Translation Cons. Phil. Book 1 Metrum 2
1 `Ah me! how blunted grows the mind when sunk below the o'erwhelming flood!"
2 Its own true light no longer burns within,
3 and it would break forth to outer darknesses.
4 How often care, when fanned by earthly winds,
5 grows to a larger and unmeasured bane.
6 This man has been free to the open heaven:
7 his habit has it been to wander into the paths of the sky:
8 his to watch the light of the bright sun,
9 his to inquire into the brightness of the chilly moon;
10 he, like a conqueror, held fast bound in its order
11 every star that makes its wandering circle,
12 turning its peculiar course.
13 Nay, more, deeply has he searched into the springs of nature, whence came the roaring blasts
14 that ruffle the ocean's bosom calm:
15 what is the spirit that makes the firmament revolve;
16 wherefore does the evening star sink into the western wave
17 but to rise from the radiant East;
18 what is the cause which so tempers the season of Spring
19 that it decks the earth with rose-blossoms;
20 whence comes it to pass that Autumn is prolific in the years of plenty
21 and overflows with teeming vines:
22 deeply to search these causes was his wont,
23 and to bring forth secrets deep in Nature hid.
24 Now he lies there; extinct his reason's light,
25 his neck in heavy chains thrust down,
26 his countenance with grievous weight downcast;
27 ah! the brute earth is all he can behold.'