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Wisdom 2

 
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1 εἶπον γὰρ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς λογισάμενοι οὐκ ὀρθῶς ὀλίγος ἐστὶν καὶ λυπηρὸς ὁ βίος ἡμῶν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἴασις ἐν τελευτῇ ἀνθρώπου καὶ οὐκ ἐγνώσθη ὁ ἀναλύσας ἐξ ᾅδου 2 ὅτι αὐτοσχεδίως ἐγενήθημεν καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο ἐσόμεθα ὡς οὐχ ὑπάρξαντες ὅτι καπνὸς ἡ πνοὴ ἐν ῥισὶν ἡμῶν καὶ ὁ λόγος σπινθὴρ ἐν κινήσει καρδίας ἡμῶν 3 οὗ σβεσθέντος τέφρα ἀποβήσεται τὸ σῶμα καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα διαχυθήσεται ὡς χαῦνος ἀήρ 4 καὶ τὸ ὄνομα ἡμῶν ἐπιλησθήσεται ἐν χρόνῳ καὶ οὐθεὶς μνημονεύσει τῶν ἔργων ἡμῶν καὶ παρελεύσεται ὁ βίος ἡμῶν ὡς ἴχνη νεφέλης καὶ ὡς ὁμίχλη διασκεδασθήσεται διωχθεῖσα ὑπὸ ἀκτίνων ἡλίου καὶ ὑπὸ θερμότητος αὐτοῦ βαρυνθεῖσα 5 σκιᾶς γὰρ πάροδος ὁ καιρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀναποδισμὸς τῆς τελευτῆς ἡμῶν ὅτι κατεσφραγίσθη καὶ οὐδεὶς ἀναστρέφει 1 Reason they offer, yet reason all amiss. Their hearts tell them, So brief our time here, so full of discomfort, and death brings no remedy! Never a man yet made good his title to have come back from the grave! 2 Whence came we, none can tell; and it will be all one hereafter whether we lived or no. What is our breath, but a passing vapour; what is our reason, but a spark that sets the brain whirling? 3 Quench that spark, and our body is turned to ashes; like a spent sigh, our breath is wasted on the air; like the cloud-wrack our life passes away, unsubstantial as the mist yonder sun disperses with its ray, bears down with its heat. 4 Time will surely efface our memory, and none will mark the record of our doings. 5 Only a passing shadow, this life of ours, and from its end there is no returning; the doom is sealed, and there is no acquittal. 1

Dixerunt enim cogitantes apud se non recte:
Exiguum et cum tædio est tempus vitæ nostræ,
et non est refrigerium in fine hominis,
et non est qui agnitus sit reversus ab inferis.
2
Quia ex nihilo nati sumus,
et post hoc erimus tamquam non fuerimus.
Quoniam fumus flatus est in naribus nostris,
et sermo scintilla ad commovendum cor nostrum:
3
qua extincta, cinis erit corpus nostrum,
et spiritus diffundetur tamquam mollis aër;
et transibit vita nostra tamquam vestigium nubis,
et sicut nebula dissolvetur quæ fugata est a radiis solis,
et a calore illius aggravata.
4
Et nomen nostrum oblivionem accipiet per tempus,
et nemo memoriam habebit operum nostrorum.
5
Umbræ enim transitus est tempus nostrum,
et non est reversio finis nostri:
quoniam consignata est, et nemo revertitur.
6 δεῦτε οὖν καὶ ἀπολαύσωμεν τῶν ὄντων ἀγαθῶν καὶ χρησώμεθα τῇ κτίσει ὡς ἐν νεότητι σπουδαίως 7 οἴνου πολυτελοῦς καὶ μύρων πλησθῶμεν καὶ μὴ παροδευσάτω ἡμᾶς ἄνθος ἔαρος 8 στεψώμεθα ῥόδων κάλυξιν πρὶν ἢ μαρανθῆναι 9 μηδεὶς ἡμῶν ἄμοιρος ἔστω τῆς ἡμετέρας ἀγερωχίας πανταχῇ καταλίπωμεν σύμβολα τῆς εὐφροσύνης ὅτι αὕτη ἡ μερὶς ἡμῶν καὶ ὁ κλῆρος οὗτος 6 Come then (they say), let us enjoy pleasure, while pleasure is ours; youth does not last, and creation is at our call; 7 of rich wine and well spiced take we our fill. Spring shall not cheat us of her blossoming; 8 crown we our heads with roses ere they wither; be every meadow the scene of our wanton mirth. 9 Share we the revels all alike, leave traces everywhere of our joyous passing; no part or lot have we but this. 6
Venite ergo, et fruamur bonis quæ sunt,
et utamur creatura tamquam in juventute celeriter.
7
Vino pretioso et unguentis nos impleamus,
et non prætereat nos flos temporis.
8
Coronemus nos rosis antequam marcescant;
nullum pratum sit quod non pertranseat luxuria nostra:
9
nemo nostrum exsors sit luxuriæ nostræ.
Ubique relinquamus signa lætitiæ,
quoniam hæc est pars nostra, et hæc est sors.
10 καταδυναστεύσωμεν πένητα δίκαιον μὴ φεισώμεθα χήρας μηδὲ πρεσβύτου ἐντραπῶμεν πολιὰς πολυχρονίους 11 ἔστω δὲ ἡμῶν ἡ ἰσχὺς νόμος τῆς δικαιοσύνης τὸ γὰρ ἀσθενὲς ἄχρηστον ἐλέγχεται 12 ἐνεδρεύσωμεν τὸν δίκαιον ὅτι δύσχρηστος ἡμῖν ἐστιν καὶ ἐναντιοῦται τοῖς ἔργοις ἡμῶν καὶ ὀνειδίζει ἡμῖν ἁμαρτήματα νόμου καὶ ἐπιφημίζει ἡμῖν ἁμαρτήματα παιδείας ἡμῶν 13 ἐπαγγέλλεται γνῶσιν ἔχειν θεοῦ καὶ παῖδα κυρίου ἑαυτὸν ὀνομάζει 14 ἐγένετο ἡμῖν εἰς ἔλεγχον ἐννοιῶν ἡμῶν βαρύς ἐστιν ἡμῖν καὶ βλεπόμενος 15 ὅτι ἀνόμοιος τοῖς ἄλλοις ὁ βίος αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐξηλλαγμέναι αἱ τρίβοι αὐτοῦ 16 εἰς κίβδηλον ἐλογίσθημεν αὐτῷ καὶ ἀπέχεται τῶν ὁδῶν ἡμῶν ὡς ἀπὸ ἀκαθαρσιῶν μακαρίζει ἔσχατα δικαίων καὶ ἀλαζονεύεται πατέρα θεόν 17 ἴδωμεν εἰ οἱ λόγοι αὐτοῦ ἀληθεῖς καὶ πειράσωμεν τὰ ἐν ἐκβάσει αὐτοῦ 18 εἰ γάρ ἐστιν ὁ δίκαιος υἱὸς θεοῦ ἀντιλήμψεται αὐτοῦ καὶ ῥύσεται αὐτὸν ἐκ χειρὸς ἀνθεστηκότων 19 ὕβρει καὶ βασάνῳ ἐτάσωμεν αὐτόν ἵνα γνῶμεν τὴν ἐπιείκειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ δοκιμάσωμεν τὴν ἀνεξικακίαν αὐτοῦ 20 θανάτῳ ἀσχήμονι καταδικάσωμεν αὐτόν ἔσται γὰρ αὐτοῦ ἐπισκοπὴ ἐκ λόγων αὐτοῦ 10 Helpless innocence shall lie at our mercy; not for us to spare the widow, to respect the venerable head, grown white with years. 11 Might shall be our right, weakness count for proof of worthlessness. 12 Where is he, the just man? We must plot to be rid of him; he will not lend himself to our purposes. Ever he must be thwarting our plans; transgress we the law, he is all reproof, depart we from the traditions of our race, he denounces us. 13 What, would he claim knowledge of divine secrets, give himself out as the son of God? 14 The touchstone, he, of our inmost thoughts; 15 we cannot bear the very sight of him, his life so different from other men’s, the path he takes, so far removed from theirs! 16 No better than false coin he counts us, holds aloof from our doings as though they would defile him; envies the just their future happiness, boasts of a divine parentage. 17 Put we his claims, then, to the proof; let experience shew what his lot shall be, and what end awaits him. 18 If to be just is to be God’s son indeed, then God will take up his cause, will save him from the power of his enemies.[1] 19 Outrage and torment, let these be the tests we use; let us see that gentleness of his in its true colours, find out what his patience is worth. 20 Sentenced let him be to a shameful death; by his own way of it, he shall find deliverance.[2] 10
Opprimamus pauperem justum, et non parcamus viduæ,
nec veterani revereamur canos multi temporis:
11
sit autem fortitudo nostra lex justitiæ;
quod enim infirmum est, inutile invenitur.
12
Circumveniamus ergo justum, quoniam inutilis est nobis,
et contrarius est operibus nostris,
et improperat nobis peccata legis,
et diffamat in nos peccata disciplinæ nostræ.
13
Promittit se scientiam Dei habere,
et filium Dei se nominat.
14
Factus est nobis in traductionem cogitationum nostrarum.
15
Gravis est nobis etiam ad videndum,
quoniam dissimilis est aliis vita illius,
et immutatæ sunt viæ ejus.
16
Tamquam nugaces æstimati sumus ab illo,
et abstinet se a viis nostris tamquam ab immunditiis,
et præfert novissima justorum,
et gloriatur patrem se habere Deum.
17
Videamus ergo si sermones illius veri sint,
et tentemus quæ ventura sunt illi,
et sciemus quæ erunt novissima illius.
18
Si enim est verus filius Dei, suscipiet illum,
et liberabit eum de manibus contrariorum.
19
Contumelia et tormento interrogemus eum,
ut sciamus reverentiam ejus,
et probemus patientiam illius.
20
Morte turpissima condemnemus eum;
erit enim ei respectus ex sermonibus illius.
21 ταῦτα ἐλογίσαντο καὶ ἐπλανήθησαν ἀπετύφλωσεν γὰρ αὐτοὺς ἡ κακία αὐτῶν 22 καὶ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν μυστήρια θεοῦ οὐδὲ μισθὸν ἤλπισαν ὁσιότητος οὐδὲ ἔκριναν γέρας ψυχῶν ἀμώμων 23 ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ἔκτισεν τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐ{P'} ἀφθαρσίᾳ καὶ εἰκόνα τῆς ἰδίας ἀϊδιότητος ἐποίησεν αὐτόν 24 φθόνῳ δὲ διαβόλου θάνατος εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον 25 πειράζουσιν δὲ αὐτὸν οἱ τῆς ἐκείνου μερίδος ὄντες 21 So false the calculations that are blinded by human malice! 22 The secret purposes of God they might not fathom; how should they foresee that holiness is requited, how should they pass true award on a blameless life? 23 God, to be sure, framed man for an immortal destiny, the created image of his own endless being; 24 but, since the devil’s envy brought death into the world, 25 they make him their model that take him for their master.[3] 21
Hæc cogitaverunt, et erraverunt:
excæcavit enim illos malitia eorum.
22
Et nescierunt sacramenta Dei:
neque mercedem speraverunt justitiæ,
nec judicaverunt honorem animarum sanctarum.
23
Quoniam Deus creavit hominem inexterminabilem,
et ad imaginem similitudinis suæ fecit illum.
24
Invidia autem diaboli mors introivit in orbem terrarum:
25
imitantur autem illum qui sunt ex parte illius.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.