sententiarum collectio

Month: July 2020

If they chance see a man among them

Just as, all too often,
some huge crowd is seized by a vast uprising,
the rabble runs amok, all slaves to passion,
rocks, firebrands flying. Rage finds them arms
but then, if they chance to see a man among them,
one whose devotion and public service lend him weight,
they stand there, stock-still with their ears alert as
he rules their furor with his words and calms their passion.
So the crash of the breakers all fell silent once their Faither,
gazing over his realm under clear skies, flicks his horses,
giving them free rein, and his eager chariot flies.

Virgil, The Aeneid

Hospitality Born of Suffering

From that day on I have known of Troy’s disaster, known your name, and all the kings of Greece. Teucer, your enemy, often sang Troy’s praises, claiming his own descent from Teucer’s ancient stock. So come, young soldiers, welcome to our house. My destiny, harrying me with trials hard as yours, led me as well, at last, to anchor in this land. Schooled in suffering, now I learn to comfort those who suffer too.

Virgil, The Aeneid

Brave Words

The commander’s words relieve their stricken hearts:
“My comrades, hardly strangers to pain before now,
we all have weathered worse. Some god will grant us
an end to this as well. You’ve threaded the rocks
resounding with Scylla’s howling rabid dogs,
and taken the brunt of the Cyclops’ boulders, too.
Call up your courage again. Dismiss your grief and fear.
A joy it will be one day, perhaps, to remember even this.
Through many hard straits, so many twists and turns
our course holds firm for Latium. There Fate holds out
a homeland, calm, at peace. There the gods decree
the kingdom of Troy will rise again.

“Bear up. Save your strength for better times to comes.”

Brave words. Sick with mounting cares he assumes a look of hope and keeps his anguish buried in his heart.

– Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 2

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