The gods confound the man who first found out
How to distinguish hours! Confound him, too,
Who in this place set up a sun-dial
To cut and hack my days so wretchedly
Into small portions! When I was a boy,
My belly was my only sun-dial, one more sure,
Truer, and more exact than any of them.
This dial told me when 'twas proper time
To go to dinner, when I had aught to eat;
But nowadays, why even when I have,
I can't fall to unless the sun gives leave.
The town's so full of these confounded dials
The greatest part of the inhabitants,
Shrunk up with hunger, crawl along the streets.
(Gellius. III 3, 4)
trans. John C. Rolfe (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1927)
Soon as the aide had called that 'twas the hour of noon.
(Varro de L. L. VI 89)
trans. Roland G. Kent (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1938)