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The commentators very generally take for granted that Phidyle was

Horace's villica—the stewardess of his Sabine farm. Possibly she was; but quite as possibly she may have been any other thrifty housewife, or even nobody at all, but a mere creature of the poet's fancy.

IF suppliant hands, my rustic Phidyle,
You raise to heaven when the new moon you see;

If incense and firstfruits appease,

And sucking pig, home's deities; Neither shall pestilent south-west wind smite The teeming vine, nor, famine-laden, blight

The corn; nor for your children dear

Need you the sickly fruit-time fear. For pasturing amid the holms and oaks That intermix with snowy Algid's rocks,

Or fattening upon Alban grass,

Are cattle doomed, whose throats shall pass Neath Pontiff's blood-stained axe.

But not of you, Crowning our little gods with myrtle's due

And rosemary's, do they require

The slaughter of a herd entire.
If spotless hands upon the altar wait,
The costliest victim has not o'er irate

Penates, more of softening power
Than crackling salt and votive flour.


CAELO supinas si tuleris manus
Nascente Luna, rustica Phidyle;
Si ture placaris et horna

Fruge Lares, avidaque porca; Nec pestilentem sentiet Africum Fecunda vitis, nec sterilem seges Robiginem, aut dulces alumni

Pomifero grave tempus anno. Nam, quae nivali pascitur Algido Devota quercus inter et iliceş, Aut crescit Albanis in herbis

Victima, pontificum secures Cervice tinget: te nihil attinet Tentare multa caede bidentium Parvos coronantem marino

Rore deos fragilique myrto. Immunis aram si tetigit manus, Non sumptuosa blandior hostia Mollivit aversos Penates

Farre pio, et saliente mica.


* This Ode, which is of the same class and was probably written

about the same time as the first six of the third Book, deals with the licentious abuses of the times, and points to Augustus as the reformer of them.

ALTHOUGH with more of treasured wealth endowed
Than untouched Arabs and rich Indies boast,
Thou linest with thine edifices proud
The whole Tyrrhenian or Apulian coast;
If in each structure's topmost pinnacle
Is fixed the adamantine nail of fate,
Fear from thy bosom wilt thou not expel,
Nor from death's snares thy being extricate.
More happily do lowland Scythians live,
Whose wandering homes are dragged along on wains,
And hardy Getes, who sustenance derive
From grain and fruit grown on unmeted plains,
And freely shared by all. Them pleases not
Longer than yearly tenure. As his toil
One yearling finishes, impartial lot
Appoints a substitute to till the soil.
The undesigning matron there appears
Pitiful to step-children motherless,
Nor, dowried, o'er her husband domineers,
Nor trusts to sleek adulterer's address.
Ancestral virtue ranks as ample dower,
And chastity, which with unyielding faith
Shrinks from all other than her one lord's power :
And sin is shame, and wage of sin is death.


v INTACTIS opulentior

Thesauris Arabum et divitis Indiae, Caementis licet occupes

Tyrrhenum omne tuis et mare Apulicum; Si figit adamantinos

Summis verticibus dira Necessitas Clavos, non animum metu,

Non mortis laqueis expedies caput. Campestres melius Scythae,

Quorum plaustra vagas rite trahunt domos, Vivunt, et rigidi Getae,

Immetata quibus jugera liberas Fruges et Cererem ferunt;

Nec cultura placet longior annua, Defunctumque laboribus

Aequali recreat sorte vicarius. Illic matre carentibus

Privignis mulier temperat innocens : Nec dotata regit virum

Conjux, nec nitido fidit adultero. Dos est magna parentium

Virtus, et metuens alterius viri Certo foedere castitas;

Et peccare nefas, aut pretium est mori.

Ah! whoso would unnatural butchery
And civil frenzy from the state remove;
Whoso would 'Father of the Cities' see
Inscribed upon

his statues, he shall prove
A light to those born after—so he dare
To curb ungoverned licence: for we slight
(Ah shame!) unperilled virtue, and yet are
Envious in quest of her when out of sight.
What purpose serves our melancholy wail,
If crime be not cut short by punishment ?
How, without morals, can vain laws avail
For our advantage, if from his intent
Neither the torrid fervours that enclose
Part of earth's surface, nor the border land
Of Boreas, a land of hardened snows,
Deter the merchant? if wild seas are spanned
By seamen's conquering craft? if poverty,
That great opprobrium, bids us all things take
To do or suffer, and at her decree
The arduous path of virtue we forsake?
If we in truth repent us of our vice
Or, let us into neighbouring ocean fling
Forthwith our jewelry and stones of price,
And useless gold, of gravest ills the spring;
Or to the Capitol commit them, borne
Thither with shouts of an applauding throng.
The seeds of low desire must be out-torn,
And enervated spirits rendered strong
By sterner practice. How to keep his seat
On horseback, the unpractised noble youth

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