Irish Politics Summed Up in Seventy-Seven Words
3 weeks ago
Aut lego vel scribo, doceo scrutorve sophiam:
obsecro celsithronum nocte dieque meum.
Vescor, poto libens, rithmizans invoco Musas,
dormisco stertens: oro deum vigilans.
Conscia mens scelerum deflet peccamina vitae;
parcite vos misero, Christe Maria, viro.
I read or write, or teach or search for wisdom,
I call upon the heavenly throne by night and by day
I eat, drink freely, rhyming I invoke the Muses,
I sleep snoring, and pray to God while awake.
A mind that knows its crimes bemoans the sins of life.
Have mercy, Christ and Mary, on a poor man.
Finibus occiduis describitur optima tellusnomine et antiquis Scottia scripta libris.dives opum, argenti, gemmarum, vestis et auri,commoda corporibus, aere, putre solo.melle fluit et lacte Scottia campis,vestibus atque armis, frugibus, arte, viris.ursorum rabies nulla est ibi, saeva leonumsemina nec umquam Scottica terra tulit.nulla venena nocent nec serpens serpit in herbanec conquesta canit garrula rana lacu.in qua Scottorum gentes habitare merentur,inclita gens hominum milite, pace, fide.Donatus isn't the only poet from this period to write in this strain, a poem survives by a certain Colman addressed to a younger colleague who is leaving from home, which has its own Virgilian reminiscences which do much to add to the air of wistful melancholy which pervades the poem. Our little poem contains a number of Virgilian echoes and reminiscences, most of which are taken from the laudes Italiae, the passage in the Second Georgic where Virgil praises the beauty and fertility of Italy. for example, the phrase ursorum rabies recalls the rabidae tigres of of Georgic II 151, while the phrase saeva leonum / semina is taken directly Virgil's poem. The boast about Ireland's freedom from snakes echoes and goes one better than Virgil's claim that Italy is free from poisonous animals at Georgic II 153 - 154. What more apt passage for Donatus to draw upon for his description of Ireland than Virgil's celebration of his own native land and Donatus' adoptive home?