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Addressed to Maecenas when preparing for some expedition in which

Augustus was about to engage. The terms of affection which Horace here and elsewhere applies to his patron must in these days appear hyperbolical, but we moderns, whose warmest feelings take rather the direction of love, do not readily appreciate the fervour of ancient friendship. That Horace's contemporaries did not suppose him to be exaggerating when saying that he should not survive Maecenas, is proved by the fact that when his own death did actually follow closely on that of Maecenas, he was commonly reported to have committed suicide.

To go, with skiffs Liburnian, you prepare

Mid floating castles of the foe,
Ready at your own risk, Maecenas dear,

All Caesar's risks to undergo.
And I, whose life is pleasant the while you

Survive, but grievous otherwise,
Shall I, as you command, mine ease pursue

Where, without you, no sweetness lies,
Or bear this travail with what mind befits

A man not pusillanimous ?
Bear it I will, and e'en o'er Alpine steeps,

Inhospitable Caucasus,
Or to the western main's last cavity,

Your steps will follow undismayed.
Ask you how, feeble and unwarlike, I

Your labour's strain with mine can aid ?


Ibis Liburnis inter alta navium,

Amice, propugnacula,
Paratus omne Caesaris periculum

Subire, Maecenas, tuo.
Quid nos, quibus te vita sit superstite

Jucunda, si contra gravis ?
Utrumne jussi persequemur otium,

Non dulce ni tecum simul ?
An hunc laborem mente laturi, decet

Qua ferre non molles viros ?
Feremus; et te vel per Alpium juga,

Inhospitalem et Caucasum,
Vel Occidentis usque ad ultimum sinum,

Forti sequemur pectore.
Roges, tuum labore quid juvem meo,

Imbellis ac firmus parum ?

Attending you, less fear shall I have then

Which more hold on the absent takes; Even, as for her unfledged brood the hen

When left, more dreads the gliding snake's Approach-yet not that of more service she

Could, if still present with them, prove. Cheerfully, this, yea every war shall be

Engaged in by me for your love; Not that my ploughs, yoked with more beeves of mine,

Be dragged; or that for pasturing range
My flocks, before the torrid dog-star shine,

Calabria for Lucania exchange ;
Not that mine be a marble villa nigh

Steep Tusculum's Circaean wall.
Enough and more has your benignity

Enriched me. Naught, to hide it all Like miser Chremes under ground, will I

Amass—nor yet to squander wantonly.

Whether a money-getting usurer was precisely the person into whose

mouth these praises of a country life should have been placed, may be, and of course has been, questioned. But be this as it may, there is no doubt that the picture painted is a very pleasing one.

Happy is he, who, far from broil
Of traffic, like the earliest race
Of mortals, through ancestral soil,
Unmortgaged, guides his oxen's pace.

Comes minore sum futurus in metu,

Qui major absentes habet;
Ut assidens implumibus pullis avis

Serpentium allapsus timet,
Magis relictis, non, ut adsit, auxili

Latura plus praesentibus.
Libenter hoc et omne militabitur

Bellum in tuae spem gratiae ;
Non ut juvencis illigata pluribus

Aratra nitantur mea,
Pecușve Calabris ante sidus fervidum

Lucana mutet pascuis,
Neque ut superni villa candens Tusculi

Circaea tangat moenia.
Satis superque me benignitas tua

Ditavit : haud paravero
Quod aut avarus, ut Chremes, terra premam,

Discinctus aut perdam nepos.


BEATus ille, qui procul negotiis,

Ut prisca gens mortalium, Paterna rura bobus exercet suis,

Solutus omni fenore :

He starts not at the trumpet's call, Nor shudders at the angry sea : The law-court and patrician's hall Alike he shuns,—no suit has he. But, to the poplar tall, for spouse, He yokes the marriageable vine, And, pruning off the useless boughs, Grafts in their place a fruitage fine: Or, in secluded valley, watches The lowing herd their pasture choose; Or, in clean jars, squeezed honey catches, Or shears the unresisting ewes. And when, in the ripe fields, appears, With brow fruit-laden, Autumn's shape, How he delights to pluck the pears Of his own growth, or purple grape, Gifts for thee, Sylvan, thee, Priape! Sometimes, beneath an old oak's shade, Sometimes, on the thick grass, he lies, And, while the clink of the cascade Joins with the grove's bird melodies, And tune by purling brooklet played, Slumber lights gently on his eyes. But when the stormy months arrive, Full fraught with wintry snow and sleet, He and his dogs fierce wild boars drive Upon strong nets laid opposite; Or, on light twigs, a meshy snare He hangs, the greedy thrushes' bane, And traps, beside, the timid hare,

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