Tuesday, May 12, 2020
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