|Romam qui facere claram studebat ac altam,
non potuit lacrimis flammas exstinguere fusis.
|The man, who tried to make Rome shining and great,
failed to put out the flames with his tears.
|Tecum colloquienti caput mihi saepe movendum est.
Non cum me excites. Anima foetet et os.
|I must move my head a lot when I talk to you.
But not because you are exciting. Your breath stinks, also your mouth.
|Gravem ex te rem volo quaerere nullam.
Horas praetereunt, dum capias minimam.
|I want to ask you no important question.
Hours pass, till you understand my small one.
|Per Hierosolymam Christum portabat asinus.
Hodie Papa volat curru et aeroplano.
|Through Jerusalem Christ rode on a donkey.
Now the Pope rushes by automobile or by air.
|Praeteriti simus in alia et nova tempora saecli,
Marce, memores nunc ingredientes et nos.
Nam qui facti et honoris est oblitus maiorum,
declamare patrum nomina neve potest,
|5||qui aut cottidie repetit non verba suorum,
is non est dignus sua quidem genere.
Millennium in aequum procedimus et properamus.
Duces nobis sint tempora praeterita.
|Now marching to new and different times
even we shall remember the past, o Marcus.
Those who have forgotten their ancestors' deeds and honor,
who even cannot record the names of their fathers,
|5||those who do not repeat the words of their forefathers day for day:
those do not deserve their origin.
We are marching to a fair millennium with big steps.
The past shall lead us there.
|Tempora desidero vetera, praeclara etiam nunc,
mores antiquos et carmina acuta Catulli.
Porticus, hortus, nemus amicorum sapientiae,
verba in Carthaginem magna clamata Catonis
|5||voce, lepos Ciceronis eiusque dicendi facultas
aetatis statuae florentis signaque restant.
Facta tradita sunt nobis et nomina magna
et, quae sunt rebus gestis verba graviora.
Quanta potentia erat animos tunc insita linguae
|10||ingenii plenae inclinandi hominum ad meliora.
Vulgus tum porrexit foro sapientibus aures.
Suadenti ples confidet bene voce diserta.
Quisque potest frenare quotus nostras civitates?
Non memorant, male tum recitant non propria verba,
|15||qui rem publicam agunt, populos qui gerere solent.
Marcus mane manus conscripsit saepius ipse
militum, at assidue libros Aurelius ultro,
non solum pugnas, etiam vitam meditatus.
Atqui hodie qui audent monstrare sibi ingenium esse,
|20||multis ridiculi videntur tam sapientes.
Suppressi ab stultis, quasi flos herbis inimicis
decrescit cinctus vinctusque, illi patiuntur.
Admiratur nec prudentes, nec meliora
plebs petit, immo spernit verum, nobile, honestum,
|25||quamquam vates atque poetas laudat loquaces.
Quae mihi tempora praeferrem aut quae deligerem ipse?
Tempora desidero vetera, praeclara etiam nunc.
|I miss the old and shining times even now,
the antique customs and Catull's sharp poems.
The pillared hall (Stoa), the garden (Epikurus), the grove (Akademeia) of the friends of wisdom,
the words which Cato yelled with loud voice against Carthago,
|5||Cicero's pleasantries and his rhetoric talent
remain as statues and signs of a flourishing age.
Great deeds and names are handed down to us
and the words, which are even more important than the actions.
What a power to move the human minds
|10||towards the better lay then in a talented tongue.
The crowd on the Forum listened to those who gave good advice and who spoke clearly.
But how few people can rein our societies now?
The leaders of the states, the rulers of the people
do not learn their speeches by heart, they read badly not even their own words.
|15||Marcus Aurelius used to draft troops in the morning,
then he used to draft books assiduously,
not even thinking about battles, but also meditating about life.
Those, however, who dare to show their talent,
seem to be ridiculous to the crowd, though they are wise.
|20||Suppressed by the stupid crowd , as a flower cramped
and bound by weeds fades, even they suffer.
The crowd neither admires the intelligent, nor reaches for
the better, no it scorns the true, the noble, the honourable things,
but on the other hand it praises the prattling poets.
|25||Which times I prefer? Which times I would like to live in?
I miss the old and shining times even now.