The four ages

Aurea prima sata est aetas, quae vindice nullo,
sponte sua, sine lege fidem rectumque colebat.
poena metusque aberant, nec verba minantia fixo
aere legebantur, nec supplex turba timebat
iudicis ora sui, sed erant sine vindice tuti.
nondum caesa suis, peregrinum ut viseret orbem,
montibus in liquidas pinus descenderat undas,
nullaque mortales praeter sua litora norant;
nondum praecipites cingebant oppida fossae;
non tuba derecti, non aeris cornua flexi,
non galeae, non ensis erat: sine militis usu
mollia securae peragebant otia gentes.
ipsa quoque inmunis rastroque intacta nec ullis
saucia vomeribus per se dabat omnia tellus,
contentique cibis nullo cogente creatis
arbuteos fetus montanaque fraga legebant
cornaque et in duris haerentia mora rubetis
et quae deciderant patula Iovis arbore glandes.
ver erat aeternum, placidique tepentibus auris
mulcebant zephyri natos sine semine flores;
mox etiam fruges tellus inarata ferebat,
nec renovatus ager gravidis canebat aristis;
flumina iam lactis, iam flumina nectaris ibant,
flavaque de viridi stillabant ilice mella.

First was sown the golden age, which, with no protector, of its own will fostered faith and virtue without law. Punishment and fear were absent, nor were threatening words read on fixed brass, nor did the suppliant multitude fear the looks of its judge, but they were safe without a protector. No cut-down pine had yet gone down from its mountains to the liquid waves, so that it would visit a foreign land, and no mortals knew shores other than their own.

Advertisements