“Descend the western gorge at night
and soar your southern bird at dawn
pitch your poem in northern sky
before the blessed day is gone.” – Umbrano
According to scholars, this enigmatic epitaph was thought to have been written by the forest monk variously called Umbrano or Umbra Minor, in the hills surrounding Rome in the 3rd century B.C.E. Dated to the winter of either 286 or 287 B.C.E., during what is considered his annus mirabilis (wondrous year), it is one of 999 poems he purportedly composed in Aduana, one of several pre-Latin languages. Local uncivilized people considered him to be a rainbow wizard or mud magi of sorts, and bestowed the name Magi Arcus Iris upon him (Ijana Oma in Aduana). Of course a number of legends arose around the figure of Adumbra, none of which can be verified. But it would be interesting to look into what source were at the root of wild tales, such as the one that has him being swallowed by a sea beast and living at the bottom of the ocean for 6 months before being spit upon the shore unharmed.
The epitaph above was engraved on his tombstone, and is thought to be but a fragment of a larger work he was composing when disappeared into the mountains.