum munus obire dedit?
Qui bene Virgilias, fratrum quoque lucida signa
Novit, & Arctoi sydera clara poli:
Et cui lactis iter notum, & dimensio caeli:
Is magnum Aetherei sustinet axis onus.

Atlas the giant carries the star-spangled heavens, and is said to have shoulders that are equal to the burden. How come so great a duty fell [lit. whence did the duty of so great a fate fall] to him? What god gave him so great a charge to fulfil? He who knows well the Pleiades, and the shining sign of the twins [Castor and Pollux], and the bright stars of the north pole [i.e.Ursa Major and Minor]: And who knows the Milky Way, and the extent of the universe: Such a man bears the great weight of the sky of Heaven.

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