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Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński
- SONG I
- SONG II
- SONG III
- SONG IIII
- SONG V
- SONG VI
- SONG VII
- SONG VIII
- SONG IX
- AN EPIGRAM ON THE SAME...
Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński - SONG IIII - ON A NOBLEMAN'S VIRTUTE
ON GOD'S OMNIPOTENCE
Nobles are born of the noble and virtuous;
Sired skills are known in steeds; faint
Doves a bold eagle bears not;
A frail hare cometh not of great Lions.
Still, virtues begot of birth training
Doth augment; to one's valor fair
Sciences give pluck. Tho if virtues be lack,
Bad habits do blot the noble tribe.
Gallant Rome did so scorn a son
Whose father's own daring had routed
Dread Hannibal and made him foresake
Both war's fortune and country too.
Yet Alcides, extoled, midst the gods,
Was ne'er pleased a stern father bore him
Of thunder, for by prowess his own he chose
To know fame, not by grandness of line.
Whatever feared creature did dwell
In the world, all ceded to his might
Invincible. Fame he wins throughout,
And by virtue his own thus he shall.
Fame's path is a birth in famed house;
True fame, no, 'tis not. Who for himself
Doth seek esteem, lowly pursuits then cast off;
Not forbears' crest, but their acts behold!
The law of one's land grants its guardians
Undying name; crown borders, fended
In just battle from faithless neighbours,
Shall grant fame that forever endures.
Translated by Richard Sokoloski