Obrázky na stránke

Negligis immeritis nocituram


Postmodo te natis fraudem committere? Fors et
Debita jura vicesque superbae

Te maneant ipsum: precibus non linquar inultis,
Teque piacula nulla resolvent.

Quamquam festinas, non est mora longa; licebit
Injecto ter pulvere curras.


that city.-30. Negligis, here=nihil curas; 'have you no scruples at committing a sin (fraudem committere) which will bring injury on your descendants, though they are innocent of it?'-31. Fors et, perhaps too:' fors=forsitan. -32. Vices superbae, 'terrible retribution.' The gods will as proudly spurn your prayers as you slight mine. You may consider it of no consequence that your descendants are to suffer for your crime; but it may be that you yourself shall feel the punishment.-33. Precibus non linquar inultis, I shall not be left (linuar relinquar), you will not leave me here unburied, without my prayers (your neglect of them) being revenged by the gods.'-35. The sense is this: the performance of this sacred duty will not detain you long. Throw three handfuls of earth upon my body, and then you may hasten on your way. Licebit curras currere poteris.



THIS ode was written in the year 25 B. C., when Aelius Gallus, prefect of Egypt, undertook, by the command of Augustus, an expedition into Arabia ; into the land of the Sabaeans, as Horace says. They were the most renowned tribe of the Arabians, and received their name from the city of Saba. This expedition, which utterly failed, was joined by many young men, fond of war, from Rome. Among them was Iccius, a friend of Horace, who, up to this time, had occupied himself closely with the study of philosophy. To him the poem is addressed, and there runs through it a gentle strain of irony in regard to the new course upon which the youth, all unused to battles, had entered.

ICCI, beatis nunc Arabum invides
Gazis et acrem militiam paras:

1. Beatis-gazis, 'the rich treasures.' Arabia was called felix, and was considered by the Romans, who received from it or through it spices, frankincense, precious stones, and pearls, as very rich.

[blocks in formation]

4. Regibus. Among the Arabians then, as now, each tribe had its chieftain. Medo, used for Orientals generally; for Augustus_did not intend that this expedition should be directed against the Parthians, to whom, properly, the name of Medes belonged.-5. Quae virginum, quite quae virgo.-6. Sponso necato, whose betrothed thou hast slain,' and whom thou hast thus made a captive.-7. Puer ex aula, a boy from the court of one of those kings.' The kings of the East used to have high-born boys as their pages. One of these Iccius is to take prisoner; and to make him wait, with his hair anointed, at table, ad cyathum, to pour out the wine into the cups. This was an office for which young and beautiful slaves were usually chosen. This boy is also, for the entertainment of the guests, to show his skill in archery, which he has learned in his Arabian home. For Sericus, like Medus above, is used for Oriental generally.-9. Sagittas tendere, properly, arcus tendere.-11. Pronos is to be connected with arduis montibus, 'rushing down from lofty mountains.' Relabi, like reverti in line 12, is to flow back, up again to the source.'-13. Cum-tendis, when you, as soon as you,' &c. In prose, we should have had cum-tendas.— - 14. Panaetius, of Rhodes, was a Stoic philosopher, and a friend of the younger Scipio Africanus and Laelius. Domum, 'school' sectam. 15. Hiberis, Spanish;' the Spanish iron being famed. 16. Tendis contendis.

[ocr errors]



An invocation of Venus to be gracious to Glycera, a female friend of Horace.

O VENUS, regina Cnidi Paphique,

Sperne dilectam Cypron et vocantis

1. Cnidus a town in Caria; Paphos, a town in Cyprus: both

Thure te multo Glycerae decoram
Transfer in aedem.

Fervidus tecum puer et solutis
Gratiae zonis properentque Nymphae
Et parum comis sine te Juventas

famed for the worship of Venus. In the former was the admired statue of Venus by Praxiteles.-3. Thure. In this, and flowers, the usual offerings to Venus consisted. Decoram in aedem, 'into the beautiful chamber, which, by thy presence, will be consecrated as a temple.' This interpretation conjoins the two senses of aedes, ' apartment,' and 'temple.'-5. Puer, Cupid, who is called fervidus, because he excites fervor, amor. Solutis-zonis. The Graces are always represented by poets and sculptors with their girdles loosened, and their robes flowing.-6. Properentque. As to this position of que, which properly belongs to Nymphae, see Zumpt, $358. 8. Mercuriusque. He accompanies Venus, as being the god of lively and entertaining conversation. Compare Carm. i. 10, 2.



AUGUSTUS had conquered his rival Antony off the promontory of Actium, near a temple of Apollo. From gratitude, he built on a part of his palace-ground on the Palatine Hill a temple to this god, near which the first public library in Rome was established. The temple was dedicated in the year 28 B. C. To Apollo, as god of it, the poet in this ode addresses his modest requests.

QUID dedicatum poscit Apollinem
Vates? Quid orat, de patera novum
Fundens liquorem? Non opimae
Sardiniae segetes feraces,

Non aestuosae grata Calabriae


1. Dedicatum. Properly, only the statue of the god was conse. crated; but the poet here uses the expression of the god himself.2. Novum-liquorem; that is, new wine, not old, of which rich men made libations.-4. Sardiniae. This island, like Sicily, the province of Africa, and Egypt, was famed for its fertility in corn, and was one of the granaries of Rome and Italy.-5. Calabriae. No district of Italy had so much excellent pasture-land as the 'summer-burnt'

[ocr errors][merged small]





(aestuosa) Calabria.-6. Indicum. The ivory is called Indian, because part of it came from India. The rest came from Africa, from the countries above Egypt. --7. The sense is: I do not ask of thee lands in the most fertile district of Italy; namely, Campania. The Liris (now Garigliano) flows between Campania and Latium. — 8. As to mordet, compare Carm. i. 22, 8.-9. Calena falce. The neighbourhood of Cales, in Latium, was celebrated for its wine. See Carm. i. 20, 9. Hence: 'to prune the vine with the Calenian hook,' means 'to own a vineyard at Cales.' Instead of premant, we should expect the technical term putent.-10. The sense is: Neither do I wish for much money, to live sumptuously and splendidly like a merchant.-11. Exsiccet ebibat: cululli are a kind of large cups with handles, jugs.-12. Syra reparata merce, gained in return for Syrian wares; that is, for spices, incense, and other articles of traffic. which came from or through Syria and the East. These the merchant sells in Rome, and purchases with the money fine wines. -14. Aequor Atlanticum. He sails along the Mediterranean as far as the Straits of Gades, where he sees the Atlantic.-17. The wishes of the poet are now stated. They are, first, peaceful enjoy. ment of his possessions (parata for the more common parta, that which has been gained'); secondly, good health; and lastly, an old age, in which his mind shall remain unimpaired, and which shall consequently not be burdensome (turpis) either to himself or others, and in which he shall still be able to cultivate poetry. Construe thus: precor, dones mihi frui (ut fruar) paratis et valido (that is, ut validus sim, ut valeam) el degere (ut degam) senectam cum integra mente nec turpem nec cithara carentem. Latoë, a Greek form, 'son of Latona;' that is, Apollo.



AN ode calling upon his lyre and himself to sing or compose in Latin such songs as once Alcaeus, a native of the island of Lesbos, had sung in the Greek language. The poem was written on some occasion when his friends were urging him to write and publish lyrics.

POSCIMUR. Si quid vacui sub umbra

Lusimus tecum, quod et hunc in annum
Vivat et plures, age, dic Latinum,
Barbite, carmen,

Lesbio primum modulate civi,

Qui ferox bello, tamen inter arma,
Sive jactatam religarat udo

Litore navim,

Liberum et Musas Veneremque et illi
Semper haerentem puerum canebat
Et Lycum, nigris oculis nigroque
Crine decorum.

O decus Phoebi et dapibus supremi
Grata testudo Jovis, o laborum



1. Poscimur refers to the request of his friends: 1 am called upon;' namely, to write lyric poems. Vacui, scil. negotiis, in my hours of leisure.' -2. Lusimus. The song of the poets is often compared to a game or play. Here Horace's object in using this word is to indicate that he had composed merely light jocular poems.-3. Latinum carmen. The poet fancies he has the very same lyre on which Alcaeus had 'discoursed most excellent music; hence he calls upon it, as having previously sung Greek strains, now to attempt a Latin song.-5. Modulate. The participle is here used passively, 'tuned, played,' though the verb is properly a deponent.-6. Ferox bello. Alcaeus was not merely a poet, but also a warrior, for he is said to have fought against the Athenians, and against Myrsilus and Pittacus, the tyrants of his native city.-7. Sive vel si. Whether he was among arms-that is, actively engaged in war-or had returned to his home, an island, to which of course as here mentioned, he had to proceed by sea, he was always writing poetry.-10. Semper haerentem puerum; that is, Cupid, who, in Ode 30, line 5, is called fervidus puer.-11. Lycus was a youth whom Alcaeus admired for his beauty, and celebrated in his poetry.-14. Testudo,lyre,' this instrument being originally made of the shell of a tortoise. See Carm. i. 10, 6. Horace imagines that the lyre is played at the banquets of the gods for their

« PredošláPokračovať »