Blessed is he who has succeeded in learning the laws of nature’s working, has cast beneath his feet all fear and fate’s implacable decree, and the howl of insatiable Death.
[Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,
atque metus omnis et inexorabile fatum
subiecit pedibus strepitumque Acherontis avari.]
Georgics [Georgica], Book 2, l. 490ff (2.490-492) (29 BC) [tr. Fairclough (Loeb) (1916)]
(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:
Happie is he that hidden causes knowes,
And bold all shapes of danger dares oppose:
Trampling beneath his feet the cruell Fates,
Whom Death, nor swallowing Acheron amates.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]
Happy the Man, who, studying Nature's Laws,
Thro' known Effects can trace the secret Cause.
His Mind possessing, in a quiet state,
Fearless of Fortune, and resign'd to Fate.
[tr. Dryden (1709), l. 698-701]
Happy the Man, whose penetrating mind
Of things the latent causes first could find,
He, who all terrors, ruthless Fate could quell,
And the dire din of all-devouring Hell!
[tr. Nevile (1767), l. 549-552]
How blest the sage! whose soul can pierce each cause
Of changeful Nature, and her wondrous laws:
Who tramples fear beneath his foot, and braves
Fate, and stern death, and hell's resounding waves.
[tr. Sotheby (1800)]
Happy is he who has been able to trace out the causes of things, and who has cast beneath his feet all fears, and inexorable Destiny, and the noise of devouring Acheron!
[tr. Davidson (1854)]
Thrice blest the man whom mighty genius brings
To know the cause and origin of things:
Beneath his feet lie destiny and dread;
He walks the roaring waters of the dead.
[tr. Blackmore (1871)]
Happy the man who has won the knowledge of the moving springs of nature, and so trmapled under food all fears, and the remorseless doom of death, and the road of Acheron, yawning for prey!
[tr. Wilkins (1873)]
Happy, who had the skill to understand
Nature's hid causes, and beneath his feet
All terrors cast, and death's relentless doom,
And the loud roar of greedy Acheron.
[tr. Rhoades (1881)]
Happy the man who knows the secret cause,
How nature works, and reads creation’s laws,
Whose soul to fortune can superior rise,
And death, dark minister of fate, despise.
[tr. King (1882), ll. 498-501]
Happy is he who has been able to trace out the causes of things, and who has trodden under foot all idle fears, and inexorable Destiny, and the roar of devouring Acheron!
[tr. Bryce (1897)]
Happy he who hath availed to know the causes of things, and hath laid all fears and immitigable Fate and the roar of hungry Acheron under his feet.
[tr. Mackail (1899)]
Oh happy, whose heart hath attained Creation's secret to know,
Who hath trampled all haunting fears underfoot, nor dreadeth the blow
Of Fate the relentless, the roar of insatiate Acheron's flow!
[tr. Way (1912)]
Blest was that man whose vision could explore
The world's prime causes, conquering for man
His horde of fears, his certain doom of death
Inexorable, and the menace loud
Of hungry Acheron!
[tr. Williams (1915)]
Lucky is he who can learn the roots of the universe,
Has mastered all his fears and fate's intransigence
And the hungry clamour of hell.
[tr. Day-Lewis (1940)]
Blessed is he who masters nature’s laws,
Tramples on fear and unrelenting fate,
On greedy, roaring Acheron.
[tr. Bovie (1956)]
Happy the man who has been able to learn the causes of things and has trampled beneath his feet all fears, inexorable fate, and the howl of greedy Acheron.
[tr. Miles (1980)]
Blessed is he whose mind had power to probe
The causes of things and trample underfoot
All terrors and inexorable fate
And the clamour of devouring Acheron.
[tr. Wilkinson (1982)]
He who’s been able to learn the causes of things is happy,
and has set all fear, and unrelenting fate, and the noise
of greedy Acheron, under his feet.
[tr. Kline (2001)]
Blessed, he who understands the workings of nature
and tramples all fear and relentless fate and the bone-
shaking clatter of greedy Death beneath his feet.
[tr. Lembke (2004)]
O happy he who can fathom the causes of thing,
who's thrown all fear and dogged Fate
beneath his feet, and the roaring of ravenous Acheron.
[tr. Johnson (2009)]
That man is blessed who has learned the causes of things,
And therefore under his feet subjugates fear
And the decrees of unrelenting fate
And the noise of Acheron's insatiable waters.
[tr. Ferry (2015)]
Added on 6-Sep-23 | Last updated 6-Sep-23
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