Magne Deus, quod ad has vitae brevis attinet boras, Da mihi, da Pancin Libertatemque, nec ultra Sollicitas effundo preces, si quid datur ultra Accipiam gratus; si non, contentus abibo.
For the few hours of life allotted me, Give me, great God, but Bread and Liberty, I'll beg no more; if more thou'rt pleased to give, I'll thankfully that overplus receive. If beyond this no more be freely sent, I'll thank for this, and go away content.
MARTIAL. LIB. 2. Vota tui breviter, etc.
Well then, sir, you shall know how far extend, The prayers and hopes of your poetic friend. He does not palaces nor manors crave, Would be no lord, but less a lord would have. The ground he holds, if he his own can call, He quarrels not with Heaven because 'tis small: Let gay and toilsome greatness others please, He loves of homely littleness the ease. Can any man in gilded rooms attend, And his dear hours in humble visits spend, When in the fresh and beauteous fields he may With various healthful pleasures fill the day? If there be man, ye gods, I ought to hate, Dependence and attendance be his fate. Still let him busy be, and in a crowd, And very much a slave, and very proud: Thus he, perhaps, powerful and rich may grow; No matter, O ye gods! that I'll allow. But let him peace and freedom never see; Let him not love this life, who loves not me.
MARTIAL LIB. 2. Vis fieri Liber, etc.
Would you be free? 'Tis your chief wish, you say, Come on; I'll show thee, friend, the certain way. If to no feasts abroad thou lov'st to go, Whilst bounteous God does bread at home bestow; If thou the goodness of thy clothes dost prize By thine own use, and not by others' eyes; If, only safe from weathers, thou canst dwell In a small house, but a convenient shell; If thou without a sigh, or golden wish, Canst look upon thy beechen bowl and dish; If in thy mind such power and greatness be - The Persian King's a slave compared with thee.
MARTIAL. L. 2. Quod to nomine? etc.
That I do you with humble bows no more, And danger of my naked head, adore; That I, who lord and master cried erewhile, Salute you in a new and different style, By your own name, a scandal to you now; Think not that I forget myself or you: By loss of all things by all others sought This freedom, and the freeman's hat, is bought. A lord and master no man wants but he Who o'er himself has no authority, Who does for honours and for riches strive, And follies without which lords cannot live. If thou from fortune dost no servant crave, Believe it, thou no master need'st to have.