Translation Cons. Phil. Book 1 Metrum 5
1 `Founder of the star-studded universe,
2 resting on Thine eternal throne
3 whence Thou turnest the swiftly rolling sky,
4 and bindest the stars to keep Thy law;
5 at Thy word the moon now shines brightly with full face,
6 ever turned to her brother's light,
7 and so she dims the lesser lights;
8 or now she is herself obscured,
9 for nearer to the sun her beams shew her pale horns alone.
10 Cool rises the evening star
11 at night's first drawing nigh:
12 the same is the morning star who casts off the harness that she bore before,
13 and paling meets the rising sun.
14 When winter's cold doth strip the trees,
15 Thou settest a shorter span to day.
16 And Thou, when summer comes to warm,
17 dost change the short divisions of the night.
18 Thy power doth order the seasons of the year,
19 so that the western breeze of spring brings back
20 the leaves which winter's north wind tore away;
21 so that the dog-star's heat makes ripe the ears of corn
22 whose seed Arcturus watched.
23 Naught breaks that ancient law:
24 naught leaves undone the work appointed to its place.
25 Thus all things Thou dost rule with limits fixed:
26 the lives of men alone dost Thou scorn
27 to restrain, as a guardian, within bounds.
28 For why does Fortune with her fickle hand
29 deal out such changing lots?
30 The hurtful penalty is due to crime, but falls upon the sinless head:
31 depraved men rest at ease on thrones aloft,
32 and by their unjust lot can spurn beneath their hurtful heel
33 the necks of virtuous men.
34 Beneath obscuring shadows lies bright virtue hid:
35 the just man bears
36 the unjust's infamy.
37 They suffer not for forsworn oaths,
38 they suffer not for crimes glozed over with their lies.
39 But when their will is to put forth their strength,
40 with triumph they subdue the mightiest kings
41 whom peoples in their thousands fear.
42 O Thou who dost weave the bonds of Nature's self,
43 look down upon this pitiable earth!
44 Mankind is no base part of this great work,
45 and we are tossed on Fortune's wave.
46 Restrain, our Guardian, the engulfing surge,
47 and as Thou dost the unbounded heaven rule,
48 with a like bond make true and firm these lands.'