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The Latin inscription does not seem to express the scope of this ode, which is rather to celebrate the popular deities and heroes of Rome than Augustus exclusively: though the design is so worked out as to draw the chief attention to him. The poet, though making Augustus the climax of his song, goes through the praise of Jove and his children, and that of twelve of Rome's principal worthies, before he comes to Augustus.' Marcellus, mentioned in the twelfth stanza, the nephew and son-in-law of Augustus, died in his twentieth year.
WHAT man or hero with the lyre, or shrilly
Which of the gods? Whose name by sportive Echo
Either on slopes of Helicon umbrageous,
Or upon Pindus, or on gelid Haemus,
Rashly from whence came down the woods, attending
Who, with maternal art, the nimbly gliding
What shall I sing before the wonted praises
XII. DE AUGUSTO.
QUEM virum aut heroa, lyra, vel acri
Quem deum? Cujus recinet jocosa
Aut in umbrosis Heliconis oris,
Aut super Pindo, gelidove in Haemo
Arte materna rapidos morantem
Quid prius dicam solitis parentis
Temperat horis ?
Whence than himself is naught engendered greater,
Naught doth there flourish similar or second;
Held by Minerva.
Nor of thee, Bacchus, valorous in battle,
Hercules too I'll sing, and Leda's children;
Than from the rocks flows off the heaving water,
Lie down on Ocean.
Next after these, of whom to speak I waver:
Unto the Scauri, Regulus, and Paulus
Lavish of life sublime when Carthage triumphed,
Him, and unkempt Curius for campaigning
Matching the homestead.
Unde nil majus generatur ipso,
Nec viget quidquam simile, aut secundum; Proximos illi tamen occupavit
Proeliis audax, neque te silebo,
Dicam et Alciden; puerosque Ledae,
Defluit saxis agitatus humor;
Romulum post hos prius, an quietum
Regulum, et Scauros, animaeque magnae
Hunc, et incomptis Curium capillis,
Saeva paupertas, et avitus apto
Cum lare fundus.
Growing like tree in secret, of Marcellus
Groweth the glory. But thy star outshineth,
Shines the moon's splendour.
Offspring of Saturn! thou of human creatures
Whether he subject, righteously triumphant,
Whether the lieges of the eastern seaboard,
Under thee, he wide earth shall justly govern:
In respect to the Lydia of this and other odes, and to the rest of the fair, and presumably frail, ones celebrated by Horace, it may here be remarked once for all, that to attempt to identify them with real personages would be as hopeless an undertaking as to seek originals for Mr. Thomas Little's Fanny of Timmol, and for the Rosa, Kitty, Martha, Chloe and Susan who figured on the list of beauties loved and caressed by that fortunate young gentleman.
WHEN, Lydia, of Teleph's charms,