Keith Briggs

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Incerti panegyricus

From XII Panegyrici Latini, ed. R. A. B. Mynors, Oxford 1964, page 192:

O fortunata et nunc omnibus beatior terris Britannia, quae Constantinum Caesarem prima vidisti. Merito te omnibus caeli ac soli bonis natura donavit, in qua nec rigor est nimius hiemis nec ardor aestatis, in qua segetum tanta fecunditas ut muneribus utrisque sufficiat et Cereris et Liberi, in qua nemora sine immanibus bestiis, terra[s] sine serpentibus noxiis, contra pecorum mitium innumerabilis multitudo lacte distenta et onusta velleribus, certe quidem, propter quod vita diligitur, longissimme dies et nullae sine aliqua luce noctes, dum illa litorum extrema planities non attollit umbras noctisque metam caeli et siderum transit adspectus, ut sol ipse qui nobis videtur occidere ibi appareat praeterire.

Camden, Britannia 1607

English translation said to be by Philemon Holland (1552-1637):

O happie Britaine, and more fortunate than all other lands beside, which first sawest Constantine Emperour! For good cause hath nature endowed thee with all the blessed gifts of aire and soile; wherein there is neither excessive colde of Winter, nor extreme heat of Sommer, wherein there is so great plentie of grain, that it serveth sufficiently both for bread and drinke: wherein the forrests are without savage beasts, and the ground void of noisome serpents. Contrariwise, an infinite multitude there is of tame cattell with udders strutting full of milke, and loaden with fleeces: and verily (that which for the use of our life we much esteeme) the dayes there are very long, and the nights never without some light; whiles those utmost plaines by the sea side cast and raise no shadowes on high, and the aspect both of skie and starres passeth beyond the bound of the night, yea the very Sunne it self, which unto us seemeth for to set, appeareth there only to passe along and go aside.

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