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Non lenis precibus fata recludere,
17. Non lenis, 'inexorable;' recludere fata, a Greek construction for ad with the gerund. Recludere; properly, 'to open;' here = dissolvere, to nullify, or reverse.' 18. Nigro gregi = ad nigrum gregem, to the black flock;' namely, of the shades.-19. Durum, it is hard that we must yield to fate, and cannot resist it.'
AD AELIUM LAMIAM.
THE author calls upon his muse, to whom alone he boasts of being devoted, to sing to his friend Lamia. This was L. Aelius Lamia, consul, A. D. 3. The ode was written about the year 25 B. C.
MUSIS amicus tristitiam et metus
Quid Tiridaten terreat, unice
Securus. O quae fontibus integris
Pimplea dulcis! Nil sine te mei
portanda, 'to carry.' The poets frequently speak of sinking care in the sea, or giving it to the winds. Quis rex gelidae orae sub Arcto, what king of the frigid zone under the constellation of the north.' Quis rex metuatur, and afterwards quid terreat, depend upon unice securus, quite free from anxiety or care.' The politicians of Rome were at that time chiefly occupied with the affairs of the Parthians. Phraates, king of that nation, had been expelled from his kingdom on account of his cruelty; and Tiridates, one of the nobles, had been chosen in his room. Phraates fled to the Scythians (whose king is here the rex gelidae orae sub Arcto), and returned with auxiliaries from them. Tiridates sought support against him from Augustus and the Romans.-7. Apricos-flores, summer (and therefore sweet-smelling) flowers.' When Horace asks the muse to knit together flowers, and make a crown for Lamia, it is equivalent to the prose. 'sing him a song,' or, 'sing of him.' Compare Carm. i. 7, 7.-9. Pimplea is properly the name of a foun. tain sacred to the muses in Thrace, afterwards in Macedonia. Hence the muses are called Pimpleides, or Pimpleiades, ‘inhabitants of the Pimplea.' Instead of this Greek form, Horace has taken
Prosunt honores: hunc fidibus novis,
Teque tuasque decet sorores.
a Latin one, Pimpleus, a, um, which occurs nowhere else, but is supported by analogy. Sine te, &c., without thee (that is, without thy help), my song in honour of Lamia (mei honores) does no good, is a vain attempt.' 10. Filibus novis, with a new lyre;' that is, in a new kind of verse, to which the Romans had not pre viously been accustomed. This is explained by Lesbio plectro; that is, such songs as once were sung by Alcaeus and Sappho, who lived in the island of Lesbos.-11. Sacrare consecrare, immortalitati commendare, to make immortal.'
A POEM addressed to some friends with whom Horace was banqueting. He exhorts them not to be led away by the excitement of wine into quarrelling and strife, but to engage in cheerful and entertaining conversation. He gives a specimen.
NATIS in usum laetitiae scyphis
Vino et lucernis Medus acinaces
Et cubito remanete presso.
Vultis severi me quoque sumere
2. Thracum est, scil. mos, it is a custom of the Thracians.' The Thracians were notorious in ancient times for their drunkenness and quarrelsomeness at their banquets. Compare Carm. i. 18, 9. Tollite relinquite, leave the barbarian practice.'-3. Verecundum Bacchum, &c., keep modest Bacchus far from bloody quarrels ;' that is, keep quarrels far away from Bacchus, so that he may continue verecundus; preserve a proper deportment and decent behaviour. 5. Vino et lucernis, dative and hendiadys, a nocturnal banquet.' Acinaces, the crooked cimetar which the Orientals, the Medes, Persians, and Parthians used, and perhaps fought with at their feasts. -6. Immane quantum, a contracted and very strong expression, 'monstrously, immensely far.'-8. Cubito presso. The ancients reclined at table, resting on the left elbow. The poet here imagines his friends springing up to fight, and conjures them to remain quietly lying.-9. The banqueters invite the poet, who has entered the room during their quarrel, to drink. He agrees, but on condition that the
Mercede. Quae te cunque domat Venus,
Non erubescendis adurit
Ignibus ingenuoque semper
Amore peccas. Quidquid habes, age,
Digne puer meliore flamma!
Quae saga, quis te solvere Thessalis
Pegasus expediet Chimaera.
quarrelling cease, and the conversation be changed. He proposes that each of the company shall tell the story of his love. Severi Falerni. There were two kinds of the far-famed Falernian wineone sweet, the other acid. The latter is described here as severum. -11. Frater Megillae Opuntiae. He calls on one of the revellers to tell his tale, not mentioning the man's own name, however, but that of his sister Megilla, who came from Opus, a city of the Locrians. Quo-vulnere, qua-sagitta, poetical expressions for quo 13. Cessat voluntas? 'Does he refuse?' Has he no inclination?' This will not satisfy us; for, in the first place, it was upon this condition alone (non alia mercede; literally, for no other pay or reward') that I joined your company; and, secondly, his love is without doubt of a kind of which he need not be ashamed.-15. Non erubescendis ignibus, with a love for which you need not blush.' -16. Ingenuo-amore; that is, amore mulieris ingenuae, love to a freeborn, respectable woman,' not to a libertina, "freed woman.' This latter class had no good repute.-18. Tutis auribus; that is, I shall keep it a secret, telling it to no one. Hereupon the poet's friend whispers in his ear the story of his love.-19. Quanta laborabas Charybdi,' what a dangerous love you had, as dangerous as Charybdis Charybdis was a whirlpool in the Straits of Messina, which sucked in and destroyed everything that came within its influence. 21. Thessalis venenis, by Thessalian charms.' For Thessaly was celebrated in ancient times as a land of magicians.23. Triformi- Chimaera, ablative, governed by expediet solvet, liberabit. Chimaerae, however, must be supplied to illigatum. The love of Horace's friend is compared to the Chimaera, a monster which united in its form the appearance of a lion, a goat, and a dragon. The hero Bellerophon slew it, with the help of the winged steed Pegasus, which Minerva had given him for this purpose.
IN TUMULUM ARCHYTAE.
THERE probably still existed, in the time of Horace, on the coast of Calabria, near the promontory of Matinum, the so-called tomb of Archytas, a celebrated Pythagorean philosopher, and a contemporary of Plato. The present poem is an ode on this tomb. The poet introduces the spirit of a shipwrecked person, who first consoles himself for his misfortune, recollecting how many great men have died, and considering that all must die, and then beseeches the sailor who may find his body on the beach, to throw upon it, according to the old and sacred custom, three handfuls of earth, without which the ancients believed the shades of the dead could not be admitted into the lower world.
TE maris et terrae numeroque carentis arenae
Pulveris exigui prope litus parva Matinum
Aërias tentasse domos animoque rotundum
Occidit et Pelopis genitor, conviva deorum,
Et Jovis arcanis Minos admissus, habentque
Tartara Panthoiden iterum Orco
1. Numero carentis arenae mensorem; that is, innumerae arenae mensorem. The Pythagorean philosophers were distinguished for the industry with which they cultivated the study of mathematics and arithmetic, and it appears to have been a favourite question with them, how much sand there was on the earth: at all events, we know that Archimedes wrote a book on this subject.-2. Cohi bent-parva munera exigui pulveris, 'a little dust, and that a (slight) present, encloses thee;' thee, who studiest the infinite.-5. Aërias domos-rotundum polum; that is, the stars and the sky, which, by astronomy, thou soughtest to examine (tentare) and map out. This was a favourite study of the ancient philosophers, particularly the Pythagoreans.-6. Morituro, since, notwithstanding, thou hadst to die.'-7. Pelopis genitor, Tantalus, such a darling of the gods, that they took him to their banquets.-8. Tithonus was beloved by Aurora, who took him up to heaven; this is here expressed by remotus in auras.-9. Minos, the legislator of Crete, who, to give his laws greater force, declared that they had been communicated to him by Jupiter, is well known.-10. Panthoiden, Euphorbus, son of Panthous, a celebrated Trojan, who was slain by Menelaus. His shield was hung up as a trophy in the temple of Juno at Argos. The philosopher Pythagoras, who taught the transmigration of souls, asserted that he had formerly been Euphorbus; and, as the story
Demissum, quamvis clipeo Trojana refixo
Tempora testatus nihil ultra
Nervos atque cutem morti concesserat atrae, Judice te non sordidus auctor
Naturae verique. Sed omnes una manet nox
Dant alios Furiae torvo spectacula Marti,
Exitio est avidum mare nautis;
Mixta senum ac juvenum densentur funera, nullum
Saeva caput Proserpina fugit.
Me quoque devexi rapidus comes Orionis
Illyricis Notus obruit undis.
At tu, nauta, vagae ne parce malignus arenae
Ossibus et capiti inhumato
Particulam dare. Sic quodcunque minabitur Eurus 25 Fluctibus Hesperiis, Venusinae
Plectantur silvae te sospite, multaque merces,
Unde potest, tibi defluat aequo
Ab Jove Neptunoque, sacri custode Tarenti.
goes, when the shield of Euphorbus was taken down, the name of Pythagoras was found upon it, thus confirming the philosopher's declaration. Hence Pythagoras (once Euphorbus) has been sent down a second time to Orcus (iterum Orco demissum), and the regions of Tartarus now hold him, although the first time he had given up only his body (nervos atque cutem) to black death, as he showed when the shield was taken down (clipeo refixo), by pointing out upon it the traces of Trojan times.' 14. Non sordidus = non contemnendus, not a contemptible.' Said with a slight touch of irony, for Archytas was a Pythagorean, and all the disciples of Pythagoras valued their master very highly.-15. Manet = expectat, 'awaits.-17. Furiae. According to Homer's representation, horror, fear, and strife, personified as avenging goddesses, are present in battles. Torvo spectacula Marti, as spectacles for grim Mars.' Mars looks grim, because he delights in bloodshed.-19. Densentur, a poetical form for densantur, are numerous.'-21. Rapidus Notus, comes devexi Orionis, impetuous Notus (the south-west wind), the companion of Orion, when it sets.' In November the constellation of Orion sets, and at the same time the south-west wind begins to plough the Adriatic.-23. Ne parce. Connect with dare particulam vagae arenae = fac ut des, give;' literally, be not too niggardly to give.-24. In regard to the verse, observe the hiatus here, capiti Inhumato. This is very remarkable.-25. Sic; that is, if thou doest it, then may the woods of Venusia bear the shock of (literally, be beaten by) Eurus, whenever he shall threaten the Hesperian waves; that is, the seas round Italy. Thus the winds would do him no harm.-27. Multa Merces, a rich reward.'-28. Defluat ab aequo Jove Neptunoque, flow in upon thee from gracious Jupiter and Neptune.' The latter is called the guardian of sacred Tarentum,' because his son Taras was said to have been the founder of