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Quæ quoniam rerum naturam sola gubernas
Nec sine te quicquam dias in luminis oras
Exoritur neque fit lætum neque amabile quicquam,
Te sociam studeo scribendis versibus esse
Quos ego de rerum natura pangere conor
Memmiadæ nostro, quem tu, dea, tempore in omni
Omnibus ornatum voluisti excellere rebus.
Quo magis æternum da dictis, diva, leporem.
Effice ut interea fera moenera militiai
Per maria ac terras omnis sopita quiescent.
Since you alone rule over the nature of things, since without you nothing emerges into the immense radiance of the world, indeed nothing joyous nor beautiful is born, I honor you in crafting these verses, in which I hope to demonstrate the great design, for my good Memmius, whom you, goddess, have enabled to all times to excel, and have endowed with gifts. Goddess, I beseech you to grant my words an ever-lasting appeal. Moreover, let this come to pass: on all the seas and lands of our earth, may the savage works of war be stilled, and let there be peace.
–Titus Lucretius Caro, De rerum natura, invoc, lib i, 21-30 in the Loeb Library ed. of the works of Lucretius, p. 4 (ca. 50 BCE)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
Estimated cost of the environmental damage caused each year by the world’s 3,000 largest companies:
Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.
Beekeepers began extracting 1 million honeybees living beneath the siding of a house in New York State.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”