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Hoc delibutis ulta donis pellicem,
Serpente fugit alite.
Nec tantus unquam siderum insedit vapor
Siticulosae Apuliae :
Nec munus humeris efficacis Herculis
At, si quid unquam tale concupiveris,
Jocose Maecenas, precor
Manum puella savio opponat tuo,
HORRIDA tempestas caelum contraxit, et imbres
Nivesque deducunt Jovem; nunc mare, nunc siluae Threïcio Aquilone sonant: rapiamus, amici, Occasionem de die, dumque virent genua,
Et decet, obducta solvatur fronte senectus.
Tu vina Torquato move consule pressa meo. Cetera mitte loqui: deus haec fortasse benigna
Reducet in sedem vice. Nunc et Achaemenio
Sprinkled with Achaemenian nard, and with Cyllenian lyre Our bosoms to alleviate of their forebodings dire. Twas thus that to his stalwart ward the noble Centaur sung: 'Unconquered mortal, boy who hast from goddess Thetis sprung,
The country of Assaracus awaits thee, which divides Little Scamander's cooling stream, through which swift Simois glides;
Whence thy return the Parcae have severed with stable thread,
Whence homeward ne'er again shall thee thine azure mother lead.
Wherefore do thou with wine and song and pleasant converse there
Drive away every ill that springs from ugly spleenish care.'
This is supposed to have been written B.C. 40, the year after the battle of Philippi, and at the beginning of the Perusian war, when the affairs of both Italy and Horace were in a deplorable condition; he having lost his patrimony, and not having yet been introduced to Maecenas. He was then only twenty-four, and, as Lord Lytton says, 'this Epode has the character of youth both in its defects and its beauties.'
Now yet another age is worn by civil wars away,
Perfundi nardo juvat, et fide Cyllenea
Levare diris pectora sollicitudinibus : Nobilis ut grandi cecinit Centaurus alumno:
'Invicte, mortalis dea nate puer Thetide, Te manet Assaraci tellus, quam frigida parvi Findunt Scamandri flumina lubricus et Simoïs; Unde tibi reditum certo subtemine Parcae
Rupere; nec mater domum caerula te revehet.
Illic omne malum vino cantuque levato,
Deformis aegrimoniae dulcibus alloquiis.'
XVI. AD POPULUM ROMANUM.
ALTERA jam teritur bellis civilibus aetas,
Quam neque finitimi valuerunt perdere Marsi,
Nor Capua's rival gallantry, nor daring Spartacus,
Yea! yet again her soil shall be by wild beasts occupied ; Barbarian victor shall, alas! the city's ashes pace,
A horseman with his clattering hoofs smiting her, and aside
Scattering insultingly the bones—ah, horrible to see!— Of her Quirinus, until then sheltered from wind and sun. Perchance, the best of you may ask, or ye all generally, What to avoid such fatal ills were fitting to be done
Better resolve were none than this: As the Phocean state, Having accursed all such as might return there evermore, Fled, and their fields and hearths and homes and temples desolate
Left to be re-inhabited by ravening wolf and boar,
So where our feet may bear us, there to go wherever may Through billows south wind call us on or south-west pitiless.
Consent ye? or some better plan hath any? Why delay From taking ship while now we may with favouring auspices?
But first let us, by oath, thus vow, that to come here again Be sinful, until rocks shall float raised from the lowest deep: Yet that we homeward set our sails without repugnance
Po shall his laving waters lift o'er the Matinian steep,
Aemula nec virtus Capuae, nec Spartacus acer,
Novisque rebus infidelis Allobrox:
Nec fera caerulea domuit Germania pube,
Parentibusque abominatus Hannibal.
Impia perdemus devoti sanguinis aetas;
Barbarus, heu! cineres insistet victor, et Urbem
Quaeque carent ventis et solibus ossa Quirini,
Nefas videre! dissipabit insolens.
Forte, quid expediat, communiter, aut melior pars,
Malis carere quaeritis laboribus.
Nulla sit hac potior sententia: Phocaeorum
Velut profugit exsecrata civitas
Agros atque Lares patrios, habitandaque fana
Apris reliquit et rapacibus lupis,
Ire pedes quocunque ferent, quocunque per undas
Sic placet? an melius quis habet suadere?-Secunda
Sed juremus in haec: Simul imis saxa renarint
Neu conversa domum pigeat dare lintea, quando