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The tyrant

Regia qui solus moderatur sceptra Tyrannus,
Parendum est quidquid stulta libido iubet.
Ni facias cogit caussam, dextramque minacem
Opponens, misera sustulit usque[1] nece.
Ut leo rugitu crudeles iniicit ungues,
Sanguineae tibi sic saeve Monarcha manus.
Utque vorax passim rapit obvia quaeque silurus,
Mitior haud diris Regibus est animus.
Cuncta premit nutu, subigit, simul astra requirit,
Laetitiae caussas corripit in gemitus.
Quod libet, usque licet, sua pro ratione voluntas:
Iudice me tales pallidus[2] orcus habet.

The tyrant who wields the sceptre of royal power alone: if he commands, however silly the order, you must obey. If you don’t do it, he will force you, facing you with prosecution, or a threatening fist, or even kill you with a miserable death. Like a lion, who with a roar attacks with his fearsome claws, so, for you, is the bloody-handed monarch. And as the hungry sheet-fish gobbles up anything in its path, so the soul of harsh kings is not much kinder. He oppresses and conquers all with a nod, and demands the stars at the same time, and turns the causes of joy into sad moans. What he desires, as long as he can, his will is reason: in my judgement, such men belong to pale Orcus [i.e, Pluto].


1.  Corrected from Errata (from atque).

2.  Corrected from Errata (from tabes).

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