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The Odes of Horace in English Translation

by John Conington

More of this Feature
Odes Introduction
Odes Book I
Odes Book II
Odes Book III
Odes Book IV

Related Resources
Primary Texts Index
Horace Links
Satires and Epistles of Horace

The Odes and Carmen Saeculare of Horace

Translated into English verse by John Conington, M.A. Corpus Professor of Latin in the University of Oxford. Third Edition.

The Latin text comes from The Latin Library.

The Odes of Horace Book III

Book III. Notes

I. Odi Profanum.

II. Angustam Amice.

III. Justum Et Tenacem.

IV. Descende Caelo.

V. Caelo Tonantem.

VI. Delicta Majorum.

VII. Quid Fles, Asterie.

VIII. Martiis Coelebs.

IX. Donec Gratus Eram.

X. Extremum Tanain.

XI. Mercuri, Nam Te.

XII. Miserarum Est.

XIII. O Fons Bandusiae.

XIV. Herculis Ritu.

XV. Uxor Pauperis Ibyci.

XVI. Inclusam Danaen.

XVII. Aeli Vetusto.

XVIII. Faune, Nympharum.

XIX. Quantum Distet.

XX. Non Vides.

XXI. O Nate Mecum.

XXII. Montium Custos.

XXIII. Coelo Supinas.

XXIV. Intactis Opulentior.

XXV. Quo Me, Bacche.

XXVI. Viri Puellis.

XXVII. Impios Parrae.

XXVIII. Festo Quid Potius.

XXIX. Tyrrhena Regum.

XXX. Exegi Monumentum.


I bid the unhallow'd crowd avaunt!
Keep holy silence; strains unknown
Till now, the Muses' hierophant,
I sing to youths and maids alone.
Kings o'er their flocks the sceptre wield;
E'en kings beneath Jove's sceptre bow:
Victor in giant battle-field,
He moves all nature with his brow.
This man his planted walks extends
Beyond his peers; an older name
One to the people's choice commends;
One boasts a more unsullied fame;
One plumes him on a larger crowd
Of clients. What are great or small?
Death takes the mean man with the proud;
The fatal urn has room for all.
When guilty Pomp the drawn sword sees
Hung o'er her, richest feasts in vain
Strain their sweet juice her taste to please;
No lutes, no singing birds again
Will bring her sleep. Sleep knows no pride;
It scorns not cots of village hinds,
Nor shadow-trembling river-side,
Nor Tempe, stirr'd by western winds.
Who, having competence, has all,
The tumult of the sea defies,
Nor fears Arcturus' angry fall,
Nor fears the Kid-star's sullen rise,
Though hail-storms on the vineyard beat,
Though crops deceive, though trees complain.
One while of showers, one while of heat,
One while of winter's barbarous reign.
Fish feel the narrowing of the main
From sunken piles, while on the strand
Contractors with their busy train
Let down huge stones, and lords of land
Affect the sea: but fierce Alarm
Can clamber to the master's side:
Black Cares can up the galley swarm,
And close behind the horseman ride.
If Phrygian marbles soothe not pain,
Nor star-bright purple's costliest wear,
Nor vines of true Falernian strain,
Nor Achaemenian spices rare,
Why with rich gate and pillar'd range
Upbuild new mansions, twice as high,
Or why my Sabine vale exchange
For more laborious luxury?

Odi Profanum.

Odi profanum uolgus et arceo.
Fauete linguis: carmina non prius
audita Musarum sacerdos
uirginibus puerisque canto.

Regum timendorum in proprios greges, 5
reges in ipsos imperium est Iouis,
clari Giganteo triumpho,
cuncta supercilio mouentis.

Est ut uiro uir latius ordinet
arbusta sulcis, hic generosior 10
descendat in campum petitor,
moribus hic meliorque fama

contendat, illi turba clientium
sit maior: aequa lege Necessitas
sortitur insignis et imos,
omne capax mouet urna nomen. 15

Destrictus ensis cui super impia
ceruice pendet, non Siculae dapes
dulcem elaboratum saporem,
non auium citharaequecantus 20

Somnum reducent: somnus agrestium
lenis uirorum non humilis domos
fastidit umbrosamque ripam,
non Zephyris agitata tempe.

Desiderantem quod satis est neque 25
tumultuosum sollicitat mare,
nec saeuus Arcturi cadentis
impetus aut orientis Haedi,

non uerberatae grandine uineae
fundusque mendax, arbore nunc aquas 30
culpante, nunc torrentia agros
sidera, nunc hiemes iniquas.

Contracta pisces aequora sentiunt
iactis in altum molibus: huc frequens
caementa demittit redemptor
cum famulis dominusque terrae 35

fastidiosus: sed Timor et Minae
scandunt eodem quo dominus, neque
decedit aerata triremi et
post equitem sedet atra Cura. 40

Quod si dolentem nec Phrygius lapis
nec purpurarum sidere clarior
delenit usus nec Falerna
uitis Achaemeniumque costum,

cur inuidendis postibus et nouo 45
sublime ritu moliar atrium?
Cur ualle permutem Sabina
diuitias operosiores?


To suffer hardness with good cheer,
In sternest school of warfare bred,
Our youth should learn; let steed and spear
Make him one day the Parthian's dread;
Cold skies, keen perils, brace his life.
Methinks I see from rampined town
Some battling tyrant's matron wife,
Some maiden, look in terror down,--
"Ah, my dear lord, untrain'd in war!
O tempt not the infuriate mood
Of that fell lion! see! from far
He plunges through a tide of blood!"
What joy, for fatherland to die!
Death's darts e'en flying feet o'ertake,
Nor spare a recreant chivalry,
A back that cowers, or loins that quake.
True Virtue never knows defeat:
HER robes she keeps unsullied still,
Nor takes, nor quits, HER curule seat
To please a people's veering will.
True Virtue opens heaven to worth:
She makes the way she does not find:
The vulgar crowd, the humid earth,
Her soaring pinion leaves behind.
Seal'd lips have blessings sure to come:
Who drags Eleusis' rite to day,
That man shall never share my home,
Or join my voyage: roofs give way
And boats are wreck'd: true men and thieves
Neglected Justice oft confounds:
Though Vengeance halt, she seldom leaves
The wretch whose flying steps she hounds.

Angustam Amice.

Angustam amice pauperiem pati
robustus acri militia puer
condiscat et Parthos ferocis
uexet eques metuendus hasta

uitamque sub diuo et trepidis agat 5
in rebus. Illum ex moenibus hosticis
matrona bellantis tyranni
prospiciens et adulta uirgo

suspiret, eheu, ne rudis agminum
sponsus lacessat regius asperum 10
tactu leonem, quem cruenta
per medias rapit ira caedes.

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori:
mors et fugacem persequitur uirum
nec parcit inbellis iuuentae
poplitibus timidoue tergo. 15

Virtus, repulsae nescia sordidae,
intaminatis fulget honoribus
nec sumit aut ponit securis
arbitrio popularis aurae. 20

Virtus, recludens inmeritis mori
caelum, negata temptat iter uia
coetusque uolgaris et udam
spernit humum fugiente pinna.

Est et fideli tuta silentio 25
merces: uetabo, qui Cereris sacrum
uolgarit arcanae, sub isdem
sit trabibus fragilemque mecum

soluat phaselon; saepe Diespiter
neglectus incesto addidit integrum, 30
raro antecedentem scelestum
deseruit pede Poena claudo.


The man of firm and righteous will,
No rabble, clamorous for the wrong,
No tyrant's brow, whose frown may kill,
Can shake the strength that makes him strong:
Not winds, that chafe the sea they sway,
Nor Jove's right hand, with lightning red:
Should Nature's pillar'd frame give way,
That wreck would strike one fearless head.
Pollux and roving Hercules
Thus won their way to Heaven's proud steep,
'Mid whom Augustus, couch'd at ease,
Dyes his red lips with nectar deep.
For this, great Bacchus, tigers drew
Thy glorious car, untaught to slave
In harness: thus Quirinus flew
On Mars' wing'd steeds from Acheron's wave,
When Juno spoke with Heaven's assent:
"O Ilium, Ilium, wretched town!
The judge accurst, incontinent,
And stranger dame have dragg'd thee down.
Pallas and I, since Priam's sire
Denied the gods his pledged reward,
Had doom'd them all to sword and fire,
The people and their perjured lord.
No more the adulterous guest can charm
The Spartan queen: the house forsworn
No more repels by Hector's arm
My warriors, baffled and outworn:
Hush'd is the war our strife made long:
I welcome now, my hatred o'er,
A grandson in the child of wrong,
Him whom the Trojan priestess bore.
Receive him, Mars! the gates of flame
May open: let him taste forgiven
The nectar, and enrol his name
Among the peaceful ranks of Heaven.
Let the wide waters sever still
Ilium and Rome, the exiled race
May reign and prosper where they will:
So but in Paris' burial-place
The cattle sport, the wild beasts hide
Their cubs, the Capitol may stand
All bright, and Rome in warlike pride
O'er Media stretch a conqueror's hand.
Aye, let her scatter far and wide
Her terror, where the land-lock'd waves
Europe from Afric's shore divide,
Where swelling Nile the corn-field laves--
Of strength more potent to disdain
Hid gold, best buried in the mine,
Than gather it with hand profane,
That for man's greed would rob a shrine.
Whate'er the bound to earth ordain'd,
There let her reach the arm of power,
Travelling, where raves the fire unrein'd,
And where the storm-cloud and the shower.
Yet, warlike Roman, know thy doom,
Nor, drunken with a conqueror's joy,
Or blind with duteous zeal, presume
To build again ancestral Troy.
Should Troy revive to hateful life,
Her star again should set in gore,
While I, Jove's sister and his wife,
To victory led my host once more.
Though Phoebus thrice in brazen mail
Should case her towers, they thrice should fall,
Storm'd by my Greeks: thrice wives should wail
Husband and son, themselves in thrall."
--Such thunders from the lyre of love!
Back, wayward Muse! refrain, refrain
To tell the talk of gods above,
And dwarf high themes in puny strain.

Justum Et Tenacem.

Iustum et tenacem propositi uirum
non ciuium ardor praua iubentium,
non uoltus instantis tyranni
mente quatit solida neque Auster,

dux inquieti turbidus Hadriae, 5
nec fulminantis magna manus Iouis:
si fractus inlabatur orbis,
inpauidum ferient ruinae.

Hac arte Pollux et uagus Hercules
ensius arces attigit igneas, 10
quos inter Augustus recumbens
purpureo bibet ore nectar;

hac te merentem, Bacche pater, tuae
uexere tigres indocili iugum
collo trahentes; hac Quirinus
Martis equis Acheronta fugit, 15

gratum elocuta consiliantibus
Ionone diuis: 'Ilion, Ilion
fatalis incestusque iudex
et mulier peregrina uertit 20

in puluerem, ex quo destituit deos
mercede pacta Laomedon, mihi
castaeque damnatum Mineruae
cum populo et duce fraudulento.

Iam nec Lacaenae splendet adulterae 25
famosus hospes nec Priami domus
periura pugnaces Achiuos
Hectoreis opibus refringit

nostrisque ductum seditionibus
bellum resedit. Protinus et grauis 30
irae et inuisum nepotem,
Troica quem peperit sacerdos,

Marti redonabo; illum ego lucidas
inire sedes, discere nectaris
sucos et adscribi quietis
ordinibus patiar deorum. 35

Dum longus inter saeuiat Ilion
Romamque pontus, qualibet exules
in parte regnato beati;
dum Priami Paridisque busto 40

insultet armentum et catulos ferae
celae inultae, stet Capitolium
fulgens triumphatisque possit
Roma ferox dare iura Medis.

Horrenda late nomen in ultimas 45
extendat oras, qua medius liquor
secernit Europen ab Afro,
qua tumidus rigat arua Nilus;

aurum inrepertum et sic melius situm,
cum terra celat, spernere fortior 50
quam cogere humanos in usus
omne sacrum rapiente dextra,

quicumque mundo terminus obstitit,
hunc tanget armis, uisere gestiens,
qua parte debacchentur ignes,
qua nebulae pluuiique rores. 55

Sed bellicosis fata Quiritibus
hac lege dico, ne nimium pii
rebusque fidentes auitae
tecta uelint reparare Troiae.

Troiae renascens alite lugubri
fortuna tristi clade iterabitur,
ducente uictrices cateruas
coniuge me Iouis et sorore.

Ter si resurgat murus aeneus 65
auctore Phoebo, ter pereat meis
excisus Argiuis, ter uxor
capta uirum puerosque ploret.'

Non hoc iocosae conueniet lyrae;
quo, Musa, tendis? Desine peruicax 70
referre sermones deorum et
magna modis tenuare paruis.


Come down, Calliope, from above:
Breathe on the pipe a strain of fire;
Or if a graver note thou love,
With Phoebus' cittern and his lyre.
You hear her? or is this the play
Of fond illusion? Hark! meseems
Through gardens of the good I stray,
'Mid murmuring gales and purling streams.
Me, as I lay on Vultur's steep,
A truant past Apulia's bound,
O'ertired, poor child, with play and sleep,
With living green the stock-doves crown'd--
A legend, nay, a miracle,
By Acherontia's nestlings told,
By all in Bantine glade that dwell,
Or till the rich Forentan mould.
"Bears, vipers, spared him as he lay,
The sacred garland deck'd his hair,
The myrtle blended with the bay:
The child's inspired: the gods were there."
Your grace, sweet Muses, shields me still
On Sabine heights, or lets me range
Where cool Praeneste, Tibur's hill,
Or liquid Baiae proffers change.
Me to your springs, your dances true,
Philippi bore not to the ground,
Nor the doom'd tree in falling slew,
Nor billowy Palinurus drown'd.
Grant me your presence, blithe and fain
Mad Bosporus shall my bark explore;
My foot shall tread the sandy plain
That glows beside Assyria's shore;
'Mid Briton tribes, the stranger's foe,
And Spaniards, drunk with horses' blood,
And quiver'd Scythians, will I go
Unharm'd, and look on Tanais' flood.
When Caesar's self in peaceful town
The weary veteran's home has made,
You bid him lay his helmet down
And rest in your Pierian shade.
Mild thoughts you plant, and joy to see
Mild thoughts take root. The nations know
How with descending thunder He
The impious Titans hurl'd below,
Who rules dull earth and stormy seas,
And towns of men, and realms of pain,
And gods, and mortal companies,
Alone, impartial in his reign.
Yet Jove had fear'd the giant rush,
Their upraised arms, their port of pride,
And the twin brethren bent to push
Huge Pelion up Olympus' side.
But Typhon, Mimas, what could these,
Or what Porphyrion's stalwart scorn,
Rhoetus, or he whose spears were trees,
Enceladus, from earth uptorn,
As on they rush'd in mad career
'Gainst Pallas' shield? Here met the foe
Fierce Vulcan, queenly Juno here,
And he who ne'er shall quit his bow,
Who laves in clear Castalian flood
His locks, and loves the leafy growth
Of Lycia next his native wood,
The Delian and the Pataran both.
Strength, mindless, falls by its own weight;
Strength, mix'd with mind, is made more strong
By the just gods, who surely hate
The strength whose thoughts are set on wrong.
Let hundred-handed Gyas bear
His witness, and Orion known
Tempter of Dian, chaste and fair,
By Dian's maiden dart o'erthrown.
Hurl'd on the monstrous shapes she bred,
Earth groans, and mourns her children thrust
To Orcus; Aetna's weight of lead
Keeps down the fire that breaks its crust;
Still sits the bird on Tityos' breast,
The warder of unlawful love;
Still suffers lewd Pirithous, prest
By massive chains no hand may move.

Descende Caelo.

Descende caelo et dic age tibia
regina longum Calliope melos,
seu uoce nunc mauis acuta
seu fidibus citharaue Phoebi.

Auditis? An me ludit amabilis 5
insania? Audire et uideor pios
errare per lucos, amoenae
quos et aquae subeunt et aurae.

Me fabulosae Volture in Apulo
nutricis extra limina Pulliae 10
ludo fatigatumque somno
fronde noua puerum palumbes

texere, mirum quod foret omnibus
quicumque celsae nidum Aceruntiae
saltusque Bantinos et aruum
pingue tenent humilis Forenti, 15

ut tuto ab atris corpore uiperis
dormirem et ursis, ut premerer sacra
lauroque conlataque myrto,
non sine dis animosus infans. 20

Vester, Camenae, uester in arduos
tollor Sabinos, seu mihi frigidum
Praeneste seu Tibur supinum
seu liquidae placuere Baiae;

uestris amicum fontibus et choris 25
non me Philippis uersa acies retro,
deuota non extinxit arbor
nec Sicula Palinurus unda.

Vtcumque mecum uos eritis, libens
insanientem nauita Bosphorum
temptabo et urentis harenas 30
litoris Assyrii uiator,

uisam Britannos hospitibus feros
et laetum equino sanguine Concanum,
uisam pharetratos Gelonos 35
et Scythicum inuiolatus amnem.

Vos Caesarem altum, militia simul
fessas cohortes abdidit oppidis,
finire quaerentem labores
Pierio recreatis antro; 40

uos lene consilium et datis et dato
gaudetis, almae. Scimus ut impios
Titanas imnanemque turbam
fulmine sustulerit caduco,

qui terram inertem, qui mare temperat 45
uentosum et urbes regnaque tristia
diuosque mortalisque turmas
imperio regit unus aequo.

Magnum illa terrorem intulerat Ioui
fidens iuuentus horrida bracchiis 50
fratresque tendentes opaco
Pelion imposuisse Olympo.

Sed quid Typhoeus et ualidus Mimas
aut quid minaci Porphyrion statu,
quid Rhoetus euolsisque truncis 55
Enceladus iaculator audax

contra sonantem Palladis aegida
possent ruentes? Hinc auidus stetit
Volcanus, hinc matrona Iuno et
nunquam umeris positurus arcum,

qui rore puro Castaliae lauit
crinis solutos, qui Lyciae tenet
dumeta natalemque siluam,
Delius et Patareus Apollo.

Vis consili expers mole ruit sua; 65
uim temperatam di quoque prouehunt
in maius; idem odere uires
omne nefas animo mouentis.

Testis mearum centimanus gigas
sententiarum, notus et integrae 70
temptator Orion Dianae,
uirginea domitus sagitta.

Iniecta monstris Terra dolet suis
maeretque partus fulmine luridum
missos ad Orcum; nec peredit 75
impositam celer ignis Aetnen,

incontinentis nec Tityi iecur
reliquit ales, nequitiae additus
custos; amatorem trecentae
Pirithoum cohibent catenae. 80


Jove rules in heaven, his thunder shows;
Henceforth Augustus earth shall own
Her present god, now Briton foes
And Persians bow before his throne.
Has Crassus' soldier ta'en to wife
A base barbarian, and grown grey
(Woe, for a nation's tainted life!)
Earning his foemen-kinsmen's pay,
His king, forsooth, a Mede, his sire
A Marsian? can he name forget,
Gown, sacred shield, undying fire,
And Jove and Rome are standing yet?
'Twas this that Regulus foresaw,
What time he spurn'd the foul disgrace
Of peace, whose precedent would draw
Destruction on an unborn race,
Should aught but death the prisoner's chain
Unrivet. "I have seen," he said,
"Rome's eagle in a Punic fane,
And armour, ne'er a blood-drop shed,
Stripp'd from the soldier; I have seen
Free sons of Rome with arms fast tied;
The fields we spoil'd with corn are green,
And Carthage opes her portals wide.
The warrior, sure, redeem'd by gold,
Will fight the bolder! Aye, you heap
On baseness loss. The hues of old
Revisit not the wool we steep;
And genuine worth, expell'd by fear,
Returns not to the worthless slave.
Break but her meshes, will the deer
Assail you? then will he be brave
Who once to faithless foes has knelt;
Yes, Carthage yet his spear will fly,
Who with bound arms the cord has felt,
The coward, and has fear'd to die.
He knows not, he, how life is won;
Thinks war, like peace, a thing of trade!
Great art thou, Carthage! mate the sun,
While Italy in dust is laid!"
His wife's pure kiss he waved aside,
And prattling boys, as one disgraced,
They tell us, and with manly pride
Stern on the ground his visage placed.
With counsel thus ne'er else aread
He nerved the fathers' weak intent,
And, girt by friends that mourn'd him, sped
Into illustrious banishment.
Well witting what the torturer's art
Design'd him, with like unconcern
The press of kin he push'd apart
And crowds encumbering his return,
As though, some tedious business o'er
Of clients' court, his journey lay
Towards Venafrum's grassy floor,
Or Sparta-built Tarentum's bay.

Caelo Tonantem.

Caelo tonantem credidimus Iouem
regnare: praesens diuus habebitur
Augustus adiectis Britannis
imperio grauibusque Persis.

Milesne Crassi coniuge barbara 5
turpis maritus uixit et hostium,
pro curia inuersique mores!
consenuit socerorum in armis

sub rege Medo Marsus et Apulus
anciliorum et nominis et togae 10
oblitus aeternaeque Vestae,
incolumi Ioue et urbe Roma?

Hoc cauerat mens prouida Reguli
dissentientis condicionibus
foedis et exemplo trahenti 15
perniciem ueniens in aeuum,

si non periret inmiserabilis
captius pubes: 'Signa ego Punicis
adfixa delubris et arma
militibus sine caede' dixit 20

'derepta uidi; uidi ego ciuium
retorta tergo bracchia libero
portasque non clausas et arua
Marte coli populata nostro.

Auro repensus scilicet acrior 25
miles redibit. Flagitio additis
damnum. Neque amissos colores
lana refert medicata fuco,

nec uera uirtus, cum semel excidit,
curat reponi deterioribus. 30
Si pugnat extricata densis
cerua plagis, erit ille fortis,

qui perfidis se credidit hostibus,
et Marte Poenos proteret altero,
qui lora restrictis lacertis 35
sensit iners timuitque mortem.

Hic, unde uitam sumeret inscius,
pacem duello miscuit. O pudor!
o magna Carthago, probrosis
altior Italiae ruinis!' 40

Fertur pudicae coniugis osculum
paruosque natos ut capitis minor
ab se remouisse et uirilem
toruus humi posuisse uoltum,

donec labantis consilio patres 45
firmaret auctor nunquam alias dato
interque maerentis amicos
egregius properaret exul.

Atqui sciebat quae sibi barbarus
tortor pararet; non aliter tamen 50
dimouit obstantis propinquos
et populum reditus morantem

quam si clientum longa negotia
diiudicata lite relinqueret,
tendens Venafranos in agros 55
aut Lacedaemonium Tarentum.


Your fathers' guilt you still must pay,
Till, Roman, you restore each shrine,
Each temple, mouldering in decay,
And smoke-grimed statue, scarce divine.
Revering Heaven, you rule below;
Be that your base, your coping still;
'Tis Heaven neglected bids o'erflow
The measure of Italian ill.
Now Pacorus and Montaeses twice
Have given our unblest arms the foil;
Their necklaces, of mean device,
Smiling they deck with Roman spoil.
Our city, torn by faction's throes,
Dacian and Ethiop well-nigh razed,
These with their dreadful navy, those
For archer-prowess rather praised.
An evil age erewhile debased
The marriage-bed, the race, the home;
Thence rose the flood whose waters waste
The nation and the name of Rome.
Not such their birth, who stain'd for us
The sea with Punic carnage red,
Smote Pyrrhus, smote Antiochus,
And Hannibal, the Roman's dread.
Theirs was a hardy soldier-brood,
Inured all day the land to till
With Sabine spade, then shoulder wood
Hewn at a stern old mother's will,
When sunset lengthen'd from each height
The shadows, and unyoked the steer,
Restoring in its westward flight
The hour to toilworn travail dear.
What has not cankering Time made worse?
Viler than grandsires, sires beget
Ourselves, yet baser, soon to curse
The world with offspring baser yet.

Delicta Majorum.

Delicta maiorum inmeritus lues,
Romane, donec templa refeceris
aedisque labentis deorum et
foeda nigro simulacra fumo.

Dis te minorem quod geris, imperas: 5
hinc omne principium, huc refer exitum.
Di multa neglecti dederunt
Hesperiae mala luctuosae.

Iam bis Monaeses et Pacori manus
non auspicatos contudit impetus 10
nostros et adiecisse praedam
torquibus exiguis renidet.

Paene occupatam seditionibus
deleuit urbem Dacus et Aethiops,
hic classe formidatus, ille 15
missilibus melior sagittis.

Fecunda culpae saecula nuptias
primum inquinauere et genus et domos:
hoc fonte deriuata clades
in patriam populumque fluxit. 20

Motus doceri gaudet Ionicos
matura uirgo et fingitur artibus,
iam nunc et incestos amores
de tenero meditatur ungui.

Mox iuniores quaerit adulteros 25
inter mariti uina, neque eligit
cui donet inpermissa raptim
gaudia luminibus remotis,

sed iussa coram non sine conscio
surgit marito, seu uocat institor 30
seu nauis Hispanae magister,
dedecorum pretiosus emptor.

Non his iuuentus orta parentibus
infecit aequor sanguine Punico
Pyrrhumque et ingentem cecidit 35
Antiochum Hannibalemque dirum;

sed rusticorum mascula militum
proles, Sabellis docta ligonibus
uersare glaebas et seuerae
matris ad arbitrium recisos 40

portare fustis, sol ubi montium
mutaret umbras et iuga demeret
bobus fatigatis, amicum
tempus agens abeunte curru.

Damnosa quid non inminuit dies? 45
aetas parentum, peior auis, tulit
nos nequiores, mox daturos
progeniem uitiosiorem.


Why weep for him whom sweet Favonian airs
Will waft next spring, Asteria, back to you,
Rich with Bithynia's wares,
A lover fond and true,
Your Gyges? He, detain'd by stormy stress
At Oricum, about the Goat-star's rise,
Cold, wakeful, comfortless,
The long night weeping lies.
Meantime his lovesick hostess' messenger
Talks of the flames that waste poor Chloe's heart
(Flames lit for you, not her!)
With a besieger's art;
Shows how a treacherous woman's lying breath
Once on a time on trustful Proetus won
To doom to early death
Too chaste Bellerophon;
Warns him of Peleus' peril, all but slain
For virtuous scorn of fair Hippolyta,
And tells again each tale
That e'er led heart astray.
In vain; for deafer than Icarian seas
He hears, untainted yet. But, lady fair,
What if Enipeus please
Your listless eye? beware!
Though true it be that none with surer seat
O'er Mars's grassy turf is seen to ride,
Nor any swims so fleet
Adown the Tuscan tide,
Yet keep each evening door and window barr'd;
Look not abroad when music strikes up shrill,
And though he call you hard,
Remain obdurate still.

[Latin names for the constellations]

Quid Fles, Asterie.

Quid fles, Asterie, quem tibi candidi
primo restituent uere Fauonii
Thyna merce beatum,
constantis iuuenem fide

Gygen? Ille Notis actus ad Oricum 5
post insana Caprae sidera frigidas
noctes non sine multis
insomnis lacrimis agit.

Atqui sollicitae nuntius hospitae,
suspirare Chloen et miseram tuis 10
dicens ignibus uri,
temptat mille uafer modis.

Vt Proetum mulier perfida credulum
falsis inpulerit criminibus nimis
casto Bellerophontae 15
maturare necem, refert;

narrat paene datum Pelea Tartaro,
Magnessam Hippolyten dum fugit abstinens,
et peccare docentis
fallax historias monet. 20

Frustra: nam scopulis surdior Icari
uocis audit adhuc integer. At tibi
ne uicinus Enipeus
plus iusto placeat caue;

quamuis non alius flectere equum sciens 25
aeque conspicitur gramine Martio,
nec quisquam citus aeque
Tusco denatat alueo,

prima nocte domum claude neque in uias
sub cantu querulae despice tibiae 30
et te saepe uocanti
duram difficilis mane.


The first of March! a man unwed!
What can these flowers, this censer
Or what these embers, glowing red
On sods of green?
You ask, in either language skill'd!
A feast I vow'd to Bacchus free,
A white he-goat, when all but kill'd
By falling tree.
So, when that holyday comes round,
It sees me still the rosin clear
From this my wine-jar, first embrown'd
In Tullus' year.
Come, crush one hundred cups for life
Preserved, Maecenas; keep till day
The candles lit; let noise and strife
Be far away.
Lay down that load of state-concern;
The Dacian hosts are all o'erthrown;
The Mede, that sought our overturn,
Now seeks his own;
A servant now, our ancient foe,
The Spaniard, wears at last our chain;
The Scythian half unbends his bow
And quits the plain.
Then fret not lest the state should ail;
A private man such thoughts may spare;
Enjoy the present hour's regale,
And banish care.

Martiis Coelebs.

Martis caelebs quid agam Kalendis,
quid uelint flores et acerra turis
plena miratis positusque carbo in
caepite uiuo,

docte sermones utriusque linguae. 5
Voueram dulcis epulas et album
Libero caprum prope funeratus
arboris ictu.

Hic dies anno redeunte festus
corticem adstrictum pice dimouebit 10
amphorae fumum bibere institutae
consule Tullo.

Sume, Maecenas, cyathos amici
sospitis centum et uigilis lucernas
perfer in lucem; procul omnis esto 15
clamor et ira.

Mitte ciuilis super urbe curas.
Occidit Daci Cotisonis agmen,
Medus infestus sibi luctuosis
dissidet armis, 20

seruit Hispanae uetus hostis orae
Cantaber sera domitus catena,
iam Scythae laxo meditantur arcu
cedere campis.

Neglegens ne qua populus laboret, 25
parce priuatus nimium cauere et
dona praesentis cape laetus horae,
linque serera.


While I had power to bless you,
Nor any round that neck his arms did fling
More privileged to caress you,
Happier was Horace than the Persian king.

LYDIA. While you for none were pining
Sorer, nor Lydia after Chloe came,
Lydia, her peers outshining,
Might match her own with Ilia's Roman fame.

H. Now Chloe is my treasure,
Whose voice, whose touch, can make sweet music flow:
For her I'd die with pleasure,
Would Fate but spare the dear survivor so.

L. I love my own fond lover,
Young Calais, son of Thurian Ornytus:
For him I'd die twice over,
Would Fate but spare the sweet survivor thus.

H. What now, if Love returning
Should pair us 'neath his brazen yoke once more,
And, bright-hair'd Chloe spurning,
Horace to off-cast Lydia ope his door?

L. Though he is fairer, milder,
Than starlight, you lighter than bark of tree,
Than stormy Hadria wilder,
With yon to live, to die, were bliss for me.

Donec Gratus Eram.

'Donec gratus eram tibi
nec quisquam potior bracchia candidae
ceruici iuuenis dabat,
Persarum uigui rege beatior.'
'Donec non alia magis 5
arsisti neque erat Lydia post Chloen,
multi Lydia nominis,
Romana uigui clarior Ilia.'
'Me nunc Thressa Chloe regit,
dulcis docta modos et citharae sciens, 10
pro qua non metuam mori,
si parcent animae fata superstiti.'
'Me torret face mutua
Thurini Calais filius Ornyti,
pro quo bis patiar mori, 15
si parcent puero fata superstiti.'
'Quid si prisca redit Venus
diductosque iugo cogit aeneo,
si flaua excutitur Chloe
reiectaeque patet ianua Lydiae?' 20
'Quamquam sidere pulchrior
ille est, tu leuior cortice et inprobo
iracundior Hadria,
tecum uiuere amem, tecum obeam lubens.'


Ah Lyce! though your drink were Tanais,
Your husband some rude savage, you would weep
To leave me shivering, on a night like this,
Where storms their watches keep.
Hark! how your door is creaking! how the grove
In your fair court-yard, while the wild winds blow,
Wails in accord! with what transparence Jove
Is glazing the driven snow!
Cease that proud temper: Venus loves it not:
The rope may break, the wheel may backward turn:
Begetting you, no Tuscan sire begot
Penelope the stern.
O, though no gift, no "prevalence of prayer,"
Nor lovers' paleness deep as violet,
Nor husband, smit with a Pierian fair,
Move you, have pity yet!
O harder e'en than toughest heart of oak,
Deafer than uncharm'd snake to suppliant moans!
This side, I warn you, will not always brook
Rain-water and cold stones.

Extremum Tanain.

Extremum Tanain si biberes, Lyce,
saeuo nupta uiro, me tamen asperas
porrectum ante foris obicere incolis
plorares Aquilonibus.

Audis quo strepitu ianua, quo nemus 5
inter pulchra satum tecta remugiat
uentis, et positas ut glaciet niues
puro numine Iuppiter?

Ingratam Veneri pone superbiam,
ne currente retro funis eat rota: 10
non te Penelopen difficilem procis
Tyrrhenus genuit parens.

O quamuis neque te munera nec preces
nec tinctus uiola pallor amantium
nec uir Pieria paelice saucius 15
curuat, supplicibus tuis

parcas, nec rigida mollior aesculo
nec Mauris animum mitior anguibus:
non hoc semper erit liminis aut aquae
caelestis patiens latus. 20


Come, Mercury, by whose minstrel spell
Amphion raised the Theban stones,
Come, with thy seven sweet strings, my shell,
Thy "diverse tones,"
Nor vocal once nor pleasant, now
To rich man's board and temple dear:
Put forth thy power, till Lyde bow
Her stubborn ear.
She, like a three year colt unbroke,
Is frisking o'er the spacious plain,
Too shy to bear a lover's yoke,
A husband's rein.
The wood, the tiger, at thy call
Have follow'd: thou canst rivers stay:
The monstrous guard of Pluto's hall
To thee gave way,
Grim Cerberus, round whose Gorgon head
A hundred snakes are hissing death,
Whose triple jaws black venom shed,
And sickening breath.
Ixion too and Tityos smooth'd
Their rugged brows: the urn stood dry
One hour, while Danaus' maids were sooth'd
With minstrelsy.
Let Lyde hear those maidens' guilt,
Their famous doom, the ceaseless drain
Of outpour'd water, ever spilt,
And all the pain
Reserved for sinners, e'en when dead:
Those impious hands, (could crime do more?)
Those impious hands had hearts to shed
Their bridegrooms' gore!
One only, true to Hymen's flame,
Was traitress to her sire forsworn:
That splendid falsehood lights her name
Through times unborn.
"Wake!" to her youthful spouse she cried,
"Wake! or you yet may sleep too well:
Fly--from the father of your bride,
Her sisters fell:
They, as she-lions bullocks rend,
Tear each her victim: I, less hard
Than these, will slay you not, poor friend,
Nor hold in ward:
Me let my sire in fetters lay
For mercy to my husband shown:
Me let him ship far hence away,
To climes unknown.
Go; speed your flight o'er land and wave,
While Night and Venus shield you; go
Be blest: and on my tomb engrave
This tale of woe."

Mercuri, Nam Te.

Mercuri, -- nam te docilis magistro
mouit Amphion lapides canendo, --
tuque testudo resonare septem
callida neruis,

nec loquax olim neque grata, nunc et 5
diuitum mensis et amica templis,
dic modos, Lyde quibus obstinatas
applicet auris,

quae uelut latis equa trima campis
ludit exultim metuitque tangi, 10
nuptiarum expers et adhuc proteruo
cruda marito.

Tu potes tigris comitesque siluas
ducere et riuos celeres morari;
cessit inmanis tibi blandienti 15
ianitor aulae

Cerberus, quamuis furiale centum
muniant angues caput eius atque
spiritus taeter saniesque manet
ore trilingui. 20

Quin et Ixion Tityosque uoltu
risit inuito, stetit urna paulum
sicca, dum grato Danai puellas
carmine mulces.

Audiat Lyde scelus atque notas 25
uirginum poenas et inane lymphae
dolium fundo pereuntis imo
seraque fata,

quae manent culpas etiam sub Orco.
Impiae (nam quid potuere maius?) 30
impiae sponsos potuere duro
perdere ferro.

Vna de multis face nuptiali
digna periurum fuit in parentem
splendide mendax et in omne uirgo 35
nobilis aeuom,

'Surge', quae dixit iuueni marito,
'surge, ne longus tibi somnus, unde
non times, detur; socerum et scelestas
falle sorores, 40

quae uelut nactae uitulos leaenae
singulos eheu lacerant. Ego illis
mollior nec te feriam neque intra
claustra tenebo.

Me pater saeuis oneret catenis, 45
quod uiro clemens misero peperci,
me uel extremos Numidarum in agros
classe releget.

I, pedes quo te rapiunt et aurae,
dum fauet Nox et Venus, i secundo 50
omine et nostri memorem sepulcro
scalpe querellam.'


How unhappy are the maidens who with Cupid may not play,
Who may never touch the wine-cup, but must tremble all the day
At an uncle, and the scourging of his tongue!
Neobule, there's a robber takes your needle and your thread,
Lets the lessons of Minerva run no longer in your head;
It is Hebrus, the athletic and the young!
O, to see him when anointed he is plunging in the flood!
What a seat he has on horseback! was Bellerophon's as good?
As a boxer, as a runner, past compare!
When the deer are flying blindly all the open country o'er,
He can aim and he can hit them; he can steal upon the boar,
As it couches in the thicket unaware.

Miserarum Est.

Miserarum est neque amori dare ludum neque dulci
mala uino lauere aut exanimari
metuentis patruae uerbera linguae.

Tibi qualum Cythereae puer ales, tibi telas
operosaeque Mineruae studium aufert, 5
Neobule, Liparaei nitor Hebri,

simul unctos Tiberinis umeros lauit in undis,
eques ipso melior Bellerophonte,
neque pugno neque segni pede uictus;

catus idem per apertum fugientis agitato 10
grege ceruos iaculari et celer arto
latitantem fruticeto excipere aprum.


Bandusia's fount, in clearness crystalline,
O worthy of the wine, the flowers we vow!
To-morrow shall be thine
A kid, whose crescent brow
Is sprouting all for love and victory.
In vain: his warm red blood, so early stirr'd,
Thy gelid stream shall dye,
Child of the wanton herd.
Thee the fierce Sirian star, to madness fired,
Forbears to touch: sweet cool thy waters yield
To ox with ploughing tired,
And lazy sheep afield.
Thou too one day shalt win proud eminence
'Mid honour'd founts, while I the ilex sing
Crowning the cavern, whence
Thy babbling wavelets spring.

O Fons Bandusiae.

O fons Bandusiae splendidior uitro,
dulci digne mero non sine floribus,
cras donaberis haedo,
cui frons turgida cornibus

primis et uenerem et proelia destinat. 5
Frustra: nam gelidos inficiet tibi
rubro sanguine riuos
lasciui suboles gregis.

Te flagrantis atrox hora Caniculae
nescit tangere, tu frigus amabile 10
fessis uomere tauris
praebes et pecori uago.

Fies nobilium tu quoque fontium
me dicente cauis impositam ilicem
saxis, unde loquaces 15
lymphae desiliunt tuae.


Our Hercules, they told us, Rome,
Had sought the laurel Death bestows:
Now Glory brings him conqueror home
From Spaniard foes.
Proud of her spouse, the imperial fair
Must thank the gods that shield from death;
His sister too:--let matrons wear
The suppliant wreath
For daughters and for sons restored:
Ye youths and damsels newly wed,
Let decent awe restrain each word
Best left unsaid.
This day, true holyday to me,
Shall banish care: I will not fear
Rude broils or bloody death to see,
While Caesar's here.
Quick, boy, the chaplets and the nard,
And wine, that knew the Marsian war,
If roving Spartacus have spared
A single jar.
And bid Nesera come and trill,
Her bright locks bound with careless art:
If her rough porter cross your will,
Why then depart.
Soon palls the taste for noise and fray,
When hair is white and leaves are sere:
How had I fired in life's warm May,
In Plancus' year!

Herculis Ritu.

Herculis ritu modo dictus, o plebs,
morte uenalem petiisse laurum,
Caesar Hispana repetit penatis
victor ab ora.

Vnico gaudens mulier marito 5
prodeat iustis operata sacris
et soror clari ducis et decorae
supplice uitta

uirginum matres iuuenumque nuper
sospitum. Vos, o pueri et puellae ac 10
iam uirum expertae, male nominatis
parcite uerbis.

Hic dies uere mihi festus atras
eximet curas; ego nec tumultum
nec mori per uim metuam tenente 15
Caesare terras.

I, pete unguentum, puer, et coronas
et cadum Marsi memorem duelli,
Spartacum si qua potuit uagantem
fallere testa. 20

Dic et argutae properet Neaerae
murreum nodo cohibere crinem;
si per inuisum mora ianitorem
fiet, abito.

Lenit albescens animos capillus 25
litium et rixae cupidos proteruae;
non ego hoc ferrem calidus iuuenta
consule Planco.


Wife of Ibycus the poor,
Let aged scandals have at length their bound:
Give your graceless doings o'er,
Ripe as you are for going underground.
YOU the maidens' dance to lead,
And cast your gloom upon those beaming stars!
Daughter Pholoe may succeed,
But mother Chloris what she touches mars.
Young men's homes your daughter storms,
Like Thyiad, madden'd by the cymbals' beat:
Nothus' love her bosom warms:
She gambols like a fawn with silver feet.
Yours should be the wool that grows
By fair Luceria, not the merry lute:
Flowers beseem not wither'd brows,
Nor wither'd lips with emptied wine-jars suit.

Uxor Pauperis Ibyci.

Vxor pauperis Ibyci,
tandem nequitiae fige modum tuae
famosisque laboribus;
maturo propior desine funeri
inter ludere uirgines 5
et stellis nebulam spargere candidis.
Non, si quid Pholoen satis,
et te, Chlori, decet. Filia rectius
expugnat iuuenum domos,
pulso Thyias uti concita tympano. 10
Illam cogit amor Nothi
lasciua similem ludere capreae:
te lanae prope nobilem
tonsae Luceriam, non citharae decent
nec flos purpureus rosae 15
nec poti uetulam faece tenus cadi.


Full well had Danae been secured, in truth,
By oaken portals, and a brazen tower,
And savage watch-dogs, from the roving youth
That prowl at midnight's hour:
But Jove and Venus mock'd with gay disdain
The jealous warder of that close stronghold:
The way, they knew, must soon be smooth and plain
When gods could change to gold.
Gold, gold can pass the tyrant's sentinel,
Can shiver rocks with more resistless blow
Than is the thunder's. Argos' prophet fell,
He and his house laid low,
And all for gain. The man of Macedon
Cleft gates of cities, rival kings o'erthrew
By force of gifts: their cunning snares have won
Rude captains and their crew.
As riches grow, care follows: men repine
And thirst for more. No lofty crest I raise:
Wisdom that thought forbids, Maecenas mine,
The knightly order's praise.
He that denies himself shall gain the more
From bounteous Heaven. I strip me of my pride,
Desert the rich man's standard, and pass o'er
To bare Contentment's side,
More proud as lord of what the great despise
Than if the wheat thresh'd on Apulia's floor
I hoarded all in my huge granaries,
'Mid vast possessions poor.
A clear fresh stream, a little field o'ergrown
With shady trees, a crop that ne'er deceives,
Pass, though men know it not, their wealth, that own
All Afric's golden sheaves.
Though no Calabrian bees their honey yield
For me, nor mellowing sleeps the god of wine
In Formian jar, nor in Gaul's pasture-field
The wool grows long and fine,
Yet Poverty ne'er comes to break my peace;
If more I craved, you would not more refuse.
Desiring less, I better shall increase
My tiny revenues,
Than if to Alyattes' wide domains
I join'd the realms of Mygdon. Great desires
Sort with great wants. 'Tis best, when prayer obtains
No more than life requires.

Inclusam Danaen.

Inclusam Danaen turris aenea
robustaeque fores et uigilum canum
tristes excubiae munierant satis
nocturnis ab adulteris,

si non Acrisium, uirginis abditae 5
custodem pauidum, Iuppiter et Venus
risissent: fore enim tutum iter et patens
conuerso in pretium deo.

Aurum per medios ire satellites
et perrumpere amat saxa potentius 10
ictu fulmineo; concidit auguris
Argiui domus ob lucrum

demersa exitio; diffidit urbium
portas uir Macedo et subruit aemulos
reges muneribus; munera nauium 15
saeuos inlaqueant duces.

Crescentem sequitur cura pecuniam
maiorumque fames. Iure perhorrui
late conspicuum tollere uerticem,
Maecenas, equitum decus. 20

Quanto quisque sibi plura negauerit,
ab dis plura feret; nil cupientium
nudus castra peto et transfuga diuitum
partis linquere gestio,

contemptae dominus splendidior rei, 25
quam si quicquid arat inpiger Apulus
occultare meis dicerer horreis,
magnas inter opes inops.

Purae riuus aquae siluaque iugerum
paucorum et segetis certa fides meae 30
fulgentem imperio fertilis Africae
fallit sorte beatior.

Quamquam nec Calabrae mella ferunt apes
nec Laestrygonia Bacchus in amphora
languescit mihi nec pinguia Gallicis 35
crescunt uellera pascuis,

inportuna tamen pauperies abest,
nec, si plura uelim, tu dare deneges.
Contracto melius parua cupidine
uectigalia porrigam 40

quam si Mygdoniis regnum Alyattei
campis continuem. Multa petentibus
desunt multa; bene est cui deus obtulit
parca quod satis est manu.


Aelius, of Lamus' ancient name
(For since from that high parentage
The prehistoric Lamias came
And all who fill the storied page,
No doubt you trace your line from him,
Who stretch'd his sway o'er Formiae,
And Liris, whose still waters swim
Where green Marica skirts the sea,
Lord of broad realms), an eastern gale
Will blow to-morrow, and bestrew
The shore with weeds, with leaves the vale,
If rain's old prophet tell me true,
The raven. Gather, while 'tis fine,
Your wood; to-morrow shall be gay
With smoking pig and streaming wine,
And lord and slave keep holyday.

Aeli Vetusto.

Aeli uetusto nobilis ab Lamo --
quando et priores hinc Lamias ferunt
denominatos et nepotum
per memores genus omne fastos,

auctore ab illo ducis originem, 5
qui Formiarum moenia dicitur
princeps et innantem Maricae
litoribus tenuisse Lirim,

late tyrannus, -- cras foliis nemus
multis et alga litus inutili 10
demissa tempestas ab Euro
sternet, aquae nisi fallit augur

annosa cornix. Dum potes, aridum
conpone lignum; cras Genium mero
curabis et porco bimenstri 15
cum famulis operum solutis.


O wont the flying Nymphs to woo,
Good Faunus, through my sunny farm
Pass gently, gently pass, nor do
My younglings harm.
Each year, thou know'st, a kid must die
For thee; nor lacks the wine's full stream
To Venus' mate, the bowl; and high
The altars steam.
Sure as December's nones appear,
All o'er the grass the cattle play;
The village, with the lazy steer,
Keeps holyday.
Wolves rove among the fearless sheep;
The woods for thee their foliage strow;
The delver loves on earth to leap,
His ancient foe.

Faune, Nympharum.

Faune, Nympharum fugientum amator,
per meos finis et aprica rura
lenis incedas abeasque paruis
aequus alumnis,

si tener pleno cadit haedus anno 5
larga nec desunt Veneris sodali
uina craterae, uetus ara multo
fumat odore.

Ludit herboso pecus omne campo,
cum tibi Nonae redeunt Decembres, 10
festus in pratis uacat otioso
cum boue pagus;

inter audacis lupus errat agnos,
spargit agrestis tibi silua frondes,
gaudet inuisam pepulisse fosso 15
ter pede terram.


What the time from Inachus
To Codrus, who in patriot battle fell,
Who were sprung from Aeacus,
And how men fought at Ilion,--this you tell.
What the wines of Chios cost,
Who with due heat our water can allay,
What the hour, and who the host
To give us house-room,--this you will not say.
Ho, there! wine to moonrise, wine
To midnight, wine to our new augur too!
Nine to three or three to nine,
As each man pleases, makes proportion true.
Who the uneven Muses loves,
Will fire his dizzy brain with three times three;
Three once told the Grace approves;
She with her two bright sisters, gay and free,
Shrinks, as maiden should, from strife:
But I'm for madness. What has dull'd the fire
Of the Berecyntian fife?
Why hangs the flute in silence with the lyre?
Out on niggard-handed boys!
Eain showers of roses; let old Lycus hear,
Envious churl, our senseless noise,
And she, our neighbour, his ill-sorted fere.
You with your bright clustering hair,
Your beauty, Telephus, like evening's sky,
Rhoda loves, as young, as fair;
I for my Glycera slowly, slowly die.

Quantum Distet.

Quantum distet ab Inacho
Codrus, pro patria non timidus mori,
narras, et genus Aeaci,
et pugnata sacro bella sub Ilio.
Quo Chium pretio cadum 5
mercemur, quis aquam temperet ignibus,
quo praebente domum et quota
Paelignis caream frigoribus, taces.
Da lunae propere nouae,
da noctis mediae, da, puer, auguris 10
Murenae. Tribus aut nouem
miscentur cyathis pocula commodis?
Qui Musas amat imparis,
ternos ter cyathos attonitus petet
uates, tris prohibet supra 15
rixarum metuens tangere Gratia
nudis iuncat sororibus.
Insanire iuuat... Cur Berecyntiae
cessant flamina tibiae?
Cur pendet tacita fistula cum lyra? 20
Parcentis ego dexteras
odi: sparge rosas; audiat inuidus
dementem strepitum Lycus,
et uicina seni non habilis Lyco.
Spissa te nitidum coma, 25
puro te similem, Telephe, Vespero
tempestiua petit Rhode:
me lentus Glycerae torret amor meae.


Translation by John Scriven (1843)

Dost thou not all the peril feel
From Libyan lion her whelps to steal?
Soon, Pyrrhus, soon, in timid flight,
The ravisher shall shun the fight;

When, through opposing rival bands,
Her fair Nearchus she demands;
A contest, if the fight confer
The lovely prize on thee or her;

While at thy side swift arrows hang,
While whets the nymph her dreaded fang,
The umpire smiles in careless calm,
And spurns, with naked foot, the palm;

Refreshing, with the gentle air,
His shoulder - spread with perfum'd hair:
So Nireus- so the stripling smil'd
From Ida's watery brow beguil'd.

Non Vides.

Non uides quanto moueas periclo,
Pyrrhe, Gaetulae catulos leaenae?
Dura post paulo fugies inaudax
proelia raptor,

cum per obstantis iuuenum cateruas 5
ibit insignem repetens Nearchum:
grande certamen tibi praeda cedat
maior, an illi.

Interim, dum tu celeris sagittas
promis, haec dentes acuit timendos, 10
arbiter pugnae prosuisse nudo
sub pede palmam

fertur, et leni recreare uento
sparsum odoratis umerum capillis,
qualis aut Nireus fuit aut aquosa 15
raptus ab Ida.


O born in Manlius' year with me,
Whate'er you bring us, plaint or jest,
Or passion and wild revelry,
Or, like a gentle wine-jar, rest;
Howe'er men call your Massic juice,
Its broaching claims a festal day;
Come then; Corvinus bids produce
A mellower wine, and I obey.
Though steep'd in all Socratic lore
He will not slight you; do not fear.
They say old Cato o'er and o'er
With wine his honest heart would cheer.
Tough wits to your mild torture yield
Their treasures; you unlock the soul
Of wisdom and its stores conceal'd,
Arm'd with Lyaeus' kind control.
'Tis yours the drooping heart to heal;
Your strength uplifts the poor man's horn;
Inspired by you, the soldier's steel,
The monarch's crown, he laughs to scorn.
Liber and Venus, wills she so,
And sister Graces, ne'er unknit,
And living lamps shall see you flow
Till stars before the sunrise flit.

O Nate Mecum.

O nata mecum consule Manlio,
seu tu querellas siue geris iocos
seu rixam et insanos amores
seu facilem, pia testa, somnum,

quocumque lectum nomine Massicum 5
seruas, moueri digna bono die,
descende, Coruino iubente
promere languidiora uina.

Non ille, quamquam Socraticis madet
sermonibus, te negleget horridus: 10
narratur et prisci Catonis
saepe mero caluisse uirtus.

Tu lene tormentum ingenio admoues
plerumque duro; tu sapientium
curas et arcanum iocoso 15
consilium retegis Lycaeo.

Tu spem reducis mentibus anxiis
uiresque et addis cornua pauperi,
post te neque iratos trementi
regum apices neque militum arma. 20

Te Liber et si laeta aderit Venus
segnesque nodum soluere Gratiae
uiuaeque procucent lucernae,
dum rediens fugat astra Phoebus.


Guardian of hill and woodland, Maid,
Who to young wives in childbirth's hour
Thrice call'd, vouchsafest sovereign aid,
O three-form'd power!
This pine that shades my cot be thine;
Here will I slay, as years come round,
A youngling boar, whose tusks design
The side-long wound.

Montium Custos.

Montium custos nemorumque uirgo,
quae laborantis utero puellas
ter uocata audis adimisque leto,
diua triformis,

inminens uillae tua pinus esto, 5
quam per exactos ego laetus annos
uerris obliquom meditantis ictum
sanguine donem.


If, Phidyle, your hands you lift
To heaven, as each new moon is born,
Soothing your Lares with the gift
Of slaughter'd swine, and spice, and corn,
Ne'er shall Scirocco's bane assail
Your vines, nor mildew blast your wheat,
Ne'er shall your tender younglings fail
In autumn, when the fruits are sweet.
The destined victim 'mid the snows
Of Algidus in oakwoods fed,
Or where the Alban herbage grows,
Shall dye the pontiff's axes red;
No need of butcher'd sheep for you
To make your homely prayers prevail;
Give but your little gods their due,
The rosemary twined with myrtle frail.
The sprinkled salt, the votive meal,
As soon their favour will regain,
Let but the hand be pure and leal,
As all the pomp of heifers slain.

Coelo Supinas.

Caelo supinas si tuleris manus
nascente luna, rustica Phidyle,
si ture placaris et horna
fruge Lares auidaque porca

nec pestilentem sentiet Africum 5
fecunda uitis nec sterilem seges
robiginem aut dulces alumni
pomifero graue tempus anno.

Nam quae niuali pascitur Algido
deuota quercus inter et ilices 10
aut crescit Albanis in herbis
uictima, pontificum securis

ceruice tinguet; te nihil attinet
temptare multa caede bidentium
paruos coronantem marino 15
rore deos fragilique myrto.

Inmunis aram si tetigit manus,
non sumptuosa blandior hostia
molliuit auersos Penatis
farre pio et saliente mica. 20


Intactis Opulentior.

Though your buried wealth surpass
The unsunn'd gold of Ind or Araby,
Though with many a ponderous mass
You crowd the Tuscan and Apulian sea,
Let Necessity but drive
Her wedge of adamant into that proud head,
Vainly battling will you strive
To 'scape Death's noose, or rid your soul of dread.
Better life the Scythians lead,
Trailing on waggon wheels their wandering home,
Or the hardy Getan breed,
As o'er their vast unmeasured steppes they roam;
Free the crops that bless their soil;
Their tillage wearies after one year's space;
Each in turn fulfils his toil;
His period o'er, another takes his place.
There the step-dame keeps her hand
From guilty plots, from blood of orphans clean;
There no dowried wives command
Their feeble lords, or on adulterers lean.
Theirs are dowries not of gold,
Their parents' worth, their own pure chastity,
True to one, to others cold;
They dare not sin, or, if they dare, they die.
O, whoe'er has heart and head
To stay our plague of blood, our civic brawls,
Would he that his name be read
"Father of Rome" on lofty pedestals,
Let him chain this lawless will,
And be our children's hero! cursed spite!
Living worth we envy still,
Then seek it with strain'd eyes, when snatch'd from sight.
What can sad laments avail
Unless sharp justice kill the taint of sin?
What can laws, that needs must fail
Shorn of the aid of manners form'd within,
If the merchant turns not back
From the fierce heats that round the tropic glow,
Turns not from the regions black
With northern winds, and hard with frozen snow;
Sailors override the wave,
While guilty poverty, more fear'd than vice,
Bids us crime and suffering brave,
And shuns the ascent of virtue's precipice?
Let the Capitolian fane,
The favour'd goal of yon vociferous crowd,
Aye, or let the nearest main
Receive our gold, our jewels rich and proud:
Slay we thus the cause of crime,
If yet we would repent and choose the good:
Ours the task to take in time
This baleful lust, and crush it in the bud.
Ours to mould our weakling sons
To nobler sentiment and manlier deed:
Now the noble's first-born shuns
The perilous chase, nor learns to sit his steed:
Set him to the unlawful dice,
Or Grecian hoop, how skilfully he plays!
While his sire, mature in vice,
A friend, a partner, or a guest betrays,
Hurrying, for an heir so base,
To gather riches. Money, root of ill,
Doubt it not, still grows apace:
Yet the scant heap has somewhat lacking still.

Intactis Opulentior.

Intactis opulentior
thesauris Arabum et diuitis Indiae
caementis licet occupes
terrenum omne tuis et mare publicum:
si figit adamantinos 5
summis uerticibus dira Necessitas
clauos, non animum metu,
non mortis laqueis expedies caput.
Campestres melius Scythae,
quorum plaustra uagas rite trahunt domos, 10
uiuunt et rigidi Getae
inmetata quibus iugera liberas
fruges et Cererem ferunt
nec cultura placet longior annua
defunctumque laboribus 15
aequali recreat sorte uicarius.
Illic matre carentibus
priuignis mulier temperat innocens
nec dotata regit uirum
coniunx nec nitido fidit adultero; 20
dos est magna parentium
uirtus et metuens alterius uiri
certo foedere castitas,
et peccare nefas aut pretium est mori.
O quisquis uolet impias 25
caedis et rabiem tollere ciuicam,
si quaeret Pater Vrbium
suscribi statuis, indomitam audeat
refrenare licentiam,
clarus postgenitis; quatenus, heu nefas! 30
uirtutem incolumem odimus,
sublatam ex oculis quaerimus inuidi.
Quid tristes querimoniae
si non supplicio culpa reciditur,
quid leges sine moribus 35
uanae proficiunt, si neque feruidis
pars inclusa caloribus
mundi nec Boreae finitimum latus
durataeque solo niues
mercatorem abigunt, horrida callidi 40
uincunt aequora nauitae?
Magnum pauperies obprobrium iubet
quiduis et facere et pati
uirtutisque uiam deserit arduae.
Vel non in Capitolium 45
quo clamor uocat et turba fauentium
uel non in mare proximum
gemmas et lapides, aurum et inutile,
summi materiem mali,
mittamus, scelerum si bene paenitet. 50
Eradenda cupidinis
praui sunt elementa et tenerae nimis
mentes asperioribus
formandae studiis. Nescit equo rudis
haerere ingenuus puer 55
uenarique timet, ludere doctior
seu Graeco iubeas trocho
seu malis uetita legibus alea,
cum periura patris fides
consortem socium fallat et hospites, 60
indignoque pecuniam
haredi properet. Scilicet inprobae
crescunt diuitiae, tamen
curtae nescio quid semper abest rei.


Whither, Bacchus, tear'st thou me,
Fill'd with thy strength? What dens, what forests these,
Thus in wildering race I see?
What cave shall hearken to my melodies,
Tuned to tell of Caesar's praise
And throne him high the heavenly ranks among?
Sweet and strange shall be my lays,
A tale till now by poet voice unsung.
As the Evian on the height,
Housed from her sleep, looks wonderingly abroad,
Looks on Thrace with snow-drifts white,
And Rhodope by barbarous footstep trod,
So my truant eyes admire
The banks, the desolate forests. O great King
Who the Naiads dost inspire,
And Bacchants, strong from earth huge trees to wring!
Not a lowly strain is mine,
No mere man's utterance. O, 'tis venture sweet
Thee to follow, God of wine,
Making the vine-branch round thy temples meet!

Quo Me, Bacche.

Quo me, Bacche, rapis tui
plenum? Quae nemora aut quos agor in specus
uelox mente noua? Quibus
antrum egregii Caesaris audiar
aeternum meditans decus 5
stellis inserere et consilio Iouis?
Dicam insigne, recens, adhuc
indictum ore alio. Non secus in iugis
exsomnis stupet Euhias,
Hebrum prospiciens et niue candidam 10
Thracen ac pede barbaro
lustratam Rhodopen, ut mihi deuio
ripas et uacuum nemus
mirari libet. O Naiadum potens
Baccharumque ualentium 15
proceras manibus uertere fraxinos,
nil paruum aut humili modo,
nil mortale loquar. Dulce periculum est,
o Lenaee, sequi deum
cingentem uiridi tempora pampino. 20


For ladies's love I late was fit,
And good success my warfare blest,
But now my arms, my lyre I quit,
And hang them up to rust or rest.
Here, where arising from the sea
Stands Venus, lay the load at last,
Links, crowbars, and artillery,
Threatening all doors that dared be fast.
O Goddess! Cyprus owns thy sway,
And Memphis, far from Thracian snow:
Raise high thy lash, and deal me, pray,
That haughty Chloe just one blow!

Viri Puellis.

Vixi puellis nuper idoneus
et militaui non sine gloria;
nunc arma defunctumque bello
barbiton hic paries habebit,

laeuom marinae qui Veneris latus 5
custodit. Hic, hic ponite lucida
funalia et uectis et arcus
oppositis foribus minacis.

O quae beatum diua tenes Cyprum et
Memphin carentem Sithonia niue 10
regina, sublimi flagello
tange Chloen semel arrogantem.


When guilt goes forth, let lapwings shrill,
And dogs and foxes great with young,
And wolves from far Lanuvian hill,
Give clamorous tongue:
Across the roadway dart the snake,
Frightening, like arrow loosed from string,
The horses. I, for friendship's sake,
Watching each wing,
Ere to his haunt, the stagnant marsh,
The harbinger of tempest flies,
Will call the raven, croaking harsh,
From eastern skies.
Farewell!--and wheresoe'er you go,
My Galatea, think of me:
Let lefthand pie and roving crow
Still leave you free.
But mark with what a front of fear
Orion lowers. Ah! well I know
How Hadria glooms, how falsely clear
The west-winds blow.
Let foemen's wives and children feel
The gathering south-wind's angry roar,
The black wave's crash, the thunder-peal,
The quivering shore.
So to the bull Europa gave
Her beauteous form, and when she saw
The monstrous deep, the yawning grave,
Grew pale with awe.
That morn of meadow-flowers she thought,
Weaving a crown the nymphs to please:
That gloomy night she look'd on nought
But stars and seas.
Then, as in hundred-citied Crete
She landed,--"O my sire!" she said,
"O childly duty! passion's heat
Has struck thee dead.
Whence came I? death, for maiden's shame,
Were little. Do I wake to weep
My sin? or am I pure of blame,
And is it sleep
From dreamland brings a form to trick
My senses? Which was best? to go
Over the long, long waves, or pick
The flowers in blow?
O, were that monster made my prize,
How would I strive to wound that brow,
How tear those horns, my frantic eyes
Adored but now!
Shameless I left my father's home;
Shameless I cheat the expectant grave;
O heaven, that naked I might roam
In lions' cave!
Now, ere decay my bloom devour
Or thin the richness of my blood,
Fain would I fall in youth's first flower,
The tigers' food.
Hark! 'tis my father--Worthless one!
What, yet alive? the oak is nigh.
'Twas well you kept your maiden zone,
The noose to tie.
Or if your choice be that rude pike,
New barb'd with death, leap down and ask
The wind to bear you. Would you like
The bondmaid's task,
You, child of kings, a master's toy,
A mistress' slave?'" Beside her, lo!
Stood Venus smiling, and her boy
With unstrung bow.
Then, when her laughter ceased, "Have done
With fume and fret," she cried, "my fair;
That odious bull will give you soon
His horns to tear.
You know not you are Jove's own dame:
Away with sobbing; be resign'd
To greatness: you shall give your name
To half mankind."

Impios Parrae.

Impios parrae recinentis omen
ducat et praegnans canis aut ab agro
raua decurrens lupa Lanuuino
fetaque uolpes;

umpat et serpens iter institutum, 5
si per obliquom similis sagittae
terruit mannos: ego cui timebo
prouidus auspex,

antequam stantis repetat paludes
imbrium diuina auis inminentum, 10
oscinem coruum prece suscitabo
solis ab ortu.

Sis licet felix, ubicumque mauis,
et memor nostri, Galatea, uiuas,
teque nec laeuus uetet ire picus 15
nec uaga cornix.

Sed uides quanto trepidet tumultu
pronus Orion? Ego quid sit ater
Hadriae noui sinus et quid albus
peccet Iapyx. 20

Hostium uxores puerique caecos
sentiant motus orientis Austri et
aequoris nigri fremitum et trementis
uerbere ripas.

Sic et Europe niueum doloso 25
credidit tauro latus et scatentem
beluis pontum mediasque fraudes
palluit audax.

Nuper in pratis studiosa florum et
debitae Nymphis opifex coronae 30
nocte sublustri nihil astra praeter
uidit et undas.

Quae simul centum tetigit potentem
oppidis Creten: 'Pater, o relictum
filiae nomen pietasque' dixit 35
'uicta furore!

Vnde quo ueni? Leuis una mors est
uirginum culpae. Vigilansne ploro
turpe commissum an uitiis carentem
ludit imago 40

uana quae porta fugiens eburna
somnium ducit? Meliusne fluctus
ire per longos fuit an recentis
carpere flores?

Si quis infamen mihi nunc iuuencum 45
dedat iratae, lacerare ferro et
frangere enitar modo multum amati
cornua monstri.

Impudens liqui patrios Penates,
impudens Orcum moror. O deorum 50
si quis haec audis, utinam inter errem
nuda leones.

Antequam turpis macies decentis
occupet malas teneraeque sucus
defluat praedae, speciosa quaero 55
pascere tigris.

Vilis Europe, pater urget absens:
quid mori cessas? Potes hac ab orno
pendulum zona bene te secuta
laedere collum.

Siue te rupes et acuta leto
saxa delectant, age te procellae
crede ueloci, nisi erile mauis
carpere pensum

regius sanguis dominaeque tradi 65
barbarae paelex.' Aderat querenti
perfidum ridens Venus et remisso
filius arcu.

Mox, ubi lusit satis: 'Abstineto'
dixit 'irarum calidaeque rixae, 70
cum tibi inuisus laceranda reddet
cornua taurus.

Vxor inuicti Iouis esse nescis.
Mitte singultus, bene ferre magnam
disce fortunam; tua sectus orbis 75
nomina ducet'.


Neptune's feast-day! what should man
Think first of doing? Lyde mine, be bold,
Broach the treasured Caecuban,
And batter Wisdom in her own stronghold.
Now the noon has pass'd the full,
Yet sure you deem swift Time has made a halt,
Tardy as you are to pull
Old Bibulus' wine-jar from its sleepy vault.
I will take my turn and sing
Neptune and Nereus' train with locks of green;
You shall warble to the string
Latona and her Cynthia's arrowy sheen.
Hers our latest song, who sways
Cnidos and Cyclads, and to Paphos goes
With her swans, on holydays;
Night too shall claim the homage music owes.

Festo Quid Potius.

Festo quid potius die
Neptuni faciam? Prome reconditum,
Lyde, strenua Caecubum
munitaeque adhibe uim sapientiae.
Inclinare meridiem 5
sentis ac, ueluti stet uolucris dies,
parcis deripere horreo
cessantem Bibuli consulis amphoram?
Nos cantabimus inuicem
Neptunum et uiridis Nereidum comas, 10
tu curua recines lyra
Latonam et celeris spicula Cynthiae;
summo carmine, quae Cnidon
fulgentisque tenet Cycladas et Paphum
iunctis uisit oloribus;
dicetur merita Nox quoque nenia. 15


Heir of Tyrrhenian kings, for you
A mellow cask, unbroach'd as yet,
Maecenas mine, and roses new,
And fresh-drawn oil your locks to wet,
Are waiting here. Delay not still,
Nor gaze on Tibur, never dried,
And sloping AEsule, and the hill
Of Telegon the parricide.
O leave that pomp that can but tire,
Those piles, among the clouds at home;
Cease for a moment to admire
The smoke, the wealth, the noise of Rome!
In change e'en luxury finds a zest:
The poor man's supper, neat, but spare,
With no gay couch to seat the guest,
Has smooth'd the rugged brow of care.
Now glows the Ethiop maiden's sire;
Now Procyon rages all ablaze;
The Lion maddens in his ire,
As suns bring back the sultry days:
The shepherd with his weary sheep
Seeks out the streamlet and the trees,
Silvanus' lair: the still banks sleep
Untroubled by the wandering breeze.
You ponder on imperial schemes,
And o'er the city's danger brood:
Bactrian and Serian haunt your dreams,
And Tanais, toss'd by inward feud.
The issue of the time to be
Heaven wisely hides in blackest night,
And laughs, should man's anxiety
Transgress the bounds of man's short sight.
Control the present: all beside
Flows like a river seaward borne,
Now rolling on its placid tide,
Now whirling massy trunks uptorn,
And waveworn crags, and farms, and stock,
In chaos blent, while hill and wood
Reverberate to the enormous shock,
When savage rains the tranquil flood
Have stirr'd to madness. Happy he,
Self-centred, who each night can say,
"My life is lived: the morn may see
A clouded or a sunny day:
That rests with Jove: but what is gone,
He will not, cannot turn to nought;
Nor cancel, as a thing undone,
What once the flying hour has brought."
Fortune, who loves her cruel game,
Still bent upon some heartless whim,
Shifts her caresses, fickle dame,
Now kind to me, and now to him:
She stays; 'tis well: but let her shake
Those wings, her presents I resign,
Cloak me in native worth, and take
Chaste Poverty undower'd for mine.
Though storms around my vessel rave,
I will not fall to craven prayers,
Nor bargain by my vows to save
My Cyprian and Sidonian wares,
Else added to the insatiate main.
Then through the wild Aegean roar
The breezes and the Brethren Twain
Shall waft my little boat ashore.

Tyrrhena Regum.

Tyrrhena regum progenies, tibi
non ante uerso lene merum cado
cum flore, Maecenas, rosarum et
pressa tuis balanus capillis

amdudum apud me est: eripe te morae 5

nec semper udum Tibur et Aefulae
decliue contempleris aruom et
Telegoni iuga parricidae.

Fastidiosam desere copiam et
molem propinquam nubibus arduis, 10
omitte mirari beatae
fumum et opes strepitumque Romae.

Plerumque gratae diuitibus uices
mundaeque paruo sub lare pauperum
cenae sine aulaeis et ostro 15
sollicitam explicuere frontem.

Iam clarus occultum Andromedae pater
ostendit ignem, iam Procyon furit
et stella uesani Leonis
sole dies referente siccos; 20

iam pastor umbras cum grege languido
riuomque fessus quaerit et horridi
dumeta Siluani caretque
ripa uagis taciturna uentis.

Tu ciuitatem quis deceat status 25
curas et urbi sollicitus times
quid Seres et regnata Cyro
Bactra parent Tanaisque discors.

Prudens futuri temporis exitum
caliginosa nocte premit deus 30
ridetque, si mortalis ultra
fas trepidat. Quod adest memento

componere aequus; cetera fluminis
ritu feruntur, nunc medio aequore
cum pace delabentis Etruscum 35
in mare, nunc lapides adesos

stirpisque raptas et pecus et domos
uolentis una, non sine montium
clamore uicinaeque siluae,
cum fera diluuies quietos 40

inritat amnis. Ille potens sui
laetusque deget cui licet in diem
dixisse: 'Vixi': cras uel atra
nube polum Pater occupato

uel sole puro; non tamen inritum, 45
quodcumque retro est, efficiet neque
diffinget infectumque reddet
quod fugiens semel hora uexit.

Fortuna saeuo laeta negotio et
ludum insolentem ludere pertinax 50
transmutat incertos honores,
nunc mihi, nunc alii benigna.

Laudo manentem; si celeris quatit
pinnas, resigno quae dedit et mea
uirtute me inuoluo probamque 55
pauperiem sine dote quaero.

Non est meum, si mugiat Africis
malus procellis, ad miseras preces
decurrere et uotis pacisci,
ne Cypriae Tyriaeque merces

addant auaro diuitias mari;
tunc me biremis praesidio scaphae
tutum per Aegaeos tumultus
aura feret geminusque Pollux.


And now 'tis done: more durable than brass
My monument shall be, and raise its head
O'er royal pyramids: it shall not dread
Corroding rain or angry Boreas,
Nor the long lapse of immemorial time.
I shall not wholly die: large residue
Shall 'scape the queen of funerals. Ever new
My after fame shall grow, while pontiffs climb
With silent maids the Capitolian height.
"Born," men will say, "where Aufidus is loud,
Where Daunus, scant of streams, beneath him bow'd
The rustic tribes, from dimness he wax'd bright,
First of his race to wed the Aeolian lay
To notes of Italy." Put glory on,
My own Melpomene, by genius won,
And crown me of thy grace with Delphic bay.

Exegi Monumentum.

Exegi monumentum aere perennius
regalique situ pyramidum altius,
quod non imber edax, non Aquilo inpotens
possit diruere aut innumerabilis
annorum series et fuga temporum. 5
Non omnis moriar multaque pars mei
uitabit Libitinam; usque ego postera
crescam laude recens, dum Capitolium
scandet cum tacita uirgine pontifex.
Dicar, qua uiolens obstrepit Aufidus 10
et qua pauper aquae Daunus agrestium
regnauit populorum, ex humili potens
princeps Aeolium carmen ad Italos
deduxisse modos. Sume superbiam
quaesitam meritis et mihi Delphica 15
lauro cinge uolens, Melpomene, comam.

Odes Introduction | Odes Book I | Odes Book II | Odes Book III | Odes Book IV

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