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This poem forms, as it were, an introduction to the third book of
the odes. The poet, in the first stanza, compares himself to a priest, who, when bringing an offering to the gods, causes a song of praise to be sung to them by choirs of boys and girls. He then goes on to describe the differences of position among men, and shows that we are all on the same level in one respectnamely, that we must all die. From this he draws the conclusion that it is not worth while to strive after riches.
Odi profanum vulgus et arceo:
Regum timendorum in proprios greges,
Est, ut viro vir latius ordinet
1. Profanum vulgus ; that is the great mass of people, who are not initiated into the doctrines of the wise.—2. Favete linguis, the usual exhortation of the priest to those who brought offerings : literally, “be merciful with your tongues; that is, do not say any illomened word, and, to secure you from this, be silent; hence it may be translated simply, be silent.'-—5. In proprios greges, scil. imperium est. The kings are compared to shepherds. - 7. Giganteo triumpho. Compare ii. 19, 22. — 8. Cuncta — moventis. Homer makes the same statement in Il. i. 528. — 9. Est ut, “it is the case that, it happens that,' has here nearly, the force of quamquam, licet,
although." The apodosis begins in line 14, aequa lege. Viro vir, the same as alius alio, one plants his bushes (that is, trees, vines) more widely than another;' that is, he has a larger property.-10. Generosior, nobler, of higher rank.' Campus is the Campus Mar. 15
Contendat, illi turba clientium
Destrictus ensis cui super impia
Somnum reducent. Somnus agrestium
Desiderantem, quod satis est, neque
Non verberatae grandine vineae
Contracta pisces aequora sentiunt
tius, where the elections used to be held. – 13. Contendat, &c.
strives with his competitor, and is superior to him in character.' Turba clientium; that is, he is a better speaker, and defends more persons before courts of justice. - 14. Necessitas. By this name Fate is to be understood, who appoints the term of human existence. Compare ii. 3, 27.-15. Insignes = summos.-17. Super impia cervice, over his impious neck.' An allusion to Damocles, to whom Di. onysius the tyrant granted the enjoyment of his wealth and luxuries. He soon declined the pleasure, however, when he saw a naked sword suspended over his head by a single horse-hair.-18. Siculae dapes, such as Dionysius caused to be set before Damocles. But, besides, the Sicilians, generally were famed for their debauchery: 19. To elaborabunt supply ei. - 21. Somnum reducent, 'will bring back the sleep which he had before.' Somnus-fastidit. Construe thus: Lenis somnus non fastidit ('does not despise') humiles domos agrestium virorum. -- 26. Neque mare tumultuosum sollicitat, 'him the stormy sea troubles not.' The poet is thinking of a merchant who travels over sea to increase his gains, and to whom, therefore, the state of the sea does cause anxiety.--27. Arcturi cadentis = occi. I dentis. When Arcturus, the constellation of Bootes, sets (in the end of October), it brings bad weather. About the same time the constellation of Haedus, which is on the hand of the Waggoner, rises. -29. Verberatae grandine, 'struck by hail.' This refers to the owner of a vineyard, who was spoken of also previously in line 9.30. Mendaz, inasmuch as it cheats hope, and yields a bad harvest. Aquas ; that is, too much rain, which makes the vegetation rot. Arbor must be understood collectively. — 33. Contracta — molibus, the fishes feel that the sea has been made narrower by the masses
Jactis in altum molibus : huc frequens
Fastidiosus: sed Timor et Minae
Quod si dolentem nec Phrygius lapis,
Cur invidendis postibus et novo
of stone thrown into the deep.' This refers to the buildings which the rich Romans made even into the sea. See ii. 18, 20.-34. Frequens, surrounded by many workmen and slaves.--37. Fastidiosus, who is no longer content with the land. Minae, the inward remorse which every one feels who has been guilty of shameful actions. On the other hand, Timor is the fear of external evil. -39. Aerata tri. remi. See ii. 16, 21. - 40. Post equitem, behind the horseman;' that is, when the owner of that great estate mounts on horseback. 41. Quod si, if therefore.' Phrygius lapis, marble, which was hewn near Synnada in Phrygia, and was used particularly for pillars, such as are still preserved to us in one of the noblest temples of antiquity--the Pantheon, built by M. Agrippa.—42. Purpurarum usus sidere clarior, the wearing of purple garments, shining more brightly than the stars.' For, properly, we should have had clariorum, agreeing with purpurarum.-44. Costum, an Eastern aro. matic plant, particularly used for ointments. It is called Achaemenium, from Achaemenes, the founder of the royal race of Persia, here used to indicate Oriental origin generally: -45. Novo ritu, .in a way that I have not had before. The invidendae postes are marble pillars.-46. Moliar, ‘build with labour.'—47. Valle Sabina, for my Sabine farm in the vale.' Horace's little estate lay in a beautiful valley: -48. Operosiores, which would cause me more trouble and toil.'
AD PUBEM ROMANAM.
An ode to the Roman youth, in which he exhorts them to imitate
the valour and piety of their ancestors. Written about the year 21 B.C.
ANGUSTAM amice pauperiem pati,
Suspiret, eheu, ne rudis agminum
Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori
15 Poplitibus timidoque tergo.
Virtus repulsae nescia sordidae
1. Amice, "contentedly, without complaints' As to, pauperies, compare i. 1, 18, note. - 2. Puer, the Roman boy,' or rather
youth,' for the name of puer was given even to young men who had reached the military age--seventeen.-5. Trepidis in rebus, in dangers.' - 6. The author is thinking of a scene in Homer (Il. iii. 154), where the Trojan women, particularly the daughters of Priam, look down from the walls and towers of the city upon the battle, being anxious about their husbands and fathers.-9. Suspiret pirans metuat, for the following ne depends upon it. Rudis agminum, inexperienced in war' = rudis belli.-10. Sponsus regius is to be understood as the son of an allied king, who has been betrothed to the daughter of the king who is waging war (bellantis tyranni).-12. Ira, the wild fury of the lion thirsting for blood.-14. Fugacem, generally, one who is accustomed to flee;' here simply, fleeing, fugitive. - 16. Poplitibus timidoque tergo. The back and hollow of the knees are exposed to the enemy by a fugitive, instead of the breast, which the stout fighter displays. - 17. Virtus, both the valour of which the poet has just spoken, and virtue in general. Nescia sordidae repulsae, 'which knows no disgraceful repulse;' that is, is always conscious, if ever it sustains a repulse, that it was unmerited, and therefore not disgraceful. Hence its honores
Nec sumit aut ponit secures
Virtus, recludens immeritis mori
Est et fideli tuta silentio
Solvat phaselon: saepe Diespiter
are called intaminati incontaminati, 'undefiled, pure.' — 19. Secures,
the axes which were stuck in the fasces of the Roman magistrates. Hence the meaning is this: the favour of the people can neither give to virtue honour, nor take it away: she has it of her. self. - 21. Immeritis mori ; that is, immortalitate dignis, men de. serving of immortality. 22. Negata — via,'by a way denied to it;' that is, difficult. Compare i. 22, 22. — 23. Udam humum, • the damp earth,' enveloped in unwholesome mists, and which can therefore afford no fitting seat for virtue. She flies away towards heaven, fugiente penna, on fugitive wing.'— 25. Fideli silentio, 'to the silence of faith ;' that is, to the preservation of silence promised. This virtue was exhibited particularly in keeping undi. vulged the mysteries of the gods. -- 26. Construe thus: vetabo (that is, prohibebo), (ne) sub iisdem sit trabibus, etc. (is) qui vulgarit. The mysteries of Ceres, which were particularly holy as exhibited at Eleusis in Atrica, were also celebrated with great solemnity at Rome. — 27. Sub isdem trabibus, in the same house, under the same roof.' — 29. Diespiter. See i. 34, 5. — 30. Incesto addidit in. tegrum, has added the good man to the bad ;' that is, has destroyed the righteous man with the wicked; has, in his wrath against the wicked, destroyed at the same time the good.' — 31. The sense is this: it is rare that a criminal escapes punishment, al. though she (Punishment) with her limping gait may come but slowly after him.