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The Translation of the Blessed Saint Barnard's Verses

containing the unstable Felicity of this wayfuring world.


Cur mundus militat sub vana gloria,
Cujus prosperitas est transitoria ?
Tam cito labitur ejus potentia,
Quam vasa figuli, quæ sunt fragilia.
Why doth each state apply

Itself to worldly praise ?
And undertake such toil

To heap up honour's gain?
Whose seat, though seeming sure,

On fickle fortune stays,
Whose gifts were never prov'd

Perpetual to remain :
But e'en as earthen pot

With every fillip fails,
So fortune's favour flits,

And fame with honour quails."


Plus crede literis, scriptis in glacie,
Quam mundi fragilis vanæ fallaciæ,
Fallax in premiis, virtutis specie,
Quæ nunquam habuit tempus fiduciæ.

« Think rather firm to find

A figure graven in ice,
Whose substance subject is

To heat of shining sun,
Than hope for stedfast stay

In wanton worlds device,


Whose feigned fond delights

From Falsehood's forge do come,
And under Virtue's veil

Are largely dealt about,
Deceiving those who think

Their date will never out."


Magis credendum est viris fallacibus,
Quam mundi miseris prosperitatibus,
Falsis insaniis et voluptatibus,

quoque studiis et vanitatibus,

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« Dic ubi Salomon, olim tam nobilis
Vel ubi Samson est, dux invincibilis ?
Vel dulcis Jonathas, multum amabilis ?
Vel pulcher Absolon, vultu mirabilis 3

Where is the sacred King

That Solomon the Wise?


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Quo Cæsar abiit, celsus imperio?
Vel Dives splendidus, totus in prandio
Dic ubi Tullius, clarus eloquio?
Vel Aristoteles, summus ingenio?
• Where is that Cæsar now,

Whose high renowned fame
Of sundry conquests won

Throughout the world did sound?
Or Dives rich in store,

And rich in richly name,
Whose chest with gold, and disha

With dainties did abound?
Where is the passing grace

Of Tully's pleading skill?
Or Aristotle's vein,

Whose pen had wit and will?"


esca vermium, O massa pulderis !
Oros, O vanitas, cur sic extolleris?
Ignoras penitus, utrum cras vireris;
Fas bonum omnibus, quam diu poteris !

"O food

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Quam breve festum est hac mundi gloria!
Ut umbræ hominum, sic ejus gaudia;
Quæ semper subtrahit æterna premia,
Et ducunt hominum ad dura devia,

“How short a banquet seems,

The pomp of high renown!
How like the senseless shape

Of shivering shadow thin,
Are wanton worldly toys,

Whose pleasure plucketh down
Our hearts from bope, and hands

From works which heaven should win
And takes us from the trod,

Which guides to endless gain,
And sets us in the way,

Which leads to lasting pain."


66 Hæc mundi gloria, quæ magni penditur, Sacris in literis flos feni dicitur,


Ul leve folium, quod vento rapitur,
Sic vita hominum, hæc vita tollitur.

“ The pomp of worldly praise,

Which worldlings hold so dear,
In holy sacred book

Is liken'd to a flower;
Whose date doth not contain

A week, a month, or year,
But springing now doth fade

Again within an hour.
And as the lightest leaf

With wind about is thrown,
So light is life of man,

And lightly hence is blown.

Finis. My Lucke is Losse."


Beware of had I wyst.

« Beware of had I wyst,

Whose fine brings care and smart,
Esteem of all, as they deserve,

And deem as deem'd thou art :
So shall thy perfect friend

Enjoy his hoped hire,
And faithless fawning foe shall miss

The effect of his desire.
Good Will shall have his gain,

And Hate shali heap despite;
A faithless friend shall find distrust,

And love shall reap delight.


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