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Wisdom 8

 
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1 διατείνει δὲ ἀπὸ πέρατος ἐπὶ πέρας εὐρώστως καὶ διοικεῖ τὰ πάντα χρηστῶς 1 Bold is her sweep from world’s end to world’s end, and everywhere her gracious ordering manifests itself. 1

Attingit ergo a fine usque ad finem fortiter,
et disponit omnia suaviter.
2 ταύτην ἐφίλησα καὶ ἐξεζήτησα ἐκ νεότητός μου καὶ ἐζήτησα νύμφην ἀγαγέσθαι ἐμαυτῷ καὶ ἐραστὴς ἐγενόμην τοῦ κάλλους αὐτῆς 3 εὐγένειαν δοξάζει συμβίωσιν θεοῦ ἔχουσα καὶ ὁ πάντων δεσπότης ἠγάπησεν αὐτήν 4 μύστις γάρ ἐστιν τῆς τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιστήμης καὶ αἱρετὶς τῶν ἔργων αὐτοῦ 5 εἰ δὲ πλοῦτός ἐστιν ἐπιθυμητὸν κτῆμα ἐν βίῳ τί σοφίας πλουσιώτερον τῆς τὰ πάντα ἐργαζομένης 6 εἰ δὲ φρόνησις ἐργάζεται τίς αὐτῆς τῶν ὄντων μᾶλλόν ἐστιν τεχνῖτις 7 καὶ εἰ δικαιοσύνην ἀγαπᾷ τις οἱ πόνοι ταύτης εἰσὶν ἀρεταί σωφροσύνην γὰρ καὶ φρόνησιν ἐκδιδάσκει δικαιοσύνην καὶ ἀνδρείαν ὧν χρησιμώτερον οὐδέν ἐστιν ἐν βίῳ ἀνθρώποις 8 εἰ δὲ καὶ πολυπειρίαν ποθεῖ τις οἶδεν τὰ ἀρχαῖα καὶ τὰ μέλλοντα εἰκάζει ἐπίσταται στροφὰς λόγων καὶ λύσεις αἰνιγμάτων σημεῖα καὶ τέρατα προγινώσκει καὶ ἐκβάσεις καιρῶν καὶ χρόνων 2 She, from my youth up has been my heart’s true love, my heart’s true quest; she was the bride I longed for, enamoured of her beauty. 3 Was I moved by noble birth? No better claim than hers, who dwells in God’s palace, marked out by the Ruler of the world as his favourite; 4 the mistress of his craftsmanship, the arbiter of his plans.[1] 5 Or should life’s dearest aim be wealth? Why then, who has more wealth at her disposal than wisdom, that turns all to account? 6 Or if sound judgement is man’s business, who else on earth goes to work so skilfully as she?[2] 7 If thy desire be for honest living, man’s excellences are the fruit she labours to produce; temperance and prudence she teaches, justice and fortitude, and what in life avails man more? 8 Or if wide knowledge be thy ambition, she can inform thee of what is past, make conjecture of the future; she is versed in the subtleties of debate, in the reading of all riddles; marvels and portents she can foretell, and what events time or season will bring. 2

Hanc amavi, et exquisivi a juventute mea,
et quæsivi sponsam mihi eam assumere,
et amator factus sum formæ illius.
3
Generositatem illius glorificat,
contubernium habens Dei;
sed et omnium Dominus dilexit illam.
4
Doctrix enim est disciplinæ Dei,
et electrix operum illius.
5
Et si divitiæ appetuntur in vita,
quid sapientia locupletius quæ operatur omnia?
6
Si autem sensus operatur,
quis horum quæ sunt magis quam illa est artifex?
7
Et si justitiam quis diligit,
labores hujus magnas habent virtutes:
sobrietatem enim et prudentiam docet,
et justitiam, et virtutem,
quibus utilius nihil est in vita hominibus.
8
Et si multitudinem scientiæ desiderat quis,
scit præterita, et de futuris æstimat;
scit versutias sermonum, et dissolutiones argumentorum;
signa et monstra scit antequam fiant,
et eventus temporum et sæculorum.
9 ἔκρινα τοίνυν ταύτην ἀγαγέσθαι πρὸς συμβίωσιν εἰδὼς ὅτι ἔσται μοι σύμβουλος ἀγαθῶν καὶ παραίνεσις φροντίδων καὶ λύπης 10 ἕξω δ{I'} αὐτὴν δόξαν ἐν ὄχλοις καὶ τιμὴν παρὰ πρεσβυτέροις ὁ νέος 11 ὀξὺς εὑρεθήσομαι ἐν κρίσει καὶ ἐν ὄψει δυναστῶν θαυμασθήσομαι 12 σιγῶντά με περιμενοῦσιν καὶ φθεγγομένῳ προσέξουσιν καὶ λαλοῦντος ἐπὶ πλεῖον χεῖρα ἐπιθήσουσιν ἐπὶ στόμα αὐτῶν 13 ἕξω δ{I'} αὐτὴν ἀθανασίαν καὶ μνήμην αἰώνιον τοῖς με{T'} ἐμὲ ἀπολείψω 14 διοικήσω λαούς καὶ ἔθνη ὑποταγήσεταί μοι 15 φοβηθήσονταί με ἀκούσαντες τύραννοι φρικτοί ἐν πλήθει φανοῦμαι ἀγαθὸς καὶ ἐν πολέμῳ ἀνδρεῖος 16 εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου προσαναπαύσομαι αὐτῇ οὐ γὰρ ἔχει πικρίαν ἡ συναναστροφὴ αὐτῆς οὐδὲ ὀδύνην ἡ συμβίωσις αὐτῆς ἀλλὰ εὐφροσύνην καὶ χαράν 9 Her, then, I would take to myself, to share my home; to be my counsellor in prosperity, my solace in anxiety and grief. 10 Through her (said I) I shall win fame in the assembly, find honour, though so young, amidst the elders. 11 If I sit in judgement, quick wit shall be mine, that shall strike awe into the princes when I appear before them, the admiration of the great. 12 Am I silent? They wait my leisure; speak I, they take heed; flows my speech on, they listen, hand on lip. 13 She, too, will bring me immortality; imperishable the name I shall leave to after ages. 14 Mine to rule peoples, and have nations at my call; 15 dread tyrants to daunt by the very name of me, the name of a king so loved by his people, so brave in battle. 16 Then home again, to rest upon her bosom; no shrewish mate, no tedious housewife, joy and contentment all of her. 9
Proposui ergo hanc adducere mihi ad convivendum,
sciens quoniam mecum communicabit de bonis,
et erit allocutio cogitationis et tædii mei.
10
Habebo propter hanc claritatem ad turbas,
et honorem apud seniores juvenis;
11
et acutus inveniar in judicio,
et in conspectu potentium admirabilis ero,
et facies principum mirabuntur me:
12
tacentem me sustinebunt,
et loquentem me respicient,
et sermocinante me plura, manus ori suo imponent.
13
Præterea habebo per hanc immortalitatem,
et memoriam æternam his qui post me futuri sunt relinquam.
14
Disponam populos,
et nationes mihi erunt subditæ:
15
timebunt me audientes reges horrendi.
In multitudine videbor bonus,
et in bello fortis.
16
Intrans in domum meam, conquiescam cum illa:
non enim habet amaritudinem conversatio illius,
nec tædium convictus illius,
sed lætitiam et gaudium.
17 ταῦτα λογισάμενος ἐν ἐμαυτῷ καὶ φροντίσας ἐν καρδίᾳ μου ὅτι ἀθανασία ἐστὶν ἐν συγγενείᾳ σοφίας 18 καὶ ἐν φιλίᾳ αὐτῆς τέρψις ἀγαθὴ καὶ ἐν πόνοις χειρῶν αὐτῆς πλοῦτος ἀνεκλιπὴς καὶ ἐν συγγυμνασίᾳ ὁμιλίας αὐτῆς φρόνησις καὶ εὔκλεια ἐν κοινωνίᾳ λόγων αὐτῆς περιῄειν ζητῶν ὅπως λάβω αὐτὴν εἰς ἐμαυτόν 19 παῖς δὲ ἤμην εὐφυὴς ψυχῆς τε ἔλαχον ἀγαθῆς 20 μᾶλλον δὲ ἀγαθὸς ὢν ἦλθον εἰς σῶμα ἀμίαντον 21 γνοὺς δὲ ὅτι οὐκ ἄλλως ἔσομαι ἐγκρατής ἐὰν μὴ ὁ θεὸς δῷ καὶ τοῦτο {D'} ἦν φρονήσεως τὸ εἰδέναι τίνος ἡ χάρις ἐνέτυχον τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ ἐδεήθην αὐτοῦ καὶ εἶπον ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας μου 17 So ran my thoughts, and well in my heart I pondered them. Wisdom, that brought such kinship with immortality, 18 whose friendship was such dear delight, whose exercise brought me credit unfailing, her daily comradeship a training in sound judgement, the eloquence she inspired an earnest of renown; win her for myself I must, and went about to attain my purpose. 19 I was, indeed, a boy of good parts, and nobility of nature had fallen to my lot; 20 gentle birth above the common had endowed me with a body free from blemish.[3] 21 But to be master of myself was a thing I could not hope to come by, except of God’s bounty; I was wise enough already to know whence the gift came. So to the Lord I turned, and made my request of him, praying with all my heart in these words following: 17
Hæc cogitans apud me
et commemorans in corde meo,
quoniam immortalitas est in cognatione sapientiæ,
18
et in amicitia illius delectatio bona,
et in operibus manuum illius honestas sine defectione,
et in certamine loquelæ illius sapientia,
et præclaritas in communicatione sermonum ipsius:
circuibam quærens, ut mihi illam assumerem.
19
Puer autem eram ingeniosus,
et sortitus sum animam bonam.
20
Et cum essem magis bonus,
veni ad corpus incoinquinatum.
21
Et ut scivi quoniam aliter non possem esse continens, nisi Deus det;
et hoc ipsum erat sapientiæ, scire cujus esset hoc donum:
adii Dominum, et deprecatus sum illum,
et dixi ex totis præcordiis meis:
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.