Translation Cons. Phil. Book 2 Metrum 7
1 `The mind that rushes headlong in its search for fame,
2 thinking that is its highest good,
3 should look upon the spreading regions of the air,
4 and then upon the bounded tracts that are this world:
5 then will shame enter it; that, though fame grow,
6 yet can it never fill so small a circle.
7 Proud men! why will ye try in vain to free your necks
8 from the yoke mortality has set thereon?
9 Though fame may be wide scattered and find its way through distant lands,
10 and set the tongues there talking;
11 though a splendid house may draw brilliance from famous names and tales;
12 yet death regards not any glory, howsoever great.
13 Alike he overwhelms the lowly and the lofty head,
14 and levels high with low.
15 Where are Fabricius's bones, that honourable man?
16 What now is Brutus? or unbending Cato?
17 Their fame survives in this: it has no more than a few
18 slight letters shewing forth an empty name.
19 We see their noble names engraved,
20 and only know thereby that they are brought to naught.
21 Ye lie then all unknown,
22 and fame can give no knowledge of you.
23 But if you think that life can be prolonged
24 by the breath of mortal fame,
25 yet when the slow time robs you of this too,
26 then there awaits you but a second death.