A Man Content in Death
Ausonius, Epigrammata 31 “In tumulo hominis
on my ashes pure wine
the sweet-smelling oil of spikenard, o stranger,
add to that balsam and deep red roses.
urn spends its days in endless spring,
no tears; and I have merely
out my lifespan, not ended it.
of the joys of my life of old
perished, whether you suppose
I recall everything or nothing at all.
Sparge mero cineres bene
olentis et unguine nardi,
hospes, et adde rosis balsama
perpetuum mihi ver agit
et commutavi saecula, non obii.
nulla mihi veteris
perierunt gaudia vitae,
seu meminisse putes omnia, sive nihil.
Funeral pithos from the Greek Protogeometric B Period (ca. 850-800 BCE), depicting a goddess with upraised arms, thought to be the Potnia theron (Mistress of Beasts). Found at the necropolis of Fortetsa, near Knossos, Crete; now in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. Photo credit: Zde/Wikimedia Commons.