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Nil omni parte securum.

Nothing is completely secure.

Aligeros Ibis colubros avertit ab oris,
Tetrior ex ovo sed basiliscus adest.
Hanc ade Aegyptus coluit, sibi praesidiumque
Delegit contra lethifera Aethyopum.[1]
Nil est perpetuum, nil omni parte beatum:
Et venit utilitas concomitata malo.
Si prohibet long quae tristia fata minantur,
Adiicit proprio non leviora sinu.
Vera salus caelo: hc nullius & integer usus.
Istic non cessat ver, viget omne decus.

The ibis frightens winged snakes from her shores; but look! A basilisk, even uglier, is emerging from the egg. Egypt worshipped the stork in ancient times, and made her its death-bringing defender against the Ethiopian. Nothing is always happy in every way, and useful things come conjoined with evil. If it holds off for a long time the horrid threats of evil fortune, still, it adds others, no less strong, of its own, from its own store. True safety is in heaven: here no one’s profit is complete; there Spring knows no end, and all beauty flourishes.


1. An allusion to the old story of the Pygmies and the Cranes, a fanciful Greek myth with no Egyptian connections at all, which occurs in a famous Iliadic simile (3.1ff).

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