Our life is our own to-day, to-morrow you will be dust, a shade, and a tale that is told. Live mindful of death; the hour flies.
Aulus Persius Flaccus (34–62) was a Roman satirical poet and moralist.
Translations are taken from G. G. Ramsay's revised edition of Juvenal and Persius in the Loeb Classical Library (1940)
- Magister artis ingenique largitor
- That master of arts, that dispenser of genius, the Belly.
- Prologue, line 10.
- Quis leget haec?
- Who’ll read that sort of thing?
- Satire I, line 2 (translated by W. S. Merwin).
- Nec te quaesiveris extra.
- Don’t consult anyone’s opinions but your own.
- Satire I, line 7.
- Usque adeone
scire tuum nihil est, nisi te scire hoc sciat alter?
- Is all your knowledge to go so utterly for nothing unless other people know that you possess it?
- Satire I, line 26.
- At pulchrum est digito monstrari et dicier "hic est".
- O but it is a fine thing to have a finger pointed at one, and to hear people say, "That's the man!"
- Satire I, line 28.
- Nec nocte paratum,
plorabit qui me volet incurvasse querella.
- The man who wishes to bend me with his tale of woe must shed true tears – not tears that have been got ready overnight.
- Satire I, line 90.
- Virtutem videant intabescantque relicta.
- Let them recognize virtue and rot for having lost it.
- Satire III, line 38.
- Alternate translation (by William Gifford):—
"In all her charms, set Virtue in their eye,
And let them see their loss, despair, and—die!"
- Ut nemo in sese tentat descendere! nemo!
Sed praecedenti spectatur mantica tergo.
- None, none descends into himself, to find
The secret imperfections of his mind.
- Satire IV, line 23 (translated by John Dryden).
- Tecum habita: noris quam sit tibi curta supellex.
- Live with yourself: get to know how poorly furnished you are.
- Satire IV, line 52.
- Cum lux altera venit,
iam cras hesternum consumpsimus; ecce aliud cras
egerit hos annos et semper paulum erit ultra.
- But when to-morrow comes, yesterday's morrow will have been already spent: and lo! a fresh morrow will be for ever making away with our years, each just beyond our grasp.
- Satire V, line 67.
- Nostrum est
quod vivis, cinis et manes et fabula fies.
vive memor leti, fugit hora.
- Our life is our own to-day, to-morrow you will be dust, a shade, and a tale that is told. Live mindful of death; the hour flies.
- Satire V, line 151.
- She knows her man, and when you rant and swear,
Can draw you to her with a single hair.