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Let each man pass his days in that wherein his skill is greatest.

Sextus Propertius (50 BC16 BC) was a Roman elegiac poet in Maecenas' circle.



  • [N]eque assueto mutet amore torum.
    • Never change when love has found its home.
    • I, i, 36.
  • Navita de ventis, de tauris narrat arator,
    Enumerat miles vulnera, pastor oves.
    • The sailor tells of winds, the ploughman of bulls,
      the soldier counts his wounds, the shepherd his sheep.
    • II, i, 43–4.
  • Qua pote quisque, in ea conterat arte diem.
    • Let each man pass his days in that wherein his skill is greatest.
    • II, i, 46.
  • Aut patrio qualis ponit vestigia ponto
    Mille Venus teneris cincta Cupidinibus.
    • [O]r like Venus attended by a thousand tender Cupids, setting foot upon the sea that gave her birth.
    • II, ii, 9-10.
  • Quod si deficiant vires, audacia certe
    Laus erit: in magnis et voluisse sat est.
    • What though strength fails? Boldness is certain to win praise. In mighty enterprises, it is enough to have had the determination.
    • Variant translation: Even if strength fail, boldness at least will deserve praise: in great endeavors even to have had the will is enough.
    • II, x, 5.
  • Absenti nemo non nocuisse velit.
    • Let no one be willing to speak ill of the absent.
    • II, xix, 32.
  • Let each man have the wit to go his own way.
    • II, xxv, 38.
  • Semper in absentes felicior aestus amantes.
    • Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
    • II, xxxiii, 43.
  • Cedite Romani scriptores, cedite Grai!
    Nescioquid maius nascitur Iliade.
    • Make way, you Roman writers, make way, Greeks!
      Something greater than the Iliad is born.
    • II, xxxiv, 65.
  • Sunt aliquid Manes: letum non omnia finit,
    Luridaque evictos effugit umbra rogos.
    • There is something beyond the grave; death does not end all, and the pale ghost escapes from the vanquished pyre.
    • IV, vii, 1.

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