Page images


Ridetque, si mortalis ultra
Fas trepidat. Quod adest, memento

Componere aequus: cetera fluminis
Ritu feruntur, nunc medio alveo
Cum pace delabentis Etruscum
In mare, nune lapides adesos

Stirpesque raptas et pecus et domos
Volventis una non sine montium
Clamore vicinaeque silvae,
Cum fera diluvies quietos

Irritat amnes. Ille potens sui
Laetusque deget, cui licet in diem
Dixisse" Vixi; cras vel atra
Nube polum pater occupato

Vel sole puro; non tamen irritum
Quodcunque retro est, efficiet, neque
Diffinget infectumque reddet
Quod fugiens semel hora vexit.

Fortuna, saevo laeta negotio et
Ludum insolentem ludere pertinax,
Transmutat incertos honores,
Nunc mihi nunc alii benigna.

Laudo manentem; si celeres quatit
Pennas, resigno quae dedit, et mea
Virtute me involvo, probamque




purpose.' – 31. Ultra fas, " beyond what he is permitted to know, beyond what the gods have allowed him,' for this is fas. Trepidat

=curat timet. -32. Quod adest, the present, and that which immediately follows it; the things of io-day and to-morrow. -33. Aequus, with equity, justice ;' the adjective for the adverb, which would have been used in prose. Fluminis ; namely, the Tiber, from which the whole of the following comparison is taken. -35. Cum pace = placide, quiete, peacefully, calmly.' — 40. Diluvies, 'a flood.? When the melting of the snow on the mountains has swelled the tributaries of the Tiber, Anio, Nar, and Clanis, which commonly flow peacefully along, then the Tiber also be. comes an impetuous torrent. — 41. Potens sui, .master of himself,' so that he keeps his passions under subjection. — 42. In diem..for every day.' – 44. Polum, as frequently, the sky.' generally. – 47. Diffinget, change the form of, alter.' — 49. Laeta saevo negotio, who rejoices in her cruel employment;' namely, impove. rishing the wealthy and humbling the proud.-50. Ludere, depend. ing, according to a Greek construction, on pertinax. 'obstinate to play ;' that is, .in playing.' - 53. Celeres pennas. Compare i. 34, 15. -54. Resigno, a term taken from the Roman money.dealings,

rescribo, 'I pay by bill, I give back.' Compare Epist. i. 7, 34.55. Virtute mea me involvo, `1 wrap myself up in mine integrity,' as in a toga. Dying persons used to draw the toga over their head, Pauperiem sine dote quaero.

Non est meum, si mugiat Africis
Malus procellis, ad miseras preces
Decurrere et votis pacisci,
Ne Cypriae Tyriaeque merces

Addant avaro divitias mari.
Tum me biremis praesidio scaphae
Tutum per Aegaeos tumultus
Aura feret geminusque Pollux.


and thus quietly await the struggle

with the last enemy. – 56. Sine dote, without any present,' which Fortune gives man as a dowry.58. Malus, the mast,' used here by synecdoche for the ship gene. rally. Compare i. 14, 5. — 59. Votis pacisci, to gain peace and rest by vowing presents to the gods should the ship reach the land safely. -62. Biremis here does not mean, as usual, a ship with two banks of oars; but, as we see from scaphae, a small boat impelled by two

- 63. Aegaeos tumultus, the raging storms of the Aegean.' 64. Geminus Pollux. See i. 3, 2, and i. 12, 25.



CLOSING poem of the first three books of the odes, in which, as if

his productions as a lyrist were here to end, Horace, with a just consciousness of his merits in this department, promises to him. self immortality from his odes.

Exegi monumentum aere perennius
Regalique situ pyramidum altius,
Quod non imber edax, non Aquilo impotens
Possit diruere aut innumerabilis
Annorum series et fuga temporum.

Non omnis moriar, multaque pars mei
Vitabit Libitinam: usque ego postera
Crescam laude recens, dum Capitolium

1. Aere, than brass ;' that is, than a statue of brass (aëneo monumento), such as commonly used to be erected to the memory of illus. trious men. - 2. Situ, 'than the structure.' – 3. Impotens ; namely, sui, vehemens. — 5. Fuga temporum, poetical for tempus fugax.6. Omnis, utterly.' Hence afterwards multa pars mei, poetical for magna pars mei ; namely, my genius, the memory of what my genius has created. —7. Libitinam. Venus Libitina was the goddess of sepulture: at her temple all deaths in Rome were announced, as the births were at that of Juno Lucina. Usque = semper. Postera laude; that is, laude posterorum, by the praise of posterity, which shall cause me to be ever recens, as one who is but just dead. 10

Scandet cum tacita virgine pontifex.
Dicar, qua violens obstrepit Aufidus,
Et qua pauper aquae Daunus agrestium
Regnavit populorum, ex humili potens,

Princeps Aeolium carmen ad Italos
Deduxisse modos. Sume superbiam
Quaesitam meritis et mihi Delphica
Lauro cinge volens, Melpomene, comam.


9. Cum tacita virgine ; that is, with the vestal virgins, virgo and pontifex being used collectively. Hence the sense is : so long as the Roman priests, accompanied by the vestals, who maintain a solemn silence, go up to the Capitol to offer public sacrifices; that is, so long as Rome, the Eternal City, continues. — 10. Construe thus : dicar princeps deducisse Aeolium carmen ad Italos modos. 'I shall be celebrated as having been the first to bring over the Aeolian verse 1o Italian measures ;' that is, as the first to write in Latin such lyrics as, erewhile, were sung by Sappho and Alcaeus, who composed in the Aeolic dialect of Greek. Aufidus (now Ofanto), a river near Venusia, the birthplace of the poet.-11. As to Daunus, compare i. 22, 14, note. The hero of the country is here named for the country itself; hence the epithet pauper aquae is applied to him, Apulia being deficient in water. Agrestium populorum, genitive dependent on regnavit, according to the Greek construction åpxev, κρατείν τινος. . - 12. Ex humili potens ; that is, humili loco natus, sed potens carminibus. - 15. Delphi calauro, with the Delphic laurel,' with the laurel with which Apollo, whose chosen seat is Delphi, crowns poets. Hence the meaning is : grant, O Muse, that I may be universally acknowledged as a true lyric poet. – 16. Volens propitia, 'graciously.'




In this ode Horace excuses himself for not attempting that lofty

kind of lyric poetry, which Pindar had cultivated among the Greeks, but contenting himself with imitating the lighter songs of Alcaeus and Sappho. The poem is addressed to Mark Antony's son, Iulus Antonius, who was brought up by Augustus and his sister Octavia. At this time Antonius was held in respect and honour; so much so, indeed, that in the year 10 B. c., he obtained the consulship. Afterwards, however, in 2 B.C., he was discovered to be implicated in a conspiracy against the emperor, and was obliged to kill himself. The ode was written shortly before 13 B.C.

PINDARUM quisquis studet aemulari,
Iule, ceratis ope Daedalea
Nititur pennis vitreo daturus
Nomina ponto.

Monte decurrens velut amnis, imbres 5
Quem super notas aluere ripas,
Fervet immensusque ruit profundo
Pindarus ore,

Laurea donandus Apollinari,
audaces nova dithyrambos


[ocr errors]

2. Ceratis ope Daedalea-penris, on wings which, like those once made by Daedalus, are but artificial, fastened with wax. An allu. sion to the well-known story of Daedalus, who, with his son Icarus, flew away from Crete by means of wings which the father had con structed of wax. Icarus, however, the wax of his wings being melted by the sun, fell and was drowned in the sea, which, from his name, was afterwards called the Icarian.

3. Vitreo ponto. Compare i. 17, 20. — 6. Super notas ripas, over its well-known banks,' the banks within which it keeps when not.swollen by rains. -7. Profundo ore; that is, grandiloquo, magnifico. The figure of the river is still preserved. - 9. Apollinari. See jii. 30, 15. - 10. Nova verba devolvit, an allusion to the fact that Pindar, in his dithy. 13 *



Verba devolvit numerisque fertur
Lege solutis;

Seu deos regesve canit, deorum
Sanguinem; per quos cecidere justa
Morte Centanri, cecidit tremendae
Flamma Chimaerae;

Sive, quos Elea domum reducit
Palma coelestes pugilemve equumve,
Dicit et centum potiore signis
Munere donat,

Flebili sponsae juvenemve raptum
Plorat, et vires animumque moresque
Aureos educit in astra nigroque
Invidet Orco.

Multa Dircaeum levat aura cycnum,
Tendit, Antoni, quoties in altos
Nubium tractus. Ego apis Matinae
More modoque,



rambs, a very sublime kind of lyrics, composed properly only in honour of Bacchus, forms many new words, which, long compounds, are whirled along by his impetuvus verse as great rocks are carried down by the force of a torrent. In these poems, too, the measures of his verse are more free, and put together more boldly; hence fertur numeris lege solutis, ‘he rushes along in lawless measures.' 13. Deos, hymns to Jupiter-of which we have a small fragmentand to oiher gods. Reges, panegyrics or encomia on ancient kings and heroes, such as Pirithous and Theseus, who were sprung from gods (hence deorum sanguinem, put in apposition to reges), and waged a just war (hence justa morte) against the Centaurs, who had carried off Hippodamia, the bride of Pirithous: such, also, as Belle. rophon, who slew the flame-breathing Chimaera (here poetically flamma Chimaerae.) See ii. 17, 13. - 17. This refers to the odes which Pindar wrote on the victors in the Olympian, Isthmian, and Nemean games, and some of which were on the horses that were victorious in the races. These are the only poems of Pindar which have come down to us entire. Elea palma, the palm-branch of Elis,' refers indeed only to the games at Olympia, but we must understand the others to be meant as well.-18. Coelestes, =heatos, as proud and as happy as the gods.. Compare i. !, 6. Pugilem, victor in the pugilistio contests at Olympia.--21. Juvenemve. Ve supplies the place of sive or seu, which occurs in lines 10, 13, and 17. Hence construe thus : sive plorat juvenem raptum flebili sponsae, This class of poems, of which we have many fragments, is called in Greek Spôvoc (dirges.)--23. Educit for the more common efferl. or evehit, “raises, extols to the stars.' — 25. Dircaeum cycnum. This title is given to Pinďar from Dirce, a fountain near Thebes, his native city. Multa aura levat, "much air -- that is, a strong breeze - raises him. We use a similar expression, he takes à vigorous or lofty fight.' — 27. Matinue. See i. 28, 3. The district was celebrated for the number of its bees, and the sweetness of its

« PreviousContinue »