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Mella decedunt viridique certat
Ver ubi longum tepidasque praebet
Ille te mecum locus et beatae
of Italy.. Hymetto decedunt, yields not to the honey of Hymettus,' a hill in Attica, famed for the sweetness of the honey produced upon it. The name of the hill is used for its products, in the same way as Venafro in line 16.-16. Bacca: namely, the olive. Venafrum, a town in Campania, produced the best olives.-18. Aulon, a mountain of Calabria, in the neighbourhood of Tarentum, where good wine was grown, on which account it is here called amicus fertili Baccho, and is said to be little inferior (minimum invidet) to the world-famed Falernian.-21. Te mecum-postulant, that place wishes thee, and me.' This is a poetical inversion, the sense of course being, Thou and I wish for that place, desire to live there.' Arces is said generally of the city of Tarentum, which lay high.22. Ibi amici. The sense is this: there we should wish to die, I before thee, so that, standing beside the funeral pile, thou shouldst moisten with thy tears the still hot ashes of thy poet-friend.
AD POMPEIUM VARUM.
AN ode of congratulation to an old fellow-soldier, one who had been with Horace in the republican army of M. Brutus; had then served under Antony; and at last, after the battle of Actium, had reached the haven of tranquil repose. Horace invites him to a banquet at his house.
O SAEPE mecum tempus in ultimum
Pompei, meorum prime sodalium?
1. Tempus in ultimum deducte, brought into the greatest peril,' for tempus ultimum is a time at which a person believes death to be imminent.-4. Dis patriis, the gods of thy home, thy household gods.'-5. Pompei is to be read as a word of two syllables. Com
Cum quo morantem saepe diem mero
Malobathro Syrio capillos.
Tecum Philippos et celerem fugam
Sed me per hostes Mercurius celer
Ergo obligatam redde Jovi dapem,
Ciboria exple, funde capacibus
pare i. 35, 17, anteit. 6. Morantem-fregi, 'I have often broken the lingering day with wine;' that is, have often, when the day seemed long, and hung heavy on our hands, broken off a piece of it, as it were, by banqueting.-8. Connect capillos nitentes Syrio malobathro, hair shining with Syrian malobathrum.' This was an Indian plant, from whose leaves an oil was pressed; here the oil itself.-10. Relicta non bene parmula. This is a famous expression of Horace, in regard to the close of his military career. The phrase is to be considered as a poetical mode of indicating and describing the loss of the battle. Horace, neither less brave nor less cowardly than his fellow-soldiers, fled along with them, when the death of Cassius and Brutus made it evident that victory was impossible.-11. Minaces, those who formerly had threatened with their weapons.' What follows is again merely a poetical description of a defeat in general.-14. Denso-aëre, concealed by a thick cloud,' in the same manner as heroes in Homer are often withdrawn from the midst of battles, enveloped by their guardian divinities in mists so dense, that the foes find themselves at fault. Horace, as a poet, was under the special protection of Mercury. Compare ii. 17, 29.-16. The figure is taken from the waves of the sea, which, when receding from the beach, often carry away what they have just before thrown up. Fretis aestuosis, in the boiling flood, amid the roaring waters.'-17. Obligatam, which thou owest debitam. In regard to the custom of spreading out feasts before the gods, in token of gratitude, see i. 37, 2.-19. Sub lauru mea. There is here a slight touch of irony in regard to Horace himself: come to me and rest in my house, the house which I have gained by my laurels, be they military or poetic.-22. Ciboria, a kind of large cups, in form resembling the pods of the Egyptian bean. Oblivioso Massico, with Massic wine (wine from Mount Massicus: compare i. 1, 19), which brings forgetfulness.'-23. Conchis, 'shells,'
Curatve myrto? Quem Venus arbitrum
Dulce mihi furere est amico.
vessels in which ointments were kept. Quis udo-coronas, 'who is taking care to hurry on, prepare hastily, garlands of the pliant parsley?' This is a periphrasis for a simple command, prepare quickly.' Deproperare the prose properare. Apium is called udum, because it is moist and pliant.-25. Arbitrum, elsewhere magistrum bibendi. See i. 4, 18.-27. Edonis, a 'Thracian tribe, devoted to the service and orgies of Bacchus. Recepto— amico, ‘since I have received back my friend.'
AD C. VALGIUM.
THIS poem, the composition of which seems to fall in the year 20 B. C., is addressed to C. Valgius Rufus, a friend of Horace, and a man distinguished as a statesman (for he was consul suffectus in 12 B. c.), and also as a writer both of prose and poetry. Valgius grieved immoderately at the death of a young friend called Mystes, and devoted his poetical talents to the sole purpose of bewailing his loss. Horace urges him to turn his attention to more serious and worthy subjects, particularly the praises of Augustus, and the recent exploits of the Roman people.
NON semper imbres nubibus hispidos
Usque, neque Armeniis in oris,
Amice Valgi, stat glacies iners
Menses per omnes aut Aquilonibus
Tu semper urges flebilibus modis
1. Hispidos in agros, 'upon the rough fields;' that is, fields either bristling with ears of corn, or covered with weeds and briers from the copious rains.-3. Inaequales, which destroy the level of the sea,' by raising great billows.-4. Usque semper.-5. Iners, in opposition to the constant motion which open water has.-7. Garganus, a mountain of Apulia, near the town of Sipontum.-9. By modi here we must understand songs of lamentation, elegies, in which Valgius bewailed the loss of his young friend. Urgere is said of anything which a person does uninterruptedly, without inter
, nec tibi Vespero
At non ter aevo functus amabilem
Flevere semper. Desine molliuin
Caesaris et rigidum Niphaten,
Medumque flumen gentibus additum
Victis minores volvere vertices,
Exiguis equitare campis.
mission: hence in this passage it is equivalent to perpetuo luges. 12. Fugiente, scil. Vespero, or rather, with its morning name, Lucifero, when the morning star flees before the hastening sun;' that is, when day breaks.-13. Ter aevo functus-senex, Nestor of Pylos, who, according to Homer, lived to such an age that he saw four generations or ages of men. His son Antilochus was killed by Memnon before the walls of Troy. 16. Troilus was a son of Priam, who, though young and weak, engaged in unequal strife with Achilles, and was slain by him.-17. Desine querelarum, a Greek construction, for which, in prose Latin, the accusative querelas would have to be used.-20. Niphaten, a mountain of Arme. nia, here employed to designate the whole of that country. Similarly in the next line the river Medus, which falls into the Araxes, near the city of Persepolis, is used for the Parthians, who dwell on its banks. Hence it is said minores vertices volvere, a mixed figure; for volvere is quite properly used of the rolling of a river, but vertex can be said only of the person who is made not to carry his head' so high. With minores vertices the English phrase diminished heads' may be compared. 23. Gelonos, a tribe of the Scythians who dwelt in Europe. The poet says of them, that the predatory inroads which they had been in the habit of making into the Roman dominions were now prevented; that they ride only in their own narrow territories, within the bounds marked out to them' (intra praescriptum.) All this praise of the victories of Augustus refers to the facts, that in the year 20 B. C., Phraates, king of the Parthians, acknowledged the supremacy of Rome, and restored the booty and captives taken in previous campaigns; and that Tiberius, the stepson of Augustus, with the help of a Roman army, established Tigranes as king of Armenia.
AD L. LICINIUM.
AN exhortation to L. Licinius Varro Murena to guard against extremes. Prosperity and adversity have their turn in the life of almost every man. Licinius needed this advice, and would have been more happy and fortunate had he followed it. He displayed towards all a candour and openness of speech which gained him many enemies; and in the year 22 B. C., when a conspiracy against the life of Augustus was discovered, in which he was involved, he was put to death.
RECTIUS Vives, Licini, neque altum
Auream quisquis mediocritatem
Saepius ventis agitatur ingens
Decidunt turres feriuntque summos
Sperat infestis, metuit secundis
1. The navigation of the ancients was principally confined to coasting it was rarely and unwillingly that they ventured into the open sea, since, having no compass or any other of our modern instruments, they could not know their position or direct their course. Hence the poet's advice, not to be always out at sea. 2. Urgere, as in line 3 premere, denotes remaining firmly by a thing. Litus premere may well be translated by the English nautical phrase 'to hug the shore.-5. Mediocritatem, the middle path, mean,' according to a frequent use of the word, though, upon the whole, mediocris has oftener a bad than a good signification. 6. Obsoleti tecti. Obsoletum is anything which has become dirty and ruin. ous from age. Hence in this passage tutus is put in opposition to it, safe under a roof not yet decayed.'-11. Turres, lofty buildings, palaces.'-13. Infestis, ablative plural of the neuter infestum, a calamity;' as secundis, from secundum, 'a prosperous state or event.' Hence altera sors= = adversa sors, adversa fortuna. ' a change of fortune.-14. Bene praeparatum, well prepared for life, for the bearing of human vicissitudes.-15. Informes, which disfigure the face