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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Virgil

Assume thy greatness, for the time draws nigh,
Dear child of gods, great progeny of Jove!
See how it totters- the world’s orbed might,
Earth, and wide ocean, and the vault profound,
All, see, enraptured of the coming time!
Ah! might such length of days to me be given,
And breath suffice me to rehearse thy deeds,
Nor Thracian Orpheus should out-sing me then,
Nor Linus, though his mother this, and that
His sire should aid- Orpheus Calliope,
And Linus fair Apollo. Nay, though Pan,
With Arcady for judge, my claim contest,
With Arcady for judge great Pan himself
Should own him foiled, and from the field retire.

Virgil, from the Fourth Eclogue (37 BC)

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

2 Comments

  1. Oh memoriae linguae Latinae in scola alta!
    .
    Adgredere o magnos—aderit iam tempus—honores,
    cara deum suboles, magnum Iovis incrementum.
    aspice convexo nutantem pondere mundum,
    terrasque tractusque maris caelumque profundum;
    aspice, venturo laetantur ut omnia saeclo.
    .
    O mihi tum longae maneat pars ultima vitae,
    spiritus et quantum sat erit tua dicere facta:
    non me carminibus vincat nec Thracius Orpheus
    nec Linus, huic mater quamvis atque huic pater adsit,
    Orphei Calliopea, Lino formosus Apollo.
    Pan etiam, Arcadia mecum si iudice certet,
    Pan etiam Arcadia dicat se iudice victum.

  2. The older I get, the more I have come to appreciate the words of Bl John Henry Newman:-
    “Let us consider, too, how differently young and old are affected by the words of some classic author, such as Homer or Horace. Passages, which to a boy are but rhetorical commonplaces, neither better nor worse than a hundred others which any clever writer might supply, which he gets by heart
    and thinks very fine, and imitates, as he thinks, successfully, in his own flowing versification, at length come home to him, when long years have passed, and he has had experience of life, and pierce him, as if he had never before known them, with their sad earnestness and vivid exactness. Then he comes to understand how it is that lines, the birth of some chance morning or evening at an Ionian festival, or among the Sabine hills, have lasted generation after generation, for thousands of years, with a power over the mind, and a charm, which the current literature of his own day, with all its obvious advantages, is utterly unable to rival. Perhaps this is the reason of the medieval opinion about
    Virgil, as if a prophet or magician; his single words and phrases, his pathetic half lines, giving utterance, as the voice of Nature herself, to that pain and weariness, yet hope of better things, which is the experience of her children in every time.”

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