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Accustomed with his father's bow to fly
That headlong rivers may flow back
Uphill, and Tiber change his track;
And the entire Socratic family,
Composed perhaps on the occasion of some lady friend of Horace
sacrificing, or dedicating a little chapel to the Goddess of Love.
O VENUS, queen of Cnidus and of Paphos,
Sparing not incense.
Let with thee haste thy fervid boy, the Graces,
Is when without thee.
Doctus sagittas tendere Sericas
Montibus, et Tiberim reverti;
Pollicitus meliora, tendis ?
XXX. AD VENEREM.
O VENUS, regina Cnidi Paphique, Sperne dilectam Cypron, et vocantis Ture te multo Glycerae decoram
Transfer in aedem.
Fervidus tecum puer, et solutis
In commemoration of his victory at Actium, Augustus dedicated to
Apollo a temple, with a library attached, built by him on the Palatine Hill. After the ceremonies of dedication were over, we may suppose Horace putting in his own claim to the god's favour in this Ode, in which he represents himself as offering a libation, and asking for mens sana in corpore sano.'
What asks the bard in consecrated shrine
Prays he for? Not for sacks of corn
From bountiful Sardinia shorn;
Not meads through which, with quiet play,
Liris, mute river, gnaws her way.
From golden cups rich merchants drain
Choice wines, in trade's exchanges ta’en
The Atlantic main uninjured. Me
Mild mallows nourish, olives, succory.
To pass through age, from baseness free,
XXXI. AD APOLLINEM.
Quid dedicatum poscit Apollinem
Sardiniae segetes feraces ;
Mordet aqua, taciturnus amnis.
Vina Syra reparata merce,
Me cichorea, levesque malvae.
Degere, nec cithara carentem.
In spite of all the scholiasts have written there is no clue whatever
to the occasion of this Ode.' It is doubtful whether the first word should be · Poscimur' or Poscimus. If the first, it may mean that he had been requested to write on some subject of the day, though nobody knows what; but it may also mean that he felt the poetic afflatus upon him, and was bound accordingly.
I Am required. If with thee idling ever
Sing now, my rebeck.
Thou who first tuned wert by a Lesbic townsman, Who, in arms fierce, still in the midst of conflict, Or after making fast his storm-tost galley
To the dank seabeach,
Would of wine sing, music, and lovely Venus,
And with jet eyeballs.
Shell, who art welcomed at high Jove's carousals, Pride of bright Phoebus, and my labour's dulcet Solace, propitiously assist whene'er I
Duly invoke thee.