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  • Lucus


I. Homo, Statua

Svm, quis nescit, Imago Dei, sed saxea certè:        Hanc mihi duritiem contulit improbitas.Durescunt proprijs euulsa corallia fundis,        Haud secus ingenitis dotibus orbus Adam.Tu, qui cuncta creans docuisti marmora flere,            5        Haud mihi cor saxo durius esse sinas.

II. Patria

Vt tenuis flammae species caelum vsque minatur,        Igniculos legans, manserit ipsa licet;Sic mucronatam reddunt suspiria mentem,        Votáque scintillae sunt animosa meae.Assiduo stimulo carnem Mens vlta lacessit,            5        Sedula si fuerit, perterebrare potest. [End Page 120]


I. Man, a Statue

I am, of course, God's image, though rock-like in fact:        My wickedness has given me this harshness,Corals anneal when ripped from their own roots.        Adam was shorn of his innate powers no differently.You, who, making all, taught slabs of marble to weep,        Do not let my heart ever grow harder than rock.

II. Native Land

As a slender flame's form stretches the whole way to heaven,        Throwing sparks, still not going out itself;Even so deep sighs leave the mind whetted        And burning prayers are my sparks.The chastening Mind provokes the flesh with a ceaseless prod,        Through which, if proven unflagging, it can dig a passage. [End Page 121]

III. In Stephanum lapidatum

Qvi silicem tundit, (mirum tamen) elicit ignem:        At Caelum è saxis elicuit Stephanus.

IV. In Simonem Magum

Ecquid emes Christum? pro nobis scilicet olim        Venditus est Agnus, non tamen emptus erit.Quin nos Ipse emit, precioso faenora soluens        Sanguine: nec precium merx emit vlla suum.Ecquid emes Caelum? quin stellam rectiùs vnam            5        Quo precio venit, fac, liceare priùs.Nempe graui fertur scelerata pecunia motu,        Si sursum iacias, in caput ipsa ruit.Vnicus est nummus, caelo Christóque petitus,        Nempe in quo clarè lucet Imago Dei.            10 [End Page 122]

3. On the stoning of Stephen

Who strikes flint (wondrous still) draws forth fire:        But from rocks Stephen drew Heaven.

4. On Simon Magus

Will you really buy Christ? For our sake once in fact        The Lamb was sold; however he will not be bought.No, He Himself bought us, our debt repaid with his        Dear blood: what's bought will not pay for itself.Will you really buy Heaven? Be sure instead first that you        Take care to bid on a single star, at the price it fetches.Of course lugging dirty money weighs you down,        If you hurl it on high, it falls back on your head by itself.There's one singular coin, pursued by heaven and Christ,        The one in which God's image surely shines. [End Page 123]

V. In S. Scripturas

Heu, quis spiritus, igeúsque turboRegnat visceribus, meásque versatImo pectore cogitationes?Nunquid pro foribus sedendo nuperStellam vespere suxerim volantem,            5Haec autem hospitio latere turpiProrsùs nescia, cogitat recessum?Nunquid mel comedens, apem comediIpsâ cum dominâ domum vorando?Imò, me nec apes, nec astra pungunt:            10Sacratissima Charta, tu fuistiQuae cordis latebras sinúsque caecosAtque omnes peragrata es angiportusEt flexus fugientis appetitûs.Ah, quàm docta perambulare calles            15Maeandrósque plicásque, quàm perita es!Quae vis condidit, ipsa nouit aedes. [End Page 124]

5. On Holy Scriptures

Alas, what spirit, and ardent whirlwindTurns my thoughtsOver in my heart of hearts?Sitting by the doors at eveningHave I inhaled a shooting star,What's more, not knowing howTo lie wholly hidden in a foul lodging,Is she considering escape?Did I, in eating honey, eat the beeSwallowing her home with the queen?But no, no bee or star stings me,Most Holy Paper, it was youWho travelled through my heart's hiddenRecesses and blind hollows, and all its alleysAnd the bends of my fleeting desire.Ah, how sly you are at crossingIts mountain passes, its meanderingAnd coils, how skilled you are.The power that built knows its own house. [End Page 125]

VI. In pacem Britannicam

Anglia cur solùm fuso sine sanguine sicca est,        Cùm natet in tantis caetera terra malis?Sit licet in pelago semper, sine fluctibus illa est,        Cùm qui plus terrae, plus habuere maris.Naufragij...


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