Odes of Horace
WILLIAM HATHORN MILLS, M. A.
LBDEMB STREET & ZEUS COMPANY
BY WILLIAM HATHORN MILLS
Reprinted January 1934
V\7ILLIAM HATHORN MILLS was
** born at Orton Waterville, near Peter-
borough, England, on April 28, 1848. He
was educated at Haileybury School and
Pembroke College, Cambridge, of which he
was a Foundation Scholar, and Prizeman in
1867 for the best composition in Latin Verse.
He took an honor degree in the Classical
Tripos of 1870.
He was headmaster of Ruthin Grammar
School from 1875 to 1881, and continued his
scholastic work in Louth until 1895.
He was vicar of Kelstern 1892-95, rector
of Hackthorn 1895-1902, rector of North
Thoresby 1902-8, and rector of Rand 1908-9.
Thereafter, owing to poor health, he was
compelled to spend much of his time in a
milder climate than that of England, and in
1913 came to California to visit his son, Dr.
H. W. Mills. The climate suiting him per-
fectly, he ultimately made it his home. He
died at San Bernardino, California, on Sep-
tember 29, 1923, from angina pectoris.
He was the author of many books of
poetry, the best known of which are "Bal-
lads of Hellas" (first published in 1878 and
reprinted in 1922), "Calif ornica," "An Old
Man's Musings," "War Ballads and Verses,"
and a metrical translation of the Odes of
Requiescat in Pace.
Stet Capita Hum
WHETHER he sings of high romance,
Or hymns the everlasting Sire,
Or suits his lay to choral dance,
Or scourges forms of base desire,
Or paints the lady of his choice,
Horace is still a living Voice.
Your sweetly smiling Lalage,
Whose spirit turned a wolf to flight,
Your little farm by Tivoli,
Bandusia's fountain crystal -bright,
Your haunts, your hospitalities
Horace, theyVe all before our eyes.
Orbilius flogged you when at school;
You have our fullest sympathy,
For we remember a ferule,
That smote us oft and lustily;
Would it had gotten into us
A measure of your genius.
You sang how Regulus put aside
The crowds encumbering his return,
Refused his wife's kiss, and denied
Her plea with answer curt and stern;
"Rome must be saved; let cowards die"
We hear it yet that haught reply.
How Paulus and how Cato died,
Too staunch to fly, too proud to yield;
How stout Marcellus turned the tide
Of war in many a foughten field;
How yeomen played heroic parts
You've stamped it all upon our hearts.
They left their farms to fight; they braved
All pains of death; and, if they fell,
What mattered it, so Rome were saved?
Her weal safeguarded, all was well.
The State must stand, tho' men may die
That was Old Rome's philosophy.
You made them household words the names
Of those who fought and fell for Rome
And you your memory lives, and claims
Place at their side in every home;
Your bones lie on a Roman hill,
Horace, but you are with us still.
HORACE had many themes ; his rimes
At times clomb Helicon's peak; at times
His Muse just sported;
He sang of Gods, of mighty men,
Of wines, of rustic joys, of ten
Damsels he courted.
Jt seems he had a lot of flames
From first to last ; his list of names
Is gey an' long;
Were they real living demoiselles,
Or quite imaginary belles
Just pegs for song?
Some anyhow were real, and two
Adorned, as gentle souls and true,
The kindly Cinara rapt, alas!
From earth untimely and the lass
In the preparation of these versions I consulted with
advantage Mr. Page's abbreviated edition of Horace.
But my debt of debts was to my memories of the days
when I sat at the feet of Arthur Gray Butler, Head-
Master of Haileybury School in the early Sixties.
My thanks are also due to several friends whose
encouragements have helped me to carry on the work
I had begun a somewhat arduous undertaking for a
septuagenarian in particular, to Professor L. J. Rich-
ardson, of the University of California, and Mr. J. C.
Rowell, Librarian Emeritus of the University Library.
Three of the Odes I did not care to translate, and have
therefore omitted them. W. H. M.
Od. 1. 1
AECENAS, heir of ancient kings, my heart's dear
pride, my guardian :
In chariot-races some delight to gather dust Olympian,
Whom post, just missed by glowing wheels, and victory's
Make gods on earth ; thjs man exults if fickle mobs lift
him on high,
With threefold honours; that, if Libya's produce fills
Attalic wealth would never move one, glad to hoe his
To plough, a frightened mariner, in Cyprian galley,
The merchant, scared by Afric's war with waves
Home's rural ease, but soon refits, unused to want, his
There's one who scorns not Massic old, nor hours
snatched from the working day,
Stretched 'neath green arbutus, or where some sacred
fount's rills softly play.
Full many love what mothers hate, wars, camps, horns'
scream, and trumpets' blare.
The hunter keen, young bride forgot, still lingers in
the chilly air,
When his good hounds have viewed a hind or Marsian
boar has burst his nets'
Strong toils. Me ivy, meed of brows poetic, 'mid the
high Gods sets.
Me the cool grove, and fleet Nymphs trooped with
Satyrs, sever from the throng,
If but Euterpe's flutes, and sweet Polymnia's harp,
cease not their song.
Rank me with lyric bards; my head shall smite the
stars, their choirs among.
ENOUGH of snow and hailstones dire
The Sire has scattered, and with red
Right hand has hurled his bolts of fire
On sacred heights; then cowered in dread
City and nations, lest the time
When portents strange made Pyrrha plain,
And Porteus bade his sea-herds climb
High mountains, should return again :
When in the elm-tops roosting place
To doves familiar in their haste
Entangled, hung the fishy race,
And scared hinds swam the watery waste.
Tiber we saw, with fierce back-wash
Of tawny waves from Tuscany's
Banksides, upon his way to crash
King's works, and Vesta's sanctuaries.
Proclaiming vengeance for the fate
Of Ilia, too-complaining still,
He crossed his eastern marge in spate,
Uxorious stream, despite Jove's will.
Our youth, by parents' vices thinned,
Shall hear of swords, that better far
Had smote the Mede, by kin unkinned
Whetted, alas ! for impious war.
What God should Rome invoke to stay
The ruin of our empire's weal?
What prayers should sacred Virgins pray
To Vesta, deaf to their appeal?
To whom will Jove assign the part
Of expiation? Come at length,
With aureoled shoulders, thou, who art
Augur of augurs, in thy strength,
Phoebus, we pray. Or, if it please
Thee, smiling Erycina, come
With Love and Laughter; or, if these
Thy children, Mars the race of Rome
So long forgot, are still thy care,
Quit war's too-wearying game, what tho*
Thou lov'st shouts, helms, and fiery glare
Of Moorish kern at blood-stained foe.
Or if, transformed, thou art content
Maia's winged Son, to image now
Young manhood, named, with thy consent,
Caesar's avenger O come thou !
Slow to return to heaven, prolong
Among Quirinus' folk thy stay;
No breeze upbear thee, by the wrong
We do provoked, too soon away.
That men should call the Chief .and Sire
Choose that ; with triumphs cheer thy heart
And let thy rule's avenging ire,
Caesar, make Parthia's horsemen smart.
Od. 1. 3
FOR this may Cyprus' Goddess-Queen, and Helens
And the winds' Sire, releasing but lapyx from his
O ship, whose ward our Virgil is, direct your course
So, landing him on Attic shore, my being's half
His breast was armed with triple bronze and oak,
who to rude seas
First trusted his frail bark, nor feared squalls of
Battling it out with Aquilo, nor rainy Hyades,
Nor Notus, arbiter whose will bids Hadria sink or
What death feared he, who saw dry-eyed the monsters
of the deep;
Saw the rough main, the Thunder-Heights of
If impious galleons none the less o'er waves forbidden
In vain Heaven's wisdom parted lands by Ocean's
Bold to endure all things, mankind rushed thro' all
Prometheus bold brought fire to earth by fraud
Soon as the fire had left its heaven, strange fevers
Swooped on the world, and death till then a distant
doom and late
Quickened its steps. Thus Daedalus, with wings to man
Tempted the void air ; Hercules by toil broke
Naught is too hard for mortal men, who seek in
The skies : whose sin forbids Jove's ire to put his
Od. 1. 4
NOW loosed is Winter's cruel grip; now Spring and
Bring welcome change; the windlass hauls dry keels
down to the sea;
No longer stalls make glad the herds, no longer fires
the hind ;
No longer stand the meadows white with hoar-frost's
Beneath the moon now Cytherean Venus leads her
Graces and Nymphs, a comely troop, ring hand in
hand their ring;
Now this, now that, foot beats the ground; while
Glow, as fierce Vulcan fans the flames, and bids the
Now is it well to twine trim locks with myrtle, or
Brought forth by fields, now thawed, as from a store
of treasures hid;
Now is it well to sacrifice to Faunus, in dim bowers
Of shady groves, a lamb maybe, or, if he will, a kid.
Marching with step impartial, Death's pale Presence
raps its call
At doors of rich and poor alike. Wealth, Sestius,
But life's brief span cuts short the range of hope
for one and all;
And even now a gloom of night and storied Manes
O'er you, and Pluto's shadowy halls expect your shade
Once there, no longer shall you cast the dice to
Shall rule the feast, nor count young Lycidas a
Whom all the lads now worship and the lasses soon
WfHAT scent-besprinkled stripling lad,
Pyrrha, would win your favour, where
Some grotto smiles with roses clad?
For whom bind you your golden hair,
Simple, yet dainty? Soon he'll weep,
How oft ! changed troth, changed deities,
And marvel, as the wind-lashed deep
Darkens, and threats his startled eyes,
Who in his folly counts you now
All gold, and hopes that free for aye
And kind you'll be, unwitting how
Your favours cheat. Unhappy they
On whom you smile untried. For me,
His temple-wall and tablet show
That to the God, who rules the sea,
I hung my drenched robes long ago.
Od. 1. 6
BY Varius, bird of Homer's strain,
Shall you be sung as hero wight,
Leader on land or on the main
Of troops victorious in the fight.
But we, Agrippa, may not tell
Your feats, nor staunch Achilles' wrath,
Nor chant the house of Pelops fell,
Nor sly Ulysses' sea-tossed path.
Too weak our strength for paean-hymn,
While honour, and a Muse who sways
A peaceful lyre, forbid to dim
Your fame and Caesar's with poor praise.
Mars mailed in adamant, Tydeus' son,
By Pallas matched with Gods in might,
And, black with dust of Ilion,
Meriones what pen could write
Of these? We tell of banquets; we
Sing lasses making fierce onset
On lads with pared nails, fancy-free,
Or, if love-fired, light-hearted yet.
Od. I. 7
HODES, Mytilene, Ephesus, or Corinth set where
two seas foam,
Thessalian Tempe, Bacchus' Thebes, or Delphi, seat
of Phoebus' pride,
Others shall sing. Some only care to hymn chaste
Pallas' Attic home,
From first to last, and crown their brows with olives
plucked from every side.
In Juno's honour, most will tell of Argos' steeds,
Me Sparta staunch, Larisa's plains, never so thrilled
Albuna's fount, and Anio's rush, orchards and groves
of Tibur's wold.
And restless rills. As Notus oft clears darkened
skies, nor loves to bring
Perpetual rains, so be you wise, Plancus, to drown life's
care and grief
In mellow wine, where ensigns light your camp, or
'neath your Tibur's shade.
Banished from Salamis and sire, yet Teucer bound
His wine-moist brows, and bade his friends, a
sorrowing crowd, be undismayed.
"Whithersoever fate more kind than sire shall lead
us, friends, we'll fare;
None may despair, where Teucer guides and guards:
Apollo's truth has sworn
That a new Salamis shall rise elsewhere; with wine
now banish care;
Worse things we've known, brave hearts ; once more
we'll plough the main tomorrow morn."
Od. I. 8
COME, Lydia, tell me why by all
The Gods I beg you you would lure
By love young Sybaris to his fall :
Why now he hates, who could endure
Sunshine and dust, the Field, nor rides,
In soldier's guise, among his peers:
Nor with toothed bit controls and guides
His Gallic steed's mouth; aye, and fears
Tiber. Why would he sooner risk
Venom than oil, who never now
Bears bruises, marks of strain of disc,
Or javelin, thrown a winning throw?
Why lies he hid, as Thetis' son
Lay hid ere Troy's sad fall, they say,
Lest man's attire should speed him on,
With Lycia's troops, to join the fray?
Od. I. 9
SEE you how white Soracte's hill
Stands in deep snow: how forests bow,
Strained by their burden; how the chill
Of frost has stayed the rivers' flow?
Break up the cold ; pile more and more
Logs on the hearth ; from your Sabine
Jar's depths, O Thaliarchus, pour
More generous draughts of ripe old wine.
Leave to the Gods all else; when they
Have lulled the storms whose battles thresh
The ocean into boiling spray,
Naught frets cypress and aged ash.
Ask not the morrow's good or ill ;
Reckon it gain however chance
May shape each day; scorn not, while still
A boy, sweet loves ; scorn not the dance.
Life in its Spring, and crabbed eld
Far off that is the time; then hey
For Park, Square, whispered concerts held
At a set hour at close of day :
For the sweet laugh whose soft alarm
Tells in what nook the maid lies hid :
For the love-token snatched from arm,
Of fingers that but half-forbid.
GRANDSON of Atlas eloquent,
Mercury, skilful to refine
Primaeval manners insolent
By speech and seemly discipline
Thee will I sing, of mighty Jove
Herald and of the gods, whose deft
Hand bent the lyre; adept, for love
Of fun, to steal and hide the theft.
Phoebus once threatened thee unless
His stolen beeves returned anon
Ah, naughty boy! scolded thee, yes,
Yet laughed his quiver too had gone.
With thee for guide rich Priam made
His way unseen past Atreus' sons,
Past Phthian fires, thro' the blockade
Of Troy-beleaguering legions.
Kind souls find under thy convoy
Blest homes ; thy gold wand's waving gleam
Shepherds the shades who art the joy
Of gods inferne and gods supreme.
SEEK not to know such search were sin what
Of life the Gods, who rule our lives, have fixed for
you and me,
Nor try the tables that sum up Babel's astrology.
'Twere better how far better! to endure the utter-
Whether Jove grants more winters, or this brings a
That breaks the strength of waves that lash the rock-
bound Tuscan coast.
Be wise ; strain wines ; curtail far hopes to fit short
E'en while we speak time, grudging time, has fled;
Each day, and trust the morrow's grace as little as
Od. 1. 12
CLIO, what man's, what hero's, fame
Art fain with shrill-toned pipe to sing,
Or lyre; what god's that so his name,
Flung back by echo's laugh, shall ring
Or in the shades of Helicon,
Or upon Pindus' heights, or chill
Haemus, whence woods swept blindly on
At tuneful Orpheus' heels, whose skill,
His mother's grace, made his art strong
To stay torrent and hurricane
Made it a charm to draw along
The listening oaks that heard his strain?
Whose praise shall sooner claim my song
Than his, whom gods and men obey:
Whose seasons spin the world along,
Above, below, with tempering sway?
Naught greater than himself proceeds
From him ; naught next his being is,
Or like it; yet her mighty deeds
Give Pallas nearest rank to his.
I will not let thy prowess go,
Liber, unsung no, nor thy fame,
O Virgin huntress, nor thy bow,
Phoebus, whose shafts miss not their aim.
Alcides too, and Leda's sons
Famed cavalier, famed pugilist
I'll hymn to mariners twin suns
Of hope, for tumbling breakers whist,
Soon as their white stars shine, and fall
Back from the rocks ; rude tempests cease ;
Clouds flee; waves' threats subside, and all
Since such their will, is calm and peace.
What name comes next? I hesitate
Romulus, Numa's quiet sway,
Proud Tarquin's tyranny, Cato's fate
The death that is his fame for aye?
Regulus, Scaurus, Paulus wight,
All reckless of his mighty soul
When Carthage won, in words of light
Grateful I'll set on honour's roll.
Fabricius, Curius unshorn,
Camillus these stern penury
Reared, sons of toil, and yeomen-born,
To be true sons of chivalry.
As thro' unnoticed ages grows
The tree, so grows Marcellus* fame
As moon 'mid lesser lights, so glows
The Julian star with brightest flame.
Father and guardian of our race,
Great Saturn's son, Fate gives to thee
Charge of great Caesar ; of thy grace,
Reign thou; let him vicegerent be.
Whether he breaks their threats and leads
In well-won triumph Parthia's hosts,
Or smites Seric and, Indian breeds,
Who dwell below the Orient's coasts,
Beneath thee let him rule the world
In justice, while thy ponderous car
Shakes heaven, and while thy lightnings hurled
On unchaste groves make holy war.
Od. 1. 13
Lydia, you praise the waxen arms
And rosy neck of Telephus,
Ah, then my heart swells with the fierce alarms
Of jealousy tumultuous.
Then reels my brain ; my colour comes and goes ;
Adown my cheeks tears steal and stray
Proofs of my inward anguish with what throes,
What smouldering fires, I dwine away.
Aye, for I burn when quarrels fired by wine
Have marred your shoulders' argentry;
When your mad lover's teeth have set their sign
Upon your lips an infamy.
You would not hope, if but to me you list,
To keep him yours' whose brute offence
Scars lips on which Venus herself has kissed
Her grace her nectar's quintessence.
Thrice happy they, and more than thrice, by bond
Unbroken linked, whose union
A love, uplift all bickerings beyond,
Shall bind until life's day is done.
SHIP of the State, new waves will bear
Thee back to sea. What doest thou ? Fight
To make the port; thy sides are bare
Of oars ah, seest thou not thy plight?
Sprung by the swift South wind thy mast
And sail-yards groan; thy straining back,
Unfrapped by ropes, can scarce outlast
The sea's too tyrannous attack.
Thy sails are all unsound ; thou hast
No gods whose guardiance thou mayst claim,
When swept by some fresh tempest-blast;
What tho' thou boasted race and fame,
As Pontic pine, and nobly born,
Gay poops bring mariners no cheer;
Beware lest thou become a scorn
A laughing-stock for winds to jeer.
Of late didst vex and tire my soul;
Now dear, dost still disturb my ease;
Prithee, avoid the seas that roll
Between the shining Cyclades.
WHAT time the treacherous shepherd o'er the deep
In Mysian bark his hostess Helen bare,
Then Nereus lulled the stormy winds" to sleep
Unwelcome, that he might, as seer, declare
His doom. "With evil omens home you take
Her, whom the armies of the Hellene name,
Sworn to lay waste Priam's old realm, and break
Your marriage-bond, shall, as one man, reclaim.
Ah me, what agonies threat man and steed!
What mischiefs for the Dardan race what dire
Ruin you stir! Pallas, to meet the need,
Gets ready helm, shield, chariots, battle-ire.
In vain, as counting Venus your ally,
You'll comb your locks and to lute's peaceful strain
Sing songs that women love ; in vain you'll fly
In nuptial room arrows of Gnossian cane,
And deadly spears, the battle's stour and boom,
The swift pursuit of Ajax all in vain
Your flights; for spite of all, tho' late your doom,
Your locks adulterous with dust you'll stain.
See you not on your trail Laertes' son,
Bane of your race, and Nestor, Pylos' sage?
Teucer of Salamis presses hard upon
Your heels, and Sthenelus, well skilled to wage
War, or, if steeds need rule, keen charioteer,
A dauntless pair. Aye, and you'll learn to know
Meriones. More than his sire's peer,
Lo, Diomede hunts you, raging, even now :
Whom you as a scared stag flies soon as he
Has spied a wolf, crouched on the vale's far side,
Herbage forgot with panting gasps will flee.
Not this the life you promised to your bride.
The day of doom for Troy and Phrygian dames
Achilles' angry warships will delay.
After fixed winters' term, Achaian flames
Shall waste the homes of Ilion for aye."
Od. 1. 16
O FAIRER than your mother fair,
Put whatsoever end you please
To my lampoons no matter where,
In furnace or in Hadria's seas.
Not Dindymene no, nor he
Who sits upon his Pythian seat
So shakes priests' souls with ecstacy;
Not Liber ; not so fiercely beat
Their cymbals Corybants, as grim ire
Rages ; which fears nor Noric steel,
Nor wreckstrewn sea, nor savage fire,
Nor Jove's down-rush with flash and peal.
Prometheus, forced to add a part
Cut from each creature to our clay
Primaeval, grafted on our heart
T~ A mad lion's might so legends say.
Passions once laid Thyestes low
In ruin, and have come to be
Root-cause of utter overthrow
To lofty cities, presently
Ploughed under by some haughty foe.
Restrain your wrath; me, too, alas!
A hot heart tempted long ago,
In life's sweet youth ; mad that I was,
I dashed off libels. Courtesy,
Not rudeness, now shall be my part,
If but, my taunts withdrawn, you'll be
My friend, and give me back your heart.
Od. 1. 17
LEAVING Lycaeus oft for sweet
Lucretilis, swift Faunus fends
Off rainy winds and summer's heat
Ever, and thus my goats befriends.
They seek, as thro' safe woods they rove
These wives of a malodorous spouse
Arbutus lurking in the grove,
And thyme, unscathed ; my kidlings browse
Fearless of Mars' wolves and green snakes,
What time, my Tyndaris, you bring
Your pipe that wakes the vales, and makes
Ustica's smooth escarpment ring.
Gods guard me; to the Gods are dear
My Muse, my piety; the land's
Honours its outpoured wealth shall here
From horn benignant fill your hands.
Here, in some far glen's sanctuary
From Dog-Star's heat, to Teian strain
You'll tell of chaste Penelope
And Circe bright, striving amain
For one man's love. Here 'neath the trees
Shall you drink cups from harmless jars
Of Lesbian ; nor shall Semele's
Thyoneus mix up brawls with Mars.
Nor shall you fear the wantonness
Of Cyrus, lest he rudely tear,
Poor little innocent, your dress,
And chaplet clinging to your hair.
Od. 1. 18
SEE, VARUS, that you plant no tree before the sacred
About our Tibur's kindly soil, where Catilus of eld
Founded his town, for Heaven has willed that all who
hate good wine
Should suffer, and not otherwise are gnawing cares
Who, after wine, on war's distress or poverty wastes
Is not his talk of Bacchus and of Venus' loveliness?
And yet the fight, fought over cups by Centaurs to the
With Lapithae, bids none exceed the bounds of
There's warning too in Euhius' wrath against the sots
When drunkards make their lusts the law defining
Wrong and Right.
I'll not abuse, bright Bassareus, by tempting thee, thy
Nor drag the things, by leaves concealed as mys-
teries, to light.
Stay the fierce horns, the timbrels dear to Cybele, that
Blind Love of Self self-blinded self-idolatry and
The Vanity that all too high uplifts its empty head,
And faithless Faith that publishes what glass itself
Od. 1. 19
THE cruel mother of the Loves, and Theban Semele's
And sportive License call me back to wars I fought
in bygone days.
It fires that sheen of Glycera's grace, more purely
bright than Parian stone!
It fires her pretty petulance : her face that dazzles
eyes that gaze!
Venus has flung herself on me from Cyprus, nor would
have me sing
Of Parthian fighting as he flies, of Scyths, of things
that matter not.
Place me a live turf here, my boys, vervain and
incense; aye, and bring
Two-year old wine. A victim slain, she'll come in
gentler mood, I wot.
Od. I. 20
WINE of a common Sabine brand
In moderate cups your thirst shall slake
Wine stored and sealed by my own hand
In an old jar of Grecian make,
When from the theatre rang out
Your praise, dear knight Maecenas, till
Your native banks returned the shout,
And echoes laughed from Vatican hill.
Then wine from a Calenian press,
And Caecuban, shall cheer your soul ;
Falernian grapes, I must confess,
And Formian, temper not my bowl.
YOUNG maidens, sing Diana's might;
Sing, boys, of Cynthius ever-young;
Of Leto, too, the heart's delight
Of Jove supreme, be anthems sung.
Sing, maidens, how Diana loves
Streams and the forest's leafery,
Or of dark Erymanthus' groves,
Or where green Cragus towers on high.
Praise Tempe, boys, and Delos where
Phoebus was born, with lay for lay;
Sing how his quivered shoulders bear
His brother's lyre, in twin display.
From princely Caesar and our State,
Moved by your prayer, he shall expel
War, famine, plague sad dooms of fate
To lands where Mede and Briton dwell.
Od. I. 22
WHOSE life is whole and pure of sin,
He needs no Moorish javelin,
Fuscus, nor bow, nor quiver-load
Of poisoned arrows for the road :
Whether he wills to voyage o'er
The boiling Syrtes, or explore
Rude Caucasus, or tracts untrod,
Washed by Hydaspes' storied flood.
For in a Sabine wood one day
I sang of Lalage; away
Went all my cares ; I wandered free ;
A wolf saw me, and fled from me,
Nor harmed me such a monster as
Oak-groves of warlike Daunias
Breed not, and Juba's land may nurse
Lions, but rears not such a curse.
Set me where some dead desert sees
No tree refreshed by summer breeze
A quarter of the world that lies
In mists beneath unkindly skies :
Set me beneath the too near car
Of Phoebus, where no dwellings are,
Yet will I love my Lalage
Her sweet laugh, her sweet causerie. <,
Od. I. 23
CHLOE, you always fly from me
Just like a fawn, that heedlessly
Has lost, and seeks to find
On pathless hills its mother dear,
With many a vain and empty fear
Of leaves and whispering wind.
For whether the glad month of May
Has brought its frolic winds to play
And rustle thro' the trees,
Or lizards green have pushed their way
Thro' bramble-bushes, as they stray,
It quakes in heart and knees.
Yet my pursuit of you is not
That of a tigress fierce, or what
A desert lion's rage
Threatens; you need your mother's care
No longer, Chloe, for you are
Of marriageable age.
WHAT thought of shame could bound our fond
For one so dear? Melpomene, whose cithern
And liquid voice are of the Sire Eterne,
Prompt us a dirge to pay our sorrow's debt.
What, can it be that on Quintilius weighs
Eternal sleep? Ah, who shall find his peer?
Good Faith and Right, twin sisters, Truth sincere,
And Honour can they ever match his praise?
True souls how many! wept his untimely end;
None more than you, my Virgil, who with vain
Prayers claim him of the high Gods, and complain
That not thus was he given you as a friend.
But even, if, with more persuasive art
Than Thracian Orpheus ever owned, you swayed
A lyre that trees obeyed, the empty shade
Would nevermore feel life-blood thrill its heart,
That Mercury, too deaf to hear our cry,
And roll back fate, has grimly waved below
To his dark flock. 'Tis hard; yet, even so,
Patience can ease what naught can remedy.
Od. I. 26
THE Muses' friend, I'll cast all fear
And grief to wanton winds, to bear
Where Cretan billows roll,
Utterly careless what dread king
Rules 'neath the cold North, or what thing
Frights Tiridates* soul.
O thou, to whom fresh springs are dear,
Nymph of Pimplea's fountain clear,
Weave of thy grace a wreath;
Weave it for Lamia, my friend;
Weave it of sunny flowers that blend
Thy sweetness with their breath.
Honours that I can pay are naught,
Apart from thee the gracious thought
That tunes my new cithern;
Bid it with Lesbian quill the gift
Were worthy thee and thine uplift
This man to life eterne.
Od. I. 27
TO fight with goblets is a Thracian game;
For pleasure were they made for jollity;
Out on the barbarous custom ! Do not shame
With bloody brawls good Liber's modesty.
'Twixt Persian glaive and banquets brightly lit,
What an enormous gap ! Gap let it rest.
Stay, friends, your impious noise ; away with it,
And keep your elbows to your cushions prest.
What, am I too to drink a share today
Of strong Falernian? Then let yon boy,
Opuntian Megilla's brother, say
What wound, what shaft, has been his fatal joy.
Unwilling are you? Well, not otherwise
Will I turn toper. Whatsoever Queen
You serve, she will not smirch you in our eyes,
For, if your love be wrong, it is not mean.
Come, trust your secret to safe ears and true.
Ah, hapless one, what an abyss of shame,
What a Charybdis, had inveigled you,
Poor boy and you worthy a better flame!
What witch, what wizard, with Thessalian drugs,
What God, will have the power to set you free?
Scarcely from this threefold Chimaera's hugs
Will Pegasus win you your liberty.
"VOU measured ocean, earth, sands numberless,
* Archytas; now a little dust bestowed
Upon your ashes keeps you in duress
By Matine shore ; nor boots it that you rode
In spirit thro' the skies, and clomb the vault
Of heaven, for you were bound to die at last.
So too died Pelops' sire, tho' guest exalt
Of Gods; so into air Tithonus passed;
So Minos too, Jove's confidant; and so
Panthous' son in Tartarus yet stays
Perforce, to Orcus sent again, what tho'
The shield he claimed witnessed his Trojan days
Black death had naught of him but skin and nerves,
Who to your mind was an exponent high
Of Nature's truths. Once and for ever serves
Death's path; one night waits all humanity.
Others the Furies give to glad Mars' eyes ;
The greedy sea on sailors' bones is fed;
Old lives and young make one long sacrifice ;
Persephone never spared a single head.
Me too slew Notus on the Illyrian sea
Notus of prone Orion comrade swift.
But you, O sailor, grudge not churlishly
My bones and head unburied a small gift
Of shifting sand. So may you ever be
Safe, tho' Venusia's woods be tempest-struck;
However Eurus threat the Western sea:
And Jove, its fount, grant you good meed of luck,
And Neptune, blest Tarentum's sure defence.
Think you it were a little thing to do
A deed would hurt your children's innocence?
Nay, on yourself may fall the vengeance due,
And haught requital. Not in vain I pray;
No expiation will your debt release;
Your haste, I guess, will brook this slight delay;
Cast but three casts of dust; then go in peace.
WHAT, Iccius? Is your heart now set
On Arabs' wealth, and would you wage
On Saba's kings, untamed as yet,
Fierce wars, and curb the Parthians' rage
By shackles? What barbarian fair,
Her lover slain, your beck shall bide?
What boy, from palace brought, with hair
Perfumed, shall stand your cup beside,
Once trained to bend the Seric bow,
His father bent? Who could deny
That up steep mounts rivers may flow,
And Tiber turn back, when you try
To change for Spanish mail books bought
On all sides visions high of truth,
By Stoics and Socratics taught,
And break the promise of your youth?
OF Cnidos and of Paphos Queen,
From thy loved Cypros, Venus, come,
And make the shrine, that Glycera's bene
And incense offer thee, thy home.
Bring too thy Codling of the heart,
Graces ungirt, thy company
Of Nymphs, and Youth, that lacks apart
From thee all charm, and Mercury.
Od. I. 31
WHAT does his bard ask of divine
Apollo in his new-built fane?
What as he pours cups of new wine?
Not rich Sardinia's wealth of grain :
Not India's gold or ivory:
Not hot Calabria's pastures, gay
With herds : not lands where quietly
Still Liris frets its silent way.
Let those, whose luck it is to own
Calenian vineyards, prune their vines,
That so some merchant of renown
May drink from golden cups their wines,
For Syrian wares. Heaven's favourite, he,
Because, forsooth, three times a year,
Or four, he sails successfully
The Atlantic main. I have for cheer
My olives, chicory, mallows light.
Grant me, Apollo, for the rest,
Contentment, health, sound wits and bright,
An honoured eld, by music blest.
T I 'HEY bid us sing. If aught, my lyre,
* We two have played in shelters dim,
Idly, come, prompt a Latin hymn,
Of which the years shall never tire.
Thee first the Lesbian, bold in war,
Tuned, who, as battles came and passed,
Or oft as he had moored at last
His storm-tossed bark on the wet shore,
Would sing of Liber, and the wise
Muses, of Venus, to whose arm
Ever the Boy clings, of the charm
Of Lycus' dark hair and dark eyes.
Pride of Apollo's heart, and dear
To Jove at banquets, solace blest
Of toil, whene'er I make request
Aright, be kind, my lyre, and hear.
Od. I. 33
THAT, Albius, too bitter memories
Of Glycera's unkindness may not break
Your heart, and prompt too mournful elegies
Telling why, for some younger lover's sake,
Her faith is falsed, think how Lycoris, fair
With narrow brows, for Cyrus burns, while he
Turns to coy Pholoe; but roes will pair
Sooner with wolves Apulian, than will she
Sin for a lover whom she reckons vile.
So wills it Venus she, whose bronzen yoke
Joins forms and souls unequal all the while.
Aye, such her will, and such her cruel joke!
As for myself, what time a better fate
Sought me, I was enthralled by Myrtale,
The freedwoman a soul more passionate
Than waves that fret Calabria Hadria's sea.
Od. I. 34 .
A CHARY worshipper of Gods and rare,
When, expert in a mad philosophy,
I strayed, now must I put about, and bear
Up for the port I left, and once more try
Forsaken paths; for the Sky- Father, who
Is wont to part the thunder-clouds on high
With lightnings, lately drove thro' heaven's clear blue
His thundering steeds and flying car, whereby
The sluggish earth and wandering rivers, aye,
And Styx, and the abominable Hoe
Of Taenarus, and Atlas, boundary
Of the wide world, staggered, reel to and fro.
God can change heights for depths : can lower the
And raise the mean ; as Harpy on the wing,
From this man's head Fortune, with hurtlings loud,
Snatches his crown, to crown another king.
Od. I. 35
GODDESS, who rulest Antium dear:
Who can'st from lowest depths uplift
Mortals, or change, by sudden shift,
Triumphal car to funeral bier,
Thee the poor rustic courts with bene
Urgent; who dares Carpathian sea
In bark Bithynian, worships thee,
Whoe'er he be, as Ocean's Queen.
States, cities, Latium's chivalry,
Fierce Dacian, nomad Scythian,
Mothers of kings barbarian,
Empurpled monarchs, bow to thee,
Lest in the dust thy proud foot lay
The Column of the State, and cry
Of thronging crowds bid laggards fly
To arms ! To arms ! and break their sway.
Before thee stalks stern Destiny;
Her bronzen hands hold grapples dread,
And beam-like nails, and molten lead,
And wedges fate's machinery.
Hope loves thee; aye, and clothed in white,
Faith, a rare Grace, nor quits thy side
Whene'er in wrath from homes of pride,
With changed attire, thou takest flight.
But faithless crowd, and perjured quean,
Fall back, and when the cask is dry,
But for its dregs, friends fickle fly,
To share the yoke too false, too mean.
Keep Caesar safe, what time he goes
To Britain, at the world's end set,
And our new levies, raised to threat
The Indian seas and Eastern foes.
Shame on the scars set upon kin
By kin ! An iron age, what have we
Held sacred what impiety
Left unattempted? From what sin
Has fear of Heaven made Rome's youth flee?
What altars has it spared? Anneal
In a new forge our blunted steel,
For Arabs and Massagetae.
\\7lTH incense, lyre, and votive calf, will we
W Gladly appease the Gods of Numida
The Guardian Presences, whose ministry
Has brought him safe from far Hesperia.
Full many a kiss he shares with trusty feres ;
With Lamia most of all, remembering
How, in the long-ago of boyhood's years,
One leader led them both one school-boy king ;
And how they donned their togas side by side.
Let the fair day be marked with whitest chalk;
Let the broached amphora not grudge its pride,
And at the Salian romp let no foot baulk.
Nor let that toper, Damalis, surpass
Bassus at swallowing cupfuls Thracian-wise ;
Let roses, lilies, too short-lived, alas !
And parsley green, grace the festivities.
All eyes will yearn for Damalis, but she
To her new paramour will stick, I wot :
Clinging to him as ivy clings to tree
Tendrils, whose clasp is as a lovers' knot.
Od.1.37 .../ .
THUMPERS ! Let free foot beat the earth f
*-* To drink, dance, honour the sublime
Gods' seats with Salian feasts and mirth
Comrades, for this 'tis time, high time.
Ere this it had been sin to bring
Caecuban from forbears' store-room,
While the mad queen was purposing
Our Capitol's fall, our empire's doom.
She with her eunuch-horde, infect
With foul disease, in her mad pride,
Drunk with good fortune, could expect
Anything. But her madness died
When of her battleships scarce one
Escaped the flames, and Caesar's near
Pursuit pressed her, and stamped upon
Her wine-besotted brain true fear.
His triremes, as she fled, gave chase, . :
As falcon stoops to dove, as fleet . :
Hunter hunts hares in wintry Thrace, . .-. .-':
To catch and chain, in vengeance meet, . :
This fateful monster. Ah, but she ; ; .
Claimed nobler death, nor feared the, sword.
With woman's fear, nor secretly , .
Sailed off some distant coast toward. - :
She saw her home in ruins laid, .. ,
Nor trembled ; resolute to take . . ,
Its deadly poison, unafraid .
She grasped and held the deadly snake.. . ...
The prouder for her will to die,
She grudged Rome's ships, this haughty dame,
That she, paraded to Rome's eye
A discrowned queen, should flaunt Rome's fame.
Od. I. 38
DISPLAYS, that Persians love, I hate ;
Lime-braided chaplets I detest;
It makes no matter where the late
Rose lingers; stay, my boy, your quest.
Just myrtle that's enough; don't think
To better it; it suits, as wreath,
You, as you serve, me, as I drink,
My wine this close-trained vine beneath.
THE civil war, that in Metellus' year
Began its seeds, faults, phases : Fortune's game :
Chiefs' dangerous alliances : the smear
Of kindred blood on arms an impious shame
Not yet atoned that is your theme, a work
Beset by risks, by one continual threat;
Your feet are, as it were, on fires that lurk
'Neath treacherous ashes fires that smoulder yet.
Withdraw awhile your Muse of Tragedy
Austere from theatres, and then anon,
When you have shaped your public history,
You shall resume your noble theme upon
Buskin Cecropian star of oratory
For sad defendants, or in curial
Debates, my Pollio, whom your victory
Delmatic crowned with bays perennial.
E'en now our ears with clarions' threatening blare
Are deafened; even now trumpets scream out
Their challenge; even now arms' fiery glare
Scares horse and horseman into headlong rout.
Aye, and I seem to hear of leaders wight
Befouled with dust ennobling: of the whole
Wide world, and all its things, in bloody fight
Subdued, save only Cato's stubborn soul.
Juno, and Afric's friendly deities,
Who left the land, as powerless to aid,
Or to avenge, offered in sacrifice
The victors' grandsons to Jugurtha's shade.
What plain is there but what, by Latin gore
Fattened, is witness, by the tombs it bears,
To impious battles, and the crash which tore
Down Italy, and rang in Parthian ears?
What gulf, what streams, world over, will you find
That know not of our wretched strife? What main
Has blood of Daunians not incarnadined?
What shore is unpolluted by its stain?
But lest, my sportive Muse, you should forget
Your jokes, and start a Cean dirge again,
Seek we some Dionaean grot, and let
A lighter quill temper your coming strain.
Od. II. 2
AS silver, hid in greedy earth,
Crispus Sallustius, has no sheen,
So metals have for you no worth,
Unless use makes their value seen.
For aye shall Proculeius' name
Be known for fatherly sympathy
With brethren ; him eternal Fame
With tireless wing shall bear on high.
Larger you'ld make your empire's reach
Subduing self, than if, made one,
Gades and Libya aye, each
Carthage bowed down to you alone.
By self-indulgence dropsy grows,
Nor casts out thirst, till from the pale
Body the watery languor flows,
And from the veins the exciting bale.
Unlike the crowd, true Virtue parts
Prahates, throned on Cyrus' throne,
From the blest roll of happy hearts,
And bids the people's voice disown
False titles, granting honours true
Sure bays, abiding sovereignty
To him who, with heaped wealth in view,
Passes it, unregarded, by.
REMEMBER, Dellius, doomed to die
Some day, to keep a level mind
When times are hard, nor pridefully
Exalt your horn when Fate seems kind
Aye, doomed to die, whether each dawn
Renews your griefs, or days of rest
Comfort you, couched on some far lawn,
With old Falernian of the best.
Why does white poplar interlace
With mighty pine its welcoming shade?
Why does fleet rivulet toil to race
Adown the maze its frets have made?
Bid them bring hither wines, nards, blooms
Rose-blooms, sweet all too brief a space
While means and youth and the dark looms
Of the three Sisters grant us grace.
You'll leave parked hall and villa fair,
With yellow Tiber rolling by;
All that you bought you'll leave; your heir
Will own the wealth you heaped on high.
Rich scion of Inachus, or poor
And lowliest-born, with heaven's bare ceil
For roof no matter, Orcus dour
Will set on you his ruthless heel.
One bourn awaits us all ; each lot,
Tossed in the urn, or soon, or late,
Leaps forth, and doom that changes not
Exiles us on the bark of Fate.
Od. II. 4
LEST, Xanthias Phoceus, you should be ashamed
That a mere handmaid has become your queen,
Think how of yore the slave Briseis tamed
The proud Achilles, by her snowy sheen.
Ravished Tecmessa's beauty thrilled and won
Ajax, the son of Telamon, her lord;
E'en in his hour of triumph, Atreus' son
Was love-fired by a captive of his sword,
When the barbarians, worsted in the fray,
Had fall'n to their Thessalian conqueror,
And Hector's death left Troy an easier prey
To Hellas' hosts, all weary of the war.
Blonde Phyllis' parents may, for all you know,
Honour their son-in-law, as born of high
Descent; of royal stock she is, I trow,
And mourns unjust Penates' injury.
Be sure that she, your mistress, has no strain
In her of lowborn rascaldom or shame:
That one so faithful, so averse from gain,
Was never born of womb, would smirch your name.
Heart-whole I praise her arms, her bonny face,
Her shapely ankles; spurn all jealous fears
Of one who, hurrying onward in life's race,
Has run the lustre closing forty years.
Od. II. 5
Od. II. 6
SEPTIMIUS, who with me would fare
To Gades, or Cantabria yet
Untamed, or the rude Syrtes, where
The Moorish billows ever fret :
Be Tibur, by an Argive guest
Founded, the home of my old age
From war, from sea, from trails, a rest,
After life's weary pilgrimage.
But, if barred thence by fate accurst,
I'll seek Galaesus, pleasant aye
To skin-clad sheep, and fields that erst
Owned Dorian Phalanthus' sway.
That nook of all earth's nooks for me
Has charms, where with Hymettus vies
The honey, and each olive tree
From green Venafrum claims the prize.
Jove grants a lingering springtime there,
And winters mild; there Aulon, host
Of fruitful Bacchus has small care
Of what Falernian grapes may boast.
That spot, those happy hills, desire
Our presence; there shall you commend,
With friendship's tear, beside his pyre,
The ashes of your poet-friend.
Od. II. 7
POMPEY, who faced with me in countless fights,
When Brutus led our war, supremest odds,
Who has restored you, with full civic rights,
To skies Italian, and your country's Gods,
O earliest of my comrades, at whose side
I often broke with wine the lingering
Day's irk, my temples wreathed with chaplet's pride,
My hair with Syrian unguent glistering?
With you I shared Philippi's headlong rout,
My shield, in haste ignoble, flung away,
When valour broke, and threatening boasts died out,
As chins rubbed shameful dust. Ah, well-a-day!
Me, in my terror, Mercury bore fast,
Veiled in thick mist, thoro' the grim mellay;
But you the battle-wave sucked back, and cast
With boiling surf again into the fray.
Pay then the feast that you are bound to pay
To Jove, and, wearied with the toils of war,
Come, and recline beneath my garden bay,
Nor spare the casks that wait you in my store.
Fill goblets bright with cheering Massic high ;
From urns capacious pour perfumery;
Whose task is it to hurry up and tie
Chaplets of lissom parsley, or, maybe,
Of myrtle? Whom will Venus now declare
The master of the feast? My revelry
Shall match Edonians'. It is sweet, I swear,
When friends return, to revel furiously.
Od. II. 8
HAD punishment in any wyse,
Barine, judged your perjuries:
Had one black tooth or fingernail
Disfigured you by just entail,
I'd trust you ; but you bind upon
Your faithless head vows, and anon
Step forth more radiant for your pains,
The common darling of our swains.
You cheat and profit by each lie
Your mother's dust, the vasty sky,
Night's silent stars, the Gods, whose breath
Is life beyond the chill of death.
Venus herself laughs at all this ;
The simple Nymphs laugh too, ywis,
And Cupid fierce, on blood-stained stone
Whetting his fire-darts, one by one.
Aye, and to you too, as they grow
Up, all our lads as bondslaves bow;
And earlier suitors threat, but come
Back to their impious lady's home.
Mothers of striplings fear your smiles;
Thrifty old fathers dread your wiles;
And newly wed brides sadly say,
"Her breath will keep our grooms away."
Od. II. 9
NOT always fall the clouds in rain
On roughened fields ; not without end
Do tempests vex the Caspian main
With gusts; nor, Valgius, my friend,
The whole year round stands motionless
Ice on Armenian plains, nor groan
Garganus' oaks beneath the stress
Of northern blasts that strip the roan.
But you with dirges day and night
Harp on lost Mystes; Vesper's rise
Checks not your love-plaints, nor his flight
From the swift sun, when night-time dies.
And yet thrice-aged Nestor stayed
His tears for loved Antilochus ;
Parents and Phrygian sisters made
Not endless moan for Troilus,
Their stripling lad ; cease, cease at length,
Your weak complaints, and rather hymn
Augustus Caesar how his strength
Has won fresh trophies how to him
Frost-bound Niphates bows, and how
The Parthian stream, with lowered pride,
Rolls smaller floods, and, lessened now,
Within strait bounds Geloni ride.
Od. II. 10
LICINIUS, would you live aright,
Tempt not the high seas evermore,
Nor, fearing tempests, in your fright
Too closely hug the dangerous shore.
Who loves the golden mean is free
And safe from grime the grime a house
Harbours in eld; his modesty
Earns not the envy mansions rouse.
The mighty pine is oftenest
Storm-tossed ; the higher a turret's height,
The worse its fall; it is its crest,
The mountain's top, that lightnings smite.
A well-schooled heart, when things look black,
Hopes for a change : when all seems gay,
Fears change. Jove brings rude winters back ;
Aye, but he also ends their stay.
Bad luck today? Well, but how long
How many days will it be so?
Phoebus awakes his Muse to song
At times, nor always bends his bow.
In times of straitness manifest
A hero's heart ; shrink not, nor quail ;
Yet take in sail safety is best
Before too favouring a gale.
Od. II. 11
AT fierce Cantabrian, what the Scythian braves,
Parted by Hadria's intervening waves,
Plot, cease, Hirpinus Quinctius, to enquire,
Nor vex your soul with passionate desire
To sate life's little need. From one and all
The charm of beardless youth flies past recall,
As hoary eld withers the wanton heart,
And bids the sleep that comes at call depart.
Not always does the self-same glory grace
Spring-flowers, nor wears the blushing moon one face.
Why with the counsels of eternity
Weary your soul, too small for things so high?
Why not, just as we are, at ease beneath
Tall plane-tree or this pine, with the sweet breath
Of roses in our gray locks, redolent
Of nard Assyrian, drink to our content
Wine, while we may? All gnawing cares are chased
By Euhius. What boy, with hastened haste,
Will quench the fire of our fiery
Falernian, from the brook that hurries by ?
Who from her home will draw that damsel shy,
Lyde? Come, bid her bring immediately
Her ivory lyre, with neatly knotted hair,
After the manner of a Spartan fair.
Od. 11.12 I
YOU would not wish that to my peaceful lyre
I should set songs of Hannibal, the dire,
Or fierce Numantia's long tale of war,
Or seas Sicilian red with Punic gore,
Or savage Lapithae, or Hylaeus flushed
With wine, or Earth's gigantic offspring, crushed
By Hercules' strong hand, at whose attack
Old Saturn's bright home quaked in fear of wrack,
Maecenas ; you yourself more worthily
Will tell of Caesar in prose history,
His fights and feats how thro' Rome's long parades-
With necks enchained proud kings passed to the shadef
For me, my Muse would have me sweetly praise
Licymnia, queen of love what sparkling rays
Flash from her eyes : how true her heart and leal
To mutual love its claim, and its appeal.
It misbecomes her not in any wyse
To dance in choirs, to bandy pleasantries,
To reach out arms to maidens blithe and gay,
Who join the throng on Dian's festal day.
Would you for all that rich Achaemenes
Possessed : for Phrygian Mygdon's granaries :
For Arabs' homes, well stored with treasures fair,
Barter one tress of your Licymnia's hair,
When to your burning lips she bends awry
Her neck, or shuns, with easy coquetry,
Kisses, whose ravishment is more to her
Than you and she may be first ravisher?
Od. II. 13 ,.
ON an ill-omened day, accursed tree,
Did your first planter plant you, and profane
The hand that reared you to the infamy
Of country-side, and to descendants' bane.
I could believe that one so ruthless might
Have broke a parent's neck, and stained, maybe,
With blood of sleeping guest, slain in the night,
His inmost chamber ; Colchic poisons he
Handled, and whatsoever any one
Has anywhere planned of sin, who on my farm
Set you, curst trunk, to fall one day upon
A master's head, who never did you harm.
No man from hour to hour takes proper thought
What he should shun ; the Punic mariner
Fears the mad Bosphorus, but counts as naught
All other risks, no matter whence or where.
The soldier fears the shafts shot in swift flight
By Parthian foe ; the Parthian fears the gyves
And prison of Rome ; but, unforeseen, Death's might
Has ever snatched, aye, and will snatch, men's lives.
How near were we to seeing upon her throne
Dark Proserpine, aye, and the judgment-seat
Of Aeacus, the separate Avalon,
Where roam the blest, and Sappho, with her sweet
Aeolian lyre arraigning Lesbos' maids,
And you, Alcaeus, with your golden quill
Sounding a fuller elegy to the shades,
Of exile's, war's, sea's, woes complaining still.
The shades stand wondering, as each poet sings
Songs worthy solemn silence; but, with ear
Keener to drink in tales of banished kings
And wars, a shouldering crowd throngs up to hear.
What wonder when, dazed by those melodies,
The hundred-headed beast drops his ears' threat,
And, in the hair of the Eumenides
Entwined and twist, their serpents cease to fret.
Prometheus, too, and Tantalus, the base,
In the sweet sound forget their agonies;
Nor does Orion longer care to chase
Lion that turns to fight, or lynx that flies.
Od. II. 14
AH, Postumus, my Postumus, the fleeting years roll
Wrinkles and ever nearing eld stay not for piety:
Relentless they, relentless death's unconquered tyranny,
Ah no ; tho' with three hecatombs of bulls each day you
To soften Pluto's tearless heart, whose sad stream's
Prisons thrice ample Geryon and Tityon, you must die.
For, friend, that river must be crossed by each and
Of all whom Earth's large bounty feeds and rears
beneath the sun :
By kings, by needy husbandmen, by every mother's son.
Vainly we seek to shun the risks and threats of bloody
The rage of waves that swell and break where
Hadria's billows roar ;
Vainly we fear the autumnal blights that blow from
No soul may miss Cocytus' gloom the languid streams
Moaning along: the Danaid brides whose shame naught
can assoil :
Sisyphus, son of Aeolus, doomed to unending toil.
Earth, home, sweet wife these must you leave aye,
all that you hold dear;
And, of the trees that you, their short-lived master,
Only the hateful cypress shall at last attend your bier.
Your Caecuban a hundred keys once locked it in your
A better wine than sacred feasts into priests' goblets
A worthier heir shall drink it, and its pride shall stain
SOON regal piles will leave no place
For farms ; soon crowds will flock to see
Fishponds that claim a larger space
Than Lucrine lake ; barren plane-tree
Will turn the elm out; presently
Will violets, myrtles, the whole round
Of sweet flowers, shed their fragrancy
On oliveyards, once fruitful ground;
Dense laurels will, as shields upborne,
Stay the sun's darts. Far different
The use of Romulus, of unshorn
Cato, of ancient precedent.
Then private means were small ; the State
Was rich ; no private colonnade,
By ten-foot rods delineate,
Welcomed the cool North to its shade.
The casual sod might not be tossed
Aside ; cities and fanes alone
Might be adorned, at public cost
So said the law with fresh-hewn stone.
Od. 11. 16
REST is the sailor's prayer the boon
He craves, caught on the Aegean sea,
Soon as dark clouds have hid the moon,
And stars shine all uncertainly.
For rest prays Thrace, distract with war ;
For rest the quivered Parthians cry ;
For rest for what nor purple, nor
Rubies, nor gold, Grosphus, can buy.
Nor wealth, nor lictor's axe, can rout
The heart's tumultuous agonies,
Nor chase the cares that flit about
The fretted roofs of palaces.
He lives on little well, whose sire's
Saltcellar makes his scant board bright :
Whose slumbers light nor base desires
Of gain, nor fears disturb at night.
Why many aims with such brief span
Of strength? Why, bent on change, should we
Seek other climes? An exiled man
Quits home; himself he cannot flee.
Care, morbid care, climbs bronze-beaked prows;
Horsed squadrons leave it not behind,
Swifter than stags ; nor swifter blows
The cloud-compelling South East wind.
Cheerful to face what is, be not
Careful at heart of what shall be.
With calm smile temper a hard lot;
There's no all-round felicity.
Untimely great Achilles died;
Of eld Tithonus dwined away;
And that, which Fortune has denied
To you, may come to me some day.
Round you a hundred herds of kine
Sicilian low ; to you a mare
Fit for the race-course neighs, and fine
The twice-dyed purple wools you wear,
Of Tyrian hues. A small estate :
A spirit of Hellene poetry,
Slender, to me an honest Fate
Has given, and scorn of jealousy.
WHY fret me with laments? Nor I,
Nor Gods, would will that you should die,
Maecenas you, my fortune's stay,
And glory ere I pass away.
Should fate untimely bid you die
You, my soul's better half, ah, why
Should I, the other half, less dear
Left but a remnant, linger here?
That day shall bring one death to both.
Whene'er you lead sure is my oath
As comrades side by side, we'll tread
The trail that's trodden by the dead.
Me nor Chimaera, breathing fire,
Shall wrench from you, nor Gyas' ire,
Resurgent with his hundred hands ;
So will the Fates; so Right demands.
For, whether Libra watches me,
Or Scorpios fell, the tyranny
Of my birth-hour, or, sign of bane,
The Goat, who rules the Western main,
Our stars in wondrous wyse agree;
You Jove's protecting brilliancy
Rescued from impious Saturn's hate,
And stayed the wings of rushing Fate,
When with the cheers of thronging crowd,
Thrice-given, the theatres were loud ;
Me the curst tree, that well nigh broke
My head, had slain, but that the stroke
Was stayed by Faunus, guardian true
Of Hermes' men. As offerings, you
Must give fat sheep and votive shrine ;
A humble lamb must serve for mine.
Od. II. 18
NO fretted ceil, with ivory inwrought
And gold, makes my small home look gay;
No slabs Hymettian rest on columns brought
From Afric quarries far away;
Nor has it been my luck to occupy,
Of Attalus an unknown heir,
A palace ; nor do high-born clients ply
Me robes of Spartan purple fair.
But honour bright, aye, and a kindly vein
Of genius, are mine ; tho' scant
My means, a rich man courts me. I disdain
To pester Heaven for more, nor want
To irk my patron's soul with fresh appeals,
Content and happy with my one
And only Sabine farm. Day treads on heels
Of day, and new moons wane anon.
You on the grave's edge bargain evermore
For marbles to be hewn, build homes,
Of death unmindful, and would push the shore,
Where the rough sea on Baiae foams,
Outward, as all too straitened while the strand's
Unbroken line curtails your sway.
What of the fact that ever your rude hands
Tear neighbour's boundary-stones away:
That you o'erleap, a robber unabashed,
Your clients' landmarks? Out they go,
Bearing their household Gods, and babes unwashed,
Husband and wife, to want and woe.
And yet no hall more surely than the grave,
The bourn of Orcus, fixed by fate,
Awaits the lord of riches. Why, then, crave
More than fate grants, insatiate?
Impartial Earth opens her doors to poor
And rich alike, to prince and swain ;
Gold never bribed Orcus' assistant dour
To bring Prometheus back again.
He prisons Tantalus, the proud, and all
His race and kind ; called to release
Poor souls whose work is done, he hears the call,
And brings aye, and uncalled his peace.
Od. II. 19
BACCHUS I saw, far rocks among
Believe it all posterity
Dictating hymns to a rapt throng
Satyrs goat-hoofed, and Nymphs anigh
The Satyrs all with pricked up ears.
Euoi ! My heart, filled with the God,
Beats furiously; my mind still fears;
Spare, Liber of the awful rod.
Euoi ! So may I now recall,
And picture, headstrong Thyiades,
Wine-springs, rivers of milk, the fall
Of honey-drops from hollow trees.
Mine too it is to tell how clomb
Thy bride to heaven, beatified :
How awful ruin wrecked the home
Of Pentheus : how Lycurgus died.
Thou rulest streams and barbarous seas ;
On far hills, bibulous, dost entwine
The hair of the Bistonides
With knotted snakes, disarmed by wine.
Thou, when the impious Giant-horde
Would scale Heaven's steep, the Sire's domain,
With lion's teeth and claws toward,
Did'st hurl fell Rhoetus back amain.
Called God of dance and sport and fun,
Thou wert esteemed unfit for arms;
Yet did'st thou bear thyself as one
For whom both war and peace have charms.
To Cerberus, with horn of gold,
Thou wert as friend, whose tail, to greet
Thy coming, stroked thee : whose three fold
Tongue licked thy parting legs and feet.
NOT common and not weak the wing whereon,
A bard of twofold nature, I shall soar
Thro' the clear air; this earth I'll quit anon,
And leave its cities, lift for evermore
Beyond all envy. Child of poverty,
Yet called to hear, as friend, your last farewell,
Beloved Maecenas, I shall never die,
Nor brook restraint within the Stygian hell.
Now, even now, my legs put on rough skin;
Above, a white bird in the fashioning,
I take new shape; shoulders and hands begin
To wear a plumage smooth and glistering.
More famed than Daedalean Icarus,
Now shall I visit, as a tuneful swan,
Gaetulian Syrtes, shores where Bosphorus
Moans, Northern Steppes; Colchian, and Dacian,
Who fears the Marsian chivalry, yet tries
To hide his fear, Geloni over-sea,
Shall come to know me; Spaniard too, grown wise,
And they who drink the Rhone, shall learn of me.
Let no dishonouring wails, no elegies,
No dirges sad, insult my empty bier;
Speak softly; 'tis no time for noisy cries;
The rites that honour tombs are useless here.
I HATE and spurn the unhallowed throng;
Keep silence, all, while I dictate,
Priest of the Muses laureate,
To boys and girls new forms of song.
Kings claim their own flocks' fealty;
To Jove the kings themselves bow down,
Who rules the wide world by his frown,
And smote the Titans gloriously.
More widely one plants trees; whereas
One candidate of nobler birth
Enters the Field, another's worth
Stands in high fame ; another has
More numerous clients. All the same,
Ever and aye Necessity
Dooms high and low impartially;
The vasty urn shakes every name.
For him, o'er whom hangs the alarm
Of drawn sword, feasts of Sicily
Will have no sweets, the melody
Of birds and lute will have no charm
To bring back sleep. Sleep calm and bland
Scorns not the cots of labouring men,
Nor shady banks of stream, or glen,
Nor Tempe's vale by Zephyrs fanned.
What is enough that and no more
Who craves but this, nor rough sea frets,
Nor storms that, when Arcturus sets,
Or the Kid rises, rage and roar,
Nor hails that lash his vines, nor land
That cheats his hopes, while trees complain
Of stars that scorch the fields, of rain,
Of the fierce grip of Winter's hand.
Huge moles, thrust out, narrow the sea
For fish, where the contractor's band,
And owner, weary of the land,
Cast chips into the masonry.
But Fear and Menace climb as high,
As climbs the lord twin frets of mind
On bronze-beaked trireme, and behind
Rider, sits black Anxiety.
But, if nor Phrygian stone nor dress
Sheeny as stars, nor vineries
Falernian, nor Achaemenes'
Perfumes, can soften his distress,
Why build with portals of desire
A hall, new-planned to threat the sky?
Why change my Sabine snuggery
For wealth whose burdens fret and tire?
HPOUGHENED by war let every lad
*- Learn to bear hardness, and be glad ;
As horseman let him wield a spear
Whose thrust shall be the Parthian's fear.
Out in the air, at danger's call,
His life be lived ; from enemy wall
Let warring tyrant's consort aye,
And daughter grown, see him, and sigh,
Lest her dear prince, untrained to fight,
Should dare this lion's dangerous might,
That, fired by battle-rage, for aye
Ramps thro' the fiercest of the fray.
To die for Homeland is a sweet
And gracious thing; on flying feet
Death presses hard, nor spares to smite
Poltroons' weak knees and backs affright.
Virtue, secure from shameful rout,
With honours all-unstained shines out;
Nor takes, nor drops, authority
To suit the crowd's oft-changing cry.
Opening to deathless souls the skies,
Virtue forbidden pathways tries;
Scorning dank earth, and gatherings
Of mobs, she mounts on soaring wings.
A faith that keeps a secret hid
Claims sure reward ; I shall forbid
A man, who blabs one mystery
Of Ceres' rites, to lodge with me,
Or board my skiff. Saints have been sent
With sinners to one banishment
By slighted Jove; Vengeance is halt,
But, following, rarely makes a fault.
Od. III. 3
WHO loves the Right, whose will is resolute,
His purpose naught can shake nor rage of brutt
Mob bidding him work evil ; not the eye
Of threatening despot; not the tyranny
Of Auster, lord of Hadria's restless sea:
Not Jove's great hand, red with artillery;
A shattered world, falling in ruins, might
Crush him ; his dauntless soul it will not fright.
Thus Pollux and Alcmene's roaming son
Up to the flaming heights of heaven won ;
Thus, seated at their side, Augustus sips
The nectar of the Gods with radiant lips.
Thus, Father Bacchus, as in homage due
To thy deserts, tigers unbroken drew
Thy car; thus in the chariot of Mars
Quirinus rose o'er Acheron to the stars,
When to the Gods in council came the word
Of Juno gracious speech, and gladly heard
"O Ilion, Ilion, by a judge obscene,
A wretch accursed, and by a foreign quean,
Rolled in the dust aye, dammed and unforgiven
Since false Laomedon broke faith with Heaven,
By me and chaste Minerva reprobate,
People and perjured king one folk, one fate!
Aye, but no longer does the guest infame
Trick himself out for Sparta's harlot-dame;
No longer Priam's faithless house beats back,
With Hector's aid, Achaia's fierce attack;
Prolonged by our disputes, the weary war's
Offence is over now; forthwith to Mars
Will I give up my anger, and my hate
Toward my grandson, whom his earth-born mate,
The Trojan priestess, bare. To him will I
Grant entrance where on shining couches lie
The blessed; nectar shall he quaff, and find
Among the untroubled Gods his rank assigned.
The wide world thro', so long as angry seas
Part Rome and Ilion, wheresoe'er they please,
Let Trojan exiles lord it, safe and blest;
So long as herds leap o'er the tombs, where rest
Priam and Paris, and wolves, scathless, hide
Their younglings, let the Capitol, in its pride,
Stand glorious and let the might and awe
Of Rome rule conquered Medes, and be their law.
Feared far and wide, let her extend her sway
To earth's remotest bounds, where Africa
And Europe face the intervening main,
And Nile inundant floods the Egyptian plain.
Let her be rather bold to scorn the gold
That earth conceals 'tis better hid than bold
To gather it up with greedy hands that seize
All sacred things for human usages.
Whatever limits bound the world, her war
Shall compass them, exultant to explore
Where sunflames hold their maddest revelry,
Where dews are rains, and fog-banks cloak the sky.
But to Quirinus' braves I prophesy
This future on the terms that piety
Too great, and self -trust, seek not to restore
Dead Troy the Troy their forebears built of yore.
The fate of Troy, with evil augury
Reborn, shall once again spell tragedy,
When I, Jove's queen and sister, lead the foe
Whose conquering hosts achieve her overthrow.
Tho' thrice the bronzen wall from ruins rose,
By Phoebus built, thrice would Achaian blows,
My champions', fell it; thrice would captive wife
Wail lord and sons, slain in the battle-strife."
Such songs as these suit not my sportive lyre ;
Whither, my Muse, would'st soar? Stay thy desire
Headstrong to tell what the high Gods may say,
And shrink a theme sublime with lowly lay.
Od. 111. 4
COME down from heaven, royal Calliope ;
Breathe on the pipe a deathless melody,
Or sing a song sing it with clarion voice,
Or to Apollo's lute-strings thine the choice. 1 st
Hear ye her strain? Or does a frenzy kind
Mock me? I seem to hear it, and to wind
My way thro' holy groves, where 'neath the trees
Play peasant streamlets and a kindly breeze.
Me on Apulian Vultur, past the line
That bounds Apulia, my nurse langsyne,
The storied doves of Venus strewed with green
Leaves, as I slept, play-tired, the sleep serene
Of boyhood, as a sign a prodigy
For all whom Acherontia's aerie,
Or Bantia's glades, shelter, and them whose toil
Ploughs the rich tilths of low Forentum's soil.
They marvelled how it was I slept unscathed
By deadly snakes and bears : how I was swathed
With sacred bays, and myrtles' kind embrace
A child inspired by Heaven's peculiar grace.
Aye, and as yours, ye Muses yours for aye
I climb my Sabine hill, or make my way
To favourite haunts Praeneste's chilly height,
Or Tibur's slopes or Baiae, clear and bright.
Because your sweet choirs love me as their own,
Your fountains too, no death has struck me down
Not sad Philippi's rout, not the curst tree,
Not Palinurus on Sicilian sea.
With you beside me, as a seaman, I
Will brave mad Bosphorus right willingly;
With you, as traveller, will wander o'er
The burning sands of far Assyria's shore.
The stranger-hating Britons will I greet:
The Concani who drink, and count it sweet,
The blood of horses : the Geloni armed
With quivers: Scythia's river all unharmed.
You too to mighty Caesar, soon as he
Has settled in the towns where they would be
His war-worn troops, and from his toils would cease,
Give, in some grot Pierian, welcome peace.
Gentle your counsel ; gracious too, I trow,
Your joy in its acceptance; this we know
Know it as knowing how it was with him,
Who smote the impious Titan hordes with grim
Descending bolt who sways the windy sea
And sluggish earth : whose one sole empery
Rules earth's abodes and realms of sad duress,
Mortals and Gods alike, in righteousness.
Great had Jove's fear been when the giant brood,
Proud of their frightful arms, against him stood;
And when the brothers strove to fix upon
Shady Olympus lofty Pelion.
But what availed Typhon what the strong hand
Of Mimas, or Porphyrion's threatening stand:
What Rhoetus, or Enceladus, the stark
Hurler of uptorn trees, with heaven for mark,
When Pallas' sounding aegis barred the way?
Here stood fierce Vulcan, greedy for the fray,
Dame Juno there, and he, whose shoulders now
Bear, and shall ever bear, his mighty bow:
Who with Castalia's waters dewy-bright
Bathes his long locks: who holds, as of birthright,
All Lycia's woods and brakes Phoebus, adored
As Delos' glory, and as Patara's lord.
Force lacking counsel falls by its own weight;
Force temperate the Gods make yet more great
The Gods who hate the strength that would defy
Their righteous will, and plot iniquity.
Gyas, the hundred-handed, seals as true
These maxims : infamous Orion too,
For foul assault on chaste Minerva known,
And by her virgin arrows smitten down.
On her own monsters heaped, with many a wail
Earth weeps her sons hurled down to Orcus pale
By thunder-bolts, whose fires, haste as they will
To eat thro' Aetna's pile, are prisoners still.
The jailor- vulture, lechery's penalty,
Still guards the lustful Tityos ceaselessly,
And gnaws his liver ; chains three hundred hold
Pirithous captive, for love over-bold.
Od. 111. 5
THAT Jove is lord of all above
His thunders and his lightnings show ;
Persia and Britain tamed shall prove
Augustus demigod here below.
That ever a soldier Crassus led
Should wed ah Senate ! ah the sin !
A barbarous mate to shame his bed,
And grow old with her hostile kin,
A Marsian as a Mede king's kern,
Aye, or Apulian, dead to pride
Of name, shields, garb, Vesta eterne,
Tho' Jove and Rome unscathed abide !
'Twas fear of this made Regulus
Reject base terms of peace with scorn,
Inferring precedents ruinous
To generations yet unborn,
If prisoners were not left to die
Unpitied. "Punic shrines display,"
Quoth he, "our eagles have not I
Seen them seen weapons snatched away
From warriors' unresisting hands
Seen on free backs arms twist askew,
Gates left unbarred, and enemy lands,
Swept by our war, now tilled anew?
Ransomed by gold, doubtless, a man
Returns the bolder ! Ah, 'tis loss
Added to foul disgrace ; for can
Dyed wool regain its native gloss?
Nor does true valour, once expelled,
Care to replace poltroonery.
Free the snared stag from toils that held
It captive will it fight? Will he,
Who to a treacherous foeman knelt,
Be brave, and in a second strife,
Crush him who on his shoulders felt
The thongs, nor fought, but clung to life?
He, knowing not whence true life is won,
Confounded peace with war. O shame !
O mighty Carthage, throned upon
The wrecks of Italy's fair fame !"
His chaste wife's kiss, the lads he loved,
He put aside, in outlaw's wyse
So runs the tale and all unmoved
Bent sternly down his manly eyes;
Till by new counsel he made strong
The Fathers' wavering will, and straight
Went forth, his sorrowing friends among,
A glorious exile, to his fate.
He knew what tortures were in store
For him, and yet he pushed his way
Thro' troops of hindering kinsfolk, nor,
Tho' crowds beset him, brooked delay,
As tho', some clients' law-suit tried
And won, he sought a holiday
By green Venafro's country-side,
Or Dorian Taranto's bay.
Od. 111. 6
FOR sins of ancestors will you atone,
Roman, what tho' the sins were not your own,
Till you repair the high Gods' sanctuaries,
Their tottering fanes, their smoke-grimed images.
You rule the world because to heaven you bow.
Hence nations rise and fall ; often ere now,
Angered by man's neglects, the Gods have hurled
Distress and anguish on the Western world.
Once and again Monaeses and the horde
Of Pacorus have broke pur unblest sword,
And, booty-laden, add with grinning glee
To their few tores our captured finery.
Dacian and Aethiop have well nigh wracked
Our city, with its civil wars distract
The Aethiop, by sea no puny foe :
The Dacian, master of the twanging bow.
Fruitful in crime, the ages as they ran
First fouled the marriage-bond, the home, the clan ;
Thence sprang a flood of ill a flood that broke
In on our hapless country and our folk.
The girl grows up to learn the Ionic dance,
And, even now, with stage-tricks would enhance
Her charms, who dreams, her inmost heart within,
Of loves unlawful aye, and hugs her sin.
Not from such parents sprang the youth who dyed
With Punic blood the ocean far and wide :
Whose war broke Pyrrhus, and redoubtable
Antoichus, and Hannibal, the fell.
Nay, 'twas a brood, stalwart and masculine,
Of yeomen-soldiers lads who with Sabine
Spades turned the clods, and, as stern mothers bid,
Shouldered their piles of faggots, kid by kid,
To bring them home what time the sun should shift
The shadows, and from weary oxen lift
Their yokes, with parting chariot speeding on
The friendly hour when the day's work is done.
What has it not debased, this present curse?
Our parents' age, than our grandparents' worse,
Has brought us forth, who shall beget, ah shame!
Children yet more unworthy Rome's great name.
Od. 111. 7
WHY weep, Asterie, your swain
Constant and leal, whom Zephyrs clear
With the new spring will bring again
To you, enriched with Thynian gear,
Gyges? He, driven by Southern gales
To far-off Oricum, when rose
The Goat's mad star, sleepless bewails
Thro' chilly nights his wants and woes.
And yet his hostess, love-sick dame,
Sends messages that Chloe sighs,
Poor soul, with love like yours aflame,
And artful tempts him manywise.
She tells how a false wife of yore
Urged Proetus, credulous husband, on,
By charges false, to slay before
His time too chaste Bellerophon :
How Peuels 'scaped death-penalty
Hardly, who fled, wise heart and pure,
And brings up tales with sinful lure,
In vain ; than rocks Icarian
More deaf, he hears the words heart-whole.
Beware you, lest your neighbour-man
Enipeus over-please your soul;
Tho' never another cavalier
On Martian sward attracts such gaze,
Nor Tuscan Tiber knows his peer
Of all who swim its watery ways.
At nightfall close your doors, nor eye
The streets below what time you hear
Flute's plaintive notes, and to the cry,
That calls you cruel, turn deaf ear.
Od. 111. 8
MARCH has come in. You would find out
What I, a bachelor, am about
What mean these flowers, these incense-bowls,
These live sods topped with kindled coals.
You doubt, tho' Roman tales you know,
And Greek. Well, Liber claims a vow
Feast and white goat vowed when the tree,
That fell, all but demolished me.
Each year this festal day shall see
Its pitch-sealed cork drawn faithfully
From out a jar that, cellared here,
First drank the smoke in' Tullus' year.
For my escape, and for my sake,
A hundred cups, Maecenas take ;
Keep the lamps lit till dawn of day;
Clamour and brawls Avaunt ! Away !
Dismiss all public cares ; no more
Will Dacian Costiso wage war;
The hostile Parthians' civic strife
Hurts only their own country's life.
In Spain our old Cantabrian foe
Obeys the might that laid him low
At last; the Scythians think to slack ,, .
Their bows, and from their plains fall back.
Here just a citizen, abate
Thoughts over-anxious for the State ;
Care-free, enjoy for this brief hour
The sweet of life ; forget the sour.
Od. III. 9
He. V\7HILE you were happy in my love,
VV And no more favoured swain might fling
Round your white neck his arms, I throve,
More blest than any Persian king. .
She. While yet you had no other flame,
Ere Chloe ousted Lydia,
I, Lydia, throve a maid of fame,
Who outshone Roman Ilia.
He. Chloe of Thrace is now my queen,
Skilled in the lyre's sweet strains; for whom
I'll never fear to die, I ween,
If but fate lift my true life's doom.
She. Me, Ornytus' son, Calais,
The Thurine, fires, who am his joy;
For whom I'd die twice o'er, ywis,
If but the fates will spare my boy.
He. What if with yoke that shall abide
Old love knots sundered hearts once more?
What if blonde Chloe's cast aside,
And Lydia scorned re-opes her door?
She. Tho' he is brighter than a star,
And you than cork are lighter aye,
Than boisterous Hadria rougher far.
With you I'd live; with you I'd die.
Od. III. 10
Od. HI. 11
I PRAY thee, Mercury since by thee
Inspired Amphion's song moved stones
And thee, O Shell, whose psaltery
Can sound forth Music's seven tones
Not tuneful once, nor sweet, but now
Welcome to fane and rich man's board
Prompt me a strain, whose charm shall bow
Lyde's proud ears my suit toward :
Who, as a filly three years old
In the wide fields, frolics, and fears
A touch, a maiden pure for bold
Wooer as yet too young in years.
Thou canst draw tigers after thee,
And woods; the torrent's rush canst stay;
Before thy music's witchery
The vast Hall's warder-hound gave way
Aye, Cerberus, tho' his frightful head
Is girt with snakes a hundred strong;
Tho' foul his breath, and slime, like shed
Gore, dribbles from his triple tongue.
Nay e'en Ixion, forced to smile.
And Tityos, laughed against the grain;
The urn stood empty for a while,
While Danaids heard thy soothing strain.
Let Lyde hear what sin disgraced
Those virgins: what their well-known fate;
How all the water runs to waste
From the urn's bottom : how, tho' late,
In Orcus sin's reward is sure.
Ah impious what could mortal hand
Do worse? who, impious, could endure
To slay their grooms with cruel brand.
One out of all the band alone,
Worthy the marriage torch, to sire
Forsworn was greatly false, and won
A fame that lives while years expire:
Who roused her young groom in the night
"Up, lest a sleep, whence fearest naught,
A long sleep, whelm thee; cheat by flight
My sire's and wicked sisters' thought,
Who, as she-lions tear their prey
Of calves, are tearing woe is me !
Each her own mate ; kinder than they,
I will not smite or prison thee.
Me let my sire load with rude chains
Because my lad I would not slay;
Me let his fleet to the domains
Of far Numidia bear away.
Go thou where feet and breezes take
Thee ; night is kind and Venus nigh.
So farewell, for my memory's sake,
Grave on my tomb an elegy."
Od. 111. 12
POOR girls ! We may not give our love free play,
Or drown in wine our sense of hurt and wrong,
Or, if we do, must bear, as best we may,
The deadly lashes of an uncle's tongue.
Venus' winged cherub steals your wicker-tray,
Poor Neobule; the bright radiancy
Of Liparaean Hebrus takes away
The webs of throng Minerva's industry,
When he has bathed, returning from the lists,
In Tiber's flood his shoulders oiled; as knight,
A greater than Bellerophon ; quick fists,
Quick feet, give him the palm in race or fight.
Skilled he to shoot in the open stags that rush
Forth, when the herd is driven from its lay;
And swift to meet the boar, couched in the brush
Of some dense thicket, as it breaks away.
FOUNT of Bandusia, crystal-clear
Aye, clearer worthy flowers and wine,
Tomorrow shall a kid be thine
Upon whose front young horns appear,
That threat love-battles presently.
In vain they threat, for with red blood
This scion of a lustful brood
Shall stain thy stream's fresh purity.
The flaming Dog-Star's spell of heat
Touches thee not ; to weary ox,
Tired of the plough, and wandering flocks,
Thou art refreshment cool and sweet.
Thou shalt be of the founts men call
Famous, when of the oak I tell
That crowns the hollow rocks, whence well
Thy babbling waters to their fall.
Od. III. 14
/CAESAR, of whom we lately spoke
^-^ As bent on bays, like Hercules,
That death must buy, returns, good folk,
Home from his Spanish victories.
Proud of your peerless lord, do you.
His wife, after due prayer and rite,
Come forth our brave chief's sister too,
And, with thanksgiving fillets bright,
Mothers of girls and youths restored
Safe to their homes ; ye lads, and ye,
Lasses new-wed, utter no word
Today of evil augury.
This day, truly a feast for me,
Will chase black cares ; I will not dread,
While Caesar holds the world in fee,
Tumult, or stroke shall strike me dead.
Boy, fetch me unguents, flowers, and bring
Wine that recalls the Marsian war,
If anywhere that wandering
Rogue Spartacus passed by a jar.
And bid clear-voiced Neaera knot
Her perfumed hair without delay,
And come ; but if the porter's not
Friendly, and hinders, come away.
Gray hairs tame tempers, once, I fear,
Too keen on brawls and quarrelings ;
Had I youth's fire, as in the year
Of Plancus, I'd not brook such things.
of poor Ibycus, have done
At last with your depravity,
And infamous pursuits, as one
To whom a timely death draws nigh.
No longer sport young girls among,
Nor cloud their brightness starry-clear;
What misbecomes not Pholoe young,
Becomes not Chloris old and sere.
More fitly storms your girl the halls
Of youth, like Thyiad, by drum-bray
Maddened, whom love of Nothus calls
To wanton like a roe at play.
Far-famed Luceria's wools agree
Best with your years; not red new-blown
Roses: not jars drained to the lee:
Not citterns for you are a crone.
Od. III. 16
BRONZE tower, stout doors, and surly guard
Of watchful dogs, had safely barred
Against assaults of midnight love
Fair Danae's prison, had not Jove
And Venus mocked Acrisius' care,
Tis jealous wardship, well aware
That to the God in golden shower
Broad way and safe would ope the tower.
Thro' bodyguards, thro' masonry,
Gold makes its way more potently
Than lepin-bolt; 'twas lucre brought
The Argive augur's house to naught.
By bribes the man of Macedon
Qeft open city-gates, and won
The fall of rival monarchies;
Even rude admirals have their price.
Increase of wealth and greed bring on
Care, from self-gloriation
Rightly I've shrunk unto this hour,
Maecenas, knighthood's pride and flower.
The more a man himself denies,
The more kind Heaven to him supplies ;
Homely I seek camps of content,
Deserting wealth's environment,
Prouder, as master of my small
Farm, than as famed to garner all
Apulia's fruits of industry,
In plenty, yet in scarcity.
A rivulet clear, a wood of few
Acres, my small crop's promise true,
Give me a lot that, hid from him,
Makes Afric praetor's fame look dim.
Tho' bees Calabrian bring not in
Honey, nor wine in Formian bin
Mellows, nor sheep on Gallic lea
Fatten, and grow thick wool, for me,
Yet from harsh poverty I'm free;
If more I craved, you"d give it me;
Curtailed wants would more happily
Enlarge my income than if I
Blent the dominions of Mygdon
And Alyattes into one.
Want much, lack much ; happy is he
To whom Heaven grants sufficiency.
Od. III. 17
SPRUNG, noble Aelius, from Lamus old
(Since, as folk say, 'twas he who gave their name
To early Lamiae, and the annals hold
The proofs of this the entire clan can claim
Descent from him who was, 'tis said, first king
Of Formiae, and of the country-side,
Where on Marica's coasts, meandering,
Slow Liris swims, lord of dominions wide),
Tomorrow will the East Wind bring a blast,
Shall strew with useless weed the shore, with leaves
The woods, unless the aged crow's forecast,
Its prophecy of coming rain, deceives
Our ears. Get in, then, while the weather's fine,
Dry wood ; tomorrow will you chase away
Your Genius' cares with sucking pig and wine,
Making, with all your household, holiday.
od. in. is
r OOER of flying Nymphs, whene'er,
My homestead's sunny fields among,
You come and go, be debonair,
Faunus, nor do my nurslings wrong,
If, as your due, a kidling dies :
If filled your bowl, to Venus dear,
With wine : if from your altar rise
Abundant odours year by year.
The cattle in the pastures play,
What time December's Nones for you
Return, and all make holiday,
Village and kine one merry crew.
A wolf roams 'mid the lambs ; they heed
Him not; for you the woodland tree
Scatters its leaves ; the digger freed
Thrice stamps on hated earth his glee.
Od. III. 19
YDU tell what years part Inachus
From Codrus, patriot to the death:
What was the line of Aeacus:
What wars raged Ilion's walls beneath;
But price of Chian : at whose cost
The baths are warmed : the hour to flee
Pelignian cold : who is the host
All this you leave in mystery.
To the new moon charge bumpers, boy,
To midnight, to our augur new,
Murena ; for each toast employ
Three or four ladlefuls as due.
Who holds the odd-numbered Muses dear,
A crazed bard, will with three times three
Ladles make merry, but, for fear
Of strife, the Graces' trinity,
Unrobed, makes three the bound. But we
Would fain be mad. Why stays the flute
Its Berecynthian revelry?
Why hang the lyre and Pan-pipe mute?
I hate close fists; strew roses; let
Crossgrained old Lycus hear our mad
Din ; let it make his Amoret
Ill-matched, his neighbour lady, glad.
You with your long locks fair to see:
You, Telephus, who like Vesper shine,
Rhode, fit mate, seeks; as for me,
I slowly burn for Glycera mine.
Od. III. 20
GEE you not, Pyrrhus, at what risk you steal
^ Her cubs from a Gaetulian lioness?
Soon, very soon, as robber, will you feel
Her wrath, and know flight's terror and distress,
What time she comes, thro' ranks that seek to bar
Her way, to claim Nearchus, her delight
To settle whose shall be the spoils of war,
Her prize or rather yours a famous fight.
Meantime, they say, while she whets her fierce fangs,
And you are getting out your arrows fleet,
He, on whose will the battle's issue hangs,
Tramples upon the palm with naked feet,
While on his shoulders and his scented hair,
That round about them falls, plays, as it wills,
A soft, refreshing breeze as Nireus fair,
Or Ganymede, rapt up from Ida's rills.
Od. III. 21
OBORN with me in Manlius' year,
Good jar, whatever gifts you bear
Jokes, quarrels, strife, mad loves, light sleep
To whatsoever end you keep
Choice Massic, come, for to yourself
You owe the move, down from your shelf,
On this glad day; for mellower brands
Corvinus calls ; his wish commands.
Steeped in the Schools' philosophy,
He's yet no boor to pass you by.
Why, oftentimes so we are told :
Wine warmed stern 'Cato's soul of old.
You rack dull wits full tenderly,
Unveil hid wisdom's mystery,
And straight the wise man's cares depart,
As gay Lyaeus glads his heart.
Hope cheers the anxious by your gift;
The weakling's horn on high you lift;
Heartened by you he laughs at fear
Of diademed kings, of sword and spear. j
Liber, and Venus, if she's good :
The Graces' close-knit sisterhood,
And live lamps still shall lead you on
While Dawn is bidding stars begone.
Od. III. 22
VIRGIN, who wear'st a threefold form of threefold
Warden of woods and hills, who, as invoked with
Dost hear, and save from death, young wives in child-
Thine be the pine that overhangs my villa, so that I,
At each year's end, may offer it, in cheerful fealty,
The blood of a young boar that plans the stroke that
IF upturned hands to heaven you lift
When the new moon is born,
And charm your Lares with a gift
Of incense, and new corn,
And a fat swine, then yours shall be
A fair lot, rustic Phidyle.
Your fruitful vine shall mock the pest
Of Afric's windy heat;
No blighting mildew shall infest
Your crops ; your nurslings sweet
Shall brave the sickly months, nor fear
The menace of the autumnal year.
The victim which, doomed to pay vows,
'Mid oaks and holm-oaks feeds
On snowy Algidus, or grows
Fat upon Alban meads,
Shall with its neck's blood stain one day
The axes which Rome's pontiffs sway.
It is not laid on you to press,
By costly sacrifice
Of many sheep, prayer and address
On your small deities;
It's yours to crown them quietly
With myrtle frail and rosemary.
If pure your hand, when it is laid
The altar's face upon,
Not by a costly victim made
More coaxing, it has won
Your House-Gods' grace by the appeal
Of crackling salt and pious meat.
Od. HI. 24
THO' wealthier than all Araby
With untouched stores, and rich Indies,
With quarried stones you occupy
All that is land, and public seas,
Natheless, if grim Necessity
Nails with steel nails each pinnacle,
Your soul from fear you will not free,
Nor 'scape Death's toils his halter fell.
Better the life of Scyths, who scour
The steppes, whose waggons bear afield
Their shifting homes, and Getae dour,
For whom unmeasured acres yield
Free crops of corn: who till their land
But for a year ; each worker does
His share; that done, another hand
Relieves him; thus the shared work goes.
Kind is stepmother's face toward
Stepchildren motherless, kind her sway;
The dowried wife rules not her lord,
Nor heeds what sleek adulterers say.
Their dowry great is innocence
Of parents, and pledged chastity
That shrinks from taint ; to whom offence
Is sin, with death for penalty.
Who wills to end the deaths that shame
Our civic madness, and to bear
Beneath his statues the proud name,
"Father of Cities," let him dare
To curb wild license, and for fame
Look to the future, for our spite
Hates living worth O wicked shame!
To miss it when it's lost to sight.
What boot laments, if penalty
Cuts not the crime short? Of what worth
Are laws without morality,
If not that quarter of the earth
That's fenced by heat, nor that which lies
Nearest the North Wind, where deep snow
Crusts the earth's surface, terrifies
The merchant : if skilled sailors plow
The boisterous seas : if the disgrace
Of poverty bids men consent
To aught, and do aught mean and base,
And shun true Virtue's steep ascent ?
Or to the Capitol bear we,
Summoned by crowds' applauding call,
Or plunge we in the nearest sea,
Gems, jewels, useless gold, of all
That's worst the source, if we repent
Us truly of our grievous sin.
We must stub up each element
Of base desire, must discipline
Too tender souls with more severe
Studies; untrained, the high-born boy
Can't sit a horse; he turns with fear
From hunting ; handier with a toy
With Grecian hoop, if you desire,
Or, if you like, with dice, despite
The law. What wonder, when his sire
To guest and partner breaks his plight,
Keen to snatch gain for worthless son?
Certes base lucre multiplies
Itself, and yet the prize, when won,
Lacks something lacks what satisfies.
Od. III. 25
"WHITHER, O Bacchus, bearest me inspired?
" Into what groves, what grottoes, am I now
Hurried, by new thoughts swept along and fired?
What caves shall hear me meditating how
I may exalt great Caesar's fame for aye
To Jove's high council, and the starry skies?
My song shall be sublime and new, a lay
None other yet has sung. Not otherwise
Than Euhiad, in nightlong revelry
Upon the hills, is ravished as her eye
Scans Hebrus, snow-white Thrace, and Rhodope,
By foot barbarian, traversed, so am I
Entranced, what time, by visions borne along,
I gaze on quiet groves and riverside.
O Lord of Naiads, and Bacchantes, strong
To overturn tall ash-trees' towering pride,
Naught petty, naught unworthy its high due,
Not death itself, shall touch this song of mine.
'Tis a sweet risk, Lenaean, to ensue
The God who wreathes his brows with pliant
Od. 111. 26
TIME was when, as a Cupid's knight,
I fought, not all ingloriously,
Love's battles ; now my panoply
Armour and lyre, too tired to fight
I'll hang upon this temple-wall,
That on her left guards Venus ; let
Rope-torches, crowbars, bows, that threat
Closed doors, hang by them, one and all.
Goddess, who rulest Cyprus blest,
And, from Sithonian snow-storms free,
Memphis, with uplift whip, prithee,
Touch, just for once, proud Chloe's breast.
Od. III. 27
LET omens ill attend the way
Of impious souls to-whooing owl
And pregnant bitch, or wolf blue-grey,
Down-rushing from Lanuvium's knowl,
And vixen bred ; or let their start
Be broken off by slantwise run
Of serpent swift as flying dart,
That scares their team; but I, for one
For whom I fear, an augur wise,
Or e'er the rain-seer bird divine
Reseeks the marsh, from the sunrise.
Will call the crow to speak a sign.
May you be happy wheresoe'er,
My Galatea, you may go;
Forget me not, nor woodpecker,
Upon your left, nor wandering crow,
Forbid you. But you see with what
Tempests Orion sets e'en now;
What Hadria's dark gulf is, and that
lapyx clear can sin, I know.
May enemy wife and family
Feel rising Auster's blind outbreaks,
And Ocean's black ferocity,
And shores that furious wave-beat shakes.
Thus risked Europa her fair life
On treacherous bull, and, seeing the sea
With monsters thronged, with perils rife,
Paled at her own audacity.
Lately intent on flowering leas,
And wont to wreathe the chaplets due
To Nymphs, she now saw naught but seas
Boundless, and stars the dim night thro*.
Soon as she reached Crete with its host
Of towns, a hundred strong, "O, sire J"
She cried, "O name of daughter lost!
O duty slain by mad desire !
Whence came I whither? One death were
For virgins' sin light penalty.
Wail I, awake, as wrong-doer,
Foul deed, or does a phantasy
Vain mock my innocence in sleep,
With dream from ivory gateway flown?
Better was it to cross the deep,
Or gather flowerets freshly blown?
Should any yield that beast infame
To my just wrath I'd strive I vow
To break its horns; with sword I'd maim
The monster loved so well but now.
Shameless I left my father's home :
Shameless stay Orcus. O if ear
Divine can hear I fain would roam
Where lions my bare flesh would tear
Ere from fair cheeks the bloom has died
Decayed ere ebbs life's ruddy blood
From victim young in beauty's pride
Gladly I'd be fierce tigers' food.
'Europa vile,' cries far away
My sire, 'death beckons ; with your zone,-
'Twas well you brought it with you may
You break your neck, hung from this roan.
O if rocks deadly sharp and high
Cliff please you more, trust the wind's
Unless you rather wish to ply
A slave-girl's task you, sprung from kings,
A concubine, to foreign dame
Abandoned.' " As she made lament,
Venus with smile perfidious came
Up, and her son with bow unbent. '
So soon as she had mocked enow,
"Cease," cried she, "from your passionate
Complaints, when the loathed bull shall bow
His horns for you to mutilate.
Unconquered Jove's wife unaware
You are; sob not; great is your fame;
Learn to bear well a fate so fair,
For half the world shall wear your name."
YV7HAT could I better do on Neptune's day?
Lyde, be quick and broach the Caecuban
Hid in your store, and with me make foray
On wisdom's fortress that's my present plan.
Midday is past ; you see how Phoebus' car
Sinks ; yet as tho' the flying day stood still,
You pause, as loth to bring the lingering jar,
That erst the year of Bibulus bade you fill.
Now will we sing in turn of Neptune I,
And green-haired Nereids ; your part shall be
To sing to your curved lyre Latona, aye.,
.And flying Cynthia's fierce artillery.
Lastly the Cnidian queen shall be our theme,
Who holds the shining Cyclades in fee,
And visits Paphos' isle with swans for team;
Night too shall have her meed of elegy.
Od. III. 29
OF Tuscan kings, Maecenas, heir,
An unbroached jar of mellow wine,
Rose-blooms, and balsam for your hair
Of ben-nuts, wait you here, langsyne
Expectant; haste, nor watch for aye
Wet Tibur, Aefula's hillside,
And the far wolds where erst held sway
Telegonus, the parricide.
Come, leave your plenty's irk and bore,
Your palace with its skyey dome;
Nor marvel longer at the roar
And smoke and pomp of wealthy Rome. *
Full oft a welcome change to meals
Simple, in humble cots, that know
Nor purple rugs, nor awninged ceils,
Has smoothed a rich man's anxious brow.
Now shining out the sire of fair
Andromeda unveils his rays ;
Now Procyon and the mad Lion glare
Frenzied, as suns bring back dry days.
Now, weary with his weary flock,
The shepherd seeks the shady rill,
And thickets of Silvanus shock,
And, breathless now, the bank is still.
How best the State may stand and hold
Its own, you ponder ; fear, too, what
Bactra, by Cyrus ruled of old,
Seres, and rebel Tanais plot.
All wisely Heaven in darkest night
Enshrouds the event that is to be,
And mocks if mortal men despite
Its sanctions : order equably
What is ; all else sweeps on amain,
Like stream that down mid-channel now
Falls calm into the Tuscan main,
Now rolls down stones worn by its flow,
And uptorn rocks, and homes, and herd,
Together, while each neighbouring wood,
And hill, rings, as still brooks are stirred
To fury by the furious flood.
Lord of himself, and happy, will
He be, who can from day to day
Say, "I have lived ; let Jove fulfill
Tomorrow's sky with leaden-grey
Clouds or with shine, he can't undo
What has been done, nor make as naught,
No, nor reforge and shape anew,
What once the flying hour has brought."
Exultant in her cruel trade,
Playing her rude game ceaselessly,
Fortune shifts honours, fickle jade,
Kind, now to others, now to me.
I praise her present; if she flap
Her wings, pay back without ado
Her gifts, use virtue as my wrap,
And poverty undowried woo.
Not mine, if stormy Afric bows
The groaning mast, to fly to prayers
Abject, and bargain with shrill vows
That Cyprian and Tyrian wares
May not enrich the greedy seas.
At such a time in light pair-oar,
Sped by twin Pollux and by breeze,
I'll cross the Aegean safe to shore.
Od. III. 30
LO, I have reared a monument that bronze shall not
More lofty than the pyramids that despots piled of
Its strength defies devouring rain, defies the ungoverned
Of Aquilo, the wind that blows from where the North
It shall survive when the unnumbered tale of years is
When days and months have ceased to be, and Time
shall be no more.
There's that in me which shall not die; that which is
most of me
Shall win where the death-goddess has no part nor
lot; my fame
Shall grow with increase ever new as the ages yet
Uplift their voice in praise of me, and magnify my
While up the Capitol shall climb, in solemn company,
Pontiff and they whose silent care guards Vesta's
It shall be said of me, who, where Ofanto storms along
Raging, and where o'er arid realms ruled Daunus in
Waxed strong from low estate, that I, first of all sons
Married to modes of Italy Aeolia's lyric lays.
Be proud of right, Melpomene, and, for to thee belong
The honours, will to crown my brow with great
\WHAT, Venus, would'st thou now recall
Wars long abandoned? Spare, I pray.
I am not what I was as thrall
Of kindly Cinara. Cease to sway,
O sweet Loves' cruel mother, one,
Who, with his fiftieth year anigh,
Bends not to thy mild rule; begone
Whither young gallants' coaxing cry
Recalls thee. Timelier wilt thou
Revel with glistering swans to fire
Young Paulus Maximus, I trow,
If fitting heart be thy desire.
For as high-born and fair to see,
No silent champion at the Bar,
Graced with a hundred graces, he
Will bear thy standards wide and far:
Who, when he shall have mocked, in pride
Of power, a rival's bribery,
In marble, Alban lakes beside,
'Neath cedar roof will image thee.
There shall abundant incense greet
Thy nostrils ; Berecynthian flute
And lyre for thee shall blend their sweet
Music, nor shall Pan-pipe be mute.
Twice every day shall lads and gay
Young lasses celebrate thy might,
And shake the earth, in Salian way,
With threefold beat of feet snow-white.
Naught cheers me now nor lass, nor lad,
Nor wistful hope of love that shall
Match mine, nor brows, with flowerets clad
Fresh-blown, nor bouts convivial.
But why, ah Ligurinus, why
Steal down my cheeks rare tear-drops?
The breaks that silence shamefully
My tongue, and halt its eloquence?
Fast now I hold thee in my dreams ;
In dreams now chase thee o'er the sward
Of Mars' great Field, now thro' the stream's
Swift flood O cruel heart, and hard !
Od. IF. 2
O seeks to rival Pindar, he
Upsoars on wings waxed with the skill,
Julus, of Daedalus, and will
Name with his name some glassy sea.
As stream that down the mountain's steep,
Above its banks by rains uplift,
Rushes, so surges Pindar swift
With boundless flood, with utterance deep.
Worthy Apollo's bays is he,
Whether in dithyrambs bold he pours
Forth words new-formed, or song that wars
Against all laws of poetry;
Whether he hymns Gods, or acclaims
Kings born of Gods, whose valour slew
The Centaurs righteous doom and due
And quenched Chimaera's fearsome flames;
Or tells of heroes glorified
By palm Olympian, of steed,
Of boxer, bringing to them a meed
A hundred statues could not side;
Or, wailing bridegroom rapt away
From weeping bride, exalts on high
His strength, soul, golden courtesy,
And grudges Orcus' gloom its prey.
Strong is the breeze that lifts the swan
Dircaean, Antony, what time
To heights of cloud-land it would climb.
I, as a Matine bee drones on,
Culling the thyme's sweets toilfully
By watery Tibur's groves and braes,
Fashion, a humble bard, my lays
With pains of strenuous industry.
A poet, you, of nobler quill
Shall sing of Caesar when, with well
Earned bays enwreathed, he leads the fell
Sygambri down the Sacred Hill;
Than whom Fate and kind deities
Have given naught better, naught that is
Greater, to earth, nor will, ywis,
Give, tho' the Golden Age re-rise.
Of feasts and games your song shall be
Our thanks for answered prayers that gave
Back to our arms Augustus brave
And Forum from all law-suits free.
Then too my voice, if not in vain
Its utterance, shall come in, and say,
Full-toned, "O fair, O happy day !"
For joy that Caesar's home again.
And, as you lead the way, we'll raise,
Not once alone, our triumph-shout,
Ho Triumph! all will peal it out,
And offer Heaven incense in praise.
Your debt ten bulls, as many cows,
Shall quit; a calf will set me free
A youngling weaned, that on lush lea
Grows to its strength to pay my vows,
Whose brow, with hornlets newly grown,
Copies the young moon's crescent rays,
At its third rise ; it shows a blaze,
A birth-mark; elsewhere' tis red-roan.
Od. IV. 3
HE on whose birth, Melpomene,
Thou once for all hast set thine eye,
Thy placid gaze, shall never be
A boxer, famed for mastery
In Isthmian games; no fiery steeds
Shall draw him in Achaean car
To victory, nor shall mighty deeds
Display him, as a man of war,
To Rome's heart, crowned with Delian bays,
Because he cast proud tyrants down.
But Tibur's thickly wooded braes,
And streams, shall rear him to renown,
With lyric song. As for rewards,
To me poetic rank the youth
Of Rome, of cities queen, accords,
And blunted now is envy's tooth.
Muse of the golden lyre, whose art
Tempers its strings to harmony:
Who could'st, were it thy will, impart
To voiceless fish the swan's clear cry:
That as Rome's minstrel-bard I'm hailed
By passers' fingers lift to me :
My breath, and, if I have not failed
To charm, my charm 'tis all of thee !
Od. IV. 4
LIKE as the bird that bears on high
Jove's bolts, by heaven's Lord, as its meed,
Made king of birds, for loyalty
Proved upon fair-haired Ganymede;
Him youth and native grit of old
Drove from the nest or e'er he knew
Toil, and Spring winds, when clouds had rolled
By, sent him forth on ventures new,
Half fearful ; soon, with rushing stoop
To sheepfolds, he would strike his prey,
On struggling snakes anon to swoop,
Urged by the lust of feast and fray;
Or, as a fawn that, having quit
Its red dam's dugs for lavish grass,
Sees lion-cub newly weaned sees it
To die by its young fangs, alas !
So saw the Vindelicians
'Neath Alps of Raetia Drusus' war,
When, conquered by a young man's plans,
Troops, that had conquered long and far
Who arm with Amazonian
Axe their right hands have armed them so
Always ; when came the use I can
Not say ; not all things may one know
Felt what a mind, a temper, taught
In fostering home to bear its part,
Could do : how on the Neros wrought
Augustus' care his father's heart.
Brave souls spring from the brave and true;
Ever in steers, in colts, there is
The mettle of their sires, nor do
Fierce eagles breed soft doves, ywis.
But teaching trains the force innate ;
Right culture firms the heart; whene'er
Morals decay, faults vitiate
What is by nature good and fair.
What to the Neros Rome you owe
Metaurns' flood attests for aye,
And Hasdrubal your vanquished foe,
And Latium's fair and cloudless day,
That first smiled with kind victory
Since the dread African, Rome's bane,
Like flame thro' pines, swept Italy,
As Enrus sweeps Sicilian main.
Thenceforth with labours prosperous
Rome's youth grew strong, and temples
By Punic onslaught impious,
Beheld their Gods again erect.
Quoth treacherous Hannibal at length
"As stags, the prey of fierce wolves, we
Chase wantonly a foe whose strength
'Tis triumph rare to foil and flee.
The race, that from Troy's cinders bore
Bravely across the Tuscan sea
Thro' storms to the Ausonian shore
Its Gods, babes, manhood's chivalry
As, lopped by axe in dark-leaved wood
Of shady Algidus, holm-oak
Thro' scathes, thro' wounds, draws hardihood
And courage from the iron's stroke.
Not stronger grew 'gainst Hercules
The Hydra maimed, as hard bestead
He chafed ; not greater prodigies
Echion's Thebes and Colchis bred.
Plunged in the depths, it rises more
Resplendent; grapple it, it will bring
Down proudly unscathed conqueror,
And wage wars for its wives to sing.
No haughty messengers shall I
Now send to Carthage ; fallen is all
Our hope : fallen our fortune, aye,
Our name dead with dead Hasdrubal.
Naught shall the Claudian hands not do,
By Jove's kind favour evermore
Protected : by shrewd counsels too
Brought safely thro* the risks of war."
Od. IF. 5
BY grace of kind Gods born, best champion
Of Romulus' race, too long you stay from home;
Upon your promise to return anon
Our sacred Council rests; keep it, and come.
Give to your country back, dear Chief, your light,
For, when upon our folk your face has shone,
Like Spring, the very sunshine seems more bright,
Aye, and more pleasantly the days pass on.
Even as a mother, when her boy, delayed
By South Wind's jealous breath, beyond the sea
Carpathian lingers, from his dear home stayed
More than a year, recalls him ceaselessly
By vows, by prayers, by divinations, nor,
A-watch for him, from winding coast-line turns
Her eyes, so with heart-longings evermore
His country for her absent Caesar yearns.
In safety roam our oxen over leas,
By Ceres and by kind Prosperity
Fattened; our sailors fly o'er peaceful seas;
Faith shrinks from blame as from an infamy;
Adulteries never smirch homes' fair renown;
Custom and Law have chased the impiety;
Children like husbands are our matrons' crown;
Hard on offence presses the penalty.
Who would fear Persians, or chill Scythia's hordes,
Or shaggy Germany's war-loving breeds:
Who would reck aught of fierce Hiberia's swords,
While Caesar's life is safe : while Caesar leads ?
Each on his own hills sees the sunlight fail ;
To "marriageable elm" he weds his vine;
This done, his wine recalls him, soon to hail
You at his second course as all divine.
With wine from goblets poured, with many a prayer,
He honours you, and to his deities
He adds your Lar, as Greece, mindful of their
Exploits, hails Castor and great Hercules.
Long may you give, good Chief, such festival
Days to Hesperia thus, while yet the day
Is whole, and we athirst: thus, when we all
Have well drunk, and the sun has set, we pray.
GOD, by whose will the vaunting word
Of Niobe was her children's knell:
Whom Tityos knew, and Phthia's lord,
Before whose might Troy all but fell,
A peerless warrior, but for thee
No match, tho', as the Sea-Queen's son,
Fighting with spear tremendous, he
Shook the tall towers of Ilion.
He, as a pine by keen axe thrown,
Or cypress felled by East Wind's gust,
Fell great and greatly, and laid down
His haughty neck in Trojan dust.
Not he, in horse, feigned offering
To Pallas' honour, would betray
Trojans untimely revelling,
And Priam's hall with dancers gay,
But, stern to foes ta'en openly,
He'd burn with Greek fires ah, the sit
Of it! small boys, yet infants, aye,
And babes their mothers' wombs within;
Had not, by kindly Venus' prayers
And thine impelled, the Sire most High
Granted Aeneas and his heirs
Walls traced with happier augury.
Of sweet Thalia's psaltery
Master, who lav'st thy flowing hair
In Xanthus, beardless Way-God, be
The Daunian Muse's pride thy care.
My genius is of Phoebus' dower,
Aye, and my art; he gives to me
My poet's name. O virgins' flower,
And boys of noble ancestry,
Wards of the Delian Goddess, who
Stays flying stags and lynxes fleet,
Be to the Lesbian measures true,
And mark my thumb's controlling beat,
Duly exalting Leto's son,
Duly the Night-Queen's crescent light,
Who brings full crops, and hurries on
The months' career their onward flight.
"Trained to the modes" anon you'll say
As bride "of Horace, poet-seer,
On our centennial holiday
I sang a song Gods loved to hear."
Od. IF. 7
THE snows have fled ; returns to every mead
Its grass, its crown of leaves to every tree ;
Earth changes with the change ; at lessened speed,
Within their banks the rivers seek the sea.
The Graces and the Nymphs with never a fear
All naked dance the happy hours away;
Look not for things immortal warns the year,
Aye, and the hour that steals the gracious day.
West winds abate the frosts ; summer anon
Tramples on Spring, itself to disappear
As Autumn sheds its fruits ; then, Autumn gone,
Winter comes back to close the working-year.
Yet, fast as moons wane in the sky, as fast
They wax ; but we, poor mortals, when we fare
Whither Aeneas, Tullus, Ancus passed,
Are naught but dust here, naught but shadows there.
Who knows whether the gods who reign above
Add a new day's span to the sum of this?
Live while you live; that which the soul you love,
Your self, enjoys, your greedy heir will miss.
Once you are dead, once Minos, judge of men,
Has fixed by doom august your destiny,
Not rank, Torquatus, shall restore you then;
Not eloquence ; not even piety.
Dian despite, Hippolytus remains,
Chaste tho' he was, hidden in nether gloom;
Nor can the love of Theseus break the chains
That hold Peirithous in dark Lethe's tomb.
GLADLY I'd give my boon companions,
To suit their tastes, goblets and bronzes rare,
And tripods, prizes of Greek champions,
Nor, Censorinus, would you get least share,
That is, if with such gems my house were filled,
Such as Parrhasius or Scopas wrought,
The one in stone, with paints the other, skilled
To image God or man, as genius taught.
But I have no such store, nor have such things
Aught that your fortunes lack, or tempers crave ;
In song is your delight; as offerings
Songs we can give, and tell what worth they have.
Not marbles graven with records of proud feats,
Whereby return their breath to warriors dead
And life : not Hannibal's hurried retreats,
No, nor his threats' recoil on his own head,
More gloriously manifest his praise
Who won from conquered Africa a name,
Than the Calabrian Muses ; nor, if lays
Were silent, would you get your meed of fame.
What would the son of Mars and Ilia be,
If jealous silence buried Romulus,
And his deserts? Not his integrity
Alone from Stygian waves snatched Aeacus,
And raised him in blest isles to deity,
Nay, but great poets' voices too and grace.
Who praise deserves, the Muse forbids to die.
With heaven she blesses. Thus she make a place
For Hercules where high Jove feasts the blest;
Thus the Tyndaridae, bright luminaries,
Snatch from profoundest depths ships storm-distrest;
Thus Liber satisfies his votaries.
Od. IF. 9
LEST you should fancy that the songs which I,
By Aufidus' far-sounding waters sprung,
With modes of art till then unknown, have sung
Songs to be married to the lyre will die,
Think that, if to Maeonian Homer pride
Of place belongs, yet Pindar's song remains;
The Cean Muse, Alcaeus' warlike strains,
Stesichorus' stately epics, still abide.
Time has not rased Anacreon's minstrelsy,
His merry songs; still breathes the love, still burn
The fires, entrusted to her sad cithern
By the Aeolian maid in years gone by.
Not Spartan Helen only has admired
A gay gallant's tressed locks, his broidery
Of gold, his princely pomp, his company,
And with the vision has been passion-fired.
Not first did Teucer from Cydonian bow
Shoot shafts ; not only once has Ilion
Been sacked; not huge Idomeneus alone,
Or Sthenelus waged warfare long ago
Worthy the Muses' song; not first did haught
Hector and keen Deiphobus await,
And meet, fierce blows in combats passionate
For innocent wives and tender children fought.
Before the age of Agamemnon wight
Lived many a hero, but unwept, unknown,
Because no sacred bard hymned their renown,
They, one and all, lie whelmed in endless night
'Twixt valour hid and buried cowardice
Small is the difference ; never will I,
In what I write, pass you unhonoured by,
In silence, Lollius, nor in any wyse
Suffer green-eyed oblivion to wear
Your many deeds away, unchecked by song.
Yours is the statesman's soul, upright and strong,
Or in misfortune, or in fortune fair :
Of greedy guile avenger stern, unmoved
By all-seducing gold's attraction,
A consul it, not of one year alone,
But ever when, as judge true and approved,
It has set Right before expediency:
Has scorned offenders' bribes with proud disdain:
Has thro' opposing ranks cloven amain
Its way, its stedfast march, to victory.
Not rightly will you speak of him as blest
Whose wealth is many things ; more truly he
Can claim the title, "Blest/' who, skilled to see
What wisdom bids, uses at wisdom's hest
The gifts of heaven : can bear hard poverty :
Who dreads far worse than death dishonour's brand;
No coward he, who for his motherland
And comrades dear would never fear to die.
HARD-HEARTED yet, and strong with strength of
of Venus' gifts of grace,
When grows to your despair thick down upon your
proud young face,
And when the hair is cut that now about your shoul-
And when the hue that now transcends the scarlet of
Changed, Ligurinus, shall have made your face a
Then, as the glass reflects the change, you'll cry,
"Ah me," and ask,
"Why had I not the mind that now is mine in young-
Or why return not my fresh cheeks to match my
Od. IF. 11 .
I HAVE a cask of Alban, more
Than nine years old; my garden-ground;
Phyllis, of parsley have good store,
For chaplets meet; ivy abounds
Sprays that show out your beauty's sheen,
Binding your hair; the house looks good
With silver plate; with vervain green,
The altar claims a slain lamb's blood.
All hands are busy; to and fro
Run boys and girls in companies;
The fire-flames flicker as they go
Upward, and black smoke-eddies rise.
What joys invite you ? Well, the Ides
Claim your attendance, be it known
Mid-April's feast-day that divides
The month that Venus counts her own :
Rightly a feast for me, well nigh
More sacred than my birth's event,
For from this anniversary
Maecenas tells his life's ascent.
You long for Telephus, a lad
Not of your class ; a wealthy maid
Has snapped him up, and holds him, glad
To be her prisoner saucy jade.
From greed's ambitions Phaethon
Consumed deters ; the tale that tells
How Pegasus flung Bellerophon,
Scorning his earth-born rider, spells
Warning to you that you should choose
Meet things : should cut too venturesome
Hopes down as sinful : should refuse
A mate unequal. Come, then, come,
Last of my loves, for not again
Shall I love woman ; learn my lays,
That your dear voice may lilt each strain;
All gloom, all troubles, song allays.
BREEZES from Thrace, that come with Spring
To fill our sails, now calm the waves;
Unfed by snows, no longer raves
The stream; frost is no longer king.
Now nests the unhappy bird that must
For ever mourn Itys a shame
Eternal, she, to Cecrops' name,
Whose crime avenged Kings' barbarous lust.
Our failings' warders sing their loves
To Pan-pipe's music on green swards,
And gladden him whose favour guards
Arcadia's flocks, and dark hill-groves.
Virgil, the days are thirsty days,
But, if you want Calenian, then,
As client of young noblemen,
Bring with you nard ; he drinks who pays.
A box will draw a cask, my friend,
Now in Sulpician stores laid up ;
There's hope, fresh hope, in every cup,
And of all bitter cares an end.
If on these joys you're keen, then come
Quick with the stuff ; I don't incline
To soak you gratis with my wine,
As might a rich man in full home.
Quick, quit your usury. Time is fleet.
Think, while you may, of funeral flames,
And blend brief folly with your aims;
Folly, in folly's hour, is sweet.
LYCE, the Gods have heard my prayer ;
They've heard it, Lyce; you grow ok-
And yet you wish to pose as fair,
And drink and wanton brazen-bold.
Drunken, you woo with quavering tongu^
Unwilling Cupid ; ah, but he
Keeps watch on the fair cheeks of young
Chia, queen of the psaltery.
Past withered oaks he wings his flight
Ruthless, and you, yes you, he flies
Because tan teeth, hair snowy-white,
And wrinkles, smirch you in his eyei.
Nor Coan silks, nor jewelry,
Bring back the years of youth and prime .
Years stored in public history,
And sealed therein by winged Time.
Your beauty, radiance, grace what deatt
Has chased them? What is there to se^.
Of what you were of her whose breath
Breathed love : who stole my heart from m^,
A presence after Cinara's blest,
Winsome, renowned where is it? Where)
But fate gave Cinara at the best
Few years; having intent to spare
Lyce to rival an old crow,
That ardent swains, coming to view
Your beauty's torch, might see it now
Fallen to ash, and laugh at you.
Od. IF. 14
AT zeal of Senate or of people may
With fitting meed of honours eternize,
Augustus, your all-worthiness for aye,
By graven inscriptions and State-histories?
Prince of all princes mightiest, wheresoe'er
The sun illumes earth's peoples with his light,
Whom the Vindelici, untaught to bear
Rome's yoke, have lately learnt to know your might
In war, for Drusus, with your soldiery,
With more than mere requital, overthrew
Fiercely the turbulent Genauni, aye,
And swiftly marching Brenni strongholds too
Perched on the awful Alps. This warfare won,
The elder Nero clashed in furious fight
With the gigantic Raeti, and anon
Put them, with happy auspices, to flight.
A gallant sight he was, as gallantly
With mighty shocks his battle smote amain
Hearts freely dedicate to liberty
Or death well nigh as Auster sweeps the main
Tameless, what time the Pleiads' choir on high
Disparts the clouds eager to thrust his way
Thro' enemy ranks, and ride his fiery
Steed thro' the heat and fury of the fray.
As bull-like Aufidus, whose waters pass
Apulian Daunus' realm, rolls in his pride,
What time he fumes, and, fuming, plots, alas !
A flood whose waves shall waste the countryside,
So Qaudius overwhelmed with rush far-sped
The mailed barbarians' hosts, as, mowing down
Front ranks and rear, he strewed the battle-stead
With slain, and won, unscathed, the victor's crown.
You gave the troops, you gave the plan, yours were
The favouring auspices, for on the day
That Alexandria humbly opened her
Harbours and empty palace, as your prey,
On this same day, three lustres passed, Good Speed,
Which gave unbroken victory to your hands,
Has added this renown, and longed-for meed
Of glory, to your earlier commands.
You the Cantabrian, whom none could tame
Before : you Parthian, Indian, Scythian
Nomad, revere you of the Italian name,
And sovereign Rome, abiding Guardian.
The Nile and Hister, streams that hide their springs.
Tigris' fast-flowing flood: your beck abide;
Aye, and the monster-teeming Main that flings
On far Britannia's shore its breakers' pride.
You claim the allegiance of the Gallic land,
That fears not death, of rough Hiberia too;
The blood-thirsty Sygambri, to your hand
Brought, lay aside their arms, and reverence you.
Od. IV. 15
PHOEBUS with lyre forbade me, fain
To tell of captured fort and fray,
To sail upon the Tuscan main
My little bark. Caesar, your sway
Has brought back plenty to our land :
Has given, from Parthian doors reta'en,
Our standards to our Jove; your hand
Has closed Quirinal Janus' fane
In peace : has curbed the wild abuse
Of lawless license : has removed
Faults, and recalled to us the use
Of virtues that our fathers loved,
Whence grew to strength the Latin name
The imperial majesty, that won
For Italy a world-wide fame,
From setting unto rising sun.
While Caesar rules nor civic raves,
Nor force, shall banish our repose,
No, nor the rage that forges glaives,
And brings unhappy towns to blows.
The Julian law none shall defy
Not they who drink the Danube's flood,
Not Getae, Seres, slippery
Persians, not Tanais' savage brood.
And we on common days and high,
'Mid rites to merry Liber paid,
With children and with matrons by,
After devotions duly made,
Will sing, as forbears wont to do,
Leaders who lived brave lives and fair,
To Lydian flute Anchises too,
And Troy, and kindly Venus' heir.
The Secular Hymn
T)HOEBUS and Dian, woodland Queen,
*- Glory of heaven's resplendent sheen,
Worshipped and worshipful for aye,
Grant us the boons we seek to-day:
On which the Sibyl's runes require
That boys and girls, a holy choir,
Shall sing unto the Gods who care
For our seven hills a hymn of prayer.
Kind Sun, whose chariot on its way
Opens and closes every day:
Who risest different yet the same,
May'st never view what shrinks Rome's fame !
Who openest ripe wombs of thy right
Full gently, Ilithyia hight,
Or, if thou wilt, Lucina, bless
Our mothers, as birth's Patroness.
Goddess, bring up our youth, and speed
That which the Fathers have decreed
Wedlock anent the law whereby
Marriage creates the family,
That each fixed cycle, covering
Ten times eleven years, may bring
Anthems and games, thronged in daylight
Three times, and three times in the night.
Ye Fates, whose prophecies are sure,
As promised may the pledge endure
By grace of our great Land-Mark's stay!
Add new to old good speed, we pray.
With crops and herds rich, may our land
Bid Ceres crowned with wheat-ears stand;
May Jove with many a favouring breeze,
And kindly rains, bless our increase.
Gentle and kind, with bow laid by,
Apollo, hear our striplings' cry;
Queen of the stars, with crescent brows,
O Luna, hear our maidens' vows.
If Rome is yours, and Ilion bore
The folk who won the Etruscan shore
A remnant, called to Lares new
And homes, and safely brought thereto
For whom, unscathed when Ilion flamed,
Outliving Troy, Aeneas, named
The Good, to give them more than they
Had lost, carved out an open way,
To docile youth grant honesty,
Ye Gods, to eld tranquility;
Give to the Romuleian race
Offspring, and means, and every grace.
What Venus' and Anchises' heir
Asks, with white steers to plead his prayer,
That give him : let him crush each foe
In arms, but spare a foe laid low.
By sea and land before his power,
And Alban axes, Parthians cower;
Now Indians, Scyths, once insolent,
Wait upon his arbitrament.
Now Faith and Peace and Chivalry
Return with pristine Modesty;
Virtue ignored dares re-appear,
And Plenty with full horn is here.
Surely as Phoebus, archer-seer.
Adorned with radiant bow, and dear
To the nine Muses he whose skill
Healthgiving heals limbs tired and ill
Sees Palatine heights with kind face,
He lengthens out a lustre's space,
And on to aeons of success,
Rome's weal and Latium's happiness,
Diana too, whom Aventine
Hill and Mount Algidus enshrine,
Heeds our Fifteen Priests' prayers, and hears
Our children's vows with gracious ears.
That Jove and all the Gods assent
We bear back home hope confident,
And sure the chorus trained to praise
Phoebus and Dian with glad lays.
I, 24, line 12
That not thus did you bid them keep your friend.
I, 24, 20
. . . naught may remedy.
I, 37, lines 30-32
She grudged Rome's galleys, haughty dame,
That she, reft of her royalty,
In triumph led, should flaunt Rome's fame.
Ill, 13, line 13
The fame of famous fountains shall
III, 23, lines 25-30
A giftless hand a hand not made
By victim of great price
More coaxing on the altar laid,
As offering sacrifice,
Soothes angered House-Gods by the appeal
Of crackling salt and pious meal.
IV, 7, line 22
By flaming doom has fixed your destiny,
IV, 13, line 4
Whose swelling brows young horns uprear,
Secular Hymn, lines 26-27
As ye once promised and may your
Pledge stand thro' our firm Landmark's stay
W. H. M.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below.
FED 4 1963
07 19 89
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
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