Tuesday, May 12, 2020



Horace, Odes 2.3 (tr. David West):
Remember to keep your mind level when the path
is steep, and no less in good times to keep it tempered
  and well away from extravagant joy,
    Dellius, who will die

whether you spend every minute of your life in gloom,
or bless yourself lying all the long days of festivals
  in secluded meadows, drinking Falernian
    from the back of the cellar.

Why do the huge pine and the white poplar
love to ally their branches in hospitable shade?
  Why does the rushing river twist and strain
    as it scurries along?

Tell them to bring out the wine and fragrant oils
and all-too-short-lived flowers of the lovely rose,
  while your age and means and the black threads
    of the three sisters permit.

You will leave the upland woods and pastures you have bought,
your house in Rome, and villa lapped by the yellow Tiber,
  you will leave them and your heir
    will take possession of your high-built wealth.

It makes no difference whether you are rich and of the stock
of ancient Inachus, or a pauper born in the gutter
  and living under the open sky—
    you are the victim of Orcus, who knows no pity.

We are all herded to the same place. All our lots
are turning in the urn, and later or sooner
  they will be shaken out and will put us
    on the boat for an exile that never ends.

Aequam memento rebus in arduis
servare mentem, non secus in bonis
    ab insolenti temperatam
    laetitia, moriture Delli,

seu maestus omni tempore vixeris        5
seu te in remoto gramine per dies
    festos reclinatum bearis
    interiore nota Falerni.

quo pinus ingens albaque populus
umbram hospitalem consociare amant        10
    ramis? quid obliquo laborat
    lympha fugax trepidare rivo?

huc vina et unguenta et nimium brevis
flores amoenae ferre iube rosae,
    dum res et aetas et sororum        15
    fila trium patiuntur atra.

cedes coemptis saltibus et domo
villaque flavus quam Tiberis lavit;
    cedes, et exstructis in altum
    divitiis potietur heres.        20

divesne prisco natus ab Inacho
nil interest an pauper et infima
    de gente sub divo moreris,
    victima nil miserantis Orci.

omnes eodem cogimur, omnium        25
versatur urna serius ocius
    sors exitura et nos in aeternum
    exilium impositura cumbae.

2 in codd.: ut Housman
14 amoenae codd.: amoenos Cunningham

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