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Vita irrequieta.

Restless life

India fert apodes,[1] quas tantùm sustinet aër,
Nusquam considunt, perpetuò error agit.
Parturiunt intra ventrem, si credere fas est,
Ingens divini muneris istud opus.
Hic certent miras vates evolvere causas,
Ne sileant, σοφίαν qui profitentur, habent.
Qui requiete caret, curis nec edacibus unquam
Proficit, hunc avibus dic similem esse novis.

India brings (news of) the feetless bird, which only the air supports, they never sit down, a continuous wandering around drives it forth. They give birth inside the womb, if it is right to believe in this momentous work of divine quality. Let poets here contend to unfold the remarkable causes; those who lay claim to wisdom have this not in order to keep silent. Who lacks rest, and never makes progress because of consuming worries, call him similar to these new birds.


1.  This seems to refer to the bird of paradise, referred to in the sixteenth century as Apus indica (“the footless bird of India”), but also alludes to Pliny’s descriptions of swifts (Natural History, 10.55.114), which, as the martlet, is used in heraldry as a footless bird.

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