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Ancient Roman Poetry, Drama and Literature

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ancient Roman Poetry, Drama and Literature
    Posted: 29-Jan-2012 at 18:06
I'm thinking this thread as one on which one can post examples of ancient Roman literature that one likes, as well as historical notes on it, comments, etc. I generally like posting one part of a work apiece, so I'll start with Horace and his odes:

Horace, Odes 1:1

Maecenas, born of monarch ancestors,
The shield at once and glory of my life!
There are who joy them in the Olympic strife
And love the dust they gather in the course;

The goal by hot wheels shunn'd, the famous prize,
Exalt them to the gods that rule mankind;
This joys, if rabbles fickle as the wind
Through triple grade of honours bid him rise,

That, if his granary has stored away
Of Libya's thousand floors the yield entire;
The man who digs his field as did his sire,
With honest pride, no Attalus may sway

By proffer'd wealth to tempt Myrtoan seas,
The timorous captain of a Cyprian bark.
The winds that make Icarian billows dark
The merchant fears, and hugs the rural ease

Of his own village home; but soon, ashamed
Of penury, he refits his batter'd craft.
There is, who thinks no scorn of Massic draught,
Who robs the daylight of an hour unblamed,

Now stretch'd beneath the arbute on the sward,
Now by some gentle river's sacred spring;
Some love the camp, the clarion's joyous ring,
And battle, by the mother's soul abhorr'd.

See, patient waiting in the clear keen air,
The hunter, thoughtless of his delicate bride,
Whether the trusty hounds a stag have eyed,
Or the fierce Marsian boar has burst the snare.

To me the artist's meed, the ivy wreath
Is very heaven: me the sweet cool of woods,
Where Satyrs frolic with the Nymphs, secludes
From rabble rout, so but Euterpe's breath

Fail not the flute, nor Polyhymnia fly
Averse from stringing new the Lesbian lyre.
O, write my name among that minstrel choir,
And my proud head shall strike upon the sky!

The first 3 books are dedicated to Maecenas. Some notes and commentaries on the ode can be found here http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0067:text=Carm.:book=1:poem=1
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Feb-2012 at 00:40
Horace, 1:2:

BkI:II To Augustus

 The Father’s sent enough dread hail

and snow to earth already, striking

sacred hills with fiery hand,

to scare the city,

and scare the people, lest again

we know Pyrrha’s age of pain

when Proteus his sea-herds drove

across high mountains,

and fishes lodged in all the elms,

that used to be the haunt of doves,

and the trembling roe-deer swam

the whelming waters.

We saw the yellow Tiber’s waves

hurled backwards from the Tuscan shore,

toppling Numa’s Regia and

the shrine of Vesta,

far too fierce now, the fond river,

in his revenge of wronged Ilia,

drowning the whole left bank, deep,

without permission.

Our children, fewer for their father’s

vices, will hear metal sharpened

that’s better destined for the Persians,

and of battles too.

Which gods shall the people call on

when the Empire falls in ruins?

With what prayer shall the virgins

tire heedless Vesta?

Whom will Jupiter assign to

expiate our sins? We pray you,

come, cloud veiling your bright shoulders,

far-sighted Apollo:

or laughing Venus Erycina,

if you will, whom Cupid circles,

or you, if you see your children

neglected, Leader,

you sated from the long campaign,

who love the war-shouts and the helmets,

and the Moor’s cruel face among his

blood-stained enemies.

Or you, winged son of kindly Maia,

changing shape on earth to human

form, and ready to be named as

Caesar’s avenger: 

Don’t rush back to the sky, stay long

among the people of Quirinus,

no swifter breeze take you away,

unhappy with our

sins: here to delight in triumphs,

in being called our prince and father,

making sure the Medes are punished,

lead us, O Caesar.

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 06-Feb-2012 at 00:42
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08-Feb-2012 at 23:23

BkI:III Virgil: Off to Greece

 

May the goddess, queen of Cyprus,

and Helen’s brothers, the brightest of stars,

and father of the winds, Aeolus,

confining all except Iapyga, guide you,

 ship, that owes us Virgil, given

to your care, guide you to Attica’s shores,

bring him safely there I beg you,

and there watch over half of my spirit.

 Triple bronze and oak encircled

the breast of the man who first committed

his fragile bark to the cruel sea,

without fearing the fierce south-westerlies

 fighting with the winds from the north,

the sad Hyades, or the raging south,

master of the Adriatic,

whether he stirs or he calms the ocean.

 What form of death could he have feared,

who gazed, dry-eyed, on swimming monsters,

saw the waves of the sea boiling,

and Acroceraunia’s infamous cliffs?

 Useless for a wise god to part

the lands, with a far-severing Ocean,

if impious ships, in spite of him,

travel the depths he wished inviolable.

 Daring enough for anything,

the human race deals in forbidden sin.

That daring son of Iapetus

brought fire, by impious cunning, to men.

When fire was stolen from heaven

its home, wasting disease and a strange crowd

of fevers covered the whole earth,

and death’s powers, that had been slow before

 and far away, quickened their step.

Daedalus tried the empty air on wings

that were never granted to men:

Hercules’ labours shattered Acheron.

 Nothing’s too high for mortal men:

like fools, we aim at the heavens themselves,

sinful, we won’t let Jupiter

set aside his lightning bolts of anger.

 



Edited by Don Quixote - 08-Feb-2012 at 23:24
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  Quote Sidney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Feb-2012 at 10:06
First part of Juvenal, Satire VIII

What avail your pedigrees? What boots it, Ponticus, to be valued for one's ancient blood, and to display the painted visages of one's forefathers; an Aemilianus standing in his car; a half-crumbled Curius; a Corvinus who has lost a shoulder, or a Galba that has neither ear nor nose? Of what profit is it to boast a Fabius on your ample family chart, and thereafter to trace kinship through many a branch with grimy Dictators and Masters of the Horse, if in presence of the Lepidi you live an evil life? What signify all these effigies of warriors if you gamble all night long before your Numantine ancestors, and begin your sleep with the rise of Lucifer, at an hour when our Generals of old would be moving their standards and their camps? Why should a Fabius, born in the home of Hercules, take pride in the title Allobrogicus, and in the Great Altar, if he be covetous and empty-headed and more effeminate than a Euganean lambkin; if his loins, rubbed smooth by Catanian pumice, throw shame on his shaggy-haired grandfathers; or if, as a trafficker in poison, he dishonour his unhappy race by a statue that will have to be broken in pieces? Though you deck your hall from end to end with ancient waxen images, Virtue is the one and only true nobility. Be a Paulus, or a Cossus, or a Drusus in character; rank them before the statues of your ancestors; let them precede the fasces themselves when you are Consul. You owe me, first of all things, the virtues of the soul; prove yourself stainless in life, one who holds fast to the right both in word and deed, and I acknowledge you as a lord; all hail to you, Gaetulicus, or you, Silanus, or from whatever stock you come, if you have proved yourself to a rejoicing country a rare and illustrious citizen, we would fain cry what Egypt shouts when Osiris has been found. For who can be called "noble" who is unworthy of his race, and distinguished in nothing but his name? We call some one's dwarf an "Atlas," his blackamoor "a swan"; an ill-favoured, misshapen girl we call "Europa"; lazy hounds that are bald with chronic mange, and who lick the edges of a dry lamp, will bear the names of "Pard," "Tiger," "Lion," or of any other animal in the world that roars more fiercely: take you care that it be not on that principle that you are a Creticus or a Camerinus!

Who is it whom I admonish thus? It is to you, Rubellius Blandus, that I speak. You are puffed up with the lofty pedigree of the Drusi, as though you had done something to make you noble, and to be conceived by one glorying in the blood of Iulus, rather than by one who weaves for hire under the windy rampart. "You others are dirt," you say; "the very scum of our populace; not one of you can point to his father's birthplace; but I am one of the Cecropidae!" Long life to you! May you long enjoy the glories of your birth! And yet among the lowest rabble you will find a Roman, who has eloquence, one who will plead the cause of the unlettered noble; you must go to the toga-clad herd for a man to untie the knots and riddles of the law. From them will come the brave young soldier who marches to the Euphrates, or to the eagles that guard the conquered Batavians, while you are nothing but a Cecropid, the image of a limbless Hermes! For in no respect but one have you the advantage over him: his head is of marble, while yours is a living effigy!

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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2012 at 21:45
Horace 

BkI:IV Spring

Fierce winter slackens its grip: it’s spring and the west wind’s sweet change:

the ropes are hauling dry hulls towards the shore,

The flock no longer enjoys the fold, or the ploughman the fire,

no more are the meadows white with hoary frost.

Now Cytherean Venus leads out her dancers, under the pendant moon,

and the lovely Graces have joined with the Nymphs,

treading the earth on tripping feet, while Vulcan, all on fire, visits

the tremendous Cyclopean forges.

Now its right to garland our gleaming heads, with green myrtle or flowers,

whatever the unfrozen earth now bears:

now it’s right to sacrifice to Faunus, in groves that are filled with shadow,

whether he asks a lamb, or prefers a kid.

Pale death knocks with impartial foot, at the door of the poor man’s cottage,

and at the prince’s gate. O Sestus, my friend,

the span of brief life prevents us from ever depending on distant hope.

Soon the night will crush you, the fabled spirits,

and Pluto’s bodiless halls: where once you’ve passed inside you’ll no longer

be allotted the lordship of wine by dice,

or marvel at Lycidas, so tender, for whom, already, the boys

are burning, and soon the girls will grow hotter.



Edited by Don Quixote - 14-Feb-2012 at 21:46
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Feb-2012 at 20:34
Horace  BkI:V Treacherous Girl

 

What slender boy, Pyrrha, drowned in liquid perfume,

urges you on, there, among showers of roses,

deep down in some pleasant cave?

For whom did you tie up your hair,

with simple elegance? How often he’ll cry at

the changes of faith and of gods, ah, he’ll wonder,

surprised by roughening water,

surprised by the darkening storms,

who enjoys you now and believes you’re golden,

who thinks you’ll always be single and lovely,

ignoring the treacherous

breeze. Wretched are those you dazzle

 while still untried. As for me the votive tablet

that hangs on the temple wall reveals, suspended,

my dripping clothes, for the god,

who holds power over the sea.

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 15-Feb-2012 at 20:35
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Feb-2012 at 19:26
Horace, Odes

BkI:VI A Tribute to Agrippa

 

You should be penned as brave, and a conqueror

by Varius, winged with his Homeric poetry,

whatever fierce soldiers, with vessels or horses,

have carried out, at your command.

 

Agrippa, I don’t try to speak of such things,

not Achilles’ anger, ever unyielding,

nor crafty Ulysses’ long sea-wanderings,

nor the cruel house of Pelops,

 

I’m too slight for grandeur, since shame and the Muse,

who’s the power of the peaceful lyre, forbids me

to lessen the praise of great Caesar and you,

by my defective artistry.

 

Who could write worthily of Mars in his armour

Meriones the Cretan, dark with Troy’s dust,

or Tydides, who with the help of Athene,

was the equal of all the gods?

 

I sing of banquets, of girls fierce in battle

with closely-trimmed nails, attacking young men:

idly, as I’m accustomed to do, whether

fancy free or burning with love.



Edited by Don Quixote - 16-Feb-2012 at 19:26
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Feb-2012 at 19:03
Horace

BkI:VII Tibur (the modern Tivoli)

Let others sing in praise of Rhodes, or Mytilene,

or Ephesus, or Corinth on the Isthmus,

or Thebes that’s known for Bacchus, or Apollo’s isle

of Delphi, or Thessalian Tempe.

There’s some whose only purpose is to celebrate

virgin Athene’s city forever,

and set indiscriminately gathered olive on their heads.

Many a poet in honour of Juno

will speak fittingly of horses, Argos, rich Mycenae.

As for me not even stubborn Sparta

or the fields of lush Larisa are quite as striking,

as Albunea’s echoing cavern,

her headlong Anio, and the groves of Tiburnus,

and Tibur’s orchards, white with flowing streams.

Bright Notus from the south often blows away the clouds

from dark skies, without bringing endless rain,

so Plancus, my friend, remember to end a sad life

and your troubles, wisely, with sweet wine,

whether it’s the camp, and gleaming standards, that hold you

or the deep shadows of your own Tibur.

They say that Teucer, fleeing from Salamis and his

father, still wreathed the garlands, leaves of poplar,

round his forehead, flushed with wine, and in speech to his friends

said these words to them as they sorrowed:

‘Wherever fortune carries us, kinder than my father,

there, O friends and comrades, we’ll adventure!

Never despair, if Teucer leads, of Teucer’s omens!

Unerring Apollo surely promised,

in the uncertain future, a second Salamis

on a fresh soil. O you brave heroes, you

who suffered worse with me often, drown your cares with wine:

tomorrow we’ll sail the wide seas again.’

 

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 19-Feb-2012 at 19:06
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2012 at 21:46
Horace:

BkI:VIII: To Lydia: Stop Ruining Sybaris!

 

Lydia, by all the gods,

say why you’re set on ruining poor Sybaris, with passion:

why he suddenly can’t stand

the sunny Campus, he, once tolerant of the dust and sun:

 

why he’s no longer riding

with his soldier friends, nor holds back the Gallic mouth, any longer,

with his sharp restraining bit.

Why does he fear to touch the yellow Tiber? Why does he keep

 

away from the wrestler’s oil

like the viper’s blood: he won’t appear with arms bruised by weapons,

he who was often noted

for hurling the discus, throwing the javelin out of bounds?

 

Why does he hide, as they say

Achilles, sea-born Thetis’ son, hid, before sad Troy was ruined,

lest his male clothing

had him dragged away to the slaughter, among the Lycian  troops?

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 20-Feb-2012 at 21:47
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Feb-2012 at 01:40

Horace - BkI:IX Winter

 

See how Soracte stands glistening with snowfall,

and the labouring woods bend under the weight:

see how the mountain streams are frozen,

cased in the ice by the shuddering cold?

 

Drive away bitterness, and pile on the logs,

bury the hearthstones, and, with generous heart,

out of the four-year old Sabine jars,

O Thaliarchus, bring on the true wine.

 

Leave the rest to the gods: when they’ve stilled the winds

that struggle, far away, over raging seas,

you’ll see that neither the cypress trees

nor the old ash will be able to stir.

 

Don’t ask what tomorrow brings, call them your gain

whatever days Fortune gives, don’t spurn sweet love,

my child, and don’t you be neglectful

of the choir of love, or the dancing feet,

 

while life is still green, and your white-haired old age

is far away with all its moroseness. Now,

find the Campus again, and the squares,

soft whispers at night, at the hour agreed,

 

and the pleasing laugh that betrays her, the girl

who’s hiding away in the darkest corner,

and the pledge that’s retrieved from her arm,

or from a lightly resisting finger.



Edited by Don Quixote - 23-Feb-2012 at 01:42
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Feb-2012 at 01:41
Horace

BkI:X To Mercury

 

Mercury, eloquent grandson of Atlas,

I’ll sing of you, who wise with your training, shaped

the uncivilised ways of our new-born race,

with language, and grace

 

in the ways of wrestling, you the messenger

of Jove and the gods, and the curved lyre’s father,

skilful in hiding whatever pleases you,

with playful deceit.

 

While he tried to scare you, with his threatening voice,

unless you returned the cattle you’d stolen,

and so craftily, Apollo was laughing

missing his quiver.

 

And indeed, with your guidance, Priam carrying

rich gifts left Troy, escaped the proud Atridae,

Thessalian fires, and the menacing camp

threatening Ilium.

 

You bring virtuous souls to the happy shores,

controlling the bodiless crowds with your wand

of gold, pleasing to the gods of the heavens

and the gods below.

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 24-Feb-2012 at 01:42
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27-Feb-2012 at 02:10
Horace

BkI:XI Carpe Diem

 

Leuconoë, don’t ask, we never know, what fate the gods grant us,

whether your fate or mine, don’t waste your time on Babylonian,

futile, calculations. How much better to suffer what happens,

whether Jupiter gives us more winters or this is the last one,

one debilitating the Tyrrhenian Sea on opposing cliffs.

Be wise, and mix the wine, since time is short: limit that far-reaching hope.

The envious moment is flying now, now, while we’re speaking:

Seize the day, place in the hours that come as little faith as you can.

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 27-Feb-2012 at 02:11
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2012 at 00:57
Horace:

BkI:XII Praising Augustus

 

What god, man, or hero do you choose to praise

on the high pitched flute or the lyre, Clio?

Whose name will it be that joyfully resounds

in playful echoes,

 

either on shadowed slopes of Mount Helicon,

or on Pindus’s crest, or on cool Haemus,

where the trees followed thoughtlessly after

Orpheus’s call,

 

that held back the swift-running streams and the rush

of the breeze, by his mother the Muse’s art,

and seductively drew the listening oaks

with enchaining song?

 

Which shall I sing first of the praises reserved

for the Father, who commands mortals and gods,

who controls the seas, and the land, and the world’s

various seasons?

 

From whom nothing’s born that’s greater than he is,

and there’s nothing that’s like him or near him,

though Athene has honour approaching his,

she’s bravest in war:

 

I won’t be silent about you, O Bacchus,

or you Diana, virgin inimical

to wild creatures, or you Apollo, so feared

for your sure arrows.

 

I’ll sing Hercules, too, and Leda’s twin boys,

one famed for winning with horses, the other

in boxing. When their clear stars are shining bright

for those on the sea,


 

the storm-tossed water streams down from the headland,

the high winds die down, and the clouds disappear,

and, because they wish it, the menacing waves

repose in the deep.

 

I don’t know whether to speak next, after those,

of Romulus, or of Numa’s peaceful reign,

of Tarquin’s proud axes, or of that younger

Cato’s noble death.

 

Gratefully, I speak in distinguished verses

of Regulus: and the Scauri: and Paulus

careless of his life, when Hannibal conquered:

of Fabricius.

 

Of him, and of Curius with uncut hair,

and Camillus too, whom their harsh poverty

and their ancestral gods, and their ancient farms,

inured to struggle.

 

Marcellus’ glory grows like a tree, quietly

with time: the Julian constellation shines,

among the other stars, as the Moon among

the lesser fires.

 

Father, and guardian of the human race,

son of Saturn, the care of mighty Caesar

was given you by fate: may you reign forever

with Caesar below.

 

Whether its the conquered Persians, menacing

Latium, that he leads, in well-earned triumph,

or the Seres and the Indians who lie

beneath Eastern skies,

 

under you, he’ll rule the wide earth with justice:

you’ll shake Olympus with your heavy chariot,

you’ll send your hostile lightning down to shatter

once-pure sacred groves.




Edited by Don Quixote - 28-Feb-2012 at 00:58
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2012 at 19:44
Horace:

BkI:XIII His Jealousy

When you, Lydia, start to praise

Telephus’ rosy neck, Telephus’ waxen arms,

alas, my burning passion starts

to mount deep inside me, with troubling anger.

 

Neither my feelings, nor my hue

stay as they were before, and on my cheek a tear

slides down, secretly, proving how

I’m consumed inwardly with lingering fires.

 

I burn, whether it’s madhouse

quarrels that have, drunkenly, marked your gleaming

shoulders, or whether the crazed boy

has placed a love-bite, in memory, on your lips.

 

If you’d just listen to me now,

you’d not bother to hope for constancy from him

who wounds that sweet mouth, savagely,

that Venus has imbued with her own pure nectar.

 

Three times happy are they, and more,

held by unbroken pledge, one which no destruction

of love, by evil quarrels,

will ever dissolve, before life’s final day.



Edited by Don Quixote - 28-Feb-2012 at 19:45
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Feb-2012 at 22:18
Horace:

BkI:XIV The Ship of State

 

O ship the fresh tide carries back to sea again.

Where are you going! Quickly, run for harbour.

Can’t you see how your sides

have been stripped bare of oars,

 

how your shattered masts and yards are groaning loudly

in the swift south-westerly, and bare of rigging,

your hull can scarce tolerate

the overpowering waters?

 

You haven’t a single sail that’s still intact now,

no gods, that people call to when they’re in trouble.

Though you’re built of Pontic pine,

a child of those famous forests,

 

though you can boast of your race, and an idle name:

the fearful sailor puts no faith in gaudy keels.

You must beware of being

merely a plaything of the winds.

 

You, who not long ago were troubling weariness

to me, and now are my passion and anxious care,

avoid the glistening seas

between the shining Cyclades.




Edited by Don Quixote - 29-Feb-2012 at 22:19
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2012 at 00:01

Horace:

BkI:XV Nereus’ Prophecy of Troy

 

While Paris, the traitorous shepherd, her guest,

bore Helen over the waves, in a ship from Troy,

Nereus, the sea-god, checked the swift breeze

with an unwelcome calm, to tell

 

their harsh fate: ‘You’re taking a bird of ill-omen,

back home, whom the Greeks, new armed, will look for again,

having sworn to destroy the marriage your planning

and the empire of old Priam.

 

Ah, what sweated labour for men and for horses

draws near! What disaster you bring for the Trojan

people! Athene’s already prepared her helm,

breastplate, chariot, and fury.

 

Uselessly daring, through Venus’ protection,

you’ll comb your hair and pluck at the peace-loving lyre,

make the music for songs that please girls: uselessly

you’ll hide, in the depths of your room,

 

from the heavy spears, from the arrows of Cretan

reeds, and the noise of the battle, and swift-footed

Ajax quick to follow: yet, ah too late, you’ll bathe

your adulterous hair in the dust!

 

Have you thought of Ulysses, the bane of your race,

have you even considered Pylian Nestor?

Teucer of Salamis presses you fearlessly,

Sthenelus, skilful in warfare,

 

and if it’s a question of handling the horses

he’s no mean charioteer. And Meriones

you’ll know him too. See fierce Tydides, his father’s

braver, he’s raging to find you.


 

As the deer sees the wolf there, over the valley,

and forgets its pastures, a coward, you’ll flee him,

breathing hard, as you run, with your head thrown high,

not as you promised your mistress.

 

The anger of Achilles’ armies may delay

the day of destruction for Troy and its women:

but after so many winters the fires of Greece

will burn the Dardanian houses.’

 



Edited by Don Quixote - 02-Mar-2012 at 00:13
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Mar-2012 at 23:25

BkI:XVI He Repents

 

O lovelier child of a lovely mother,

end as you will, then, my guilty iambics

whether in flames or whether instead

deep down in the Adriatic’s waters.

 

Neither Cybele, nor Apollo, who troubles

the priestess’s mind in the Pythian shrine,

nor Bacchus, nor the Corybants who

clash their shrill, ringing cymbals together,

 

pain us like anger, that’s undefeated by

swords out of Noricum, or sea, the wrecker,

or cruel fire, or mighty Jupiter

when he sweeps down in terrible fury.

 

They say when Prometheus was forced to add

something from every creature to our first clay

he chose to set in each of our hearts

the violence of the irascible lion.

 

Anger brought Thyestes down, to utter ruin,

and it’s the prime reason powerful cities

vanished in their utter destruction,

and armies, in scorn, sent the hostile plough

 

over the levelled spoil of their shattered walls.

Calm your mind: the passions of the heart have made

their attempt on me, in my sweet youth,

and drove me, maddened, as well, to swift verse:

 

I wish to change the bitter lines to sweet, now,

since I’ve charmed away all of my hostile words,

if you might become my friend, again,

and if you, again, might give me your heart.

 

 




Edited by Don Quixote - 02-Mar-2012 at 23:26
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Mar-2012 at 03:03
Horace

BkI:XVII The Delights of the Country

 

Swift Faunus, the god, will quite often exchange

Arcady for my sweet Mount Lucretilis,

and while he stays he protects my goats

from the midday heat and the driving rain.

 

The wandering wives of the rank he-goats search,

with impunity, through the safe woodland groves,

for the hidden arbutus, and thyme,

and their kids don’t fear green poisonous snakes,

 

or the wolf of Mars, my lovely Tyndaris,

once my Mount Ustica’s long sloping valleys,

and its smooth worn rocks, have re-echoed

to the music of sweet divine piping.

 

The gods protect me: my love and devotion,

and my Muse, are dear to the gods. Here the rich

wealth of the countryside’s beauties will

flow for you, now, from the horn of plenty.

 

Here you’ll escape from the heat of the dog-star,

in secluded valleys, sing of bright Circe,

labouring over the Teian lyre,

and of Penelope: both loved one man.

 

Here you’ll bring cups of innocent Lesbian

wine, under the shade, nor will Semele’s son,

that Bacchus, battle it out with Mars,

nor shall you fear the intemperate hands

 

of insolent Cyrus, jealously watching,

to possess you, girl, unequal to evil,

to tear off the garland that clings to

your hair, or tear off your innocent clothes.



Edited by Don Quixote - 05-Mar-2012 at 03:04
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Mar-2012 at 23:19
Horace 

BkI:XVIII Wine

 

Cultivate no plant, my Varus, before the rows of sacred vines,

set in Tibur’s gentle soil, and by the walls Catilus founded:

because the god decreed all things are hard for those who never drink,

and he gave us no better way to lessen our anxieties.

Deep in wine, who rattles on, about harsh campaigns or poverty?

Who doesn’t rather speak of you, Bacchus, and you, lovely Venus?

And lest the gifts of Liber pass the bounds of moderation set,

we’ve the battle over wine, between the Lapiths and the Centaurs,

as a warning to us all, and the frenzied Thracians, whom Bacchus

hates, when they split right from wrong, by too fine a line of passion.

Lovely Bacchus, I’ll not be the one to stir you, against your will,

nor bring to open light of day what’s hidden under all those leaves.

Hold back the savagery of drums, and the Berecyntian horns,

and those deeds that, afterwards, are followed by a blind self-love,

by pride that lifts its empty head too high, above itself, once more,

and wasted faith in mysteries much more transparent than the glass.



Edited by Don Quixote - 05-Mar-2012 at 23:23
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Mar-2012 at 22:51
Horace 

BkI:XIX Glycera’s Beauty

 

Cruel Venus, Cupid’s mother,

Bacchus, too, commands me, Theban Semele’s son,

and you, lustful Licentiousness,

to recall to mind that love I thought long-finished.

 

I burn for Glycera’s beauty,

who gleams much more brightly than Parian marble:

I burn for her lovely boldness

and her face too dangerous to ever behold.

 

Venus bears down on me, wholly,

deserting her Cyprus, not letting me sing of

the Scythians, or Parthians

eager at wheeling their horses, nor anything else.

 

Here set up the green turf altar,

boys, and the sacred boughs of vervain, and incense,

place here a bowl of last year’s wine:

if a victim’s sacrificed, she’ll come more gently.

 



Edited by Don Quixote - 06-Mar-2012 at 23:18
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