You’ll live more virtuously, my Murena,
by not setting out to sea, while you’re in dread
of the storm, or hugging fatal shores
too closely, either.
Whoever takes delight in the golden mean,
safely avoids the squalor of a shabby house,
and, soberly, avoids the regal palace
that incites envy.
The tall pine’s more often shaken by the wind,
and it’s a high tower that falls with a louder
crash, while the mountainous summits are places
where lightning strikes.
The heart that is well prepared for any fate
hopes in adversity, fears prosperity.
Though Jupiter brings us all the unlovely
winters: he also
takes them away again. If there’s trouble now
it won’t always be so: sometimes Apollo
rouses the sleeping Muse with his lyre, when he’s
not flexing his bow.
Appear brave and resolute in difficult
times: and yet be wise and take in all your sails
when they’re swollen by too powerful
a following wind.