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With whatsoever bane is anywhere
Conceived, who gave to field of mine to bear
Thee, odious log, that thou withal
On a good master's head shouldst fall.
Against what all should shun, men nowhere are
Always enough on guard. The Tyrian tar,
Whom Bosphorus frightens, does not fear
Blind fate's assault from otherwhere.
Arrows, that fast-retreating Parthians shower,
Our soldiers dread; Parthians, Italian power
And fetters but unlooked-for death
Has reft and will reave nation's breath.
How nearly was I then the kingdom seeing
Of pale Proserpine! Aeacus decreeing
Blest mansions, piety's rewards,
And Sappho, on Aeolian chords
Of her compatriot maidens plaining:
And thee, Alcaeus, thy gold harp constraining
With ampler cadence to expose
Ocean's, and war's, and exile's woes!
Both do the ghosts admire, thus uttering things
Worthy mute awe: but most that which he sings,
Who frays and banished lords describes,
The ear of elbowing crowd imbibes.
What marvel, when the hundred-headed beast,
Lulled by those songs, sleeps with black ears depressed,
And serpents, that the hair entwine
Of Furies, shew themselves benign?
Nay e'en Prometheus and Pelop's sire
Forget in the sweet sound their labours dire:
Et quidquid usquam concipitur nefas,
Tractavit, agro qui statuit meo
Te triste lignum, te caducum
In domini caput immerentis.
Quid quisque vitet nunquam homini satis Cautum est in horas. Navita Bosporum Poenus perhorrescit, neque ultra
Caeca timet aliunde fata.
Miles sagittas et celerem fugam
Parthi; catenas Parthus, et Italum
Robur sed improvisa leti
Vis rapuit rapietque gentes.
Quam paene furvae regna Proserpinae,
Et judicantem vidimus Aeacum,
Sedesque discretas piorum, et
Aeoliis fidibus querentem
Sappho puellis de popularibus,
Et te sonantem plenius aureo,
Alcaee, plectro, dura navis,
Dura fugae mala, dura belli!
Utrumque sacro digna silentio
Mirantur umbrae dicere; sed magis
Pugnas et exactos tyrannos
Densum humeris bibit aure volgus. Quid mirum? ubi illis carminibus stupens Demittit atras belua centiceps
Aures, et intorti capillis
Eumenidum recreantur angues?
Quin et Prometheus et Pelopis parens
Dulci laborum decipitur sono;
Nor any more to hunt the lion
Or timid lynx now cares Orion.
Whoever Postumus was-a point upon which there is the usual disagreement among commentators-this Ode, Mr. Macleane justly observes, 'is clearly one of those to which any other name might as well have been prefixed, since it only deals with Horace's ordinary commonplace, the certainty of death for all men.'
Ан, Postumus! ah, Postumus! ah me!
The fleeting years glide by, and no delay
From wrinkles or old age can piety
Win, or from death's indomitable sway.
Not although offering, oft as day recurs,
Three hundred steers, will you prevail upon
Inexorable Pluto, who immures
Tityon and triply monstrous Geryon,
Girdled by tristful water-that, to wit,
The which to navigate all we, who feed
On earth's munificence, must fain submit—
Rich lords, alike, and hinds in utmost need.
In vain do we ensanguined Mars abjure,
And the hoarse Adriatic's broken waves :
In vain we guard against the breath impure
Of southern gales that fill autumnal graves:
Visited must the black Cocytus be
Wandering with languid flow: the infamous
Danaan race; and sentenced endlessly
To labour, the Aeolid Sisyphus.
Nec curat Orion leones
Aut timidos agitare lyncas.
EHEU, fugaces, Postume, Postume, Labuntur anni; nec pietas moram Rugis et instanti senectae
Afferet, indomitaeque morti: Non si trecenis, quotquot eunt dies, Amice, places illacrymabilem Plutona tauris; qui ter amplum Geryonen, Tityonque tristi Compescit unda, scilicet omnibus, Quicunque terrae munere vescimur, Enaviganda; sive reges,
Sive inopes erimus coloni. Frustra cruento Marte carebimus, Fractisque rauci fluctibus Hadriae; Frustra per auctumnos nocentem Corporibus metuemus Austrum. Visendus ater flumine languido Cocytos errans, et Danai genus Infame, damnatusque longi Sisyphus Aeolides laboris.
Your house and lands and comely wife must all
Be left behind, and from amongst the trees
You tend, shall follow their brief master's call
None except only hateful cypresses.
A worthier heir the Caecuban shall drain
Which you have guarded with a hundred keys,
And noble wine the rammered floor shall stain,
Choicer than that which pontiffs' banquet sees.
Supposed to have been composed in order to recommend and promote the social reform attempted by Augustus.
FEW acres for the plough will presently
These palace piles have left on every side
Will be seen fish-ponds of extent more wide
Than Lucrine lake, and elms displaced will be
By spouseless planes. Then beds of violet,
Myrtles, and every sweetly smelling thing
Their odours will through olive gardens fling
Which for their owners teem with fruit as yet.
Thick laurel bushes then will form a screen
'Gainst fervid sunstrokes. Not by Romulus
Nor bearded Cato was it ordered thus:
Not such our fathers' practices have been.
Their private revenues were small: but great
The public wealth. Neither for private pleasure
Were then verandahs built of ten feet measure,
The shaded northern breeze to sequestrate.