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What practice, howsoe'er expert, 

In fitting aptest words to things ; 

Or voice, the richest-toned that sings. 
Hath power to give thee as thou wert ? 





THE ,,fy 

Works of Horace 





VOL. I. 















Born — 8 DEC, a.u.c. 689, b.c. 65. 

©letl 27 NOV., A.U.C. 746, B.C. 8. 




AND CASSius, xiii 









VII. Horace's poems to his friends. — his praises 



xii Index to Life. 

IX. Horace's relations with Augustus. — his 






IKE the two greatest lyrists of modem times, 
Bums and Beranger, Horace sprang from 
the ranks of the people. His father had 
been a slave, and he was himself cradled 
among " the huts where poor men lie." Like these great 
lyrists, too, Horace was proud of his origin. After he 
had become the intimate associate of the first men in 
Rome — nay, the bosom friend of the generals and states- 
men who ruled the world — he was at pains on more 
occasions than one to call attention to the fact of his 
humble birth, and to let it be known that, had he to 
begin life anew, he was so far from desiring a better 
ancestry that he would, like Andrew Marvell, have made 
"his destiny his choice." Nor is this done with the 
pretentious affectation of the parvenu, eager to bring 
VOL. I. a 

xiv Life of Horace. 

under notice the contrast between what he is and what 
he has been, and to insinuate his personal deserts, while 
pretending to disclaim them. Horace has no such false 
humility. He was proud, and he makes no secret that 
he was so, of the name he had made, — proud of it for 
himself and for the class from which he had sprung. 
But it was his practice, as well as his settled creed, to 
rate at little the accidents of birth and fortune. A 
stronger and higher feeling, however, more probably 
dictated the avowal, — gratitude to that slave-born father 
whose character and careful training had stamped an 
abiding influence upon the life and genius of his son. 
Neither might he have been unwilling in this way quietly 
to protest against the worship of rank and wealth which 
he saw everywhere around him, and which was demoral- 
ising society in Rome. The favourite of the Emperor, 
the companion of Maecenas, did not himself forget, 
neither would he let others forget, that he was a freed- 
man's son ; and in his own way was glad to declare, as 
Bdranger did of himself at the height of his fame — 
"Je suis vilain, et Xxh% vilain." 
The Roman poets of the pre-Augustan and Augustan 
periods, unlike Horace, were all well born. Catullus 
and Calvus, his great predecessors in lyric poetry, were 
men of old and noble family. Virgil, bom five years 
before Horace, came nearer than either of these to 
Horace in social rank. But although his father had 
begun life in a humble employment, and owed, like 
Horace's father, his rise in life to his own industry, and, 
like him, had invested his savings in the purchase of a 
small landed property, he had not risen from a servile 

Horaces Father. xv 

position. TibuUus, Propertius, and Ovid, who were 
respectively six, fourteen, and twenty years Horace's 
juniors, were all of equestrian rank. Horace's father was 
a freedman of the town of Venusia, the modern Venosa. 
It is supposed that he had been a publicus servus, or 
slave of the community, and took his distinctive name 
from the Horatian tribe, to which the community be- 
longed. He had saved a moderate competency in the 
vocation of coactor^ a name applied both to the collectors 
of public revenue and of money at sales by public 
auction. To which of these classes he belonged is 
uncertain — most probably to the latter; and in those 
days of frequent confiscations, when property was con- 
stantly changing hands, the profits of his calling, at best 
a poor one, may have been unusually large. 

With the fruits of his industry he had purchased a 
small farm near Venusia, upon the banks of the Aufidus, 
the modern Ofanto, on the confines of Lucania and 
Apulia. Here, on the 8th of December, B.C. 6^^ the 
poet was born ; and this picturesque region of mountain, 
forest, and river, "meet nurse of a poetic child," im- 
pressed itself indelibly on his memory, and imbued him 
with the love of nature, especially in her rugged aspect, 
which remained with him through life. He appears to 
have left the locality in early life, and he nowhere men- 
tions that he visited it ; but when he has occasion to 
describe its features (Odes, III. 4), he does this with a 
sharpness and truth of touch, which show how closely 
he had even then begun to observe. Acherontia, perched 
nest- like among the rocks, the Bantine thickets, the fat 
meadows of low-lying Forentum, which his boyish eye 

xvi L ife of Horace. 

had noted, attest to this hour the vivid accuracy of his 
description. The passage in question records an inter- 
esting incident in the poet's childhood. Escaping from 
his nurse, he has rambled away from the little cottage on 
the slopes of Mount Vultur, whither he had probably 
been taken from the sultry Venusia to pass his villeg- 
giatura during the heat of summer, and is found asleep, 
covered with fresh myrtle and laurel leaves, in which the 
wood-pigeons have swathed him. 

" When from my nurse erewhile, on Vultur's steep, 
I strayed beyond the bound 
Of our small homestead's ground, ^ 
Was I, fatigued with play, beneath a heap 
Of fresh leaves sleeping found, — 

Strewn by the storied doves ; and wonder fell 

On all, their nest who keep 

On Acherontia's steep, 
Or in Forentum's low rich pastures dwell. 

Or Bantine woodlands deep. 

1 In translating this passage I have adopted the reading " Villulce" 
in preference to the obviously unsatisfactory ' ' Apuliae " of ordinary 
texts. This reading is rejected by Mr Munro, on the ground that 
Horace is averse to the use of diminutives. But he has "parmula," 
and in the passage in question the diminutive has its force. I cannot 
better express my own views than in the words of my friend, the late 
W. G. Clark, of Cambridge, who long ago conjectured that the line 
should be read — 

" Altricis extra limina Villulss." 

"It would have been claiming for himself a luxurious bringing up 
to have said 'Villa.' 'Villula' is the little country cottage on the 
mountain-side, where the boy was sent from the sultry Venusia, to pass 
his villeggiatura during the summer months. Does not this add to the 
picture and give force to the illustration? A child wanders from the 
cottage door, but he would scarcely be said to wander into a neigh- 
bouring province, nor does it matter whether he fell asleep in Apulia or 

His Childhood. xvii 

That safe from bears and adders in such place 

I lay, and slumbering smiled, 

O'erstrewn with myrtle wild. 
And laurel, by the god's peculiar grace 

No craven-hearted child." 

The incident thus recorded is not necessarily dis- 
credited by the circumstance of its being closely akin to 
what is told by ^lian (B. xii. c. xlv.) of Pindar, that a 
swarm of bees settled upon his lips, and fed him with 
honey, when he was left exposed upon the highway. It 
probably had some foundation in fact, whatever may be 
thought of the implied augury of the special favour of 
the gods which is said to have been drawn from it at 
the time. In any case, the picture of the strayed child, 
sleeping unconscious of its danger, with its hands full of 
wild-flowers, is pleasant to contemplate. 

In his father's house, and in those of the Apulian 
peasantry around him, Horace became familiar with the 
simple virtues of the poor, their industry and independ- 
ence, their integrity, chastity, and self-denial, which he 
loved to contrast in after-years with the luxury and vice 
of imperial Rome.^ 

His mother he would seem to have lost early. No 
mention of her occurs, directly or indirectly, throughout 

1 In speaking of Virgil's youth, Professor Sellar ('The Roman Poets of 
the Augustan Age :' Oxford, 1877, p. no) confirms this view. "Virgil 
and Horace," he says, " after living in the most refined society in Rome, 
are entirely at one in their appreciation of the qualities of the old 
Italian husbandmen or small landowners, — a class long before their 
time reduced in numbers and influence, but still producing men of 
modest worth and strong common-sense, like the " abnormis sapiens" 
of the Satires, and like those country neighbours whose lively talk and 
homely wisdom Horace contrasts with the fashionable folly of Rome; 

xviii Life of Horace. 

his poems ; and remarkable as Horace is for the warmth 
of his affections, this could scarcely have happened had 
she not died when he was very young. He appears also 
to have been an only child. This doubtless drew him 
closer to his father, and the want of the early influences 
of mother or sister may serve to explain why one misses 
in his poetry something of that gracious tenderness 
towards womanhood, which, looking to the sweet and 
loving disposition of the man, one might otherwise have 
expected to find in it. 

That he was no common boy we may be very sure, 
even if this were not manifest from the fact that his 
father resolved to give him a higher education than was 
to be obtained under a provincial schoolmaster. With 
this view, although little able to afford the expense, he 
took his son, when about twelve years old, to Rome, and 
gave him the best education the capital could supply. 
No money was spared to enable him to keep his position 
among his fellow-scholars of the higher ranks. He was 
waited on by several slaves, as though he were the heir 
to a considerable fortune. At the same time, however, 

and true and virtuous women, such as may have suggested to the one 
poet the lines — 

' Quod si pudica mulier in partem juvet 

Domum atque dulces liberos, 
Sabina qualis aut perusta solibus 
Pernicis uxor Apuli ; ' 

and to the other — 

' Interea longum cantu solata laborem 
Arguto conjux percurrit pectiue telas.' 

"These poets themselves probably owe that stronger grain of character, 
their large share of the old Italian seriousness of spirit {gravitus), which 
distinguishes them from the other poets of their time, to the traditions 
of virtue which the men of this class had not yet unlearned." 

His Boyhood. xix 

he was not allowed either to feel any shame for his own 
order, or to aspire to a position which his patrimony was 
unable to maintain. His father taught him to look for- 
ward to some situation akin to that in which his own 
modest competency had been acquired ; and to feel that, 
in any sphere, culture, self-respect, and prudent self-con- 
trol must command influence, and afford the best guar- 
antee for happiness. In reading this part of Horace's 
story, as he tells it himself, one is reminded of Burns's 
early lines about his father and himself: — 

" My father was a farmer upon the Carrick border, 
And carefully he bred me up in decency and order. 
He bade me act a manly part, though I had ne'er a farthing, 
For without an honest manly heart no man was worth regarding." 

The parallel might be still further pursued. "My 
father," says Gilbert Burns, " was for some time almost 
the only companion we had. He conversed familiarly 
on all subjects with us as if we had been men, and was 
at great pains, while we accompanied him in the labours 
of the farm, to lead the conversation to such subjects 
as might tend to increase our knowledge, or confirm 
us in virtuous habits." How closely this resembles the 
method adopted with Horace by his father will be seen 

Horace's literary master at Rome was Orbilius Pupil- 
lus, a grammarian, who had carried into his school his 
martinet habits as an old soldier; and who, thanks to 

1 Compare it, too, with what Horace reports of 

" Ofellus the hind, 
Though no scholar, a sage of exceptional kind," 

in the Second Satire of the Second Book, from line 114 to the end. 

XX JLife of Horace. 

Horace, has become a name {plagosus Orbilius, Orbilius 
of the birch) eagerly applied by many a suffering urchin 
to modern pedagogues who have resorted to the same 
material means of inculcating the beauties of the classics. 
By this Busby of the period Horace was grounded in 
Greek, and made familiar, too familiar for his liking, with 
Ennius, Naevius, Pacuvius, Attius, Livius Andronicus, 
and other early Latin writers, whose unpruned vigour 
was distasteful to one who had already begun to appreci- 
ate the purer and not less vigorous style of Homer and 
other Greek authors. Horace's father took care that 
he should acquire all the accomplishments of a Roman 
gentleman, in which music and rhetoric were, as a matter 
of course, included. But, what was of still more import- 
ance during this critical period of the future poet's first 
introduction to the seductions of the capital, he enjoyed 
the advantages of his father's personal superintendence 
and of a careful moral training. His father went with 
him to all his classes, and, being himself a man of shrewd 
observation and natural humour, he gave the boy's studies 
a practical bearing by directing his attention to the follies 
and vices of the luxurious and dissolute society around 
him, showing him how incompatible they were with the 
dictates of reason and common-sense, and how disastrous 
in their consequences to the good name and happiness 
of those who yielded to their seductions. The method 
he pursued is thus described by Horace (Satires, I. 4) — 

" Should then my humorous vein run wild, some latitude allow. 
I learned the habit from the best of fathers, who employed 
Some living type to stamp the vice he wished me to avoid. 
Thus temperate and frugal when exhorting me to be, 
And with the competence content which he had stored for me, 

His Father as Teacher, xxi 

* Look, boy ! ' he'd say, ' at Albius' son— observe his sorry plight ! 
And Barrus, that poor beggar there ! Say, are not these a sight, 
To warn a man from squandering his patrimonial means ? ' 

When counselling me to keep from vile amours with common queans ; 

* Sectanus, ape him not ! ' he'd say ; or, urging to forswear 
Intrigue with matrons, when I might taste lawful joys elsewhere ; 
' Trebonius' fame is blurred since he was in the manner caught. 

The reasons why this should be shunned, and why that should be 

The sages will explain ; enough for me, if I uphold 
The faith and morals handed down from our good sires of old, 
And, while you need a guardian, keep your hfe pure and your name. 
When years have hardened, as they will, your judgment and your frame. 
You'll swim without a float ! ' And so, with talk like this, he won 
And moulded me, while yet a boy. Was something to be done. 
Hard it might be — ' For this,' he'd say, 'good warrant you can quote' — 
And then as model pointed to some public man of note. 
Or was there something to be shunned, then he would urge, ' Can you 
One moment doubt that acts like these are base and futile too. 
Which have to him and him such dire disgrace and trouble bred?* 
And as a neighbour's death appals the sick, and, by the dread 
Of dying, forces them to put upon their lusts restraint. 
So tender minds are oft deterred from vices by the taint 
They see them bring on others' names ; 'tis thus that I from those 
Am all exempt, which bring with them a train of shames and woes." 

Nor did Horace only inherit from his father, as he 
himself says, the kindly humour and practical good 
sense which distinguish his satirical and didactic writ- 
ings, and that manly independence which he preserved 
through the temptations of a difficult career. Many of 
*'the rugged maxims hewn from life" with which his 
works abound are manifestly but echoes of what the poet 
had heard from his father's lips. Like his own Ofellus, 
and the elders of tlie race — not, let us hope, altogether 
bygone — of peasant-farmers in Scotland, described by 
Wordsworth as " religious men, who give to God and 
men their dues," — the ApuHan freedman had a fund 

xxi i Life of Horace. 

of homely wisdom at command, not gathered from 
books, but instinct with the freshness and force of direct 
observation and personal conviction. The following 
exquisite tribute by Horace to his worth is conclusive 
evidence how often and how deeply he had occasion to 
be grateful, not only for the affectionate care of this 
admirable father, but also for the bias and strength 
which that father's character had given to his own. It 
has a further interest, as occurring in a poem (Satires, 
I. 6) addressed to Maecenas, a man of ancient family 
and vast wealth in the early days of that acquaintance 
with the poet which was afterwards to ripen into a life- 
long friendship. 

" Yet if some trivial faults, and these but few, 
My nature, else not much amiss, imbue 
(Just as you wish away, yet scarcely blame, 
A mole or two upon a comely frame). 
If no man may arraign me of the vice 
Of lewdness, meanness, nor of avarice ; 
If pure and innocent I live, and dear 
To those I love (self-praise is venial here). 
All this I owe my father, who, though poor, 
Lord of some few lean acres, and no more. 
Was loath to send me to the village school. 
Whereto the sons of men of mark and rule, — 
Centurions, and the like, — were wont to swarm, 
With slate and satchel on sinister arm, 
And the poor dole of scanty pence to pay 
The starveling teacher on the quarter-day ; 
But boldly took me, when a boy, to Rome, 
There to be taught all arts that grace the home 
Of knight and senator. To see my dress. 
And slaves attending, you'd have thought, no less 
Than patrimonial fortunes old and great 
Had furnished forth the charges of my state. 
When with my tutors, he would still be by. 
Nor ever let me wander from his eye ; 

Horace's Father. xxiii 

And, in a word, he kept me chaste (and this 
Is virtue's crown) from all that was amiss. 
Nor such in act alone, but in repute. 
Till even scandal's tattling voice was mute. 

No dread had he that men might taunt or jeer, 
Should I, some future day, as auctioneer. 
Or, like himself, as tax-collector, seek 
With petty fees my humble means to eke. 
Nor should I then have murmured. Now I know. 
More earnest thanks, and loftier praise I owe. 
Reason must fail me, ere I cease to own 
With pride, that I have such a father known ; i 
Nor shall I stoop my birth to vindicate. 
By charging, like the herd, the wrong on Fate, 
That I was not of noble lineage sprung : 
Far other creed inspires my heart and tongue. 
For now should nature bid all living men 
Retrace their years, and live them o'er again, 
Each culling, as his inclination bent. 
His parents for himself, with mine content, 
I would not choose whom men endow as great 
With the insignia and seats of state ; 
And, though I seemed insane to vulgar eyes. 
Thou wouldst perchance esteem me truly wise, 
In thus refusing to assume the care 
Of irksome state I was unused to bear." 

The education of which Horace's father had laid the 
foundation at Rome, would not have been complete 
without a course of study at Athens, then the capital 
of literature and philosophy, as Rome was of political 
power. Thither Horace went somewhere between the 

1 Many are the fathers who deserve no less a tribute, though the world 
hears nothing of them. How welcome such tributes are, when they are 
paid by great men — as, for example, in such words as those in which 
Carlyle speaks of his father ! " Ought I not to rejoice that God was 
pleased to give me such a father ; that from earliest years I had the ex- 
ample of a real man of God's own making continually before me ? Let 
me learn of him. Let me write my books, as he built his houses, and 
walk as blamelessly through this shadow world ; if God so will to rejoin 
him at last." — ' Reminiscences,' vol. i. p. 15. 

xxiv L ife of Horace. 

age of seventeen and twenty. "At Rome," he says 
(Epistles, II. ii. 32) — 

" I was brought up, and there was taught, 
What ills to Greece Achilles' anger wrought. 
Then Athens bettered that dear lore of song ; 
She taught me to distinguish right from wrong, 
And in the groves of Academe to sound 
The way to truth, if so she might be found." 

At Athens he found many young men of the leading 
Roman families — Bibulus, Messalla, Corvinus, the 
younger Cicero, and others — engaged in the same pur- 
suits with himself, and he contracted among them many 
enduring friendships. In the political lull which ensued 
between the battle of Pharsalia (b.c. 48) and the death 
of Julius Caesar (b.c. 44), he was enabled to devote him- 
self without interruption to the studies which had drawn 
him to that home of literature and the arts. But these 
were destined before long to be rudely broken. The 
tidings of that startling event had been hailed with 
delight by the youthful spirits, some of whom saw in the 
downfall of the great Dictator the dawn of a new era of 
liberty, while others hoped from it the return to power 
of the aristocratic party to which they belonged. In 
this mood Brutus found them when he arrived in Athens 
along with Cassius, on their way to take command of 
the Eastern provinces which had been assigned to them 
by the Senate. Cassius hurried on to his post in Syria, 
but Brutus lingered behind, ostensibly absorbed in the 
philosophical studies of the schools, but at the same 
time recruiting a staff of officers for his army from 
among the young Romans of wealth and family whom 
it was important he should attach to his party, and who 

Joins Party of Brutus. xxv 

were all eagerness to make his cause their own. Horace, 
infected by the general enthusiasm, joined his standard ; 
and, though then only twenty-two, without experience, 
and with no special aptitude, physical or mental, for a 
military life, he was intrusted by Brutus with the com- 
mand of a legion.^ There is no reason to suppose 
that he owed a command of such importance to any 
dearth of men of good family qualified to act as officers. 
It is, therefore, only reasonable to conclude, that even 
at this early period he was recognised in the brilliant 
society around him as a man of mark ; and that Brutus, 
before selecting him, had thoroughly satisfied himself 
that he possessed qualities which justified so great a 
deviation from ordinary rules, as the commission of so 
responsible a charge to a freedman's son. That Horace 
gave his commander satisfaction we know from himself. 
The line (Epistles, I. xx. 23), ^'' Me primis urbis belli 
placuisse domique" — 

" In war, as also here at home, 
I stood well with the foremost men of Rome," 

can be read in no other sense. But while Horace had, 
beyond all doubt, made himself a strong party of friends 
who could appreciate his genius and attractive quaHties, 
his appointment as military tribune excited jealousy 
among some of his brother officers, who considered that 
the command of a Roman legion should have been re- 

1 A legion was composed of 6000 men. Over each legion were six 
tribunes. Exception has been taken to the statement in the text by 
some critics who think that Horace's command was merely nominal. 
Had it been so, Horace would have been very unlikely to have called 
attention, as he does, in the Sixth Satire of the First Book, to the fact 
that he had been intrusted with a merely nominal command. 

xxvi L ife of Horace. 

served for men of nobler blood — a jealousy at which 
he said, with his usual modesty, many years afterwards 
(Satires, I. vi. 45), he had no reason either to be sur- 
prised or to complain. 

In B.C. 43, Brutus, with his army, passed from Mace- 
donia to join Cassius in Asia Minor, and Horace took 
his part in their subsequent active and brilliant campaign 
there. Of this we get some slight incidental glimpses 
in his works. Thus, for example (Odes, II. 7), we find 
him reminding his comrade, Pompeius Varus, how 

" Full oft they sped the lingering day 
Quaffing bright wine, as in our tents we lay, 
With Syrian spikenard on our glistening hair." 

The Syrian spikenard, Malobathrum Syrium, fixes the 
locality. Again, in the epistle to his friend Bullatius 
(Epistles, I. 11), who is making a tour in Asia, Horace 
speaks of several places as if from vivid recollection. 
In his usual dramatic manner, he makes Bullatius 
answer his inquiries as to how he likes the place he has 
seen : — 

" Yotc know what Lebedos is like : so bare, 
With Gabii or Fidenae 'twould compare ; 
Yet there, methinks, I would accept my lot. 
My friends forgetting, by my friends forgot. 
Stand on the cliff at distance, and survey 
The stormy sea-god's wild Titanic play."— (Conington.) 

Horace himself had manifestly watched the angry 
surges from the cliffs of Lebedos. But a more interest- 
ing record of the Asiatic campaign, inasmuch as it is 
probably the earliest specimen of Horace's writing which 
we have, occurs in the Seventh Satire of the First Book. 

His Earliest Satire, xxvii 

Persius, a rich trader of Clazomene, has a lawsuit with 
Rupilius, one of Brutus's officers, who went by the nick- 
name of *' King." Brutus, in his character of quaestor, 
has to decide the dispute, which in the hands of the 
principals degenerates, as disputes so conducted gener- 
ally do, into a personal squabble. Persius leads off with 
some oriental flattery of the general and his suite. 
Brutus is " Asia's sun," and they the " propitious stars," 
all but Rupilius, who was 

*• That pest, 
The Dog, whom husbandmen detest," 

Rupilius, an old hand at slang, replies with a volley of 
rough sarcasms, " such as among the vineyards fly," and 

" Would make the passer-by- 
Shout filthy names, but shouting fly " — 

a description of vintage slang which is as true to-day as 
it was then. The conclusion is curious, as a punning 
allusion to the hereditary fame of Brutus as a puller- 
down of kings, which it must have required some 
courage to publish, when Augustus was omnipotent 
in Rome. 

" But Grecian Persius, after he 
Had been besprinkled plenteously 
With gall Italic, cries, ' By all 
The gods above, on thee I call, 
O Brutus, thou of old renown. 
For putting kings completely down. 
To save us ! Wherefore do you not 
Despatch this King here on the spot ? 
One of the tasks is this, believe. 
Which you are destined to achieve ! ' " 

This is just such a squib as a young fellow might be 

xxviii L ife of Horace, 

expected to dash off for the amusement of his brother 
officers, while the incident which led to it was yet fresh 
in their minds. Slight as it is, one feels sure its preser- 
vation by so severe a critic of his own writings as Horace 
was due to some charm of association, or possibly to the 
fact that in it he had made his first essay in satire. 

The defeat of Brutus at Philippi (b.c. 42) brought 
Horace's military career to a close. Even before this 
decisive event, his dream of the re - establishment of 
liberty and the old Roman constitution had probably 
begun to fade away, under his actual experience of the 
true aims and motives of the mass of those whom Brutus 
and Cassius had hitherto been leading to victory, and 
satiating with plunder. Young aristocrats, who sneered 
at the freedman^s son, were not likely to found any sys- 
tem of liberty worthy of the name, or to use success for 
nobler purposes than those of selfish ambition. Fighting 
was not Horace's vocation ; and with the death of Brutus 
and those nobler spirits who fell at Philippi rather than 
survive their hopes of freedom, his motive for fighting 
was at an end. To prolong a contest which its leaders 
had surrendered in despair was hopeless. He did not, 
therefore, like Pompeius Varus and others of his friends, 
join the party which, for a time, protracted the struggle 
under the younger Pompey. But, like his great leader, 
he had fought for a principle; nor could he have re- 
garded otherwise than with horror the men who had 
overthrown Brutus, reeking as they were with the blood 
of a thousand proscriptions, and reckless as they had 
shown themselves of every civil right and social obliga- 

After Philippi. xxix 

tion. As little, therefore, was he inclined to follow 
the example of others of his distinguished friends and 
companions in arms, such as Valerius Messalla and 
-^lius Lamia, who not merely made their peace with 
Antony and Octavius, but cemented it by taking service 
in their army. 

VOL. I. 





Availing himself of the amnesty proclaimed by the 
conquerors, Horace found his way back to Rome. His 
father was dead ; how long before is not known. If the 
little property at Venusia had remained unsold, it was of 
course confiscated. When the lands of men, like Virgil, 
who had taken no active part in the political conflicts 
of the day, were being seized to satisfy the rapacity of 
a mercenary soldiery, Horace's paternal acres were not 
likely to escape. In Rome he found himself penniless. 
How to live was the question; and, fortunately for 
literature, "chill penury" did not repress, but, on the 
contrary, stimulated his "noble rage." 

' ' Bated in spirit, and with pinions clipped, 
Of all the means my father left me stripped, 
Want stared me in the face, so then and there 
I took to scribbUng verse in sheer despair." — (Ep. ii. 2,) 

Despoiled of his means, and smarting with defeat, Horace 
was just in the state of mind to strike vigorously at men 
and manners which he did not like. Young, ardent, con- 
stitutionally hot in temper, eager to assert, amid the 

Returns to Rome. xxxi 

general chaos of morals public and private, the higher 
principles of the philosophic schools from which he had 
so recently come, irritated by the thousand mortifica- 
tions to which a man of cultivated tastes and keenly 
alive to beauty is exposed in a luxurious city, where the 
prizes he values most are carried oif, yet scarcely valued, 
by the wealthy vulgar, he was especially open to the 
besetting temptation of clever young men to write satire, 
and to write it in a merciless spirit. As he says of him- 
self (Odes, I. i6)— 

" In youth's pleasant spring-time, 
The shafts of my passion at random I flung, 
And dashing headlong into petulant rhyme, 
I recked neither where nor how fiercely I stung. " 

Youth is always intolerant, and it is so easy to be 
severe ; so seductive to say brilliant things, whether they 
be true or not. But there came a day, and it came soon, 
when Horace saw that triumphs gained in this way were 
of little value, and when he was anxious that his friends 
should join with him in consigning his smart and scur- 
rile lines {celeres et crimifiosos lambos) to oblivion. The 
amende for some early lampoon which he makes in the 
Ode just quoted, though ostensibly addressed to a lady 
who had been its victim, was probably intended to cover 
a wider field. 

Personal satire is always popular, but the fame it be- 
gets is bought dearly at the cost of life-long enmities and 
many after-regrets. That Horace in his early writings was 
personal and abusive is very clear, both from his own 
language and from a few of the poems of this class and 
period which survive. Some of these have no value, 

xxxii Life of Horace. 

except as showing how badly even Horace could write, 
and how sedulously the better feeling and better taste 
of his riper years led him to avoid that most worthless 
form of satire which attacks where rejoinder is impos- 
sible, and irritates the temper but cannot possibly amend 
the heart. In others, the lash is applied with no less 
justice than vigour, as in the following invective, the 
fourth of the Epodes : — 

*' Such hate as nature meant to be 
'Twixt lamb and wolf I feel for thee, 
Whose hide by Spanish scourge is tanned, 
And legs still bear the fetter's brand ! 
Though of your gold you strut so vain. 
Wealth cannot change the knave in grain. 
How ! see you not, when striding down 
The Via Sacral in your gown 
Good six ells wide, the passers there 
Turn on you with indignant stare? 
' This wretch,' such gibes your ear invade, 
* By the Triumvirs' 2 scourges flayed, 
Till even the crier shirked his toil, 
Some thousand acres ploughs of soil 
Falernian, and with his nags 
Wears out the Appian highway's flags ; 
Nay, on the foremost seats, despite 
Of Otho, sits and apes the knight. 
What boots it to despatch a fleet 
So large, so heavy, so complete. 
Against a gang of rascal knaves, 
Thieves, corsairs, buccaneers, and slaves. 
If villain of such vulgar breed 
Is in the foremost rank to lead? ' " 

Modem critics may differ a§ to whom this bitter in- 

1 The Sacred Way, leading to the Capitol, a favourite lounge. 

2 When a slave was being scourged, under the orders of the Trium- 
viri Capitales, a public crier stood by, and proclaimed the nature of his 

Fourth Epode. xxxiii 

vective was aimed at, but there could have been no 
doubt on that subject in Rome at the time. And if, as 
there is every reason to conclude, it was levelled at 
Sextus Menas, the lines, when first shown about among 
Horace's friends, must have told with great effect, and 
they were likely to be remembered long after the in- 
famous career of this double-dyed traitor had come to 
a close. Menas was a freedman of Pompey the Great, 
and a trusted officer of his son Sextus.^ He had recently 
(B.C. 38) carried over with him to Augustus a portion of 
Pompey's fleet which was under his command, and be- 
trayed into his hands the islands of Corsica and Sardinia. 
For this act of treachery he was loaded with wealth and 
honours; and when Augustus, next year, fitted out a 
naval expedition against Sextus Pompeius, Menas re- 
ceived a command. It was probably lucky for Horace 
that this swaggering upstart, who was not likely to be 
scrupulous as to his means of revenge, went over the 
very next year to his former master, whom he again 
abandoned within a year to sell himself once more to 
Augustus. That astute politician put it out of his power 
to play further tricks with the fleet, by giving him a com- 
mand in Pannonia, where he was killed, B.C. 36, at the 
siege of Siscia, the modem Sissek. 

Though Horace was probably best known in Rome in 
these early days as a writer of lampoons and satirical 
poems, in which the bitterness of his models Archilo- 
chus and Lucilius was aimed at, not very successfully 

1 Shakespeare has introduced him in "Antony and Cleopatra," 
along with Menecrates and Varrius, as "friends to Sextus Pom- 

xxxiv Life of Horace. 

— for bitterness and personal rancour were not natural 
to the man — he showed in other compositions signs of 
the true poetic spirit, which afterwards found expres- 
sion in the consummate grace and finish of his Odes. 
To this class belongs the i6th Epode, which, from 
internal evidence, appears to have been written B.C. 
40, when the state of Italy, convulsed by civil war, 
was well calculated to fill him with despair, Horace 
had frequent occasion between this period and the 
battle of Actium, when the defeat and death of Antony 
closed the long struggle for supremacy between him and 
Octavius, to appeal to his countrymen against the waste 
of the best blood of Italy in civil fray, which might have 
been better spent in subduing a foreign foe, and spread- 
ing the lustre of the Roman arms. But if we are to sup- 
pose this poem written when the tidings of the bloody 
incidents of the Perusian campaign had arrived in Rome, 
— the reduction of the town of Perusia by famine, and 
the massacre of from two to three hundred prisoners, 
almost all of equestrian or senatorial rank, — we can well 
understand the strong feeling by which it is pervaded. 

To THE Roman People. 

" Another age in civil wars will soon be spent and worn. 
And by her native strength our Rome be wrecked and overborne, 
That Rome, the Marsians could not crush, who border on our lands. 
Nor the shock of threatening Porsena with his Etruscan bands, 
Nor Capua's strength that rivalled ours, nor Spartacus the stern, 
Nor the faithless AUobrogian, who still for change doth yearn. 
Ay, what Germania's blue-eyed youth quelled not with ruthless sword. 
Nor Hannibal by our great sires detested and abhorred. 
We shall destroy with impious hands imbrued in brother's gore. 
And wild beasts of the wood shall range oiu: native land once more. 
A foreign foe, alas ! shall tread The City's ashes down. 
And his horse's ringing hoofs shall smite her places of renown. 

Appeal to the Roman People, xxxv 

And the bones of great Quirinus, now religiously enshrined, 
Shall be flung by sacrilegious hands to the sunshine and the wind. 

' ' And if ye all from ills so dire ask how yourselves to free, 
Or such at least as would not hold your lives unworthily, 
No better counsel can I urge, than that which erst inspired 
The stout Phocaeans when from their doomed city they retired, 
Their fields, their household gods, their shrines surrendering as a prey 
To the wild boar and the ravening wolf ; so we, in our dismay, 
Where'er our wandering steps may chance to carry us should go, 
Or wheresoe'er across the seas the fitful winds may blow. 

" How think ye then? If better course none offer, why should we 
Not seize the happy auspices, and boldly put to sea? 
But let us swear this oath ;— ' Whene er, if e'er shall come the time. 
Rocks upwards from the deep shall float, return shall not be crime ; 
Nor we be loath to back our sails, the ports of home to seek. 
When the waters of the Po shall lave Matinum's rifted peak. 
Or skyey Apenninus down into the sea be rolled, 
Or wild unnatural desires such monstrous revel hold, 
That in the stag's endearments the tigress shall delight, 
And the tmtle-dove adulterate with the falcon and the kite. 
That unsuspicious herds no more shall tawny lions fear. 
And the he-goat, smoothly sleek of skin, through the briny deep 

career ! ' 
This having sworn, and what beside may our returning stay. 
Straight let ixs all, this City's doomed inhabitants, away, 
Or those that rise above the herd, the few of nobler soul ; 
The craven and the hopeless here on their ill-starred beds may loll. 
Ye who can feel and act hke men, this woman's wail give o'er. 
And fly to regions far away beyond the Etruscan shore ! 
The circling ocean waits us ; then away, where nature smiles, 
To those fair lands, those blissful lands, the rich and happy Isles ! 
Where Ceres year by year crovms all the untilled land with sheaves. 
And the vine with purple clusters droops, unpruned of all her leaves ; 
Where the olive buds and burgeons, to its promise ne'er untrue. 
And the russet fig adorns the tree, that graffshoot never knew ; 
Where honey from the hollow oaks doth ooze, and crystal rills 
Come dancing down with tinkling feet from the sky-dividing hills ; 
There to the pails the she-goats come, without a master's word. 
And home with udders brimming broad returns the friendly herd. 
There round the fold no surly bear its midnight prowl doth make. 
Nor teems the rank and heaving soil with the adder and the snake ; 
There no contagion smites the flocks, nor blight of any star 
With fury of remorseless heat the sweltering herds doth mar. 

xxxvi L ife of Horace. 

' ' Nor this the only bliss that waits us there, where drenching rains 
By watery Eurus swept along ne'er devastate the plains, 
Nor are the swelling seeds burnt up within the thirsty clods, 
So kindly blends the seasons there the King of all the Gods. 
That shore the Argonautic bark's stout rowers never gained, 
Nor the vdly she of Colchis with step unchaste profaned ; 
The sails of Sidon's galleys ne'er were wafted to that strand, 
Nor ever rested on its slopes Ulysses' toilworn band : 
For Jupiter, when he with brass the Golden Age alloyed. 
That blissful region set apart by the good to be enjoyed ; 
With brass and then with iron he the ages seared, but ye, 
Good men and true, to that bright home arise and follow me ! " 

This poem, Lord Lytton has truly said, "has the 
character of youth in its defects and its beauties. The 
redundance of its descriptive passages is in marked con- 
trast to the terseness of description which Horace studies 
in his Odes ; and there is something declamatory in its 
general tone which is at variance with the simpler utter- 
ance of lyrical art. On the other hand, it has all the 
warmth of genuine passion, and in sheer vigour of com- 
position Horace has rarely excelled it." 

To the same class of Horace's early poems, though 
probably a few years later in date, belongs his celebrated 
eulogium of a country life and its innocent enjoyments 
(Epode 2), the leading idea of which was embodied by 
Pope in the familiar lines, wonderful for finish as the 
production of a boy of eleven, beginning 

'* Happy the man whose wish and care 
A few paternal acres bound." 

With characteristic irony Horace puts his fancies into 
the mouth of Alphius, a miserly money-lender. No one 
yearns so keenly for the country and its imagined peace as 
the overworked city man, when his pulse is low and his 

Alpkius. xxxvii 

spirits weary, the natural consequences of bad air and 
the reaction of over-excitement; no one, as a rule, is 
more apt to tire of the homely and uneventful life which 
the country offers, or to find that, for him at least, its 
quietude does not bring peace. It is not, therefore, at 
all out of keeping, although critics have taken exception 
to the poem on this ground, that Horace makes Alphius 
rhapsodise on the charms of a rural life, and having 
tried them, creep back within the year to his money- 
bags and his ten per cent. It was, besides, a favourite 
doctrine with him, which he is constantly enforcing in 
his later works, that everybody envies his neighbour's 
pursuits — until he tries them. 

In the charming sketch presented in this poem of the 
peasant's life, it is easy to see that Horace is drawing 
from nature, like Burns in his more elaborate picture of 
the "Cottar's Saturday Night." Horace had obviously 
watched closely the ways of the peasantry round his 
Apulian home, as he did at a later date those of the 
Sabine country, and to this we owe many of the most 
delightful passages in his works. He omits no oppor- 
tunity of contrasting their purity of morals, and the. 
austere self-denial of their life, with the luxurious habits 
and reckless vice of the city life of Rome. Thus, in one 
of the finest of his Odes (Book III. 6), after painting with 
a few masterly strokes what the matrons and the fast 
young ladies of the imperial city had become, it was not 
from such as these, he continues, that the noble youth 
sprang, " who dyed the seas with Carthaginian gore, over- 
threw Pyrrhus and great Antiochus and direful Hanni- 
bal," concluding in words which contrast by their sug- 

xxxvi ii L ife of Horace, 

gestive terseness at the same time that they invite 
comparison with the elaborated fulness of the details 
of rural life contained in the 2d Epode : — 

*' But they, of rustic warriors wight 
The manly offspring, learned to smite 

The soil with Sabine spade, 
And fagots they had cut, to bear 
Home from the forest, whensoe'er 

An austere mother bade ; 

What time the sun began to change 

The shadows through the mountain-range, 

And took the yoke away 
From the o'erwearied oxen, and 
His parting car proclaimed at hand 

The kindliest hour of day." 

Another of Horace's juvenile poems, unique in subject 
and in treatment (Epode 5), gives evidence of a pictur- 
esque power of the highest kind, stimulating the imagina- 
tion, and swaying it with the feelings of pity and terror 
in a way to make us regret that he wrote no others in a 
similar vein. We find ourselves at midnight in the gar- 
dens of the sorceress Canidia, whither a boy of good family 
— his rank being clearly indicated by the reference to his 
purple toga and hulla — has been carried off from his 
home. His terrified exclamations, with which the poem 
opens, as Canidia and her three assistants surround him, 
glaring on him, with looks significant of their deadly pur- 
pose, through lurid flames fed with the usual ghastly 
ingredients of a witch's fire, carry us at once into the 
horrors of the scene. While one of the hags sprinkles 
her hell-drops through the adjoining house, another is 
casting up earth from a pit, in which the boy is presently 
imbedded to the chin, and killed by a frightful process of 

Canidia the Sorceress. xxxix 

slow torture, in order that a love -philtre of irresistible 
power may be concocted from his liver and spleen. 
The time, the place, the actors are brought before us 
with singular dramatic power. Canidia's burst of won- 
der and rage that the spells she deemed all-powerful 
have been counteracted by some sorceress of skill supe- 
rior to her own, gives great reality to the scene; and 
the curses of the dying boy, launched with tragic vigour, 
and closing with a touch of beautiful pathos, bring it to 
an effective close. 

The speculations as to who and what Canidia was, in 
which scholars have run riot, are conspicuous for absurd- 
ity, even among the wild and ridiculous conjectures as 
to the personages named by Horace in which the com- 
mentators have indulged. That some well-known person 
was tlie original of Canidia is extremely probable, for 
professors of witchcraft abounded at the time, combining 
very frequently, like their modern successors, the arts of 
Medea with the attributes of Dame Quickly. What 
more natural than for a young poet to work up an effec- 
tive picture out of the abundant suggestions which the 
current stories of such creatures and their doings pre- 
sented to his hand ? The popular belief in their power, 
the picturesque conditions under which their spells were 
wrought, the wild passions in which lay the secret of 
their hold upon the credulity of their victims, offered to 
the Roman poet, just as they did to our own Elizabethan 
dramatists, a combination of materials most favourable 
for poetic treatment. But that Horace had, as many of 
his critics contend, a feeling of personal vanity, the pique 
of a discarded lover, to avenge, is an assumption wholly 

xl Life of Horace. 

without warrant. He was the last man, at any time or 
under any circumstances, to have had any relations of a 
personal nature with a woman of Canidia's class. How- 
ever inclined he may have been to use her and her prac- 
tices for poetic purposes, he manifestly not only saw 
through the absurdity of her pretensions, but laughed at 
her miserable impotence, and meant that others should 
do the same. 

It seems to be impossible to read the 8th of his 
First Book of Satires, and not come to this conclusion. 
That satire consists of the monologue of a garden god, 
set up in the garden which Maecenas had begun to 
lay out on the Esquiline Hill. This spot had until re- 
scently been the burial-ground of the Roman poor, a 
quarter noisome by day, and the haunt of thieves and 
beasts of prey by night. On this obscene spot, littered 
with skulls and dead men's bones, Canidia and her 
accomplice Sagana are again introduced, digging a pit 
with their nails, into which they pour the blood of a coal- 
black ewe, which they had previously torn limb-meal — 

" So to evoke the shade and soul 
Of dead men, and from these to wring 
Responses to their questioning." 

They have with them two effigies, one of wax and the 
other of wool — the latter the larger of the two, and over- 
bearing the other, which cowers before it — 

' ' Like one that stands 
Beseeching in the hangman's hands. 
On Hecate one, Tisiphone 
The other calls ; and you might see 
Serpents and hell-hounds thread the dark, 
Whilst, these vile orgies not to mark, 

Canidia^s Incantation. xli 

The moon, all bloody red of hue, 
Behind the massive tombs withdrew. " 

The hags pursue their incantations; higher and higher 
flames their ghastly fire, and the grizzled wolves and 
spotted snakes slink in terror to their holes, as the 
shrieks and muttered spells of the beldams make the 
moon-forsaken night more hideous. But after piling up 
his horrors with the most elaborate skill, as if in the view 
of some terrible cHmax, the poet makes them collapse 
into utter farce. Disgusted by their intrusion on his 
privacy, the Priapus adopts a simple but exceedingly 
vulgar expedient to alarm these appalling hags. In an 
instant they fall into the most abject terror, suspend 
their incantations, and, tucking up their skirts, make off 
for the more comfortable quarters of the city as fast as 
their trembling limbs can carry them — Canidia, the great 
enchantress, dropping her false teeth, and her attendant 
Sagana parting company with her wig, by the way : — • 

" While you 
With laughter long and loud might view 
Their herbs, and charmed adders wound 
In mystic coils, bestrew the ground." 

And yet grave scholars gravely ask us to believe that 
Canidia was an old mistress of the poet's ! These poems 
evidently made a success, and Horace returned to the 
theme in his 1 7th Epode. Here he writes as though he 
had been put under a spell by Canidia, in revenge for 
his former calumnies about her. 

" My youth has fled, my rosy hue 
Turned to a wan and livid blue ; 
Blanched by thy mixtures is my hair ; 
No respite have I from despair. 

xlii Life of Horace. 

The days and nights, they wax and wane, 
Yet bring me no release from pain ; 
Nor can I ease, howe'er I gasp, 
The spasm, which holds me in its grasp." 

Here we have all the well-known symptoms of a man 
under a malign magical influence. In this extremity 
Horace affects to recant all the mischief he has formerly 
spoken of the enchantress. Let her name what penance 
he will, he is ready to perform it. If a hundred steers 
will appease her wrath, they are hers ; or if she prefers 
to be sung of as the chaste and good, and to range above 
the spheres as a golden star, his lyre is at her service. 
Her parentage is as unexceptionable as her life is pure ; 
but whilst ostentatiously disclaiming his libels, the poet 
takes care to insinuate them anew, by apostrophising her, 
in conclusion, thus : — 

' ' Thou who dost ne'er in haglike wont 
Among the tombs of paupers hunt 
For ashes newly laid in ground, 
Love-charms and philtres to compound, 
Thy heart is gentle, pure thy hands." 

Of course, Canidia is not mollified by such a recanta- 
tion as this. The man who — 

' ' Branding her name with ill renown, 
Made her the talk of all the town," 

is not so lightly to be forgiven. 

• "^ You'd have a speedy doom ? But no, 
It shall be lingering, sharp, and slow." 

The pangs of Tantalus, of Prometheus, or of Sisyphus, 
are but the types of what his shall be. Let him try to 
hang, drown, stab himself — his efforts will be vain : — 

Canidia's Incantation. xliii 

"Then comes my hour of triumph, then 
I'll goad you till you writhe again ; 
Then shall you curse the evil hour 
You made a mockery of my power." 

She then triumphantly reasserts the powers to which she 
lays claim. What ! I, she exclaims, who can waste life 
as the waxen image of my victim melts before my magic 
fire ^ — I, who can bring down the moon from her sphere, 
evoke the dead from their ashes, and turn the affections 
by my philtres, — 

" Shall I my potent art bemoan 
As impotent 'gainst thee alone?" 

Surely all this is as purely the work of imagination as 
Middleton's " Witch," or the Hags in " Macbeth," or in 
Goethe's ' Faust.' Horace used Canidia as a byword 
for all that was hateful in the creatures of her craft, filthy 
as they were in their lives and odious in their persons. 
His literary and other friends were as familiar with her 
name in this sense as we are with those of Squeers and 
Micawber, as types of a class; and the joke was well 
understood when, many years after, in the 8th of his 
Second Book of Satires, he said that Nasidienus's dinner- 
party broke up without their eating a morsel of the dishes 
after a certain point, — "As if a pestilential blast from 
Canidia's throat, more venomous than that of African 
vipers, had swept across them." 

^ Thus Hecate in Middleton's "Witch" assures to the Duchess of 
Glo'ster ' ' a sudden and subtle death " to her victim : — 
" His picture made in wax, and gently molten 
By a blue fire, kindled with dead men's eyes, 
Will waste him by degrees." 




Horace had not been long in Rome, after his return 
from Greece, before he had made himself a name. With 
what he got from the booksellers, or possibly by the help 
of friends, he had purchased a patent place in the Quass* 
tor's department, a sort of clerkship of the Treasury, 
which he continued to hold for many years, if not indeed 
to the close of his life. The duties were light, but they 
demanded, and at all events had, his occasional atten- 
tion, even after he was otherwise provided for. Eeing 
his own — bought by his own money — it may have grati- 
fied his love of independence to feel that, if the worst 
came to the worst, he had his official salary to fall back 

Among his friends, men of letters are at this time, 
as might have been expected, found to be most con- 
spicuous. Virgil, who had recently been despoiled, 
like himself, of his paternal property, took occasion to 
bring his name before Maecenas, the confidential adviser 
and minister of Octavius, in whom he had himself found 
a helpful friend. This was followed up by the commen- 

Introduction to Mcecenas, xlv 

dation of Varius, already celebrated as a writer of epic 
poetry, and whose tragedy of " Thyestes," if we are to 
trust Quintilian, was not unworthy to rank with the best 
tragedies of Greece. Maecenas may not at first have 
been too well disposed towards a follower of the republi- 
can party, who had not been sparing of his satire against 
many of the supporters and favourites of Octavius. He 
sent for Horace, however (b.c. 39), and any prejudice 
on this score, if prejudice there was, was ultimately got 
over. Maecenas took time to form his estimate of the 
man, and it was not till nine months after their first inter- 
view that he sent for Horace again. When he did so, 
however, it was to ask him to consider himself for the 
future among the number of his friends. This part of 
Horace's story is told with admirable brevity and good 
feeling in the Satire from which we have already quoted, 
addressed to Maecenas (B. I. Sat. 6) a few years after- 

" Lucky I will not call myself, as though 
Thy friendship I to mere good fortune owe. 
No chance it was secured me thy regards, 
But Virgil first, that best of men and bards, 
And then kind Varius mentioned what I was. 
Before you brought, with many a faltering pause, 
Dropping some few brief words (for bashfulness 
Robbed me of utterance), I did not profess 
That I was sprung of lineage old and great, 
Or used to canter round my own estate 
On Satureian barb, but what and who 
I was as plainly told. As usual, you 
Brief answer make me. I retire, and then, 
Some nine months after, summoning me again, 
You bid me 'mongst your friends assume a place : 
And proud I feel that thus I won your grace, 
Not by an ancestry long known to fame. 
But by my life, and heart devoid of blame." 
VOL. I. c 

xlvi Life of Horace, 

The name of Maecenas is from this time inseparably 
associated with that of Horace. From what little is 
authentically known of that remarkable man, this much 
may be gathered. He was a man of great general ac- 
complishment, well versed in the literature both of 
Greece and Rome, devoted to literature and the society 
of men of letters, a lover of the fine arts and of natural 
history, a connoisseur of gems and precious stones; fond 
of living in a grand style, and of surrounding himself with 
people who amused him, without being always very par- 
ticular as to who or what they were. For the indulgence 
of all these tastes, his great wealth was more than suffi- 
cient. He reclaimed the EsquiUne Hill from being the 
public nuisance we have already described, laid it out in 
gardens, and in the midst of these built himself a sump- 
tuous palace, where the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore 
now stands, 'from which he commanded a superb view of 
the country looking towards Tivoli. To this palace, 
salubrious from its spacious size and the elevation of its 
site, Augustus, when ill, had himself carried from his 
own modest mansion; and from its lofty belvedere tower 
Nero is said to have enjoyed the spectacle of Rome 
in flames beneath him. Voluptuary and dilettante as 
Maecenas was, he was nevertheless, like most men of a 
sombre and melancholy temperament, capable of great 
exertions ; and he veiled under a cold exterior and 
reserved manners a habit of acute observation, a kind 
heart, and, in matters of public concern, a resolute will. 
This latent energy of character, supported as it was by 
a subtle knowledge of mankind and a statesmanlike 
breadth of view, contributed in no small degree to the 

Character of McBcenas. xlvii 

ultimate triumph of Octavius Caesar over his rivals, and 
to the successful establishment of the empire in his hands. 
When the news of Julius Caesar's assassination reached 
the young Octavius, then only nineteen, in Apollonia, it 
has been said that Maecenas was in attendance upon him 
as his governor or tutor. Be this so or not, as soon as 
Octavius appears in the political arena as his uncle's 
avenger, Maecenas is found by his side. In several 
most important negotiations he acted as his representa- 
tive. Thus (B.C. 40), the year before Horace was intro- 
duced to him, he, along with Cocceiufe Nerva, negotiated 
with Antony the peace of Brundusium, which resulted 
in Antony's ill-starred marriage with Caesar's sister Oc- 
tavia. Two years later he was again associated with 
Cocceius in a similar task, on which occasion Horace 
and Virgil accompanied him to Brundusium. He ap- 
pears to have commanded in various expeditions, both 
naval and military, but it was at Rome ^and in council 
that his services were chiefly sought; and he acted as 
one of the chief advisers of Augustus down to about five 
years before his death, when, either from ill health or 
some other unknown cause, he abandoned political life. 
More than once he was charged by Augustus with the 
administration of the civil affairs of Italy during his own 
absence, intrusted with his seal, and empowered to open 
all his letters addressed to the Senate, and, if necessary, 
to alter their contents, so as to adapt them to the con- 
dition of affairs at home. His aim, like that of Vipsanius 
Agrippa, who was in himself the Nelson and Wellington 
of the age, seems to have been to build up a united and 
flourishing empire in the person of Augustus. Whether 

xlviii Life of Horace. 

from temperament or policy, or both, he set his face 
against the system of cruelty and extermination which 
disgraced the triumvirate. When Octavius was one day 
condemning man after man to death, Maecenas, after a 
vain attempt to reach him on the tribunal, where he sat 
surrounded by a dense crowd, wrote upon his tablets, 
Surge tandefHj Carnifex ! — "Butcher, break off!" and 
flung them across the crowd into the lap of Caesar, who 
felt the rebuke, and immediately quitted the judgment- 
seat. His policy was that of conciliation; and while 
bent on the establishment of a monarchy, from what we 
must fairly assume to have been a patriotic conviction 
that this form of government could alone meet the 
exigencies of the time, he endeavoured to combine this 
with a due regard to individual liberty, and a free expres- 
sion of individual opinion. 

At the time of Horace's introduction to him, Maecenas 
was probably at his best, in the full vigour of his intellect, 
and alive with the generous emotions which must have 
animated a man bent as he was on securing tranquillity 
for the state, and healing the strife of factions, which 
were threatening it with ruin. His chief relaxation from 
the fatigue of public life was, to all appearance, found in 
the society of men of letters, and, judging by what Horace 
says (Satires, I. 9), the vie intime of his social circle must 
have been charming. To be admitted within it was a 
privilege eagerly coveted, and with good reason, for not 
only was this in itself a stamp of distinction, but his 
parties were well known as the pleasantest in Rome : — 

" No house more free from all that's base, 
In none cabals more out of place. 

Character of Mcecenas. xlix 

It hurts me not, if men I see 
More rich, or better read than me ; 
Each has his place." 

Like many of his contemporaries, who were eminent in 
political life, Maecenas devoted himself to active literary 
work — for he wrote much, and on a variety of topics. 
His taste in literature was, however, better than his 
execution. His style was diffuse, affected, and obscure ; 
but Seneca, who tells us this, and gives some examples 
which justify the criticism, tells us at the same time 
that his genius was massive and masculine (grande et 
virile)^ and that he would have been eminent for elo- 
quence, if fortune had not spoiled him. However vicious 
his own style may have been, the man who encouraged 
three such writers as Virgil, Propertius, and Horace, not 
to mention others of great repute, whose works have 
perished, was clearly a sound judge of a good style in 

As years went on, and the cares of public life grew 
less onerous, habits of self-indulgence appear to have 
grown upon Maecenas. It will probably be well, how- 
ever, to accept with some reserve what has been said 
against him on this head. Then, as now, men of rank 
and power were the victims of calumnious gossips and 
slanderous pamphleteers. His health became precarious. 
Incessant sleeplessness spoke of an overtasked brain 
and shattered nerves. Life was full of pain; still he 
clung to it with a craven -like tenacity. So, at least, 
Seneca asserts, quoting in support of his statement 
some very bad verses by Maecenas, which may be thus 
translated : — 

1 Life of Horace. 

" Lame in feet, and lame in fingers, 

Crooked in back, with every tooth 

Rattling in my head, yet, 'sooth, 
I'm content, so life but lingers. 
Gnaw my withers, rack my bones, 
Life, mere life, for all atones." 

In one view these lines may certainly be construed to 
import the same sentiment as the speech of the miserable 
Claudio in " Measure for Measure," — 

" The weariest and most loathfed worldly life 
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment 
Can lay on nature, is a paradise 
To what we fear of death." 

But on the other hand, they may quite as fairly be re- 
garded as merely giving expression to the tenet of the 
Epicurean philosophy, that however much we may suffer 
from physical pain or inconvenience, it is still possible 
to be happy, and wise to be content. " We know what 
we axe ; we know not what we may be ! " 

Not the least misfortune of Maecenas was his marriage 
to a woman whom he could neither live with nor without 
— separating from and returning to her so often, that, 
according to Seneca, he was a thousand times married, 
yet never had but one wife. Friends he had many, 
loyal and devoted friends, on whose society and sym- 
pathy he leant more and more as the years wore on. 
He rarely stirred from Rome, loving its smoke, its 
thronged and noisy streets, its whirl of human passions, 
as Johnson loved Fleet Street, or **the sweet shady 
side of Pall Mall," better than all the verdure of Tivoli, 
or the soft airs and exquisite scenery of Baiae. He 
liked to read of these things, however ; and may have 

Becomes Friend of Mcecenas. li 

found as keen a pleasure in the scenery of the ' Georgics/ 
or in Horace's little landscape -pictures, as most men 
could have extracted from the scenes which they de- 

Such was the man, ushered into whose presence, 
Horace, the reckless lampooner and satirist, found him- 
self embarrassed, and at a loss for words. Horace was 
not of the MacSycophant class, who cannot " keep their 
back straight in the presence of a great man ; " nor do 
we think he had much of the nervous apprehensiveness 
of the poetic temperament. Why, then, should he have 
felt thus abashed? Partly, it may have been, from 
natural diffidence at encountering a man to gain whose 
goodwill was a matter of no small importance, but whose 
goodwill, he also knew by report, was not easily won; 
and partly, to find himself face to face with one so con- 
spicuously identified with the cause against which he 
had fought, and the men whom he had hitherto had 
every reason to detest. 

Once admitted by Maecenas to the inner circle of his 
friends, Horace made his way there rapidly. Thus we 
find him, a few months afterwards, in the spring of b.c. 
37, going to Brundusiura with Maecenas, who had been 
despatched thither on a mission of great public import- 
ance (Satires, I. 6). The first term of the triumvirate 
of Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus had expired at the 
close of the previous year. No fresh arrangement had 
been made, and Antony, alarmed at the growing power 
of Octavius in Italy, had appeared ofi" Brundusium with 
a fleet of 300 sail and a strong body of troops. The 
Bnindusians— on a hint, probably, from Octavius — for- 

lii Life of Horace, 

bade his landing, and he had to go on to Tarentum, 
where terms were ultimately arranged for a renewal of 
the triumvirate. The moment was a critical one, for an 
open rupture between Octavius and Antony was im- 
minent, which might well have proved disastrous to 
the former, had Antony joined his fleet to that of the 
younger Pompey, which, without his aid, had already 
proved more than a match for the naval force of 

To judge by Horace's narrative, all the friends who 
accompanied Maecenas on this occasion, except his co- 
adjutor, Cocceius Nerva, who had three years before 
been engaged with him on a similar mission to Brun- 
dusium, were men whose thoughts were given more to 
literature than to politics. Horace starts from Rome 
with Heliodorus, a celebrated rhetorician, and they make 
their way very leisurely to Anxur (Terracina), where they 
are overtaken by Maecenas. 

" 'Twas fixed that we should meet with dear 
Maecenas and Cocceius here, 
Who were upon a mission bound, 
Of consequence the most profound ; 
For who so skilled the feuds to close 
Of those, once friends, who now were foes?" 

This is the only allusion throughout the poem to the 
object of the journey. The previous day, Horace had 
been balked of his dinner, the water being so bad, and 
his stomach so delicate, that he chose to fast rather than 
run the risk of making himself ill with it. And now at 
Terracina he found his eyes, which were weak, so trouble- 
some, that he had to dose them well with a black wash. 

Journey to Brundusiuin. liii 

These are the first indications we get of habitual delicacy 
of health, which, if not due altogether to the fatigues 
and exposures of his campaign with Brutus, had pro- 
bably been increased by them. 

" Meanwhile beloved Maecenas came, 
Cocceius too, and brought with them 
Fonteius Capito, a man 
Endowed with every grace that can 
A perfect gentleman attend, 
And Antony's especial friend." 

They push on next day to Formiae, and are amused 
at Fundi (Fondi) on the way by the consequential airs 
of the prefect of the place. It would almost seem as if 
the peacock nature must break out in a man the moment 
he becomes a prefect or a mayor. 

'* There having rested for the night, 
With inexpressible delight 
We hail the dawn, — for we that day 
At Sinuessa, on our way 
With Plotius,^ Virgil, Varius too, 
Have an appointed rendezvous ; 
Souls all, than whom the earth ne'er saw 
More noble, more exempt from flaw, 
Nor are there any on its round 
To whom I am more firmly bound. 
Oh, what embracings, and what mirth ! 
Nothing, no, nothing, on this earth, 
Whilst I have reason, shall I e'er 
With a true genial friend compare !" 

Next day they reach Capua, where, so soon as their 
mules are unpacked, away 

^ Plotius Tucca, himself a poet, and associated by Virgil with Varius 
in editing the iEneid after the poet's death. 

liv Life of Horace, 

*' Maecenas hies, at ball to play ; 
To sleep myself and Virgil go. 
For tennis-practice is, we know, 
Injurious, quite beyond all question, 
Both to weak eyes and weak digestion." 

With these and suchlike details Horace carries us 
pleasantly on with his party to Brundusium. They 
were manifestly in no hurry, for they took fourteen days, 
according to Gibbon's careful estimate, to travel 378 
Roman miles. That they might have got over the 
ground much faster, if necessary, is certain from what 
is known of other journeys. Caesar posted 100 miles 
a-day. Tiberius travelled 200 miles in twenty-four hours, 
when he was hastening to close the eyes of his brother 
Drusus; and Statius (Sylv. 14, Carm. 3) talks of a man 
leaving Rome in the morning, and being at Baiae or 
Puteoli, 127 miles off, before night 

" Have but the will, be sure you'll find the way. 
What shall stop him who starts at break of day 
From sleeping Rome, and on the Lucrine sails 
Before the sunshine into twilight pales? " 

Just as, according to Sydney Smith, in his famous allu- 
sion to the triumphs of railway travelling, "the early 
Scotchman scratches himself in the morning mists of the 
North, and has his porridge in Piccadilly before the 
setting sun." 

Horace treats the expedition to Brundusium entirely 
as if it had been a pleasant tour. Gibbon thinks he may 
have done so purposely, to convince those who were 
jealous of his intimacy with the great statesman, "that 
his thoughts and occupations on the event were far from 

Journey to Brundusmm. Iv 

being of a serious or political nature." But it was a rule 
with Horace, in all his writings, never to indicate, by the 
slightest word, that he knew any of the political secrets 
which, as the intimate friend of Maecenas, he could 
scarcely have failed to know. He hated babbling of all 
kinds. A man who reported the private talk of friends, 
even on comparatively indifferent topics, — 

" The churl, who out of doors will spread 
What 'mongst familiar friends is said," — 

(Epistle I. V. 24), was his especial aversion ; and he has 
more than once said, only not in such formal phrase, 
what Milton puts into the mouth of his "Samson 
Agonistes " — 

" To have revealed 
Secrets of men, the secrets of a friend, 
How heinous had the fact been ! how deserving 
Contempt, and scorn of all, to be excluded 
All friendship, and avoided as a blab, 
The mark of fool set on his front ! " 

Moreover, reticence, the indispensable quality, not of 
statesmen merely, but of their intimates, was not so rare 
a virtue in these days as in our own ; and as none would 
have expected Horace, in a poem of this kind, to make 
any political confidences, he can scarcely be supposed 
to have written it with any view to throwing the gossips 
of Rome off the scent. The excursion had been a pleas- 
ant one, and he thought its incidents worth noting. 
Hence the poem. Happily for us, who get from it most 
interesting glimpses of some of the familiar aspects of 
Roman life and manners, of which we should otherwise 
have known nothing. Here, for example, is a sketch of 

Ivi Life of Horace. 

how people fared in travelling by canal in those days, 
near Rome. Overcrowding, we see, is not an evil pecu- 
liar to our own days. 

*' Now 'gan the night with gentle hand 
To fold in shadows all the land, 
And stars along the sky to scatter, 
When there arose a hideous clatter, 
Slaves slanging bargemen, bargemen slaves ; 
' Ho, haul up here ! how now, ye knaves. 
Inside three hundred people stuff ? 
Already there are quite enough !* 
Collected were the fares at last, 
The mule that drew our barge made fast. 
But not till a good hour was gone. 
Sleep was not to be thought upon, 
The cursed gnats were so provoking, 
The bull-frogs set up such a croaking. 
A bargeman, too, a drunken lout, 
And passenger, sang turn about, 
In tones remarkable for strength, 
Their absent sweethearts, till at length 
The passenger began to doze, 
When up the stalwart bargeman rose, 
His fastenings from the stone unwound. 
And left the mule to graze around ; 
Then down upon his back he lay, 
And snored in a terrific way." 

Neither is the following allusion to the Jews and their 
creed without its value, especially when followed, as it 
is, by Horace's avowal, almost in the words of Lucretius 
(B. VI. 56), of what was then his own. Later in life he 
came to a very different conclusion. When the travel- 
lers reach Egnatia, their ridicule is excited by being 
shown or told, it is not very clear which, of incense 
kindled in the temple there miraculously without the 
application of fire. 

Journey to Brundusium. Ivii 

" This may your circumcised Jew 
Believe, but never I. For true 
I hold it that the Deities 
Enjoy themselves in careless ease ; ^ 
Nor think, vk'hen Nature, spurning Law, 
Does something which inspires our awe, 
'Tis sent by the offended gods 
Direct from their august abodes." 

Had Horace known anything of natural science, he 
might not have gone so far to seek for the explanation 
of the seeming miracle. 

Gibbon speaks contemptuously of many of the in- 
cidents recorded in this poem, asking, "How could a 
man of taste reflect on them the day after ? " But the 
poem has much more than a merely literary interest; 
thanks to such passages as these, and to the charming 
tribute by Horace to his friends previously cited. 

Nothing can better illustrate the footing of easy friend- 
ship on which he soon came to stand with Maecenas than 
the following poem (Epode III.), which must have been 
written before the year b.c. 32 ; for in that year Terentia 
became the mistress of the great palace on the Esquiline, 
and the allusion in the last verse is much too familiar 
to have been intended for her. Horace, whose delicacy 
of stomach was probably notorious, had apparently been 
the victim of a practical joke — a species of rough fun to 
which the Romans of the upper classes appear to have 
been particularly prone. It is difficult otherwise to 

1 So Tennyson, in his " Lotus-Eaters : " — 

" Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind, 
In the hollow Lotus-land to live and lie reclined 
On the hills like gods together, careless of mankind." 

See the whole of the passage. 

Iviii Life of Horace. 

understand how he could have stumbled at Maecenas's 
table on a dish so overdosed with garlic as that which 
provoked this humorous protest. From what we know 
of the abominations of an ordinary Roman banquet, the 
vegetable stew in this instance must have reached a 
climax of unusual atrocity. 

" If his old father's throat any impious sinner 
Has cut with unnatural hand to the bone, 
Give liim garlic, more noxious than hemlock, at dinner. 
Ye gods ! the strong stomachs that reapers must own ! 

With what poison is this that my vitals are heated ? 

By viper's blood— certes, it cannot be less- 
Stewed into the pot-herbs can I have been cheated? 

Or Canidia, did she cook the villanous mess ? 

-.When Medea was struck by the handsome sea-rover, 

Who in beauty outshone all his Argonaut band, 
This mixture she took to lard Jason all over. 
And so tamed the fire-breathing bulls to his hand. 

With this her fell presents she dyed and infected, 

On his innocent leman avenging the slight 
Of her terrible beauty, forsaken, neglected, 

And then on her car, dragon- wafted, took flight. 

Never star on Apulia, the thirsty and arid, 

Exhaled a more baleful or pestilent dew, 
And the gift, which invincible Hercules carried, 

Burned not to his bones more remorselessly through. 

Should you e'er long again for such relish as this is, 

Devoutly I'll pray, wag Maecenas, I vow. 
With her hand that your mistress arrest all your kisses, 

And lie as far off as the couch will allow." 

It is Startling to our notions to find so direct a refer- 
ence as that in the last verse to the " reigning favourite " 
of Maecenas ; but what are we to think of the following 

The Wife of McBcenas. lix 

lines, which point unequivocally to Maecenas's wife, in 
the following Ode addressed to her husband (Odes, 

II. 12)?— 

" Would you, friend, for Phrygia's hoarded gold, 

Or all that Achasmenes' self possesses, 
Or e'en for what Araby's coffers hold, 

Barter one lock of her clustering tresses, 
While she stoops her throat to your burning kiss, 

Or, fondly cruel, the bliss denies you, 
She would have you snatch, or will, snatching this 

Herself, with a sweeter thrill surprise you ? " 

If Maecenas allowed his friends to write of his wife in 
this strain, it is scarcely to be wondered at if that coquet- 
tish and capricious lady gave, as she did, " that worthy 
man good grounds for uneasiness." 




In B.C. 34, Horace published the First Book of his 
Satires, and placed in front of it one specially addressed 
to Maecenas — a course which he adopted in each succes- 
sive section of his poems, apparently to mark his sense 
of obligation to him as the most honoured of his friends. 
The name Satires does not truly indicate the nature of 
this series. They are rather didactic poems, couched in 
a more or less dramatic form, and carried on in an easy 
conversational tone, without for the most part any definite 
purpose, often diverging into such collateral topics as sug- 
gest themselves by the way, with all the ease and buoy- 
ancy of agreeable talk, and getting back or not, as it 
may happen, into the main line of idea with which they 
set out. Some of them are conceived in a vein of fine 
irony throughout. Others, like "The Journey to Brun- 
dusium," are mere narratives, relieved by humorous 
illustrations. But we do not find in them the epigram- 
matic force, the sternness of moral rebuke, or the scath- 
ing spirit of sarcasm, which are commonly associated 
with the idea of satire. Literary display appears never 

First Book of Satires. Ixi 

to be aimed at. The plainest phrases, the homeHest 
illustrations, the most everyday topics — if they come in 
the way — are made use of for the purpose of insinuating 
or enforcing some useful truth. Point and epigram are 
the last things thought of; and therefore it is that Pope's 
translations, admirable as in themselves they are, fail to 
give an idea of the lightness of touch, the shifting lights 
and shades, the carelessness alternating with force, the 
artless natural manner, which distinguish these charming 
essays. **The terseness of Horace's language in his 
Satires," it has been well said, " is that of a proverb, neat 
because homely ; while the terseness of Pope is that of 
an epigram, which will only become homely in time, 
because it is neat." 

In WTiting these Satires, which he calls merely rhyth- 
mical prose, Horace disclaims for himself the title of 
poet ; and at this time it would appear as if he had not 
even conceived the idea of " modulating ^olic song to 
the Italian lyre," on which he subsequently rested his 
hopes of posthumous fame. The very words of his dis- 
claimer, however, show how well he appreciated the 
poet's gifts (Satires, I. 4) : — 

" First from the roll I strike myself of those I poets call. 
For merely to compose in verse is not the all-in-all ; 
Nor if a man shall write, like me, things nigh to prose akin, 
Shall he, however well he write, the name of poet win? 
To genius, to the man whose soul is touched with fire divine. 
Whose voice speaks like a trumpet-note, that honoured name assign. 

'Tis not enough that you compose your verse 

In diction irreproachable, pure, scholarly, and terse, 

Which, dislocate its cadence, by anybody may 

Be spoken like the language of the father in the play. 

Divest those things which now I write, and Lucilius wrote of yore, 

Of certain measured cadences, by setting that before 

VOL. I. d 

1 X i i Life of Horace. 

Which was behind, and that before which I had placed behind, 
Yet by no alchemy will you in the residuum find 
The members still apparent of the dislocated bard," — 

a result which he contends would not ensue, however 
much you might disarrange the language of a passage of 
true poetry, such as one he quotes from Ennius, the 
poetic charm of which, by the way, is not very apparent. 
Schooled, however, as he had been, in the pure liter- 
ature of Greece, Horace aimed at a conciseness and 
purity of style which had been hitherto unknown in 
Roman satire, and studied, not unsuccessfully, to give to 
his own work, by great and well-disguised elaboration of 
fmish, the concentrated force and picturesque precision 
which are large elements in all genuine poetry. His own 
practice, as we see from its results, is given in the follow- 
ing lines, and a better description of how didactic or 
satiric poetry should be written could scarcely be desired 
(Satires, I. lo) : — 

" 'Tis not enough, a poet's fame to make, 
That you with bursts of mirth your audience shake ; 
And yet to this, as all experience shows, 
No small amount of skill and talent goes. 
Your style must be concise, that what you say 
May flow on clear and smooth, nor lose its way, 
Stumbling and halting through a chaos drear 
Of cumbrous words, that load the weary ear ; 
And you must pass from grave to gay, — now, like 
The rhetorician, vehemently strike. 
Now, like the poet, deal a lighter hit 
With easy playfulness and polished wit, — 
Veil the stern vigour of a soul robust, 
And flash your fancies, while like death you thrust ; 
For men are more imperious, as a rule, 
To slashing censure than to ridicule. 
Here lay the merit of those writers, who 
In the Old Comedy our fathers drew : 


Calvtis and Catullus. Ixiii 

Here should we struggle in their steps to tread, 
Whom fop Hermogenes has never read, 
Nor that mere ape of his, who all day long 
Makes Calvus and Catullus all his song." 

The concluding hit at Hermogenes Tigellius and his 
double is very characteristic of Horace's manner. When 
he has worked up his description of a vice \o be avoided 
or a virtue to be pursued, he generally drives home his 
lesson by the mention of some well-kno\\Ti person's name, 
thus importing into his literary practice the method taken 
by his father, as we have seen, to impress his ethical 
teachings upon himself in his youth. The allusion to 
Calvus and Catullus, the only one anywhere made to 
them by Horace, is curious; but it would be wrong 
to infer from it that Horace meant to' disparage these 
fine poets. Calvus had a great reputation both as an 
orator and poet; but, except some insignificant frag- 
ments, nothing of what he wrote is left. How Catullus 
wrote we do, however, know; and although it is con- 
ceivable that Horace had no great sympathy with some 
of his love-verses, which were probably of too sentimental 
a strain for his taste, we may be sure that he admired the 
brilliant genius as well as the fine workmanship of many 
of his other poems. At all events, he had too much 
good sense to launch a sneer at so great a poet recently 
dead, which would not only have been in the worst taste, 
but might justly have been ascribed to jealousy. When 
he talks, therefore, of a pair of fribbles who can sing 
nothing but Calvus and Catullus, it is, as Macleane has 
said in his note on the passage, *'as if a man were to say 
of a modem English coxcomb, that he could sing Moore's 

Ixi V L ife of Horace. 

ballads from beginning to end, but could not understand 
a line of Shakespeare," — no disparagement to Moore, 
whatever it might be to the vocalist. Hermogenes and 
his ape (whom we may identify with one Demetrius, who 
is subsequently coupled with him in the same Satire) 
were musicians and vocalists, idolised, after the manner 
of modern Italian singers, by the young misses of Rome. 
Pampered favourites of fashion, the Farinellis of the hour, 
their opinion on all matters of taste was sure to be as 
freely given as it was worthless. They had been, more- 
over, so indiscreet as to provoke Horace's sarcasm by 
running down his verses. Leave criticism, he rejoins, 
to men who have a right to judge. Stick to your proper 
vocation, and 

" To puling girls, that listen and adore, 
Your love-lorn chants and woeful wailings pour ! " 

In the same Satire we have proof how warmly Horace 
thought and spoke of living poets. Thus :— 

" In grave Iambic measures PoUio sings 
For our delight the deeds of mighty kings. 
The stately Epic Varius leads along, 
And where is voice so resonant, so strong ? 
The Muses of the woods and plains have shed 
Their every grace and charm on Virgil's head." 

With none of those will he compete. Satire is his 
element, and there he proclaims himself to be a humble 
follower of his great predecessor. But while he bows to 
Lucilius as his master, and owns him superior in pohsh 
and scholarly grace to the satirists who preceded him, 
still, he continues — 

Horaces Friends. Ixv 

' ' Still, were he living now — had only such 
Been Fate s decree — he would have blotted much, 
Cut everything away that could be called 
Crude or superfluous, or tame or bald ; 
Oft scratched his head, the labouring poet's trick, 
And bitten all his nails down to the quick." 

And then he lays down the canon for all composition of 
a high order, which can never be too often enforced : — 

" Oh yes, believe me, you must draw your pen 
Not once or twice, but o'er and o'er again, 
Through what you've written, if you would entice 
The man who reads you once to read you twice, — 
Not making popular applause your cue, 
But looking to find audience fit though few."— (Conington.) 

He had himself followed the rule, and found the 
reward. With natural exultation he appeals against 
the judgment of men of the Hermogenes type to an 
array of critics of whose good opinion he might well 
be proud : — 

" Maecenas, Virgil, Varius,— if I please 
In my poor writings these and such as these, — 
If Plotius, Valgius, Fuscus will commend, 
And good Octavius, I've achieved my end. 
You, noble PoUio (let your friend disclaim 
All thoughts of flattery, when he names your name), 
Messala and his brother, Servius too, 
And Bibulus, and Furnius kind and true. 
With others, whom, despite their sense and wit, 
And friendly hearts, I purposely omit ; 
Such I would have my critics ; men to gain 
Whose smiles were pleasure, to forget them pain." — {Id.) 

It is riot strange that Horace, even in these early days, 
numbered so many distinguished men among his friends, 
for, the question of genius apart, there must have been 
something particularly engaging in his kindly and affec- 

Ix vi L ife of Horace. 

tionate nature. He was a good hater, as all warm- 
hearted men are ; and when his blood was up, he could, 
like Diggory, " remember his swashing blow." He would 
fain, £fs he says himself (Satires, II. i), be at peace with 
all men : — 

" But he who shall my temper try — 
'Twere best to touch me not, say I — 
Shall nie it, and through all the town 
My verse shall damn him with renown." 

But with his friends he was forbearing, devoted, lenient 
to their foibles, not boring them with his own, liberal in 
construing their motives, and as trustful in tl;ieir loyalty 
to himself as he was assured of his own to them ; clearly 
a man to be loved — a man pleasant to meet and pleasant 
to remember, constant, and to be relied on in sunshine 
or in gloom. Friendship with him was not a thing to be 
given by halves. He could see a friend's faults — no man 
quicker — but it did not lie in his mouth to babble about 
them. He was not one of those who "whisper faults 
and hesitate dislikes." Love me, love my friend, was 
his rule. Neither would he sit quietly by, while his 
friends were being disparaged. And if he has occasion 
himself to rally their foibles in his poems, he does so 
openly, and does it with such an implied sympathy and 
avowal of kindred weakness in himself, that to take 
offence was impossible. Above all, he possessed in 
perfection what Lord Beaconsfield happily calls "the 
rare gift of raillery, which flatters the self-love of those 
whom it seems not to spare." These characteristics are 
admirably indicated by Persius (I. ii6) in speaking of 
his Satires — 

Inculcates Charity in Judgment. Ixvii 

" Arch Horace, while he strove to mend, 
Probed all the foibles of his smiling friend ; 
Played lightly round and round each peccant part, 
And won, unfelt, an entrance to his heart." — (Gifford.) 

And we may be sure the same qualities were even more 
conspicuous in his personal intercourse with his friends. 
Satirist though he was, he is continually inculcating the 
duty of charitable judgments towards all men. 

"What's done we partly may compute, 
But know not what's resisted," 

is a thought often suggested by his works. The best 
need large grains of allowance, and to whom should these 
be given if not to friends ? Here is his creed on this 
subject (Satires, I. 3) : — 

• ' True love, we know, is blind ; defects, that blight 
The loved one's charms, escape the lover's sight, 
Nay, pass for beauties ; as Balbinus shows 
A passion for the wen on Agna's nose. 
Oh, with our friendships that we did the same. 
And screened our blindness under virtue's name ! 
P'or we are bound to treat a friend's defect 
With touch most tender, and a fond respect ; 
Even as a father treats a child's, who hints, 
The urchin's eyes are roguish, if he squints : 
Or if he be as stunted, short, and thick, 
As Sisyphus the dwarf, will call him ' chick ! ' 
If crooked all ways, in back, in legs, and thighs. 
With softening phrases will the flaw disguise. 
So, if one friend too close a fist betrays, 
Let us ascribe it to his frugal ways ; 
Or is another— such we often find — 
To flippant jest and braggart talk inclined, 
'Tis only from a kindly wish tt> try 
To make the time 'mongst friends go lightly by ; 
Another's tongue is rough and over-free, 
IvCt's call it bluntness and sincerity ; 

1 X V i 1 i Life of Horace. 

Another's choleric ; him we must screen, 
As cursed with feelings for his peace too keen. 
This is the course, methinks, that makes a friend, 
And, having made, secures him to the end." 

What wonder, such being his practice — for Horace in 
this as in other things acted up to his professions — that 
he was so dear, as we see he was, to so many of the best 
men of his time ? 

The very contrast which his life presented to that of 
most of his associates must have helped to attract them 
to him. Most of them were absorbed in either political 
or military pursuits. Wealth, power, dignity, the splen- 
did prizes of ambition, were the dream of their lives. 
And even those whose tastes inclined mainly towards 
literature and art were not exempt from the prevailing 
passion for riches and display. Rich, they were eager to 
be more rich ; well placed in society, they were covetous 
of higher social distinction. Now at Rome, gay, luxuri- 
ous, dissipated; anon in Spain, Parthia, Syria, Africa, or 
wherever duty, interest, or pleasure called them, encoun- 
tering perils by land and sea with reckless indifference to 
fatigue and danger, always with a hunger at their hearts 
for something, which, when found, did not appease it; 
they must have felt a peculiar interest in a man who, 
without apparent effort, seemed to get so much more out 
of life than they were able to do, with all their struggles, 
and all their much larger apparent means of enjoyment. 
They must have seen that wealth and honour were both 
within his grasp, and they must have known, too, that it 
was from no lack of appreciation of either that he delib- 
erately declined to seek them. Wealth would have pur- 

Horace's Rule of Life. Ixix 

chased for him many a refined pleasure which he could 
heartily appreciate, and honours might have saved him 
from some of the social slights which must have put his 
philosophy to a severe test. But he told them, in every 
variety of phrase and illustration — in ode, in satire, and 
epistle — that without self-control and temperance in all 
things, there would be no joy without remorse, no plea- 
sure without fatigue — that it is from within that happiness 
must come, if it come at all — and that unless the mind 
lias schooled itself to peace by holding the appetites 
under control, and by the renunciation of covetous 

" We may be wise, or rich, or great, 
But never can be blest." 

And as he spoke, so they must have seen he lived. 
Wealth and honours would manifestly have been bought 
too dearly at the sacrifice of the tranquillity and inde- 
pendence which he early set before him as the objects of 
his life. 

*' The content, surpassing wealth, 
The sage in meditation found ; " 

the content which springs from living in consonance with 
the dictates of nature {convenienter naturae), from healthful 
pursuits, from a conscience void of offence ; the content 
which is incompatible with the gnawing disquietudes of 
avarice, of ambition, of social envy, — with that in his 
heart, he knew he could be true to his genius, and make 
life worth living. 

A man of this character must always be rare ; least of 
all was he likely to be common in Horace's day, when 

Ixx L ife of Horace. 

the men in whose circle he was moving were engaged in 
the great task of crushing the civil strife which had shaken 
the stability of the Roman power, and of consolidating 
an empire greater and more powerful than her greatest 
statesmen had previously dreamed of. But all the more 
delightful to these men must it have been to come into 
intimate contact with a man who, while perfectly appre- 
ciating their special gifts and aims, could bring them 
back from the stir and excitement of their habitual life 
to think of other things than social or political successes, 
— to look into their own hearts, and to live for a time for 
something better and more enduring than the triumphs 
of vanity or ambition, 

Horace from the first seems to have wisely determined 
to keep himself free from those shackles which most men 
are so eager to forge for themselves, by setting their 
heart on wealth and social distinction. With perfect 
sincerity he had told Maecenas, as we have seen, that he 
coveted neither, and he gives his reasons thus (Satires, 

" For then a larger income must be made, 
Men's favour courted, and their whims obeyed ; 
Nor could I then indulge a lonely mood, 
Away from town, in country solitude, 
For the false retinue of pseudo-friends, 
That all my movements servilely attends. 
More slaves must then be fed, more horses too. 
And chariots bought. Now have I nought to do, 
If I would even to Tarentum ride, 
But mount my bobtailed mule, my wallets tied 
Across his flanks, which, flapping as we go. 
With ray ungainly ankles to and fro, 
Work his unhappy sides a world of weary woe." 

From this wise resolution he never swerved, and so 

• Horaces Afternoon in Rome. Ixxl 

through hfe he maintained an attitude of independence 
in thought and action which would othenvise have been 
impossible. He does not say it in so many words, but 
the sentiment meets us all through his pages, which 
Burns, Avhose mode of thinking so often reminds us of 
Horace, puts into the line — 

" My freedom's a lairdship nae monarch may touch." 

And we shall hereafter have occasion to see that, when 
put to the proof, he acted upon this creed. Well might 
the ovenvorked statesman have envied the poet the ease 
and freedom of his life, and longed to be able to spend 
a day as Horace, in the same Satire, tells us his days 
were passed I — 

" I walk alone, by mine own fancy led, 
Inquire the pi-ice of pot-herbs and of bread, 
The circus cross, to see its tricks and fun. 
The forum, too, at times, near set of sun ; 
With other fools there do I stand and gape 
Round fortune-tellers' stalls, thence home escape 
To a plain meal of pancakes, pulse, and peas ; 
Three young boy-slaves attend on me with these. 
Upon a slab of snow-white marble stand 
A goblet and two beakers; near at hand, 
A common ewer, patera, and bowl ; 
Campania's potteries produced the whole. 

To sleep then I 

I keep my couch till ten, then walk awhile. 
Or having read or writ what may beguile 
A quiet after-hour, anoint my limbs 
With oil, not such as filthy Natta skims 
From lamps defrauded of their unctuous fare. 
And when the sunbeams, grown too hot to bear, 
Warn me to quit the field, and hand-ball play, 
The bath takes all my weariness away. 
Then, having lightly dined, just to appease 
The sense of emptiness, I take mine ease, 

Ixxii Life of Horace. 

Enjoying all home's simple luxury. 

This is the life of bard unclogged, like me, 

By stern ambition's miserable weight. 

So placed, I own with gratitude, my state 

Is sweeter, ay, than though a quaestor's power 

From sire and grandsire's sires had been my dower." 

It would not have been easy to bribe a man of these 
simple habits and tastes, as some critics have contended 
that Horace was bribed, to become the laureate of a 
party to which he had once been opposed, even had 
Maecenas wished to do so. His very indifference to 
those favours which were within the disposal of a great 
minister of state, placed him on a vantage-ground in his 
relations with Maecenas which he could in no other way 
have secured. Nor, we may well believe, would that 
distinguished man have wished it otheiivise. Sur- 
rounded as he was by servility and selfish baseness, he 
must have felt himself irresistibly drawn towards a nature 
so respectful, so affectionate, yet perfectly manly and 
independent, as that of the poet. Nor can we doubt 
that intimacy had grown into friendship, warm and sin- 
cere, before he gratified his owti feelings, while he made 
Horace happy for life, by presenting him with a small 
estate in the Sabine country — a gift which, we may be 
sure, he knew well would be of all gifts the most wel- 
come. It is demonstrable that it was not given earlier 
than B.C. 33, or after upwards of four years of intimate 
acquaintance. That Horace had longed for such a pos- 
session, he tells us himself (Satires, II. 6). He had pro- 
bably expressed his longing in the hearing of his friend, 
and to such a friend the opportunity of turning the poet's 
dream into a reality must have been especially delightful 

The Sabine Farm. Ixxiii 

The gift was a slight one for Maecenas to bestow; but, 
with Horace's fondness for the country, it had a value 
for him beyond all price. It gave him a competency — 
satis superqtie — enough and more than he wanted for his 
needs. It gave him leisure, health, amusement; and, 
more precious than all, it secured him undisturbed free- 
dom of thought, and opportunities for that calm inter- 
course with nature which he "needed for his spirit's 
health." Never was gift better bestowed, or more worth- 
ily requited. To it we are indebted for much of that 
poetry which has linked the name of Maecenas with that 
of the poet in associations the most engaging, and has 
afforded, and will afford, ever-new delight to succes- 
sive generations. 

The Sabine farm was situated in the valley of Ustica, 
thirty miles from Rome, and twelve miles from Tivoli. 
It possessed the attraction, no small one to Horace, of 
being very secluded — Varia (Vico Varo), the nearest 
town, being four miles off — yet, at the same time, within 
an easy distance of Rome. When his spirits wanted the 
stimulus of society or the bustle of the capital, which 
they often did, his ambling mule could speedily convey 
him thither ; and when jaded, on the other hand, by the 
noise and racket and dissipations of Rome, he could, in 
the same homely way, bury himself within a few hours 
among the hills, and there, under the shadow of his 
favourite Lucretilis, or by tlie banks of the clear-flowing 
and ice-cold Digentia, either stretch himself to dream 
upon the grass, lulled by the murmurs of the stream, or 
do a little farming in the way of clearing his fields of 
stones, or turning over a furrow here and there with the 

Ixxiv Life of Horace. 

hoe. There was a rough wildness in the scenery and a 
sharpness in the air, both of which Horace Uked, al- 
though, as years advanced and his health grew more deli- 
cate, he had to leave it in the colder months for Tivoli 
or Baiae. He built a villa upon it, or added to one 
already there, the traces of which still exist. The farm 
gave employment to five famiUes of free colo7ii, who were 
under the superintendence of a bailiff; and the poet's 
domestic establishment was composed of eight slaves. 
The site of the farm is at the present day a favourite 
resort of travellers, of Englishmen especially, who visit 
it in such numbers, and trace its features with such 
enthusiasm, that the resident peasantry, "who cannot 
conceive of any other source of interest in one so long 
dead and unsainted than that of co-patriotism or con- 
sanguinity," believe Horace to have been an English- 
man.i What aspect it presented in Horace's time we 
gather from one of his Epistles (I. i6) :— 

" As, dearest Quintus, you may wish to know 
The things this country place of mine will grow, 
If it enrich me with oil, apples, wine, 
Or if its fields are best for com or kine, 
Its site and character I will essay 
To picture for you in my chatty way. 
Girdled by hills it lies, through which but one 
Small valley, rich in shade, is seen to run, 
Where on the right the morning sunbeams play. 
Whilst on the left they rest at close of day. 
You'd like the air. Wild cherry there, and sloe 
Purply and dark, in rich profusion grow. 
While oak and ilex bounteously afford 
Food for my herds, and shelter for their lord. 
' How's this ? ' you'd say, could you behold the scene ; 
'Tarentum's here, with all its wealth of green.' 

1 Letter by Mr Dennis: Milman's 'Horace' (London, 1849), p. 109. 

The Sabifie Farm. Ixxv 

We have a fountain, too, that well may claim 
To give the stream, whose source it is, a name ; 
More cool, more clear, not Thracian Hebrus flows, 
Balm for head-pains, and for the stomach's woes. 
This dear, yea truly exquisite, retreat 
Keeps me in health through even September's heat." 

Here is what a tourist found it in 1869 • ^ — 

" Following a path along the brink of the torrent Digen- 
tia, we passed a towering rock, on which once stood Vacu- 
na's shrine, and entered a pastoral region of well-watered 
meadow-lands, enamelled with flowers and studded with 
chestnut and fruit trees. Beneath their sheltering shade 
peasants were whiling away the noontide hours. Here sat 
Daphnis piping sweet witching melodies on a reed to his 
rustic Phidyle, whilst Lydia and she wove wreaths of wild- 
flowers, and Lyce sped down to the edge of the stream and 
brought us cooling drink in a bulging conca borne on her 
head. Its waters were as deliciously refreshing as they 
could have been when the poet himself gratefully recorded 
how often they revived his strength; and one longed to 
think, and hence half believed, that our homely Hebe, like 
her fellows, was sprung from the coloni who tilled his 
fields and dwelt in the five homesteads of which he sings. 
. . . Near the little village of Licenza, standing like its 
loftier neighbour, Civitella, on a steep hill at the foot of 
Lucretilis, we turned off the path, crossed a thickly wooded 
knoll, and came to an orchard, in which two young labour- 
ers were at work. We asked where the remains of Horace's 
farm were. ^ A pil tut/' answered the nearest of them, 
in a dialect more like Latin than Italian. So saying, he 
began with a shovel to uncover a massive floor in very fair 
preservation; a little farther on was another, crumbling to 
pieces. Chaupy has luckily saved one all doubt as to the 
site of the farm, establishing to our minds convincingly 
that it could scarcely have stood on ground other than that 

1 ' Pall Mall Gazette,' August 16, 1869. 

Ixxvi Life of Horace. 

on which at this moment we were. As the shovel was 
clearing the floors, we thought how applicable to Horace 
himself were the lines he addressed to Fuscus Aristius, 
* Naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret * — 

' • ' Drive Nature forth by force, she'll turn and rout 

The false refinements that would keep her out ; ' — (Conington.) 

for here was just enough of his home left to show how 
nature, creeping on step by step, had overwhelmed his 
handiwork and reasserted her sway. Again, pure and 
Augustan in design as was the pavement before us, how 
little could it vie with the hues and odours of the grasses 
that bloomed around it ! — ' Deterius Libycis olet aut nitet 
herba lapillis?' 

" ' Is springing grass less sweet to nose and eyes 
Than Libyan marble's tesselated dyes? ' — {Id.) 

" Indeed, so striking were these coincidences that we were 
as nearly as possible going off on the wrong tack, and sing- 
ing ' lo Pasan' to Dame Nature herself at the expense of 
the bard ; but we were soon brought back to our allegi- 
ance by a sense of the way in which all we saw tallied 
with the description of him who sang of nature so surpass- 
ingly well, who challenges posterity in charmed accents, 
and could shape the sternest and most concise of tongues 
into those melodious cadences that invest his undying verse 
with all the magic of music and all the freshness of youth. 
For this was clearly the 'angulus iste,' the nook which 
'restored him to himself — this the lovely spot which his 
steward longed to exchange for the slums of Rome. Below 
lay the greensward by the river, where it was sweet to re- 
cline in slumber. Here grew the vines, still trained, like 
his own, on the trunks and branches of trees. Yonder the 
brook which the rain would swell till it overflowed its 
margin, and his lazy steward and slaves were fain to bank 
it up ; and above, among a wild jumble of hills, lay the 
woods where, on the Calends of March, Faunus interposed 

The Bandusian Spring. Ixxvii 

to save him from the falling tree, and where another miracle 
preserved him from the attack of the wolf as he strolled 
along unarmed, singing of the soft voice and sweet smiles 
of his Lalage ! The brook is now nearly dammed up ; a 
wall of close-fitting rough-hewn stones gathers its waters 
into a still, dark pool ; its overflow gushes out in a tiny rill 
that rushed down beside our path, mingling its murmur 
with the hum of myriads of insects that swarmed in the 

On this farm lovers of Horace have been fain to 
place the fountain of Bandusia, which the poet loved 
so well, and to which he prophesied, and truly, as the 
issue has proved, immortality from his song (Odes, III. 
13). Charming as the poem is, there could be no 
stronger proof of the poet's hold upon the hearts of men 
of all ages than the enthusiasm with which the very site 
of the spring has been contested. 

' ' O fountain of Bandusia ! 
Sparkling brighter in thy play. 
Far than crystal, thou of wine 1 
Worthy art, and fragrant twine 
Of fairest flowers ! To-morrow thou 
A kid shalt have, whose sweUing brow. 
And horns just budding into hfe, 
Give promise both of love and strife. 
Vain promise all ! For in the spring 
And glory of his wantoning, 
His blood shall stain thy waters cool 
With many a deep-ensanguined pool. 

1 It seems strange that Horace should call the fountain worthy of 
wine and flowers (the lesser sacrifice of Cain), when he was about to 
offer it the greater sacrifice of Abel. Was the poem itself an adapta- 
tion of some Greek lyric, in which the poet promised to sacrifice a kid 
to the fountain beside which he and his boon-companions were wont 
to sit covered with flowers, and to temper their wine in its waters ? 

VOL. I. e 

Ixxviii L ife of Horace, 

Thee the fiery star, the hot 

Breath of noonday toucheth not ; 

Thou a grateful cool dost yield 

To the flocks that range a-field. 

And breathest freshness from thy stream 

To the labour-wearied team. 

Thou, too, shalt be one ere long 

Of the fountains famed in song, 

When I chant the ilex bending 

O'er thy mosses, whence descending, 

Thy delicious waters bound, 

Prattling to the rocks around." 

Several commentators maintain, on what appears to 
be very inconclusive grounds, that the fountain was at 
Palazzo, six miles from Venusia. But the poem is obvi- 
ously inspired by a fountain whose babble had often 
soothed the ear of Horace, long after he had ceased to 
visit Venusia. On his farm, therefore, let us believe it 
to exist, whichever of the springs that are still there we 
may choose to identify with his description. For there 
are several, and the local guides are by no means dog- 
matic as to the " verofo?iie" That known as the " Fonte 
della Corte" seems to make out the strongest case for 
itself. It is within a few hundred yards of the villa, most 
abundant, and in this respect "fit" to name the river that 
there takes its rise, which the others — at present, at least 
— certainly are not. 

Horace is never weary of singing the praises of his 
mountain home — "Satis beatus unicis Sabmis" 

" With what I have completely blest, 

My happy little Sabine nest"— (Odes, II. i8.) 

are the words in which he contrasts his own entire happi- 
ness with the restless misery of a miUionaire in the midst 

His delight in the Country, Ixxix 

of his splendour. Again, in one of his Odes to Maecenas 
(III. 1 6) he takes up and expands the same theme. 

" In my crystal stream, my woodland, though its acres are but few, 
And the trust that I shall gather home my crops in season due. 
Lies a joy, which he may never grasp, who rules in gorgeous state 
Fertile Africa's dominions. Happier, happier far my fate ! 
Though for me no bees Calabrian store their honey, nor doth wine 
Sickening in the Lasstrygonian amphora for me refine ; 
Though for me no flocks unnumbered, browsing Gallia's pastures fair, 
Pant beneath their swelling fleeces, I at least am free from care ; 
Haggard want with direful clamour ravens never at my door, 
Nor wouldst thou, if more I wanted, oh my friend, deny me more. 
Appetites subdued will make me richer with my scanty gains, 
Than the realms of Alyattes wedded to Mygdonia's plains. 
Much will evermore be wanting unto those who much demand ; 
Blest, whom Jove with what sufl&ceth dowers, but dowers with spar- 
ing hand." 

It is the nook of earth which, beyond all others, has a 
charm for him, — the one spot where he is all his own. 
Here, as Wordsworth beautifully says, he 

" Exults in freedom, can with rapture vouch 
For the dear blessings of a lowly couch, 
A natural meal, days, months from Nature's hand. 
Time, place, and business all at his command." 

It is in this delightful retreat that, in one of his most 
graceful Odes, he thus invites the fair Tyndaris to pay 
him a visit (I. 17) : — 

** My own sweet Lucretilis ofttime can lure 

From his native Lycseus kind Faunus the fleet, 
To watch o'er my flocks, and to keep them secure 

From summer's fierce winds, and its rains, and its heat. 

There the mates of a lord of too pungent a fragrance 
Securely through brake and o'er precipice climb. 

And crop, as they wander in happiest vagfrance, 
The arbutus green, and the sweet-scented thyme. 

Ixxx Life of Horace, 

Nor murderous wolf nor green snake may assail 

My innocent kidlings, dear Tyndaris, when 
His pipings resound through Ustica's low vale, 

Till each mossed rock in music makes answer again. 

The muse is still dear to the gods, and they shield 
"Me, their dutiful bard ; with a bounty divine 

They have blessed me with all that the country can yield ; 
Then come, and whatever I have shall be thine ! 

Here screened from the Dog-star, in valley retired, 
Shalt thou sing that old song thou canst warble so well. 

Which tells how one passion Penelope fired. 
And charmed fickle Circe herself by its spell. 

Here cups shalt thou sip, 'neath the broad-spreading shade 

Of the innocent vintage of Lesbos at ease ; 
No fumes of hot ire shall our banquet invade. 

Or mar that sweet festival under the trees. 

And fear not, lest Cyrus, that jealous young bear, 
On thy poor little self his rude fingers should set — 

Should pluck from thy bright locks the chaplet, and tear 
Thy dress, that ne'er harmed him nor any one yet." 

Had Milton this Ode in his thought, when he invited his 
friend Lawes to a repast, 

" Light and choice, 
Of Attic taste with wine, whence we may rise. 
To hear the lute well touched, and artful voice 
Warble immortal notes, and Tuscan air" ? 

The reference in the last verse to the violence of the 
lady's lover — a violence of which ladies of her class were 
constantly the victims — rather suggests that this Ode, if 
addressed to a real personage at all, was meant less as an 
invitation to the Sabine farm than as a balm to the lady's 
wounded spirit. 

In none of his poems is the poet's deep delight in the 
country life of his Sabine home more apparent than in 

Satirises Himself. Ixxxi 

the Sixth Satire of the Second Book, which has a double 
value, — for its biographical details, and as a specimen of 
his best manner in his Satires. 

It is characteristic of Horace that in the very next Satire 
he makes his own servant Davus tell him that his rhapso- 
dies about the country and its charms are mere humbug, 
and that, for all his ridicule of the shortcomings of his 
neighbours, he is just as inconstant as they are in his 
likings and dislikings. The poet in this way lets us see 
into his own little vanities, and secures the right by 
doing so to rally his friends for theirs. To his valet, at 
all events, by his own showing, he is no hero. 

" You're praising up incessantly 
The habits, manners, likings, ways, 
Of people in the good old days ; 
Yet should some god this moment give 
To you the power, like them to live, 
You're just the man to say, ' I won't ! ' 
Because in them you either don't 
Believe, or else the courage lack, 
The truth through thick and thin to back. 
And, rather than its heights aspire, 
Will go on sticking in the mire. 
At Rome you for the country sigh ; 
When in the country, to the sky 
You, flighty as the thistle's down. 
Are always crying up the town. 
If no one asks you out to dine. 
Oh, then the pot-au-feu's divine ! 
* You go out on compulsion only — 
'Tis so delightful to be lonely ; 
And drinking bumpers is a bore 
You shrink from daily more and more. 
But only let Maecenas send 
Command for you to meet a friend ; 
Although the message comes so late, 
The lamps are being lighted, straight, 



Ixxxii Life of Horace, 

' Where's my pomade ? Look sharp ! ' you shout, 

* Heavens ! is there nobody about ? 
Are you all deaf?' and, storming high 
At all the household, off you fly. 
When Milvius, and that set, anon 
Arrive to dine, and find you gone, 
With vigorous curses they retreat. 
Which I had rather not repeat." 

Who could take amiss the rebuke of the kindly satirist, 
who was so ready to show up his own weaknesses ? In 
this respect our own great satirist Thackeray is very like 
him. Nor is this strange. They had many points in 
common — the same keen eye for human folly, the same 
tolerance for the human weaknesses of which they were 
so conscious in themselves, the same genuine kindness 
of heart. Thackeray's terse and vivid style, too, is 
probably in some measure due to this, that to him, as to 
Malherbe, Horace was a kind of breviary. 





It is one of the many charms of Horace's didactic 
\vritings, that he takes us into the very heart of the Hfe 
of Rome. We lounge with its loungers along the Sacra 
Via; we stroll into the Campus Martins, where young 
Hebrus with his noble horsemanship is witching the blush- 
ing Neobule, already too much enamoured of the hand- 
some Liparian ; and the men of the old school are getting 
up an appetite by games of tennis, bowls, or quoits; 
while the young Grecianised fops — lisping feeble jokes — 
saunter by with a listless contempt for such vulgar gym- 
nastics. We are in the Via Appia. Barine sweeps along 
in her chariot in superb toilet, shooting glances from 
her sleepy cruel eyes. The young fellows are all agaze. 
What is this ? Young Pompilius, not three months 
married, bows to her, with a visible spasm at the heart, as 
she hurries by, full in view of his young wife, who hides 
her mortification within the curtains of her litter, and 
hastens home to solitude and tears. Here comes Barrus 
— as ugly a dog as any in Rome — dressed to death ; and 
smiling Malvolio-smiles of self-complacency. The girls 

Ixxxiv Life of Horace, 

titter and exchange glances as he passes ; Barrus swaggers 
on, feeling himself an inch taller in the conviction that 
he is slaughtering the hearts of the dear creatures by the 
score. A mule, with a dead boar thrown across it, now 
winds its way among the chariots and litters. A little 
ahead of it stalks Gargilius, attended by a strong force of 
retainers armed with spears and nets, enough to thin the 
game of the Hercynian forest. Little does the mighty 
hunter dream, that all his friends, who congratulate him 
on his success, are asking themselves and each other, 
where he bought the boar, and for how much ? Have 
we never encountered a piscatory Gargilius near the Spey 
or the Tweed ? We wander back into the city and its 
narrow streets. In one we are jammed into a doorway 
by a train of builders' waggons laden with huge blocks 
of stone, or massive logs of timber. Escaping these, we 
run against a line of undertakers' men, "performing" a 
voluminous and expensive funeral, to the discomfort of 
everybody and the impoverishment of the dead man's 
kindred. In the next street we run the risk of being 
crushed by some huge piece of masonry in the act of 
being swung by a crane into its place ; and while calcu- 
lating the chances of its fall with upturned eye, we find 
ourselves landed in the gutter by an unclean pig, which 
has darted between our legs at some attractive garbage 
beyond. This peril over, we encounter at the next turn- 
ing a mad dog, who makes a passing snap at our toga as 
he darts into a neighbouring blind alley, whither we do 
not care to follow his vagaries among a covey of young 
Roman street Arabs. Before we reach home a mumping 
beggar drops before us as we turn the corner, in a well- 

Life ill Rome. Ixxxv 

simulated fit of epilepsy or of helpless lameness. ' Qiicere 
peregrinum ' — " Try that game on country cousins," — we 
mutter in our beard, and retreat to our lodgings on the 
third floor, encountering probably on the stair some half- 
tipsy artisan or slave, who is descending from the attics 
for another cup of fiery wine at the nearest wine-shop. 

We go to the theatre. The play is " Ilione," by Pacu- 
vius ; the scene a highly sensational one, where the ghost 
of Deiphobus, her son, appearing to Ilione, beseeches 
her to give his body burial. "O mother, mother," he 
cries, in tones most raucously tragic, " hear me call ! " 
But the Kynaston of the day who plays Ilione has been 
soothing his maternal sorrow with too potent Falernian. 
He slumbers on. The populace, like the gods of our 
gallery, surmise the truth, and, " O mother, mother, 
hear me call ! " is bellowed from a thousand lungs. We 
are enjoying a comedy, when our friends the people, 
" the many-headed monster of the pit," begin to think it 
slow, and stop the performance with shouts for a show of 
bears or boxers. Or, hoping to hear a good play, we find 
the entertainment offered consists of pure spectacle, 
" inexplicable dumb-show and noise " — 

" Cars, chariots, ships, in thronged succession pass, 
And captive ivory towers with captive brass." 

A milk-white elephant or a camelopard is considered 
more than a substitute for character, incident, or wit. 
And if an actor presents himself in a dress of unusual 
splendour, the house is in ecstasies, and a roar of ap- 
plause, loud as a tempest in the Garganian forest, or as 
the surges on the Tuscan strand, makes the velarium 
vibrate above their heads. Human nature is perpetually 

Ixxxvi Life of Horace, 

repeating itself. So when Pope is paraphrasing Horace, 
he has no occasion to alter the facts, which were the 
same in his pseudo, as in the real, Augustan age, but 
only to modernise the names : — 

" Loud as the waves on Orcas' stormy steep 
Howl to the roarings of the Northern deep, 
Such is the shout, the long-applauding note. 
At Quin's high plume, or Oldfield's petticoat. 
Booth enters — hark ! the universal peal. 
' But has he spoken ?' Not a syllable. 
• What shook the stage, and made the people stare ? ' 
'Cato's long wig, flowered gown, and lacquered chair.' " 

We dine out. Maecenas is of the party, and comes in 
leaning heavily on the two umhrce (guests of his own 
inviting) whom he has brought with him, — habitues of 
what Augustus called his " parasitical table," who make 
talk and find buffoonery for him. He is out of spirits 
to-day, and more reserved than usual, for a messenger 
has just come in with bad news from Spain, or he has 
heard of a conspiracy against Augustus, which must be 
crushed before it grows more dangerous. Varius is 
there, and being a writer of tragedies, keeps up, as your 
tragic author is sure to do, a ceaseless fire of puns and 
pleasantry. At these young Sybaris smiles faintly, for 
his thoughts are away with his lady-love, the too fascinat- 
ing Lydia. Horace — ^who, from the other side of the 
table, with an amused smile in his eyes, watches him, as 
he " sighs like furnace," while Neaera, to the accompani- 
ment of her lyre, sings one of Sappho's most passionate 
odes — whispers something in the ear of the brilliant vocal- 
ist, which visibly provokes a witty repartee, with a special 
sting in it for Horace himself, at which the little man 

A Dinner with Mcecenas. Ixxxvii 

winces — for have there not been certain love-passages of 
old between Neaera and himself? The wine circulates 
freely. Maecenas warms, and drops, with the delibera- 
tion of a rich sonorous voice, now some sharp sarcasm, 
now some aphorism heavy with meaning, which sticks to 
the memory, like a saying of Talleyrand's. His timhrce, 
who have put but little of allaying Tiber in their cups, 
grow boisterous and abusive, and having insulted nearly 
everybody at the table by coarse personal banter, the 
party breaks up, and we are glad to get out with flushed 
cheeks and dizzy head into the cool air of an early sum- 
mer night — all the more, that for the last half-hour young 
Piso at our elbow has been importuning us with whis- 
pered specimens of his very rickety elegiacs, and trying 
to settle an early appointment for us to hear him read 
the first six books of the great Epic with which he means 
to electrify the literary circles. We reach the Fabrician 
bridge, meditating as we go the repartees with which we 
might have turned the tables on those scurrilous followers 
of the great man, but did not. Suddenly we run up against 
a gentleman, who, raising his cloak over his head, is on 
the point of jumping into the Tiber. We seize him by 
his mantle, and discover in the intended suicide an 
old acquaintance, equally well known to the Jews and 
the bric-a-brac shops, whose tastes for speculation and 
articles of vertu have first brought him to the money- 
lenders, next to the dogs, and finally to the brink of the 
yellow Tiber. We give him all the sesterces we have 
about us, along with a few sustaining aphorisms from 
our commonplace-book upon the folly, if not the wicked- 
ness, of suicide, and see him safely home. When we 

IxxxvIIi Life of Horace. 

next encounter the decayed virtuoso, he has grown a 
beard (very badly kept), and set up as a philosopher of 
the hyper-virtuous Jaques school. Of course he lectures 
us upon every vice which we have not, and every little 
frailty which we have, with a pointed asperity that upsets 
our temper for the day, and causes us long afterwards 
to bewail the evil hour in which we rescued such an 
ill-conditioned grumbler from the kindly waters of the 

These hints of life and manners, all drawn from the 
pages of Horace, might be infinitely extended, and a 
ramble in the streets of Rome in the present day is con- 
sequently fuller of vivid interest to a man who has these 
pages at his fingers' ends than it can possibly be to any 
other person.^ Horace is so associated Avith all the local- 
ities, that one would think it the most natural thing in the 
world to come upon him at any turning. His old familiar 
haunts rise up about us out of the dust of centuries. We 
see a short thick-set man come sauntering along, " more 
fat than bard beseems." As he passes, lost in reverie, 
many turn round and look at him. Some point him out 
to their companions, and by what they say, we learn that 
this is Horace, the favourite of Maecenas, the frequent 
visitor at the unpretending palace of Augustus, the self- 
made man and famous poet. He is still within sight, 
when his progress is arrested. He is in the hands of a 
bore of the first magnitude. But what ensued, let the 

1 ' ' He can so mould Rome and her monuments 
Within the liquid marble of his lines, 
That they shall stand fresh and miraculous, 
Even when they mix with innovating dust," 

— BenJonson. 

Horace's Social Circle. Ixxxix 

reader gather from his own Hps in the Ninth Satire of the 
First Book {^^ Ibam forte Via Sacra^^). 

The Satires appear to have been completed when 
Horace was about thirty-five years old, and published 
collectively, B.C. 29. By this time his position in society 
was well assured. He numbered among his friends, as 
we have seen, the most eminent men in Rome, — 

" Chiefs out of war, and statesmen out of place" — 

men who were not merely ripe scholars, but who had 
borne and were bearing a leading part in the great 
actions of that memorable epoch. Among such men he 
would be most at home, for there his wit, his shrewdness, 
his genial spirits, and high breeding would be best 
appreciated. But his own keen relish of life, and his 
delight in watching the lights and shades of human 
character, took him into that wider circle where witty 
and notable men are always eagerly sought after to grace 
the feasts or enliven the heavy splendour of the rich and 
the unlettered. He was still young, and happy in the 
animal spirits which make the exhausting life of a lux- 
urious capital endurable even in spite of its pleasures. 
What Victor Hugo calls 

*' Le banquet des amis, et queiquefois les soirs, 
Le baiser jeune et frais d'une blanche aux yeux noirs," 

never quite lost their charm for him ; but during this 
period they must often have tempted him into the 
elaborate dinners, the late hours, and the high-strung 
excitement, which made a retreat to the keen air and 
plain diet of his Sabine home scarcely less necessary 
for his body's than it was for his spirit's health. For, 

xc Life of Horace, 

much as he prized moderation in all things, and extolled 
"the mirth that after no repenting draws," good wine, 
good company, and fair and witty women would be sure 
to work their spell on a temperament so bright and 
sympathetic, and to quicken his spirits into a brilliancy 
and force, dazzling and delightful for the hour, but to 
be paid for next day in headache and depression. 

He was all the more likely to suffer in this way from 
the very fact that, as a rule, he was simple and frugal in 
his tastes and habits. We have seen him (p. Ixxi), in the 
early days of his stay in Rome, at his ** plain meal of 
pancakes, pulse, and peas," served on homely earthen- 
ware. At his farm, again, beans and bacon form his 
staple dish. True to the old Roman taste, he was a 
great vegetarian ; and in his charming ode, written for the 
opening of the temple of Apollo erected by Augustus on 
Mount Palatine (b.c. 28), he thinks it not out of place 
to mingle with his prayer for poetic power an entreaty 
that he may never be without wholesome vegetables and 

** T^t olives, endive, mallows light, 

Be all my fare ; and health 
Give thou, Apollo, so I might 

Enjoy my present wealth ! 
Give me but these, I ask no more, 

These, and a mind entire — 
An old age, not unhonoured, nor 

Unsolaced by the lyre ! " 

Maecenas himself is promised (Odes, III. 28), if he will 
visit the poet at the Sabine farm, " simple dinners neatly 
dressed ; " and when Horace invites his friend Torquatus 
to dinner (Epistles, II. 5), he does it on the footing that 
this wealthy lawyer shall be content to put up with plain 

Horaces Homely Life. xci 

vegetables and homely crockery {niodica olus omne pat- 
ella). The wine, he promises, shall be good, though not 
of any of the crack growths. If Torquatus wants bet- 
ter, he must send it himself. The appointments of 
the table, too, though of the simplest kind, shall be 
admirably kept — 

' ' The coverlets of faultless sheen, 
The napkins scrupulously clean, 
Your cup and salver such that they 
Unto yourself yourself display." 

Table-service neat to a nicety was obviously a great point 
with Horace. What plate he had was made to look its 
best. ^^ Ridet argento domtis" — "My plate, newly bur- 
nished, enlivens my rooms" — is one of the attractions 
held out in his invitation to the fair Phyllis to grace his 
table on Maecenas's birthday (Odes, IV. ii). And we 
may be very sure that his little dinners were served and 
waited on with the studied care and quiet finish of a 
refined simplicity. His rule on these matters is indicated 
by himself (Satires, II. 2) : — 

" The proper thing is to be cleanly and nice, 
And yet so as not to be over precise ; 
To neither be constantly scolding your slaves, 
Like that old prig Albutus, as losels and knaves. 
Nor, like Naevius, in such things who's rather too easy, 
To the guests at your board present water that's greasy." 

To a man of these simple tastes, the elaborate ban- 
quets, borrowed from the Asiatic Greeks, which were 
then in fashion, must have been intolerable. He has 
introduced us to one of them in describing a dinner- 
party of nine given by one Nasidienus, a wealthy snob, 
to Maecenas and others of Horace's friends. The dinner 


xcii L ife of Horace, 

breaks down in a very amusing way, between the giver's 
love of display and his parsimony, which prompted him, 
on the one hand, to present his guests with the fashion- 
able dainties, but, on the other, would not let him pay a 
price sufficient to insure their being good. The first 
course consists of a Lucanian wild boar, served with a 
garnish of turnips, radishes, and lettuce, in a sauce of 
anchovy-brine and wine-lees. Next comes an incongru- 
ous medley of dishes, including one 

"Of sparrows' gall and turbots' liver, 
At the mere thought of which I shiver." 

A lamprey succeeds, " floating vast and free, by shrimps 
surrounded in a sea of sauce," and this is followed up by 
a crane soused in salt and flour, the liver of a snow-white 
goose fattened on figs, leverets' shoulders, and roasted 
blackbirds. This 7nenu is clearly meant for a caricature, 
but it was a caricature of a prevailing folly, which had 
probably cost the poet many an indigestion. 

Against this folly, and the ruin to health and purse 
which it entailed, some of his most vigorous satire is 
directed. It furnishes the themes of the Second and 
Fourth Satires of the Second Book, both of which, with 
slight modifications, might with equal truth be addressed 
to the dinner-givers and diners-out of our own day. In 
the former of these the speaker is the Apulian yeoman 
Ofellus, who undertakes to show 

" What the virtue consists in, and why it is great, 
To live on a little, whatever your state. " 

Before entering on his task, however, he insists that his 
hearers shall cut themselves adrift from their luxuries, and 

His views on Diet xciii 

come to him fasting, and with appetites whetted by a 

sharp run with the hounds, a stiif bout at tennis, or some 

other vigorous gymnastics \ — 

" And when the hard work has your squeamishness routed, 
When you're parched up with thirst, and your hunger's undoubted, 
Then spurn simple food if you can, or plain wine, 
Which no honeyed gums from Hymettus refine." 

His homily then proceeds in terms which would not be 

out of place if addressed to a gourmet of modem London 

or Paris : — 

" When your butler's away, and the weather's so bad 
That there is not a morsel of fish to be had, 
A crust with some salt will soothe not amiss 
The ravening stomach. You ask, how is this ? 
Because for delight, at the best, you must look 
To yourself, and not to your wealth or your cook.i 
Work till you perspire. Of all sauces 'tis best. 
The man that's with over-indulgence oppressed, 
White-hvered and pursy, can relish no dish. 
Be it ortolans, oysters, or finest of fish. 
Still I scarcely can hope, if before you there were 
A peacock and capon, you would not prefer 
With the peacock to tickle your palate, you're so 
Completely the dupes of mere semblance and show. 
For to buy the rare bird only gold will avail, 
And he makes a grand show with his fine painted tail. 
As if this had to do with the matter the least! 
Can you make of the feathers you prize so a feast ? 
And, when the bird's cooked, what becomes of its splendour? 
Is his flesh than the capon's more juicy or tender? 
Mere appearance, not substance, then, clearly it is, 
Which bamboozles your judgment. So much, then, for this." 

1 " Pour lamour de Dieu, un sou pour acheter un petit pain. J'ai si 
faim !" "Comment!" responded the cloyed sensualist, in search of 
an appetite, who was thus accosted ; " tu as faim, petit drole ! Tu es 
bien heureux !" The readers of Pope will also remember his lines on 
the man who 

" Called 'happy dog' the beggar at his door, 
And envied thirst and hunger to the poor." 

VOL. I. / 

xciv Life of Horace, 

Don't talk to me of taste, Ofellus continues — 

' ' Will it give you a notion, 
If this pike in the Tiber was caught, or the ocean ? 
If it used 'twixt the bridges to gUde and to quiver. 
Or was tossed to and fro at the mouth of the river? " 

Just as our epicures profess to distinguish by flavour a 
salmon fresh run from the sea from one that has been 
degenerating for four-and-twenty hours in the fresh water 
of the river — with this difference, however, that, unlike 
the salmon with us, the above -bridge pike was consid- 
ered at Rome to be more delicate than his sea-bred and 
leaner brother. 

Ofellus next proceeds to ridicule the taste which prizes 
what is set before it for mere size, or rarity, or cost. It is 
this, he contends, and not any excellence in the things 
themselves, which makes people load their tables with the 
sturgeon or the stork. Fashion, not flavour, prescribes 
the rule; indeed, the more perverted her ways, the 
more sure they are to be followed. 

" So were any one now to assure us a treat 
In cormorants roasted, as tender and sweet, 
The young men of Rome are so prone to what's wrong, 
They'd eat cormorants all to a man, before long." 

But, continues Ofellus, though I would have you frugal, 
I would not have you mean — 

" One vicious extreme it is idle to shun, 
If into its opposite straightway you run ; " 

illustrating his proposition by one of those graphic 
sketches which give a distinctive life to Horace's 



His views on Diet. xcv 

' ' There is Avidienus, to whom, like a burr, 
Sticks the name he was righteously dubbed by of 'Cur,' 
Eats beechmast and olives five years old, at least, 
And even when he's robed all in white for a feast 
On his marriage or birth day, or some other very 
High festival day, when one likes to be merry. 
What wine from the chill of his cellar emerges — 
'Tis a drop at the best — has the flavour of verjuice ; 
While from a huge cruet his own sparing hand 
On his coleworts drops oil which no mortal can stand, 
So utterly loathsome and rancid in smell, it 
Defies his stale vinegar even to quell it." 

Let what you have be simple, the best of its kind, what- 
ever that may be, and served in the best style. And now 
leam, continues the rustic sage, 

" In what way and how greatly you'll gain 
By using a diet both sparing and plain. 
First, your health will be good ; for you readily can 
Believe how much mischief is done to a man 
By a great mass of dishes, — remembering that 
Plain fare of old times, and how lightly it sat. 
But the moment you mingle up boiled with roast meat, 
And shell-fish with thrushes, what tasted so sweet 
Will be turned into bile, and ferment, not digest, in 
Youx stomach exciting a tumult intestine. 
Mark, from a bewildering dinner how pale 
Every man rises up ! Nor is this all they ail, 
For the body, weighed down by its last night's excesses, 
To its own wretched level the mind, too, depresses. 
And to earth chains that spark of the essence divine ; 
While he, that's content on plain viands to dine, 
Sleeps off his fatigues without effort, then gay 
As a lark rises up to the tasks of the day. 
Yet he on occasion will find himself able 
To enjoy without hurt a more liberal table, 
Say, on festival days, that come round with the year. 
Or when his strength's low, and cries out for good cheer, 
Or when, as years gather, his age must be nursed 
With more delicate care than he wanted at first. 
But for you, when ill health or old age shall befall, 
Where's the luxury left, the relief within call, 

xcvi L ife of Horace. 

Which has not been forestalled in the days of your prime, 
When you scoffed, in your strength, at the inroads of time ? 

" ' Keep your boar till it's rank ! ' said our sires ; which arose, 
I am confident, not from their having no nose, 
But more from the notion that some of their best 
Should be kept in reserve for the chance of a guest : 
And though, ere he came, it grew stale on the shelf, 
This was better than eating all up by one's self. 
Oh, would I had only on earth found a place 
In the days of that noble heroic old race ! " 

So much as a question of mere health and good feel- 
ing. But now our moralist appeals to higher considera- 
tions : — 

" Do you set any store by good name, which we find 
Is more welcome than song to the ears of mankind ? 
Magnificent turbot, plate richly embossed, 
Will bring infinite shame with an infinite cost. 
Add kinsmen and neighbours all furious, your own 
Disgust with yourself, when you find yourself groan 
For death, which has shut itself off from your hope, 
With not even a sou left to buy you a rope. 

" ' Most excellent doctrine ! ' you answer, ' and would. 
For people like Trausius, be all very good ; 
But I have great wealth, and an income that brings 
In enough to provide for the wants of three kings.' 
But is this any reason you should not apply 
Your superfluous wealth to ends nobler, more high ? 
You so rich, why should any good honest man lack ? 
Our temples, why should they be tumbling to wrack ? 
Wretch, of all this great heap have you nothing to spare 
For our dear native land ? Or why should you dare 
To think that misfortune will never o'ertake you ? 
Oh, then, what a butt would your enemies make you ! 
Who will best meet reverses ? The man who, you find, 
Has by luxuries pampered both body and mind ? 
Or he who, contented with little, and still 
Looking on to the future, and fearful of ill, 
Long, long ere a murmur is heard from afar, 
In peace has laid up the munitions of war ? " 

Alas for the wisdom of Ofellus the sage ! Nineteen 


Ridicule of Gourmets. xcvii 

centuries have come and gone, and the spectacle is still 
before us of the same selfishness, extravagance, and folly, 
which he rebuked so well and so vainly, but which we 
now see pushed to even greater excess, and more widely 
diffused, enervating the frames and ruining the fortunes 
of one great section of society, and helping to inspire 
another section, and that a dangerous one, with angry 
disgust at the hideous contrast between the opposite 
extremes of wTetchedness and luxury which everywhere 
meets the eye in the great cities of the civilised 

In the Fourth Satire of the Second Book, Horace 
ridicules, in a vein of exquisite irony, the gourmets of 
his day, who made a philosophy of flavours, with whom 
sauces were a science, and who had condensed into 
aphorisms the merits of the poultry, game, or fish of the 
different and often distant regions from which they were 
brought to Rome. Catius has been listening to a dis- 
sertation by some Brillat-Savarin of this class, and is 
hurrying home to commit to his tablets the precepts by 
which he professes himself to have been immensely 
struck, when he is met by Horace, and prevailed upon 
to re|)eat some of them in the very words of this philoso- 
pher of the dinner-table. Exceedingly curious they are, 
throwing no small light both upon the materials of the 
Roman cuisine and upon the treatment by the Romans 
of their wines. Being delivered, moreover, with the 
epigrammatic precision of philosophical axioms, their 
effect is infinitely amusing. Thus: — 

" Honey Aufidius mixed with strong 
Falemian ; he was very wrong." 

xcviii Life of Horace. 

" The flesh of kid is rarely fine, 
That has been chiefly fed on vine." 

" To meadow mushrooms give the prize, 
And trust no others, if you're wise." 

" Till I had the example shown. 
The art was utterly unknown 
Of telling, when you taste a dish, 
The age and kind of bird or fish." 

Horace professes to be enraptured at the depth of 
sagacity and beauty of expression in what he hears, and 
exclaims, — 

' ' Oh, learned Catius, prithee, by 
Our friendship, by the gods on high, 
Take me along with you, to hear 
Such wisdom, be it far or near ! 
For though you tell me all — in fact, 
Your memory is most exact — 
Still there must be some grace of speech. 
Which no interpreter can reach. 
The look, too, of the man, the mien ! 
Which you, what fortune ! having seen. 
May for that very reason deem 
Of no account ; but to the stream. 
Even at its very fountain-head, 
I fain would have my footsteps led, 
That, stooping, I may drink my fill. 
Where such life-giving saws distil." 

Manifestly the poet was no gastronome, or he would 
not have dealt thus sarcastically with matters so solemn 
and serious as the gusts, and flavours, and " sacred rage " 
of a highly educated appetite. At the same time, there 
is no reason to suppose him to have been insensible to 
the attractions of the haute cuisine, as developed by 
the genius of the Vattel or Francatelli of Maecenas, and 
others of his wealthy friends. Indeed, he appears to 
have been prone, rather than otherwise, to attack these 


A Lover of Good Things. xcix 

with a relish, which his feeble digestion had frequent 
reason to repent. His servant Davus more than hints as 
much in the passage above quoted (p. Ixxxi) ; and the 
consciousness of his own frailty may have given addi- 
tional vigour to his assaults on the ever-increasing in- 
dulgence in the pleasures of the table, which he saw 
gaining ground so rapidly around him. 



When young, Horace threw himself ardently into the 
pleasures of youth ; and his friends being, for the most 
part, young and rich, their banquets were sure to be 
sumptuous, and carried far into the night. Nor in these 
days did the blanche aux yeux noirs^ whose beauty and 
accomplishments formed the crowTiing grace of most 
bachelors' parties, fail to engage a liberal share of his 
attention. He tells us as much himself (Epistles, I. 
14), when contrasting to the steward of his farm the 
tastes of his maturer years with the habits of his youth. 

' ' He, whom fine clothes became, and glistering hair, 
"Whom Cinara welcomed, — that rapacious fair, — 
Though he came empty-handed, with delight ; 
He, who of yore caroused from morn till night, 
Now quits the table soon, and loves to dream 
And drowse upon the grass beside a stream ; " 

adding, with a sententious brevity which it is hopeless to 
imitate, ^^ JVec lusisse pudet, sed non incidere ludum^^ — 

' ' Nor blushes that of sport he took his fill ; — 
He'd blushed, indeed, to be tomfooling still." 

Again, when lamenting how little the rolling years have 

Horace no Lover. ci 

left him of his past (Epistles, II. 2), his regrets are for 
the " Venerem, convivia, ludnm^^ to which he no longer 
finds himself equal — 

•* Years following years steal something every day, 
Love, feasting, frolic, fun, they've swept away ; " — 

and to the first of these, life, *' in his hot youth," mani- 
festly owed much of its charm. 

To beauty he would appear to have been always sus- 
ceptible, but his was the lightly stirred susceptibility 
which is an affair of the senses rather than of the soul. 
" There is in truth," says Rochefoucauld, " only one kind 
of love ; but there are a thousand different copies of it." 
Horace, so far at least as we can judge from his poetry, 
was no stranger to the spurious form of the passion, but 
his whole being had never been penetrated by the gen- 
uine fire. The goddess of his worship is not Venus 
Urania, pale, dreamy, spiritual, but ^^Erycina ridens, quam 
Jocus circum volat et Cupido" who comes 

" With laughter in her eyes, and Love 
And Glee around her flying," 

Accordingly, of all those infinitely varied chords of deep 
emotion and imaginative tenderness, of which occasional 
traces are to be found in the literature of antiquity, and 
with which modern poetry, from Dante to Tennyson, is 
familiar, no hint is to be found in his pages. His deep- 
est feeling is at best but a ferment of the blood ; it is 
never the all-absorbing devotion of the heart. He had 
learned by his own experience just enough of the tender 
passion to enable him to ^vrite pretty verses about it, and 
to rally, not unsympathetically, such of his friends as had 

cii Life of Horace, 

not escaped so lightly from the flame. Therefore it is 
that, as has been truly said, " his love-ditties are, as it 
were, like flowers, beautiful in form and rich in hues, but 
without the scent that breathes to the heart." We seek 
in them in vain for the tenderness, the negation of self, 
the passion and the pathos, which are the soul of all true 

At the same time, Horace had a subtle appreciation 
of the beauty and grace, the sweetness and the fascina- 
tion, of womanhood. Poet as he was, he must have 
delighted to contemplate the ideal elevation and purity of 
woman, as occasionally depicted in the poetry of Greece, 
and of which he could scarcely fail to have had some 
glimpses in real life. Nay, he paints (Odes, III. ii) the 
devotion of Hypermnestra, for her husband's sake *' mag- 
nificently false " {splmdide mendax) to the promise which, 
with her sister Danaids, she had given to her father, in 
a way that proves he was not incapable of appreciating, 
and even of depicting, the purer and higher forms of 
female worth. But this exquisite portrait stands out in 
soHtary splendour among the Lydes and Lalages, the 
Myrtales, Phrynes, and Glyceras of his other poems. 
These ladies were types of the class with which, prob- 
ably, he was most familiar, those brilliant and accom- 
plished hefaircB, generally Greeks, who were trained up 
in slavery with every art and accomplishment which 
could heighten their beauty or lend a charm to their 
society. Always beautiful, and by force of their very 
position framed to make themselves attractive, these 
" weeds of glorious feature," naturally enough, took the 
chief place in the regards of men of fortune, in a state of 

Romaii Hetairce. ciii 

society where marriage was not an affair of the heart but 
of money or connection, and where the wife so chosen 
seems to have been at pains to make herself more attrac- 
tive to everybody rather than to her husband. Here and 
there these Aspasias made themselves a distinguished 
position, and occupied a place with their protector nearly 
akin to that of wife. But in the ordinary way their reign 
over any one heart was short-lived, and their career, though 
splendid, was brief, — a youth of folly, a premature old 
age of squalor and neglect. Their habits were luxurious 
and extravagant. In dress they outvied the splendour, 
not insignificant, of the Roman matrons ; and, like their 
counterparts in the parks of Paris or London, they might 
be seen courting the admiration of the wealthy loungers 
of Rome by dashing along the Appian Way behind a team 
of spirited ponies driven by themselves. These things 
were often paid for out of the ruin of their admirers. 
Their society, while in the bloom and freshness of their 
charms, was greatly sought after, for wit and song came 
with them to the feast. Even Cicero, then well up in 
years, finds a pleasant excuse (Familiar Letters, IX. 26) 
for enjoying till a late hour the society of one Cytheris, a 
lady of the class, at the house of Volumnius Eutrapelus, 
her protector. His friend Atticus was with him; and 
although Cicero finds some excuse necessary, it is still 
obvious that even grave and sober citizens might dine in 
such equivocal company without any serious compromise 
of character. 

It was perhaps little to be wondered at that Horace 
did not squander his heart upon women of this class. 
His passions were too well controlled, and his love of 

civ Life of Horace. 

ease too strong, to admit of his being carried away by 
the headlong impulses of a deeply-seated devotion. 
This would probably have been the case even had the 
object of his passion been worthy of an unalloyed regard. 
As it was, 

" His loves were like most other loves, 
A little glow, a little shiver; " — (Praed) 

and if he sometimes had, like the rest of mankind, to 
pay his homage to the universal passion by "sighing 
upon his midnight pillow " for the regards of a mistress 
whom he could not win, or who had played him false, he 
was never at a loss to find a balm for his wounds else- 
where. He was not the man to nurse the bitter-sweet 
sorrows of the heart — to write, and to feel, like Burns — 

" 'Tis sweeter for thee despairing, 
Than aught in the world beside." 

"Farabilem amo Venerem facilemqtie^^ "Give me the 
beauty that is not too coy," is the Alpha and Omega of 
his personal creed. How should it have been otherwise ? 
Knowing woman chiefly, as he obviously did, only in 
the ranks of those who made market of their charms, he 
was not likely to regard the fairest face, after the first 
heyday of his youth was past, as worth the pain its 
o^vner's caprices could inflict. For, as seen under that 
phase, woman was apt to be both mercenary and capri- 
cious; and if the poet suffered, as he did, from the 
fickleness of more than one mistress, the probability is 
— and this he was too honest not too feel — that they had 
only forestalled him in inconstancy. 

If Horace ever had a feeling which deserved the name 

Bona Cmara. cv 

of love, it was for the Cinara mentioned in the Hnes 
above quoted. She belonged to the class of hetairce, 
but seems to have preferred him, from a genuine feeling 
of affection, to her wealthier lovers. Holding him as 
she did completely under her thraldom, it was no more 
than natural that she should have played with his emo- 
tions, keeping him between ecstasy and torture, as such 
a woman, especially if her own heart were also somewhat 
engaged, would delight to do with a man in whose love 
she must have rejoiced as something to lean upon amid 
the sad frivolities of her life. The exquisite pain to 
which her caprices occasionally subjected him was more 
than he could bear in silence, and drove him, despite 
his quick sense of the ridiculous, into lachrymose avowals 
to Maecenas of his misery over his wine, which were, 
doubtless, no small source of amusement to the easy- 
going statesman, before his wife Terentia had taught him 
by experience what infinite torture a charming and 
coquettish woman has it in her power to inflict. Long 
years afterwards, when he is well on to fifty, Horace 
reminds his friend (Epistles, I. 7) of 

•' The woes blabbed o'er our wine, when Cinara chose 
To tease me, cruel flirt — ah, happy woes ! " 

— words in which lurks a subtle under-current of pathos, 
like that in Sophie Arnould's exclamation in Le Brun's 
epigram, — 

*' Oh, le bon temps ! j'^tais bien malheureuse ! "1 

1 The saying — Sophie Arnould's own — had reference to her relations 
with her early lover, the Comte de Lauraguais, in which the transports 
of the most violent love on his part were mingled with outbursts of the 
most furious jealousy. It was no doubt prompted by what her biogra- 

cvi Life of Horace, 

Twice also in his later odes (IV. i and 13), Horace re- 
curs with tenderness to the " gentle Cinara " as having 
held the paramount place in his heart. She was his one 
bit of romance, and this all the more that she died young. 
^^Cinarce breves annas fata dederunt^'' — "Few years the 
fates to Cinara allowed ; " and in his meditative rambles 
by the Digentia, the lonely poet, we may well believe, 
often found himself sighing " for the touch of a vanished 
hand, and the sound of a voice that is still." 

In none of his love-poems is the ring of personal feeling 
more perceptible than in the following. It is one of his 
earliest, and if we are to identify the Neaera to whom it 
is addressed with the Neaera referred to in Ode 14, Book 
III., it must have been written Consule Planco^ — that is, 
in the year of Horace's return to Rome after the battle 
of Philippi. 

" 'Twas night !— let me recall to thee that night ! 

The silver moon in the unclouded sky 
Amid the lesser stars was shining bright, 

When, in the words I did adjure thee by, 
Thou with thy clinging arms, more tightly knit 

Around me than the ivy clasps the oak, 
Didst breathe a vow — mocking the gods with it — 

A vow which, false one, thou hast foully broke ; 
That while the ravening wolf should hunt the flocks, 

The shipman's foe, Orion, vex the sea, 
And zephyrs waft the unshorn Apollo's locks. 

So long wouldst thou be fond, be true to me ! 

phers call " les instants b^nis, ou les souvenirs refleurissaient apres I'amer- 
tume de toutes ces mechantes col^res qui fatiguent I'amour, mais ne le 
tuent pas." — 'Sophie Arnould,' par Ed. et J, de Goncourt (Paris, 1877), 
p. 40. " Ecoutez," they continue, "la vieille amoureuse! Appuyde 
an bras de Rulhi^res, elle se retoume vers sa jeunesse, vers ces an- 
n^es de tempfite. 'Ah,' dit Sophie avec un sourire et une larme dans 
la voix, 'c'dtait le bon temps ! j'^tais bien malheureuse ! ' " 

His Epode to Necera. evil 

Yet shall thy heart, Nesera, bleed for this, 

For if in Flaccus aught of man remain, 
Give thou another joys that once were his, 

Some other maid more true shall soothe his pain ; 
Nor think again to lure him to thy heart ! 

The pang once felt, his love is past recall ; 
And thou, more favoured youth, whoe'er thou art, 

Who revell'st now in triumph o'er his fall. 
Though thou be rich in land and golden store, 

In lore a sage, with shape framed to beguile. 
Thy heart shall ache when, this brief fancy o'er. 

She seeks a new love, and I calmly smile." 

This is the poetry of youth, the passion of wounded 
vanity ; but it is clearly the product of a strong personal 
feeling — a feeling which has more often found expression 
in poetry than the higher emotions of those with whom 
" love is love for evermore," and who have infinite pity, 
but no rebuke, for faithlessness. The lines have been 
often imitated; and in Sir Robert Aytoun's poem on 
" Woman's Inconstancy," the imitation has a charm not 
inferior to the original. 

" Yet do thou glory in thy choice. 

Thy choice of his good fortune boast ; 
I'll neither grieve nor yet rejoice 
To see him gain what I have lost ; 
The height of my disdain shall be 
To laugh at him, to blush for thee ; 
To love thee still, yet go no more 
A-begging to a beggar's door." 

Note how Horace deals with the same theme in his 
Ode to Pyrrha (Odes, II. 5), famous in Milton's over- 
rated translation, and the difference between the young 
man writing under the smart of wounded feeling, and the 
poet calmly though intensely elaborating his subject as a 
work of art, becomes at once apparent. 

cviii Life of Horace. 

"What slim much-scented youth is he 
Who now reposes, 
Pyrrha, in some cool grot with thee 

On beds of roses ? 
For whom, with careless grace arrayed. 
Dost thou thy golden tresses braid ? 

How oft thy faith will he deplore 

No longer true, 
And Gods, alas ! the same no more — 

And wondering view. 
To such a sight unused, the seas 
Rough with a dark and threatening breeze. 

Who now, most credulously blind, 

Enjoyeth thee 
His peerless love, and hopes to find 

Thee ever free. 
Thee ever fond as now, nor knows 
That winds are treacherous. Wretched those 

On whom thou shin'st, unproved as yet ! 

The sacred wall, 
Whereon my votive scroll is set. 

Proclaims to all 
That I on Ocean's mighty god 
My dripping vestments have bestowed." i 

It may be that among Horace's Odes some were di- 
rectly inspired by the ladies to whom they are addressed, 
but it is time that modem criticism should brush away 
all the elaborate nonsense which has been written to 
demonstrate that Pyrrha, Chloe, Lalage, Lydia, Lyde, 
Leuconoe, Tyndaris, Glycera, and Barine, not to mention 
others, were real personages to whom the poet was at- 
tached. At this rate his occupations must have rather 
been those of a Don Giovanni than of a man of studious 

1 This translation, with a slight alteration, is taken from ' The Odes 
of Horace, by Mortimer Harris. Privately printed. London : 1874,' — 
an admirable series of translations. 

Ode to CJiloe, cix 

habits and feeble health, who found it hard enough to 
keep pace with the milder dissipations of the social 
circle. We are absolutely without any information as to 
these ladies, whose liquid and beautiful names are almost 
poems in themselves ; nevertheless the most wonderful 
romances have been spun about them out of the inner 
consciousness of the commentators. Who would venture 
to deal in this way with the Eleanore, and " rare pale Mar- 
garet," and Cousin Amy, of Mr Tennyson ? ""• And yet 
to do so would be quite as reasonable as to conclude, as 
some critics have done, that such a poem as the follow- 
ing (Odes, I. 23) was not a graceful poetical exercise 
merely, but a serious appeal to the object of a serious 
passion : — 

"Nay, hear me, dearest Chloe, pray ! 

You shun me Hke a timid fawn, 
That seeks its mother all the day 

By forest brake and upland lawn. 
Of every passing breeze afraid. 
And leaf that twitters in the glade. 

1 This view has been confirmed by M. Richard (de Nancy) in his 
'Commentaire Physiologique sur la personne d'Horace:' Lyon, 1873. 
"Horace, in middle Hfe," he says, "with a bad figure, weak eyes, and 
hair already white, could not, whatever he may say to the contrary, be 
well received by Cinara, Leuconoe, Tyndaris, Chloe, Lydia, Pyrrha, 
Barine, Neobule, Chloris, Galatea, Phyllis, Phryne, and so many others. 
We might as well imagine that if our Beranger, with the homely 
fatherly countenance represented in the popular prints — that if this 
little man, with his bald head and round eyes, wrapped up in his ample 
overcoat, had sung his refrains in person to Luzon, Rose, Octavie, or 
Jeanneton, he would have been well received by them." The little 
treatise from which the above extract is taken gives the results of the 
application of the science of an able physiologist to the facts of Horace's 
physical peculiarities, as gleaned from his own works. 

VOL. I. g 

ex Life of Horace, 

Let but the wind with sudden rush 

The whispers of the wood awake, 
Or lizard green disturb the hush, 

Quick-darting through the grassy brake, 
The foolish frightened thing will start, 
With trembling knees and beating heart. 

But I am neither lion fell 

Nor tiger grim to work you woe ; 
I love you, sweet one, much too well. 

Then cling not to your mother so, 
But to a lover's fonder arms 
Confide your ripe and rosy charms." 

Such a poem as this, one should have supposed, might 
have escaped the imputation of being dictated by mere 
personal desire. But no; even so acute a critic as Walck- 
enaer will have it that Chloe was one of Horace's many 
mistresses, to whom he fled for consolation when Lydia, 
another of them, played him false, " et qu'il I'a recher- 
chee avec empressement." And his sole ground for this 
conclusion is the circumstance that a Chloe is mentioned 
in this sense in the famous Dialogue, in which Horace 
and Lydia have quite gratuitously been assumed to be 
the speakers. That is to say, he first assumes that the 
dialogue is not a mere exercise of fancy, but a serious 
fact, and, having got so far, concludes as a matter of 
course that the Chloe of the one ode is the Chloe of the 
other! "The ancients," as Buttmann has well said, 
"had the skill to construct such poems so that each 
speech tells us by whom it is spoken; but we let the 
editors treat us all our lives as schoolboys, and interline 
such dialogues, as we do our plays, with the names. 
Even in an English poem we should be offended at 
seeing ColHns by the side of Phyllis." Read without 

Horace and Lydia. cxi 

the prepossession which the constant mention of it as a 
dialogue between Horace and Lydia makes it difficult to 
avoid, the Ode commends itself merely as a piece of 
graceful fancy. Real feeling is the last thing one looks 
for in two such excessively well-bred and fickle person- 
ages as the speakers. Their pouting and reconciliation 
make very pretty fooling, such as might be appropriate 
in the wonderful beings who people the garden land- 
scapes of Watteau. But where are the fever and the 
strong pulse of passion which, in less ethereal mortals, 
would be proper to such a theme ? Had there been a 
real lady in the case, the tone would have been less 
measured, and the strophes less skilfully balanced. 

"Whilst I to thee was dear, 
And yet no arm but mine 
Might clasp that neck of thine, 
Not Persia's monarch, high on throne, would I have owned my peer. 

Whilst yet no other girl 

More fired thee, nor the face 
Of Lydia gave to Chloe's place, 
Not Roman Ilia shone as peer to me of maids the pearl. 

Apt at the lyre and song. 
Now Chloe is my queen ; 
For her, for her — but fear or teen — 
I'd give my life, could thus my love her dearer life prolong. 


Calais, sweet Thurian boy, 
Beloved, is now my lover — 
For him, for him, for him twice over. 
If so were spared his dearer life, my life I'd give with joy. 

cxi i Life of Horace, 

What if reviving love 
Again should intertwine 
Our souls, if Chloe I resign, 
And I.ydia's door for me once more on fluttering hinges move. 

Fairer than stars is he, — 
More fickle thou than wind, 
Than the vext seas more rude and oft unkind ; 
But oh, my love, my love, I'd live, I'd die with thee ! " ^ 

In this graceful trifle Horace is simply dealing with 
one of the commonplaces of poetry, most probably only 
transplanting a Greek flower into the Latin soil. There 
is more of the vigour of originality and of living truth in 
the following ode to Barine (II. 8), where he gives us 
a cameo portrait, carved with exquisite finish, of that 
heatite de diable, "dallying and dangerous," as Charles 
Lamb called Peg Woflington's, and, what hers was not, 
heartless, which never dies out of the world. A real 
person, Lord Lytton thinks, *'was certainly addressed, 
and in a tone which, to such a person, would have been 
the most exquisite flattery ; and as certainly the person 
is not so addressed by a lover " — a criticism which, com- 
ing from such an observer, outweighs the opposite con- 
clusions of a score of pedantic scholars : — 

' ' If for thy perjuries and broken truth, 

Baring, thou hadst ever come to harm, 
Hadst lost, but in a nail or blackened tooth, 

One single charm, 
I'd trust thee ; but when thou art most forsworn. 
Thou blazest forth with beauty most supreme. 
And of our yotmg men art, noon, night, and morn, 
The thought, the dream. 

1 This spirited version of an Ode which has often been, and will con- 
tinue to be, the despair of translators, is by Mr Patrick Alexander. 

Ode to Barine. cxiii 

To thee 'tis gain thy mother's dust to mock, 

To mock the silent watch-fires of the night, 
All heaven, the gods, on whom death's icy shock 
Can never light. 

Smiles Venus' self, I vow, to see thy arts, 
^ The guileless Nymphs and cruel Cupid smile. 
And, smiling, whets on bloody stone his darts 
Of fire the while. 

Nay more, our youth grow up to be thy prey, 

New slaves throng round, and those who crouched at first, 
Though oft they threaten, leave not for a day 
Thy roof accurst. 

Thee mothers for their unfledged younglings dread ; 

Thee niggard old men dread, and brides new-made. 
In misery, lest their lords neglect their bed, 
By thee delayed." 

Horace is more at home in playful raillery of the 
bewildering effect of love upon others, than in giving 
expression to its emotions as felt by himself. In the 
14th Epode, it is true, he begs Maecenas to excuse his 
failure to execute some promised poem, because he is 
so completely upset by his love for a certain naughty 
Phryne that he cannot put a couple of lines together. 
Again, he tells us (Odes, I. 19) into what a ferment his 
whole being has been thrown, long after he had thought 
himself safe from such emotions, by the marble-like sheen 
of Glycera's beauty — her grata protervitas^ et voltus nim~ 
turn liibricus adspici — 

" Her pretty, pert, provoking ways. 
And face too fatal-fair to see." 

The First Ode of the Fourth Book is a beautiful fan- 
tasia on a similar theme. He paints, too, the tortures of 
jealousy with the vigour (Odes, I. 13) of a man who knew 
something of them : — 

cxiv Life of Horace. 

" Then reels my brain, then on my cheek 

The shifting colour comes and goes, 
And tears, that flow unbidden, speak 

The torture of my inward throes. 
The fierce unrest, the deathless flame, 
That slowly macerates my frame." 

And when rallying his friend Tibullus (Odes, I. 23) 
about his doleful ditties on the fickleness of his mis- 
tress Glycera, he owns to having himself suffered terribly 
in the same way. But despite all this, it is very obvious 
that if love has, in Rosalind's phrase, " clapped him on 
the shoulder," the little god left him "heart-whole." 
Being, as it is, the source of the deepest and strongest 
emotions, love presents many aspects for the humorist, 
and perhaps, as we see in Shakespeare, to no one more 
than to him who has felt it intensely. Horace may or 
may not have sounded the depths of the passion in his 
own person; but, in any case, a fellow-feeling for the 
lover's pleasures and pains served to infuse a tone of 
kindliness into his ridicule. How charming in this way 
is the Ode to Lydia (I. 8), of which the late Henry 
Luttrel's once popular and still delightful 'Letters to 
Julia ' is an elaborate paraphrase ! — 

" Why, Lydia, why, 
I pray, by all the gods above. 

Art so resolved that Sybaris should die, 
And all for love ? 

Why doth he shun 
The Campus Martins' sultry glare ? 

He that once recked of neither dust nor sun, 
Why rides he there. 

First of the brave. 
Taming the Gallic steed no more ? 

Why doth he shrink from Tiber's yellow wave ? 
Why thus abhor 


Ode to Lydia, cxv 

The wrestlers' oil, 
As 'twere from viper's tongue distilled ? 

Why do his arms no livid bruises soil, 
He, once so skilled, 

The disc or dart 
Far, far beyond the mark to hurl? 

And tell me, tell me, in what nook apart, 
Like baby-girl. 

Lurks the poor boy. 
Veiling his manhood, as did Thetis' son, 

To scape war's bloody clang, while fated Troy 
Was yet undone ? 

In the same class with this poem may be ranked the 
following ode (I. 27). Just as the poet has made us as 
familiar with the lovelorn Sybaris as if we knew him, so 
does he here transport us into the middle of a wine-party 
of young Romans, with that vivid dramatic force which 
constitutes one great source of the excellence of his 

" Hold ! hold ! 'Tis for Thracian madmen to fight 
With wine-cups, that only were made for delight. 
'Tis barbarous — brutal ! I beg of you all. 
Disgrace not our banquet with bloodshed and brawl ! 

Sure, Median scimitars strangely accord 
With lamps and with wine at the festival board ! 
'Tis out of all rule ! Friends, your places resume, 
And let us have order once more in the room ! 

If I am to join you in pledging a beaker 
Of this stout Falernian, choicest of liquor, 
Megilla's fair brother must say, from what eyes 
Flew the shaft, sweetly fatal, that causes his sighs. 

How — dumb ! Then I drink not a drop. Never blush. 
Whoever the fair one may be, man ! Tush, tush ! 
She'll do your taste credit, I'm certain — for yours 
Was always select in its little amours. 

cxvi Life of Horace, 

Don't be frightened ! We're all upon honour, you know, 
So out with your tale ! — Gracious powers ! is it so ? 
Poor fellow ! Your lot has gone sadly amiss, 
When you fell into such a Charybdis as this ! 

What witch, what magician, with drinks and with charms. 
What god can effect your release from her harms ? 
So fettered, scarce Pegasus' self, were he near you, 
From the fangs of this triple Chimaara would clear you." 

In this poem, which has all the effect of an impromptu, 
we have a genre picture of Roman life, as vivid as though 
painted by the pencil of Couture or Gerome. 

Serenades were as common an expedient among the 
Roman gallants of the days of Augustus as among their 
modem successors. In the fine climate of Greece, Italy, 
and Spain, they were a natural growth, and involved no 
great strain upon a wooer's endurance. They assume a 
very different aspect under a northern sky, where young 
Absolute, found by his Lydia Languish " in the garden, 
in the coldest night in January, stuck like a dripping 
statue," presents a rather lugubrious spectacle. Horace 
(Odes, III. 7) warns the fair Asterib, during the absence 
of her husband abroad, to shut her ears against the 
musical nocturnes of a certain Enipeus : — 

' ' At nightfall shut your doors, nor then 
Look down into the street again, 
When quavering fifes complain ; " 

using almost the words of Shylock to his daughter 
Jessica : — 

" Lock up my doors ; and when you hear the drum 
And the vile squeaking of the wryneckedfife, 
Clamber not you up to the casement then, 
Nor thrust your head into the public street." 

A Serenade, 


The name given to such a serenade, adopted probably, 
with the serenades themselves, from Greece, was _para- 
dausithyro7i — literally, an out-of-door lament. Here is 
a specimen of what they were (Odes, III. lo), in which, 
under the guise of imitating their form, Horace quietly 
makes a mock of the absurdity of the practice. His 
serenader has none of the insensibilty to the elements of 
the lover in the Scotch song : — 

" Wi' the sleet in my hair, I'd gang ten miles and mair. 
For a word o' that sweet lip o' thine, o' thine. 
For ae glance o' thy dark e'e divine." 

Neither is there in his pleading the tone of earnest 
entreaty which marks the wooer, in a similar plight, of 
Bums's " Let me in this ae nicht " — 

' ' Thou hear'st the winter wind and weet, 
Nae star blinks through the driving sleet ; 
Tak' pity on my weary feet, 
And shield me frae the rain, jo." 

There can be no mistake as to the seriousness of this 
appeal. Horace's is a vci^xo.jeu-d' esprit : — 

" Though your drink were the Tanais, chillest of rivers, 
And your lot with some conjugal savage were cast, 
You would pity, sweet Lyc6, the poor soul that shivers 
Out here at yoiir door in the merciless blast. 

Only hark how the doorway goes straining and creaking, 
And the piercing wind pipes through the trees that surround 

The court of your villa, while black frost is streaking 
With ice the crisp snow that lies thick on the ground ! 

In your pride — Venus hates it — no longer envelop ye. 
Or haply you'll find yourself laid on the shelf ; 

You never were made for a prudish Penelope, 
'Tis not in the blood of your sires or yourself. 

cxviii Life of Horace. 

Though nor gifts nor entreaties can win a soft answer, 
Nor the violet pale of my love-ravaged cheek, 

To your husband's intrigue with a Greek ballet-dancer 
Though you are still blind, and forgiving and meek ; 

Yet be not as cruel — forgive my upbraiding — 
As snakes, nor as hard as the toughest of oak ; 

To stand out here, drenched to the skin, serenading 
All night, may in time prove too much of a joke." 

It is not often that Horace's poetry is vitiated by bad 
taste. Strangely enough, almost the only instances of it 
occur where he is writing of women, as in the Ode to 
Lydia (Book I. 25) and to Lycb (Book IV. 13). Both 
ladies seem to have been former favourites of his, and 
yet the burden of these poems is exultation in the decay 
of their charms. The deadening influence of mere sen- 
suality, and of the prevalent low tone of morals, must 
indeed have been great, when a man "so singularly sus- 
ceptible," as Lord Lytton has truly described him, " to 
amiable, graceful, gentle, and noble impressions of man 
and of life," could write of a woman whom he had once 
loved in a strain like this : — 

" The gods have heard, the gods have heard my prayer ; 
Yes, Lyce ! you are growing old, and still 
You struggle to look fair ; 

You drink, and dance, and trill 
Your songs to youthful love, in accents weak 
With wine, and age, and passion. Youthful Love ! 
He dwells in Chia's cheek. 
And hears her harp-strings move. 
Rude boy, he flies like lightning o'er the heath 
Past withered trees like you ; you're wrinkled now ; 
The white has left yom- teeth, 
And settled on your brow. 
Your Coan silks, your jewels bright as stars — 
Ah no ! they bring not back the days of old, 
In public calendars 

By flying time enrolled. 

Horace and Lyd. cxix 

Where now that beauty ? Where those movements ? Where 
That colour? What of her, of her is left, 
Who, breathing Love's own air, 
Me of myself bereft, 
Who reigned in Cinara's stead, a fair, fair face, 
Queen of sweet arts? But Fate to Cinara gave 
A hfe of little space ; 
And now she cheats the grave 
Of Lyc6, spared to raven's length of days, 
That youth may see, with laughter and disgust, 
A firebrand, once ablaze. 

Now smouldering in grey dust."— (Conington.) 

What had this ^v^etched Lycb done that Horace should 
have prayed the gods to strip her of her charms, and to 
degrade her from a haughty beauty into a maudHn hag, 
disgusting and ridiculous ? Why cast such very merciless 
stones at one who, by his o-vvn avowal, had erewhile 
witched his very soul from him? Why rejoice to see 
this once beautiful creature the scoff of all the heartless 
young fops of Rome? If she had injured him, what 
of that ? Was it so very strange that a woman trained, 
like all the class to which she belonged, to be the 
plaything of man's caprice, should have been fickle, mer- 
cenary, or even heartless? Poor Lycb might at least 
have claimed his silence, if he could not do, what Thack- 
eray says every honest fellow should do, *' think well of 
the woman he has once thought well of, and remember 
her with kindness and tenderness, as a man remembers a 
place where he has been very happy." 

Horace's better self comes out in his playful appeal to 
his friend Xanthias (Odes, II. 4) not to be ashamed of 
having fallen in love with his handmaiden Phyllis. That 
she is a slave is a matter of no account. A girl of such 
admirable qualities must surely come of a good stock, 

cxx Life of Horace. 

and is well worth any man's love. Did not Achilles suc- 
cumb to Briseis, Ajax to Tecmessa, Agamemnon himself 
to Cassandra? Moreover, 

" For aught that you know, the fair Phyllis may be 

The shoot of some highly respectable stem ; 
Nay, she counts, never doubt it, some kings in her tree, 

And laments the lost acres once lorded by them. 
Never think that a creature so exquisite grew 

In the haunts where but vice and dishonour are known, 
Nor deem that a girl so unselfish, so true, 

Had a mother 'twould shame thee to take for thine own." 

Here we have the true Horace; and after all these 
fascinating but doubtful Lydes, Neaeras, and Pyrrhas, 
it is pleasant to come across a young beauty like this 
PhylHs, sic fdelem sic lucre avcrsam. She, at least, is a 
fresh and fragrant violet among the languorous hothouse 
splendours of the Horatian garden. 

Domestic love, which plays so large a part in modern 
poetry, is a theme rarely touched on in Roman verse. 
Hence we know but little of the Romans in their homes 
— for such a topic used to be thought beneath the dig- 
nity of history — and especially little of the women, who 
presided over what have been called "the tender and 
temperate honours of the hearth." The ladies who 
flourish in the poetry and also in the history of those 
times, however conspicuous for beauty or attraction, are 
not generally of the kind that make home happy. Such 
matrons as we chiefly read of there would in the present 
day be apt to figure in the divorce court. Nor is the 
explanation of this difficult. The prevalence of marriage 
for mere wealth or connection, and the facility of divorce, 
which made the marriage-tie almost a farce among the 

Roman Wives. cxxi 

upper classes, had resulted, as it could not fail to do, in 

a great debasement of morals. A lady did not lose caste 

either by being divorced, or by seeking divorce, from 

husband after husband. And as wives in the higher ranks 

often held the purse-strings, they made themselves pretty 

frequently more dreaded than beloved by their lords, 

through being tyrannical, if not unchaste, or both. So 

at least Horace plainly indicates (Odes, III. 24), when 

contrasting the vices of Rome with the simpler virtues 

of some of the nations that were under its sway. In 

those happier lands, he says, ^^ Nee dotata regit virum 

cojijuXf nee 7iitido fidit adult ero " — 

" No downed dame her spouse 

O'erbears, nor trusts the sleek seducer's vows." 

But it would be as wrong to infer from this that the taint 
was universal, as it would be to gauge our own social 
morality by the erratic matrons and fast young ladies 
with whom satirical essayists delight to point their 
periods. The human heart is stronger than the cor- 
ruptions of luxury, even among the luxurious and the 
rich ; and the life of struggle and privation, which is the 
life of the mass of every nation, would have been intoler- 
able but for the security and peace of well-ordered and 
happy households. Sweet honest love, cemented by 
years of sympathy and mutual endurance, was then, as 
ever, the salt of human life. Many a monumental 
inscription, steeped in the tenderest pathos, assures us 
of the fact. What, for example, must have been the 
home of the mqn who ^vrote on his wife's tomb, " She 
never caused me a pang but when she died!" And 
Catullus, mere man of pleasure as he was, must have had 

cxxii Life of Horace, 

strongly in his heart the thought of what a tender and 
pure-souled woman had been in his friend's home, when 
he wrote his exquisite lines to Calvus on the death of 
Quinctilia : — 

" Calvois, if those now silent in the tomb 

Can feel the touch of pleasure in our tears 
For those we loved, that perished in their bloom, 

And the departed friends of former years — 
Oh, then, full surely thy Quinctilia's woe 

For the untimely fate, that bids thee part. 
Will fade before the bliss she feels to know 

How very dear she is unto thy heart ! " ^ 

Horace, the bachelor, revered the marriage-tie, and did 
his best, by his verses, to forward the policy of Augustus 
in his effort to arrest the decay of morals by enforcing 
the duty of marriage, which the well-to-do Romans of 
that day were inclined to shirk whenever they could. 
Nay, the charm of constancy and conjugal sympathy 
inspired a few of his very finest lines (Odes, I. 13) — 
^^ Felices ter et amplius quos irnipta tenet copula ^^ &c., — 
the feeling of which is better preserved in Moore's well- 
known paraphrase than is possible in mere translation : — 

" There's a bliss beyond all that the minstrel has told, 

When two that are linked in one heavenly tie. 

With heart never changing, and brow never cold, 

Love on through all ills, and love on till they die ! 
One hour of a passion so sacred is worth 

Whole ages of heartless and wandering bliss ; 
And oh ! if there be an Elysium on earth, 
It is this, it is this ! " 

1 In the same spirit is the following passage in the exquisite letter of 
condolence, in which Ser. Sulpicius remonstrates with Cicero on his 
excessive grief for the death of his daughter Tullia : ' ' Quod si qui etiam 
inferis sensus est, qui illius in te atnorfuit, fietasque in omnes suos, hoc 
£ertc ilia tefacere non vuit." 

Horace to Phyllis. cxxiii 

To leave the placens uxor — "the winsome wife" — 
behind, is one of the saddest regrets, Horace tells his 
friend Posthumus (Odes, II. 14), which death can bring. 
Still Horace only sang the praises of marriage, contenting 
himself with painting the Eden within which, for reasons 
unkno\\Ti to us, he never sought to enter. He was well 
up in life, probably, before these sager views dawned 
upon him. Was it then too late to reduce his precepts 
to practice, or was he unable to overcome his dread of 
the doiata conjuXy and thought his comfort would be safer 
in the hands of some less exacting fair, such as the Phyllis 
to whom the following Ode, one of his latest (IV. 11), is 
addressed ? — 

" I have laid in a cask of Albanian wine, 

Which nine mellow summers have ripened and more ; 
In my garden, dear Phyllis, thy brows to entwine, 

Grows the brightest of parsley in plentiful store. 
There is ivy to gleam on thy dark glossy hair ; 

My plate, newly burnished, enlivens my rooms ; 
And the altar, athirst for its victim, is there, 

Enwreathed with chaste vervain and choicest of blooms. 

Every hand in the household is busily toiling. 

And hither and thither boys bustle and girls ; 
Whilst, up from the hearth-fires careering and coiling. 

The smoke round the rafter-beams languidly curls. 
Let the joys of the revel be parted between us ! 

'Tis the Ides of young April, the day which divides 
The month, dearest Phyllis, of ocean-sprung Venus, — 

A day to me dearer than any besides. 

And well may I prize it, and hail its returning — 

My own natal day not more hallowed nor dear ; 
For Maecenas, my friend, dates from this happy morning 

The life which has swelled to a lustrous career. 
You sigh for young Telephus : better forget him ! 

His rank is not yours, and the gaudier charms 
Of a girl that's both wealthy and wanton benet him, 

And hold him the fondest of slaves in her arms. 

cxxiv Life of Horace. 

Remember fond Phaethon's fiery sequel. 

And heavenward-aspiring Bellerophon's fate ; 
And pine not for one who would ne'er be your equal. 

But level your hopes to a lowlier mate. 
So, come, my own Phyllis, my heart's latest treasure — 

For ne'er for another this bosom shall long — 
And I'll teach, while your loved voice re-echoes the measure, 

How to charm away care with the magic of song." 

This is very pretty and picturesque ; and Maecenas was 
sure to be charmed with it as a birthday ode, for such it 
certainly was, whether there was any real Phyllis in the 
case or not. Most probably there was not, — the allusion 
to Telephus, the lady-killer, is so very like many other 
allusions of the same kind in other odes, which are 
plainly mere exercises of fancy, and the protestation that 
the lady is the very, very last of his loves, so precisely 
what all middle-aged gentlemen think it right to say, 
whose jeimesscy like the poet's, has been notoriously 

1 When these views were first published (1870), my friend the late 
W. G. Clark, Public Orator of Cambridge— a man whose knowledge 
of the world, no less than his fine scholarship, gave special value 
to his opinion — wrote to me : "I go with you thoroughly in your 
general conclusions, but I cannot bring myself to believe as firmly as 
you do in the reahty of his Lydias, Cinaras, and Lalages. If we had 
the whole mass of Greek lyric poetry before us, we should probably find 
that Horace had cleverly imitated, or even translated, in many odes 
which now seem to us to be original. I think that Horace's contempo- 
raries would take qmte as much pleasure in a successful imitation of an 
old Greek favourite as in an original poem, and find the same charm in 
such imitations as our fathers found in ' London ' and ' The Vanity of 
Human Wishes.' The characteristic traits of Horace's women are, to 
my mind, wanting in individuality, and are such as belong to ' devia 
scorta ' in all ages and countries. ' Beshrew me ' if I believe in the 
existence of one of them, except the 'mendax puella' who failed in her 
appointment on the road to Bmndusium." 

Ode to Phidyle. cxxv 

It was probably not within the circle of his city friends 
that Horace saw the women for whom he entertained the 
deepest respect, but by the hearth-fire in the farmhouse, 
"the homely house, that harbours quiet rest," with which 
he was no less familiar, where people lived in a simple 
and natural way, and where, if anywhere, good wives and 
mothers were certain to be found. It was manifestly by 
some woman of this class that the following poem (Odes, 
III. 23) was inspired : — 

" If thou, at each new moon, thine upturned palms, 
My rustic Phidyle, to heaven shalt lift, 
The Lares soothe with steam of fragrant balms, 
A sow, and fruits new -plucked, thy simple gift. 

Nor venomed blast shall nip thy fertile vine, 
Nor mildew blight thy harvest in the ear ; 

Nor shall thy flocks, sweet nurslings, peak and pine, 
When apple-bearing Autumn chills the year. 

The victim marked for sacrifice, that feeds 

On snow-capped Algidus, in leafy lane 
Of oak and ilex, or on Alba's meads, 

With its rich blood the pontiffs axe may stain ; 

Thy little gods for humbler tribute call 
Than blood of many victims ; twine for them 

Of rosemary a simple coronal. 
And the lush myrtle's frail and fragrant stem. 

The costliest sacrifice that wealth can make 
From the incensed Penates less commands 

A soft response, than doth the poorest cake, 
If on the altar laid with spotless hands." 

AVhen this was written, Horace had got far beyond the 
Epicurean creed of his youth {ante, p. Ivii). He had 
come to believe in the active intervention of a Supreme 
VOL. I. h 

cxxvi Life of Horace. 

Disposer of events in the government of the world, — 
'■^insignem attenuans^ obscura promeiis''^ (Odes, I. 34) : — 

" The mighty ones of earth o'erthrowing, 
Advancing the obscure; " — 

and to whose " pure eyes and perfect witness " a blame- 
less life and a conscience void of offence were not in- 



Horace's poems to his friends. — his praises 
of contentment. 

If it be merely the poet, and not the lover, who speaks 
in most of Horace's love-verses, there can never be any 
doubt that the poems to his friends come direct from 
his heart. They glow with feeling. To whatever chord 
they are attuned, sad, or solemn, or joyous, they are 
always delightful ; consummate in their grace of expres- 
sion, while they have all the warmth and easy flow of 
spontaneous emotion. Take, for example, the following 
(Odes, II. 7). Pompeius Varus, a fellow-student with 
Horace at Athens, and a brother in arms under Brutus, 
who, after the defeat of Philippi, had joined the party 
of the younger Pompey, has returned to Rome, profiting 
probably by the general amnesty granted by Octavius 
to his adversaries after the battle of Actium. How his 
heart must have leapt at such a welcome from his poet- 
friend as this ! — 

' • Dear comrade in the days when thou and I 
With Brutus took the field, his perils bore, 
Who hath restored thee, freely as of yore, 
To thy home gods, and loved Italian sky, 

cxxviii Life of Horace. 

Pompey, who wert the first my heart to share, 
With whom full oft I've sped the lingering day. 
Quaffing bright wine, as in our tents we lay, 

With Syrian spikenard on our glistening hair? 

With thee I shared Philippi's headlong flight, 
My shield behind me left, which was not well, 
When all that brave array was broke, and fell 

In the vile dust full many a towering wight. 

But me, poor trembler, swift Mercurius bore. 
Wrapped in a cloud, through all the hostile din. 
Whilst war's tumultuous eddies, closing in, 

Swept thee away into the strife once more. 

Then pay to Jove the feasts that are his fee, 
And stretch at ease these war-worn limbs of thine 
Beneath my laurel's shade ; nor spare the wine 

Which I have treasured through long years for thee. 

Four till it touch the shining goblet's rim, 
Care-drowning Massic ; let rich ointments flow 
From amplest conch ! No measure we shall know ! 

What ! shall we wreaths of oozy parsley trim, 

Or simple myrtle ? Whom will Venus i send 
To rule our revel ? Wild my draughts shall be 
As Thracian Bacchanals', for 'tis sweet to me 

To lose my wits, when I regain my friend." 

When Horace penned the playful allusion here made 
to having left his shield on the field of battle {parmuld 
non bene relida), he could never have thought that his 
commentators — professed admirers, too — would extract 
from it an admission of personal cowardice. As if any 
man, much more a Roman to Romans, would make such 
a confession ! Horace could obviously afford to put in 
this way the fact of his having given up a desperate 

1 Venus was the highest cast of the dice. The meaning here is, Who 
shall be the master of our feast ?— that office falling to the member of 
the wine-party who threw sixes. 

Horace at PJiilippi. cxxix 

cause, for this very reason, that he had done his duty 
on the field of Philippi, and that it was known he had 
done it. Commentators will be so cruelly prosaic! 
The poet was quite as serious in saying that Mercury 
carried him out of the melee in a cloud, like one of 
Homer's heroes, as that he had left his shield discredit- 
ably {noil bene) on the battle-field. But it requires a 
poetic sympathy, which in classical editors is rare, to 
understand that, as Lessing and others have urged, the 
very way he speaks of his owti retreat was by implication 
a compliment, not ungraceful, to his friend, who had con- 
tinued the struggle against the triumvirate, and come 
home at last, war-worn and weary, to find the more 
politic comrade of his youth one of the celebrities of 
Rome, and on the best of terms with the very men 
against whom they had once fought side by side. 

Not less beautiful is the following Ode to Septimius, 
another of the poet's old companions in arms (Odes, II. 
6). His speaking of himself in it as "with war and 
travel worn " has puzzled the commentators, as it is plain 
from the rest of the poem that it must have been written 
long after his campaigning days were past. But the 
fatigues of those days may have left their traces for many 
years j and the difficulty is at once got over if we suppose 
the poem to have been written under some little depres- 
sion from languid health due to this cause. Tarentum, 
where his friend lived, and whose praises are so warmly 
sung, was a favourite resort of the poet's. He used to 
ride there (ante, p. Ixx) on his mule, very possibly to visit 
Septimius, before he had his own Sabine villa ; and all 
his love for that villa never chilled his admiration for 

cxxx Life of Horace. 

Tibur, with its " sylvan shades, and orchards moist with 
wimpling rills," — the *' Tiburni lucus et uda mobilibus 
pomaria rivis,'" — and its milder climate, so genial to his 
sun-loving temperament. 

" Septimius, thou who wouldst, I know, 
With me to distant Gades go, 
And visit the Cantabrian fell, 
Whom all our triumphs cannot quell, 
And even the sands barbarian brave, 
Where ceaseless seethes the Moorish wave ; 

May Tibur, that delightful haunt, 
Reared by an Argive emigrant, 
The tranquil haven be, I pray, 
For my old age to wear away ; 
Oh, may it be the final bourne 
To one with war and travel worn ! 

But should the cruel fates decree 

That this, my friend, shall never be. 

Then to Galaesus, river sweet 

To skin-clad flocks, will I retreat. 

And those rich meads, where sway of yore 

Laconian Phalanthus bore. 

In all the world no spot there is, 
That wears for me a smile like this, 
The honey of whose thymy fields 
May vie with what Hymettus yields, 
Where berries clustering every slope 
May with Venafrum's greenest cope. 

There Jove accords a lengthened spring, 
And winters wanting winter's sting, 
And sunny Aulon's i broad incline 
Such mettle puts into the vine, 
Its clusters need not envy those 
Which fiery Falernum grows. 

1 Galaesus (Galaso), a river ; Aulon, a hill near Tarentum. 

Septimius. cxxxi 

Thyself and me that spot invites, 
Those pleasant fields, those sunny heights ; 
And there, to life's last moments true, 
Wilt thou with some fond tears bedew — 
The last sad tribute love can lend — 
The ashes of thy poet-friend." 

Septimius was himself a poet, or thought himself one, 

*' Who, scorning vulgar mere and homely rill. 
Of Pindar's fount has fearless quaffed his fill," 

as Horace says of him in an Epistle (I. 3) to Julius 
Flonis; adding, with a sly touch of humour, which 
throws more than a doubt on the poetic powers of their 
common friend, — 

' ' Thinks he of me ? And does he still aspire 
To marry Theban strains to Latium's lyre, 
Or swells the tragic fury in his veins, 
And rolls its thunders in mouth-filling strains ? " 

When this was written Septimius was in Armenia along 
with Florus, on the staff of Tiberius Claudius Nero, the 
future emperor. For this appointment he was probably 
indebted to Horace, who applied for it, at his request, in 
the following Epistle to Tiberius (I. 9), which Addison 
(* Spectator,' 493) cites as a fine specimen of what a 
letter of introduction should be. Horace was, on prin- 
ciple, wisely chary of giving such introductions. 

" Look round and round the man you recommend, 
For yours will be the shame if he offend"— (Conington) 

is his maxim on this subject (Epistles, I. 18, 76); and he 
was sure to be especially scrupulous in writing to Tiberius, 
who, even in his youth — and he was at this time about 
twenty-two — was so morose and unpleasant in his man- 

cxxxil Life of Horace, 

ners, to say nothing of his ample share of the hereditary- 
pride of the Claudian family, that even Augustus felt 
under constraint in his company : — 

• ' Septimius only understands, 'twould seem. 
How high I stand in, Claudius, your esteem : 
For when he begs and prays me, day by day, 
Before you his good qualities to lay, 
As not unfit to share the heart and hearth 
Of Nero, who selects his staff for worth. 
When he supposes you to me extend 
The rights and place of a familiar friend, 
Far better than myself he sees and knows. 
How far with you my commendation goes. 
Pleas without number I protest I've used, 
In hope he'd hold me from the task excused, 
Yet feared the while it might be thought I feigned 
Too low the influence I perchance have gained, 
Dissembling it as nothing with my friends, 
To keep it for my owji peculiar ends. 
So, to escape such dread reproach, I put 
My blushes by, and boldly urge my suit. 
If then you hold it as a grace, though small. 
To doff one's bashfulness at friendship's call. 
Enrol him in your suite, assvu^ed you'll find 
A man of heart in him, as well as mind." 

We may be very sure that, among the many pleas 
urged by Horace for not giving Septimius the introduc- 
tion he desired, was the folly of leaving his delightful 
retreat at Tarentum to go once more abroad in search 
of wealth or promotion. Let others " cross, to plunder 
provinces, the main," surely this was no ambition for an 
embryo Pindar or half- developed ^schylus. Horace 
had tried similar remonstrances before, and with just as 
little success, upon Iccius, another of his scholarly friends, 
who sold off his fine library and joined an expedition into 
Arabia Felix, expecting to find it an El Dorado. He 

Remonstrates with Iccius. cxxxiii 

playfully asks this studious friend (Odes, I. 29), from 
whom he expected better things — ^^ poUicitus meliora " — 
if it be true that he grudges the Arabs their wealth, 
and is actually forging fetters for the hitherto invincible 
Sabaean monarchs, and those terrible Medians? To 
which of the royal damsels does he intend to throw the 
handkerchief, having first cut down her princely betrothed 
in single combat ? Or what young " oiled and curled " 
oriental prince is for the future to pour out his wine for 
him? Iccius, like many another Raleigh, went out to 
gather wool, and came back shorn. The expedition 
proved disastrous, and he was lucky in being one of the 
few who survived it. Some years afterwards we meet 
with him again as the steward of Agrippa's great estates 
in Sicily. He has resumed his studies, — 

" On themes sublime alone intent, — 
What causes the wild ocean sway, 
The seasons what from June to May, 
If free the constellations roll, 
Or moved by some supreme control ; 
What makes the moon obscure her hght, 
What pours her splendour on the night." 

Absorbed in these and similar inquiries, and living 
happily on "herbs and frugal fare," Iccius realises the 
noble promise of his youth ; and Horace, in writing to 
him (Epist., I. 12), encourages him in his disregard of 
wealth by some of those hints for contentment which the 
poet never tires of reproducing : — 

** Let no care trouble you ; for poor 
That man is not, who can insure 
Whate'er for life is needful found. 
Let your digestion be but sound, 

cxxxiv Life of Horace. 

Your side un wrung by spasm or stitch, 
Your foot unconscious of a twitch ; 
And could you be more truly blest, 
Though of the wealth of kings possessed ? " 

It must have been pleasant to Horace to find even 
one among his friends illustrating in his life this modest 
Socratic creed; for he is so constantly enforcing it, in 
every variety of phrase and metaphor, that while we must 
conclude that he regarded it as the one doctrine most 
needful for his time, we must equally conclude that he 
found it utterly disregarded. All round him wealth, 
wealth, wealth, was the universal aim : wealth, to build 
fine houses in town, and villas at Prseneste or Baiae; 
wealth, to stock them with statues, old bronzes (mostly 
fabrications from the Wardour Streets of Athens or 
Rome), ivories, pictures, gold plate, pottery, tapestr}', 
stuffs from the looms of Tyre, and other articles de luxe; 
wealth, to give gorgeous dinners, and wash them down 
with the costliest wines; wealth, to provide splendid 
equipages, to forestall the front seats in the theatre, as 
we do opera-boxes on the grand tier, and so get a few 
yards nearer to the emperor's chair, or gain a closer view 
of the favourite actor or dancer of the day; wealth, to 
secure a wife with a fortune and a pedigree ; wealth to 
attract gadfly friends, who will consume your time, eat 
your dinners, drink your wines, and then abuse them, 
and who will with amiable candour regale their circle by 
quizzing your foibles, or slandering your taste, if they 
are even so kind as to spare your character. "Gold, 
sovereign gold," he says (Epistles, I. 6), 

** Brings friends, birth, beauty, power, 
Credit, a wife — a wife, too, with a dower. 

Commonplaces the Wisdorn of Life, cxxxv 

Your moneyed man is wholly without flaw, 
His manners perfect, and his sayings law." 

And to achieve this wealth, no sacrifice was to be spared 
— time, happiness, health, honour itself. " Rem facias ^ 
rem / Si pas sis recte^ si no7i^ quocunque mode rem : " — 

' ' Get money, money still, 
And then let Virtue follow, if she will." 

Wealth sought in this spirit, and for such ends, of course 
brought no more enjoyment to the contemporaries of 
Horace than we see it doing to our own. And not the 
least evil of the prevailing mania, then as now, was, that it 
robbed life of its simplicity, and of the homely friendliness 
on which so much of its pleasure depends. People lived 
for show — to propitiate others, not to satisfy their own 
better instincts or their genuine convictions ; and strain- 
ing after the shadow of enjoyment, they let the reality 
slip from their grasp. They never "were, but always to 
be, blest." It was the old story, which the world is con- 
tinually re-enacting, while the sage stands by, and mar- 
vels at its folly, and preaches what we call commonplaces, 
in a vain endeavour to modify or to prevent it. But the 
wisdom of life consists of commonplaces, which we should 
all be much the better for working into our practice, in- 
stead of complacently sneering at them as platitudes.^ 
Horace abounds in commonplaces, and on no theme 
more than this. He has no divine law of duty to appeal 
to, as we have — no assured hereafter to which he may 

1 " Le monde changerait de face si les lieux communs de la morale 
devenaient la rfegle commune de notre conduite." 

"J'ai un profond respect pour les vdritds morales qui courent les 
rues." — M. Silvain van de Weyer's ' Pensdes Diverses,' pp. 104, 105. 

cxxxvi Life of Horace. 

point the minds of men ; but he presses strongly home 
their folly, in so far as this world is concerned. To what 
good, he asks, all this turmoil and disquiet? No man 
truly possesses more than he is able thoroughly to enjoy. 
Grant that you roll in gold, or, by accumulating land, 
become, in Hamlet's phrase, " spacious in the possession 
of dirt." What pleasure will you extract from these, which 
a moderate estate will not yield in equal, if not greater, 
measure? You fret yourself to acquire your wealth — 
you fret yourself lest you should lose it. It robs you of 
your health, your ease of mind, your freedom of thought 
and action. Riches will not bribe inexorable death to 
spare you. At any hour that great leveller may sweep 
you away into darkness and dust, and what will it then 
avail you, that you have wasted all your hours, and fore- 
gone all wholesome pleasure, in adding ingot to ingot, or 
acre to acre, for your heirs to squander ? Set a bound, 
then, to your desires : think not of how much others have, 
but of how much which they have you can do perfectly 
well without. Be not the slave of show or circumstance, 
"but in yourself possess your own desire." Do not lose 
the present in vain perplexities about the future. If for- 
tune lours to-day, she may smile to-morrow; and when 
she lavishes her gifts upon you, cherish an humble heart, 
and so fortify yourself against her caprice. Keep a rein 
upon all your passions — upon covetousness above allj 
for once that has you within its clutch, farewell for ever 
to the light heart and the sleep that comes unbidden, to 
the open eye that drinks in delight from the beauty and 
freshness and infinite variety of nature, to the unclouded 
mind that judges justly and serenely of men and things. 


Horace's philosophy of Life. cxxxvii 

Enjoy wisely, for then only you enjoy thoroughly. Live 
each day as though it were your last. Mar not your life 
by a hopeless quarrel with destiny. It will be only too 
brief at the best, and the day is at hand when its inequal- 
ities ^vill be redressed, and king and peasant, pauper and 
millionaire, be huddled, poor shivering phantoms, in one 
undistinguishable crowd, across the melancholy Styx, to 
the judgment-hall of Minos. 





" When all looks fair about," says Sir Thomas Browne, 
" and thou seest not a cloud so big as a hand to threaten 
thee, forget not the wheel of things; think of sudden 
vicissitudes, but beat not thy brains to foreknow them." 
It was characteristic of an age of luxury that it should 
be one of superstition and mental disquietude, eager to 
penetrate the future, and credulous in its belief of those 
who pretended to unveil its secrets. In such an age as- 
trology naturally found many dupes. Rome was infested 
with professors of that so-called science, who had flocked 
thither from the East, and were always ready, like other 
oracles, to supply responses acceptable to their votaries. ^ 
In what contempt Horace held their prognostications the 
following Ode (I. ii) very clearly indicates. The wo- 
men of Rome, according to Juvenal (Sat. VI.), were 
great believers in astrology, and carried manuals of it on 

1 Speaking of astrologers, Tacitus says (Hist. I. 22) : "Genus homi- 
num potentibus infidum, sperantibus fallax, quod in civitate nostra et 
relabitur semper, et retinebitur." 

Belief in Astrology. cxxxix 

their persons, which they consulted before they took 
an airing or broke their fast. Possibly on this account 
Horace addressed the ode to a lady. But in such things, 
and not under the Roman Empire only, there have al- 
ways been, as La Fontaine says, " bon nombre d! homines 
qui sont feftunes." If Augustus, and his great general and 
statesman Agrippa, had a Theogenes to forecast their for- 
tunes, so the first Napoleon had his Madame Lenormand. 

"Ask not — such lore's forbidden — 
What destined term may be 
Within the future hidden 
For us, Leuconoe. 
Both thou and I 
Must quickly die ! 
Content thee, then, nor madly hope 
To wrest a false assurance from Chaldean horoscope. 

Far nobler, better were it, 

Whate'er may be in store. 
With soul serene to bear it, 
If winters many more 
Jove spare for thee, 
Or this shall be 
The last, that now with sullen roar 
Scatters the Tuscan surge in foam upon the rock-bound shore. 

Be wise, your spirit firing 

With cups of tempered wine, 
And hopes afar aspiring 
In compass brief confine. 
Use all life's powers ; 
The envious hours 
Fly as we talk ; then live to-day, 
Nor fondly to to-morrow tn:ist more than you must or may." 

In the verses of Horace we are perpetually reminded 
that our life is compassed round with darkness, but he 
will not suffer this darkness to overshadow his cheer- 

cxl Life of Horace. 

fulness. On the contrary, the beautiful world, and the 
delights it oifers, are made to stand out, as it were, in 
brighter relief against the gloom of Orcus. Thus, for 
example, this very gloom is made the background in the 
following Ode (I. 4) for the brilliant pictures which crowd 
on the poet's fancy with the first burst of Spring. Here, 
he says, O Sestius, all is fresh and joyous, luxuriant and 
lovely! Be happy, drink in "at every pore the spirit 
of the season," while the roses are fresh in your hair, 
and the wine-cup flashes ruby in your hand. Yonder 
lies Pluto's meagrely appointed mansion, and filmy 
shadows of the dead are waiting for you there, to swell 
their joyless ranks. To that unlovely region you must 
go, alas ! too soon ; but the golden present is yours, so 
drain it of its sweets. 

"As biting Winter flies, lo, Spring with sunny skies, 
And balmy airs ! and barks long dry put out again from shore ; 

Now the ox forsakes his byre, and the husbandman his fire. 
And daisy-dappled meadows bloom where winter frosts lay hoar. 

By Cytherea led, while the moon shines overhead, 
The Nymphs and Graces, hand in hand, with alternating feet 

Shake the ground, while swinking Vulcan strikes the sparkles fierce and 
From the forges of the Cyclops, with reiterated beat. 

'Tis the time with myrtle green to bind our glistening locks. 
Or with flowers, wherein the loosened earth herself hath newly 

And to sacrifice to Faunus in some glade amidst the rocks 
A yearling lamb, or else a kid, if such delight him best. 

Death comes alike to all — to the monarch's lordly hall. 
Or the hovel of the beggar, and his summons none shall stay. 

O Sestius, happy Sestius ! use the moments as they pass ; 
Far-reaching hopes are not for us, the creatures of a day. 

Belief in a Hereafter. cxli 

Thee soon shall night enshroud ; and the Manes' phantom crowd, 
And the star\'eling house unbeautiful of Pluto shut thee in ; 

And thou shalt not banish care by the ruddy wine-cup there, 
Nor woo the gentle Lycidas, whom all are mad to win." 

A modern would no more think of using such images 
as those of the last two verses to stimulate the festivity 
of his friends than he would of placing, like the old 
Egyptians, a skull upon his dinner-table, or of decorating 
his ball-room with Holbein's "Dance of Death." We 
rebuke our pride or keep our vanities in check by the 
thought of death, and our poets use it to remind us that 

" The glories of our blood and state 

Are shadows, not substantial things." 

Horace does this too ; but out of the sad certainty of 
mortality he seems to extract a keener zest for the too 
brief enjoyment of the flying hours. Why is this ? Pro- 
bably because by the pagan mind life on this side the 
grave was regarded as a thing more precious, more noble, 
than the life beyond. That there was a life beyond was 
undoubtedly the general belief. ''''Sunt aliquid Manes ; 
leium non omnia finit, Luridaque evictos effugit umbra 

Y' The Manes are no dream ; death closes not ! 

\ Our all of being, and the wan-visaged shade 

/ Escapes unscathed from the funereal fires," \ 

says Propertius (Eleg. IV. 7) ; and unless this were so, 
there would be no meaning whatever in the whole pagan 
idea of Hades — in the '■'' domus exilis Phitonia ;" in the 
Hermes driving the spirits of the dead across the Styx : 
in the ''fudicantem ^acum^ sedesque discret'as piorum " — 
the "-^acus dispensing doom, and the Elysian Fields 

VOL. I. / 

cxlii Life of Horace. 

serene " (Odes, II. 13). But this after-life was a cold, 
sunless, unsubstantial thing, lower in quality and degree 
than the full, vigorous, passionate life of this world. 

The nobler spirits of antiquity, it hardly need be said, 
had higher dreams of a future state than this. For them, 
no more than for us, was it possible to rest in the con- 
viction that their brief and troubled career on earth was 
to be the "be all and the end all" of existence, or that 
those whom they had loved and lost in death became 
thenceforth as though they had never been. It is idle 
to draw, as is often done, a different conclusion from 
such phrases as that after death we are a shadow and 
mere dust, ^^ pulvis et umbra sumus ! " or from Horace's 
bewildered cry (Odes, I. 24), when a friend of signal 
nobleness and purity is suddenly struck down — '•''Ergo 
Quiftdilium perpetuus sopor urgetV — "And is Quinc- 
tilius, then, weighed down by a sleep that knows no 
waking?" We might as reasonably argue that Shake- 
speare did not believe in a life after death because he 
makes Prospero say — 

« "We are such stuff 

As dreams are made of, and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep." 

Horace and Shakespeare both believed in an immor- 
tality, but it was an immortality different in its kind. 
Horace, indeed, — who, as a rule, is wisely silent on a 
question which for him had no solution, however much 
it may have engaged his speculations, — has gleams not 
unlike those which irradiate our happier creed, as when 
he writes (Odes, III. 2) of " Virtus, recludens immeritis 
morij coelum negata tentat iter via " — 

Held by the Romans, cxliii 

'' Worth, which heaven's gates to those unbars 
Who never should have died, 
A pathway cleaves among the stars 
To meaner souls denied." 

But they are only gleams, impassioned hopes, yearnings 
of the unsatisfied soul in its search for some solution of 
the great mystery of life. To him, therefore, it was of 
more moment than it was to us, to make the most of the 
present, and to stimulate his relish for what it has to give 
by contrasting it with a phantasmal future, in which no 
single faculty of enjoyment should be left. 

Take from life the time spent in hopes or fears or 
regrets, and how small the residue ! For the same rea- 
son, therefore, that he prized life intensely, Horace 
seems to have resolved to keep these consumers of its 
hours as much at bay as possible. He would not look 
too far forward even for a pleasure ; for Hope, he knew, 
comes never unaccompanied by her twin sister Fear. 
Like the Persian poet, Omar Khayydm, this is ever in 
his thoughts— 

' ' What boots it to repeat, 
How Time is slipping underneath our feet ? 
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday, 
Why fret about them if To-day be sweet ? " 

To-day — that alone is ours. Let us welcome and note 
what it brings, and, if good, enjoy it; if evil, endure. 
Let us, in any case, keep our eyes and senses open, and 
not lose their impressions in dreaming of an irretrievable 
past or of an impenetrable future. '* Write it on your 
heart," says Emerson (^Society and Solitude'), "that 
every day is the best day in the year. No man has 
learned anything rightly until he knows that every day 

cxHv Life of Horace, 

is Doomsday. . . , Ah, poor dupe ! will you never 
leam that as soon as the irrecoverable years have woven 
their blue glories between To-day and us, these passing 
hours shall glitter, and draw us, as the wildest romance 
and the homes of beauty and poetry ? " Horace would 
have hailed a brother in the philosopher of New England. 
Even in inviting Maecenas to his Sabine farm (Odes, 
III. 29), he does not think it out of place to remind the 
minister of state, worn with the cares of government, and 
looking restlessly ahead to anticipate its difficulties, that 
it may, after all, be wiser not to look so far ahead, or to 
trouble himself about contingencies which may never 
arise. We must not think that Horace undervalued that 
essential quality of true statesmanship, the " animus re- 
rum prudens^' (Odes, IV. 9), the forecasting spirit that 
"looks into the seeds of Time," and reads the issues of 
events while they are still far off. He saw and prized 
the splendid fruits of the exercise of this very power in 
the growing tranquillity and strength of the Roman em- 
pire. But the wisest may over-study a subject. Maece- 
nas may have been working too hard, and losing under 
the pressure something of his usual calmness ; and Hor- 
ace, while urging him to escape from town for a few 
days, may have had it in view to insinuate the sugges- 
tion, that Jove smiles, not at the common mortal merely, 
but even at the sagacious statesman, who is over-anxious 
about the future — ^^ tiltra fas trepidat" — and to remind 
him that, after all, 

' ' There's a divinity that shapes our ends, 
Rough-hew them how we may." 

Maecenas was of a melancholy temperament, and liable 

Horace and Mcecenas. cxlv 

to great depression of spirits. Not only was his health 
at no time robust, but he was constitutionally prone to 
fever, which more than once proved nearly fatal to him. 
On his first appearance in the theatre after one of these 
dangerous attacks, he was received with vehement cheers, 
and Horace alludes twice to this incident in his Odes, as 
if he knew that it had given especial pleasure to his 
friend. To mark the event the poet laid up in his cel- 
lar a jar of Sabine wine, and some years afterwards 
he invites Maecenas to come and partake of it in this 
charming lyric (Odes, I. 20) : — 

" Our common Sabine wine shall be 
The only drink I'll give to thee, 

In modest goblets, too ; 
' Twas stored in crock of Grecian delf, 
Dear knight Maecenas, by myself, 

That very day when through 
The theatre thy plaudits rang, 
And sportive echo caught the clang, 

And answered from the banks 
Of thine own dear paternal stream. 
Whilst Vatican renewed the theme 

Of homage and of thanks ! 
Old Caecuban, the very best. 
And juice in vats Calenian pressed, 

You drink at home, I know : 
My cups no choice Falemian fills, 
Nor unto them do Formiae's hills 

Impart a tempered glow." 

About the same time that Maecenas recovered from 
this fever, Horace made a narrow escape from being 
killed by the fall of a tree, and, what to him was a great 
aggravation of the disaster, upon his own beloved farm 
(Odes, II. 13). He links the two events together as a 
marked coincidence in the following Ode (II. 17). His 

cxivi Life of Horace. 

friend had obviously been a prey to one of his fits of 
low spirits, and vexing the kindly soul of the poet by 
gloomy anticipations of an early death. Suffering, as 
Maecenas did, from those terrible attacks of sleeplessness 
to which he was subject, and which he tried ineffectually 
to soothe by the plash of falling water and the sound of 
distant music, ^ such misgivings were only too natural. 
The case was too serious this time for Horace to think 
of rallying his friend into a brighter humour. He may 
have even seen good cause to share his fears; for his 
heart is obviously moved to its very depths, and his 
sympathy and affection well out in words, the pathos of 
which is still as fresh as the day they first came with 
comfort to the saddened spirits of Maecenas himself. 

' ' Why wilt thou kill me with thy boding fears ? 

Why, oh Maecenas, why? 
Before thee lies a train of happy years : 

Yes, nor the gods nor I 
Could brook that thou shouldst first be laid in dust, 
Who art my stay, my glory, and my trust ! 

Ah ! if untimely Fate should snatch thee hence, 

Thee, of my soul a part, 
Why should I linger on, with deadened sense. 

And ever-aching heart, 
A worthless fragment of a fallen shrine ? 
No, no, one day shall see thy death and mine ! 

Think not that I have sworn a bootless oath ; 

Yes, we shall go, shall go, 
Hand linked in hand, whene'er thou leadest, both 

The last sad road below ! 
Me neither the Chimsera's fiery breath, 
Nor Gyges, even could Gyges rise from death, 

1 Had Horace this in his mind when he wrote ' ' Non avium citha- 
rceque cantus somnum reducent" 'i — (Odes, HI. i.) 

" Nor song of birds, nor music of the lyre. 
Shall his lost sleep restore." 

Prophetic Ode. cxlvii 

With all his hundred hands from thee shall sever ; 

For in such sort it hath 
Pleased the dread Fates, and Justice potent ever, 

To interweave our path.i 
Beneath whatever aspect thou wert born, 
Libra, or Scorpion fierce, or Capricorn, 

The blustering tyrant of the western deep, 

This well I know, my friend. 
Our stars in wondrous wise one orbit keep. 

And in one radiance blend. 
From thee were Saturn's baleful rays afar 
Averted by great Jove's refulgent star. 

And His hand stayed Fate's downward-swooping wing, 

When thrice with glad acclaim 
The teeming theatre was heard to ring, •* 

And thine the honoured name : 
So had the falling timber laid me low, 
But Pan in mercy warded off the blow, 

Pan who keeps watch o'er easy souls like mine. 

Remember, then, to rear 
In gratitude to Jove a votive shrine. 

And slaughter many a steer, 
Whilst I, as fits, an humbler tribute pay, 
And a meek lamb upon his altar lay." 

What the poet, in this burst of loving sympathy, said 
would happen, did happen almost as he foretold it. 
Maecenas *' first deceased;" and Horace, like the wife 
in the quaint, tender, old epitaph, 

' ' For a little tried 
To live without him, liked it not, and died." 

But this was not till many years after this Ode was 
written, which it must have been about the year B.C. 2i^y 
when Horace was thirty-nine. Maecenas lived for seven- 

1 So Cowley, in his poem on the death of Mr William Harvey : — 

" He was my friend, the truest friend on earth ; 
A strong and mighty influence joined our birth." 

cxlviii Life of Horace. 

teen years afterwards, and often and often, we may- 
believe, turned to read the Ode, and be refreshed by it, 
when his pulse was low, and his heart sick and weary. 

Horace included it in the first series of the Odes, that 
containing Books I. and II., which he gave to the world 
(B.C. 24). The first of these Odes, like the first of the 
Satires, is addressed to Maecenas. They had for the 
most part been written, and were, no doubt, separately 
in circulation, several years before. That they should 
have met \vith success was certain ; for the accomplished 
men who led society in Rome must have felt their beauty 
even ihore keenly than the scholars of a more recent 
time. These lyrics brought the music of Greece, which 
was their ideal, into their native verse ; and a feeling of 
national pride must have helped to augment their admira- 
tion. Horace had tuned his ear upon the lyres of 
Sappho and Alcseus. He had even in his youth essayed 
to imitate them in their own tongue, — a mistake as great 
as for Goethe or Heine to have tried to put their lyrical 
inspiration into the language of Herrick or of Burns. 
But Horace was preserved from perseverance in this 
mistake by his natural good sense, or, as he puts it 
himself, with a fair poetic licence (Satires, I. 10), by 
Rome's great founder Quirinus warning him in a dream, 

' ' To think of adding to the mighty throng 
Of the great paragons of Grecian song, 
Were no less mad an act than his who should 
Into a forest carry logs of wood," 

These exercises may not, however, have been without 
their value in enabling him to transfuse the melodic 

Horace's Style, cxlix 

rhythm of the Greeks into his native verse. And as he 
was the first to do this successfully, if we except Catullus 
in some slight but exquisite poems, so he was the last. 
"Of lyrists," says Quintilian, "Horace is alone, one 
might say, worthy to be read. For he has bursts of in- 
spiration, and is full of playful delicacy and grace ; and 
in the variety of his images, as well as in expression, 
shows a most happy daring." Time has confirmed the 
verdict; and it has recently found eloquent expression 
in the words of one of our greatest scholars : — 

" Horace's style," says Mr H. A. J. Murtro, in the intro- 
duction to his edition of the poet, " is throughout his own, 
borrowed from none who preceded him, successfully imi- 
tated by none who came after him. The Virgilian heroic 
was appropriated by subsequent generations of poets, and 
adapted to their purposes with signal success. The hen- 
decasyllable and scazon of Catullus became part and parcel 
of the poetic heritage of Rome, and Martial employs them 
only less happily than their matchless creator. But the 
moulds in which Horace cast his lyrical and his satirical 
thoughts were broken at his death. The style neither of 
Persius nor of Juvenal has the faintest resemblance to that of 
their common master. Statius, whose hendecasyllables are 
passable enough, has given us one Alcaic and one Sapphic 
ode, which recall the bald and constrained efforts of a 
modern schoolboy. I am sure he could not have written 
any two consecutive stanzas of Horace ; and if he could not, 
who could?" 

Before he published the first two books of his Odes, 
Horace had fairly felt his wings, and knew they could 
carry him gracefully and well. He no longer hesitates, 
as he had done while a writer of Satires only (p. Ixi), to 
claim the title of poet ; but at the same time he throws 

cl Life of Horace, 

himself, in his introductory Ode, with a graceful defer- 
ence, upon the judgment of Maecenas. Let that only- 
seal his lyrics with approval, and he will feel assured of 
his title to rank with the great sons of song : — 

" Do thou but rank me 'mong 
The sacred bards of lyric song, 
I'll soar beyond the lists of time, 
And strike the stars with head sublime." 

In the last Ode, also adressed to Maecenas, of the 
Second Book, the poet gives way to a burst of jojious 
anticipation of future fame, figuring himself as a swan 
soaring majestically across all the then known regions of 
the world. When he puts forth the Third Book several 
years afterwards, he closes it with a similar paean of 
triumph, which, unlike most prophecies of the kind, has 
been completely fulfilled. In both he alludes to the low- 
liness of his birth, speaking of himself in the former as a 
child of poor parents — ^'^ pauperum sanguis parentum ; " 
in the latter as having risen to eminence from a mean 
estate — " ex htimili potensy These touches of egotism, 
the sallies of some brighter hour, are not merely venial ; 
they are delightful in a man so habitually modest. 

' ' I've reared a montmient, my own, 
More durable than brass ; 
Yea, kingly pyramids of stone 
In height it doth surpass. 

Rain shall not sap, nor driving blast 

Disturb its settled base. 
Nor countless ages rolling past 

Its symmetry deface. 

I shall not wholly die. Some part, 

Nor that a little, shall 
Escape the dark Destroyer's dart, 

And his grim festival. 

Anticipates his Fame, cli 

For long as with his Vestals mute 
Rome's Pontifex shall climb 

The Capitol, my fame shall shoot 
Fresh buds through future time. 

Where brawls loud Aufidus, and came 
Parched Daunus erst, a horde 

Of rustic boors to sway, my name 
Shall be a household word ; 

As one who rose from mean estate, 

The first with poet fire 
^olic song to modulate 

To the Italian lyre. 

Then grant, Melpomene, thy son 
Thy guerdon proud to wear, 

And Delphic laurels, duly won, 
Bind thou upon my hair ! " 



Horace's relations with Augustus. — his love 
OF independence. 

No intimate friend of Maecenas was likely to be long a 
stranger to Augustus; and it is most improbable that 
Augustus, who kept up his love of good literature amid 
all the distractions of conquest and empire, should not 
have early sought the acquaintance of a man of such 
conspicuous ability as Horace. But when they first 
became known to each other is uncertain. In more 
than one of the Epodes Horace speaks of him, but not 
in terms to imply personal acquaintance. Some years 
further on it is different. When Trebatius (Satires, 
II. i) is urging the poet, if write he must, to renounce 
satire, and to sing of Caesar's triumphs, from which he 
would reap gain as well as glory, Horace replies, — 

" Most worthy sir, that's just the thing 
I'd like especially to sing ; 
But at the task my spirits faint, 
For 'tis not every one can paint 
Battalions, with their bristling wall 
Of pikes, and make you see the Gaul, 
With shivered spear, in death-throe bleed, 
Or Parthian stricken from his steed." 

Horace and Augustus. cliii 

Then why not sing, rejoins Trebatius, his justice and his 
fortitude — 

*' Like sage Lucilius, in his lays 
To Scipio Africanus' praise " ? 

The reply is that of a man who had obviously been 
admitted to personal contact with the Caesar, and who, 
with instinctive good taste, recoiled from doing what he 
knew would he unacceptable to him, unless called for by 
some very special occasion : — 

' ' When time and circumstance suggest, 
I shall not fail to do my best ; 
But never words of mine shall touch 
Great Caesar's ear, but only such 
As are to the occasion due, 
And spring from my conviction, too ; 
For stroke him with an awkward hand, 
And he kicks out — you understand ? " 

an allusion, no doubt, to the impatience entertained by 
Augustus, to which Suetonius alludes, of the indiscreet 
panegyrics of poetasters by which he was persecuted. 
The gossips of Rome clearly believed (Satires, II. 6) 
that the poet was intimate with Caesar; for he is "so 
close to the gods" — that is, on such a footing with 
Augustus and his chief advisers — that they assume, as 
a matter of course, he must have early tidings of all 
the most recent political news at first hand. However 
this may be, by the time the Odes were published Hor- 
ace had overcome any previous scruples, and sang in 
no measured terms the praises of him, the back-stroke 
of whose rebuke he had professed himself so fearful of 

All Horace's prepossessions must have been against 

cliv Life of Horace, 

one of the leaders before whose opposition Brutus, the 
ideal hero of his youthful enthusiasm, had succumbed. 
Neither were the sanguinary proscriptions and ruthless 
spoliations by which the triumvirate asserted its power, 
and from a large share of the guilt of which Augustus 
could not shake himself free, calculated to conciliate his 
regards. He had much to forget and to forgive before 
he could look without aversion upon the blood-stained 
avenger of the great Csesar. But in times like those 
in which Horace's lot was cast, we do not judge of men 
or things as we do when social order is unbroken, when 
political crime is never condoned, and the usual stand- 
ards of moral judgment are rigidly enforced. Horace 
probably soon came to see, what is now very apparent, 
that when Brutus and his friends struck down Csesar, 
they dealt a deathblow to what, but for this event, might 
have proved to be a well-ordered government. Liberty 
was dead long before Caesar aimed at supremacy. It was 
dead when individuals like Sylla and Marius had become 
stronger than the laws; and the death of Caesar was, 
therefore, but the prelude to fresh disasters, and to the 
ultimate investiture \vith absolute power of whoever, 
among the competitors for it, should come triumphantly 
out of what was sure to be a protracted and a sanguinary 

In what state did Horace find Italy after his return 
from Philippi? Drenched in the blood of its citizens, 
desolated by pillage, harassed by daily fears of inter- 
necine conflict at home and of invasion from abroad, 
its sovereignty a stake played for by political gamblers. 
In such a state of things it was no longer the question. 


Marc A ntony. civ 

how the old Roman constitution was to be restored, 
but how the country itself was to be saved from ruin. 
Prestige was with the nephew of the Caesar whose 
memory the Roman populace had almost from his death 
worshipped as divine; and whose conspicuous ability and 
address, as well as those of his friends, naturally attracted 
to his side the ablest survivors of the party of Brutus. 
The very course of events pointed to him as the future 
chief of the state. Lepidus, by the sheer weakness and 
indecision of his character, soon went to the wall ; and 
the power of Antony was weakened by his continued 
absence from Rome, and ultimately destroyed by the 
malign influence exerted upon his character by the fas- 
cinations of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra. The dis- 
astrous failure of his Parthian expedition (b.c. 36), and 
the tidings that reached Rome from time to time of the 
mad extravagance of his private life, of his abandonment 
of the character of a Roman citizen, and his assumption 
of the barbaric pomp and habits of an oriental despot, 
made men look to his great rival as the future head of 
the state, especially as they saw that rival devoting all 
his powers to the task of reconciling divisions and re- 
storing peace to a country exhausted by a long series of 
civil broils, of giving security to life and property at 
home, and making Rome once more a name of awe 
throughout the world. Was it, then, otherwise than 
natural that Horace, in common with many of his friends, 
should have been not only content to forget the past, 
with its bloody and painful records, but should even 
have attached himself cordially to the party of Augustus ? 
Whatever the private aims of the Caesar may have been. 

clvi Life of Horace, 

his public life showed that he had the welfare of his 
country strongly at heart, and the current of events had 
made it clear that he at least was alone able to end the 
strife of faction by assuming the virtual supremacy of the 

Pollio, Messalla, Varus, and others of the Brutus party, 
have not been denounced as renegades because they ar- 
rived at a similar conclusion, and lent the whole influence 
of their abilities and their names to the cause of Augustus. 
Horace has not been so fortunate ; and because he has 
expressed — what was no doubt the prevailing feeling of 
his countrymen — gratitude to Augustus for quelling civil 
strife, for bringing glory to the empire, and giving peace, 
security, and happiness to his country by the power of 
his arms and the wisdom of his administration, the poet 
has been called a traitor to the nobler principles of his 
youth — an obsequious flatterer of a man whom he ought 
to have denounced to posterity as a tyrant. Adroit 
esclave is the epithet applied to him in this respect by 
Voltaire, who idolises him as a moralist and poet. But 
it carries little weight in the mouth of the cynic who 
could fawn with more than courtierly complaisance on 
a Frederick or a Catherine, and weave graceful flatteries 
for the Pompadour, and who " dearly loved a lord " in his 
practice, however he may have sneered at aristocracy in 
his \j[ritings. But if we put ourselves as far as we can 
into the poet's place, we shall come to a much more lenient 
conclusion. He could, no doubt, appreciate thoroughly 
the advantages of a free republic or of a purely con- 
stitutional government, and would, of course, have pre- 
ferred either of these for his country. But while theory 

Horace's first views of A ugtisUis. clvii 

pointed in that direction, facts were all pulling the oppo- 
site way. The materials for the establishment of such a 
state of things did not exist in a strong middle class or 
an equal balance of parties. The choice lay between the 
anarchy of a continued strife of selfish factions, and the 
concentration of power in the hands of some individual 
who should be capable of enforcing law at home and 
commanding respect abroad. So at least Horace ob- 
viously thought j and surely it is reasonable to suppose 
that the man, whose integrity and judgment in all other 
matters are indisputable, was more likely than the acutest 
critic or historian of modern times can possibly be to 
form a just estimate of what was the possible best for his 
country, under the actual circumstances of the time. 

Had Horace at once become the panegyrist of the 
Caesar, the sincerity of his convictions might have been 
open to question. But thirteen years at least had 
elapsed between the battle of Philippi and the com- 
position of the Second Ode of the First Book, which is 
the first direct acknowledgment by Horace of Augustus 
as the chief of the state. This Ode is directly inspired 
by gratitude for the cessation of civil strife, and the skil- 
ful administration which had brought things to the point 
when the whole fighting force of the kingdom, which had 
so long been wasted in that strife, could be directed to 
spreading the glory of the Roman name, and securing 
its supremacy throughout its conquered provinces. The 
allusions to Augustus in this and others of the earlier 
Odes are somewhat cold and formal in their tone. There 
is a visible increase in glow and energy in those of a later 
date, when, as years went on, the Caesar established 

VOL. I. k 

cl vi ii L ife of Horace, 

fresh claims on the gratitude of Rome by his firm, saga- 
cious, and moderate policy, by the general prosperity 
which grew up under his administration, by the success 
of his arms, by the great public works which enhanced 
the splendour and convenience of the capital, by the 
restoration of the laws, and by his zealous endeavour 
to stem the tide of immorality which had set in during 
the protracted disquietudes of the civil wars. It is true 
that during this time Augustus was also establishing the 
system of Imperialism, which contained in itself the 
germs of tyranny, with all its brutal excesses on the one 
hand, and its debasing influence upon the subject nation 
on the other. But we who have seen into what it de- 
veloped must remember that these baneful fruits of the 
system were of lengthened growth; and Horace, who 
saw no farther into the future than the practical poli- 
ticians of his time, may be forgiven if he dwelt only 
upon the immediate blessings which the government of 
Augustus effected, and the peace and security which 
came with a tenfold welcome after the long agonies of 
the civil wars. 

The glow and sincerity of feeling of which we have 
spoken are conspicuous in the following Ode (IV. 2), 
addressed to lulus Antonius, the son of the triumvir, 
of whose powers as a poet nothing is known beyond the 
implied recognition of them contained in this Ode. The 
Sicambri, with two other German tribes, had crossed the 
Rhine, laid waste part of the Roman territory in Gaul, 
and inflicted so serious a blow on Lollius, the Roman 
legate, that Augustus himself repaired to Gaul to retrieve 
the defeat and resettle the province. This he accom- 

Ode to lulus Antonius. clix 

plished triumphantly (b.c. 17) ; and we may assume that 
the Ode was wTitten while the tidings of his success were 
still fresh, and the Romans, who had been greatly agi- 
tated by the defeat of Lollius, were looking eagerly 
forward to his return. Apart from its other merits, the 
Ode is interesting from the estimate Horace makes in it 
of his own powers, and his avowal of the labour which 
his verses cost him. 

" lulus, he who'd rival Pindar's fame, 
On waxen wings doth sweep 
The Empyrean steep, 
To fall like Icarus, and with his name 
Endue the glassy deep. 

Like to a mountain stream, that roars 

From bank to bank along, 

When autumn rains are strong, 
So deep-mouthed Pindar lifts his voice, and pours 

His fierce tumultuous song. 

Worthy Apollo's laurel wreath. 

Whether he strike the lyre 

To love and young desire, 
While bold and lawless numbers grow beneath 

His mastering touch of fire ; 

Or sings of gods, and monarchs sprung 

Of gods, that overthrew 

The Centaurs, hideous crew. 
And, fearless of the monster's fiery tongue. 

The dread Chimaera slew ; 

Or those the El^an palm doth lift 

To heaven, for winged steed. 

Or sturdy arm decreed. 
Giving, than hundred statues nobler gift, 

The poet's deathless meed ; 

Or mourns the youth snatched from his bride, 

Extols his manhood clear, 

And to the starry sphere 
Exalts his golden virtues, scattering wide 

The gloom of Orcus drear. 

clx Life of Horace. 

When the Dircdan swan doth climb 

Into the azure sky, 

There poised in ether high, 
He courts each gale, and floats on wing sublime, 

Soaring with steadfast eye. 

I, like the matine bee, that sips 

The fragrant thyme, and strays 

Humming through leafy ways, 
By Tibur's sedgy banks, with trembling lips 

Fashion my toilsome lays. 

But thou, when up the sacred steep 

Caesar, with garlands crowned, 

Leads the Sicambrians bound. 
With bolder hand the echoing strings shalt sweep. 

And bolder measures sound. 

Caesar, than whom a nobler son 
The Fates and Heaven's kind powers 
Ne'er gave this earth of ours. 

Nor e'er will give, though backward time should run 
To its first golden hours. 

Thou too shalt sing the joyful days. 

The city's festive throng. 

When Caesar, absent long, 
At length returns, — the Forum's silent ways. 

Serene from strife and wrong. 

Then, though in statelier power it lack, 

My voice shall swell the lay, 

And sing, ' P glorious day, 
O day thrice blest, that gives great Caesar back 

To Rome, from hostile fray ! ' 

' Id Triumphe ! ' thrice the cry ; 

* lo Triumphe ! ' loud 

Shall shout the echoing crowd 
The city through, and to the gods on high 

Raise incense like a cloud. 

Ten bulls shall pay thy sacrifice. 

With whom ten kine shall bleed : 

I to the fane will lead 
A yearling of the herd, of modest size. 

From the luxuriant mead, 


Ode to AiLgtisttLs. clxi 

Horned like the moon, when her pale light 

Which three brief days have fed, 

She trimmeth, and dispread 
On his broad brows a spot of snowy white, 

All else a tawny red." 

Augustus did not return from Gaul, as was expected 
when this Ode was ^vritten, but remained there for about 
two years. That this protracted absence caused no little 
disquietude in Rome is apparent from the following Ode 


" From gods benign descended, thou 
Best guardian of the fates of Rome, 
Too long already from thy home 
Hast thou, dear chief, been absent now ; 

Oh, then return, the pledge redeem, 
Thou gav'st the Senate, and once more 
Its light to all the land restore ; 

For when thy face, like spring-tide's gleam, 

Its brightness on the people sheds, 
Then glides the day more sweetly by, 
A brighter blue pervades the sky. 

The sun a richer radiance spreads ! 

As on her boy the mother calls, 

Her boy, whom envious tempests keep 
Beyond the vexed Carpathian deep. 

From his dear home, till winter falls. 

And still with vow and prayer she cries, 

Still gazes on the winding shore. 

So yearns the country evermore 
For Cassar, with fond, wistful eyes. 

For safe the herds range field and fen. 
Full-headed stand the shocks of grain, 
Our sailors sweep the peaceful main. 

And man can trust his fellow-men. 

No more adulterers stain our beds. 

Laws, morals, both that taint efface, 

The husband in the child we trace, 
And close on crime sure vengeance treads. 

c 1 X i i Life of Horace, 

The Parthian, under Caesar's reign. 

Or icy Scythian, who can dread, 

Or all the tribes barbarian bred 
By Germany, or ruthless Spain ? 

Now each man, basking on his slopes. 

Weds to his widowed trees the vine, 

Then, as he gaily quaffs his wine, 
Salutes thee god of all his hopes ; 

And prayers to thee devoutly sends. 
With deep libations ; and, as Greece 
Ranks Castor and great Hercules, 

Thy godship with his Lares blends. 

Oh, mayst thou on Hesperia shine, 

Her chief, her joy, for many a day ! 

Thus, dry-lipped, thus at mom we pray, 
Thus pray at eve, when flushed with wine." 

" It was perhaps the policy of Augustus," says Macleane, 
"to make his absence felt; and we may believe that the 
language of Horace, which bears much more the impress of 
real feeling than of flattery, represented the sentiments of 
great numbers at Rome, who felt the want of that presiding 
genius which had brought the city through its long troubles, 
and given it comparative peace. There could not be a more 
comprehensive picture of security and rest obtained through 
the influence of one mind than is represented in this Ode, if 
we except that with which no merely mortal language can 
compare (Isaiah xi. and Ixv. ; Micah iv.) " 

We must not assume, from the reference in this and 
other Odes to the divine origin of Augustus, that this 
was seriously believed in by Horace, any more than it 
was by Augustus himself. Popular credulity ascribed 
divine honours to great men ; and this was the natural 
growth of a religious system in which a variety of gods 
and demigods played so large a part. Julius Caesar 
claimed — no doubt, for the purpose of impressing the 

Diviis Augustus. clxiii 

Roman populace — a direct descent from Abna Venus 
Genitrtx, as Antony did from Hercules. Altars and 
temples were dedicated to great statesmen and generals ; 
and the Romans, among the other things which they 
borrowed from the East, borrowed also the practice of 
conferring the honours of apotheosis upon their rulers, — 
the visible agents, in their estimation, of the great invis- 
ible power that governed the world. To speak of their 
divine descent and attributes became part of the common 
forms of the poetical vocabular}', not inappropriate to the 
exalted pitch of lyrical enthusiasm. Horace only falls 
into the prevailing strain, and is not compromising him- 
self by servile flattery, as some have thought, when he 
speaks in this Ode of Augustus as '* from gods benign 
descended," and in others as "the heaven-sent son of 
Maia" (I. 2), or as reclining among the gods and quaf- 
fing nectar "with lip of deathless bloom" (III. 3). In 
lyrical poetry all this was quite in place. But when the 
poet contracts his wings, and drops from its empyrean to 
the level of the earth, he speaks to Augustus and of him 
simply as he thought (Epistles, II. i) — as a man on 
whose shoulders the weight of empire rested, who pro- 
tected the commonwealth by the vigour of his armies, 
and strove to grace it by " sweeter manners, purer laws." 
He adds, it is true, — 

" You while in life are honoured as divine, 
And vows and oaths are taken at your shrine ; 
So Rome pays honour to her man of men, 
Ne'er seen on earth before, ne'er to be Seen again." 

— (Conington.) 

But this is no more than a statement of a fact. Altars 

clxiv Life of Horace. 

were erected to Augustus, much against his will, and at 
these men made their prayers or plighted their oath^ 
every day. There is not a word to imply either that 
Augustus took these divine honours, or that Horace 
joined in ascribing them, seriously. 

It is of some importance to the argument in favour of 
Horace's sincerity and independence, that he had no 
selfish end to serve by standing well with Augustus. 
We have seen that he was more than content with the 
moderate fortune secured to him by Maecenas. Wealth had 
no charms for him. His ambition was to make his mark 
as a poet. His happiness lay in being his own master. 
There is no trace of his having at any period been swayed 
by other views. What then had he to gain by courting 
the favour of the head of the state ? But the argument 
goes further. When Augustus found the pressure of his 
private correspondence too great, as his public duties 
increased, and his health, never robust, began to fail, 
he offered Horace the post of his private secretary. 
The poet declined on the ground of health. He con- 
trived to do so in such a way as to give no umbrage by 
the refusal ; nay, the letters which are quoted in the life 
of Horace ascribed to Suetonius show that Augustus 
begged the poet to treat him on the same footing as if 
he had accepted the office, and actually become a mem- 
ber of his household. " Our friend Septimius," he says 
in another letter, " will tell you how much you are in my 
thoughts ; for something led to my speaking of you before 
him. Neither, if you were too proud to accept my friend- 
ship, do I mean to deal with you in the same spirit." 

Dread of Cottrts. clxv 

There could have been little of the courtier in the man 
who was thus addressed. Horace apparently felt that 
Augustus and himself were likely to be better friends at 
a distance. He had seen enough of court life to know 
how perilous it is to that independence which was his 
dearest possession. ^^ Dulcis inexpertis cultura potentis 
amid, — Expertus metuit^^ is his ultimate conviction on 
this head (Epistles, I. i8) — 

' ' Till time has made us wise, 'tis sweet to wait 
Upon the smiles and favour of the great ; 
But he that once has ventured that career 
Shrinks from its perils with instinctive fear." 

In another place (Epistles, I. lo) he says, ^^ Fuge magna; 
licet sub paupere tedo Reges et regum vita prcecurrere aj?ii- 

' ' Keep clear of courts ; a homely life transcends 
The vaunted bliss of monarchs and their friends." 

— (Conington. ) 

But apart from such considerations, life would have 
lost its charm for Horace had he put himself within the 
trammels of official service. At no time would these 
have been tolerable to him; but as he advanced into 
middle age, the freedom of entire independence, the 
refreshing solitudes of the country, leisure for study and 
reflection, became more and more precious to him. The 
excitements and gaieties and social enjoyments of Rome 
were all very well, but a little of them went a great way. 
They taxed his delicate health, and they interfered with 
the graver studies, to Which he became daily more in- 

clxvi Life of Horace. 

clined as. the years went by. Not all his regard for 
Maecenas himself, deep as it was, could induce him to 
stay in to^vn to enliven the leisure hours of the statesman 
by his companionship at the expense of those calm 
seasons of communion with nature and the books of the 
great men of old, in which he could indulge his irresist- 
ible craving for some solution of the great problems of 
life and philosophy. 

Men like Maecenas, whose power and wealth are prac- 
tically unbounded, are apt to become importunate even 
in their friendships, and to think that everything should 
give way to the gratification of their wishes. Something 
of this spirit was obviously shown by him upon one 
occasion towards Horace, if we may read between the 
lines of one of the best of the Epistles addressed by the 
poet to his friend and patron. Maecenas would appear to 
have expressed himself in a tone of complaint, either to 
the poet himself, or in some way that had reached his 
ears, about his prolonged absence in the country, and this 
in a way which implied that he considered his bounties 
had given him a claim upon the time of Horace which was 
not sufficiently considered. This could only have been a 
burst of momentary impatience, for the nature of Maece- 
nas was too generous to admit of any other supposition. 
But Horace felt it ; and with the utmost delicacy of tact, 
but with a decision that left no room for mistake, he lost 
no time in letting Maecenas know, that rather than brook 
control upon his movements, however slight, he will cheer- 
fully forego the gifts of his friend, dear as they are, and 
grateful for them as he must always be. To this we owe 

Epistle to McBcenas, clxvii 

the exquisite Epistle which forms the Seventh of the First 
Book, one that should be read in direct connection with 
what has just been said. That Maecenas loved his 
friend all the better for it — he could scarcely respect 
him more than he seems to have done^^rom the first — 
we may be very sure. 




Horace had probably passed forty when the Epistle just 
referred to was written. Describing himself at forty-four 
(Epistles, I. 20), he says he was " prematurely grey," — his 
hair having been originally black, — adding that he is 

' ' In person small, one to whom warmth is life ; 
In temper hasty, yet averse from strife." 

His health demanded constant care; and we find him 
Avriting (Epistles, I. 15) to a friend, to ask what sort of 
climate and people are to be found at Velia and Saler- 
num, — the one a town of Lucania, the other of Campania, 
— as he has been ordered by his doctor to give up his 
favourite watering - place, Baiae, as too relaxing. This 
doctor was Antonius Musa, a great apostle of the cold- 
water cure, by which he had saved the life of Augustus 
v/hen in extreme danger. The remedy instantly be- 
came fashionable, and continued so until the Emperor's 
nephew, the young Marcellus, died under the treat- 
ment. Horace's inquiries are just such as a valetudin- 
arian fond of his comforts would be likely to make : — 

Horace's Health Delicate. clxix 

Which place is best supplied with com, d'ye think? 

Have they rain-water or fresh springs to drink? 

Their wines I care not for ; when at my farm 

I can drink any sort without much harm ; 

But at the sea I need a generous kind 

To warm my veins, and pass into my mind, 

Enrich me with new hopes, choice words supply, 

And make me comely in a lady's eye. 

Which tract is best for game ? on which sea-coast 

Urchins and other fish abound the most ? 

That so, when I return, my friends may see 

A sleek Phaeacian i come to life in me : 

These things you needs must tell me, Vala dear. 

And I no less must act on what I hear." 

— (Conington.) 

Valetudinarian though he was, Horace maintains, in his 
later as in his early writings, a uniform cheerfulness. 
This never forsakes him ; for life is a boon for which he 
is ever grateful. The gods have allotted him an ample 
share of the means of enjoyment, and it is his own fault if 
he suffers self-created worries or desires to vex him. By 
the questions he puts to a friend in one of the latest of 
his Epistles (II. 2), we see what was the discipline he 
applied to himself : — 

' ' You're not a miser : has all other vice 
Departed in the train of avarice ? 
Or do ambitious longings, angry fret, 
The terror of the grave, torment you yet ? 
Can you make sport of portents, gipsy crones, 
Hobgoblins, dreams, raw head and bloody bones? 
Do you count up your birthdays year by year. 
And thank the gods with gladness and blithe cheer, 
O'erlook the failings of your friends, and grow 
Gentler and better as your sand runs low ? " 

— (Conington.) 

And to this beautiful catalogue of what should be a good 
1 The Phaeacians were proverbially fond of good living. 

clxx Life of Horace. 

man's aims, let us add the picture of him§elf which Hor- 
ace gives us in another and earlier Epistle (I. 1 8) : — 

" For me, when freshened by my spring's pure cold, 
Which makes my villagers look pinched and old, 
What prayers are mine ? * Oh may I yet possess 
The goods I have, or, if heaven pleases, less ! 
Let the few years that Fate may grant me still 
Be all my own, not held at others' will ! 
Let me have books, and stores for one year hence, 
Nor make my life one flutter of suspense ! ' 

But I forbear ; sufficient 'tis to pray 
To Jove for what he gives and takes away ; 
Grant life, grant fortune, for myself I'll find 
That best of blessings — a contented mind." 

— (Conington.) 

''Let me have books!" These play a great part in 
Horace' s life. They were not to him, what Montaigne 
calls them, "a languid pleasure," but rather as they were 
to Wordsworth — 

* ' A substantial world, both fresh and good. 
Round which, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood, 
Our pastime and our happiness may grow." 

Next to a dear friend, they were Horace's most cherished 
companions. Not for amusement merely, and the list- 
less luxury of the self-wrapt lounger, were they prized by 
him, but as teachers to correct his faults, to subdue his 
evil propensities, to develop his higher nature, to purify 
his life (Epistles, I. i), and to help him towards attaining 
" that best of blessings, a contented mind : " — 

' ' Say, is your bosom ravaged by the fire 
Of sateless avarice or of foul desire ? 
Maxims there are and spells, the pain can ease, 
And purge away nine-tenths of your disease. 
Art mad for fame ? Through yonder volume spell 
Again and yet again, and you'll be well. 

His Literary Tastes. clxxi 

However coarse in grain a man may be, 
Drone, brawler, makebate, drunkard, debauchee, 
A patient ear to culture let him lend, — 
He's sure to turn out gentler in the end." 

Horace's taste was as catholic in philosophy as in 
literature. He was of no school, but sought in the teach- 
ings of them all such principles as would make life 
easier, better, and happier : " Condo et comJ)o?io, quce mox 
depromere possum " — 

' ' The sages' lore I cull where'er I may, 
And hive it up for use some future day." 

He is evermore urging his friends to follow his example ; 
— to resort like himself to these "spells," — the verba 
et voces, by which he brought his own restless desires 
and disquieting aspirations into subjection, and fortified 
himself in the bliss of contentment. He saw they were 
letting the precious hours slip from their grasp, — 
hours that might have been so happy, but were so 
weighted with disquiet and weariness ; and he loved his 
friends too well to keep silence on this theme. We, like 
them, it has been admirably said,^ are " possessed by the 
ambitions, the desires, the weariness, the disquietudes, 
which pursued the friends of Horace. If he does not 
always succeed with us, any more than with them, in 
curing us of these, he at all events soothes and tranquil- 
lises us in the moments which we spend with him. He 
augments, on the other hand, the happiness of those who 
are already happy ; and there is not one of us but feels 
under the pbligation to him for his gentle and salutary 

1 '^tude Morale et Litt^raire surles Epitres d' Horace ; ' par J. A. 
Estienne. Paris, 1851. P. 212. 

clxxii Life of Horace, 

lessons, — verba^ue et voces^ — for his soothing or invigor- 
ating balsams, as much as though this gifted physician 
of soul and body had compounded them specially for 

When he published the First Book of Epistles he 
seems to have thought the time come for him to write 
no more lyrics (Epistles, I. i) : — 

" So verses now and all such toys I quit, 
And toil my best to find the true and fit." 

Graver habits, and a growing fastidiousness of taste, were 
likely to give rise to this feeling. But a poet can no 
more renounce his lyre than a painter his palette ; and 
his fine " Secular Hymn," and many of the Odes of the 
Fourth Book, which were written after this period, prove 
that, so far from suffering any decay in poetical power, 
he had even gained in force and originality of conception, 
and in that airiosa felidtas, that exquisite felicity of ex- 
pression, which has been justly ascribed to him by Pe- 
tronius. Several years afterwards, when writing of the 
mania for scribbling verse which had beset the Romans, 
as if, like Dogberry's reading and writing, the faculty of 
writing poetry came by nature, he alludes to his owti 
sins in the same direction mth a touch of his old irony 
(Epistles, II. i) : — 

" Even I, who vow I never write a line, 
The Parthians in mendacity outshine, 
Awake before the sun is up, and call 
For pen and parchment, writing-case and all. 
Where is the man will undertake to steer. 
Who's strange to ships, and all their sailing gear? 
Who ventures to administer a draught. 
Without due training in the doctor's craft ? 

The Secular Hymn. clxxiii 

Doctors prescribe, who understand the rules, 
And only workmen handle workmen's tools ; 
But literate and illiterate, those who can, 
And those who cannot, now write verses to a man." 

Or, as Pope with a finer emphasis translates his words — 

" But those who cannot write, and those who can, 
All rhyme, and scrawl, and scribble to a man." 

It was very well for Horace to laugh at his own inability 
to abstain from verse-making, but, had he been ever so 
much inclined to silence, his friends would not have let 
him rest. Some wanted an Ode, some an Epode, some 
a Satire (Epistles, 11. 2) — 

" Three hungry guests for different dishes call, 
And how's one host to satisfy them all? " 

— (Conington.) 

And there was one friend, whose request it was not easy 
to deny. This was Augustus. Ten years after the im- 
perial power had been placed in his hands (b.c. 17) he 
resolved to celebrate a great national festival in honour 
of his own successful career. Horace was called on to 
wTite an Ode, known in his works as the " Secular 
Hymn," to be sung upon the occasion by twenty-seven 
boys and twenty-seven girls of noble birth. " The Ode," 
says Macleane, " was sung at the most solemn part of the 
festival, while the Emperor was in person offering sacri- 
fice at the second hour of the night, on the river-side, 
upon three altars, attended by the fifteen men who pre- 
sided over religious affairs. The effect must have been 
very beautiful, and no wonder if the impression on Hor- 
ace's feelings was strong and lasting." He was obviously 
pleased at being chosen for the task, and not without 

VOL. I. / 

clxx i V Life of Horace. 

pride — a very just one — at the way it was performed. 
In the Ode (IV. 6), which seems to have been a kind of 
prelude to the " Secular Hymn," he anticipates that the 
virgins who chanted it will on their marriage -day be 
proud to recall the fact that they had taken part in this 
oratorio under his baton : — 

" When the cyclical year brought its festival days, 
My voice led the hymn of thanksgiving and praise, 
So sweet, the immortals to hear it were fain, 
And 'twas Horace the Poet who taught me the strain !" 

It was probably at the suggestion of Augustus, also, 
that he wrote the magnificent Fourth and Fourteenth 
Odes of the Fourth Book. These were written, however, 
to celebrate great national victories, and were pitched in 
the high key appropriate to the theme. But this was not 
enough for Augustus. He wanted something more 
homely and human, and was envious of the friends to 
whom Horace had addressed the charming Epistles of 
the First Book, a copy of which the poet had sent to him 
by the hands of a friend (Epistles, I. 13), but only to be 
given to the Caesar, 

' ' If he be well, and in a happy mood, 
And ask to have them, — be it understood." 

And so he wrote to Horace — the letter is quoted by 
Suetonius — "Look you, I take it much amiss that 
none of your writings of this class are addressed to me. 
Are you afraid it will damage your reputation with pos- 
terity to be thought to have been one of my intimates ? " 
Such a letter, had Horace been a vain man or an indis- 
creet, might have misled him into approaching Augustus 
with the freedom he courted. But he fell into no such 

Epistle to Augustus. clxxv 

error. There is perfect frankness throughout the whole 
of the Epistle, with which he met the Emperor's request 
(II. i), but the social distance between them is main- 
tained with an emphasis which it is impossible not to feel. 
The Epistle opens by skilfully insinuating that, if the 
poet has not before addressed the Emperor, it is that he 
may not be suspected of encroaching on the hours which 
were due to the higher cares of state : — 

" Since you, alone, O Cassar, bear the weight 
Of Rome's affairs so manifold and great, 
The country and its weal by arms defend, 
Adorn by morals and by laws amend, 
I should be guilty of a public wrong, 
If by my prattle I detained you long." 

It is not while they live, he continues, that, in the ordin- 
ary case, the worth of the great benefactors of mankind 
is recognised. Only after they are dead do misunder- 
standing and malice give way to admiration and love. 
Rome, it is true, has been more just. It has appreciated, 
and it avows, how much it owes to Augustus. But the 
very same people who have shown themselves wise and 
just in this are unable to extend the same principle to 
living literary genius. A poet must have been long dead 
and buried, or he is nought. The very flaws of old writers 
are cried up as beauties by pedantic critics, while the 
highest excellence in a writer of the day meets with no 

" Had Greece been given in such contempt to hold 
All that is modern, what would now be old ? 
Where would the classics be, the well-thumbed tomes, 
Which are'the light and sweetness of our homes?" 

Let us then look the facts fairly in the face ; let us " clear 

clxxvi Life of Horace. 

our minds of cant." If a poem be bad in itself, let us 
say so, no matter how old or how famous it be ; if it be 
good, let us be no less candid, though the poet be still 
struggling into notice among us. 

Thanks, he proceeds, to our happy times, men are now 
devoting themselves to the arts of peace. " Grcecia capta 
ferum victorem cepit^^ — "Her ruthless conqueror Greece 
has overcome." The Romans of the better class, who 
of old thought only of the triumphs of the forum, or of 
turning over their money profitably, are now bitten by 
a literary furor. 

" Boys and grave fathers crown their brows with ba3's, 
And, as they sit at supper, spout their lays." 

But this craze is no unmixed evil ; for, take him all in 
all, your poet can scarcely be a bad fellow. Pulse and 
second bread are a banquet for him. He is sure not to 
be greedy or close-fisted ; for to him, as Tennyson in the 
same spirit says, " Mellow metres are more than ten per 
cent." Neither is he likely to cheat his partner or his 
ward. He may cut a poor figure in a campaign, but he 
does the state good service at home. 

" The bard it is, whose well-earned verses teach 
Our childhood's lisping tongue the arts of speech ; 
He weans the ears of boyhood from the twang 
Of vulgar accents, and of ribald slang ; 
Anon his precepts mould the heart and mind, 
And make them gentle, generous, and kind ; 
Best chronicler is he of noble deeds ; 
Lessons to guide us from the past he reads ; 
He brings a solace to the sick man's bed, 
And even the poor by him are comforted." 

Horace then goes on to sketch the rise of poetry and 


Augustus an Author. clxxvii 

the drama among the Romans, glancing, as he goes, at 
the perverted taste which was making the stage the 
vehicle of mere spectacle, and intimating his own high 
estimate of the dramatic writer in words which Shake- 
speare seems to have been meant to realise : — 

' ' Him foremost among poets I confess, 
Who with fictitious sorrows wrings my breast. 
Rouses my passions, calms them into rest, 
With visionary fears my soul can thrill. 
And sweep me off, as if by magic skill, 
To Thebes, to Athens, — anywhere he will." 

Here, as elsewhere, Horace treats dramatic writing as the 
very highest exercise of poetic genius ; and, in dwelling 
on it as he does, he probably felt sure of carrying with 
him the fullest sympathies of Augustus. For among his 
varied literary essays, the Emperor, like most dilettanti, 
had tried his hand upon a tragedy. Failing, however, to 
satisfy himself, he had the rarer wisdom to suppress it. 
The story of his play was that of Ajax, and when asked 
one day how it was getting on, he replied that his hero 
*•' had finished his career upon a sponge ! " — " Ajacem 
suuni 171 spongio i?icubuisse" 

From the drama Horace proceeds to speak of the more 
timid race of bards, who, "instead of being hissed and 
acted, would be read," and who, himself included, are 
apt to do themselves harm in various ways through over- 
sensitiveness or simplicity. Thus, for example, they will 
intrude their works on Augustus, when he is busy or tired; 
or wince, poor sensitive rogues, if a friend ventures to 
take exception to a verse; or bore him by repeating, 
unasked, one or' other of their pet passages, or by com- 
plaints that their happiest thoughts and most highly 

clxxviii Life of Horace. 

polished turns escape unnoticed; or, worse folly than 
all, they will expect to be sent for by Augustus the 
moment he comes across their poems, and told " to 
starve no longer, and go writing on." Yet, continues 
Horace, it is better the whole tribe should be dis- 
appointed, than that a great man's glory should be 
dimmed, like Alexander's, who made the mistake of let- 
ting himself be sung of by a bad poet like Chaerilus. 
Into such a mistake Augustus was not likely to fall, who 
had proved the soundness of his literary taste by taking 
to his heart two men of such undoubted genius as Virgil 
and Varius. Only men of rare gifts like theirs are the fit 
laureates of the Emperor's great achievements ; and in 
this way the poet returns, like a skilful composer, to the 
motif with, which he set out — distrust of his own ability, 
which has restrained, and must continue to restrain, him 
from pressing himself and his small poetic powers upon 
the Emperor's notice. 

In the other poems which belong to this period — the 
Second Epistle of the Second Book, and the Epistle to 
the Pisos generally kno^vn as the Ars Poetica — Horace 
confines himself almost exclusively to purely literary 
topics. The dignity of literature was never better vin- 
dicated than in these Epistles. In Horace's estimation 
it was a thing always to be approached with reverence. 
Mediocrity in it was intolerable. Genius is much, but 
genius without art will not win immortality ; " for a good 
poet's made, as well as bom." There must be a work- 
ing up to the highest models, a resolute intolerance of 
anything slight or slovenly, a fixed purpose to put what 
the writer has to express into forms at once the most 

Epistle to the Pisos. clxxix 

beautiful, suggestive, and compact. The mere trick of 
literary composition Horace holds exceedingly cheap. 
Brilliant nonsense finds no allowance from him. Truth 
— truth in feeling, in character, in thought, and incident 
— must be present, if the work is to have any value. 
" Scribendi rede sapere est et principium etfojis" — 

" Of writing well, be sure the secret lies 
In wisdom, therefore study to be wise." 

— (Conington.) 

Whatever the form of composition — heroic, didactic, lyric, 
or dramatic — it must be pervaded by unity of feeling and 
design ; and no style is good, or illustration endurable, 
which either overlays or does not harmonise with the 
subject in hand. 

The Epistle to the Pisos does not profess to be a com- 
plete exposition of the poet's art. It glances only at 
small sections of that wide theme. So far as it goes it 
is all gold, full of most instructive hints for a sound criti- 
cal taste and a pure literary style, which are as applicable 
now as the day when the Sosii first gave them to the 
Roman public. It was probably meant to cure the 
younger Piso of that passion for writing verse which had, 
as we have seen, spread like a plague among the Romans, 
and which made a visit to the public baths a penance 
to critical ears, — for there the poetasters were always 
sure of an audience, — and added new terrors to the 
already sufficiently formidable horrors of the Roman ban- 
quet.^ When we find an experienced critic like Horace 

1 This theory has been worked out with great ability by the late M. 
A, Baron, in his ' Epitre d' Horace aux Pisons sur I'Art Podtique' — 
Bruxelles, 1857 ; which is accompanied by a masterly translation and 
notes of great valuer 

clxxx Life of Horace. 

urging young Piso, as he does, to keep what he writes by 
him for nine years, the conclusion is irresistible, that he 
hoped by that time the writer would see the wisdom of 
suppressing his crude lucubrations altogether. No one 
knew better than Horace that really fine literary work 
never wants such protracted mellowing. Indeed the 
handling and rehandling of a man's verses at intervals of 
years has done, and all but certainly must do, serious 
injury even to poetry of the highest order. 

Soon after this poem was written the great palace on 
the Esquiline lost its master. He died (b.c. 8) in the 
middle of the year, bequeathing his poet-friend to the 
care of Augustus in the words " Horati Flacci^ iit mei^ 
esto memor^' — "Bear Horace in your memory as you 
would myself." But the legacy was not long upon the 
Emperor's hands. Seventeen years before, Horace had 
written — 

' ' Think not that I have sworn a bootless oath ; 
Yes, we shall go, shall go, 
Hand linked in hand, where'er thou leadest, both 
The last sad road below." 

The lines must have rung in the poet's ears like a sad 
refrain. The Digentia lost its charm ; he could not see 
its crystal waters for the shadows of Charon's rueful 
stream. The prattle of his loved Bandusian spring 
could not wean his thoughts from the vision of his other 
self wandering unaccompanied along that " last sad road." 
We may fancy that Horace was thenceforth little seen in 
his accustomed haunts. He who had so often soothed 
the sorrows of other bereaved hearts, answered with a 
wistful smile to the friendly consolations of the many 

Horace's Death. clxxxi 

that loved him. His work was done. It was time to go 
away. Not all the skill of Orpheus could recall him 
whom he had lost. The welcome end came sharply and 
suddenly ; and one day, when the bleak November wind 
was whirling down the oak-leaves on his well-loved brook, 
the servants of his Sabine farm heard that they should 
no more see the good, cheery master, whose pleasant 
smile and kindly word had so often made their labours 
light. There was many a sad heart, too, we may be 
sure, in Rome, when the wit who never wounded, the 
poet who ever charmed, the friend who never failed, was 
laid in a corner of the Esquiline, close to the tomb of 
his "dear knight Maecenas." He died on the 27th 
November B.C. 8, the kindly, lonely man, leaving to 
Augustus what little he possessed. One would fain trust 
his own words were inscribed upon his tomb, as in the 
supreme hour the faith they expressed was of a surety 
strong ^vithin his heart, — 


No writer of antiquity has taken a stronger hold upon 
the modem mind than Horace. The causes of this are 
manifold, but three may be especially noted : his broad 
human sympathies, his vigorous common-sense, and his 
consummate mastery of expression. The mind must be 
either singularly barren or singularly cold to which Hor- 
ace does not speak. The scholar, the statesman, the 
soldier, the man of the world, the town-bred man, the 
lover of the country, the thoughtful and the careless, he 

clxxxii Life of Horace. 

who reads much and he who reads little, all find in his 
pages more or less to amuse their fancy, to touch their 
feelings, to quicken their observation, to nerve their con- 
victions, to put into happy phrase the deductions of their 
experience. His poetical sentiment is not pitched in too 
high a key for the unimaginative, but it is always so 
genuine that the most imaginative feel its charm. His 
wisdom is deeper than it seems, so simple, practical, and 
direct as it is in its application ; and his moral teaching 
more spiritual and penetrating than is apparent on a 
superficial study. He does not fall into the common 
error of didactic writers, of laying upon life more than it 
will bear; but he insists that it shall at least bear the 
fruits of integrity, truth, honour, justice, self-denial, and 
brotherly charity. Over and above the mere literary 
charm of his works, too — and herein, perhaps, lies no 
small part of the secret of his popularity — the warm 
heart and thoroughly urbane nature of the man are felt 
instinctively by his readers, and draw them to him as to 
a friend. 

Hence it is that we find he has been a manual with 
men the most diverse in their natures, culture, and pur- 
suits. Dante ranks him next after Homer. Montaigne, 
as might be expected, knows him by heart. Fenelon 
and Bossuet never weary of quoting him. La Fontaine 
polishes his own exquisite style upon his model; and 
Voltaire calls him "the best of preachers." Hooker 
escapes with him to the fields to seek oblivion of a hard 
life, made harder by a shrewish spouse. Lord Chester- 
field tells us, " When I talked my best I quoted Horace." 
To Boileau and to Wordsworth he is equally dear. Con- 

Causes of his Popularity. clxxxiii 

dorcet dies in his dungeon with Horace open by his side ; 
and in Gibbon's militia days, " on every march," he says, 
"in every journey, Horace was ahvays in my pocket, and 
often in my hand." And as it has been, so it is. Sir 
WiUiam Jones ahvays carried a Horace with him, and 
by his ^vill ordered that it should be buried in his coffin. 
But in this he was by no means singular. In many a 
pocket, where this might be least expected, lies a v/ell- 
thumbed Horace ; and in many a devout Christian heart 
the maxims of the gentle, genial pagan find a place near 
the higher teachings of a greater master. 

Where so much of a WTiter's charm lies, as with 
Horace, in exquisite aptness of language, and in a style 
perfect for fulness of suggestion, combined with brevity 
and grace, the task of indicating his characteristics in 
translation demands the most liberal allowance from the 
reader. " The lyrical poems of Horace," says Dr John- 
son, " never can be perfectly translated, so much of the 
excellence is in the numbers and expression," — a remark 
true of all fine poetry, which can never be ** dislimbed " 
and put together again in another language without in- 
jury more or less serious. The present writer had no 
pet theory of translation to illustrate. His sole aim has 
been to convey to the mind of an English reader the 
impression, as nearly as may be, which the originals pro- 
duce upon his own. The difficulties of such a task are 
endless. "It is impossible," says Shelley, himself one 
of the most successful of translators, " to represent in 
another language the melody of the versification; even 
the volatile strength and delicacy of the ideas escape in 
the crucible of translation, and the reader is surprised to 

clxxxiv Life of Horace. 

find a caput mortuufn." True in the case even of lan- 
guages which bear an affinity to our own, this is especially 
true where Greek or Latin poetry is concerned. The 
tone must be sufficiently modem to make the poems 
tolerable as English poems, and yet sufficiently classical 
to be characteristic, and such as the scholar will recognise 
as true. No competent translator will satisfy himself; 
still less can he expect to satisfy others. It will always 
be easy for the critic to demonstrate that Horace is un- 
translatable ; and no one is likely to be so thoroughly 
convinced of this as he who has persevered to the end 
in an attempt to translate the works of the Venusian 
bard. Still, what has been will be. The attempt, often 
made, will be as often renewed. Dulce periculum est 
The very difficulty of the task makes it attractive. Lovers 
of the poet will go on from time to time striving to trans- 
fuse the charm of his manner into English measures; and 
the many noticeable English versions which have been 
published even within the few years which have elapsed 
since the present translation of the Odes was first pub- 
lished, show that the production of a Horace, to meet 
the modem views of what a translation ought to be, is still 
a prevailing object of ambition amongst English scholars. 
The present version of the Odes grew imperceptibly 
during many years, having been nearly finished before 
the idea of a complete version occurred to the translator 
as a thing to be accomplished. The form of verse into 
which each Ode has been cast, has been generally 
selected with a view to reflecting, as closely as might 
be, what seemed to the translator to be its prevailing 
tone. It has not always been possible, however, to 

Principles of Translation. clxxxv 

follow this indication, where, as frequently happens, either 
the names of persons or places, often most intractable, 
but always important, must have been sacrificed, or a 
measure selected into which these could be interwoven. 
To be as literal and close as the difference between the 
languages would admit, has been the aim throughout. 
But there are occasions, as every scholar knows, where 
to be faithful to the letter is to be most unfaithful to the 
spirit of an author ; and where to be close is to be hope- 
lessly prosaic. Phrases, nay, single words, and names, 
rich in associations, and full of poetical suggestiveness 
in one language, are bald, if not absolutely without sig- 
nificance, in another. Besides, even under the most 
skilful hands, a thought or sentiment must at times be 
expanded or condensed to meet the necessity of the 
stanza. The triumph of the translator is, where this is 
effected without losing any of the significance, or clash- 
ing with the pervading sentiment, of the original. In 
the translations of others who have made it their aim 
to imitate the classical forms, the present translator does 
not find that, upon the whole, they escape the danger of 
either adding to or subtracting from the language of the 
original which besets the translator who adopts the more 
familiar forms of English verse. Such translators are, 
moreover, apt to forget that it is English verse, and for 
English readers, they are writing. Thus they fall into 
the vices of a hybrid style, neither Latin nor English, in 
which, to use old George Chapman's words — 

' ' They lose 
The fragrance of their natural dialect, 
And shame their authors with a forced gloze.'* 

clxxxvi Life of Horace, 

A great success may here and there be achieved, which 
at once satisfies the scholar, and charms the EngUsh 
reader. But how much more frequently does it happen 
that the result is displeasing to both ? The subtle aroma 
of expression is not to be fixed by pseudo-classical turns 
of phrase, or by artifices of rhythm, which are foreign 
to the structure and genius of our language. Unless 
a translation can commend itself to our admiration, as 
intrinsically interesting and good as a piece of harmonious 
English verse, it can never be admitted to represent what 
is in the original a masterpiece of Latin verse. 

A point of great difficulty with all translators must be 
the treatment of the lighter odes — mere vers de sociktk, 
invested by the language for us with a certain stateliness, 
but which were probably regarded with a very different 
feeling by the small contemporary circle to which they 
were addressed. To catch the tone of these, to be hght 
without being flippant, to be playful without being vulgar, 
demands a delicacy of touch which it is given to few to 
acquire even in original composition, and which in trans- 
lation is all but unattainable. Be the translator ever so 
conscientious, no amount of labour or polish can pro- 
duce an equivalent which will be accepted as wholly 

In translating the Satires and Epistles, the same prin- 
ciple of translation has been followed as in dealing with 
the Odes, close verbal rendering being less aimed at by 
the translator than the reflection to the minds of others, 
as nearly as might be, of the impression produced by the 
original upon his own. In the treatment of poems which 
Horace regarded as neither more nor less than rhythmi- 

Principles of Translation. clxxxvii 

cal prose, it is obvious that a greater freedom of hand- 
ling is not only permissible, but indispensable, than could 
be justified in the case of the Odes. In fact, without 
occasional expansion, and filling in of the links necessary 
to bring out the author's meaning and intention, it would 
be impossible to make Horace intelligible to a merely 
English reader. Even here, however, the translator is 
bound to apply to himself the rigorous axiom which 
governed Horace's own practice — 

" Prune the luxuriant, the uncouth refine, 
And show no mercy to an empty line." 

In a few instances where, for obvious reasons, a literal 
reproduction of the original was not desirable, as in the 
25th Ode of the First, and the loth Ode of the Fourth 
Books, and in occasional passages elsewhere, both in the 
Odes and Satires, the translator has not hesitated to 
make such deviations from the text as are required by 
the purer morals of the present day. For the same 
reason the 8th and 12th Epodes, and the greater portion 
of the 2d Satire of the First Book, have been altogether 
omitted. A translator of the nineteenth century must 
feel with tenfold force what QuinctiHan long ago ex- 
pressed — et Horatium 7iolim in quibusdam interpretari. 
It would be to his shame if his book were not such as 
could raise no blush on the cheek of a good woman. 

31 Onslow Square, 
October 188 1. 







^CENAS, scion of a race 

Of kings, my fortunes' crowning grace 
And constant stay, some men there are, 
Who joy to gather with the car 

Olympic dust ; and whom the goal 

By hot wheels cleared, that round it roll, 

And noble palm, can elevate 

To gods, the lords of earth's estate ! 

One feels his breast with rapture throb. 
If the Quiritians* fickle mob 
Raise him, 'mid brawl and civic roar. 
To honours doubled o'er and o'er ; 
Another if he store, and fill 
His private granaries, until 
Their teeming area contains 
The harvests of all Lybia's plains. 

Him that delights afield to moil, 
Tilling his old paternal soil. 
You ne'er could tempt, by all the pelf 
Of golden Attalus himself, 
With strong-ribbed Cyprian keel to creep. 
Where Myrtos' island waters sleep. 

To McBcenas. [book i. 

The merchant, with affright aghast, 
When Africus with furious blast 
Lashes the Icarian waves to foam, 
Extols his quiet inland home : 
But, safe in port, he straight equips 
Anew his tempest-battered ships, 
By no disasters to be taught 
Contentment with a lowly lot. 

And there be other-some are fain 
Full cups of Massic old to drain, 
Nor scorn from the unbroken day 
To snatch an hour, their limbs to lay 
'Neath leafy arbutus, or dream 
Beside some lulling fountain's stream. 

The camp makes many a heart beat high, 
The trumpet's call, the clarion's cry, 
And all the grim array of war, 
Which mothers' fearful hearts abhor. 

Regardless of his gentle bride. 
The huntsman tarries from her side, 
Though winds blow keen 'neath skies austere, 
If his stanch hounds have tracked the deer. 
Or by the meshes rent is seen 
Where late a Marsian boar hath been. 

Thee doth the ivy's wreathed bough, 
Meet guerdon of the scholar's brow, 
Commingle with the gods supreme ! 
Me groves retired from noonday's beam. 
And Nymphs that sport with Fauns along, 

ODE I.] To McBce7ias. 

If nor Euterpe hush her strain, 

Nor Polyhymnia disdain 

To strike for me her Lesbian lyre, 

And fill me with a poet's fire. 

Give me but these, and rank me 'mong 

The sacred bards of lyric song, 

I'll soar beyond the lists of time, 

And strike the stars with head sublime."* 

* A kindred aspiration, but more nobly expressed, is that of Words- 
worth ; — 

" Blessings be on them, and eternal praise, 

Who give us nobler loves, and nobler cares. 
The poets w^ho on earth have made us heirs 
Of truth and pure delight in heavenly lays ! 

Oh, might my name be numbered among theirs, 
Then gladly zoould I end my mortal days / " 



TT^ NO UGH of snow, enough of direful hail 

-"^ Hath Jove in anger showered upon the land, 

And launching havoc with his red right hand 
On tower and temple, made the city quail, — 

Made all the nations quail, lest Pyrrha's age 
Should come again, with brood of monsters strange, 
When Proteus drove his ocean-herd to range 

The mountain-tops in wondrous pilgrimage ; 

And fish were tangled in the branching elm, 

The brooding stock-dove's haunt in days of yore, 
And roe-deer swam affrighted 'mid the roar 

Of seas that did their native glades o'erwhelm. 

The yellow Tiber, with its waves hurled back 
From the Etruscan coast, have we beheld, 
Threaten the monuments of regal eld, 

And Vesta's fane, with universal wrack. 

Rising in ire, to avenge his Ilia's plaint. 

He bursts his bounds, and, stirred through all his deeps. 
O'er his left bank the uxorious river sweeps, 

Though unapproved by Jove, and spurns restraint. 

Thinned by their parents' crimes, our youth shall hear 
How Roman against Roman bared the blade. 
Which the fierce Persian fitlier low had laid, 

Shall hear, how kin met kin in conflict drear. 

ODE II. To Aitgiistiis CcBsar. 

What god shall we, to save the state from doom, 
Importune ; by what pray'r shall virgins pure 
Their Vesta's ear so long regardless lure, 

To listen to their quired hymns ? To whom 

Will Jove assign the office and the might 
To expiate our guilt ? Oh, to our pray'r. 
Augur Apollo, here at length repair. 

Veiling in clouds thy shoulders ivory-white ! 

Or, laughing Erycina, round whose head 
Boy Cupid flits and Mirth on airy wing ;* 
Or, on thine outcast sons if thou dost fling 

Some kindly glances, thou, our Founder dread. 

Sated, alas ! with war's too lengthened sport ! 
Who joy'st in gleaming helms, and battle's roar. 
And, foot to foot with foemen dyed in gore, 

The Marsian's flashing eye, and fateful port ! 

Or else do thou, sweet Maia's winged child, 
Doffing the God, descend to earth, and wear 
The form of youth, Caesar's avenger, there 

While thou abid'st, submitting to be styled ! 

Long, long to heav'n be thy return delayed. 
Long, long may'st thou well pleased beside us stay. 
And no fell air waft thee from earth away 

At our dark crimes indignant and dismayed ! 

Rather lead mighty triumphs here as now, 
Joy to be called our Prince and Father here, 
Nor let the Median unchastised career 

Where Romans sway,— our leader, Caesar, thou ! 

* "And all about her neck and shoulders flew 
A flock of little Loves and Sports and Joys, 
With nimble wings of gold and purple hue." 

—Spenser's Fairy Queen, iv. x. 42 



TV /T AY the great goddess-queen of Cyprus isle, 
-'■'■'■ And Helen's brothers, those twin cressets fair, 
And he that rules the winds, propitious smile. 

All save lapyx chaining in their lair, 
And govern so thy course, O bark, that thou 

Mayest waft in safety to Athene's shore 
My Virgil, to thy care intrusted now. 

And to its love my soul's dear half restore; 

In oak or triple brass his breast was mailed. 

Who first committed to the ruthless deep 
His fragile skiff, nor inly shrank and quailed, 

To hear the headlong Afric fiercely sweep 
With northern blasts to wrestle and to rave, 

Nor feared to face the tristful Hyades, 
And Notus tyrant of the Adrian wave. 

That lifts, or calms at will the restless seas.* 

What form of death could daunt his soul, who viewed 
Ocean's dread shapes, nor turned his eyes away, 

Its surging waves, and with disaster strewed 
Thy fated rocks, Acroceraunia ? 

* ' ' First came great Neptune with his three-forked mace, 
That rules the seas, and makes them rise or fall." 

— Fairy Queen, iv. ii. 2. 

ODE III.] To VirgiVs Ship. 

Vainly hath Jove in wisdom land from land 
By seas dissevered wild and tempest-tossed, 

If vessels bound, despite his high command, 
O'er waters purposed never to be crossed. 

Presumptuous man, in insolence of soul. 

Sweeps to his aim through sacrilege and crime ; 
Heaven's fire for us the bold Prometheus stole 

By fraud unhallowed in the olden time ; 
Then wasting agues, hectic fevers smote 

The earth, and hosts of new-born terrors spread ; 
And Death, till then forgetful and remote, 

Quickened his slow, inevitable tread ! 

On wings that were forbid to mortals durst 

Vain Daedalus to cleave the void of air; 
Through fateful Acheron Alcides burst : 

Nought is too arduous for man to dare. 
In our unbounded folly we iaspire 

To heaven itself \ and such our guilty pride, 
We will not let great Jove forget his ire, 

Nor lay his vengeful thunderbolts aside. 




A S biting Winter flies, lo, Spring with sunny skies, 
-^^ And balmy airs ! and barks long dry put out again 

from shore ; 
Now the ox forsakes his byre, and the husbandman his fire. 
And daisy-dappled meadows bloom where winter frosts 
lay hoar.* 

By Cytherea led, while the moon* shines overhead, 
The Nymphs and Graces, hand in hand, with alternating 
Shake the ground, while swinking Vulcan strikes the sparkles 
fierce and red 
From the forges of the Cyclops, with reiterated beat. 

'Tis the time with myrtle green to bind our glistening locks. 
Or with flowers, wherein the loosened earth herself hath 
newly dressed, 

And to sacrifice to Faunus in some glade amidst the rocks 
A yearling lamb, or else a kid, if such delight him best. 

Death comes alike to all — to the monarch's lordly hall. 
Or the hovel of the beggar, and his summons none shall stay. 

O Sestius, happy Sestius ! use the moments as they pass ; 
Far-reaching hopes are not for us, the creatures of a day. 

* "Joyous, the impatient husbandman perceives 
Relenting Nature, and his lusty steers 
Drives from their stalls, to where the well-used plough 
Lies in the furrow, loosened from the frost." 

— Thomson's Seasons: " Spring." 

ODE v.] To Pyrrha. 1 1 

Thee soon shall night enshroud ; and the Manes' phantom 

And the starveling house unbeautiful of Pluto shut thee in ; 
And thou shalt not banish care by the ruddy wine-cup there, 

Nor woo the gentle Lycidas, whom all are mad to win. 



T3YRRHA, what slender boy, in perfume steeped, 
-■- Doth in the shade of some delightful grot 
Caress thee now on couch with roses heaped ? 
For whom dost thou thine amber tresses knot 

With all thy seeming-artless grace ? Ah me. 

How oft will he thy perfidy bewail. 
And joys all flown, and shudder at the sea 

Rough with the chafing of the blust'rous gale, 

Who now, fond dreamer, revels in thy charms ; 

Who all unweeting how the breezes veer, 
Hopes still to find a welcome in thine arms 

As warm as now, and thee as loving-dear ! 

Ah, woe for those, on whom thy spell is flung 

My votive tablet, in the temple set, 
Proclaims that I to ocean's god have hung 

The vestments in my shipwreck smirched and wet.* 

* "Then when I shall myself in safety see, 
A table, for eternal moniment 
Of thy great grace, and my great jeopardy, 
Great Neptune, I avow to hallow unto thee," 

—Fairy Queen, ill. iv. lo. 




"D Y Varius shall thy prowess be 
•■--' In strains Masonic chanted, 
The victories by land and sea, 
Our gallant troops, led on by thee. 
Have won with swords undaunted. 

Such themes, Agrippa, never hath 

My lyre essayed, nor bold 
Pelides' unrelenting wrath. 
Nor artfullest Ulysses' path 

O'er oceans manifold ; 

Nor woes of Pelops' fated line ; 

Such flights too soaring are i 
Nor doth my bashful Muse incline, 
Great Caesar's eulogies and thine 

With its thin notes to mar.-^ 

Who, who shall sing, with accents just, 

Mars' adamantine mail, 
Or Merion, grimed with Trojan dust, 
Or him who, strong in Pallas' trust, 

Made even Immortals quail ? 

"O sovereign queen, whose praise I would indite, 
Indite I would as duty doth excite ; 
But ah ! my rhymes too rude and rugged are, 
When in so high an object they do light, 
And, striving fit to make, I fear do mar." 

— Fairy Queen, III. ii, 3. 

ODE VII.] To Munatms Pla7ictis. 1 3 

Heart-whole, or pierced by Cupid's sting, 

We in our airy way 
Of banquets and of maidens sing, 
With pared nails coyly skirmishing, 

To keep young men at bay. 



Q OME will laud fair Mytilene,— 
"^ Rhodes, where many wonders be, 
Some great Ephesus, or Corinth 

Watered by its double sea ; 
Thebes renowned for Bacchus, Delphi 

Famous for Apollo's shrine, 
Others praise Thessalian Tempe, 

And its thousand charms divine ; 
Some the towers of spotless Pallas 

Chant, nor ask another theme, 
Thence to pluck an olive garland 

All their pride and all their dream. 
Many a bard, in Juno's honour. 

Makes the burden of his lyre 
Rich Mycenae, grassy Argos, 

Famous for its steeds of fire. 

Me nor patient Lacedemon, 

Nor Larissa's fertile plain. 
Like Albunea's echoing fountain 

All my inmost heart hath ta'en. 

14 To Munatius Plaitcus. [book i. 

Give me Anio's headlong torrent, 
And Tiburnus' grove and hills, 

And its orchards sparkling dewy 
With a thousand wimpling rills ! 

As the sunny south wind often 

Sweeps the louring clouds away. 
Nor with showers unceasing ever 

Loads the long and dreary day, 
Plancus, so do thou remember 

Still to cheer with balmy wine 
All the care and grief and travail 

Of this toil worn life of thine ; 
Whether in the thronged camp, gleaming 

With a thousand spears, or laid 
On the turf beneath the umbrage 

Of thy loved Tiburtine glade. 

Teucer, though an outcast hunted 

From his native Salamis, 
Hunted by a father's anger, 

Natheless — as the legend is — 
bn his forehead wet with revel 

First a wreath of poplar bound. 
Then his comrades thus accosted, 

As they sadly stood around : 
" Wheresoever Fortune, kinder 

Than my sire, our voyage bends, 
Thither shall we go together, 

O my comrades, brothers, friends ! 
Teucer for your leader, — marshalled 

Under Teucer's guiding star. 
What shall stay, or what shall daunt us ? 

Hence, then, craven fears, afar ! 

ODE VIII.] To Lydia. 1 5 

For I hold Apollo's promise, 

That in other climes a new 
Salamis shall rise around us, 

Fairer, nobler to the view ! 
Now, ye brave hearts, that have weathered 

Many a sorer strait with me. 
Chase your cares with wine, — to-morrow 

We shall plough the mighty sea ! " 



VXTHY, Lydia, why, 

* * I pray, by all the gods above. 
Art so resolved that Sybaris should die, 
And all for love? 

Why doth he shun 
The Campus Martius' sultry glare ? 

He that once recked of neither dust nor sun, 
Why rides he there, 

First of the brave. 
Taming the Gallic steed no more ? 

Why doth he shrink from Tiber's yellow wave ? 
Why thus abhor 

As 'twere from viper's tongue distilled ? 
Why do his arms no livid bruises soil, 
He, once so skilled, 

1 6 To Thaliarchus. [booki. 

The disc or dart 
Far, far beyond the mark to hurl ? 

And tell me, tell me, in what nook apart, 
Like baby-girl, 

Lurks the poor boy. 
Veiling his manhood, as did Thetis' son, 

To 'scape war's bloody clang, while fated Troy 
Was yet undone ? 



O EE, Thaliarch, see, across the plain 
^^ Soracte white with snow ! 
Scarce may the labouring woods sustain 
Their load, and locked in icy chain 
The streams have ceased to flow. 

Logs on the fire, your biggest, fling, 

To thaw the pinching cold, 
And from the time to take its sting 
A pipkin forth of Sabine bring 

Four mellowing summers old. 

All else unto the Gods leave we ; 

When they have stilled the roar 
Of winds that with the yeasty sea 
Conflict and brawl, the cypress-tree, 

The old ash shake no more. 

ODE IX.] To Thaliarchiis. 17 

What with to-morrow comes forbear 

To ask,* and count as gain 
Each day fate grants, ere time and care 
Have chilled thy blood, and thinned thy hair 

Love's sweets do not disdain ; 

Nor, boy, disdain the dance ! For, mark, 

Now is thy time to take 
Joy in the play, the crowded park. 
And those low whispers in the dark. 

Which trysting lovers make ; 

In the sweet laugh, that marks the spot 

Where hid the fair one lies,t 
The token from the wrist besought. 
Or from the finger wrung, that not 

Too cruelly denies.Ij: 

' ' What need a man forestall his date of grief, 
And run to meet what he should most avoid? " 

—Milton's Cotnus, 362. 

"She feigns a laugh to see me search around, 
And by that laugh the wiUing nymph is found." 


' Well-pleased I hear the whispered ' No 1 ' 
The whispered ' No ! ' — how little meant ; 
Sweet falsehood, that endears consent." 


VOL. I. 



TV yT ERCURIUS, Atlas' grandchild eloquent, 
iVX Who didst to gentle ways man's primal race 
By language mould, and their uncouth limbs lent 
The gymnast's grace, 

Herald of mighty Jove, and all the gods, 
Lord of the curved lyre, who canst at will 
Filch for thy sport, whate'er may be the odds, 
I'll hymn thee still ! 

When with loud threats he charged thee to forego 
The kine, thy impish craft from him had wiled, 
Even while he spoke, of quiver reft and bow, 
Apollo smiled. 

Quitting his halls, by thee rich Priam led 
Stole past the watch-fires round Troy's leaguered wall, 
And through the Grecian camp in safety sped, 
Unseen of all. 

Thou guid'st to bliss the spirits of the just, 
Driving the phantoms with thy golden rod. 
In heaven and hell beloved and held in trust 
By every god ! 



ASK not— such lore's forbidden— 
What destined term may be 
Within the future hidden, 
For us, Leuconoe. 
Both thou and I 
Must quickly die ! 
Content thee, then, nor madly hope 
To wrest a false assurance from Chaldean horoscope.* 

Far nobler, better were it. 

Whatever may be in store. 
With soul serene to bear it ; 
If winters many more 
Jove spare for thee, 
Or this shall be 
The last, that now with sullen roar 
Scatters the Tuscan surge in foam upon the rock-bound shore. 

* " When all looks fair about, and thou seest not a cloud so big as a 
hand to threaten thee, forget not the wheel of things ; think of sullen 
vicissitudes, but beat not thy brains to foreknow them. Be armed 
against such obscurities rather by submission than foreknowledge. The 
knowledge of future evils mortifies present felicities, and there is more 
content in the uncertainty or ignorance of them. This favour our 
Saviour vouchsafed unto Peter when He foretold not His death in plain 
terms, and so by an ambiguous and cloudy delivery damped not the spirit 
of His disciples. But in the assured foreknowledge of the deluge Noah 
lived many years under the affliction of a flood; and Jerusalem was 
taken unto Jeremy before it was besieged. "—Sir T. Browne's Christian 
Morals, part iii.,§ i6. 

20 To Leuconbe. [book i. 

Be wise, your spirit firing 

With cups of tempered wine, 
And hopes afar aspiring 
In compass brief confine. 
Use all life's powers ; 
The envious hours 
Fly as we talk ; * then live to-day, 
Nor fondly to to-morrow trust more than you must or may. 

* ' ' For though we slepe or wake, or rome or ride, 
Ay fieeth the time, it will no man abide." 

—Chaucer, The Clerk's Tale. 

' ' Let's take the instant by the forward top ! 

On our quick'st decrees 

The inaudible and noiseless foot of time 
Steals ere we can effect them." 

—All's Well that Ends Well, Act v. Sc. 3. 




"IT THAT man, what hero, Clio, wilt thou sing, 
^ ^ With lyre or fluting shrill ? 
What god, whose name shall sportive echo ring 

On Helicon's umbrageous hill, 
Or Pindus' steepy crest, or Haemus ever chill ? 

Whose groves reeled after Orpheus, and his song. 

Who by its spell could stay 
The rushing sweep of streams and tempests strong. 

And by his tuneful harpings sway 
The listening oaks to move where'er he led the way. 

What shall I sing before his praise, who reigns 

The world's great sire, and guides 
Of men and gods the pleasures and the pains. 

Who rules the land and ocean's tides, 
And change of seasons meet for the vast earth provides ? 

From whom springs none that mightier is than he, 

Nor other can we trace, 
Of equal might, or second in degree ; 

Yet Pallas fills the honoured place 
Next to her sire, upraised o'er all the Olympian race. 

Nor Bacchus, bold in battle, shall thy fame 

My numbers fail to show. 
And, virgin huntress of the woods, thy name 

In answering strains shall flow. 
And thine, Apollo, thine, god of the unerring bow ! 

22 To Augustus. [book I. 

Alcides, too, and Leda's sons I'll sound, 

Illustrious twins, that are 
For wrestling this, that for the race renowned, 

Soon as whose kindly star 
Upon the shipman gleams, amid the tempest's war 

Down from the rocks the weltering surges fall, 

The winds in zephyrs creep. 
Back from the sky is rolled its cloudy pall, 

And far along the deep 
The threatening waves— for so they will— are lulled to sleep. 

What next shall fill the burden of my strain, 

I wist not to decide ; 
Or Romulus, or Numa's tranquil reign, 

Or Tarquin in his pride. 
Or him of Utica, the brave, that nobly died. 

Next Regulus, and the Scauri, Paulus too. 

That flung his soul away. 
His mighty soul, when Punic foes o'erthrew 

Our strength that fatal day. 
With grateful pride I'll chant in my undying lay; 

Fabricius too, and Curius of the locks 

Unkempt, — Camillus, — all 
Nurtured to warfare by the daily shocks 

Of penury, in the small 
Paternal farm and cot that made of wealth their all.* 

' Plenty and peace breeds cowards ; hardness ever 
Of hardiness is mother." 

— Cymbdine, Act in. Sc. 6, 

ODE XII . ] To A ugustus. 2 3 

With growth occult expands, like lusty tree, 

The young Marcellus' fame : "^ 
The Julian star's serene resplendency 

All other stars doth shame, 
As quells the lesser fires the Moon's triumphant flame. 

Thou sire and guardian of all human kind, 

Saturnian Jove, to thee 
The care of mighty Caesar was assigned 

By destiny, and he 
Next to thyself in power our sovereign lord shall be. 

Whether he quell the Parthian threatening spoil 

To Latium' sons, and lead 
The foe, that would insult our natal soil, 

In triumph, — or the Mede 
Subdue, and other foes, the distant Ind doth breed 

Next under thee, his righteous hand shall make 

The world his rule obey ; 
Olympus thou with thy dread car shalt shake, 

Thou shalt thy bolts array 
Against the groves, wherein foul orgies shrink from day. 

♦ So the Bishop of Ely, speaking of the development in King Henry 
V. of the powers and virtues, which had never been surmised in Prince 
Hal, says :— 

' ' The prince obscured his contemplation 
Under the veil of wildness ; which, no doubt, 
Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night, 
U?iseen, yet crescive in its faculty." 

— Henry F., Act i. Sc. r. 




T YD I A, when so oft the charms 
•*— ' Of Telephus you bid me note, 
Taunt me with his snowy arms, 

Rosy cheek, and shapely throat, 
Within my breast I feel the fires 
Of wild and desperate desires. 

Then reels my brain, then on my cheek 
The shifting colour comes and goes, 

And tears, that flow unbidden, speak 
The torture of my inward throes. 

The fierce unrest, the deathless flame. 

That slowly macerates my frame. 

Oh agony ! to trace where he 

Has smutched thy shoulders ivory-white 

Amid his tipsy revelry ; 

Or where, in trance of fierce delight, 

Upon thy lips the frenzied boy 

Has left the records of his joy.* 

* The allusions to this tiger-like ferocity of tenderness are frequent in 
both ancient and modern poets. Thus Plautus speaks of Teneris labcllis 
molles morsiu7iculcB — the dainty nibbles of fond lips. Again, Tibullus, 
recounting the many proofs of his affection which he had given to the 
inconstant Delia, takes credit for having taught her how to obliterate 
the traces of wounds inflicted in such amorous encounters : — 
' ' Tiini succos herhasque dedi, quels livor abiret, 
Quern facit impresso muttia deiite Venus." 

— Eleg. I. vi. 1. i^. 

ODE XIII.] . To Lydia. 25 

Hope not such love can last for aye 
(But thou art deaf to words of mine !) 

Such selfish love, as ruthlessly 

Could wound those kisses all divine, 

Which Venus steeps in sweets intense 

Of her own nectar's quintessence. 

Oh, trebly blest, and blest for ever. 
Are they, whom true affection binds. 

No cold distrusts nor janghngs sever 
The union of their constant minds. 

But life in blended current flows. 

Serene and sunny to the close ! 

' ' Then herbs and balms I gave thee, to dispel 
Those livid marks, that do the skin distain, 

When lovers bite, where kisses thickly fell. 
Stamping their poignant ecstasy in pain." 

So, too, Shakespeare with peculiar fitness puts into Cleopatra's mouth 
allusions to her experiences in this direction, in the first heyday of her 
passion for Antony, and again when signalising her constancy to him 
by her death : — 

"Think on me, 
That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black." 

— Ajitofty and Cleopatra, Act I. So. 5. 
"The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch, 
That hurts and is desired." 

- Ibid., Act v. Sc. 2. 




/^ BARK, fresh waves shall hurry thee, 
^^^ Yet once again, far out to sea ; 
Beware, beware ; and boldly seize 
The port, where thou mayest ride at ease ! 
Dost thou not see, thy side is shorn 
Of all its oars, thy mainmast torn, 
And hear thy lanyards moan and shriek, 
And all thy straining timbers creak, 
Too frail to meet the surge around, 
Though plank to plank with cables bound ? 
Thy sails are rent ; nor gods hast thou 
When danger threats, to hear thy vow ; 
Although thou art a Pontic pine, 
A woodland child of noble line. 
Vain, vain amid the tempest's rage 
Such vaunted name and lineage ! 
No trust hath fearful marine re 
In gilded prow ; so thou beware ! 
Unless it be thy doom to form 
The sport and pastime of the storm. 
O thou, that erewhile wert to me 
A heavy-sad anxiety, 
And now my dream, my passion art, 
The care that chiefly fills my heart. 
Oh, be advised, and shun the seas. 
That wash the shining Cyclades ! 




A S the treacherous shepherd bore over the deep 
"^ ^ His hostess, fair Helena, Nereus arose, 
Hushed the war of the winds for a season to sleep, 
And thus sang the doom of retributive woes : 

" Thou bearest her home with an omen of dread, 
Whom Greece shall reclaim, with her myriads vowed 

To tear by the sword thy false mate from thy bed, 
And crush Priam's empire, the ancient, the proud. 

" Horse and man, how they labour ! What deaths shall 

And all for thy crime, the Dardanians in night ! 
See Pallas preparing her a^gis and helm. 

Her chariot, and all the fierce frenzy of fight ! 

" Go, trim as thou wilt, boy, thy loose-flowing curls, 
Go, vaunt thee, that Venus will shield thee from wrong, 

And, laid with thy lute 'midst a bevy of girls, 
Troll measures effeminate all the day long. 

" Ay, hide an' thou mayst in the couch of thy lust 

From the death-dealing spear, and the arrows of Crete, 

From the roar of the battle, its carnage, its dust. 
And Ajax pursuing, remorseless and fleet ! 

28 TJie Prophecy of Nereiis. [book i. 

" Yet in gore thy adulterous locks shall be rolled, 
Full surely, though late. Lo, the scourge of thy race, 

Laertiades ! Dost thou not see him? Behold ! 
And Pylian Nestor ! — And see, on thy trace 

" Rushes Teucer of Salamis, dauntless and fell, 
And Sthenelus, skilful in combat, nor less 

In ruling the war-steed expert to excel, 
And close on thy track, too, shall Merion press ! 

'* Lo, Tydides, surpassing his father in might, 
Athirst for thy life-blood, with furious cheer 

Is hunting thee out through the thick of the fight. 
While before him thou fly'st, like a timorous deer, 

'•' Who, espying a wolf on the brow of the hill, 

Flies far from the pasture, with heart-heaving pants ! 

Is it thus that thy leman shall see thee fulfil 
The promise of all thy presumptuous vaunts ? 

" The wrath of Achilles shall stay for a while 
The downfall of I lion, and Phrygia's dames,— 

Yet a few winters more, and her funeral pile 
In ashes shall fall 'midst Achaian flames !"' 




/^ THOU, than thy beautiful mother that still 
^-^ More beautiful art, for all men to admire. 
My scurrilous verses destroy how you will, 
Deep drown them in ocean, or quench them in fire ! 

Dindymend herself, nor the Pythian, when 

He convulses his priests with the fury prophetic, 

Nor Bacchus, nor Corybants, clashing again 

And again their wild cymbals, such fervour phrenetic 

Can move as fell rage ; which no terrors can tame, 
Neither Norican glaive, nor the ocean bestrewed 

With wreck and disaster, nor merciless flame. 

Nor the thunders of Jove in his vengefullest mood. 

Tis the curse of our birth ; for Prometheus, they say. 
Compelled from all beasts some particular part 

To select for his work, to our primitive clay 
Imparted the lion's impetuous heart. 

Rage drew on Thyestes the vengeance of heaven, 
Through rage have been levelled the loftiest halls 

And cities high-famous, and ploughshares been driven 
By insolent enemies over their walls. 

But rest thee at ease ! In youth's pleasant spring-time 
The shafts of my passion at random I flung, 

And dashing headlong into petulant rhyme 

I recked neither where nor how fiercely I stung. 

30 To Tyndaris. [book i. 

But a kindlier mood hath my passion supplanted, 
And music more gentle shall flow from my lute, 

Wouldst thou make me thy friend, — my vile libels recanted, — 
And smile with reciprocal love on my suit ! 


MY own sweet Lucretilis ofttime can lure 
From his native Lycseus kind Faunus the fleet, 
To watch o'er my flocks, and to keep them secure 
From summer's fierce winds, and its rains, and its heat. 

Then the mates of a lord of too pungent a fragrance 
Securely through brake and o'er precipice climb, 

And crop, as they wander in happiest vagrance. 
The arbutus green, and the sweet-scented thyme. 

Nor murderous wolf, nor green snake may assail 
My innocent kidlings, dear Tyndaris, when 

His pipings resound through Ustica's low vale, 
Till each mossed rock in music makes answer again. 

The muse is still dear to the gods, and they shield 
Me their dutiful bard ; with a bounty divine 

They have blessed me with all that the country can yield, 
Then come, and whatever I have shall be thine ! 

Here screened from the dog-star, in valley retired, 

Shalt thou sing that old song thou canst warble so well, 

Which tells how one passion Penelope fired. 
And charmed fickle Circe herself by its spell. 

ODE XVIII.] To Varus. 31 

Here cups shalt thou sip, 'neath the broad-spreading shade, 
Of the innocent vintage of Lesbos at ease, > 

No fumes of hot ire shall our banquet invade, ^ 

Or mar that sweet festival under the trees. 

And fear not, lest Cyrus, that jealous young bear, 
On thy poor little self his rude fingers should set. 

Should pluck from thy bright locks the chaplet, and tear 
Thy dress, that ne'er harmed him nor any one yet. 



LET the vine, dearest Varus, the vine be the first 
-* Of all trees to be planted, of all to be nursed. 
On thy well-sheltered acres, round Catilus' walls, 
Where the sun on the green slopes of Tivoli falls ! 
For to him who ne'er moistens his lip with the grape 
Life's every demand wears a terrible shape. 
And wine, and wine only, has magic to scare 
Despondency's gloom or the torments of care. 
Who's he that, with wine's joyous fumes in his brain, 
Of the travails of war, or of want will complain 
Nor rather, sire Bacchus, thy eulogies chant. 
Or thine, Venus, thine, ever beautiful, vaunt ? 

Yet, that none may be tempted to slight the control 
That limits the boon to a temperate bowl, 
A warning is set in the wine-kindled strife, 
Where the Centaurs and Lapithas grappled for life ; 

32 To Varus. [book i. 

In the madmen of Thrace, too, a warning is set, 
Who, lost in their Bacchanal frenzy, forget 
The bounds that dissever the right from the wrong, 
And sweep on the tide of their passions along. 

Bright god of the vine, I never will share 
In orgies so vile and unholy, nor tear 
The clusters of various foliage away, 
That keep thy blest mysteries veiled from the day. 
Then clash not the cymbals, and wind not the horn, 
Dread sounds, of whose maddening accents are born 
Blind Self-love, and Vanity lifting on high 
Its feather-brained head, as 'twould strike at the sky, 
And Frankness, transparent as crystal, that shows 
In its babbling incontinence all that it knows. 




nr*HE ruthless mother of wild desires, 
-*- And Theban Semele's fervent son, 
And wanton idlesse have kindled fires 

Within me, 1 dreamed I had long outrun. 
I am maddened by Glycera's beauty's blaze, — 

The marble of Paros is dull beside it — 
By her pretty, provoking, and petulant ways. 

And face too dazzling for eye to 'bide it. 

Into me rushing, hath Venus quite 

Forsaken her Cyprus, nor lets me chant 
The Scyths and the Parthians, dauntless in flight. 

Nor aught that to Love is irrelevant. 
Hither, boys, turf of the freshest bring, 

Vervain, and incense, and wine unstinted ! 
The goddess less fiercely my heart shall sting, 

When the victim's gore hath her altar tinted. 





/^UR common Sabine wine shall be 
^-^ The only drink I'll give to thee. 

In modest goblets too ; 
'Twas stored in crock of Grecian delf, 
Dear knight Maecenas, by myself, 

That very day, when through 
The theatre thy plaudits rang, 
And sportive echo caught the clang, 

And answered from the banks 
Of thine own dear paternal stream, 
Whilst Vatican renewed the theme 

Of homage and of thanks ! 
Old Caecuban, the very best. 
And juice in vats Calenian pressed 

You drink at home, I know : 
My cups no choice Falernian fills, 
Nor unto them do Formia's hills 

Impart a tempered glow. 





"XZE tender virgins fair, 

-*- To great Diana sing, 
Ye boys, to Cynthius of the unshorn hair, 
Your dulcet anthems bring, 
And let Latona mingle with your theme, 
That dearer is than all to Jove, Heaven's lord supreme ! 

Her praises sing, ye maids. 

Who doth in streams delight, 
In whispering groves, and intertangled glades, 
On Algidus' cool height, 
Or Erymanthus with its dusky pines, 
Or where with verdure bright the leafy Cragus shines. 

Ye boys, in numbers meet. 

Fair Tempe's praises chant, 
Delos, that was Apollo's natal seat, 
And loved peculiar haunt ; 
Sing, too, his quiver with its golden gleams, 
And lyre, his brother's gift, that from his shoulder beams ! 

Moved by your prayers he will 

Banish distressful war, 
Famine, and pestilence, and their trains of ill 
From our loved Rome afar. 
And from great Ccesar, scattering their blight. 
The Persian's pride to quell, or Britain's chainless might. 




TpUSCUS, the man of life upright and pure 
-*• Needeth nor javelin, nor bow of Moor, 
Nor arrows tipped with venom deadly-sure, 
Loading his quiver ; 

Whether o'er Afric's burning sands he rides, 
Or frosty Caucasus' bleak mountain-sides, 
Or wanders lonely, where Hydaspes glides, 
That storied river.* 

For as I strayed along the Sabine wood, 
Singing my Lalage in careless mood, 
Lo, all at once a wolf before me stood, 
Then turned and fled : 

Creature so huge did warlike Daunia ne'er 
Engender in her forests' wildest lair. 
Not Juba's land, parched nurse of lions, e'er 
Such monster bred. 

Place me, where no life-laden summer breeze 
Freshens the meads, or murmurs 'mongst the trees, 
Where clouds oppress, and withering tempests freeze 
From shore to shore. 

* "She that has that is clad in complete steel, 
And like a quivered Nymph, with arrows keen, 
May trace huge forests and unharboured heaths, 
Infamous hills, and sandy perilous wilds." 

— Comtis, 421. 

ODE XXII.] To Ai'isttus FiLscus. ' 37 

Place me beneath the sunbeams' fiercest glare, 
On arid sands, no dwelling anywhere, 
Still Lalage's sweet smile, sweet voice even there 
I will adore.''^ 

Cowper has imitated this verse :— 

" Place me where Winter breathes his keenest air, 
And I will sing, if Liberty be there ; 
And I will sing ^t Liberty's dear feet, 
In Afric's torrid clime, or India's fiercest heat." 

—Table Talk. 

" By night, by day, a-field, at hame. 
The thoughts o' thee my breast inflame, 
And aye I muse and sing thy name, 
I only Uve to love thee. 

" Though I were doomed to wander on, 
Beyond the sea, beyond the sun, 
Till my last weary sand was run. 
Till then, and then I love thee." 





"\ T AY, hear me, dearest Chloe, pray ! 
•^ ^ You shun me hke a timid fawn, 
That seeks its mother all the day 

By forest brake and upland lawn, 
Of every passing breeze afraid, 
And leaf that twitters in the glade. 

Let but the wind with sudden rush 
The whispers of the wood awake, 

Or lizard green disturb the hush, 

Quick-darting through the grassy brake, 

The foolish frightened thing will start, 

With trembling knees and beating heart * 

* The same idea has been beautifully worked out by Spenser, in 
whom, and in Milton, the influence of Horace's poetry is perhaps more 
frequently traceable than in any of our poets : — 

" Like as an hynde forth singled from the herde, 

That hath escaped from a ravenous beast. 

Yet flies away, of her own feet afearde ; 

And every leaf, that shaketh with the least 

Murmure of winde, her terror hath encreast ; 

So fled fayre Florimel from her vaine feare, 

Long after she from perill was releast ; 

Each shade she saw, and each noyse she did heare, 
Did seeme to be the same, which she escaypt whileare." 

— Fai'ry Queen, III. vii. i. 

ODE XXI v.] To Virgil. 39 

But I am neither lion fell, 
Nor tiger grim to work you woe ; 

I love you, sweet one, much too well, 
Then cling not to your mother so, 

But to a lover's tender arms 

Confide your ripe ahd rosy charms. 



"I T ^HY should we stem the tears that needs must flow, 
^ * Why blush, that they should freely flow and long, 
To think of that dear head in death laid low ? 

Do thou inspire my melancholy song, 
Melpomene, in whom the Muses' sire 
Joined with a liquid voice the mastery of the lyre ! 

And hath the sleep that knows no waking morn 
Closed o'er Quinctilius, our Quinctilius dear ? 

Where shall be found the man of woman born 
That in desert might be esteemed his peer, — 

Sincere as he, and resolutely just, 

So high of heart, and all so absolute of trust ? 

He sinks into his rest, bewept of many. 
And but the good and noble weep for him, 

But dearer cause thou, Virgil, hast than any, 
With friendship's tears thy friendless eyes to dim ! 

Alas, alas ! Not to such woeful end 

Didst thou unto the gods thy prayers unceasing send ! 

40 To Virgil, [book i. 

What though thou modulate the tuneful shell 
With defter skill than Orpheus of old Thrace, 

When deftliest he played, and with its spell 
Moved all the listening forest from its place ? 

Yet never, never can thy art avail 

To bring life's glowing tide back to the phantom pale, 

Whom with his black inexorable wand 

Hermes, austere and pitiless as fate. 
Hath forced to join the dark and spectral band 

In their sad journey to the Stygian gate. 
'Tis hard, great heavens, how hard ! But to endure 
Alleviates the pang we may nor crush nor cure ! * 

* Plautus had expressed this venerable truism in nearly the same 
language : — 

" Optimum est pati, quod emendare non possis.^' 

— Capt. 2. 1. I. 
" 'Tis best to bear with what you cannot mend." 

Virgil with his usual skill lifted the idea above the level of common- 
place, thus : — 

" Superanda omnis fort una ferendo est." 

—^n. V. 710. 

Which Campbell has translated to perfection in the line — 
" To bear is to conquer our fate." 




SWAINS in numbers 
Break your slumbers, 
Saucy Lydia, now but seldom, 
Ay, though at your casement nightly, 
Tapping loudly, tapping lightly. 
By the dozen once ye held them. 

Ever turning. 
Night and morning. 
Swung your door upon its hinges ; 

Now, from dawn till evening's closing, 
Lone and desolate reposing, 
Not a soul its rest infringes. 

Sweet invaders, 
S canter grow, and daily scanter, 
Singing, "Lydia, art thou sleeping? 
Lonely watch thy love is keeping ! 
Wake, oh wake, thou dear enchanter ! " 

Lorn and faded. 
You, as they did. 
Woo, and in your turn are slighted ; 
Worn and torn by passion's fret, 
You, the pitiless coquette. 
Waste by fires yourself have lighted, 

42 To his Muse. [book i. 

Late relenting, 
Left lamenting — 
" Withered leaves strew wintry brooks ! 
Ivy garlands greenly darkling, 
Myrtles brown with dewdrops sparkling, 
Best beseem youth's glowing looks !" 



T) ELOVED by and loving the Muses, 
-*-^ I fling all my sorrow and care 
To the wind, that wherever it chooses 

The troublesome freight it may bear. 
I care not — not I — not a stiver. 

Who in Scythia frozen and drear 
'Neath the scourge of a tyrant may shiver, 

Or who keeps Tiridates in fear. 

O thou in pure springs who delightest, 

Twine flowers of the sunniest glow. 
Twine, gentle Pimplea, the brightest 

Of wreaths for my Lamia's brow. 
Without thee unskilled are my numbers ; 

Then thou and thy sisterly choir 
For him wake the music that slumbers 

Unknown in the Lesbian lyre ? 




T T OLD ! hold ! 'Tis for Thracian madmen to fight 
-*■ -^ With wine-cups, that only were made for delight. 
'Tis barbarous — brutal ! I beg of you all, 
Disgrace not our banquet with bloodshed and brawl ! 

Sure Median scimitars strangely accord 
With lamps and with wine at the festival board ! 
'Tis out of all rule ! Friends, your places resume, 
And let us have order once more in the room ! 

If I am to join you in pledging a beaker 
Of this stout Falernian, choicest of liquor, 
Megilla's fair brother must say, from what eyes 
Flew the shaft, sweetly fatal, that causes his sighs. 

How— dumb ! Then I drink not a drop. Never blush, 
Whoever the fair one may be, man ! Tush, tush ! 
She'll do your taste credit, I'm certain — for yours 
Was always select in its little amours. 

Don't be frightened ! We're all upon honour, you know, 
So out with your tale ! Gracious powers ! Is it so.'* 
Poor fellow ! Your lot has gone sadly amiss. 
When you fell into such a Charybdis as this ! 

What witch, what magician, with drinks and with charms, 
What god can effect your release from her harms ? 
So fettered, scarce Pegasus' self, were he near you. 
From the fangs of this triple Chimaera might clear you ! 





nPHEE, O Archytas, who hast scanned 
-■- The wonders of the world by sea and land, 
The lack of some few grains 
Of scattered dust detains 
A shivering phantom here upon Matinum's strand. 
And it avails thee nothing, that thy soul, 
Death's sure-devoted prey, 
Soared to the regions of eternal day, 
Where wheeling spheres in silvery brightness roll. 


What then ! E'en Pelops' sire, the guest 
Of gods, to Orcus sank, by death oppressed, 
And old Tithonus, too. 
Though heavenly air he drew. 
And Minos stern, who shared the secrets of Jove's breast. 
There, too, Panthoides, once more immured. 
Roams, though his spirit's pride 
All save this fading flesh to death denied. 
By his old Trojan shield deceitfully assured 

And he, even thou wilt grant me, was 

Not meanly versed in truth and nature's laws. 

But for us all doth stay 

One night, and death's dark way 
Must needs be trodden once, howe'er we pause. 

ODE XXVIII.] Archytas. ' 45 

The Furies some to Mars' grim sport consign, 

The hungry waves devour 

The seaman, young and old drop hour by hour, 
No single head is spared by ruthless Proserpine. 

Me, too, the headlong gust, 
That dogs Orion, 'neath the billows thrust. 
But, prithee, seamen, shed 
On my unburied head 
And limbs with gentle hand some grains of drifting dust ! 
So may the storm that threats the western deep 
Turn all its wrath away. 
To smite the forests of Venusia, 
And thou thy course secure o'er the mild ocean keep ! 

So may from every hand 
Wealth rain on thee by righteous Jove's command ! 
And Neptune, who doth bear 
Tarentum in his care 
Bring thy rich-laden argosy to land ! 
Deny me this, the common tribute due, 
And races to be born 
Of thy sons' sons in after-years forlorn, 
Though guiltless of thy crime, thy heartless scorn shall rue I 

Nor shall thyself go free, 
For Fate's vicissitudes shall follow thee, 
Its laws, that slight for slight. 
And good for good requite ! 
Not unavenged my bootless pray'r shall be. 
Nor victim ever expiate thy guilt. 
Oh, then, though speed thou must — 
It asks brief tarrying — thrice with kindly dust 
Bestrew my corpse, and then press onward as thou wilt I 




O O, Iccius, thou hast hankerings 

^^ For swart Arabia's golden treasures, 

And for her still unconquered kings 

Art marshalling war's deadly measures, 
And forging fetters meant to tame 
The Mede, our curse and shame ? 

Say, what barbarian virgin fair 
Shall wait on thee, that slew her lover, 

What princely boy, with perfumed hair, 
Thy cupbearer, shall round thee hover, 

Schooled by his sire, with fatal craft 

To wing the Seric shaft ? 

Up mountains steep may glide the brooks, 
And Tiber to its sources roam. 

When thou canst change thy noble books 
Culled far and near, and learned home. 

For armour dipped in Ebro's wave, 

Who once such promise gave ! 



/^ VENUS, Cnidian queen, and Paphian, tear 
^^ Thyself from thy dear Cyprus* for a while, 
And to that mansion beautiful repair. 
Where Glycera with incense without spare 
Invokes thy smile. 

Come ! and with thee let Cupid loving-warm. 
The Graces too, with girdles all unbraced. 
And linked with them the Nymphs in jocund swarm, 
And Youth that, wanting thee, hath little charm. 
And Mercury haste ! 

* It was to Cyprus that Venus proceeded, when she sprang from the 
foam of the sea near Cythera. The birth of beauty from the waves has 
given rise to many passages of fine descriptive painting by the poets 
both of ancient and modern times. Ovid touches the theme with his 
usual picturesque force : — 

"Sic madidos siccat digitis Venus uda capillos, 

Et modo maternis tecta videtur aquis. " 

— Trlstia, li. 527. 
"So Cytherea, fresh from ocean's tide, 

With rosy fingers dries her streaming hair. 

And seems as she were robed in nought beside 

Her own maternal waves, that veil their daughter fair." 

But Mr. Tennyson has surpassed all rivals in the exquisite lines— 

" Lovelier in her mood 
Than in her mould that other, when she came 
From barren deeps to conquer all with love ; 
And down the streaming crystal dropt ; and she, 
Far-fleeted by the purple island sides, 
Naked, a double light in air and wave. 
To meet her Graces, when they decked her out 
For worship without end." 

— The Princess, Book vii. 




"X ^ THAT asks the poet, who adores 

* ^ Apollo's virgin shrine, 
What asks he, as he freely pours 
The consecrating wine ? 

Not the rich grain, that waves along 

Sardinia's fertile land, 
Nor the unnumbered herds, that throng 

Calabria's sultry strand ; 

Not gold, nor ivory's snowy gleam, 

The spoil of far Cathay, 
Nor fields, which Liris, quiet stream, 

Gnaws silently away. 

Let fortune's favoured sons the vine 

Of fair Campania hold ; 
The merchant quaff the rarest wine 

From cups of gleaming gold ; 

For to the gods the man is dear 
Who scathelessly can brave, 

Three times or more in every year, 
The wild Atlantic wave. 

Let olives, endive, mallows light 

Be all my fare ; and health 
Give thou, Latous, so I might 

Enjoy my present wealth ! 

ODE XXXII.] To his Lyre. 49 

Give me but these, I ask no more, 

These, and a mind entire — 
An old age, not unhonoured, nor 

Unsolaced by the lyre ! 



npHEY ask for us. If 'neath green umbrage thou 
■*- And I, my lyre, e'er struck a note, that may 
Outlive this year, and years beyond, sing now 
A Roman lay; 

Lyre, first by him of Lesbos tuned, the brave, 
Who resting, when the din of fight was o'er. 
Or when he ran, long tossed on ocean's wave, 
His bark ashore. 

Sang Bacchus and the Muses, Venus too. 

And the sweet boy that haunts her everywhere. 
And Lycus, for his dark eyes fair to view, 
And his dark hair. 

O shell, Apollo's pride, that crown'st the cheer 

Of Jove's high feasts, sweet balm of wearied mind, 
To me, that duly call on thee, give ear, 
To me be kind I 

VOL. I. 




TVTAY, Alblus, a truce to this sighing and grieving ! 
■^ ^ Is Glycera worth all this torture of brain ? 
Why flatter her, lachrymose elegies weaving, 
Because she is false for a youthfuller swain ? 

There's Lycoris, the maid with the small rounded forehead. 

For Cyrus is wasting by inches away, 
Whilst for Pholoe he, with a passion as torrid, 

Consumes, and to him she'll have nothing to say. 

The she-goats, in fact, might be sooner expected 

Apulia's wolves for their partners to take, 
Than a girl so divine to be ever connected 

With such an abandoned and pitiful rake. 

Such caprices hath Venus, who, rarely propitious, 

Delights in her fetters of iron to bind 
Those pairs whom she sees, with a pleasure malicious. 

Unmatched both in fortune, and figure, and mind. 

I myself, wooed by one that was truly a jewel, 
In thraldom was held, which I cheerfully bore, 

By that vulgar thing, Myrtale, though she was cruel 
As waves that indent the Calabrian shore. 




T INTO the gods my vows were scant 
^^ And few, whilst I professed the cant 

Of philosophic lore, 
But now I back my sails perforce, 
Fain to retrace the beaten course, 
I had contemned before. 

For Jove, who with his forked levin 
Is wont to rend the louring heaven, 

Of late with hurtlings loud 
His thunder-pacing steeds did urge, 
And winged car along the verge 

Of skies without a cloud ; 

Whereat the huge earth reeled with fear, 
The rivers, Styx, the portal drear 

Of Taenarus abhorred, 
While distant Atlas caught the sound, 
And quivered to its farthest bound. 

The world's great god and lord , 

Can change the lofty to the low, 
The mighty ones of earth o'erthrow, 

Advancing the obscure ; 
Fate wrests the crown from lordly brow 
On his to plant it, who but now 

Was poorest of the poor. 




r\ PLEASANT Antium's goddess queen, 
^^ Whose presence hath avail 
Mortals to lift from mean estate, 
Or change triumphal hymns elate 
To. notes of funeral wail ; 

Thee with heart-anxious prayer invokes 

The rustic at the plough, 
Thee, mistress of the ocean-wave, 
Whoe'er Carpathia's surges brave 

With frail Bithynian prow ; 

Thee Scythia's ever-roving hordes. 

And Dacians rude revere, 
Thee cities, tribes, Rome's dauntless band. 
Barbaric monarchs' mothers, and 

Empurpled tyrants fear ; 

Lest thou shouldst crush their pillared state 

Beneath thy whelming foot. 
Lest madding crowds with shrill alarms 
Pealing the cry—" To arms ! To arms ! " 

Should seated thrones uproot. 

Before thee evermore doth Fate 

Stalk phantom-like, and bear 
In brazen hand huge nails dispread ; 
And wedges grim, and molten lead. 

And iron clamps are there. 

ODE XXXV.] To Fortune. 53 

Thee Hope attend, and Truth rare-seen, 

In vestments snowy-dyed, 
Nor quit thee, though in changed array 
Thou turn with angry frown away 

From halls of stately pride. 

But the unfaithful harlot herd 

Slink back. Howe'er they cling, 
Once to the lees the wine-vat drain, 
And shrinking from the yoke of pain, 
These summer friends take wing ! 

Our Csesar's way to Britain guard, 

Earth's farthest boundary. 
And make our youthful hosts thy care, 
Who terror to the East shall bear, 

And the far Indian sea ! 

By brothers' blows, by brothers' blood, 
Our souls are gashed and stained. 

Alas ! What horror have we fled ? 

What crime not wrought 1 When hath the dread 
Of heav'n our youth restrained ? 

Where is the altar unprofaned 

By them ? Oh may we see 
Thy hand new-whet their blunted swords. 
To smite Arabia's tented hordes, 

And the Massagetae ! 




Q* ING, comrades, sing, let incense burn, 
^ And blood of votive heifer flow 
Unto the gods, to whom we owe 
Our Numida's return ! 

Warm greetings many wait him here, 
From farthest Spain restored, but none 
From him return so warm hath won, 
As Lamia's, chiefly dear. 

His boyhood's friend, in school and play. 
Together manhood's gown they donned ; 
Then mark with white, all days beyond, 
This most auspicious day. 

Bid wine flow fast without control, 
And let the dancers' merry feet 
The ground in Salian manner beat, 
And Bassus drain the bowl 

Unbreathed, or own the mastering power 
Of Damalis ; and roses fair. 
And parsley's vivid green be there. 
And lilies of an hour ! 

Fond looks on Damalis shall be bent. 
But sooner shall the ivy be 
Torn from its wedded oak, than she 
Be from her new love rent. 




TVT" OW, comrades, fill each goblet to the brim, 

-*■ ^ Now, now with bounding footstep strike the ground, 

With costliest offerings every fane be crowned. 
Laud we the gods with thousand-voiced hymn ! 

It had been impious, till this glad hour 
To bid our grandsires' Csecuban to flow. 
While Egypt's queen was listed to o'erthrow 

Rome's empire, Rome itself, — home, temple, tower ! 

Oh doting dream ! — She, with her eunuch train, 

Effeminate and vile, to conquer us ! 

Drunk with success, and madly venturous, 
Swift ruin quelled the fever of her brain. 

Her fleet, save one poor bark, in flames and wrack, 
The frenzied fumes, by Egypt's vintage bred. 
Were turned to real terrors as she fled, 

Fled from our shores with Caesar on her track. 

As hawk pursues the dove, as o'er the plains 
Of snow-wrapt Scythia, like the driving wind. 
The huntsman tracks the hare, he swept behind, 

To fix that fair and fatal pest in chains. 

But hers no spirit was to perish meanly ; 
A woman, yet not womanishly weak,"-" 
She ran her galley to no sheltering creek, 

Nor quailed before the sword, but met it queenly, 

* " My resolution's placed, and I have nothing 
Of woman in me." 

— Antony and Cleopatra, Act v. So, 2. 

56 To his Cupbearer. [book i. 

So to her lonely palace-walls she came, 
With eye serene their desolation viewed, 
And the fell asps with fearless fingers wooed 

To dart their deadliest venom through her frame ; 

Embracing death with desperate calm, that she 
Might rob Rome's galleys of their royal prize, 
Queen to the last, and ne'er in humble guise 

To swell a triumph's haughty pageantry ! "^ 



T)ERSIA'S pomp, my boy, I hate, 
-*• No coronals of flowerets rare 
For me on bark of linden plait, 

Nor seek thou, to discover where 
The lush rose lingers late. 

With unpretending myrtle twine 

Nought else ! It fits your brows. 
Attending me, it graces mine, 

As I in happy ease carouse 
Beneath the thick-leaved vine. 

" I died a Queen. The Roman soldier found 
Me lying dead, my crown about my brows, 
A name for ever ! lying robed and crowned, 
Worthy a Roman spouse." 

—Tennyson's Dream of Fair Women. 


BOOK 11. 


nPHE civil broils that date 
-'- Back from Metellus' luckless consulate, 

The causes of the strife, 
Its vices, with fresh seeds of turmoil rife, 

The turns of fortune's tide, 
The leagues of chiefs to direful ends allied, 

The arms of Romans wet 
With brother's blood, not expiated yet. 

These are thy chosen theme, 
An enterprize that doth with peril teem, 

For everywhere thy tread 
On ashes falls, o'er lulled volcanoes thinly spread ! 

Mute for some little time 
Must be the Muse of tragedy sublime 

Within our theatres ; anon. 
The task of chronicling our story done, 

Thy noble bent pursue. 
And the Cecropian buskin don anew, 

Pollio, thou shield unstained 
Of woful souls, that are of guilt arraigned, 

On whose persuasive tongue 
The senate oft in deep debate hath hung, 

Whose fame for laurels won 
In fields Dalmatian shall through farthest ages run ! 

6o To Asinius Pollio. [book ir. 

Now, now our ears you pierce 
With clarions shrill, and trumpets' threatenings fierce, 

Now flashing arms affright 
Horses and riders, scattering both in flight; 

Now do I seem to hear 
The shouting of the mighty leaders near, 

And see them strike and thrust, 
Begrimed with not unhonourable dust ; 

And all earth own control. 
All, all save only Cato's unrelenting soul ! 

Juno, and whosoe'er 
Among the gods made Afric's sons their care, 

On that same soil, which they, 
Of vengeance foiled, had turned from in dismay, 

Under Jugurtha's shade 
His victor's grandsons as an offering paid. 

Where is the plain, that by 
Its mounds sepulchral doth not testify 

To many an impious fray, 
Where Latian blood made fat the yielding clay, 

And to fell havoc's sound 
Pealed from the west to Media's farthest bound? 

What bays, what rivers are 
By ills unvisited of woful war? 

What oceans by the tide 
Of slaughter rolling red have not been dyed ? 

Where shall be found the shore, 
Is not incarnadined by Roman gore? 

But, fro ward Muse, refrain. 
Affect not thou the elegiac strain ! 

With lighter touch essay 
In Dionasan cave with me some sprightlier lay ! 




O ILVER, whilst buried in the mine, 
^^ Is lustreless and dead of hue, 
And, Sallust, save with temperate use it shine, 
'Tis dross to you. 

The name of Proculeius shall 

Live on through distant ages, known 

For loving-kindness fatherlike to all 
His brothers shown. 

A spirit covetous subdue, 

And over ampler realms you reign, 
Than if the far-off lands of Libya you 

Annexed to Spain.* 

* " He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city." 

— Proverbs xvi. 32. 
Ovid uses nearly the same language : — 

" Fortior est qui se quam qui fortissima vincit 

" Braver is he who doth himself subdue, 
Than he who overcomes a forted town." 

Akin to this are the fine lines of Phineas Fletcher : — 

" Wouldst thou live honoured? Clip Ambition's wing, 
To reason's yoke the furious passions bring, 
Thrice noble is the man who of himself is king ! " 

The same turn of thought, which is a favourite one with Horace, is 
to be found in the concluding lines of the First Epistle of the First Book, 

62 To Crispiis Sallustms. [book ii. 

Dropsy, self-pampered, grows : its thirst 

Burns on until what bred the flame 
Forsakes the veins, and those thin humours burst 

That waned the frame. 

The crowd may call Phraates blest, 
Enthroned where Cyrus sat erewhile, 

But Virtue never : she from words doth wrest 
Their gloss of guile, 

To him alone the diadem 

Of empire giving, and the bays, 
Who, passing treasure-heaps, not once on them 

Turns back his gaze. 

joined with one of those characteristic strokes of irony, which blend so 

pleasantly with his didactic vein. 

" Ad summam, sapiens uno minor est yove, dives, 
Liber, honoratus, fulcher, rex denique rcgum, 
PrcBcipue sanus, riisi cum pituita molesia est." 

" In fine, the sage, unswayed by power or pelf. 
Is only less than sovereign Jove himself ; 
To him wealth, honour, freedom, beauty clings ; 
He is, in short, a very king of kings, — 
Body and mind superior to all woes. 
Save when he's plagued by cold and running at the nose." 




T ET not the frowns of fate 

-*— ' Disquiet thee, my friend, 

Nor, when she smiles on thee, do thou, elate 

With vaunting thoughts, ascend 
Beyond the limits of becoming mirth. 
For, Dellius, thou must die, become a clod of earth l*^'" 

^Vhether thy days go down 

In gloom, and dull regrets. 
Or, shunning life's vain struggle for renown, 

Its fevers and its frets, 
Stretched on the grass, with old Falernian wine 
Thou giv'st the thoughtless hours a rapture all divine. 

Where the tall spreading pine. 

And white-leaved poplar grow, 
And mingling their broad boughs in leafy twine, 

A grateful shadow throw, 
Where down its broken bed the wimpling stream 
Writhes on its sinuous way with many a quivering gleam. 

* ' ' Yet vveet ye well, that to a courage great 
It is no lesse beseeming well to beare 
The storm of Fortune's frown, or heaven's threat, 
Than in the sunshine of her countenance cleare 
Timely to joy, and carrie comely cheare." 

—Fairy Queen, V. v. 38. 

64 To Delliiis. [book h. 

There wine, there perfumes bring, 

Bring garlands of the rose. 
Fair and too short-lived daughter of the spring, 

While youth's bright current flows 
Within thy veins,— ere yet hath come the hour, 
When the dread sisters three shall clutch thee in their 

Thy woods, thy treasured pride, 

Thy mansion's pleasant seat, 
Thy lawns washed by the Tiber's yellow tide, 

Each favourite retreat, 
Thou must leave all — all, and thine heir shall run 
In riot through the wealth thy years of toil have won.f 

* " Colli ge, virgo, rosas, dumbos novus et novafubcs, 
Et memor eslo (Bvum sic properare tuuni" 

" Gather therefore the rose, while yet is prime. 
For soon comes Age, that will her pride deflower ; 
Gather the rose of love, while yet is time. 
Whilst loving thou mayst lov^d be with equal crime." 

" Festinat enim decnrrere velox 
Flosculus augustcB miserczgue brevissima vitce 
Portio ; dum bibiinus^ dmn serta, unguenta, puellas 
Poscimus, obrepit non intellecta senectus." 

—Juvenal, ix. 125. 

" For youth, too transient flower ! of life's short day 
The shortest part, but blossoms— to decay. 
Lo ! while we give the unregarded hour 
To revelry and joy, in Pleasure's bower, 
While now for rosy wreaths our brows to twine, 
And now for nymphs we call, and now for wine, 
The noiseless foot of Time steals swiftly by, 
And ere we dream of manhood, age is nigh." 

— Gifford's Translation. 

t " Why dost thou heap up wealth, which thou must quit, 
Or, what is worse, be left by it ? 
Why dost thou load thyself, when thou'rt to fly, 
O man ordained to die ? 


ODE III.] To Delliiis. 6$ 

It recks not, whether thou 

Be opulent, and trace 
Thy birth from kings, or bear upon thy brow 

Stamp of a beggar's race ; 
In rags or splendour, death at thee alike, 
That no compassion hath for aught of earth, will strike. 

One road, and to one bourne 

We all are goaded. Late 
Or soon will issue from the urn 

Of unrelenting Fate 
The lot that in yon bark exiles us all 
To undiscovered shores, from which is no recall. 

Why dost thou build up stately rooms on high, 
Thou, who art underground to lie ? 
Thou sow'st and plantest, but no fmit must see, 
For Death, alas ! is sowing thee." 


" My parks, my walks, my manors that I had. 
Even now forsake me ; and of all my lands 
Is nothing left me, but my body's length." 

—Shakespeare. Henry VI., Pt. in. Act v. Sc. 2. 

VOL. I. 




"XT AY, Xanthiasj my friend, never blush, man — no, no ! 
^ ^ Why should you not love your own maid, if you 

please ? 
Briseis of old, with her bosom of snow, 
Brought the haughty Achilles himself to his knees. 

By his captive Tecmessa was Telamon's son. 

Stout Ajax, to willing captivity tamed ; 
Atrides, in triumph, was wholly undone. 

With love for the slave of his war-spear inflamed. 

In the hot hour of triumph, when, quelled by the spear 

Of Pelides, in heaps the barbarians lay ; 
And Troy, with her Hector no longer to fear. 

To the war-wearied Greeks fell an easier prey. 

For aught that you know, now, fair Phyllis may be 
The shoot of some highly respectable stem ; 

Nay, she counts, at the least, a few kings in her tree, 
And laments the lost acres once lorded by them. 

Never think that a creature so exquisite grew 

In the haunts where but vice and dishonour are known, 

Nor deem that a girl so unselfish, so true. 

Had a mother 'twould shame thee to take for thine own."^ 

* One fancies the humble object of Phocian Xanthias' admiration 
to have been like her who is so exquisitely described by Sir Walter 
Scott's friend in the hues : — 

' ' Lowly beauty, dear friend, beams with primitive grace, 
And 'tis innocence' self plays the rogue in her face." 

— Lockhart's Ll/e of Scott, vol. i. p. 218. 

ODE v.] To a Friend. 6/ 

I extol with free heart, and with fancy as free 
Her sweet face, fine ankles, and tapering arms, 

How ! Jealous ? Nay, trust an old fellow like me, 
Who can feel, but not follow, where loveliness charms. 




T T AVE patience ! She's plainly too tender, you see, 
-*- -*■ The yoke on her delicate shoulders to bear, 
So young as she is, fit she never could be 

His task with the gentlest yoke-fellow to share, 
Or brook the assault of the ponderous bull, 
Rushing headlong the fire of his passion to cool. 

At present your heifer finds all her delight 
In wandering o'er the green meadows at will, 

In cooling her sides, when the sun is at height, 
In the iciest pools of some mountain-fed rill. 

Or 'mid the dank osier-beds bounding in play 

With the young calves, as sportive and skittish as they. 

For unripe grapes to long is mere folly ; soon, too, 
Many-tinted Autumnus with purple will dye 

Thy clusters that now wear so livid a hue ; 
And so after thee, soon, her glances will fly. 

For merciless Time to her count will assign 

The swift-speeding years, as she takes them from thine. 

68 To Septimius. [book ii. 

And then will thy Lalage long for a lord, 
Nor shrink from the secrets of conjugal joy ; 

By thee she will be, too, more fondly adored, 
Than Pholoe's self, or than Chloris the coy. 

Her beautiful shoulders resplendently white 

As the moon, when it silvers the ocean by night ; 

Or as Gnidian Gyges, whom were you to place 
In the midst of a bevy of sunny-browed girls, 

So boyish, so girlish at once is his face, 
So silken the flow of his clustering curls, 

'Twould puzzle the skilfullest judge to declare, 

If Gyges or they were more maidenly fair. 



QEPTIMIUS, thou who wouldst, I know, 
^ With me to distant Gades go, 
And visit the Cantabrian fell. 
Whom all our triumphs cannot quell. 
And even the sands barbarian brave, 
Where ceaseless seethes the Moorish wave ; 

May Tibur, that delightful haunt, 
Reared by an Argive emigrant. 
The tranquil haven be, I pray, 
For my old age to wear away. 
Oh, may it be the final bourne 
To one with war and travel worn ! 

ODE VI.] To Septimius. 69 

But should the cruel Fates decree, 

That this, my friend, shall never be. 

Then to Gala^sus, river sweet 

To skin-clad flocks, will I retreat, 

And those rich meads, where sway of yore 

Laconian Phalanthus bore. 

In all the world no spot there is. 
That wears for me a smile like this. 
The honey of whose thymy fields 
May vie with what Hymettus yields, 
Where berries clustering every slope 
May with Venafrum's greenest cope. 

There Jove accords a lengthened spring. 
And winters wanting winter's sting, 
And sunny Anion's broad incline 
Such mettle puts into the vine. 
Its clusters need not envy those 
Which fiery Falernum grows. 

Thyself and me that spot invites, 
Those pleasant fields, those sunny heights ; 
And there, to life's last moments true, 
Wilt thou with some fond tears bedew — 
The last sad tribute love can lend — 
The ashes of thy poet friend. 




ipvEAR comrade in the days when thou and I 
■*-^ With Brutus took the field, his perils bore, 

Who hath restored thee, freely as of yore, 
To thy home gods, and loved Italian sky, 

Pompey, who wert the first my heart to share ; 
With whom full oft Fve sped the lingering day. 
Quaffing bright wine, as in our tents we lay, 

With Syrian spikenard on our glistening hair ? 

With thee I shared Philippics headlong flight. 
My shield behind me left, which was not well, 
When all that brave array was broke, and fell 

In the vile dust full many a towering wight. 

But me, poor trembler, swift Mercurius bore, 
Wrapped in a cloud, through all the hostile din. 
Whilst war's tumultuous eddies, closing in, 

Swept thee away into the strife once more. 

Then pay to Jove the feasts, that are his fee, 
And stretch at ease these warworn limbs of thine 
Beneath my laurel's shade ; nor spare the wine 

Which I have treasured through long years for thee. 

Pour till it touch the shining goblet's rim 

Care-drowning Massic : let rich ointments flow 
From amplest conchs ! No measure we shall know ! 

What ! Shall we wreaths of oozy parsley trim, 

ODE VIII.] To Barine. 7 1 

Or simple myrtle ? Whom will Venus send 
To rule our revel ? Wild my draughts shall be 
As Thracian Bacchanals', for 'tis sweet to me, 

To lose my wits, when I regain my friend. 



IF e'er, in vengeance for thy faithlessness, 
Heaven had but made thy charms one charm the less. 
Blackened one tooth, or tarnished one bright nail, 
Then I, Barine, might believe thy tale. 
But soon as thou hast laid all kinds of vows 
And plighted oaths on those perfidious brows, 
Thy beauty heightens into rarer dies, 
And all our young men haunt thy steps with feverish eyes. 

It profits thee, fair mischief, thus to spurn 

The deep vows plighted by thy mother's urn. 

By all the silent stars that gem the night, 

And by the gods, whom death may never blight. 

Venus herself doth smile to hear thee swear, 

Smile the sweet nymphs beneath their sunny hair ; 

And Cupid, unrelenting boy, doth smile, 

Pointing on gory stone his burning shafts the while. 

To thee our youth's best flower in homage kneels. 
New slaves bend daily at thy chariot-wheels ; 
And they, who oft have sworn to haunt no more 
Thy fatal home, still linger as before. 

2 To Barine. [book ii. 

Mothers all dread thee for their boys, and old 

Fond fathers fear thy havoc with their gold ; 

The bane art thou of every new-made bride, 

Lest thv soft air should waft her husband from her side. 



T F for thy perjuries and broken truth, 
•*• Barine, thou hadst ever come to harm, 
Hadst lost, but in a nail, or blackened tooth, 
One single charm, 

I'd trust thee ; but when thou art most forsworn, 
Thou blazest forth with beauty most supreme, 
And of our young men art, noon, night, and morn, 
The thought, the dream. 

To thee 'tis gain thy mother's dust to mock. 

To mock the silent watch-fires of the night, 
All heaven, the gods, on whom death's icy shock 
Can never light. 

Smiles Venus self, I vow, to see thy arts, 

The guileless nymphs and cruel Cupid smile, 
And, smiling, whets on bloody stone his darts 
Of fire the while. 

Nay more, our youth grow up to be thy prey. 

New slaves throng round, and those who crouched at first. 

ODE IX.] To Valgius. 73 

Though oft they threaten, leave not for a day 
Thy roof accurst. 

Thee mothers for their unfledged younglings dread ; 

Thee niggard old men dread, and brides new-made, 
In misery lest their lords neglect their bed, 
By thee delayed. 


NOT always from the clouds are rains 
Descending on the oozy plains, 
Not always o'er the Caspian deep 
Do gusts of angry tempest sweep. 
Nor month on month, the long year through. 
Dear Valgius, valued friend and true, 
Is frost's benumbing mantle round 
The high lands of Armenia wound ; 
Not always groan Garganus' oaks 
Before the north wind's furious strokes, 
Nor is the ash-tree always seen, 
Stript of its garniture of green ; 
Yet thou alway in strains forlorn 
Thy Mystes dead dost fondly mourn, 
Lamenting still at Hesper's rise, 
And when the rapid sun he flies. 

Remember, friend, that sage old man, 
Whose years were thrice our common span, 

74 To Valgiiis. [book ii. 

Did not through all their lengthened tale 
His loved Antilochus bewail : 
Nor did his parents, lonely left, 
Of their still budding darling reft, 
Nor Phrygian sisters evermore 
The slaughtered Troilus deplore. 

Forbear, then, longer to complain, 
Renounce this enervating strain. 
And rather let us, thou and I, 
Combine to sing in measures high 
The trophies newly won by great 
Augustus Caesar for the state ; 
Niphates' icy peak, the proud 
Euphrates, added to the crowd 
Of nations, that confess our power, 
A humbler river from this hour, 
And the Gelonians forced to rein 
Their steeds within a bounded plain. 




T F thou wouldst live secure and free, 
-*■ Thou wilt not keep far out at sea 

Licinius, evermore ; 
Nor, fearful of the gales that sweep 
The ocean v/ide, too closely creep 

Along the treacherous shore. 

The man, who, with a soul serene, 
Doth cultivate the golden mean. 

Escapes alike from all 
The squalor of a sordid cot. 
And from the jealousies begot 

By wealth in lordly hall. 

The mighty pine is ever most 

By wild winds swayed about and tossed, 

With most disastrous crash 
Fall high-topped towers, and ever, where 
The mountains' summit points in air. 

Do bolted lightnings flash. 

When fortune frowns, a well-trained mind 
Will hope for change ;* when she is kind, 

* ' ' Sed credula vitam 

Spes/ovet, et melius eras fore semper ait." 

— TiBULLUS, II. 6. 19. 
' ' By trustful hope our life is comforted, 
For ever whispering of a joy to be." 

/6 To Licinitis. [book it. 

A change no less will fear : 
If haggard winters o'er the land 
By Jove are spread, at his command 

In time they disappear.* 

^Though now they may, be sure of this. 
Things will not always go amiss ; 

Not always bends in ire 
Apollo his dread bow, but takes 
The lyre, and from her trance awakes 
The Muse with touch of fire. 

Though sorrows strike, and comrades shrink, 
Yet never let your spirits sink. 

But to yourself be true ; 
So wisely, when yourself you find 
Scudding before too fair a wind. 

Take in a reef or two.f 

* ' ' The darkest day, 

Live till to-morrow, will have passed away." 


f " Tu quoque fonnida nimium suhlimia semper ; 
Propositique memor, contrahe vela, tui." 

—Ovid, Tristia, iii. 4. 31. 

" But ever hold too soaring thoughts in fear, 

And, mindful of your purpose, furl your sails." 




■\ 1 THAT the warlike Cantabrian or Scyth may design, 

* * Dear Quintius Hirpinus, ne'er stay to divine, 
With the broad Adriatic 'twixt them and yourself, 
You surely may lay all your fears on the shelf. 

And fret not your soul with uneasy desires 
For the wants of a life, which but little requires ; 
Youth and beauty fade fast, and age, sapless and hoar, 
Tastes of love and the sleep that comes lightly no more. 

Spring flowers bloom not always fresh, fragrant, and bright. 
The moon beams not always full-orbed on the night ; 
Then wherefore should you, who are mortal, outwear 
Your soul with a profitless burden of care "i 

Say, why should we not, flung at ease 'neath this pine, 
Or a plane-tree's broad umbrage, quaff gaily our wine, 
While the odours of Syrian nard, and the rose 
Breathe sweet from locks tipped, and just tipped with Time's 

'Tis Bacchus, great Bacchus, alone has the art 
To drive away cares, that are eating the heart. 
What boy, then, shall best in the brook's deepest pool 
Our cups of the fiery Falernian cool ? 

And who from her home shall fair Lyde seduce, 
And bring to our revel that charming recluse ? 
Bid her haste with her ivory lyre to the spot. 
Tying up her brown hair in a plain Spartan knot. 




T) ID me not sing to my nerveless string 
■^ The wars of Numantia long and bloody, 
Nor Hannibal dread, nor the ocean's bed 
With the gore of our Punic foemen ruddy ; 

Nor the Lapithae fierce, nor Hyteus flushed 
With wine, nor the earth-born brood Titanic, 

Whom the death-dealing hand of Alcides crushed. 
Though they smote the Saturnian halls with panic. 

And thou, my Maecenas, shalt fitlier tell 
The battles of Caesar in stateliest story. 

Tell of kings, who defied us with menaces fell, 
Led on through our streets in the triumph's glory. 

My muse to Licymnia alone replies. 

To her warbling voice, that divinely sways thee. 
To the gleam of her flashing and lustrous eyes, 

And true heart that passion for passion repays thee. 

Ah, well doth the roundel beseem her charms. 
Sparkling her wit, and, with loveliest vestals. 

Most worthy is she to enlace her arms 
In the dances of Dian's hilarious festals. 

Would you, friend, for Phrygia's hoarded gold, 

Or all that Achaemenes self possesses. 
Or e'en for what Araby's coffers hold. 

Barter one lock of her clustering tresses, 

ODE XIII.] To a fallen Tree. 79 

While she bends down her throat to your burning kiss, 

Or, fondly cruel, the joy denies you. 
She'd have you snatch, or at times the bliss 

Herself will snatch, and with joy surprise you? 



T TC THOE'ER he was, (his name be banned !) 

* • In evil hour he planted thee. 
And with a sacrilegious hand 

He nursed, and trained thee up to be 
The bane of his succeeding race, 
And of our hamlet the disgrace. 

He strangled, ay, and with a zest, 

His very father, and at dead 
Of night stole in upon his guest, 

And stabbed him sleeping in his bed ; 
Brewed Colchian poisons in his time, 
And practised every sort of crime. 

All this he must have done — or could — 

I'm sure, — the wretch, that stuck thee down. 

Thou miserable stump of wood. 
To topple on thy master's crown. 

Who ne'er designed thee any harm, 

Here on my own, my favourite farm. 

So To a fallen Tree, [book ii. 

No mortal due provision makes 

'Gainst ills which any hour may fall ; 

The Carthaginian sailor quakes 
To think of a Levantine squall, 

But feels no terror for the fate, 

That elsewhere may his bark await. 

Our soldiers dread the arrows sped 
By Parthians shooting as they flee ; 

And in their turn the Parthians dread 
The chains and keeps of Italy; 

But death will tear, as now it tears, 

Whole nations down at unawares. 

How nearly in her realms of gloom 

I dusky Proserpine had seen. 
Seen ^acus dispensing doom, 

And the Elysian fields serene, 
Heard Sappho to her lute complain 
Of unrequited passion's pain ; 

Heard thee, too, O AIcjeus, tell, 
Striking the while thy golden lyre, 

With fuller note and statelier swell, 
The sorrows and disasters dire 

Of warfare and the ocean deep. 

And those that far in exile weep. 

While shades round either singer throng, 

And the deserved tribute pay 
Of sacred silence to their song,""'- 

Yet chiefly crowd to hear the lay 
Of battles old to story known. 
And haughty tyrants overthrown. 

* " Worthy of sacred silence to be heard." 

— Paradise Lost, V. 555. 

ODE XIII.] To a fallen Tree. 8 1 

What wonder they their ears to feast, 

Should thickly throng, when by these lays 

Entranced, the hundred-headed beast 
Drops his black ears in sweet amaze, 

And even the snakes are charmed, as they 

Among the Furies' tresses play. 

Nay, even Prometheus, and the sire 

Of Pelops, cheated of their pains. 
Forget a while their doom of ire 

In listening to the wondrous strains ; 
Nor doth Orion longer care 
To hunt the lynx or lion there.-'" 

* •' Their song was partial, but the harmony 

(What could it less, when Spirits immortal sing?) 
Suspended Hell, and took with ravishment 
The thronging audience." 

— Paradise Lost, ir. 552. 

VOL. I. 



A H, Posthumus, the years, the fleeting years 
•^^ Still onwards, onwards glide ; 
Nor mortal virtue may 
Time's wrinkhng fingers stay. 
Nor Age's sure advance, nor Death's all-conquering stride. 

Hope not by daily hecatombs of bulls 

From Pluto to redeem 

Thy life, who holds thrice vast 

Geryon fettered fast, 

And Tityus, by the waves of yonder rueful stream. 

Sad stream, we all are doomed one day to cross. 

Ay, all that live by bread, 

Whatever our lot may be, 

Great lords of high degree, 

Alike with peasant churls, who scantily are fed. 

In vain shall we war's bloody conflict shun. 

And the hoarse scudding gale 

Of Adriatic seas, 

Or fly the southern breeze. 

That through the Autumn hours wafts pestilence and bale. 

For all must view Cocytus' pitchy tide 

Meandering slow, and see 

The accursed Danaids moil, 

And that dread stone recoil. 

Sad Sisyphus is doomed to upheave eternally. 

ODE XV.] On the prevailing LtLxujy. Z^ 

Land, home, and winsome wife must all be left ; 

And cypresses abhorred, 

Alone of all the trees 

That now your fancy please, 

Shall shade his dust, who was a little while their lord. 

Then, too, your long-imprisoned Ceecuban *" 

A worthier heir shall drain. 

And with a lordlier wine, 

Than at the feasts divine 

Of pontiffs flows, your floor in wassailry shall stain. 



O OON regal piles each rood of land 
^^ Will from the farmer's ploughshare take, 
Soon ponds be* seen on every hand 
More spacious than the Lucrine lake. 

Soon the unwedded plane displace 
The vine-wreathed elm ; and violet bed 

And myrtle bush, and all the race 

Of scented shrubs their fragrance shed, 

Where fertile olive thickets made 

Their owner rich in days of old ; 
And laurels with thick-woven shade 

At bay the scorching sunbeams hold. 

84 On tJie prevailing Ltixtuy. [dook 11. 

It was not so, when Romulus 
Our greatness fostered in its prime, 

Nor did our great forefathers thus, 
In unshorn Cato's simple time. 

Man's private fortunes then were low. 
The public income great ; in these 

Good times no long-drawn portico 
Caught for its lord the northern breeze. 

Nor did the laws our sires permit 

Sods dug at random to despise, 
As for their daily homes unfit ; 

And yet they bade our cities rise 

More stately at the public charge, 

And did, to their religion true, 
The temples of the gods enlarge. 

And with fair-sculptured stones renew. 




■pOR ease he doth the gods implore, 
-*- Who, tossing on the wide 

^gean billows, sees the black clouds hide 
The moon, and the sure stars appear no more, 

The shipman's course to guide. 

For ease the sons of Thracia cry. 

In battle uncontrolled, 

For ease the graceful-quivered Median bold, 
That ease which purple, Grosphus, cannot buy, 

Nor wealth of gems or gold. 

For hoarded treasure cannot keep 

Disquietudes at bay, 

Nor can the consul's lictor drive away 
The brood of dark solicitudes, that sweep 

Round gilded ceilings gay. 

He lives on little, and is blest, 

On whose plain board the bright 

Salt-cellar shines, which was his sire's delight, 
Nor coward fears, nor sordid greed's unrest 

Disturb his slumbers light. 

S6 To Grosphus. [book ii. 

Why should we still project and plan, 

We creatures of an hour ? 

Why fly from clime to clime, new regions scour ? 
Where is the exile, who, since time began. 

To fly from self had power ? * 

Fell Care climbs brazen galleys' sides ; 

Nor troops of horse can fly 

Her foot, which than the stag's is swifter, ay, 
Swifter than Eurus, when he madly rides 

The clouds along the sky. 

Careless what lies beyond to know, 

And turning to the best 

The present, meet life's bitters with a jest, 
And smile them down ; since nothing here below 

Is altogether blest. f 

In manhood's prime Achilles died, 

Tithonus by the slow 

Decay of age was wasted to a show, 
And Time may what it hath to thee denied 

On me, perchance, bestow. 

* " Our sorrows still pursue us ; and when you 
The ruined Capitol shall view, 
And statues, a disordered heap, you can 

Not cure yet the disease of man, 
And banish your own thoughts. Go, travel where 

Another sun and stars appear, 
And land not touched by any covetous fleet, 
And yet even there yourself you'll meet." 

— Habington's Castara. 

\ ' ' Medio defonte leporum 

Surgit aviari aliqtiid, quod ipsis infloribus angit." 

— Lucretius. 
" Full from the fount of joy's delicious springs 
Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom flings." 


ODE XVI,] To GrospJius, By 

Round thee low countless herds and kine 

Of Sicily ; the mare 

Apt for the chariot paws for thee the air, 
And Afric's costliest dyes incarnadine 

The wools which thou dost wear.* 

To me a farm of modest size, 

And slender vein of song, 

Such as in Greece flowed vigorous and strong. 
Kind fate hath given, and spirit to despise 

The base malignant throng. 

" Usque adeo nulla est sincera voluptas, 

Sollicitumque aliquid Icetis interuetiit." 

—Ovid, Mctam. 7. 
" Where is the pleasure marred by no alloy ? 

Some apprehension ever haunts our joy." 

*' Scilicet inter dum miscentur tristia Icetis 
Nee populum toto pectorefesta juvant. ' ' 

— OviD, Fasti, 2. 
"Grief mingles with our mirth, when at its best. 
And robs our feasts of some part of their zest." 

* Literally, "wools are thine, twice steeped in African dye." So 
Spenser, in his Virgil's Gnat, line 97 : — 

' ' Ne cares he, if the fleece which him arrays 
Be not twice steeped in Assyrian dye." 




"X T 7HY wilt thou kill me with thy boding fears ? 

* * Why, O Maecenas, why ? 
Before thee lies a train of happy years ; 

Yes, nor the gods nor I 
Could brook that thou shouldst first be laid in dust 
Who art my stay, my glory, and my trust ! 

Ah, if untimely Fate should snatch thee hence. 

Thee, of my soul a part. 
Why should I linger on, with deadened sense. 

And ever-aching heart, 
A worthless fragment of a fallen shrine ? 
No, no, one day shall see thy death and mine ! 

Think not, that I have sworn a bootless oath ; 

Yes, we shall go, shall go, 
Hand linked in hand, whene'er thou leadest, both 

The last sad road below ! 
Me neither the Chimsera's fiery breath. 
Nor Gyges, even could Gyges rise from death. 

With all his hundred hands from thee shall sever ; 

For in such sort it hath 
Pleased the dread Fates, and Justice potent ever. 

To interweave our path. 
Beneath whatever aspect thou wert born. 
Libra, or Scorpion fierce, or Capricorn, 

ODE XVII.] To McBcenas. 89 

The blustering tyrant of the western deep, 

This well I know, my friend, 
Our stars in wondrous wise one orbit keep, 

And in one radiance blend. 
From thee were Saturn's baleful rays afar 
Averted by great Jove's refulgent star, 

And his hand stayed Fate's downward-swooping wing, 

When thrice with glad acclaim 
The teeming theatre was heard to ring, 

And thine the honoured name : 
So had the falling timber laid me low. 
But Pan in mercy warded off the blow, 

Pan who keeps watch o'er easy souls like mine. 

Remember, then, to rear 
In gratitude to Jove a votive shrine, 

And slaughter many a steer, 
Whilst I, as fits, an humbler tribute pay, 
And a meek lamb upon his altar lay. 




"1 T riTHIN my dwelling you behold 
^ * Nor ivory, nor roof of gold ; 
There no Hymettian rafters weigh 
On columns from far Africa ; 
Nor Attalus' imperial chair 
Have I usurped, a spurious heir, 
Nor client dames of high degree 
Laconian purples spin for me ; 
But a true heart and genial vein 
Of wit are mine, and rich men deign, 
Poor as I am, to seek my door. 
For nought beyond do I implore 
The gods, nor crave my potent friend 
A larger bounty to extend. 
With what he gave completely blest, 
My happy little Sabine nest. 

Day treads down day, and sinks amain. 
And new moons only wax to wane, 
Yet you, upon death's very brink. 
Of piling marbles only think. 
That yet are in the quarry's womb, 
And, all unmindful of the tomb, 
Rear gorgeous mansions everywhere ; 
Nay, as though earth too bounded were, 
With bulwarks huge thrust back the sea. 
That chafes and breaks on Baise. 

ODE XVIII.] To a Miser. 91 

What though you move the ancient bound, 
That marks your humble neighbour's ground, 
And avariciously o'erleap 
The limits right should bid you keep ? 
Where lies your gain, that driven from home 
Both wife and husband forth must roam, 
Bearing their household gods close pressed 
With squalid babes upon their breast ? 
Still for the man of wealth, 'rnid all 
His pomp and pride of place, the hall 
Of sure-devouring Orcus waits 
With its inevitable gates. 

Then why this ceaseless vain unrest ? 
Earth opens her impartial breast 
To prince and beggar both ; nor might 
Gold e'er tempt Hell's grim satellite 
To waft astute Prometheus o'er 
From yonder ghastly Stygian shore. 
Proud Tantalus and all his race 
He curbs within that rueful place : 
The toil-worn wretch, who cries for ease, 
Invoked or not, he hears and frees. 




T) ACCHUS I've seen, (no fable is my song !) 

-■-^ Where far among the rocks the hills are rooted, 

His strains dictating to a listening throng, 

Of nymphs, and prick-eared Satyrs cloven-footed ! 

Evoe ! The dread is on my soul even now, 

Filled with the god my breast is heaving wildly ! 

Evoe ! Oh spare, Lyaeus, spare me, thou, 
And o'er me wield thine awful thyrsus mildly ! 

Now may I dare to sing of Bacchants bold, 
To sing of wine in fountains redly rushing, 

Of milky streams, and honey's liquid gold 

From hollow trunks in woods primeval gushing. 

Now may I chant her honours, too, thy bride, 
Who high among the stars is throned in glor}% 

The halls of Pentheus shattered in their pride, 
And of Lycurgus the disastrous story. 

Thee own as lord great rivers, barbarous seas ; 

Thou, where afar the mountain peaks are shining. 
Flushed with the grape dost revel, there at ease 

Thy Bacchant's locks unharmed with vipers twining. 

Thou, when the banded giants, impious crew ! 

By mountain piled on mountain top were scaling 
Thy sire's domains, didst hurl back Rhcecus, through 

Thy lion's claws, and jawbone fell prevailing. 

ODE XX.] To McBccnas. 93 

Though fitter for the dance, and mirih, and jest, 
Than for the battle's deadly shock reputed, 

Thou didst approve thyself, o'er all the rest 
Alike for peace or warfare aptly suited. 

Thee, gloriously bedecked with horn of gold, 

With gently wagging tail soothed Cerberus greeted 

And licked thy limbs and feet with tongue threefold. 
As from his shady realm thy steps retreated. 



/^N pinion newly plumed and strong 
^^ I'll cleave the liquid air 
Predestinate, true child of song ! 

A double form to wear. 
Earth shall not keep me from the skies, 

I'll pierce the smoke of towns. 
And, soaring far aloft, despise 

Their envy and their frowns. 

Though cradled at a poor man's hearth, 

His offspring, I shall not 
Go down to mix with common earth. 

Forgetting and forgot. 
No ! I, whom thou, Maecenas, dear. 

Dost mark with thy esteem, 
Shall never pine, a phantom drear, 

By sad Cocytus' stream. 

94 To McBcenas. [book ii. 

Even now I feel the change begin ! 

And see, along my thighs 
It creeps and creeps, the wrinkling skin. 

In sturdy swanlike guise ; 
Aly body all above assumes 

The bird, and white as snow 
Along my shoulders airy plurties 

Down to my fingers grow. 

Now swiftlier borne on pinions bold 

Than Icarus of yore, 
The Bosphorus shall I behold, 

And hear its billows roar : 
Shall o'er Getulia's whirling sands, 

Canorous bird, career, 
And view Hyperborean lands, 

From heaven's own azure clear. 

My fame the Colchian, and forlorn 

Gelonian yet shall know, 
The Dacian, too, who seems to scorn, 

But dreads his Marsic foe. 
The Spaniard of an after time 

My minstrel power shall own, 
And I be hailed a bard sublime 

By him that drinks the Rhone. 

Then sing no dirge above my bier. 

No grief be idly spent ! 
Dishonour lies in every tear, 

Disgrace in each lament. 
All clamours loud of woe forbear ! 

Respect my nobler doom, 
And those superfluous honours spare, 

Which load a vulgar tomb ! 



VOL. I. 



T7E rabble rout, avaunt ! 
-*• Your vulgar din give o'er, 
Whilst I, the Muses' own hierophant, 
To the pure ears of youths and virgins chant 

In strains unheard before ! 

Great kings, whose frown doth make 

Their crouching vassals quake, 
Themselves must own 
The mastering sway of Jove, imperial god. 

Who, from the crash of giants overthrown, 
Triumphant honours took, and by his nod 

Shakes all creation's zone. 

Whate'er our rank may be. 
We all partake one common destiny! 

In fair expanse of soil, 
Teeming with rich returns of wine and oil, 

His neighbour one outvies ; 

Another claims to rise 

To civic dignities. 
Because of ancestry, and noble birth. 
Or fame, or proved pre-eminence of worth, 

98 hi Praise of Contentment. [book hi. 

Or troops of clients, clamorous in his cause; 

Still Fate doth grimly stand, 

And with impartial hand 
The lots of lofty and of lowly draws 

From that capacious urn, 
Whence every name that lives is shaken in its turn. 

To him, above whose guilty head, 

Suspended by a thread. 
The naked sword is hung for evermore, 

Not feasts Sicilian shall 

With all their cates recall 
That zest the simplest fare could once inspire ; 
Nor song of birds, nor music of the lyre 

Shall his lost sleep restore : 

But gentle sleep shuns not 

The rustless lowly cot. 
Nor mossy bank, o'ercanopied with trees. 
Nor Tempe's leafy vale stirred by the western breeze. 

The man, who lives content with whatsoe'er 

Sufficeth for his needs, 
The storm-tossed ocean vexeth not with care. 
Nor the fierce tempest which Arcturus breeds. 

When in the sky he sets, 
Nor that which Hcedus, at his rise, begets : 

Nor will he grieve, although 

His vines be all laid low 
Beneath the driving hail. 
Nor though, by reason of the drenching rain. 

Or heat, that shrivels up his fields like fire, 

Or fierce extremities of winter's ire, 
Blight shall o'erwhelm his fruit-trees and his grain, 

And all his farm's delusive promise fail. 

ODE I.] In Praise of Contentment. 99 

The fish are conscious that a narrower bound 

Is drawn the seas around 
By masses huge hurled down into the deep ; 
There, at the bidding of a lord, for whom 
Not all the land he owns is ample room, 
Do the contractor and his labourers heap 
Vast piles of stone, the ocean back to sweep. 
But let him climb in pride, 
That lord of halls unblest, 
Up to his lordly nest, 
Yet ever by his side 

Climb Terror and Unrest ; 
Within the brazen galley's sides 

Care, ever wakeful, flits, 
And at his back, when forth in state he rides, 
Her withering shadow sits. 

If thus it fare with all ; 
If neither marbles from the Phrygian mine, 
Nor star-bright robes of purple and of pall, 
Nor the Falernian vine. 
Nor costliest balsams, fetched from farthest Ind, 
Can soothe the restless mind ; 
Why should I choose 
To rear on high, as modern spendthrifts use, 

A lofty hall, might be the home for kings, 
With portals vast, for I^Ialice to abuse, 
Or Envy make her theme to point a tale ; 
Or why for wealth, which new-born trouble brings. 
Exchange my Sabine vale ? 




T N war's stern school our youth should be 

■^ Steeled stoutly to endure 
The ills which sharp necessity 

Inflicts upon the poor ; 
To make the Parthians fly in fear 
Before the ten-ors of their spear ; 

To live alert at danger's call, 

Encamped on heath or down ; 
Then, as they view him from the wall 

Of their beleaguered town, 
With sighs the warring monarch's dame 
And virgin daughter shall exclaim : 

" Oh grant, ye gods, our royal lord. 

Unskilled in war's array, 
Provoke not, by his bootless sword. 

Yon lion to the fray, 
Who rushes with infuriate roar 
Through carnage, dropping gouts of gore ! " 

For our dear native land to die 

Is glorious and sweet ; 
And death the coward slaves that fly 

Pursues with steps as fleet. 
Nor spares the loins and backs of those 
Unwarlike youths who shun their foes. 

ODE II.] To his Companions. loi 

Worth, all-indififerent to the spurns 

Of vulgar souls profane, 
The honours wears, it proudly earns, 

Unclouded by a stain ; 
Nor grasps, nor lays the fasces down, 
As fickle mobs applaud or frown. 

Worth, which heaven's gate to those unbars. 

Who never should have died, 
A pathway cleaves among the stars. 

To meaner souls denied, 
Soaring in scorn far far away 
From vulgar crowds and sordid clay. 

For faithful silence, too, there is 

A guerdon sure : whoe'er 
Has once divulged the mysteries 

Of Ceres' shrine, shall ne'er 
Partake my roof, nor yet shall he 
In the same vessel sail with me. 

For oft has Jove, when slighted, swept 

Away with sons of shame 
The souls which have their whiteness kept, 

And punishment, though lame 
Of foot, has rarely failed to smite 
The knave, how swift soe'er his flight. 




T T E that is just, and firm of will, 
-*- -■■ Doth not before the fury quake 
Of mobs that instigate to ill, 
Nor hath the tyrant's menace skill 
His fixed resolve to shake ; 

Nor Auster, at whose wild command 

The Adriatic billows dash, 
Nor Jove's dread thunder-launching hand, 
Yea, if the globe should fall, he'll stand 

Serene amidst the crash. 

By constancy like this sustained, 

Pollux of yore, and Hercules 
The starry eminences gained. 
Where Caesar, with lips purple-stained, 

Quaffs nectar, stretched at ease. 

Thou, by this power. Sire Bacchus, led, 
To bear the yoke thy pards didst school, 

Through this same power Quirinus fled. 

By Mars' own horses charioted. 
The Acherontine pool. 

What time the gods to council came, 
And Juno spoke with gracious tone, 
" That umpire lewd and doomed to shame, 
And his adulterous foreign dame 
Troy, Troy have overthrown; 

ODE III.] The Apotheosis of Romulus. 103 

" Troy doomed to perish in its pride 

By chaste Minerva and by me, 
Her people, and their guileful guide. 
Since false Laomedon denied 

The gods their promised fee. 

*• The Spartan wanton's shameless guest 

No longer flaunts in brave array, 
Nor screened by Hector's valiant breast 
Doth Priam's perjured house arrest 

My Argives in the fray. 

" Protracted by our feuds no more, 

The war is quelled. So I abate 
Mine anger, and to Mars restore 
Him, whom the Trojan priestess bore, 

The grandchild of my hate. 

" Him will I suffer to attain 

These realms of light, these blest abodes, 
The juice of nectar pure to drain, 
And be enrolled amid the train 

Of the peace-breathing gods. 

" As long as the broad rolling sea 

Shall roar 'twixt Ilion and Rome, 
Where'er these wandering exiles be, 
There let them rule, be happy, free ; 

Whilst Priam's, Paris' tomb 

" Is trodden o'er by roving kine. 

And wild beasts there securely breed. 
The Capitol afar may shine. 
And Rome, proud Rome, her laws assign 
Unto the vanquished Mede. 

104 The Apotheosis of Roimihis. [book in. 

" Yes, let her spread her name of fear, 
To farthest shores ; where central waves 

Part Africa from Europe, where 

Nile's swelling current half the year 
The plains with plenty laves. 

" Still let her scorn to search with pain 
For gold, the earth hath wisely hid, 

Nor strive to wrest with hands profane 

To mortal use and mortal gain 
What is to man forbid.* 

" Let earth's remotest regions still 

Her conquering arms to glory call, 
Where scorching suns the long day fill, 
Where mists and snows and tempests chill 
Hold reckless bacchanal. 

" But let Quirinus' sons beware. 

For they are doomed to sure annoy. 
Should they in foolish fondness e'er 
Or vaunting pride the homes repair 
Of their ancestral Troy. 

" In evil hour should Troy once more 
Arise, it shall be crushed anew. 

By hosts that o'er it stride in gore. 

By me conducted, as of yore, 
Jove's spouse and sister too. 

" And with hands profane 
Rifled the bowels of their mother earth 
For treasures better hid," 

—Paradise Lost, i. 686. 

ODE IV.] To Calliope. 105 

" Thrice rear a brazen wall, and though 

Apollo's self his aidance lent, 
Thrice shall my Argives lay it low, 
Thrice shall the captive wife in woe 

Her lord and babes lament ! " 

But whither wouldst thou. Muse ? Unmeet 
For jocund lyre are themes like these. 

Shalt thou the talk of gods repeat, 

Debasing by thy strains effete 
Such lofty mysteries ? 


O QUEEN Calliope, from heaven descend, 
And on the fife prolong 
Thy descant sweet and strong, 
Or with the lyre, if more it like thee, blend 
Thy thrilling voice in song ! 

Hark ! Or is this but frenzy's pleasing dream t 
Through groves I seem to stray 
Of consecrated bay, 

Where voices mingle with the babbling stream. 
And whispering breezes play. 

When from my nurse erewhile on Vultur's steep 
I strayed beyond the bound 
Of our small homestead's ground, 

Was I, fatigued with play, beneath a heap 
Of fresh leaves sleeping found. 

io6 To Calliope. [book in. 

Strewn by the storied doves ; and wonder fell 

On all, their nest who keep 

On Acherontia's steep, 
Or in Forentum's low rich pastures dwell, 

Or Bantine woodlands deep ; 

That safe from bears and adders in such place 

I lay, and slumbering smiled, 

O'erstrewn with myrtle wild 
And laurel, by the gods' peculiar grace 

No craven-hearted child. 

Yours am I, O ye Muses, yours, whene'er 

The Sabine peaks I scale ; 

Or cool Prseneste's vale. 
Or Tibur's slopes, or Baias's waters fair 

With happy heart I hail. 

Unto your dances and your fountains vowed, 

Philippi's rout, the tree 

Of doom o'erwhelmed not me. 
Nor Palinurus 'mid the breakers loud 

Of the Sicilian sea. 

Unshrinkingly, so you be only near, 

The Bosphorus I'll brave. 

Nor quail, howe'er it rave, 
Assyria's burning sands I'll dare, nor fear 

In them to find a grave. 

Shielded by you, I'll visit Britain's shore 

To strangers ruthless ever. 

Front the Gelonian quiver. 
The Concan, too, who joys in horses' gore. 

And Scythia's icy river. 

ODE IV.] To Calliope. 107 

Unto great Csesar's self ye lend new life 

In grot Pierian, when 

He has disposed his men 
Among the towns, to rest from battle-strife, 

And yearns for peace again. 

From you flow gentle counsels, and most dear 

Such counsels are to you. 

We know, how He o'erthrew 
By His down-swooping bolts those monsters drear, 

The impious Titan crew ; 

Who doth the dull and sluggish earth control. 
The tempest- shaken main, 
Thronged towns, the realms of pain 

And gloom, and doth with even justice sole 
O'er gods and mortals reign. 

When he beheld them first, these brothers stark. 

Proud in their strength of arm, 

Crowding in hideous swarm 
To pile up Pelion on Olympus dark, 

Jove shuddered with alarm. 

But what could stout Typhoeus, Mimas do.'* 

Or what, for all his might, 

Porphyrion's threatening height, 
What Prcetus, or Enceladus, that threw 

Uprooted trees, in fight 

Against great Pallas' ringing aegis dashed, 

What could they all essay .^ 

Here, eager for the fray. 
Stood Vulcan, there dame Juno unabashed, 

And he who ne'er doth lay 

I08 To Calliope. [book hi. 

His bow aside, who laves his locks unshorn 

In Castaly's pure dew, 

Divine Apollo, who 
Haunts Lycia's woodland glades, in Delos born. 

In Patara worshipped too. 

Unreasoning strength by its own weight must fall ; * 

To strength with wisdom blent 

Force by the gods is lent, 
Who hold in scorn that strength, which is on all 

That's impious intent. 

See hundred-handed Gyges helpless lie. 

To make my maxim good, 

Orion too, that would 
Lay ruffian hands on chaste Diana, by 

Her virgin shafts subdued. 

Upheaved above the monsters she begot. 

Earth wails her children whirled 

To Orcus' lurid world, 
By vengeful bolts, and the swift fire hath not 

Pierced ^Etna o'er it hurled. 

Nor does the vulture e'er, sin's warder grim. 

Lewd Tityus' liver quit, 

But o'er him still doth sit ; 
Pirithous, too, lies fettered, limb to limb 

By chains three hundred knit. 

* " But what is strength without a double share 
Of wisdom? Vast, unweildy, burdensome, 
Proudly secure, yet liable to fall." 

— Samson Agonistes, 53. 





"IT 7 HEN through the heavens his thunders blare, 
* * We think that Jove is monarch there, 
So now Augustus, too, shall be 
Esteemed a present deity. 
Since Britons he and Persians dread 
Hath to his empire subjected. 

Has any legionary, who 
His falchion under Crassus drew, 
A bride barbarian stooped to wed. 
And life with her ignobly led ? 
And can there be the man so base 
Of Marsian or Apulian race, 
(Oh, on the Senate be the blame ! 
Oh, on our tainted morals shame !) 
As with his spouse's sire, his foe. 
And in a foeman's camp, to grow 
To age beneath some Median king, 
The shields no more remembering, 
Nor yet the Roman dress or name, 
Nor Vesta's never-dying flame, 
Whilst still unscathed stands Jove, and Rome, 
His city, and his only home ? 


Ah, well he feared such shame for us, 
he brave, far-seeing Regulus, 
When he the vile conditions spurned, 
That might to precedent be turned. 

1 10 The Praise of Valour. [book hi. 

With ruin and disaster fraught \ 

To after times, should they be taught / 
Another creed than this — " They die 

Unwept, who brook captivity 

t » 

" I've seen," he cried, " our standards hung 
In Punic fanes, our weapons wrung 
From Roman hands without a blow ; 
Our citizens, I've seen them go. 
With arms behind their free backs tied, 
Gates I have seen flung open wide. 
Ay, Roman troops I've seen, disgraced 
To till the plains they had laid waste ! 

" Will he return more brave and bold, 
The soldier you redeem with gold ? 
You add but loss unto disgrace. 
Its native whiteness once efface 
With curious dyes ; you can no more 
That whiteness to the wool restore : 
Nor is true valour, once debased, 
In souls corrupt to be replaced ! 

'•' If from the tangled meshes freed, 
The stag will battle, then indeed 
May he conspicuous valour show, 
Who trusted the perfidious foe, — 
He smite upon some future field 
The Carthaginian, who could yield, 
In fear of death, his arms to be 
Bound up with thongs submissively! 
Content to draw his caitifT breath. 
Nor feel such life is worse than death ! 
O shame ! O mighty Carthage, thou 
On Rome's fallen glories towerest now ! " 

ODE v.] The Praise of Valour. ill 

From his chaste wife's embrace, they say, 
And babes, he tore himself away, 
As he had forfeited the right 
To clasp them as a freeman might ; 
Then sternly on the ground he bent 
His manly brow ; and so he lent 
Decision to the senate's voice. 
That paused and wavered in its choice, 
And forth the noble exile strode. 
Whilst friends in anguish lined the road. 

Noble indeed ! for, though he knew 
What tortures that barbarian crew 
Had ripe for him, he waved aside 
The kin that did his purpose chide, 
The thronging crowds, that strove to stay 
His passage, with an air as gay, 
As though, at close of some decree 
Upon a client's lawsuit, he 
Its dreary coil were leaving there, 
To green Venafrum to repair. 
Or to Tarentum's breezy shore. 
Where Spartans built their town of yore. 




VT'E Romans, ye, though guiUless, shall 
•*■ Dread expiation make for all 

The laws your sires have broke, 
Till ye repair with loving pains 
The gods' dilapidated fanes. 

Their statues grimed with smoke ! 

Ye rule the world, because that ye 
Confess the gods' supremacy ; 

Hence all your grandeur grows ! 
The gods, in vengeance for neglect, 
Hesperia's wretched land have wrecked 

Beneath unnumbered woes. 

Twice have Monaeses, and the hordes 
Of Pacorus, withstood the swords 

Of our ill-omened host ; 
No more in meagre torques equipped, 
But decked with spoils from Romans stripped. 

They of our ruin boast. 

Dacian and Ethiop have wellnigh 
Undone our Rome, distracted by 

Intestine feud and fray ; 
This by his fleet inspiring fear, 
That by his shafts, which, far and near. 

Spread havoc and dismay. 

ODE VI.] To the Romans. 113 

Our times, in sin prolific, first 

The marriage-bed with taint have cursed, 

And family and home ; 
This is the fountain-head of all 
The sorrows and the ills that fall "^ 

On Romans and on Rome. 

The ripening virgin joys to learn 
In the Ionic dance to turn 

And bend with plastic limb ; 
Still but a child, with evil gleams ^ 

Incestuous love's unhallowed dreams 

Before her fancy swim. 

Straight, in her husband's wassail hours, 
She seeks more youthful paramours, 

And little recks, on whom 
She may her lawless joys bestow 
By stealth, when all the lamps burn low, 

And darkness shrouds the room. 

Yea, she will on a summons fly. 
Nor is her spouse unconscious why, 

To some rich broker's arms, 
Or some sea-captain's, fresh from Spain, 
With wealth to buy her shame, and gain 

Her mercenary charms. 

They did not spring from sires like these, 

The noble youth, who dyed the seas 

With Carthaginian gore. 

Who great Antiochus overcame. 

And Pyrrhus, and the dreaded name 

Of Hannibal of yore ; 
VOL. I. H 

114 ^^ t^^^ Romans. [book hi. 

But they, of rustic warriors wight 
The manly offspring, learned to smite 

The soil with Sabme spade, 
And faggots they had cut to bear 
Home from the forest, whensoe'er 

An austere mother bade ; 

What time the sun began to change 

The shadows through the mountain range, 

And took the yoke away 
From the o'er-wearied oxen, and 
His parting car proclaimed at hand 

The kindliest hour of day. 

How Time doth in its flight debase 
Whate'er it finds ! Our fathers' race, 

More deeply versed in ill 
Than were their sires, hath borne us yet 
More wicked, duly to beget 

A race more vicious still. 





WHY weep, Asterie, for the youth, 
That soul of constancy and truth. 
Whom from Bithynia's shore, 
Rich with its wares, with gentle wing 
The west winds shall in early spring 
To thy embrace restore ? 

Driven by the southern gales, when high 
Mad Capra's star ascends the sky, 

To Oricum, he keeps 
Sad vigils through the freezing nights, 
And, thinking of his lost delights 

With thee, thy Gyges weeps. 

Yet in a thousand artful ways 
His hostess' messenger essays 

To tempt him, urging how 
Chloe — for such her name — is doomed 
By fires like thine to be consumed. 

And sigh as deep as thou ; 

Narrating, how by slanders vile 
A woman's falsehood did beguile 

The credulous Proetus on. 
To hurry, with untimely haste. 
Into the toils of death the chaste. 

Too chaste, Bellerophon. 

Ii6 To Asferie. [book in. 

Of Peleus then he tells, who thus 
Was nigh consigned to Tartarus, 

Because his coldness shamed 
Magnessia's queen Hippolyte, 
And hints at stories craftily 

To sap his virtue framed. 

In vain ! For he, untouched as yet. 
Is deafer than the rocks that fret 

The Icarian waves ; — but thou, 
Keep watch upon thy fancy too. 
Nor to Enipeus there undue 

Attractiveness allow ! 

Though no one on the Martian Mead 
Can turn and wind a mettled steed 

So skilfully as he, 
Nor any breast the Tuscan tide. 
And dash its tawny waves aside 

With such celerity. 

At nightfall shut your doors, nor then 
Look down into the street again, 

When quavering fifes complain ; 
And though he call thee, as he will, 
Unjust, unkind, unfeeling, still 

Inflexible remain ! 




■\ T 7HY a bachelor such as myself should disport 
'^ • On the Kalends of March, what these garlands 
What the censer with incense filled full, you inquire, 
And the green turf, with charcoal laid ready to fire ? 
If the cause of all these preparations you seek, 
You, versed in the lore both of Latin and Greek, 
It is this ! That I vowed, when nigh killed by the blow 
Of yon tree, unto Liber a goat white as snow, 
With festival rites ; and the circling year now 
Has brought round the day, that I offered my vow. 
'Tis a day, which the well-rosined cork shall unyoke 
Of the jar, that was set to be fined in the smoke, 
When TuUius was Consul. In cups without end 
Then pledge me, Maecenas, for safe is thy friend ; 
Let the dawn find our lamps still ablaze, and afar 
From our revel be anger, and clamour and jar ! 
Your cares for the weal of the city dismiss. 
And why should you not, at a season like this ? 
There is Dacian Cotiso's army is shent, 
And the Median by discords intestine is rent ; 
The vanquished Cantabrian, yonder in Spain, 
Submits, after long years of strife, to our chain, 
And the Scythians, unbending their bows in despair. 
To fly from the plains they have ravaged prepare. 
Then a respite from public anxieties steal, 
Feel the easy indifference private men feel. 
Snatch gaily the joys which the moment shall bring, 
And away every care and perplexity fling. 




"11[ WHILST I was dear and thou wert kind, 

^ * And I, and I alone might lie 
Upon thy snowy breast reclined, 

Not Persia's king so blest as I. ^ 


Whilst I to thee was all in all, 
Nor Chloe might with Lydia vie. 

Renowned in ode or madrigal, 
Not Koman Ilia famed as I. 


I now am Thracian Chloe's slave, 
With hand and voice that charms the air. 

For whom even death itself I'd brave, 
So fate the darling girl would spared 


I dote on Calais — and I 

Am all his passion, all his care, 
For whom a double death I'd die, 

So fate the darling boy would spare I 


What, if our ancient love return. 

And bind us with a closer tie, 
If I the fair-haired Chloe spurn. 

And as of old for Lydia sigh? 

oDEx.] To Lyce, 119 


Though lovelier than yon star is he, 
Thou fickle as an April sky, 

More churlish, too, than Adria's sea, 
With thee I'd live, with thee I'd die! 



T^HOUGH your drink were the Tanais, chillest of rivers, 
-^ And your lot with some conjugal savage were cast, 
You would pity, sweet Lyce, the poor soul that shivers 
Out here at your door in the merciless blast. 

Only hark how the doorway goes straining and creaking. 
And the piercing wind pipes through the trees that surround 

The court of your villa, while black frost is streaking 
With ice the crisp snow that lies thick on the ground ! 

In your pride — Venus hates it — no longer envelop ye. 
Or haply you'll find yourself laid on the shelf; 

You never were made for a prudish Penelope, 
'Tis not in the blood of your sires or yourself. 

Though nor gifts nor entreaties can win a soft answer, 
Nor the violet pale of my love-ravaged cheek. 

Though your husband be false with a Greek ballet-dancer, 
And you still are true, and forgiving, and meek, 

1 20 To Lyde. [book hi. 

Yet be not as cruel — forgive my upbraiding — 
As snakes, nor as hard as the toughest of oak ; 

Think, to stand out here, drenched to the skin, serenading 
All night may in time prove too much of a joke. 




HERMES, taught by whom Amphion's throat 
Charmed into motion stones and senseless things, 

Make music from thy seven melodious strings, 

Thou once nor sweet, nor voluble, but now 
In fane, or rich man's feast, a welcome guest, 

Give to my song the charmer's might, to bow 
Lyd^'s unyielding ear, and unrelenting breast ! 

Lyd^, who, like a filly full of play, 

That frisks and gambols o'er the meadows wide. 
And fears e'en to be touched, will never stay 

To list the burning tale that woos her for a bride. 

Thou listening woods canst lead, and tigers fell, 
And stay the rapid rivers in their course ; 

Yea, the grim janitor of ghastly hell 

Crouched on his post, subdued by thy persuasive force ; 

ODE XI.] To Lydk, 121 

Though countless serpents — sentinels full dread — 

The ridges of his fateful brows empale, 
And, loathly steaming, from his triple head 

Swelters black gore, and poisonous blasts exhale. 

E'en Tityus and Ixion grimly smiled 
Through all their anguish, and a while hung dry 

The toiling urn, whilst the sweet strain beguiled 
The Danaids, that stood in soothed oblivion by. 

In Lyd^'s ear reverberate their guilt, 
And its dread punishment, to draw for ever 

A jar of water that is ever spilt, 
Through the pierced bottom lost in the sad-flowing river. 

Show her the vengeance sure, howe'er delayed. 
Which even in Orcus crimes like theirs must feel, 

Those impious girls, stained with guilt's blackest shade, 
Those impious girls, who slew their lords with savage steel ! 

One only, worthy of the bridal bed, 

Of all the train, was to her perjured sire 
Magnificently false, and fame shall spread 

Her praise through endless time, linked to the living lyre. 

" Rise, rise ! " Thus to her youthful mate she spoke, 
" Lest thou from hands, whose guilt is little feared, 

Receive a sleep that never shall be broke ! 
Fly from my father false and ruthless sisters weird ! 

" Who now, like lions ravening o'er their prey. 

Butcher their wedded lords, alas, alas ! 
I strike thee not — I, gentler-souled than they, 

Nor keep thee prisoned here, but bid thee freely pass. 

122 To Neobtile. [book in. 

*' My sire may load my arms with cruel chains, 

Because in pity I my lord did spare. 
Or o'er the seas to far Numidia's plains 

May banish me, yet all for thee I'll gladly bear ! 

*•' Go ! speed thee hence, unfurl thy swelling sail, 
While Venus favours, and this midnight gloom ! 

The gods defend thy steps ! And let the tale 

Of what I loved and lost be graven upon thy tomb I 



"pOOR maids to love's promptings 
-■" May never give play. 
Nor wash in the wine-cup 

Their troubles away \ 
More dead than alive, 

They are haunted by fear 
To be scourged by the tongue 

Of a guardian austere. 

Cytherea's winged urchin 

From thee doth beguile 
Thy work-box, and Hebrus 

Of Lipara's isle 
From thy broidery weans thee, 

And all the hard lore, 
Which thou, Neobule, 

Didst toil at of yore. 

ODE XII.] To Neobide. 123 

A handsome young fellow 

Is he, when he laves 
His balm-dropping shoulders 

In Tiber's dun waves; 
Bellerophon's self 

Not so well graced a steed, 
He is peerless in boxing, 

A racehorse in speed ; 

Expert, too, in striking 

The stag with his spear, 
When the herd o'er the champaign 

Fly panting in fear; 
Nor less ready handed 

The boar to surprise, 
Where deep in the shade 

Of the covert it lies. 




/'^ FOUNTAIN of Bandusia's dell, 
^^ Than crystal clearer, that of wine 
Art worthy, and of flowers as well, 
To-morrow shall be thine 

A kid, whose horns just budding, drean 
Of love and battles both ! In vain ! 

For the young rake thy gelid stream 
With ruddy gore shall stain. 

Gainst flaming Sirius' fury thou 
Art proof, and grateful cool dost yield 

To oxen wearied with the plough, 
And flocks that range afield. 

Thou too shalt rank with springs renowned, 
I singing, how from umbrage deep 

Of cavemed rocks, with ilex crowned, 
Thy babbling waters leap. 




/^iESAR, O people, who of late, 
^*-^ Like Hercules defying fate, 
Was said the laurel to have sought 
Which only may by death be bought, 
To his home-gods returns again 
Victorious from the shores of Spain ! 

To the just gods to pay their rites, 
Now let the matron, who delights 
In him, her peerless lord, repair. 
And our great leader's sister fair ; 
And with them go the mothers chaste, 
Their brows with suppliant fillets graced, 
Of our fresh maids, and of the brave 
Young men, who late have 'scaped the grave ! 
And, O ye boys, and new-made brides. 
Hush every word that ill betides ! 

From me this truly festal day 
Shall drive each cloud of care away ; 
Nor shall I draw in fear my breath 
For civil broil or bloody death. 
While Caesar sway o'er earth shall bear. 
Away, then, boy, bring chaplets fair. 
Bring unguents, and with these a jar. 
That recollects the Marsian war, 

126 To Chloris. [bookhi. 

If aught that held the juice of grape 
Might roving Spartacus escape ! 
Neaera, too, that singer rare, 
Go, bid her quickly bind her hair, 
Her myrrhy hair, in simple knot, 
And haste to join me on the spot ! 
But if her porter say thee nay, 
The hateful churl ! then come away. 
Time-silvered locks the passions school, 
And make the testiest brawler cool ; 
I had not brooked his saucy prate. 
When young, in Plancus' consulate. 


QUIT, quit, 'tis more than time, thou wife 
Of Ibycus the pauper, 
Thy horribly abandoned life 
And courses most improper ! 

Ripe for the grave, 'mongst girls no more 

Attempt to sport thy paces, 
Nor fling thy hideous shadow o'er 

Their pure and starry graces. 

What charmingly on Pholoe sits 

In Chloris must repel us : 
Thy daughter better it befits 

To hunt up the young fellows. 

ODE XVI.] To McBcenas. 127 

Like Msenad, by the timbrel made 

Of all restraint oblivious, 
She by her love for Nothus swayed 

Like she-goat frisks lascivious. 

To spin Luceria's fleeces suits 
A crone like thee ; no patience 

Can brook thy roses, and thy lutes, 
And pottle-deep potations. 



T T 7ELL the tower of brass, the massive doors, the watch- 
* * dogs' dismal bay 

Had from midnight wooers guarded Danae, where immured 

she lay ; 
There she might have pined a virgin, prisoned by the timorous 

Of her fated sire Acrisius, had not Jove and Venus laughed 
At his terrors, for no sooner changed the god to gold, than he 
Instantly unto the maiden access found secure and free. 

Through close lines on lines of sentries gold to cleave its 
way delights, 
Stronger than the crashing lightning through opposing rocks 

it smites ; 
'Twas through vile desire of lucre, as the storied legends tell, 
That the house of Argos' augur whelmed in death and min fell; 

128 . To McBceiias, [bookiii. 

'Twas by bribes the Macedonian city's gates could open fling, 
'Twas by bribes that he subverted many a dreaded rival king ; 
Nay, there lies such fascination in the gleam of gold to some, 
That our bluffest navy-captains to its witchery succumb. 

But as wealth into our coffers flows in still increasing store, 
So, too, still our care increases, and the hunger still for more * 
Therefore, O Maecenas, glory of the knights, with righteous 

Have I ever shrunk from lifting too conspicuously my head. 
Yes, the more a man, believe me, shall unto himself deny. 
So to him shall the Immortals bounteously the more supply. 
From the ranks of wealth deserting, I, of all their trappings 

To the camp of those who covet nought that pelf can bring 

More illustrious as the master of my poor despised hoard, 
Than if I should be reputed in my garners to have stored 
All the fruits of all the labours of the stout Apulian boor, 
Lord belike of wealth unbounded, yet as veriest beggar poor. 

In my crystal stream, my woodland, though its acres are 
but few. 

And the trust that I shall gather home my crops in season due. 

Lies a joy, which he may never grasp, who rules in gorgeous 

Fertile Africa's dominions. Happier, happier far my fate ! 

Though for me no bees Calabrian store their honey, nor doth 

Sickening in the Laestrygonian amphora for me refine; 

Though for me no flocks unnumbered, browsing Gallia's pas- 
tures fair, 

Pant beneath their swelling fleeces, I at least am free from care ; 

* " And store of cares doth follow riches* store." 

— Fairy Queen, VI. ix. 2i. 

ODE XVII.] To Aelius Lamia, 129 

Haggard want with direful clamour ravins never at my door, 
Nor wouldst thou, if more I wanted, O my friend, deny me 

Appetites subdued will make me richer with my scanty gains, 
Than the realms of Alyattes wedded to Mygdonia's plains. 
Much will evermore be wanting unto those who much demand ; 
Blest, whom Jove with what sufficeth dowers, but dowers with 

sparing hand. 



A ELIUS, sprung from Lamos old, 
•^^- That mighty king, who first, we're told, 

Ruled forted Formiae, 
And all the land on either hand, 
Where Liris by Marica's strand 

Goes rippling to the sea ; 

Unless yon old soothsaying crow 
Deceive me, from the East shall blow 

To-morrow such a blast. 
As will with leaves the forests strew, 
And heaps of useless algae too 

Upon the sea-beach cast. 

Dry faggots, then, house while you may ; 
Give all your household holiday 

To-morrow, and with wine 
Your spirits cheer ; be blithe and bold. 
And on a pigling two moons old 

Most delicately dine ! 





"CAUNUS, lover of the shy 

-^ Nymphs who at thy coming fly, 

Lightly o'er my borders tread, 

And my fields in sunshine spread, 

And, departing, leave me none 

Of my yeanling flock undone ! 

So each closing year shall see 

A kidling sacrificed to thee ; 

So shall bounteous bowls of wine, 

Venus' comrades boon, be thine ; 

So shall perfumes manifold 

Smoke around thine altar old ! 

When December's Nones come round, 
Then the cattle all do bound 
O'er the grassy plains in play ; 
The village, too, makes holiday, 
With the steer from labour freed 
Sporting blithely through the mead. 
'Mongst the lambs, who fear him not, 
Roves the wolf ; each sylvan spot 
Showers its woodland leaves for thee. 
And the delver, mad with glee, 
Joys with quick-redoubling feet 
The detested ground to beat. 




T T OW long after Inachus Codrus bore sway there 
-'--'■ In Greece, for whose sake he so gallantly fell, 
Every scion of yEacus' race, every fray there 
Beneath holy Troy's leaguered walls you can tell. 

But the price one may purchase choice old Chian wine at, 
Or who has good baths, that you never have told. 

Nor where we shall find pleasant chambers to dine at, 
And when be secure from Pelignian cold. 

To the new moon a cup, boy, to midnight another. 

And quickly, — to augur Murccna a third ! 
To each bowl give three measures, or nine, — one or t'other 

Will do, less or more would be wrong and absurd ! 

The bard, who is vowed to the odd-numbered Muses, 
For bumpers thrice three in his transport will call ; 

But the Grace with her loose-kirtled sisters refuses 
To grant more than three in her horror of brawl. 

For me, I delight to go mad for a season ! 

Why ceases the shrill Berecynthian flute 
To pour its bewailings? And what is the reason 

The lyre and the flageolet' yonder hang mute? 

I hate niggard hands ; then strew freely the roses ! 

Let envious Lycus there hear the mad din, 
And she, our fair neighbour, who with him reposes ; 

That she with old Lycus should Uve is a sin. 

32 To Pyrrhus. [book hi. 

Thee, Telephus, thee, with thy thick-flowing tresses 
All radiant as Hesper at fall of the day, 

Sweet Rhode is longing to load with caresses, 
Whilst I waste for Glycera slowly away ! 



"\ T THAT man is he so mad, as dare 
* • From Moorish lioness to tear 
Her cubs ? My Pyrrhus, dost not see 
How perilous the task must be ? 
Soon, soon thy heart will fail, and thou 
Wilt shun the strife awaits thee now ; 
When through the youths, that throng to stay 
Her course, she fiercely makes her way, 
To find Nearchus, peerless youth : 
Oh rare the struggle, small the ruth, 
Till one or other yields, and he 
Her prize, or thine, at last shall be ! 

Meanwhile, as for the frenzied fair 
Thou dost thy deadliest shafts prepare, 
And she whets her appalling teeth, 
The umpire of the fray beneath 
His heel, so gossip says, will crush 
The palm, and spread, to meet the rush 
Of breezes cool, the odorous hair 
That clusters round his shoulders fair, 
Like Nireus he, or whom of yore 
Jove's bird from watery Ida bore ! 




/^ PRECIOUS crock, whose summers date, 
^-^ Like mine, from Manlius' consulate, 

I wot not whether in your breast 

Lie maudlin wail or merry jest. 

Or sudden choler, or the fire 

Of tipsy Love's insane desire, 

Or fumes of soft caressing sleep. 

Or what more potent charms you keep, 

But this I know, your ripened power 

Befits some choicely festive hour! 

A cup peculiarly mellow 

Coi-yinus asks ; so come, old fellow, 

From your time-honoured bin descend, 

And let me gratify my friend ! 

No churl is he, your charms to slight. 

Though most intensely erudite : 

And even old Cato's worth, we know. 

Took from good wine a nobler glow. 

Your magic power of wit can spread 
The halo round a dullard's head. 
Can make the sage forget his care, 
His bosom's inmost thoughts unbare. 
And drown his solemn-faced pretence 
Beneath your blithesome influence. 
Bright hope you bring and vigour back 
To minds outworn upon the rack, 

1 34 " To a Jar of Wine. [book hi. 

And put such courage in the brain. 
As makes the poor be men again, 
Whom neither tyrants' wrath affrights, 
Nor all their bristling satellites. 

Bacchus, and Venus, so that she 
Bring only frank festivity, 
With sister Graces in her train, 
Twining close in lovely chain, 
And gladsome tapers' living light. 
Shall spread your treasures o'er the night. 
Till Phoebus the red East unbars. 
And puts to rout the trembling stars. 




AIL, guardian maid 

Of mount and forest glade. 
Who, thrice invoked, dost bow 
Thine ear, and sendest aid 
To girls in labour with the womb, 
And snatchest them from an untimely tomb. 
Goddess three-formed thou ! 

I consecrate as thine 
This overhanging pine. 

My villa's shade ; 
There, as my years decline, 
The blood of boar so young, that he 
Dreams only yet of sidelong strokes, by me 
Shall joyfully be paid ! 




T F thou, at each new moon, thine upturned palms, 
"*■ My rustic Phidyle, to heaven shalt lift, 
The Lares soothe with steam of fragrant balms, 
A sow, and fruits new-plucked, thy simple gift ; 

Nor venomed blast shall nip thy fertile vine, 
Nor mildew blight thy harvest in the ear; 

Nor shall thy flocks, sweet nurselings, peak and pin< 
When apple-bearing Autumn chills the year. 

The victim marked for sacrifice, that feeds 
On snow-capped Algidus, in leafy lane 

Of oak and ilex, or on Alba's meads, 
With its rich blood the pontiff's axe may stain ; 

Thy little gods for humbler tribute call 

Than blood of many victims ; twine for them 

Of rosemary a simple coronal. 
And the lush myrtle's frail and fragrant stem. 

The costliest sacrifice that wealth can make 
From the incensed Penates less commands 

A soft response, than doth the poorest cake, 
If on the altar laid with spotless hands. 




nPHOUGH thou, of wealth possessed 
■^ Beyond rich Ind's, or Araby's the blest, 

Shouldst with thy palace keeps 
Fill all the Tuscan and Apulian deeps, 

If Fate, that spoiler dread. 
Her adamantine bolts drive to the head. 

Thou shalt not from despairs 
Thy spirit free, nor loose thy head from death's dark snares. 

The Scythians of the plains 
More happy are, housed in their wandering wains, 

More blest the Getan stout, 
Who not from acres marked and meted out 

Reaps his free fruits and grain : 
A year, no more, he rests in his domain. 

Then, pausing from his toil, 
He quits it, and in turn another tills the soil. 

The guileless stepdame there 
The orphan tends with all a mother's care ; 

No dowried dame her spouse 
O'erbears, or trust the sleek seducer's vows ; 

Her dower a blameless life, 
True to her lord, she shrinks an unstained wife 

Even from another's breath ; 
To fall is there a crime, and there the guerdon death ! 

ODE XXIV.] To the Covetous. 1 37 

Oh for the man, would stay 
Our gory hands, our civil broils allay ! 

If on his statutes he 
Sire of the common-weal proclaimed would be. 

Let him not fear to rein 
Our wild licentiousness, content to gain 

From after-times renown. 
For ah ! while Virtue lives, we hunt her down, 

And only learn to prize 
Her worth, when she has passed for ever from our eyes ! 

What boots it to lament, 
If crime be not cut down by punishment ? 

What can vain laws avail, 
If life in every moral virtue fail ? 

If nor the clime, that glows. 
Environed round by fervid heats, nor snows 

And biting Northern wind, 
Which all the earth in icy cerements bind, 

The merchant back can keep. 
And skilful shipmen flout the horrors of the deep ? 

Yes ! Rather than be poor, 
What will not mortals do, what not endure ? 

Such dread disgrace to shun, 
From virtue's toilsome path away we run. 

Quick, let us, 'mid the roar 
Of crowds applauding to the echo, pour 

Into the Capitol, 
Or down into the nearest ocean roll 

Our jewels, gems, and gold. 
Dire nutriment of ills and miseries untold ! 

If with sincere intent 
We would of our iniquities repent, 

138 To the Covetoics. [book m. 

Uprooted then must be 
The very germs of base cupidity, 

And our enervate souls 
Be braced by manlier arts for nobler goals ! 

The boy of noble race 
Can now not sit his steed, and dreads the chase. 

But wields with mastery nice 
The Grecian hoop, or even the law-forbidden dice ! 

What marvel, if the while 
His father, versed in ever>' perjured wile. 

For vilest private ends 
Defrauds his guests, his partners, and his friends, 

His pride, his only care. 
To scramble wealth for an unworthy heir ! 

They grow, his ill-got gains, 
But something still he lacks, and something ne'er attains ! 




TT 7HITHER, whither, full of thee, 
' * Bacchus, dost thou hurry me ? 
Say, what groves are these I range. 
Whirled along by impulse strange, 
What the caves, through which I fly ? 
Tell me, in what grot shall I 
Swell illustrious Caesar's praise, 
Striving to the stars to raise 
Worth that worthy is to shine 
In Jove's council-hall divine? 

I a strain sublime shall pour, 
Ne'er by mortal sung before. 
As the Eviad, from some height, 
Sleepless through the livelong night, 
With a thrill of wild amaze 
Hebrus at his feet surveys, 
Thrace, enwrapped in snowy sheet, 
Rhodope by barbarous feet 
Trodden, so where'er I rove 
Far from human haunts, the grove, 
Rock, and crag, and woodland height 
Charm me with a wild delight. 

O thou, who dost the Naiads, and 
The Bacchanalian maids command, 
Whose hands uproot, such strength have they, 
Ash-trees with storms of ages grey, 

140 To Venus. [bookiii. 

No mean, no mortal theme is mine, 

Nor less my numbers than divine ! 

Though perilous, 'tis glorious too, 

O great Lenasus, to pursue 

The god, who round his forehead twines 

Leaves gathered freshly from the vines ! 



T'VE had of late a host of loves afoot, 
■*- And triumphs too might brag of more than one, 
But now I hang up here my arms and lute, 
With the fatigues of the campaign fordone. 

Quick, quick ! Beside them pile here on the wall, 
That to the left doth sea-born Venus guard. 

Links, crowbars, hatchets, bows, the terrors all 
Of doors, that were to my beseechings barred ! 

Thou, of fair Cyprus who queen goddess art. 
And Memphis, which no Thracian snows enwrap, 

Wave high thy scourge, appal proud Chloe's heart. 
And give her — ^just one little tiny tap.* 

* Landor had this last verse in view in the following poem : — 
' ' So late removed from him she swore, 

With clasping arms and vows and tears. 
In life and death she would adore, 
While memory, fondness, bliss endears. 

" Can she forswear, can she forget? 

Strike, mighty Love ! Strike, Vengeance ! Soft ! 
Conscience must come, and bring regret : 
These let her feel ! . . . Nor these too oft!" 




T ET omens dire the bad attend, 
-■ — ' Who would upon a journey wend,— 
The bitch in whelp, the screeching owl, 
The dun she-wolf upon her prowl 
Of hunger from Lanuvium's rocks. 
And, worse than all, the pregnant fox ! 
At other times, their course to break, 
With sudden spring a nimble snake 
Will cross the roadway like a dart. 
And make their carriage-horses start ! 
I, with my sage forecasting skill. 
For her I love and fear for will, 
By my strong pray'rs' resistless force. 
Call from the East the raven hoarse, 
Ere, scenting rain at hand, again 
It seeks its haunts amid the fen. 

Go ! and be happy, wheresoe'er 
Thou go'st, and me in memory bear. 
Fair Galatea ! Boding jay 
Nor vagrant crow doth bar thy way. 
But see, with what a troubled glare 
Orion's star is setting there ! 
Trust me ! I've wrestled with the gales 
Of Hadria's gulf; could tell thee tales 
Would scare thee, of the mischief, too. 
Which smooth-lipped western winds can do. 
Let our foes' wives, and all their kind, 
Feel rising Auster's fury blind, 

142 To Galatea, going to Sea. [book in. 

And shudder at black ocean's roar, 

What time it smites the trembling shore. 

Like thee, Europa her fair side 

Did to the treacherous bull confide, 

But found her courage fail, when she 

Beheld the monsters of the sea ; 

She who at morning's prime had strayed, 

Culling fair flowers from field and glade, 

A votive coronal to twine 

For the close-neighbouring wood-nymphs' shrine, 

When night fell round saw nothing, save 

The stars and weltering ocean-wave. 

Soon as she touched the Cretan ground, 
For five-score cities fair renowned, 
" How, O my sire ! " did she exclaim, 
" Have I foregone a daughter's name ? 
Slave to mad passion, how have I 
Broke every holy filial tie .'' 
Whence have I come, and whither flown ? 
One death is worthless to atone 
For guilt like mine, so base, so deep ! 
Wake I, and have I cause to weep ? 
Or is my soul yet free from stain, 
And these but phantoms of the brain. 
Mere incorporeal films of dream. 
Which through Sleep's ivory portal stream ? 

" Oh madness, to have left my home. 
To deem it happier, thus to roam 
Yon weary waste of waters blue. 
Than gather flowers that freshly grew ! 
If any to my rage should now 
Yield that wild bull, this steel I vow. 
Should hew him down before me here. 
And break his horns, though late so dear. 

ODE XXVII.] To Galatea^ going to Sea. 143 

Shameless my father's hearth I fled ! 
Shameless I shrink from Orcus dread ! 
Place me, ye gods, in righteous wrath, 
Naked upon the lions' path, 
Or give me, ere griefs wasting might 
The bloom upon my cheeks shall blight. 
And sap my blood's warm tide away, 
To be the hungry tigers' prey ! 

" Why, vile Europa, linger ? Why ? 
I hear my absent father cry. 
Quick, hang thee on yon ash ! Thy zone 
Will serve thee — that is still thine own ; 
Or if yon cliff delight thee more, 
These death-edged rocks, that strew the shore. 
Then to the driving tempest give 
Thyself, unless thou'dst rather live 
A bondslave, carding servile wool, 
'Neath some barbarian princess' rule, 
And brook, though sprung of royal race, 
A vulgar concubine's disgrace ! " 

As thus she poured her wail on high, 
Venus the while stood laughing by. 
And to her side, with bow unstrung, 
Her boy, the rosy Cupid, clung. 
When she of mirth her fill had ta'en, 
" This boiling rage," she cried, " restrain, 
Since yon detested bull shall bend 
His horns for thee at will to rend. 
Know'st not, thou art Jove's honoured bride .-^ 
Then dry thy tears, and own with pride 
Thy mighty fortune, mightier fame. 
For half the globe shall bear thy name !" 




■\ T THAT goodlier or fitter plan 

^ * Have I for Neptune's festal day ? 
Then forth the hoarded Cascuban, 

My Lyd^, bring without delay, 
And for a season, if you can. 

Fling wisdom's sober saws away ! 

You see the waning light decay, 
And yet you pause and hesitate, — 

As though the day its flight would stay,— 
To pluck down from its cellared state 

The amphora, was stored away 
In Bibulus's consulate. 

In alternating strains shall we 

Sing Neptune, and the deep-green hair 
Of Nereids sporting through the sea. ; 

And thou on curved lyre with fair 
Latona, and the shafts so free 

Of Cynthia, shalt enchant the air. 

And she, who Cnidos makes her care, 
And dwells amidst the Cyclads bright, 

And doth to Paphos oft repair 

With team of swans for her delight, 

Shall have our closing song ; and rare 
Shall be our hymn in praise of Night. 





O CION of Tuscan kings, in store 
*^ I've laid a cask of mellow wine, 
That never has been broached before. 
I've roses, too, for wreaths to twine, 
And Nubian nut, that for thy hair 
An oil shall yield of fragrance rare. 

Then linger not, but hither wend ! 

Nor always from afar survey 
Dank Tibur's leafy heights, my friend. 

The sloping lawns of insula, 
And mountain peaks of Circe's son, 
The parricidal Telegon. 

The plenty quit, that only palls, 
And, turning from the cloud-capped pile, 

That towers above thy palace halls. 
Forget to worship for a while 

The privileges Rome enjoys. 

Her smoke, her splendour, and her noise. 

It is the rich who relish best 
To dwell at times from state aloof, 

And simple suppers, neatly dressed, 
Beneath a poor man's humble roof. 

With neither pall nor purple there, 

Have smoothed ere now the brow of care. 
VOL. I. K 

146 To McBcenas. [bookiu. 

See, now Andromeda's bright sire 
Reveals his erevvhile hidden rays, 

Now Procyon flames with fiercest fire, 
Mad Leo's star is all ablaze, 

For the revolving sun has brought 

The season round of parching drought. 

Now with his spent and languid flocks 
The wearied shepherd seeks the shade, 

The river cool, the shaggy rocks. 
That overhang the tangled glade, 

And by the stream no breeze's gush 

Disturbs the universal hush. 

Thou dost devise with sleepless zeal 
What course may best the state beseem. 

And, fearful for the City's weal, 

Weigh'st anxiously each hostile scheme. 

That may be hatching far away 

In Scythia, India, or Cathay. 

Most wisely Jove in thickest night 

The issues of the future veils. 
And laughs at the self-torturing wight, 

Who with imagined terrors quails. 
The present only is thine own, 
Then use it well, ere it has flown. 

All else which may by time be bred 

Is like a river of the plain. 
Now gliding gently o'er its bed 

Along to the Etruscan main. 
Now whirling onwards, fierce and fast. 
Uprooted trees, and boulders vast. 

oDExxix^] To Mcucenas. I47 

And flocks, and houses, all in drear 
Confusion tossed from shore to shore, 

While mountains far, and forests near 
Reverberate the rising roar, 

When lashing rains among the hills 

To fury wake the quiet rills. 

Lord of himself that man will be, 

And happy in his life alway, 
Who still at eve can say with free 

Contented soul, *' I've lived to-day !-^ 
Let Jove to-morrow, if he will, 
With blackest clouds the welkin fill, 

" Or flood it all with sunlight pure. 
Yet from the past he cannot take 

Its influence, for that is sure, 

Nor can he mar, or bootless make 

Whatever of rapture and delight 

The hours have borne us in their flight." 

Fortune, who with malicious glee 

Her merciless vocation plies, 
Benignly smiling now on me. 

Now on another, bids him rise, 

* " To-morrow I will live, the fool doth say ; 

To-day itselfs too late, the wise lived yesterday." 

— Martial, B. v. 59. 

" Life for delays and doubts no time does give, 
None ever yet made haste enough to live." 

—Id. B. II. 50. Translated by Cowley. 
Essay on Procrastination. 

"Ah, fill the cup ! What boots it to repeat 
How Time is slipping underneath our feet : 
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday, 
Why fret about them, if To-day be sweet?" 

—Omar Khayam. 

148 To Mcecenas. [book hi. 

And in mere wantonness of whim 
Her favours shifts from me to him. 

I laud her, whilst by me she holds, 
But if she spread her pinions swift, 

I wrap me in my virtue's folds,* 
And yielding back her every gift, 

Take refuge in the life so free 

Of bare but honest poverty. 

You will not find me, when the mast 

Groans 'neath the stress of southern gales. 

To wretched pray'rs rush off, nor cast 
Vows to the great gods, lest my bales 

From Tyre or Cyprus sink, to be 

Fresh booty for the hungry sea. 

When others then in wild despair 
To save their cumbrous wealth essay, 

I to the vessel's skiff repair. 
And, whilst the Twin Stars light my way, 

Safely the breeze my little craft 

Shall o'er the vEgean billows waft. 

*■ " And evermore himself with comfort feeds 
Of his own virtues and praiseworthy deeds." 

— Fairy Queen, ii. vii. 2. 




T 'VE reared a monument, my own, 
■*• More durable than brass, 
Yea, kingly pyramids of stone 
In height it doth surpass. 

Rain shall not sap, nor driving blast 

Disturb its settled base. 
Nor countless ages rolling past 

Its symmetry deface. 

I shall not wholly die. Some part, 

Nor that a little, shall 
Escape the dark Destroyer's dart. 

And his grim festival. 

For long as with his Vestals mute 
Rome's Pontifex shall climb 

The Capitol, my fame shall shoot 
Fresh buds through future time. 

Where brawls loud Aufidus, and came 
Parched Daunus erst, a horde 

Of rustic boors to sway, my name 
Shall be a household word ; 

^SO To Mclpomejie. [book m. 

As one who rose from mean estate, 

The first with poet fire 
^olic song to modulate 

To the Italian lyre. 

Then grant, Melpomene, thy son 

Thy guerdon proud to wear, 
And Delphic laurels, duly Avon, 

Bind thou upon my hair ! 






T TENUS, dost thou renew a fray 
^ Long intermitted ? Spare me, spare, I pray ! 

I am not such as in the reign 
Of the good Cinara I was. Refrain, 

Sweet Love's sour mother, him to school, 
Whom lustres ten have hardened to thy rule, 

And soft behests ; and hie thee where 
Youth calls to thee with many a fondling prayer ! 

More fitly — if thou seek to fire 
A bosom apt for love and young desire — 

Come, borne by bright-winged swans, and thus 
Revel in the house of Paulus Maximus ; 

Since, noble, and of graces choice, 
For troubled clients voluble of voice. 

And lord of countless arts, afar 
Will he advance the banners of thy war. 

And when he shall with smiles behold 
His native charms eclipse his rival's gold, 

He will thyself in marble rear, 
Beneath a cedarn roof near Alba's mere. 

There shall thy dainty nostril take 
In many a gum, and for thy soft ear's sake 

154 The Pains of Love, [book i v. 

Shall verse be set to harp and lute, 
And Phrygian hautboy, not without the flute. 

There twice a-day, in sacred lays, 
Shall youths and tender maidens sing thy praise ; 

And thrice in Salian manner beat 
The ground in cadence with their ivory feet. 

Me neither damsel now, nor boy 
Delights, nor credulous hope of mutual joy; 

Nor glads me now the deep carouse, 
Nor with dew- dropping flowers to bind my brows. 

But why, oh why, my Ligurine, 
Flow my thin tears down these poor cheeks of mine ? 

Or why, my well-graced words among, 
With an uncomely silence fails my tongue 1 

I dream, thou cruel one, by night, 
I hold thee fast ; anon, fled with the light, 

Whether in Field of Mars thou be. 
Or Tiber's rolling streams, I follow thee. 




T ULUS, he who'd rival Pindar's fame 
-*• On waxen wings doth sweep 

The Empyrean steep, 
To fall like Icarus, and with his name 

Endue the glassy deep. 

Like to a mountain stream, that roars 
From bank to bank along, 
When autumn rains are strong. 
So deep-mouthed Pindar lifts his voice, and pours 
His fierce tumultuous song. 

Worthy Apollo's laurel wreath, 

Whether he strike the lyre 

To love and young desire, 
While bold and lawless numbers grow beneath 

His mastering touch of fire ; 

Or sings of gods, and monarchs sprung 

Of gods, that overthrew 

The Centaurs, hideous crew. 
And, fearless of the monster's fiery tongue, 

The dread Chimasra slew ; 

Or those the Eldan palm doth lift 

To heaven, for winged steed. 

Or sturdy arm decreed. 
Giving, than hundred statues nobler gift, 

The poet's deathless mead ; 

156 To hdiis Antonitis, [book iv. 

Or mourns the youth snatched from his bride, 

Extols his manhood clear, 

And to the starry sphere 
Exalts his golden virtues, scattering wide 

The gloom of Orcus drear. 

When the Dircean Swan doth climb 

Into the azure sky, 

There poised in ether high. 
He courts each gale, and floats on wing sublime, 

Soaring with steadfast eye. 

I, like the tiny bee, that sips 

The fragrant thyme, and strays 

Humming through leafy ways. 
By Tibur's sedgy banks, with trembling lips 

Fashion my toilsome lays. 

But thou, when up the sacred steep 

Caesar, with garlands crowned, 

Leads the Sicambrians bound. 
With bolder hand the echoing strings shalt sweep, 

And bolder measures sound. 

Caesar, than whom a nobler son 

The Fates and Heaven's kind powers * 

Ne'er gave this earth of ours. 
Nor e'er will give, though backward time should run 

To its first golden hours. 

Thou, too, shalt sing the joyful days, 

The city's festive throng, 

When Caesar, absent long, 
At length returns, — the Forum's silent ways 

Serene from strife and wrong. 

ODE II.] To lulus Ant07ims, 157 

Then, though in statelier power it lack, 

My voice shall swell the lay. 

And sing, " O glorious day, 
O day thrice blest, that gives great Caesar back 

To Rome, from hostile fray ! " 

*' lo Triumphe ! '^ thrice the cry ; 

"loTriumphe!" loud 

Shall shout the echoing crowd 
The city through, and to the gods on high, 

Raise incense like a cloud. 

Ten bulls shall pay thy sacrifice, 

With whom ten kine shall bleed : 

I to the fane will lead 
A yearling of the herd, of modest size, 

From the luxuriant mead, 

Horned like the moon, when her pale light. 

Which three brief days have fed. 

She trimmeth, and, dispread 
On his broad brows a spot of snowy white. 

All else a tawny red.* 

* " The glory of the herd, a bull 

Snow-white, save 'twixt his horns one spot there grew ; 
Save that one stain, he was of milky hue." 





'nPHE man whom thou, dear Muse of song, 
■*- Didst at his birth regard with smihng calm, 
Shall win no glory in the Isthmian throng, 

From lusty wrestlers bearing off the palm, 
Nor ever, reining steads of fire, shall he 
In swift Achaian car roll on victoriously. 

Nor him shall warfare's stern renown, 
Nor baffled menaces of mighty kings. 

Bear to the Capitol with laurel crown; 
But streams that kiss with gentle murmurings 

Rich Tibur's vale, — thick wood, and mossy brake, 

Him of the .^Eolian lyre shall worthy master make. 

At Rome, of all earth's cities queen. 

Men deign to rank me in the noble press 

Of bards beloved of man; and now, I ween, 
Doth envy's rancorous tooth assail me less. 

O thou loved Muse, who temperest the swell 

And modulated noise of the sweet golden shell! 

O thou who canst at will endow 

Mute fish with swanlike voices soft and sweet, 
'Tis all thy gift, that, as they pass me now, 

Men point me to their fellows on the street, 
As lord and chief of Roman minstrelsy ; 
Yes, that I sing and please, if please, is due to thee. 




TIKE as the thunder-bearing bird 
-■— ' (On whom o'er all the fowls of air 
Dominion was by Jove conferred, 
Because with loyal care 
He bore away to heaven young Ganymede the fair), 

Whom native vigour and the rush 

Of youth have spurred to quit the nest, 
And skies of blue in springtide's flush 

Entice aloft to breast 
The gales he feared before his lordly plumes were drest, 

Now swooping, eager for his prey, 

Spreads havoc through the fluttered fold, — 

Straight, fired by love of food and fray, 
In grapple fierce and bold 
The struggling dragons rends even in their rocky hold: 

Or like the hon's whelp, but now 

Weaned from his tawny mother's side, 
By tender kidHng on the brow 
Of some green slope espied, 
Whose unfleshed teeth she knows will in her blood be dyed ; 

So dread, so terrible in war 

Our noble Drusus showed, when through 
The Rhastian Alpine glens afar 

His conquering eagles flew. 
And swiftly the appalled Vindelici o'erthrew. 

l6o The Praises of Drusus. [book iv 

Whence came their custom — in the night 

Of farthest time it flourished there — 
With Amazonian axe to fight, 
To question I forbear ; 
Nor anything to know, may any mortal dare ; 

But this I know ; their hosts, that still, 
Where'er they came, victorious fought, 

In turn by that young hero's skill 
Revanquished, have been taught 
To feel what marvels may of enterprise be wrought 

By valiant heart and vigorous head, 

In home auspicious trained to power, 
What by the noble spirit fed 
In Nero's sons by our 
Augustus, who on them a father's care did shower. 

'Tis of the brave and good alone 

That good and brave men are the seed ; * 

The virtues, which their sires have shown, 
Are found in steer and steed ; 
Nor do the eagles fierce the gentle ringdove breed. 

Yet training quickens power inborn, 

And culture nerves the soul for fame; 
But he must live a life of scorn, 
Who bears a noble name, 
Yet blurs it with the soil of infamy and shame. 

What thou, Rome, dost the Neros owe. 
Let dark Metaurus' river say, 

* " O worthiness of nature, breed of greatness ! 

Cowards father cowards, and base things the base." 

— Cymbeline. 

ODE IV.] The Praises of Drustis. i6l 

And Asdrubal, thy vanquished foe, 
And that auspicious day, 
Which through the scattered gloom broke forth with smiling 

When joy again to Latium came, 

Nor longer through her towns at ease 
The fatal Lybian swept, like flame 

Among the forest trees, 
Or Eurus' headlong gust across Sicilian seas. 

Thenceforth, for with success they toiled, 

Rome's youth in vigour waxed amain. 
And temples, ravaged and despoiled, 

By Punic hordes profane, 
Upraised within their shrines beheld their gods again. 

Till spoke false Hannibal at length ; 

" Like stags, of ravening wolves the prey, 
Why rush to grapple with their strength, 

From whom to steal away 
The loftiest triumph is, they leave for us to-day.? 

" That race, inflexible as brave, 

From Ilium quenched in flames, who bore 
Across the wild Etruscan wave 
Their babes, their grandsires hoar, 
And all their sacred things, to the Ausonian shore ; 

'* Like oak, by sturdy axes lopped 

Of all its boughs, which once the brakes 
Of shaggy Algidus o'ertopped, 

Its loss its glory makes. 

And from the very steel fresh strength and spirit takes. 
VOL. I. L 

1 62 The Praises of Dnisus, [book iv. 

" Not Hydra, cleft through all its trunk, 

With fresher vigour waxed and spread, 
Till even Alcides' spirit shrunk ; 
Nor yet hath Colchis dread. 
Or Echionean Thebes more fatal monster bred. 

" In ocean plunge it, and more bright 

It rises ; scatter it, and lo! 
Its unscathed victors it will smite 

With direful overthrow, 
And Rome's proud dames shall tell of many a routed foe. 

*' No messengers in boastful pride 
Shall I to Carthage send again ; 
Our every hope, it died, it died. 
When Asdrubal was slain. 
And with his fall our name's all-conquering star did wane." 

No peril, but the Claudian line 

Will front and master it, for they 
Are shielded by Jove's grace divine, 
And counsels sage alway 
Their hosts through war's rough paths successfully convey ! 




■pROM gods benign descended, thou 
-■■ Best guardian of the fates of Rome, 

Too long already from thy home 
Hast thou, dear chief, been absent now ; 

Oh, then return, the pledge redeem, 
Thou gav'st the Senate, and once more 
Its light to all the land restore; 

For when thy face, like springtide's gleam, 

Its brightness on the people sheds, 
Then glides the day more sweetly by, 
A brighter blue pervades the sky, 

The sun a richer radiance spreads ! 

As on her boy the mother calls. 

Her boy, whom envious tempests keep 
Beyond the vexed Carpathian deep. 

From his dear home, till winter falls. 

And still with vow and prayer she cries, 
Still gazes on the winding shore. 
So yearns the country evermore 

For Caesar, with fond, wistful eyes. 

For safe the herds range field and fen, 
Full-headed stand the shocks of grain, 
Our sailors sweep the peaceful main, 

And man can trust his fellow-men. 

164 To Augustus. [book IV. 

No more adulterers stain our beds, 
Laws, morals, both that taint efface. 
The husband in the child we trace, 

And close on crime sure vengeance treads. 

The Parthian, under Caesar's reign. 

Or icy Scythian, who can dread, 

Or all the tribes barbarian bred 
By Germany, or ruthless Spain ? 

Now each man, basking on his slopes, 
Weds to his widowed trees the vine. 
Then, as he gaily quaffs his wine, 

Salutes thee God of all his hopes ; 

And prayers to thee devoutly sends. 
With deep libations ; and, as Greece 
Ranks Castor, and great Hercules^ 

Thy godship with his Lares blends. 

Oh, mayst thou on Hesperia shine. 
Her chief, her joy, for many a day ! 
Thus, dry-lipped, thus at morn we pray. 

Thus pray at eve, when flushed with wine. 




npHOU god, who art potent that tongue to chastise, 
-*■ Which e'er by its vaunts the Immortals defies, 
As well the sad offspring of Niobe knew, 
And Tityus, profanest of ravishers, too. 
And Phthian Achilles, who wellnigh o'ercame 
Proud Troy, of all warriors the foremost in fame, 
Yet ne'er with thyself to be matched; for though he 
Was begotten of Thetis, fair nymph of the sea, 
And shook the Dardanian turrets with fear. 
As he crashed through the fray with his terrible spear. 
Like a pine, by the biting steel struck and down cast, 
Or cypress o'erthrown by the hurricane blast. 
Far prostrate he fell, and in Teucrian dust 
His locks all dishevelled ignobly were thrust. 
He would not, shut up in the horse, that was feigned 
To be vowed to the rites of Minerva, have deigned 
In their ill-timed carouse on the Trojans to fall. 
When the festival dance gladdened Priam's high hall; 
No ! He to the captives remorseless, — oh shame ! 
In the broad face of day to Greek faggot and flame 
Their babes would have flung, yea, as ruthless a doom 
Would have wreaked upon those who still slept in the womb, 
If won by sweet Venus' entreaties and thine, 
The Sire of the Gods, with a bounty benign, 
A City had not to ^neas allowed, 
To stand through the ages triumphant and proud ! 
Thou, who taught'st keen Thalia the plectrum to guide, 
Thou, who lavest thy tresses in Xanthus's tide, 

1 66 In Praise of Apollo and Diana, [book iv. 

O beardless Agyieus, uphold, I implore, 

The fame of the Daunian Muse evermore, 

For 'twas thou didst inspire me with poesy's flame, 

Thou gav'st me the art of the bard, and his name ! 

Ye virgins, the foremost in rank and in race. 
Ye boys, who the fame of your ancestry grace, 
Fair wards of the Delian goddess, whose bow 
Lays the swift-footed lynx and the antelope low. 
To the Lesbian measure keep time with your feet. 
And sing in accord with my thumb in its beat ; 
Hymn the son of Latona in cadence aright. 
Hymn duly the still-waxing lamp of the night. 
That with plentiful fruitage the season doth cheer. 
And speeds the swift months on to girdle the year! 

And thou, who art chief of the chorus to-day. 
Soon borne home a bride in thy beauty shalt say, 
" When the cyclical year brought its festival days. 
My voice led the hymn of thanksgiving and praise, 
So sweet, the Immortals to hear it were fain, 
And 'twas Horace the poet who taught me the strain ! " 




'T^HE snows have fled, and to the meadows now 
-*- Returns the grass, their foliage to the trees : 
Earth dons another garb, and dwindling low 

Between their wonted banks the rivers seek the seas. 

The Graces with the Nymphs their dances twine, 

Their beauties all unbosomed to the air ; 
Read in the shifting year, my friend, a sign, 

That change and death attend all human hope and care^ 

Winter dissolves beneath the breath of Spring, 
Spring yields to Summer, which shall be no more. 

When Autumn spreads her fruits thick-clustering, 

And then comes Winter back, — bleak, icy- dead, and hoar. 

But moons revolve, and all again is bright:"^ 

We, when we fall, as fell the good and just 
^neas, wealthy Tullus, Ancus wight, 

Are but a nameless shade, and some poor grains of dust. 

* Mr. Yonge, in his edition of Horace, has called attention to the' 
way in which Young, in his * Night Thoughts,' Night 6, uses the same 
thought in aid of his plea for man's immortality : — 

" Look Nature through, 'tis revolution all : 
All change, no death ; day follows night, and night 
The dying day ; stars rise and set and rise. 
Earth takes the example. See the Summer, gay 
With her green chaplet, and ambrosial flowers. 
Droops into pallid Autumn : Winter grey, 
Horrid witli frost, and turbulent with storm. 

1 68 To Torqiiatiis. [book iv. 

Who knows, if they, who all our Fates control, 

Will add a morrow to thy brief to-day? 
Then think of this — What to a friendly soul 

Thy hand doth give shall 'scape thine heir's rapacious sway. 

When thou, Torquatus, once hast vanished hence, 

And o'er thee Minos' great decree is writ. 
Nor ancestry, nor fire-lipped eloquence. 

Nor all thy store of wealth to give thee back were fit. 

For even Diana from the Stygian gloom 

Her chaste Hippolytus no more may gain, 
And dear Pirithous must 'bide his doom. 

For Theseus' arm is frail to rend dark Lethe's chain. 

Blows Autumn and his golden fruits away, 

Then melts into the Spring : Soft Spring, with breath 

Favonian, from warm chambers of the south 

Recalls the first. All, to reflourish, fades ; 

As in a wheel all sinks to reascend. 

Emblems of man who passes, not expires." 

" Mark the winds, and mark the skies. 
Ocean's ebb and ocean's flow ; 
Sun and moon but set to rise, 

Round and round the seasons go." 





/'^UPS on my friends I would freely bestow, 
^^ Dear Censorinus, and bronzes most rare, 
Tripods carved richly, in Greece long ago 

The guerdons of heroes, for them I would spare 

Nor should the worst of my gifts be thine own. 
If in my household art's marvels were rife, 

Hero or god, wrought by Scopas in stone, 
Or by Parrhasius coloured to life. 

But unto me no such dainties belong, 
Neither of them hast thou any dearth ; 

Song is thy joy, I can give thee a song, 

Teach, too, the gift's all unmatchable worth. 

Not marbles graven with glorious scrolls 
Penned by a nation with gratitude due. 

Records, in which our great warriors' souls 
Tameless by death ever flourish anew ! 

Not flying enemies, no, nor with shame 
Hannibal's menaces back on him hurled. 

Not fraudful Carthage expiring in flame, 
Blazon his glory more bright to the world, 

His surname from Africa vanquished who drew, 
Than doth the Calabrian Muse by its lays : 

And how, if your feats be unsung of, will you 
Reap the full guerdon of life-giving praise .'' 

I/O To Lollius. [book IV. 

What were great Mavors, and Ilia's son, 
Had envious silence his merits suppressed ? 

Styx's dark flood had o'er -^acus run, 
But song bore him on to the Isles of the Blest. 

Dowered by the Muse with a home in the sky, 
Ne'er can he perish, whom she doth approve : 

Dauntless Alcides thus revels on high, 
Guest at the coveted banquets of Jove. 

So the Twin Stars, as through tempests they glow. 
Save the spent seaman, when most he despairs ; 

Bacchus, with vine leaves fresh garlanded, so 
Brings to fair issues his votary's pray'rs. 



"\ T EVER deem they must perish, the verses, which I, 
^ ^ Who was born where the waters of Aufidus roar, 
To the chords of the lyre with a cunning ally 
Unknown to the bards of my country before ! 

Though Maeonian Homer unrivalled may reign, 
Yet are not the Muses Pindaric unknown, 

The threats of Alcaeus, the Ceian's sad strain. 
And stately Stesichorus' lordlier tone. 

Unforgot is the sportive Anacreon's lay. 

Still, still sighs the passion, unquenched is the fire, 

Which the Lesbian maiden, in days far away. 

From her love-laden bosom breathed into the lyre. 

ODE IX.] To Lollms. I/ 1 

Not alone has Lacaenian Helena's gaze 
Been fixed by the gloss of a paramour's hair, 

By vestments with gold and with jewels ablaze, 
By regal array, and a retinue rare ; 

Nor did Teucer first wield the Cydonian bow, 

Nor was Troy by a foe but once harassed and wrung ; 

Nor Idomeneus only, or Sthenelus show 

Such prowess in war as deserved to be sung; 

Nor yet was redoubtable Hector, nor brave 

Deiphobus first in the hard-stricken field 
By the dint of the strokes, which they took and they gave, 

Their babes and the wives of their bosom to shield. 

Many, many have lived, who were valiant in fight. 
Before Agamemnon; but all have gone down, 

Unwept and unknown, in the darkness of night. 
For lack of a poet to hymn their renown. 

Hidden worth differs little from sepulchred ease.-^ 
But, Lollius, thy fame in my pages shall shine ; 

I will not let pale-eyed Forgetfulness seize 
These manifold noble achievements of thine. 

Thou, my friend, hast a soul, by whose keen-sighted range 

Events afar off in their issues are seen, 
A soul, which maintains itself still through each change 

Of good or ill fortune erect and serene. 

For if our virtues 

Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike 

As though we had them not." 

— Measure for Measure, Act i. Sc. 2. 

1/2 To Lollius. [BOOK IV. 

Of rapine and fraud the avenger austere, 
To wealth and its all-snaring blandishments proof, 

The Consul art thou not of one single year. 
But as oft as a judge, from all baseness aloof. 

Thou hast made the expedient give place to the right, 
And flung back the bribes of the guilty with scorn, 

And on through crowds warring against thee with might 
Thy far-flashing arms hast triumphantly borne. 

Not him, who of much that men prize is possessed, 
Mayst thou fitly call '• blest ; " he may claim to enjoy 

More fitly, more truly, the title of " blest," 
Who wisely the gifts of the gods can employ ; — 

Who want, and its hardships, and slights can withstand, 
And shrinks from disgrace as more bitter than death, 

Not he for the friends whom he loves, or the land 
Of his fathers will dread to surrender his breath. 




AH, cruel, cruel still, 
And yet divinely fair, 
When Time with fingers chill 

Shall thin the wavy hair, 
Which now in many a wanton freak 

Around thy shoulders flows, 
When fades the bloom, which on thy cheek 
Now shames the blushing rose ; 

Ah, then as in thy glass 
Thou gazest in dismay, 

Thou'lt cry, " Alas ! alas ! 
Why feel I not to-day. 

As in my maiden bloom, when I 
Unmoved heard lovers moan. 

Or, now that I would win them, why- 
Is all my beauty flown ? '' 




T HAVE laid in a cask of Albanian wine, 
-*■ Which nine mellow summers have ripened and more ; 
In my garden, dear Phyllis, thy brows to entwine, 
Grows the brightest of parsley in plentiful store. 

There is ivy to gleam on thy dark glossy hair ; 

, My plate, newly burnished, enlivens my rooms ; 
And the altar, athirst for its victim, is there, 

Enwreathed with chaste vervain, and choicest of blooms. 

Every hand in the household is busily toiling. 
And hither and thither boys bustle and girls ; 

Whilst, up from the hearth-fires careering and coiling. 
The smoke round the rafter-beams languidly curls. 

Let the joys of the revel be parted between us ! 

'Tis the Ides of young April, the day which divides 
The month, dearest Phyllis, of ocean-sprung Venus, 

A day to me dearer than any besides. 

And well may I prize it, and hail its returning — 
My own natal day not more hallowed nor dear — 

For Maecenas, my friend, dates from this happy morning 
The life which has swelled to a lustrous career. 

You sigh for young Telephus : better forget him ! 

His rank is not yours, and the gaudier charms 
Of a girl that's both wealthy and wanton benet him, 

And hold him the fondest of slaves in her arms. 

ODE XII.] To Vhgil. 175 

Remember fond Phaeton's fiery sequel, 
And heavenward-aspiring Bellerophon's fate ; 

And pine not for one who would ne'er be your equal, 
But level your hopes to a lowlier mate. 

So, come, my own Phyllis, my heart's latest treasure, — 
Ah, ne'er for another this bosom shall long, — 

And I'll teach, while your loved voice re-echoes the measure, 
How to lighten fell care by the cadence of song. 



"XT OW the soft gales of Thrace, that sing peace to the 
^ ^ ocean, 

Spring's handmaids, are wafting the barks from the shore, 
There is life in the meads, in the groves there is motion. 

And snow-swollen torrents are raving no more. 

Now buildeth hernest, whilst for Itys still sadly 
She mourns, the poor bird, who was fated to shame 

The line of old Cecrops for ever, by madly 
Avenging the brutal barbarian's flame. 

On the young grass reclined, near the murmur of fountains, 
The shepherds are piping the songs of the plains. 

And the god, who loves Arcady's purple-hued mountains, 
The God of the Flocks, is entranced by their strains. 

i'j6 To Virgil. [book iv. 

And thirst, O my Virgil, comes in with the season ; 

But if you'd have wine from the CaUan press, 
You must hire it from me by some nard,— and with reason, — 

Thou favourite bard of our youthful noblesse. 

Yes, a small box of nard from the stores of Sulpicius 

A cask shall elicit, of potency rare 
To endow with fresh hopes, dewy-bright and delicious, 

And wash from our hearts every cobweb of care. 

If you'd dip in such joys, come — the better, the quicker ! — 
But remember the fee — for it suits not my ends, 

To let you make havoc, scot-free, with my liquor, 
As though I were one of your heavy-pursed friends. 

To the winds with base lucre and pale melancholy !— 
In the flames of the pyre these, alas ! will be vain. 

Mix your sage ruminations with glimpses of folly, — 
'Tis delightful at times to be somewhat insane I 




TYCE, the gods have heard my prayer, 
-^— ' The gods have heard your ill-used lover, 
You still would be thought both young and fair. 

But you've lost your looks, and your heyday's over : 
You may tipsily wanton, and quaver, and trill, 
But the love you would waken will slumber on still. 

In the dimples of Chia's fair cheek he lies, 

Chia that lilts to her lyre so sweetly ; 
From crab-trees insipid and old he flies. 

And you, Lyce, you he forswears completely ; 
For your teeth don't keep, and your wrinkles are deep. 
And your forehead is snow-capped, and rugged, and steep. 

Not purple of Cos, nor gems star-bright, 

Can recall the days that are gone and going ; 

Oh, where is the bloom and the smile of light. 
And the step of grace, self-poised and flowing ? 

What of her, in whose breath was love's flame, is left, 

Of her, who my soul of itself bereft ? 

Thou to Cinara next for charm of face, 
And love-luring wiles on my heart wert graven ; 

But Cinara died in her youth's fresh grace, 
Whilst thou art like to outlive the raven. 

Dying down, a spent torch, into ashes and smoke, 

The butt of each roystering youngster's joke ! 

VOL. I. M 




T T OW shall the Fathers, how 

•^ -*• Shall the Ouiritians, O Augustus, now, 

Intent their honours in no niggard wise 
Upon thee to amass. 
By storied scroll, or monumental brass 

Thy virtues eternise ? 

O thou who art, wherever shines the sun 

On lands where man a dwelling-place hath won, 

Of princes greatest far. 
Thee the Vindelici, who ever spurned 
Our Latian rule, of late have learned 

To know supreme in war ! 

For 'twas with soldiers thou hadst formed, 

That Drusus, greatly resolute, 
On many a hard-won field o'erthrew the wild 

Genaunians, and the Brenni fleet of foot, 
And all their towering strongholds stormed, 

On Alps tremendous piled. 

Anon to deadliest fight 

The elder Nero pressed. 
And, by auspicious omens blessed. 
Scattered the giant Rhaetian hordes in flight. 

Himself, that glorious day, 

The foremost in the fray. 

ODE XIV.] To Atigtistus. 179 

With havoc dire did he 
O'erwhelm that banded crowd 
Of hearts in stern devotion vowed 

To die or to be free I 
Like Auster, lashing into ire 

The tameless ocean-waves, when through 
The driving rack the Pleiad choir 

Flash suddenly in view, 
So furiously he dashed 

Upon his serried foes, 

And where the balefires thickest rose, 
With foaming war-steed crashed. 

As bull-shaped Aufidus, who laves 

Apulian Daunus' realm, 
Is whirled along, when o'er his banks 
He eddies and he raves. 
Designing to o'erwhelm 
The cultured fields with deluge and dismay, 
So Claudius swept the iron ranks 
Of the barbarian host. 
And where from van to rear he clove his way. 
Along his track the mangled foemen lay. 
Nor did one squadron lost 
The lustre dim of that victorious fray. 

But thine the legions were, and thine 
The counsels, and the auspices divine, 
For on the self-same day. 
That suppliant Alexandria had flung 
Her port and empty palace wide to thee, 
Did Fortune, who since then through lustres three 
Had to thy banners smiling clung. 
Bring our long wars to a triumphant close, 
And for thee proudly claim 

i8o To AugtistHS. [book IV. 

The honour long desired, the glorious fame 

Of countless vanquished foes, 
And vanquished empires bowed in homage to thy sway ! 

Thee the Cantabrian, unsubdued till now, 
The Mede, the Indian, — thee 
The Scythian roaming free, 

Unwedded to a home, 
With wondering awe obey, 

O mighty Caesar, thou 
Of Italy and sovereign Rome 
The present shield, the guardian, and the stay ! 
Thee Nile, who hides from mortal eyes 

The springs where he doth rise. 
Thee Ister, arrowy Tigris thee. 
Thee, too, the monster-spawning sea, 
Which round far Britain's islands breaks in foam, 
Thee Gallia, whom no form of death alarms, 
Iberia thee, through all her swarms 

Of rugged warriors, hears ; 
Thee the Sicambrian, who 
Delights in carnage, too. 

Now laying down his arms, 

Submissively reveres ! 




'T^ O vanquished town and battle fray 
-•- I wished to dedicate my lay, 
When Phoebus smote his lyre, and sang, 
And in his strain this warning rang : 
*' Spread not your tiny sails to sweep 
The surges of the Tyrrhene deep I" 

Thy era, Caesar, which doth bless 
Our plains anew with fruitfulness. 
Back to our native skies hath borne 
Our standards from the temples torn 
Of haughty Parthia, and once more. 
The hurricane of warfare o'er. 
Hath closed Quirinian Janus' fane. 
On lawless licence cast a rein, 
And, purging all the land from crime, 
Recalled the arts of olden time ; 
Those arts, by which the name and power 
Of Italy grew hour by hour, 
And Rome's renown and grandeur spread 
To sunrise from Sol's western bed. 

While Cassar rules, no civil jar, 
Nor violence our ease shall mar, 
Nor rage, which swords for carnage whets, 
And feuds 'twixt hapless towns begets. 
The Julian Edicts who shall break ? 
Not they, who in the Danube slake 

1 82 To Augustus. [book IV. 

Their thirst, nor Serican, nor Gete, 
Nor Persian, practised in deceit, 
Nor all the ruthless tribes, beside 
The Danube's darkly-rolling tide. 

And we, on working days and all 
Our days offcast and festival. 
Shall with our wives and children there, 
Approaching first the Gods in prayer. 
Whilst jovial Bacchus' gifts we pour, 
Sing, as our fathers sang of yore, 
To Lybian flutes, which answer round. 
Of chiefs for mighty worth renowned, 
Of Troy, Anchises, and the line 
Of Venus evermore benign ! 



Ode ] PAGE 

I. Maecenas, scion of a race ' . 3 

II. Enough of snow, enough of direful hail ... 6 

III. May the great goddess-queen of Cyprus isle . , 8 

IV. As biting Winter flies, lo, Spring with sunny skies . 10 
V. Pyrrha, what slender boy, in perfume steeped . . 11 

VI. By Varius shall thy prowess be 12 

VII. Some will laud fair Mytilene 13 

VIII. Why, Lydia, why 15 

IX. See, Thaliarch, see, across the plain .... 16 

X. Mercurius, Atlas' grandchild eloquent . . . 18 

XI. Ask not— such lore's forbidden . ... . . 19 

XII. What man, what hero, Clio, wilt thou sing . . 21 

XIII. Lydia, when so oft the charms 24 

XIV. O bark, fresh waves shall hurry thee .... 26 

XV. As the treacherous shepherd bore over the deep . . 27 
XVI. O thou, than thy beautiful mother that still . . 29 

XVII. My own sweet Lucretilis ofttime can lure ... 30 

XVIII. Let the vine, dearest Varus, the vine be the first . 31 

XIX. The ruthless mother of wild desires . • • • 33 

XX. Our common Sabine wine shall be . . . , 34 

XXI. Ye tender virgins fair ....... 35 

XXII. Fuscus, the man of iife upright and pure ... 36 

XXIII. Nay, hear me, dearest Chloe, pray ! .... 38 

XXIV. Why should we stem the tears that needs must flow . 39 
XXV. Swains in numbers 41 

184 Index of First Lines, 

XXVI. Beloved by and loving the Muses . 
XXVII. Hold ! hold ! 'Tis for Thracian madmen to fight 
XXVIII. Thee, O Archytas, who hast scanned 
XXIX. So, Iccius, thou hast hankerings 
XXX. O Venus, Cnidian queen, and Paphian, tear . 
XXXI. What asks the poet, who adores 
XXXII. They ask for us. If 'neath green umbrage thou 

XXXIII. Nay, Albius, a truce to this sighing and grieving ! 

XXXIV. Unto the gods my vows were scant . 
XXXV. O pleasant Antium's goddess queen 

XXXVI. Sing, comrades, sing, let incense bum 
XXXVII. Now, comrades, fill each goblet to the brim 
XXXVIII. Persia's pomp, my boy, I hate . 


I. The civil broils that date 

II. Silver, whilst buried in the mine 

III. Let not the frowns of fate 

IV. Nay, Xanthias, my friend, never blush, man — no, no 
V. Have patience ! She's plainly too tender, you see 

VI. Septimius, thou who wouldst, I know 
VII. Dear comrade, in the days when thou and I 
VIII. If e'er, in vengeance for thy faithlessness . 

tr The same, retranslated 

IX. Not always from the clouds are rains 
X. If thou wouldst live secure and free . 
XI. "What the warlike Cantabrian or Scyth may design 
XII. Bid me not sing to my nerveless string 

XIII. Whoe'er he was, (his name be banned !) . 

XIV. Ahj Posthumus, the years, the fleeting years . 
XV. Soon regal piles each rood of land . 

XVI. For ease he doth the gods implore . 
XVII. Why wilt thou kill me with thy boding fears ? . 
XVIII. Within my dwelHng you behold 
XIX. Bacchus I've seen, (no fable is my song !) 
XX. On pinion newly plumed and strong 

Index of First Lines. i8$ 


I. Ye rabble rout, avaunt ! 

II. In war's stern school our youth should be . 

III. He that is just, and firm of will .... 

IV. O Queen Calliope, from heaven descend 

V. When through the heavens his thunders blare . 
VI. Ye Romans, ye, though guiltless, shall 
VII. Why weep, Asterie, for the youth 
VIII. Why a bachelor such as myself should disport . 
IX. Whilst I was dear and thou wert kind 
X. Though your drink were the Tanais, chillest of rivers 
XI. O Hermes, taught by whom Amphion's throat . 
XII. Poor maids to love's promptings . . . . 

XIII. O fountain of Bandusia's dell .... 

XIV. Caesar, O people, who of late .... 
XV. Quit, quit, 'tis more than time, thou wife . 

XVI. Well the tower of brass, the massive doors, the watch 

dogs' dismal bay . . . . . 

XVII. .^hus, sprung from Lamos old , , . . , 

XVIII. Faunus, lover of the shy 

XIX. How long after Inachus Codrus bore sway there . 
XX. What man is he so mad, as dare 
XXI. O precious crock, whose summers date 
XXII. Hail, guardian maid 

XXIII. If thou, at each new moon, thine upturned palms 

XXIV. Though thou, of wealth possessed 
XXV. Whither, whither, full of thee .... 

XXVI. I've had of late a host of loves afoot . 
XXVII. Let omens dire the bad attend .... 
XXVIII. What goodlier or fitter plan .... 
XXIX. Scion of Tuscan kings, in store .... 
XXX. I've reared a monument, my own 



1 02 












I. Venus, dost thou renew a fray 153 

II. lulus, he who'd rival Pindar's fame .... 155 

1 86 

Index of First Lines. 

III. The man whom thou, dear Muse of song 

IV. Like as the thunder-bearing bird . 
V. From gods benign descended, thou 

VI. Thou god, who art potent that tongue to chastise 
VII. The snows have fled, and to the meadows now 
VIII. Cups on my friends I would freely bestow . 
IX. Never deem they must perish, the verses, which I 
X. Ah, cruel, cruel still . . . . " . 
XI. I have laid in a cask of Albanian wine . 
XII. Now the soft gales of Thrace, that sing peace to the 

XIII, Lyc6, the gods have heard my prayer . 

XIV. How shall the Fathers, how .... 
XV. To vanquished town and battle fray 










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