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THE ODES

BOOK II.

Pollio, a friend and patron of Virgil and Horace, after taking an active and distinguished part in public affairs for twenty years, retired into private life and betook himself to literature, confining himself at first to dramatic writing. He subsequently undertook a history of his own times, and it was probably after hearing him read part of that work, that Horace addressed to him the following Ode.

BROILS in Metellian consulate begun,

The war's pretext, its crimes, and courses run,
And fickle Fortune's freaks, and lords
In baleful friendship leagued, and swords
With massacres not yet atoned for, red:—
A theme you treat replete with risk, and tread
On treacherous ashes, where below

The fires of lurking embers glow.

Let then the muse severe of tragic song
Desert a while the stage; and when erelong
Your history is complete, again
Resume the grand dramatic strain,
O Pollio, anxious suitor's chiefest trust,
Chief referee in senate-house august,
Who in Dalmatic triumph wore
Laurels unfading evermore.

E'en now with trumpets' minatory growl
Our ears you deafen: noisy clarions howl,
And flashing arms and armour's blaze
The flying horse and horseman daze.
Of mighty chiefs do I now seem to hear
Whom stains of no dishonouring dust besmear,

I AD C. ASINIUM POLLIONEM.

MOTUм ex Metello consule civicum
Bellique causas et vitia et modos
Ludumque Fortunae gravesque
Principum amicitias et arma
Nondum expiatis uncta cruoribus,
Periculosae plenum opus aleae,
Tractas et incedis per ignes
Suppositos cineri doloso.

Paullum severae Musa tragoediae
Desit theatris: mox ubi publicas
Res ordinaris grande munus
Cecropio repetes cothurno,
Insigne maestis praesidium reis
Et consulenti, Pollio, curiae,
Cui laurus aeternos honores
Dalmatico peperit triumpho.
Jam nunc minaci murmure cornuum
Perstringis aures, jam litui strepunt,
Jam fulgor armorum fugaces

Terret equos equitumque voltus :
Audire magnos jam videor duces
Non indecoro pulvere sordidos,

And earth all bowed beneath controul

Save only Cato's tameless soul.

Juno, and Afric's other friendlier

Gods, who un'venged had weakly quitted her,
Now for Jugurtha's holocaust

Send grandsons of his conqueror's host. Fattened with Latin blood, what field but bears Marks of our battles in its sepulchres?

And of Hesperia's crash, whose sound Was heard within the Median's bound? What pool, what river is there, but has seen Our dismal wars? what sea that has not been Deeply by Daunian carnage stained?

What coast but where our blood has rained?

But do not, forward muse, abandoning

Thy merry notes, in Cean dirges sing;

By us, within Dionean grot,

Be songs of lighter burthen sought.

Caius Crispus Sallustius was grandnephew of the historian, and in

heritor of his great wealth. Proculeius had behaved with remarkable generosity to his two brothers who had lost their property during the civil wars. Phraates, after his replacement on the throne of Parthia, was, or at least is represented by Horace as having been, maintained upon it by the influence of Augustus, to whom he restored the standards lost by Crassus.

CRISPUS SALLUSTIUS, scorner of the bullion
Underground hidden out of sight by misers,
Silver no lustre hath till shining forth from ·
Usage judicious.

!

Et cuncta terrarum subacta

Praeter atrocem animum Catonis.

Juno et deorum quisquis amicior

Afris inulta cesserat impotens

Tellure victorum nepotes

Rettulit inferias Jugurthae.

Quis non Latino sanguine pinguior
Campus sepulcris impia proelia
Testatur auditumque Medis
Hesperiae sonitum ruinae ?
Qui gurges aut quae flumina lugubris
Ignara belli? quod mare Dauniae
Non decoloravere caedes?

Quae caret ora cruore nostro ?
Sed ne relictis, Musa procax, jocis
Ceae retractes munèra neniae:

Mecum Dionaeo sub antro

Quaere modos leviore plectro.

II. AD C. SALLUSTIUM CRISPUM.

NULLUS argento color est avaris
Abdito terris, inimice lamnae

Crispe Sallusti, nisi temperato

Splendeat usu.

Through a long age shall flourish Proculeius,
Noted for care paternal of his brethren.
Him shall imperishable fame's unmelting
Wings carry onward.

Wider dominion mayst thou have by bridling

Greed, than although thou join'dst with distant Cadiz Libya, and though thyself of either Carthage

Wert the sole master.

Pestilent dropsy grows by self-indulgence,

Nor its thirst quenches, till the cause of sickness
From the veins pass, and till the watery languor
Leave the pale body.

Virtue, dissenting from the crowd, accounts not
Happy Phraates, on the throne of Cyrus
Now again seated: and the people teaches
Not to continue

Using false terms. Him only she endows with
Kingdom, and crown secure, and her own laurel,
Who upon heaps of treasure looks without one
Covetous side-glance.

Some of the scholiasts are in doubt whether Gellius should not be written instead of Dellius, Horace having had acquaintances of both names. The doubt suffices to show how vain would be the attempt to connect the subject of the Ode with the character of the person addressed.

TEMPER Serene in arduous circumstance,

And, likewise, in prosperity's advance

From glee's excess held under rein,

Heedfully, Dellius, death-doomed, maintain :

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