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In commemoration of his victory at Actium, Augustus dedicated to Apollo a temple, with a library attached, built by him on the Palatine Hill. After the ceremonies of dedication were over, we may suppose Horace putting in his own claim to the god's favour in this Ode, in which he represents himself as offering a libation, and asking for mens sana in corpore sano.'

WHAT asks the bard in consecrated shrine

Of Phoebus? What, outpouring the new wine,
Prays he for? Not for sacks of corn
From bountiful Sardinia shorn;

Not goodly herds from parched Calabria's fold;
Not ivory, India's offering, nor gold;

Not meads through which, with quiet play,
Liris, mute river, gnaws her way.

With pruning-hook be vines Calenian pressed
By those whom fortune therewithal hath blessed :
From golden cups rich merchants drain

Choice wines, in trade's exchanges ta'en
For Syrian wares, since to the gods' selves dear,
Three or four times revisiting each year

The Atlantic main uninjured. Me
Mild mallows nourish, olives, succory.
Grant me, Latona's son, my modest wealth

To enjoy with mind still vigorous and in health;
To pass through age, from baseness free,

Not lacking the lute's company.


QUID dedicatum poscit Apollinem
Vates? quid orat, de patera novum
Fundens liquorem? Non opimae
Sardiniae segetes feraces;
Non aestuosae grata Calabriae

Armenta; non aurum, aut ebur Indicum;
Non rura, quae Liris quieta

Mordet aqua, taciturnus amnis. Premant Calenam falce, quibus dedit Fortuna vitem: dives et aureis Mercator exsiccet culullis

Vina Syra reparata merce,

Dis carus ipsis, quippe ter et quater
Anno revisens aequor Atlanticum
Impune. Me pascunt olivae,

Me cichorea, levesque malvae.

Frui paratis et valido mihi,
Latoë, dones, et precor integra

Cum mente; nec turpem senectam
Degere, nec cithara carentem.

In spite of all the scholiasts have written there is no clue whatever to the occasion of this Ode.' It is doubtful whether the first word should be Poscimur' or ' Poscimus.' If the first, it may mean that he had been requested to write on some subject of the day, though nobody knows what; but it may also mean that he felt the poetic afflatus upon him, and was bound accordingly.

I AM required. If with thee idling ever

In the cool shade, aught have I uttered, destined
This year and more to live-a Latin carol

Sing now, my rebeck.

Thou who first tuned wert by a Lesbic townsman,
Who, in arms fierce, still in the midst of conflict,
Or after making fast his storm-tost galley

To the dank seabeach,

Would of wine sing, music, and lovely Venus,
And of the boy ever on her attendant,
Lycus too sing, graceful with jetty ringlets
And with jet eyeballs.

Shell, who art welcomed at high Jove's carousals,
Pride of bright Phoebus, and my labour's dulcet
Solace, propitiously assist whene'er I

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POSCIMUR. Si quid vacui sub umbra Lusimus tecum, quod et hunc in annum Vivat et plures, age, dic Latinum, Barbite, carmen.

Lesbio primum modulate civi,
Qui ferox bello, tamen inter arma,
Sive jactatam religarat udo

Litore navim,

Liberum et Musas, Veneremque et illi
Semper haerentem puerum canebat,
Et Lycum nigris oculis nigroque
Crine decorum.

O decus Phoebi, et dapibus supremi
Grata testudo Jovis, O laborum
Dulce lenimen, mihi cumque salve

Rite vocanti.

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Horace was much attached to his brother poet Tibullus, who was indeed a favourite with his contemporaries generally. That he wrote elegies, was not rarely crossed in love, and that he was on some occasion in a desponding humour, are facts sufficient to form a probable foundation for this good-humoured little poem.'

CEASE, Albius, cease this too lengthened repining
For pitiless Glycera's falsehood, this whining
In pitiful dirge, of a youngster outshining
Her ancienter swain, in her sight.

Lycoris, renowned for low forehead, is burning
With passion for Cyrus, while Cyrus is yearning
For Pholoë coy; but she-goats will be turning,
With Puglian wolves to unite,

Ere Pholoë sin with adulterer base.

Such is Venus's will, who no better sport has
Than with savage glee bidding 'neath brazen yoke pass
Forms and minds with each other at war.

Me, to whom her affections a worthier gave,

Did Myrtale's ravishing fetters enslave,

A freedwoman, rougher than Adrian wave
Incurving Calabria's shore.

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