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Summovet. Non, si male nunc, et olim
Rebus angustis animosus atque
of earth and sky.'-17. Si male nunc, supply est. Male est, “things are bad, I am in misfortune.' Olim, in a rare and poetical use, referring to the future, not to the past. This use, however, is quite consistent with the etymology of the word, which is connected with ollus ille, and consequently meant originally at that time,' either past or future. - 18. Quondam = interdum, sometimes. The instance of Apollo is very happily chosen, since he was not only the god of poetry, but also a warrior, and the inventor of the deadly bow. -21. Rebus angustis ; that is, in angustiis, in straits, difficulties;' like infestis above. - 23. Contrahes -turgida vela, thou shouldst take in the swelling sails.' Vela contrahere is often said even in prose of one who keeps himself temperate and every way within bounds, and here particularly appropriate, since the poem ends with the same figure with which it began.
IN ARBOREM, CUJUS CASU IN AGRO SABINO PAENE
A HALF-JESTING, half-serious ode, imprecating curses upon a tree
on his Sabine farm, by the sudden fall of which he had been nearly killed. Written in the year 30 B. C.
Ille et nefasto te posuit die,
Illum et parentis crediderim sui
1. Nefasto die, an unlucky day,' called also ater dies. The Romans had many of these in their calendar. It was unlucky to commence any business, either public or private, on such days, for it could never turn out well. — 2. Quicunque primum; namely, te posuit. - 4. Opprobrium pagi, "for the disgrace of the village,' in which thou standest. — 6. Fregisse cervicem parentis, 'broke his father's neck;' specific, humorously for the general, killed his
Sparsisse nocturno cruore
Et quidquid usquam concipitur nefas
Quid quisque vitet,' nunquam homini satis
Miles sagittas et celerem fugam
Quam paene furvae regna Proserpinae
Sappho puellis de popularibus,
Utrumque sacro digna silentio
father.. Next in enormity to this crime of parricide comes that of killing his guest in the night, and staining his house with his blood. -8. Venena Colcha, sorcery, the black art, called Colchian from its inventrix Medea, daughter of the king of Colchis.-9. Concipitur committitur, is or can be committed.' - 11. Caducum = casurum, which didst intend to fall on the head of thy master.'-13. Homini -cautum est in horas = ab homine cavetur in singulas horas, does man take precautions for each single hour.' - 15. Poenus ; that is, Tyrian or Phoenician, for Carthage was colony from Tyre. The Bosporus (Straits of the Dardanelles) was much dreaded in antiquity as a dangerous part of the sea. Neque ultra- aliunde, “and no further, no longer (namely, if he succeeds in passing through the Bosporus) from any other quarter any other thing.'. - 16. The last syllable of timet is made long by the ictus. Fate is called caecus, in a passive sense, because it is not foreseen by men. - 17. Sagittas et - fugam, a hendiadys, the arrows which the Parthians shoot when in flight ;' for this was what made those warriors formidable. -18. Italum robur, 'the strength of the Italian, Roman, armies.'21. Quam paene, ‘how very nearly.' Furvae, an old and little used word = nigrae. - 23. Discretas, separate;' namely, from those of the wicked. – 24. Querentem— puellis de popularibus, lamenting concerning the maidens of her country,' because they did not show her the affection which she sought from them. Sappho and Alcaeus composed in the Aeolic dialect of Greek: hence Aeoliis fidibus. 26. Connect sonantem dura mala navis (that is, of a sailor's life'), dura mala fugae (of flight, exile,' for he was banished from Lesbos 30
Mirantur umbrae dicere; sed magis
Pugnas et exactos tyrannos
Demittit atras belua centiceps
Quin et Prometheus et Pelopis parens
by the tyrants), dura mala belli (of the war which he waged against the tyrants.) Sonantem is equivalent to canentem. - 30. Mirantur dicere digna silentio, 'confess with admiration that they are singing things worthy of the silence;' namely, which prevails in the lower world.' -32. Densum humeris, thick with their shoulders ;' the shades press so eagerly to hear the music, that their shoulders form a dense mass. Bibit aure, 'drink in with their ears.'-33. Illis car. minibus, ablative, to be connected with stupens, with, or at, those songs.' — 34. Belua centiceps ; namely, Cerberus, the sentinel of Hades. - 36. Recreantur, 'take rest,' because the Eumenides, the Furies, are themselves standing still and listening.–37. Pelopis parens, Tantalus, who, like Prometheus, suffered fearful punishment in the lower world. Both, charmed and deceived by the songs of Sappho and Alcaeus, forget their torments.-39. Orion, the hunter, who is commonly engaged, even in the region of the shades, in the chase, now non curai agitare leones, .cares not to rouse and pursue the lions.'
An advice to an otherwise unknown friend, called Postumus, to drive
away care, and enjoy life wisely.
2. Pietas, piety, reverence to the gods ;' herein so far as it is connected with superstitious observances. — 5. Trecenis - tauris ; that is, with three times as many cattle as were used for a so-called
Amice, places illacrimabilem,
Compescit unda, scilicet omnibus,
Frustra cruento Marte carebimus
Visendus ater flumine languido
Linquenda tellus et domus et placens
Absumet heres Caecuba dignior
hecatomb. Quotquot eunt dies, “as many days as pass, every day.' -7. Ter amplum Geryonen, the son of Chrysaor and Callirhoë. The poets described him as having three bodies.-8. Tityus, a son of the goddess Earth, of immense size, who, when killed on account of an assault upon Diana, covered in the lower world nine acres of ground. Tristi unda, the Siyx, whose waters are dark and sluggish; hence tristi. - 10. Terrae munere, 'the gift (that is, fruits) of the earth,' especially corn. - - 12. Coloni are here rustics, or country people in general.-13. The idea is this: in vain may we avoid war, or the dangers of the deep; in vain may we take most anxious care of our health; we must die. - 14. Hadria is the Adriatic, as in i. 3, 15. The sea is called raucus, 'hoarse,' "hollow-sounding,' on account of the dull, hollow roaring of the waves. — 16. Austrum, the south 'wind, called Scirocco in Italy, which prevails especially in the end of the summer, and is very injurious to health.-18. Cocytus, one of the rivers in Tartarus. Danai genus, the fifty daughters of Danaus, who, on account of the murder of their husbands, were condemned to the endless toil of pouring water into a vessel full of holes.-20. Sisyphus, son of Aeolus, condemned
Up a high hill to heave a huge round stone,' which, as soon as he reached the top, rolled away down again. Laboris longi damnatus, poetical for ad longum laborem damnatus.
-23. Cupressos. The cypress, being sacred to Pluto, used to be planted at graves. — 24. Brevem dominum, thee, their lord but for a brief season,' since thou must soon die. — 25. Dignior. The heir is more worthy of the Caecuban wine than thou art, because he en
Tinget pavimentum superbo,
Pontificum potiore coenis. joys and uses it, whereas thou art piggardly of it. - 27. Tinget pavimentum mero superbo, a sign of extravagance: the heir does not merely drink the wine, but he allows it to run over upon the ground. - 28. Pontificum potiore coenis, better than the banquets of the priests ;' that is, than the wine drunk at these. Compare i. 37, 2.
IN SAECULI SUI LUXURIAM.
An ode in which the poet describes the luxury of his time, as
exhibited in the erection of magnificent buildings, and laying out of large pleasure parks. These latter, particularly, were injurious to the country; because by them immense tracts of arable land were withdrawn from cultivation; so that Italy, a naturally fertile land, had to be supported by the grain of Sicily, Africa, and Egypt.
Jam pauca aratro jugera regiae
1. Regiae moles, ‘magnificent buildings;' buildings as large and beautiful as if an Eastern monarch were to inhabit them. -2. The poet points to the luxury of the Romans, as exhibited in their fishponds (piscinae.) At all parts of the Lucrine Lake, which was situated near Baiae, the most frequented watering place in Italy (in 1538 this lake was filled up by an earthquake), the water was led off into the private estates in the neighbourhood to supply fishponds; and also, perhaps, to form convenient bathing places. Hence undique extenta stagna visentur, 'the water will be seen extended on all sides.'-- 4. Instead of the elms, which, on account of their little shade, do no harm 10 agriculture, plane-trees are planted, under whose thick branches nothing can grow well. Hence evincet
superabit, will dispossess, or take the place of.' The plane is called caelebs, unwedded,' because the vine cannot be trained up it, as it is, for instance, on the elm; the technical expression for such a training was maritare ulmos, 'to marry the elms.' 6. Myr. tus is plural, myrtle-trees.? Copia narium; that is, of sweet.. smelling flowers,' flowers valuable only for their sweet odour. -7. Olivetis fertilibus domino priori, .upon, in place of the olive-yards,