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

16. Ausonius on himself

Now, about myself: I trace my lineage to the Vivisci tribe; I am well known to my Belgian hosts - We have a long-established friendship; I am called Ausonius - a Latin name; My home country lies between Gallic borderlands And the high Pyrenees, Where the happy temperament of Aquitaine Moderates my inborn nature. I have been bold to sing, though my instrument is paltry. It was right to offer a slight poetic libation To the sacred stream. I am not striving after praise - rather, I beg forgiveness. O kindly stream, you have many poets who often stir The Muses' sacred waters, drain Aganippe dry. As for me, when Augustus, father and sons, My chief care and delight, have sent me back To my native Bordeaux, the retreat for my old age, Honoured with the consulship and the Italian fasces, After my service to them has earned my retirement, Helped by whatever fount of inspiration I may have, I'll continue to sing the praises of the river more widely.
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