non sibi sed toti

Classics Teaching Resources

Mosella by Ausonius


The Journey ; The Hymn ; Looking into the depths ; The Fishes ; The Vineyards ; The gods ; Reflections in the River ; Boatmen at Play ; The Anglers ; Riverside Villas ; Some of the Villas Described ; Tributaries of the Moselle ; A Salutation ; One day Ausonius will write of eminent Belgians ; The Moselle flows into the Rhine ; Ausonius on himself ; There is so much more to sing ; All other rivers will bow to the Moselle

12. Tributaries of the Moselle

But now, o dear Moselle, what end may I find To sing your praise? You are like a noble sea, With rivers numberless, by different mouths All flowing into you. Though they could linger Meandering, they hasten to lose their names in you. The winding Pruem and Nims combine to help The lordly Sauer to speed beneath your waves - The Sauer pleased when its and your streams meet, Prouder to travel under your name, than if It swept unnoticed into Father Sea. See here the rushing Kyll, see there the Ruwer, Gleaming with marble, rush to be the first To caress you with their attendant waters; The Kyll well-known for splendid fish; the Ruwer Sends mill-stones swiftly round to grind the corn, And drives shrill saw-blades through smooth marble blocks, With never-ceasing din on either bank. The little Lieser and the narrow Drohn, I'll miss them out. I'll not speak of the Salm; People despise its water. It's the Saar, Its ship-bearing, wave-sounding mass, that calls to me, And always has; its whole appearance charms me. Tired after its long journey, it flows out Right beneath the Emperor's palace walls. No less than this, the happy Eltz slips by Through fertile land, silently caressing its fruitful banks. A thousand more streams, as each is urged along, Desire to belong to you. Such is your pull, The character of your stream. Why, just suppose, Divine Moselle, that Smyrna or Mantua had given Its poet to you: then Simois, the river at Troy, And Tiber itself would not have dared to vie with you! Pardon me, mighty Rome! May envy flee away, And Nemesis, unknown to the Latin tongue! Our parents kept the seat of empire at Rome.
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