Ashes and dust - Alcuin of York, England

(Albinus Alcuinus, c. 735 - 804, was a teacher at York
and later became Charlemagne's leading advisor on ecclesiastical and educational affairs.
He was abbot of the monastery of St. Martin of Tours from 796.)


Quod nunc es fueram, famosus in orbe, viator,
You are now, traveller, what I once was,

et quod nunc ego sum, tuque futurus eris.
and what I am now you will one day become.

Delicias mundi casso sectabar amore,
I pursued worldly pleasures with a futile passion,

nunc cinis et pulvis, vermibus atque cibus.
and here I am now dust and ashes, food for worms.

quaproter potius animam curare memento,
For this reason remember to look after the soul

quam carnem, quoniam haec manet, illa perit.
and not your body, for one lasts, the other perishes.

Cur tibi rura paras? quam parvo cernis in antro
Why build up your estates? you see in what a cramped tomb

me tenet hic requies: sic tua parva fiet.
I am here held at rest: thus small will be your own.