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eunt anni, more fluentis aquae

From Alcuin of York (c.730-804 A.D.). Given that (per Keith Sidwell in Reading Medieval Latin) he apparently didn’t start teaching until he was around 38, I wonder if perhaps he felt like he got a late start, too.

O vos, est aetas, iuvenes, quibus apta legendo
discite: eunt anni, more fluentis aquae.

Atque dies dociles vacuis ne perdite rebus:
nec redit unda fluens, nec redit hora ruens.

floreat in studiis virtutum prima juventus,
fulgeat ut magno laudis honore senex,

utere, quisque legas librum, felicibus annis
auctorisque memor dic: “miserere deus.”

si nostram, lector, festucam tollere quaeris,
robora de proprio lumine tolle prius.

disce tuas, iuvenis, ut agat facundia causas,
ut sis defensor, cura, salusque tuis.

disce, precor, iuvenis, motus moresque venustos.
laudetur toto ut nomen in orbe tuum.

The first two couplets take enough blood out of me for now.

You who have life, young men, who are suited to reading,
learn! The years go like flowing waters.

And do not lose your peaceful days with empty things:
The flowing waves do not return, nor do the rushing hours.

Owwwwwwwwwwwch.

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