Translation Cons. Phil. Book 2 Metrum 3
1 `When o'er the heaven Phœbus from his rose-red car
2 begins to shed his light abroad,
3 his flames oppress the paling stars
4 and blunt their whitened rays.
5 When the grove grows bright in spring with roses
6 'neath the west wind's warming breath,
7 let but the cloudy gale once wildly blow,
8 and their beauty is gone, the thorns alone remain.
9 Often the sea is calmly glistening bright
10 with all untroubled waves,
11 but as often does the north wind stir them up,
12 making the troubling tempest boil.
13 If then the earth's own covering so seldom constant stays,
14 if its changes are so great,
15 shalt thou trust the brittle fortunes of mankind,
16 have faith in fleeting good?
17 For this is sure, and this is fixed by everlasting law,
18 that naught which is brought to birth shall constant here abide.'