Erasmus’ epigram against Pope Julius II – my translation

Epigram against Pope Julius II:

How squarely your name, Julius the Second,
fits – for a second Julius you are.
He too was Supreme Pontiff once in Rome;
he too seized sovereign power by wrongful means;
and he saw fit, as you too now see fit,
to keep that power by violating trust.
He scorned the gods; you’re Julius here too.
He churned the whole world up with warfare, bloodshed
and carnage; you’re a Julius again.
On one count, though, you’ll better Julius:
old as you are, one boy friend’s not enough.
He won renown by devastating Gaul;
you’re well known as a plague to France yourself.
Nothing awed him, except his awesome seizures;
he could be roused to frenzy by his vengeful
spirit and by his consciousness of guilt;
he too was grim-faced, eyes glinting with menace,
in falsity outdoing any actor:
these gifts, and others I could name, you share
with Julius: you match him, yes, surpass him.
There’s just one minor detail where you differ:
by birth a no-one, you love wine, not books.
For you to be a Julius in full, then,
there’s only one thing short: you need a Brutus.

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