Ad eundem, una cum duodecim cereolis (c.1579)

See introduction to d2_RolH_013. Metre: elegiac couplets.

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Ad eundem, una cum duodecim cereolis.

1Erudiit Natura cavis componere ceris,
murmure quae multo mella leguntur, apes.
Inde hominum, epoto, docilis solertia, succo,
et luce et gratas fingit odore faces,
5unde micant crebris solennes ignibus arae,
munere quo placat jam nova Roma Deos.
Et tibi dat ceras animo Natura capaces,
oris ubi condas tu quoque mella tui.
Inde ubi depromis solerti indagine nectar,
10flammiferae fulges instar in orbe facis.
Et magis augustos merito tibi habemus honores,
quam quos Roma Deos insidiosa colit.
Ergo ego ut ingenii dotes, artisque labores,
et tibi luxurians gratuler inde decus.
15Mitto quibus noctu non tantum lumina, sed te
16ipse die medio contueare faces.

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To the same man, together with twelve honeycombs

Nature instructed the bees, which gather the honey with great humming, to unite together in hollowed wax hives. From these the skillful expertise of men, once the sap has been drawn out, fashions torches that please with both light and scent, whence solemn altars sparkle with abundant flames, in the service where strange Rome now placates its gods. a And Nature gives you a spacious hive in your mind, where you also store away the honey of your mouth. Then, when you bring forth your nectar with skilful investigation, you shine the likeness of a flame-bearing torch upon the world. And rightly we hold up to you more august honours than those with which deceitful Rome worships its gods. Therefore I, having these in abundance, congratulate you on the dowry of inborn character and the hard work of skill from whence honour comes. I myself send not only lights with which to see at night, but torches so that you may see yourself in the middle of the day. b



a: The Roman Catholic Mass was condemned by sixteenth-century protestants for its use of incense, candles and music, all of which were believed to detract away from the direct worship of God.

b: An allusion to the story of Diogenes, who famously patrolled Athens during the day with a lit torch to see if he could find a true man. By sending him a torch to thus see himself during the day, Rollock seems to be making a strained attempt to call Scaliger a true man.