Sunday, February 27, 2011

Horace, Epode 1

Ibis Liburnis inter alta navium,
amice, propugnacula,
paratus omne Caesaris periculum
subire, Maecenas, tuo.
Quid nos, quibus te vita si superstite
iucunda, si contra, gravis?
Utrumne iussi persequemur otium
non dulce ni tecum simul,
an hunc laborem, mente laturi decet
qua ferre non mollis viros?
Feremus, et te vel per Alpium iuga
inhospitalem et Caucasum
vel occidentis usque ad ultimum sinum
forti sequemur pectore.
Roges, tuum labore quid iuvem meo,
imbellis ac firmus parem?
Comes minore sum futurus in metu,
qui maior absentis habet;
ut adsidens 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 iuvencis illigata pluribus
aratra nitantur mea,
pecusve 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.

You will go among the Liburnian ships, between the tall
bullwarks of ships, my friend,
prepared to undergo every danger of Caesar,
Maecenas, by your danger.
What about us, for whom life is pleasant if you
survive, if otherwise, heavy?
Will we, as ordered, pursue leisure
not sweet unless at the same time with you,
or this labor, ready to bear in mind
with which it is proper for not-soft men to bear?
We will bear it, and we will follow you either through
the summits of the Alps and the inhospitable Caucasus
or all the way to the farthest curve of the west
with a strong heart.
You may ask, how will I help your labor with mine,
I who am unwarlike and not at all firm?
I will be your companion less in fear
which holds those who are absent more;
just as a bird sitting near her unfledged chicks
fears the slitherings of serpents,
more when they are abandoned, not as if she were present
she would bring more help to those present.
This and every war gladly will be waged
by me in the hopes of your favor,
not so that my plows strain having been fastened
to many cows,
or that the herd may exchange Lucanian fields for
Calabrian pastures before the fiery star
nor that my shining house touches the Circian walls of
lofty Tusculum.
Your kindness enriched me enough and
more; I would hardly have obtained money,
which just as greedy Chremes I bury it in the earth,
or waste it like a spendthrift.

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