Monday, October 24, 2011

Last of the Romans

I missed mentioning that yesterday was the feast day of Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius; so I'll make up for it today.

`When the stars are hidden
by black clouds,
no light
can they afford.
When the boisterous south wind
rolls along the sea
and stirs the surge,
the water,
but now as clear as glass,
bright as the fair sun's light,
is dark,
impenetrable to sight,
with stirred and scattered sand.
The stream,
that wanders
down the mountain's side,
must often find a stumbling-block,
a stone within its path torn
from the hill's own rock.
So too shalt thou: if thou wouldst see
the truth
in undimmed light,
choose the straight road,
the beaten path;
away with passing joys!
away with fear!
put vain hopes to flight!
and grant no place to grief!
Where these distractions reign,
the mind is clouded o'er,
the soul is bound in chains.'

Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, Book I, meter 7

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