Jove rules in heaven, his thunder shows; Henceforth Augustus earth shall own Her present god, now Briton foes And Persians bow before his throne. Has Crassus' soldier ta'en to wife A base barbarian, and grown grey (Woe, for a nation's tainted life!) Earning his foemen-kinsmen's pay, His king, forsooth, a Mede, his sire A Marsian? can he name forget, Gown, sacred shield, undying fire, And Jove and Rome are standing yet? 'Twas this that Regulus foresaw, What time he spurn'd the foul disgrace Of peace, whose precedent would draw Destruction on an unborn race, Should aught but death the prisoner's chain Unrivet. "I have seen," he said, "Rome's eagle in a Punic fane, And armour, ne'er a blood-drop shed, Stripp'd from the soldier; I have seen Free sons of Rome with arms fast tied; The fields we spoil'd with corn are green, And Carthage opes her portals wide. The warrior, sure, redeem'd by gold, Will fight the bolder! Aye, you heap On baseness loss. The hues of old Revisit not the wool we steep; And genuine worth, expell'd by fear, Returns not to the worthless slave. Break but her meshes, will the deer Assail you? then will he be brave Who once to faithless foes has knelt; Yes, Carthage yet his spear will fly, Who with bound arms the cord has felt, The coward, and has fear'd to die. He knows not, he, how life is won; Thinks war, like peace, a thing of trade! Great art thou, Carthage! mate the sun, While Italy in dust is laid!" His wife's pure kiss he waved aside, And prattling boys, as one disgraced, They tell us, and with manly pride Stern on the ground his visage placed. With counsel thus ne'er else aread He nerved the fathers' weak intent, And, girt by friends that mourn'd him, sped Into illustrious banishment. Well witting what the torturer's art Design'd him, with like unconcern The press of kin he push'd apart And crowds encumbering his return, As though, some tedious business o'er Of clients' court, his journey lay Towards Venafrum's grassy floor, Or Sparta-built Tarentum's bay.
Your fathers' guilt you still must pay, Till, Roman, you restore each shrine, Each temple, mouldering in decay, And smoke-grimed statue, scarce divine. Revering Heaven, you rule below; Be that your base, your coping still; 'Tis Heaven neglected bids o'erflow The measure of Italian ill. Now Pacorus and Montaeses twice Have given our unblest arms the foil; Their necklaces, of mean device, Smiling they deck with Roman spoil. Our city, torn by faction's throes, Dacian and Ethiop well-nigh razed, These with their dreadful navy, those For archer-prowess rather praised. An evil age erewhile debased The marriage-bed, the race, the home; Thence rose the flood whose waters waste The nation and the name of Rome. Not such their birth, who stain'd for us The sea with Punic carnage red, Smote Pyrrhus, smote Antiochus, And Hannibal, the Roman's dread. Theirs was a hardy soldier-brood, Inured all day the land to till With Sabine spade, then shoulder wood Hewn at a stern old mother's will, When sunset lengthen'd from each height The shadows, and unyoked the steer, Restoring in its westward flight The hour to toilworn travail dear. What has not cankering Time made worse? Viler than grandsires, sires beget Ourselves, yet baser, soon to curse The world with offspring baser yet.
QUID FLES, ASTERIE.
Why weep for him whom sweet Favonian airs Will waft next spring, Asteria, back to you, Rich with Bithynia's wares, A lover fond and true, Your Gyges? He, detain'd by stormy stress At Oricum, about the Goat-star's rise, Cold, wakeful, comfortless, The long night weeping lies. Meantime his lovesick hostess' messenger Talks of the flames that waste poor Chloe's heart (Flames lit for you, not her!) With a besieger's art; Shows how a treacherous woman's lying breath Once on a time on trustful Proetus won To doom to early death Too chaste Bellerophon; Warns him of Peleus' peril, all but slain For virtuous scorn of fair Hippolyta, And tells again each tale That e'er led heart astray. In vain; for deafer than Icarian seas He hears, untainted yet. But, lady fair, What if Enipeus please Your listless eye? beware! Though true it be that none with surer seat O'er Mars's grassy turf is seen to ride, Nor any swims so fleet Adown the Tuscan tide, Yet keep each evening door and window barr'd; Look not abroad when music strikes up shrill, And though he call you hard, Remain obdurate still.
The first of March! a man unwed! What can these flowers, this censer Or what these embers, glowing red On sods of green? You ask, in either language skill'd! A feast I vow'd to Bacchus free, A white he-goat, when all but kill'd By falling tree. So, when that holyday comes round, It sees me still the rosin clear From this my wine-jar, first embrown'd In Tullus' year. Come, crush one hundred cups for life Preserved, Maecenas; keep till day The candles lit; let noise and strife Be far away. Lay down that load of state-concern; The Dacian hosts are all o'erthrown; The Mede, that sought our overturn, Now seeks his own; A servant now, our ancient foe, The Spaniard, wears at last our chain; The Scythian half unbends his bow And quits the plain. Then fret not lest the state should ail; A private man such thoughts may spare; Enjoy the present hour's regale, And banish care.
DONEC GRATUS ERAM.
HORACE. While I had power to bless you, Nor any round that neck his arms did fling More privileged to caress you, Happier was Horace than the Persian king.
LYDIA. While you for none were pining Sorer, nor Lydia after Chloe came, Lydia, her peers outshining, Might match her own with Ilia's Roman fame.
H. Now Chloe is my treasure, Whose voice, whose touch, can make sweet music flow: For her I'd die with pleasure, Would Fate but spare the dear survivor so.
L. I love my own fond lover, Young Calais, son of Thurian Ornytus: For him I'd die twice over, Would Fate but spare the sweet survivor thus.
H. What now, if Love returning Should pair us 'neath his brazen yoke once more, And, bright-hair'd Chloe spurning, Horace to off-cast Lydia ope his door?
L. Though he is fairer, milder, Than starlight, you lighter than bark of tree, Than stormy Hadria wilder, With you to live, to die, were bliss for me.
Ah Lyce! though your drink were Tanais, Your husband some rude savage, you would weep To leave me shivering, on a night like this, Where storms their watches keep. Hark! how your door is creaking! how the grove In your fair court-yard, while the wild winds blow, Wails in accord! with what transparence Jove Is glazing the driven snow! Cease that proud temper: Venus loves it not: The rope may break, the wheel may backward turn: Begetting you, no Tuscan sire begot Penelope the stern. O, though no gift, no "prevalence of prayer," Nor lovers' paleness deep as violet, Nor husband, smit with a Pierian fair, Move you, have pity yet! O harder e'en than toughest heart of oak, Deafer than uncharm'd snake to suppliant moans! This side, I warn you, will not always brook Rain-water and cold stones.
MERCURI, NAM TE.
Come, Mercury, by whose minstrel spell Amphion raised the Theban stones, Come, with thy seven sweet strings, my shell, Thy "diverse tones," Nor vocal once nor pleasant, now To rich man's board and temple dear: Put forth thy power, till Lyde bow Her stubborn ear. She, like a three year colt unbroke, Is frisking o'er the spacious plain, Too shy to bear a lover's yoke, A husband's rein. The wood, the tiger, at thy call Have follow'd: thou canst rivers stay: The monstrous guard of Pluto's hall To thee gave way, Grim Cerberus, round whose Gorgon head A hundred snakes are hissing death, Whose triple jaws black venom shed, And sickening breath. Ixion too and Tityos smooth'd Their rugged brows: the urn stood dry One hour, while Danaus' maids were sooth'd With minstrelsy. Let Lyde hear those maidens' guilt, Their famous doom, the ceaseless drain Of outpour'd water, ever spilt, And all the pain Reserved for sinners, e'en when dead: Those impious hands, (could crime do more?) Those impious hands had hearts to shed Their bridegrooms' gore! One only, true to Hymen's flame, Was traitress to her sire forsworn: That splendid falsehood lights her name Through times unborn. "Wake!" to her youthful spouse she cried, "Wake! or you yet may sleep too well: Fly—from the father of your bride, Her sisters fell: They, as she-lions bullocks rend, Tear each her victim: I, less hard Than these, will slay you not, poor friend, Nor hold in ward: Me let my sire in fetters lay For mercy to my husband shown: Me let him ship far hence away, To climes unknown. Go; speed your flight o'er land and wave, While Night and Venus shield you; go Be blest: and on my tomb engrave This tale of woe."
How unhappy are the maidens who with Cupid may not play, Who may never touch the wine-cup, but must tremble all the day At an uncle, and the scourging of his tongue! Neobule, there's a robber takes your needle and your thread, Lets the lessons of Minerva run no longer in your head; It is Hebrus, the athletic and the young! O, to see him when anointed he is plunging in the flood! What a seat he has on horseback! was Bellerophon's as good? As a boxer, as a runner, past compare! When the deer are flying blindly all the open country o'er, He can aim and he can hit them; he can steal upon the boar, As it couches in the thicket unaware.
O FONS BANDUSIAE.
Bandusia's fount, in clearness crystalline, O worthy of the wine, the flowers we vow! To-morrow shall be thine A kid, whose crescent brow Is sprouting all for love and victory. In vain: his warm red blood, so early stirr'd, Thy gelid stream shall dye, Child of the wanton herd. Thee the fierce Sirian star, to madness fired, Forbears to touch: sweet cool thy waters yield To ox with ploughing tired, And lazy sheep afield. Thou too one day shalt win proud eminence 'Mid honour'd founts, while I the ilex sing Crowning the cavern, whence Thy babbling wavelets spring.
Our Hercules, they told us, Rome, Had sought the laurel Death bestows: Now Glory brings him conqueror home From Spaniard foes. Proud of her spouse, the imperial fair Must thank the gods that shield from death; His sister too:—let matrons wear The suppliant wreath For daughters and for sons restored: Ye youths and damsels newly wed, Let decent awe restrain each word Best left unsaid. This day, true holyday to me, Shall banish care: I will not fear Rude broils or bloody death to see, While Caesar's here. Quick, boy, the chaplets and the nard, And wine, that knew the Marsian war, If roving Spartacus have spared A single jar. And bid Nesera come and trill, Her bright locks bound with careless art: If her rough porter cross your will, Why then depart. Soon palls the taste for noise and fray, When hair is white and leaves are sere: How had I fired in life's warm May, In Plancus' year!
UXOR PAUPERIS IBYCI.
Wife of Ibycus the poor, Let aged scandals have at length their bound: Give your graceless doings o'er, Ripe as you are for going underground. YOU the maidens' dance to lead, And cast your gloom upon those beaming stars! Daughter Pholoe may succeed, But mother Chloris what she touches mars. Young men's homes your daughter storms, Like Thyiad, madden'd by the cymbals' beat: Nothus' love her bosom warms: She gambols like a fawn with silver feet. Yours should be the wool that grows By fair Luceria, not the merry lute: Flowers beseem not wither'd brows, Nor wither'd lips with emptied wine-jars suit.
Full well had Danae been secured, in truth, By oaken portals, and a brazen tower, And savage watch-dogs, from the roving youth That prowl at midnight's hour: But Jove and Venus mock'd with gay disdain The jealous warder of that close stronghold: The way, they knew, must soon be smooth and plain When gods could change to gold. Gold, gold can pass the tyrant's sentinel, Can shiver rocks with more resistless blow Than is the thunder's. Argos' prophet fell, He and his house laid low, And all for gain. The man of Macedon Cleft gates of cities, rival kings o'erthrew By force of gifts: their cunning snares have won Rude captains and their crew. As riches grow, care follows: men repine And thirst for more. No lofty crest I raise: Wisdom that thought forbids, Maecenas mine, The knightly order's praise. He that denies himself shall gain the more From bounteous Heaven. I strip me of my pride, Desert the rich man's standard, and pass o'er To bare Contentment's side, More proud as lord of what the great despise Than if the wheat thresh'd on Apulia's floor I hoarded all in my huge granaries, 'Mid vast possessions poor. A clear fresh stream, a little field o'ergrown With shady trees, a crop that ne'er deceives, Pass, though men know it not, their wealth, that own All Afric's golden sheaves. Though no Calabrian bees their honey yield For me, nor mellowing sleeps the god of wine In Formian jar, nor in Gaul's pasture-field The wool grows long and fine, Yet Poverty ne'er comes to break my peace; If more I craved, you would not more refuse. Desiring less, I better shall increase My tiny revenues, Than if to Alyattes' wide domains I join'd the realms of Mygdon. Great desires Sort with great wants. 'Tis best, when prayer obtains No more than life requires.
Aelius, of Lamus' ancient name (For since from that high parentage The prehistoric Lamias came And all who fill the storied page, No doubt you trace your line from him, Who stretch'd his sway o'er Formiae, And Liris, whose still waters swim Where green Marica skirts the sea, Lord of broad realms), an eastern gale Will blow to-morrow, and bestrew The shore with weeds, with leaves the vale, If rain's old prophet tell me true, The raven. Gather, while 'tis fine, Your wood; to-morrow shall be gay With smoking pig and streaming wine, And lord and slave keep holyday.
O wont the flying Nymphs to woo, Good Faunus, through my sunny farm Pass gently, gently pass, nor do My younglings harm. Each year, thou know'st, a kid must die For thee; nor lacks the wine's full stream To Venus' mate, the bowl; and high The altars steam. Sure as December's nones appear, All o'er the grass the cattle play; The village, with the lazy steer, Keeps holyday. Wolves rove among the fearless sheep; The woods for thee their foliage strow; The delver loves on earth to leap, His ancient foe.
What the time from Inachus To Codrus, who in patriot battle fell, Who were sprung from Aeacus, And how men fought at Ilion,—this you tell. What the wines of Chios cost, Who with due heat our water can allay, What the hour, and who the host To give us house-room,—this you will not say. Ho, there! wine to moonrise, wine To midnight, wine to our new augur too! Nine to three or three to nine, As each man pleases, makes proportion true. Who the uneven Muses loves, Will fire his dizzy brain with three times three; Three once told the Grace approves; She with her two bright sisters, gay and free, Shrinks, as maiden should, from strife: But I'm for madness. What has dull'd the fire Of the Berecyntian fife? Why hangs the flute in silence with the lyre? Out on niggard-handed boys! Rain showers of roses; let old Lycus hear, Envious churl, our senseless noise, And she, our neighbour, his ill-sorted fere. You with your bright clustering hair, Your beauty, Telephus, like evening's sky, Rhoda loves, as young, as fair; I for my Glycera slowly, slowly die.
O NATE MECUM.
O born in Manlius' year with me, Whate'er you bring us, plaint or jest, Or passion and wild revelry, Or, like a gentle wine-jar, rest; Howe'er men call your Massic juice, Its broaching claims a festal day; Come then; Corvinus bids produce A mellower wine, and I obey. Though steep'd in all Socratic lore He will not slight you; do not fear. They say old Cato o'er and o'er With wine his honest heart would cheer. Tough wits to your mild torture yield Their treasures; you unlock the soul Of wisdom and its stores conceal'd, Arm'd with Lyaeus' kind control. 'Tis yours the drooping heart to heal; Your strength uplifts the poor man's horn; Inspired by you, the soldier's steel, The monarch's crown, he laughs to scorn. Liber and Venus, wills she so, And sister Graces, ne'er unknit, And living lamps shall see you flow Till stars before the sunrise flit.
Guardian of hill and woodland, Maid, Who to young wives in childbirth's hour Thrice call'd, vouchsafest sovereign aid, O three-form'd power! This pine that shades my cot be thine; Here will I slay, as years come round, A youngling boar, whose tusks design The side-long wound.
If, Phidyle, your hands you lift To heaven, as each new moon is born, Soothing your Lares with the gift Of slaughter'd swine, and spice, and corn, Ne'er shall Scirocco's bane assail Your vines, nor mildew blast your wheat, Ne'er shall your tender younglings fail In autumn, when the fruits are sweet. The destined victim 'mid the snows Of Algidus in oakwoods fed, Or where the Alban herbage grows, Shall dye the pontiff's axes red; No need of butcher'd sheep for you To make your homely prayers prevail; Give but your little gods their due, The rosemary twined with myrtle frail. The sprinkled salt, the votive meal, As soon their favour will regain, Let but the hand be pure and leal, As all the pomp of heifers slain.
Though your buried wealth surpass The unsunn'd gold of Ind or Araby, Though with many a ponderous mass You crowd the Tuscan and Apulian sea, Let Necessity but drive Her wedge of adamant into that proud head, Vainly battling will you strive To 'scape Death's noose, or rid your soul of dread. Better life the Scythians lead, Trailing on waggon wheels their wandering home, Or the hardy Getan breed, As o'er their vast unmeasured steppes they roam; Free the crops that bless their soil; Their tillage wearies after one year's space; Each in turn fulfils his toil; His period o'er, another takes his place. There the step-dame keeps her hand From guilty plots, from blood of orphans clean; There no dowried wives command Their feeble lords, or on adulterers lean. Theirs are dowries not of gold, Their parents' worth, their own pure chastity, True to one, to others cold; They dare not sin, or, if they dare, they die. O, whoe'er has heart and head To stay our plague of blood, our civic brawls, Would he that his name be read "Father of Rome" on lofty pedestals, Let him chain this lawless will, And be our children's hero! cursed spite! Living worth we envy still, Then seek it with strain'd eyes, when snatch'd from sight. What can sad laments avail Unless sharp justice kill the taint of sin? What can laws, that needs must fail Shorn of the aid of manners form'd within, If the merchant turns not back From the fierce heats that round the tropic glow, Turns not from the regions black With northern winds, and hard with frozen snow; Sailors override the wave, While guilty poverty, more fear'd than vice, Bids us crime and suffering brave, And shuns the ascent of virtue's precipice? Let the Capitolian fane, The favour'd goal of yon vociferous crowd, Aye, or let the nearest main Receive our gold, our jewels rich and proud: Slay we thus the cause of crime, If yet we would repent and choose the good: Ours the task to take in time This baleful lust, and crush it in the bud. Ours to mould our weakling sons To nobler sentiment and manlier deed: Now the noble's first-born shuns The perilous chase, nor learns to sit his steed: Set him to the unlawful dice, Or Grecian hoop, how skilfully he plays! While his sire, mature in vice, A friend, a partner, or a guest betrays, Hurrying, for an heir so base, To gather riches. Money, root of ill, Doubt it not, still grows apace: Yet the scant heap has somewhat lacking still.
QUO ME, BACCHE.
Whither, Bacchus, tear'st thou me, Fill'd with thy strength? What dens, what forests these, Thus in wildering race I see? What cave shall hearken to my melodies, Tuned to tell of Caesar's praise And throne him high the heavenly ranks among? Sweet and strange shall be my lays, A tale till now by poet voice unsung. As the Evian on the height, Housed from her sleep, looks wonderingly abroad, Looks on Thrace with snow-drifts white, And Rhodope by barbarous footstep trod, So my truant eyes admire The banks, the desolate forests. O great King Who the Naiads dost inspire, And Bacchants, strong from earth huge trees to wring! Not a lowly strain is mine, No mere man's utterance. O, 'tis venture sweet Thee to follow, God of wine, Making the vine-branch round thy temples meet!
For ladies's love I late was fit, And good success my warfare blest, But now my arms, my lyre I quit, And hang them up to rust or rest. Here, where arising from the sea Stands Venus, lay the load at last, Links, crowbars, and artillery, Threatening all doors that dared be fast. O Goddess! Cyprus owns thy sway, And Memphis, far from Thracian snow: Raise high thy lash, and deal me, pray, That haughty Chloe just one blow!
When guilt goes forth, let lapwings shrill, And dogs and foxes great with young, And wolves from far Lanuvian hill, Give clamorous tongue: Across the roadway dart the snake, Frightening, like arrow loosed from string, The horses. I, for friendship's sake, Watching each wing, Ere to his haunt, the stagnant marsh, The harbinger of tempest flies, Will call the raven, croaking harsh, From eastern skies. Farewell!—and wheresoe'er you go, My Galatea, think of me: Let lefthand pie and roving crow Still leave you free. But mark with what a front of fear Orion lowers. Ah! well I know How Hadria glooms, how falsely clear The west-winds blow. Let foemen's wives and children feel The gathering south-wind's angry roar, The black wave's crash, the thunder-peal, The quivering shore. So to the bull Europa gave Her beauteous form, and when she saw The monstrous deep, the yawning grave, Grew pale with awe. That morn of meadow-flowers she thought, Weaving a crown the nymphs to please: That gloomy night she look'd on nought But stars and seas. Then, as in hundred-citied Crete She landed,—"O my sire!" she said, "O childly duty! passion's heat Has struck thee dead. Whence came I? death, for maiden's shame, Were little. Do I wake to weep My sin? or am I pure of blame, And is it sleep From dreamland brings a form to trick My senses? Which was best? to go Over the long, long waves, or pick The flowers in blow? O, were that monster made my prize, How would I strive to wound that brow, How tear those horns, my frantic eyes Adored but now! Shameless I left my father's home; Shameless I cheat the expectant grave; O heaven, that naked I might roam In lions' cave! Now, ere decay my bloom devour Or thin the richness of my blood, Fain would I fall in youth's first flower, The tigers' food. Hark! 'tis my father—Worthless one! What, yet alive? the oak is nigh. 'Twas well you kept your maiden zone, The noose to tie. Or if your choice be that rude pike, New barb'd with death, leap down and ask The wind to bear you. Would you like The bondmaid's task, You, child of kings, a master's toy, A mistress' slave?'" Beside her, lo! Stood Venus smiling, and her boy With unstrung bow. Then, when her laughter ceased, "Have done With fume and fret," she cried, "my fair; That odious bull will give you soon His horns to tear. You know not you are Jove's own dame: Away with sobbing; be resign'd To greatness: you shall give your name To half mankind."
FESTO QUID POTIUS.
Neptune's feast-day! what should man Think first of doing? Lyde mine, be bold, Broach the treasured Caecuban, And batter Wisdom in her own stronghold. Now the noon has pass'd the full, Yet sure you deem swift Time has made a halt, Tardy as you are to pull Old Bibulus' wine-jar from its sleepy vault. I will take my turn and sing Neptune and Nereus' train with locks of green; You shall warble to the string Latona and her Cynthia's arrowy sheen. Hers our latest song, who sways Cnidos and Cyclads, and to Paphos goes With her swans, on holydays; Night too shall claim the homage music owes.
Heir of Tyrrhenian kings, for you A mellow cask, unbroach'd as yet, Maecenas mine, and roses new, And fresh-drawn oil your locks to wet, Are waiting here. Delay not still, Nor gaze on Tibur, never dried, And sloping AEsule, and the hill Of Telegon the parricide. O leave that pomp that can but tire, Those piles, among the clouds at home; Cease for a moment to admire The smoke, the wealth, the noise of Rome! In change e'en luxury finds a zest: The poor man's supper, neat, but spare, With no gay couch to seat the guest, Has smooth'd the rugged brow of care. Now glows the Ethiop maiden's sire; Now Procyon rages all ablaze; The Lion maddens in his ire, As suns bring back the sultry days: The shepherd with his weary sheep Seeks out the streamlet and the trees, Silvanus' lair: the still banks sleep Untroubled by the wandering breeze. You ponder on imperial schemes, And o'er the city's danger brood: Bactrian and Serian haunt your dreams, And Tanais, toss'd by inward feud. The issue of the time to be Heaven wisely hides in blackest night, And laughs, should man's anxiety Transgress the bounds of man's short sight. Control the present: all beside Flows like a river seaward borne, Now rolling on its placid tide, Now whirling massy trunks uptorn, And waveworn crags, and farms, and stock, In chaos blent, while hill and wood Reverberate to the enormous shock, When savage rains the tranquil flood Have stirr'd to madness. Happy he, Self-centred, who each night can say, "My life is lived: the morn may see A clouded or a sunny day: That rests with Jove: but what is gone, He will not, cannot turn to nought; Nor cancel, as a thing undone, What once the flying hour has brought." Fortune, who loves her cruel game, Still bent upon some heartless whim, Shifts her caresses, fickle dame, Now kind to me, and now to him: She stays; 'tis well: but let her shake Those wings, her presents I resign, Cloak me in native worth, and take Chaste Poverty undower'd for mine. Though storms around my vessel rave, I will not fall to craven prayers, Nor bargain by my vows to save My Cyprian and Sidonian wares, Else added to the insatiate main. Then through the wild Aegean roar The breezes and the Brethren Twain Shall waft my little boat ashore.
And now 'tis done: more durable than brass My monument shall be, and raise its head O'er royal pyramids: it shall not dread Corroding rain or angry Boreas, Nor the long lapse of immemorial time. I shall not wholly die: large residue Shall 'scape the queen of funerals. Ever new My after fame shall grow, while pontiffs climb With silent maids the Capitolian height. "Born," men will say, "where Aufidus is loud, Where Daunus, scant of streams, beneath him bow'd The rustic tribes, from dimness he wax'd bright, First of his race to wed the Aeolian lay To notes of Italy." Put glory on, My own Melpomene, by genius won, And crown me of thy grace with Delphic bay.
Yet again thou wak'st the flame That long had slumber'd! Spare me, Venus, spare! Trust me, I am not the same As in the reign of Cinara, kind and fair. Cease thy softening spells to prove On this old heart, by fifty years made hard, Cruel Mother of sweet Love! Haste, where gay youth solicits thy regard. With thy purple cygnets fly To Paullus' door, a seasonable guest; There within hold revelry, There light thy flame in that congenial breast. He, with birth and beauty graced, The trembling client's champion, ne'er tongue-tied, Master of each manly taste, Shall bear thy conquering banners far and wide. Let him smile in triumph gay, True heart, victorious over lavish hand, By the Alban lake that day 'Neath citron roof all marble shalt thou stand: Incense there and fragrant spice With odorous fumes thy nostrils shall salute; Blended notes thine ear entice, The lyre, the pipe, the Berecyntine flute: Graceful youths and maidens bright Shall twice a day thy tuneful praise resound, While their feet, so fair and white, In Salian measure three times beat the ground. I can relish love no more, Nor flattering hopes that tell me hearts are true, Nor the revel's loud uproar, Nor fresh-wreathed flowerets, bathed in vernal dew. Ah! but why, my Ligurine, Steal trickling tear-drops down my wasted cheek? Wherefore halts this tongue of mine, So eloquent once, so faltering now and weak? Now I hold you in my chain, And clasp you close, all in a nightly dream; Now, still dreaming, o'er the plain I chase you; now, ah cruel! down the stream.
Who fain at Pindar's flight would aim, On waxen wings, Iulus, he Soars heavenward, doom'd to give his name To some new sea. Pindar, like torrent from the steep Which, swollen with rain, its banks o'erflows, With mouth unfathomably deep, Foams, thunders, glows, All worthy of Apollo's bay, Whether in dithyrambic roll Pouring new words he burst away Beyond control, Or gods and god-born heroes tell, Whose arm with righteous death could tame Grim Centaurs, tame Chimaeras fell, Out-breathing flame, Or bid the boxer or the steed In deathless pride of victory live, And dower them with a nobler meed Than sculptors give, Or mourn the bridegroom early torn From his young bride, and set on high Strength, courage, virtue's golden morn, Too good to die. Antonius! yes, the winds blow free, When Dirce's swan ascends the skies, To waft him. I, like Matine bee, In act and guise, That culls its sweets through toilsome hours, Am roaming Tibur's banks along, And fashioning with puny powers A laboured song. Your Muse shall sing in loftier strain How Caesar climbs the sacred height, The fierce Sygambrians in his train, With laurel dight, Than whom the Fates ne'er gave mankind A richer treasure or more dear, Nor shall, though earth again should find The golden year. Your Muse shall tell of public sports, And holyday, and votive feast, For Caesar's sake, and brawling courts Where strife has ceased. Then, if my voice can aught avail, Grateful for him our prayers have won, My song shall echo, "Hail, all hail, Auspicious Sun!" There as you move, "Ho! Triumph, ho! Great Triumph!" once and yet again All Rome shall cry, and spices strow Before your train. Ten bulls, ten kine, your debt discharge: A calf new-wean'd from parent cow, Battening on pastures rich and large, Shall quit my vow. Like moon just dawning on the night The crescent honours of his head; One dapple spot of snowy white, The rest all red.
QUEM TU, MELPOMENE.
He whom thou, Melpomene, Hast welcomed with thy smile, in life arriving, Ne'er by boxer's skill shall be Renown'd abroad, for Isthmian mastery striving; Him shall never fiery steed Draw in Achaean car a conqueror seated; Him shall never martial deed Show, crown'd with bay, after proud kings defeated, Climbing Capitolian steep: But the cool streams that make green Tibur flourish, And the tangled forest deep, On soft Aeolian airs his fame shall nourish. Rome, of cities first and best, Deigns by her sons' according voice to hail me Fellow-bard of poets blest, And faint and fainter envy's growls assail me. Goddess, whose Pierian art The lyre's sweet sounds can modulate and measure, Who to dumb fish canst impart The music of the swan, if such thy pleasure: O, 'tis all of thy dear grace That every finger points me out in going Lyrist of the Roman race; Breath, power to charm, if mine, are thy bestowing!
E'en as the lightning's minister, Whom Jove o'er all the feather'd breed Made sovereign, having proved him sure Erewhile on auburn Ganymede; Stirr'd by warm youth and inborn power, He quits the nest with timorous wing, For winter's storms have ceased to lower, And zephyrs of returning spring Tempt him to launch on unknown skies; Next on the fold he stoops downright; Last on resisting serpents flies, Athirst for foray and for flight: As tender kidling on the grass Espies, uplooking from her food, A lion's whelp, and knows, alas! Those new-set teeth shall drink her blood: So look'd the Raetian mountaineers On Drusus:—whence in every field They learn'd through immemorial years The Amazonian axe to wield, I ask not now: not all of truth We seekers find: enough to know The wisdom of the princely youth Has taught our erst victorious foe What prowess dwells in boyish hearts Rear'd in the shrine of a pure home, What strength Augustus' love imparts To Nero's seed, the hope of Rome. Good sons and brave good sires approve: Strong bullocks, fiery colts, attest Their fathers' worth, nor weakling dove Is hatch'd in savage eagle's nest. But care draws forth the power within, And cultured minds are strong for good: Let manners fail, the plague of sin Taints e'en the course of gentle blood. How great thy debt to Nero's race, O Rome, let red Metaurus say, Slain Hasdrubal, and victory's grace First granted on that glorious day Which chased the clouds, and show'd the sun, When Hannibal o'er Italy Ran, as swift flames o'er pine-woods run, Or Eurus o'er Sicilia's sea. Henceforth, by fortune aiding toil, Rome's prowess grew: her fanes, laid waste By Punic sacrilege and spoil, Beheld at length their gods replaced. Then the false Libyan own'd his doom:— "Weak deer, the wolves' predestined prey, Blindly we rush on foes, from whom 'Twere triumph won to steal away. That race which, strong from Ilion's fires, Its gods, on Tuscan waters tost, Its sons, its venerable sires, Bore to Ausonia's citied coast; That race, like oak by axes shorn On Algidus with dark leaves rife, Laughs carnage, havoc, all to scorn, And draws new spirit from the knife. Not the lopp'd Hydra task'd so sore Alcides, chafing at the foil: No pest so fell was born of yore From Colchian or from Theban soil. Plunged in the deep, it mounts to sight More splendid: grappled, it will quell Unbroken powers, and fight a fight Whose story widow'd wives shall tell. No heralds shall my deeds proclaim To Carthage now: lost, lost is all: A nation's hope, a nation's name, They died with dying Hasdrubal." What will not Claudian hands achieve? Jove's favour is their guiding star, And watchful potencies unweave For them the tangled paths of war.
DIVIS ORTE BONIS.
Best guardian of Rome's people, dearest boon Of a kind Heaven, thou lingerest all too long: Thou bad'st thy senate look to meet thee soon: Do not thy promise wrong. Restore, dear chief, the light thou tak'st away: Ah! when, like spring, that gracious mien of thine Dawns on thy Rome, more gently glides the day, And suns serener shine. See her whose darling child a long year past Has dwelt beyond the wild Carpathian foam; That long year o'er, the envious southern blast Still bars him from his home: Weeping and praying to the shore she clings, Nor ever thence her straining eyesight turns: So, smit by loyal passion's restless stings, Rome for her Caesar yearns. In safety range the cattle o'er the mead: Sweet Peace, soft Plenty, swell the golden grain: O'er unvex'd seas the sailors blithely speed: Fair Honour shrinks from stain: No guilty lusts the shrine of home defile: Cleansed is the hand without, the heart within: The father's features in his children smile: Swift vengeance follows sin. Who fears the Parthian or the Scythian horde, Or the rank growth that German forests yield, While Caesar lives? who trembles at the sword The fierce Iberians wield? In his own hills each labours down the day, Teaching the vine to clasp the widow'd tree: Then to his cups again, where, feasting gay, He hails his god in thee. A household power, adored with prayers and wine, Thou reign'st auspicious o'er his hour of ease: Thus grateful Greece her Castor made divine, And her great Hercules. Ah! be it thine long holydays to give To thy Hesperia! thus, dear chief, we pray At sober sunrise; thus at mellow eve, When ocean hides the day.
DIVE, QUEM PROLES.
Thou who didst make thy vengeful might To Niobe and Tityos known, And Peleus' son, when Troy's tall height Was nigh his own, Victorious else, for thee no peer, Though, strong in his sea-parent's power, He shook with that tremendous spear The Dardan tower. He, like a pine by axes sped, Or cypress sway'd by angry gust, Fell ruining, and laid his head In Trojan dust. Not his to lie in covert pent Of the false steed, and sudden fall On Priam's ill-starr'd merriment In bower and hall: His ruthless arm in broad bare day The infant from the breast had torn, Nay, given to flame, ah, well a way! The babe unborn: But, won by Venus' voice and thine, Relenting Jove Aeneas will'd With other omens more benign New walls to build. Sweet tuner of the Grecian lyre, Whose locks are laved in Xanthus' dews, Blooming Agyieus! help, inspire My Daunian Muse! 'Tis Phoebus, Phoebus gifts my tongue With minstrel art and minstrel fires: Come, noble youths and maidens sprung From noble sires, Blest in your Dian's guardian smile, Whose shafts the flying silvans stay, Come, foot the Lesbian measure, while The lyre I play: Sing of Latona's glorious boy, Sing of night's queen with crescent horn, Who wings the fleeting months with joy, And swells the corn. And happy brides shall say, "'Twas mine, When years the cyclic season brought, To chant the festal hymn divine By HORACE taught."
The snow is fled: the trees their leaves put on, The fields their green: Earth owns the change, and rivers lessening run. Their banks between. Naked the Nymphs and Graces in the meads The dance essay: "No 'scaping death" proclaims the year, that speeds This sweet spring day. Frosts yield to zephyrs; Summer drives out Spring, To vanish, when Rich Autumn sheds his fruits; round wheels the ring,— Winter again! Yet the swift moons repair Heaven's detriment: We, soon as thrust Where good Aeneas, Tullus, Ancus went, What are we? dust. Can Hope assure you one more day to live From powers above? You rescue from your heir whate'er you give The self you love. When life is o'er, and Minos has rehearsed The grand last doom, Not birth, nor eloquence, nor worth, shall burst Torquatus' tomb. Not Dian's self can chaste Hippolytus To life recall, Nor Theseus free his loved Pirithous From Lethe's thrall.
Ah Censorinus! to my comrades true Rich cups, rare bronzes, gladly would I send: Choice tripods from Olympia on each friend Would I confer, choicer on none than you, Had but my fate such gems of art bestow'd As cunning Scopas or Parrhasius wrought, This with the brush, that with the chisel taught To image now a mortal, now a god. But these are not my riches: your desire Such luxury craves not, and your means disdain: A poet's strain you love; a poet's strain Accept, and learn the value of the lyre. Not public gravings on a marble base, Whence comes a second life to men of might E'en in the tomb: not Hannibal's swift flight, Nor those fierce threats flung back into his face, Not impious Carthage in its last red blaze, In clearer light sets forth his spotless fame, Who from crush'd Afric took away—a name, Than rude Calabria's tributary lays. Let silence hide the good your hand has wrought. Farewell, reward! Had blank oblivion's power Dimm'd the bright deeds of Romulus, at this hour, Despite his sire and mother, he were nought. Thus Aeacus has 'scaped the Stygian wave, By grace of poets and their silver tongue, Henceforth to live the happy isles among. No, trust the Muse: she opes the good man's grave, And lifts him to the gods. So Hercules, His labours o'er, sits at the board of Jove: So Tyndareus' offspring shine as stars above, Saving lorn vessels from the yawning seas: So Bacchus, with the vine-wreath round his hair, Gives prosperous issue to his votary's prayer.
NE FORTE CREDAS.
Think not those strains can e'er expire, Which, cradled 'mid the echoing roar Of Aufidus, to Latium's lyre I sing with arts unknown before. Though Homer fill the foremost throne, Yet grave Stesichorus still can please, And fierce Alcaeus holds his own, With Pindar and Simonides. The songs of Teos are not mute, And Sappho's love is breathing still: She told her secret to the lute, And yet its chords with passion thrill. Not Sparta's queen alone was fired By broider'd robe and braided tress, And all the splendours that attired Her lover's guilty loveliness: Not only Teucer to the field His arrows brought, nor Ilion Beneath a single conqueror reel'd: Not Crete's majestic lord alone, Or Sthenelus, earn'd the Muses' crown: Not Hector first for child and wife, Or brave Deiphobus, laid down The burden of a manly life. Before Atrides men were brave: But ah! oblivion, dark and long, Has lock'd them in a tearless grave, For lack of consecrating song. 'Twixt worth and baseness, lapp'd in death, What difference? YOU shall ne'er be dumb, While strains of mine have voice and breath: The dull neglect of days to come Those hard-won honours shall not blight: No, Lollius, no: a soul is yours, Clear-sighted, keen, alike upright When fortune smiles, and when she lowers: To greed and rapine still severe, Spurning the gain men find so sweet: A consul, not of one brief year, But oft as on the judgment-seat You bend the expedient to the right, Turn haughty eyes from bribes away, Or bear your banners through the fight, Scattering the foeman's firm array. The lord of boundless revenues, Salute not him as happy: no, Call him the happy, who can use The bounty that the gods bestow, Can bear the load of poverty, And tremble not at death, but sin: No recreant he when called to die In cause of country or of kin.
EST MIHI NONUM.
Here is a cask of Alban, more Than nine years old: here grows Green parsley, Phyllis, and good store Of ivy too (Wreathed ivy suits your hair, you know) The plate shines bright: the altar, strewn With vervain, hungers for the flow Of lambkin's blood. There's stir among the serving folk; They bustle, bustle, boy and girl; The flickering flames send up the smoke In many a curl. But why, you ask, this special cheer? We celebrate the feast of Ides, Which April's month, to Venus dear, In twain divides. O, 'tis a day for reverence, E'en my own birthday scarce so dear, For my Maecenas counts from thence Each added year. 'Tis Telephus that you'd bewitch: But he is of a high degree; Bound to a lady fair and rich, He is not free. O think of Phaethon half burn'd, And moderate your passion's greed: Think how Bellerophon was spurn'd By his wing'd steed. So learn to look for partners meet, Shun lofty things, nor raise your aims Above your fortune. Come then, sweet, My last of flames (For never shall another fair Enslave me), learn a tune, to sing With that dear voice: to music care Shall yield its sting.
JAM VERIS COMITES.
The gales of Thrace, that hush the unquiet sea, Spring's comrades, on the bellying canvas blow: Clogg'd earth and brawling streams alike are free From winter's weight of snow. Wailing her Itys in that sad, sad strain, Builds the poor bird, reproach to after time Of Cecrops' house, for bloody vengeance ta'en On foul barbaric crime. The keepers of fat lambkins chant their loves To silvan reeds, all in the grassy lea, And pleasure Him who tends the flocks and groves Of dark-leaved Arcady. It is a thirsty season, Virgil mine: But would you taste the grape's Calenian juice, Client of noble youths, to earn your wine Some nard you must produce. A tiny box of nard shall bring to light The cask that in Sulpician cellar lies: O, it can give new hopes, so fresh and bright, And gladden gloomy eyes. You take the bait? then come without delay And bring your ware: be sure, 'tis not my plan To let you drain my liquor and not pay, As might some wealthy man. Come, quit those covetous thoughts, those knitted brows, Think on the last black embers, while you may, And be for once unwise. When time allows, 'Tis sweet the fool to play.
The gods have heard, the gods have heard my prayer; Yes, Lyce! you are growing old, and still You struggle to look fair; You drink, and dance, and trill Your songs to youthful Love, in accents weak With wine, and age, and passion. Youthful Love! He dwells in Chia's cheek, And hears her harp-strings move. Rude boy, he flies like lightning o'er the heath Past wither'd trees like you; you're wrinkled now; The white has left your teeth And settled on your brow. Your Coan silks, your jewels bright as stars, Ah no! they bring not back the days of old, In public calendars By flying Time enroll'd. Where now that beauty? where those movements? where That colour? what of her, of her is left, Who, breathing Love's own air, Me of myself bereft, Who reign'd in Cinara's stead, a fair, fair face, Queen of sweet arts? but Fate to Cinara gave A life of little space; And now she cheats the grave Of Lyce, spared to raven's length of days, That youth may see, with laughter and disgust, A fire-brand, once ablaze, Now smouldering in grey dust.
QUAE CURA PATRUM.
What honours can a grateful Rome, A grateful senate, Caesar, give To make thy worth through days to come Emblazon'd on our records live, Mightiest of chieftains whomsoe'er The sun beholds from heaven on high? They know thee now, thy strength in war, Those unsubdued Vindelici. Thine was the sword that Drusus drew, When on the Breunian hordes he fell, And storm'd the fierce Genaunian crew E'en in their Alpine citadel, And paid them back their debt twice told; 'Twas then the elder Nero came To conflict, and in ruin roll'd Stout Raetian kernes of giant frame. O, 'twas a gallant sight to see The shocks that beat upon the brave Who chose to perish and be free! As south winds scourge the rebel wave When through rent clouds the Pleiads weep, So keen his force to smite, and smite The foe, or make his charger leap Through the red furnace of the fight. Thus Daunia's ancient river fares, Proud Aufidus, with bull-like horn, When swoln with choler he prepares A deluge for the fields of corn. So Claudius charged and overthrew The grim barbarian's mail-clad host, The foremost and the hindmost slew, And conquer'd all, and nothing lost. The force, the forethought, were thine own, Thine own the gods. The selfsame day When, port and palace open thrown, Low at thy footstool Egypt lay, That selfsame day, three lustres gone, Another victory to thine hand Was given; another field was won By grace of Caesar's high command. Thee Spanish tribes, unused to yield, Mede, Indian, Scyth that knows no home, Acknowledge, sword at once and shield Of Italy and queenly Rome. Ister to thee, and Tanais fleet, And Nile that will not tell his birth, To thee the monstrous seas that beat On Britain's coast, the end of earth, To thee the proud Iberians bow, And Gauls, that scorn from death to flee; The fierce Sygambrian bends his brow, And drops his arms to worship thee
Of battles fought I fain had told, And conquer'd towns, when Phoebus smote His harp-string: "Sooth, 'twere over-bold To tempt wide seas in that frail boat." Thy age, great Caesar, has restored To squalid fields the plenteous grain, Given back to Rome's almighty Lord Our standards, torn from Parthian fane, Has closed Quirinian Janus' gate, Wild passion's erring walk controll'd, Heal'd the foul plague-spot of the state, And brought again the life of old, Life, by whose healthful power increased The glorious name of Latium spread To where the sun illumes the east From where he seeks his western bed. While Caesar rules, no civil strife Shall break our rest, nor violence rude, Nor rage, that whets the slaughtering knife And plunges wretched towns in feud. The sons of Danube shall not scorn The Julian edicts; no, nor they By Tanais' distant river born, Nor Persia, Scythia, or Cathay. And we on feast and working-tide, While Bacchus' bounties freely flow, Our wives and children at our side, First paying Heaven the prayers we owe, Shall sing of chiefs whose deeds are done, As wont our sires, to flute or shell, And Troy, Anchises, and the son Of Venus on our tongues shall dwell.
Phoebus and Dian, huntress fair, To-day and always magnified, Bright lights of heaven, accord our prayer This holy tide, On which the Sibyl's volume wills That youths and maidens without stain To gods, who love the seven dear hills, Should chant the strain! Sun, that unchanged, yet ever new, Lead'st out the day and bring'st it home, May nought be present to thy view More great than Rome! Blest Ilithyia! be thou near In travail to each Roman dame! Lucina, Genitalis, hear, Whate'er thy name! O make our youth to live and grow! The fathers' nuptial counsels speed, Those laws that shall on Rome bestow A plenteous seed! So when a hundred years and ten Bring round the cycle, game and song Three days, three nights, shall charm again The festal throng. Ye too, ye Fates, whose righteous doom, Declared but once, is sure as heaven, Link on new blessings, yet to come, To blessings given! Let Earth, with grain and cattle rife, Crown Ceres' brow with wreathen corn; Soft winds, sweet waters, nurse to life The newly born! O lay thy shafts, Apollo, by! Let suppliant youths obtain thine ear! Thou Moon, fair "regent of the sky," Thy maidens hear! If Rome is yours, if Troy's remains, Safe by your conduct, sought and found Another city, other fanes On Tuscan ground, For whom, 'mid fires and piles of slain, AEneas made a broad highway, Destined, pure heart, with greater gain. Their loss to pay, Grant to our sons unblemish'd ways; Grant to our sires an age of peace; Grant to our nation power and praise, And large increase! See, at your shrine, with victims white, Prays Venus and Anchises' heir! O prompt him still the foe to smite, The fallen to spare! Now Media dreads our Alban steel, Our victories land and ocean o'er; Scythia and Ind in suppliance kneel, So proud before. Faith, Honour, ancient Modesty, And Peace, and Virtue, spite of scorn, Come back to earth; and Plenty, see, With teeming horn. Augur and lord of silver bow, Apollo, darling of the Nine, Who heal'st our frame when languors slow Have made it pine; Lov'st thou thine own Palatial hill, Prolong the glorious life of Rome To other cycles, brightening still Through time to come! From Algidus and Aventine List, goddess, to our grave Fifteen! To praying youths thine ear incline, Diana queen! Thus Jove and all the gods agree! So trusting, wend we home again, Phoebus and Dian's singers we, And this our strain.
BOOK I, ODE 3.
THE ESTRANGING MAIN.
"The unplumb'd, salt, estranging sea." MATTHEW ARNOLD.
And slow Fate quicken'd Death's once halting pace.
The commentators seem generally to connect Necessitas with Leti; I have preferred to separate them. Necessitas occurs elsewhere in Horace (Book I, Ode 35, v. 17; Book III, Ode 1, v. 14; Ode 24, v. 6) as an independent personage, nearly synonymous with Fate, and I do not see why she should not be represented as accelerating the approach of Death.
BOOK I, ODE 5.
I have ventured to model my version of this Ode, to some extent, on Milton's, "the high-water mark," as it has been termed, "which Horatian translation has attained." I have not, however, sought to imitate his language, feeling that the attempt would be presumptuous in itself, and likely to create a sense of incongruity with the style of the other Odes.
BOOK I, ODE 6.
Who with pared nails encounter youths in fight.
I like Ritter's interpretation of sectis, cut sharp, better than the common one, which supposes the paring of the nails to denote that the attack is not really formidable. Sectis will then be virtually equivalent to Bentley's strictis. Perhaps my translation is not explicit enough.
BOOK I, ODE 7.
And search for wreaths the olive's rifled bower.
Undique decerptam I take, with Bentley, to mean "plucked on all hands," i. e. exhausted as a topic of poetical treatment. He well compares Lucretius, Book I, v. 927—
"Juvatque novas decerpere flores, Insignemque meo capiti petere inde coronam Unde prius nulli velarint tempora Musae."
'Tis Teucer leads, 'tis Teucer breathes the wind.
If I have slurred over the Latin, my excuse must be that the precise meaning of the Latin is difficult to catch. Is Teucer called auspex, as taking the auspices, like an augur, or as giving the auspices, like a god? There are objections to both interpretations; a Roman imperator was not called auspex, though he was attended by an auspex, and was said to have the auspicia; auspex is frequently used of one who, as we should say, inaugurates an undertaking, but only if he is a god or a deified mortal. Perhaps Horace himself oscillated between the two meanings; his later commentators do not appear to have distinguished them.
BOOK I, ODE 9.
Since this Ode was printed off, I find that my last stanza bears a suspicious likeness to the version by "C. S. C." I cannot say whether it is a case of mere coincidence, or of unconscious recollection; it certainly is not one of deliberate appropriation. I have only had the opportunity of seeing his book at distant intervals; and now, on finally comparing his translations with my own, I find that, while there are a few resemblances, there are several marked instances of dissimilarity, where, though we have adopted the same metre, we do not approach each other in the least.
BOOK I, ODE 15.
And for your dames divide On peaceful lyre the several parts of song.
I have taken feminis with divides, but it is quite possible that Orelli may be right in constructing it with grata. The case is really one of those noticed in the Preface, where an interpretation which would not commend itself to a commentator may be adopted by a poetical translator simply as a free rendering.
BOOK I, ODE 27.
Our guest, Megilla's brother.
There is no warrant in the original for representing this person as a guest of the company; but the Ode is equally applicable to a tavern party, where all share alike, and an entertainment where there is a distinction between hosts and guests.
BOOK I, ODE 28.
I have translated this Ode as it stands, without attempting to decide whether it is dialogue or monologue. Perhaps the opinion which supposes it to be spoken by Horace in his own person, as if he had actually perished in the shipwreck alluded to in Book III, Ode 4, v. 27, "Me... non exstinxit... Sicula Palinurus unda," deserves more attention than it has received.
BOOK II, ODE 1.
Methinks I hear of leaders proud.
Horace supposes himself to hear not the leaders themselves, but Pollio's recitation of their exploits. There is nothing weak in this, as Orelli thinks. Horace has not seen Pollio's work, but compliments him by saying that he can imagine what its finest passages will be like—"I can fancy how you will glow in your description of the great generals, and of Cato." Possibly "Non indecoro pulvere sordidos" may refer to the deaths of the republican generals, whom old recollections would lead Horace to admire. We may then compare Ode 7 of this Book, v. 11—
"Cum fracta virtus, et minaces Turpe solum tetigere mento,"
where, as will be seen, I agree with Ritter, against Orelli, in supposing death in battle rather than submission to be meant, though Horace, writing from a somewhat different point of view, has chosen there to speak of the vanquished as dying ingloriously.
BOOK II, ODE 3.
Where poplar pale and pine-tree high.
I have translated according to the common reading "Qua pinus ... et obliquo," without stopping to inquire whether it is sufficiently supported by MSS. Those who with Orelli prefer "Quo pinus ... quid obliquo," may substitute—
Know you why pine and poplar high Their hospitable shadows spread Entwined? why panting waters try To hurry down their zigzag bed?
BOOK II, ODE 7.
A man of peace.
Quiritem is generally understood of a citizen with rights undiminished. I have interpreted it of a civilian opposed to a soldier, as in the well-known story in Suetonius (Caes. c. 70), where Julius Caesar takes the tenth legion at their word, and intimates that they are disbanded by the simple substitution of Quirites for milites in his speech to them. But it may very well include both.
BOOK II, ODE 13.
In sacred awe the silent dead Attend on each.
"'Sacro digna silentio:' digna eo silentio quod in sacris faciendis observatur."—RITTER.
BOOK II, ODE 14.
Not though three hundred bullocks flame Each year.
I have at last followed Ritter in taking trecenos as loosely put for 365, a steer for each day in the year. The hyperbole, as he says, would otherwise be too extravagant. And richer spilth the pavement stain.
"Our vaults have wept With drunken spilth of wine." SHAKESPEARE, Timon of Athens.
BOOK II, ODE 18.
Suns are hurrying suns a-west, And newborn moons make speed to meet their end.
The thought seems to be that the rapid course of time, hurrying men to the grave, proves the wisdom of contentment and the folly of avarice. My version formerly did not express this, and I have altered it accordingly, while I have rendered "Novaeque pergunt interire lunae" closely, as Horace may perhaps have intended to speak of the moons as hastening to their graves as men do.
Yet no hall that wealth e'er plann'd Waits you more surely than the wider room Traced by Death's yet greedier hand.
Fine is the instrumental ablative constructed with destinata, which is itself an ablative agreeing with aula understood. The rich man looks into the future, and makes contracts which he may never live to see executed (v. 17—"Tu secanda marmora Locas sub ipsum funus"); meantime Death, more punctual than any contractor, more greedy than any encroaching proprietor, has planned with his measuring line a mansion of a different kind, which will infallibly be ready when the day arrives.
BOOK II, ODE 20.
I, whom you call Your friend, Maecenas.
With Ritter I have rendered according to the interpretation which makes dilecte Maecenas' address to Horace; but it is a choice of evils.
BOOK III, ODE 1.
And lords of land Affect the sea.
Terrae of course goes with fastidiosus, not with dominus. Mine is a loose rendering, not a false interpretation.
BOOK III, ODE 2.
Her robes she keeps unsullied still.
The meaning is not that worth is not disgraced by defeat in contests for worldly honours, but that the honours which belong to worth are such as the worthy never fail to attain, such as bring no disgrace along with them, and such as the popular breath can neither confer nor resume.
True men and thieves Neglected Justice oft confounds.
"The thieves have bound the true men." SHAKESPEARE, Henry IV, Act ii. Scene 2; where see Steevens' note.
BOOK III, ODE 3.
No more the adulterous guest can charm The Spartan queen.
I have followed Ritter in constructing Lacaenae adulterae as a dative with splendet; but I have done so as a poetical translator rather than as a commentator.
BOOK III, ODE 4.
Or if a graver note than, love, With Phoebus' cittern and his lyre.
I have followed Horace's sense, not his words. I believe, with Ritter, that the alternative is between the pipe as accompanying the vox acuta, and the cithara or lyre as accompanying the vox gravis. Horace has specified the vox acuta, and left the vox gravis to be inferred; I have done just the reverse.
Me, as I lay on Vultur's steep.
In this and the two following stanzas I have paraphrased Horace, with a view to bring out what appears to be his sense. There is, I think, a peculiar force in the word fabulosae, standing as it does at the very opening of the stanza, in close connection with me, and thus bearing the weight of all the intervening words till the very end, where its noun, palumbes, is introduced at last. Horace says in effect, "I, too, like other poets, have a legend of my infancy." Accordingly I have thrown the gossip of the country-side into the form of an actual speech. Whether I am justified in heightening the marvellous by making the stock-doves actually crown the child, instead of merely laying branches upon him, I am not so sure; but something more seems to be meant than the covering of leaves, which the Children in the Wood, in our own legend, receive from the robin.
Loves the leafy growth Of Lycia next his native wood.
Some of my predecessors seem hardly to distinguish between the Lyciae dumeta and the natalem silvam of Delos, Apollo's attachment to both of which warrants the two titles Delius et Patareus. I knew no better way of marking the distinction within the compass of a line and a half than by making Apollo exhibit a preference where Horace speaks of his likings as co-ordinate.
Strength mix'd with mind is made more strong.
"Mixed" is not meant as a precise translation of temperatam, chastened or restrained, though "to mix" happens to be one of the shades of meaning of temperare.
BOOK III, ODE 5.
The fields we spoil'd with corn are green.
The later editors are right in not taking Marte nostro with coli as well as with populata. As has been remarked to me, the pride of the Roman is far more forcibly expressed by the complaint that the enemy have been able to cultivate fields that Rome has ravaged than by the statement that Roman captives have been employed to cultivate the fields they had ravaged as invaders. The latter proposition, it is true, includes the former; but the new matter draws off attention from the old, and so weakens it.
Who once to faithless foes has knelt.
"Knelt" is not strictly accurate, expressing Bentley's dedidit rather than the common, and doubtless correct, text, credidit.
And, girt by friends that mourn'd him, sped * * * The press of kin he push'd apart.
I had originally reversed amicos and propinquos, supposing it to be indifferent which of them was used in either stanza. But a friend has pointed out to me that a distinction is probably intended between the friends who attended Regulus and the kinsmen who sought to prevent his going.
BOOK III, ODE 8.
Lay down that load of state-concern.
I have translated generally; but Horace's meaning is special, referring to Maecenas' office of prefect of the city.
BOOK III, ODE 9.
Buttmann complains of the editors for specifying the interlocutors as Horace and Lydia, which he thinks as incongruous as if in an English amoebean ode Collins were to appear side by side with Phyllis. The remark may be just as affects the Latin, though Ode 19 of the present Book, and Odes 33 and 36 of Book I, might be adduced to show that Horace does not object to mixing Latin and Greek names in the same poem; but it does not apply to a translation, where to the English reader's apprehension Horace and Lydia will seem equally real, equally fanciful.
BOOK III, ODE 17.
Lamia was doubtless vain of his pedigree; Horace accordingly banters him good-humouredly by spending two stanzas out of four in giving him his proper ancestral designation. To shorten the address by leaving out a stanza, as some critics and some translators have done, is simply to rob Horace's trifle of its point.
BOOK III, ODE 23.
There is something harsh in the expression of the fourth stanza of this Ode in the Latin. Tentare cannot stand without an object, and to connect it, as the commentators do, with deos is awkward. I was going to remark that possibly some future Bentley would conjecture certare, or litare, when I found that certare had been anticipated by Peerlkamp, who, if not a Bentley, was a Bentleian. But it would not be easy to account for the corruption, as the fact that the previous line begins with cervice would rather have led to the change of tentare into certare than vice versa.
BOOK III, ODE 24.
Let Necessity but drive Her wedge of adamant into that proud head.
I have translated this difficult passage nearly as it stands, not professing to decide whether tops of buildings or human heads are meant. Either is strange till explained; neither seems at present to be supported by any exact parallel in ancient literature or ancient art. Necessity with her nails has met us before in Ode 35 of Book I, and Orelli describes an Etruscan work of art where she is represented with that cognizance; but though the nail is an appropriate emblem of fixity, we are apparently not told where it is to be driven. The difficulty here is further complicated by the following metaphor of the noose, which seems to be a new and inconsistent image.
BOOK III, ODE 29.
Nor gaze on Tibur, never dried.
With Ritter I have connected semper udum (an interpretation first suggested by Tate, who turned ne into ut); but I do not press it as the best explanation of the Latin. The general effect of the stanza is the same either way.
Those piles, among the clouds at home.
I have understood molem generally of the buildings of Rome, not specially of Maecenas' tower. The parallel passage in Virg. Aen. i. 421—
"Miratur molem Aeneas, magalia quondam, Miratur portas strepitumque et strata viarum"—
is in favour of the former view.
What once the flying hour has brought.
I have followed Ritter doubtfully. Compare Virg. Georg. i. 461,—
"Quid vesper serus vehat."
Shall waft my little boat ashore.
I have hardly brought out the sense of the Latin with sufficient clearness. Horace says that if adversity comes upon him he shall accept it, and be thankful for what is left him, like a trader in a tempest, who, instead of wasting time in useless prayers for the safety of his goods, takes at once to the boat and preserves his life.
BOOK IV, ODE 2.
And spices straw Before your train.
I had written "And gifts bestow at every fane;" but Ritter is doubtless right in explaining dabimus tura of the burning of incense in the streets during the procession. About the early part of the stanza I am less confident; but the explanation which makes Antonius take part in the procession as praetor, the reading adopted being Tuque dum procedis, is perhaps the least of evils.
BOOK IV, ODE 3.
On soft AEolian airs his fame shall nourish.
Horace evidently means that the scenery of Tibur contributes to the formation of lyric genius. It is Wordsworth's doctrine in the germ; though, if the author had been asked what it involved, perhaps he would not have gone further than Ritter, who resolves it all into the conduciveness of a pleasant retreat to successful composition.
BOOK IV, ODE 4.
I have deranged the symmetry of the two opening similes, making the eagle the subject of the sentence in the first, the kid in the second, an awkwardness which the Latin is able to avoid by its power of distinguishing cases by inflexion. I trust, however, that it will not offend an English reader.
Whence in every field They learned.
Horace seems to allude jokingly to some unseasonable inquiry into the antiquity of the armour of these Alpine tribes, which had perhaps been started by some less skilful celebrator of the victory; at the same time that he gratifies his love of lyrical commonplace by a parenthetical digression in the style of Pindar.
And watchful potencies unweave For them the tangled paths of war.
On the whole, Ritter seems right, after Acron, in understanding curae sagaces of the counsels of Augustus, whom Horace compliments similarly in the Fourteenth Ode of this Book, as the real author of his step- son's victories. He is certainly right in giving the stanza to Horace, not to Hannibal. Even a courtly or patriotic Roman would have shrunk from the bad taste of making the great historical enemy of Italy conclude his lamentation over his own and his country's deep sorrow by a flattering prophecy of the greatness of his antagonist's family.
BOOK IV, ODE 9.
'Twixt worth and baseness, lapp'd in death, What difference?
I believe I have expressed Horace's meaning, though he has chosen to express himself as if the two things compared were dead worthlessness and uncelebrated worth. By fixing the epithet sepultae to inertiae he doubtless meant to express that the natural and appropriate fate of worthlessness was to be dead, buried, and forgotten. But the context shows that he was thinking of the effect of death and its consequent oblivion on worth and worthlessness alike, and contending that the poet alone could remedy the undiscriminating and unjust award of destiny. Throughout the first half of the Ode, however, Horace has rather failed to mark the transitions of thought. He begins by assuring himself and, by implication, those whom he celebrates, of immortality, on the ground that the greatest poets are not the only poets; he then exchanges this thought for another, doubtless suggested by it, that the heroes of poetry are not the only heroes, though the very fact that there have been uncelebrated heroes is used to show that celebration by a poet is everything.
Or bear your banners through the fight, Scattering the Joemari's firm array.
It seems, on the whole, simpler to understand this of actual victories obtained by Lollius as a commander, than of moral victories obtained by him as a judge. There is harshness in passing abruptly from the judgment-seat to the battle-field; but to speak of the judgment-seat as itself the battle-field would, I think, be harsher still.