Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Marius, a Fragment

This is most of what’s left of Cicero’s poem Marius.

The feathered thrall of Jove the Thunderer
Springs now at once from out a hollow stump,
Snakebitten. She tears with her wild claws
The half-dead serpent; as she flicks her neck,
He writhes; she rips him with her gory beak,
And now her lust is fed; her pains revenged.
She throws him dead and mangled to the waves,
And turns from the West into the splendid East.
When Marius, the augur of the god
Beheld her gliding with her wings aloft,
He marked so glad a token of his fame.
The Father of Heaven thundered on the left;
Thus Jove confirmed the eagle’s doubtless sign.


Hic Jovis altisoni subito pinnata satelles
Arboris è trunco serpentis saucia morsu
Subrigit ipsa feris transfigens unguibus anguem
Semianimum & varia graviter cervice micantem.
Quem se intorquentem lanians rostroque cruentans
Jam satiata animos jam duros ulta dolores
Abjicit efflantem & laceratum adfligit in unda
Seque obitu à solis nitidos convertit ad ortus.
Hanc ubi præpetibus pinnis lapsuque volantem
Conspexit Marius divini numinis augur
Faustaque signa suæ laudis reditusque notavit
Partibus intonuit cæli pater ipse sinistris.
Sic aquilæ clarum firmavit Juppiter omen.

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