To Oceanus

Translation from the Anthologia Latina by Ɔ. Martiana (Unhistorize).

Ruler of the waves, father of the sea, judge of the earth’s orb,
O Oceanus, encompassing all things with the mellow flow,

You mark a law to the earth with a bounded end,
You are the sea creating everything, springs as well as lakes.
Yea, all rivers too acknowledge you as their father,
The clouds drink you in order to return rainshowers to the crops.
And from the dark-blue hollow/curve/gulf of heaven, you are said
To encircle the immeasurable coastlines from all sides, tied/connected.
You restore the weary team of Phoebus under the sea
And administer refreshments to the rays exhausted through the day,
So that the golden light may restore the bright Sun to all peoples.

If you govern the sea, the earth, heaven and the whole world,
Then hear me too, a part of the whole, venerable
Kind parent of all things, I pray as a supplicant. So may you preserve the ship,
Wherever in your sea this soul is obliged
To cross straits and run courses
Over the horrid-sounding sea by the merciless commands of fate!
Be favorable and stretch out the gray-green depth over easy ridges
And undulate the cerulean only with only as much quaking motion
As the sails can bear, as would take away idleness from the oars.
May there be waves strong enough to put the fast stern in motion,
But only as many as I could count if I wanted, such as I will be happy to behold;
May an even line preserve the level of the sides unimpeded,
And may the wave softly murmur the way to the sailing beak (of the ship).

Give, father, that the current allows safe passage,
Carry across to the hoped-for port on a safe shore
Me and my companions. If you permit this to be so,
I shall give back as thanks as much as I can for a rich gift.