Pereunt et Imputantur
The words are from the Roman poet Martial, 5.20. Here are the closing lines in Latin and in an English translation by Robert Louis Stevenson; for the complete poem in Latin and in Stevenson's English translation, see this blog post at Laudator Temporis Acti.
Now neither [of us] lives unto himself, alas!Here is Cowley's English rendering of those lines (cited by Eden):
And the good suns we see, that flash and pass
And perish; and the bell that knells them cries:
"Another gone: O when will ye arise?"
Nunc vivit necuter sibi, bonosque
soles effugere atque abire sentit,
qui nobis pereunt et inputantur.
Quisquam vivere cum sciat, moratur?
Now to himself, alas! does neither liveYou can see the same inscription on the famous astronomical clock of Exeter Cathedral. The motto is discussed in Eden expanded edition of Gatty's Book of Sun Dials, with a long list of other examples.
But sees good suns of which we are to give
A strict account, set, and doth march away:
Knows a man how to live, and does he stay?
Additional views of the sundial:
- Sum Space by John Colby
- Fine Art America: Rod Johnson
- David Cross at Flickr
- Saints and Stones: J. Demetrescu
- John Bradshaw at Flickr
- Roy Reed at Flickr
- David X at GloboSapiens.net