Quintus Ennius (c. 239 to 169 B.C.) is considered by many to be the “Father of Roman Poetry.”
He managed to get his last composition “in the can” right before he died – and in this piece, he likened himself to a “gallant horse” who had won the Olympics – and earned his rest. Whoa…heavy stuff, Ennius!
At about the age of 70 Ennius died, immediately after producing his tragedy Thyestes. In the last book of his epic poem, in which he seems to have given various details of his personal history, he mentioned that he was in his 67th year at the date of its composition. He compared himself, in contemplation of the close of the great work of his life, to a gallant horse which, after having often won the prize at the Olympic Games, obtained his rest when weary with age. A similar feeling of pride at the completion of a great career is expressed in the memorial lines which he composed to be placed under his bust after death: “Let no one weep for me, or celebrate my funeral with mourning; for I still live, as I pass to and fro through the mouths of men.”