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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


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


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,
And Rome herself with her own strength to ruin rushes on;
Whom neither the Etruscan bands of threatening Porsena,
Nor were the bordering Marsians e'er able to hurl down,

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.'


ALTERA jam teritur bellis civilibus aetas,
Suis et ipsa Roma viribus ruit :

Quam neque finitimi valuerunt perdere Marsi,
Minacis aut Etrusca Porsenae manus,

Nor Capua's rival gallantry, nor daring Spartacus,
Nor treacherous Allobroges, caballing, aye, anew:
Whom, too, could never Annibal, to parents odious,
Nor blue-eyed youth of valorous Germania subdue.
'Tis we who shall destroy her, we, doomed sacrilegious


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

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;
Ferisque rursus occupabitur solum.

Barbarus, heu! cineres insistet victor, et Urbem
Eques sonante verberabit ungula,

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 Notus vocabit, aut protervus Africus.

Sic placet? an melius quis habet suadere?-Secunda
Ratem occupare quid moramur alite?

Sed juremus in haec: Simul imis saxa renarint
Vadis levata, ne redire sit nefas;

Neu conversa domum pigeat dare lintea, quando
Padus Matina laverit cacumina,

And onward shall to ocean rush the lofty Apennine, And marvellous concupiscence and novel hankerings pair Brute beasts: the tiger yearn to be the roebuck's concubine,

And with the hawk the turtle-dove be joint adulterer: From tawny lion trustful kine no more in terror start, And the salt sea's expanse become the soft-haired ram's delight.

This having sworn, and what else may from sweet return dispart,

Let us, let the whole commonwealth, with one accord take flight,

Or such of us as better are than untaught clowns, and let The hopeless and effeminate hold this ill-omened nest. But ye of manly heart, away with womanly regret; Beyond Etruscan sea-board be your winged course addressed.

Us, ocean's circumambient stream awaits : let us the fields Go forth to seek those blessed fields, and those rich islands where

An untilled soil its yearly growth of grain Cererian yields, And unpruned vineyards constantly luxuriant clusters bear, And the unfailing olive-branch buds ever, and distills Honey from hollow ilexes, and purple figs withal Decorate their parental tree, and limpid crystal rills With lightly tripping, tinkling feet, leap from the mountains tall.

There to the milk-pails the she-goats without a bidding


An amicable flock, and their distended udders bear.

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