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THE ODES OF

OF HORACE.

BOOK IV.

Mr. Macleane, who generally carries me with him, says of this Ode

that it has little to commend it except the smoothness of its rhythm ; but I should myself be disposed to rank it among Horace's happiest efforts, provided it be allowable, as I have here and elsewhere done, to treat · Ligurine’ as a female name.

War, intermitted long, dost thou prepare,
Venus, anew? Spare me, I pray thee, spare.
I am no longer such as in the reign
Of the good Cinara I was. Abstain,
Harsh mother of mild Cupids. Cease to mould
One hardened by ten lustres nearly told
Against thy softening authority:
Thither go where youth fondly calls on thee.
More seasonably welcomed, in the house
Of Paulus Maximus, wilt thou carouse,
Borne there by purple swans, if to inflame
A well-adapted liver be thy aim.
For he of noble birth and comely mien,
Nor wanting words a client's fault to screen,
And adept in an hundred arts beside,
Will bear thy warfare's banners far and wide;
And when he laughs, elate with victory
At rivals who with costly presents vie,
Thy marble form beside the Alban meer
Within a shrine of cedar will uprear.
Abundance there thy nostrils will inhale
Of frankincense; there too wilt thou regale

I. · AD VENEREM.

INTERMISSA, Venus, diu,

Rursus bella moves ? Parce, precor, precor. Non sum qualis eram bonae

Sub regno Cinarae. Desine, dulcium Mater saeva Cupidinum,

Circa lustra decem flectere mollibus Jam durum imperiis: abi,

Quo blandae juvenum te revocant preces. Tempestivius in domum

Pauli, purpureis ales oloribus, Comissabere Maximi,

Si torrere jecur quaeris idoneum. Namque et nobilis, et decens,

Et pro sollicitis non tacitus reis, Et centum puer artium,

Late signa feret militiae tuae : Et, quandoque potentior

Largi muneribus riserit aemuli, Albanos prope te lacus

Ponet marmoream, sub trabe citrea. Illic plurima naribus

Duces tura; lyraeque et Berecyntiae

On mingled strains of Berecynthian flute
And of the lyre, nor shall the pipe be mute.
There, boys and tender maidens twice a day,
Hymning thy godhead's praise with tuneful lay
In manner of the Salian priests, will beat
Three times upon the ground with milk-white feet.
Me, neither woman now delights, nor youth,
Nor illusory hope of mutual truth,
Nor to contend with revellers in wine,
Nor with fresh flowers my temples to entwine.
But why? ah why, alas! my Ligurine,
Trickle scant tears adown these cheeks of mine?
Why in unseemly silence, why, among
Abundant words, stops short my fluent tongue?
Thee do I, in the visions of the night,
Now captured hold, and now thy nimble flight
Over the grassy field of Mars, and through
The rolling waters, cruel one, pursue.

In B.c. 16 the Sicambri, a German tribe, crossed the Rhine, and

defeating the Legate Lollius, laid waste part of the Roman territory in Gaul. Thereupon Augustus went in person to Gaul, and at his approach the Germans withdrew, and, giving hostages, obtained peace. Julius Antonius, son of the triumvir, was a man of letters and a poet. Horace would seem to have been recommended by him to write a poem celebrating the success of Augustus in the style of Pindar's émivikia, and to have very wisely declined.

WHOSO, Iulus, strives to rival Pindar,
Labours, with wings of wax, by art Daedalic

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