Monday, February 28, 2011

Horace, Epode 2

"Beatus ille qui procul negotiis,
ut prisca gens mortalium,
paterna rura bobus exercet suis,
solutus omni faenore,
neque excitatur classico miles truci,
neque horret iratum mare,
forumque vitat et superba civium
potentiorum limina.
Ergo aut adulta vitium propagine
altas maritat populos,
aut in reducta valle mugientium
prospectat errantis greges,
inutilisque falce ramos amputans
feliciores inserit,
aut pressa puris mella condit amphoris,
aut tondet infirmas ovis;
vel cum decorum mitibus pomis caput
Autumnus agris extulit,
ut gaudet insitiva decerpens pira
certantem et uvam purpurae,
qua muneretur te, Priape, et te, pater
Silvane, tutor finium.
Libet iacere modo sub antiqua ilice,
modo in tenaci gramine;
labuntur altis interim ripis aquae,
queruntur in silvis aves,
fontesque lymphis obstrepunt manantibus,
somnos quod invitet levis.
At cum tonantis annus hibernus Iovis
imbres nivesque comparat,
aut trudit acris hinc et hinc multa cane
apros in obstantis plagas,
aut amite levi rara tendit retia,
turdis edacibus dolos,
pavidumque leporem et advenam laqueo gruem
iucunda captat praemia.
Quis non malarum quas amor curas habet
haec inter obliviscitur?
Quodsi pudica mulier in partem iuvet
domum atque dulcis liberos,
Savina qualis aut perusta solibus
pernici uxor Apuli,
sacrum vetustis exstruat lignis focum
lassi sub adventum viri,
claudensque textis cratibus laetum pecus
distenta sicceet ubera,
et horna dulci vina promens dolio
dapes inemptas apparet,
non me Lucrina iuverint conchylia
magisve rhombus aut scari,
si quos Eois intonata fluctibus
hiems ad hoc vertat mare,
non Afra avis descendat in ventrem meum,
non attagen Ionicus
iucundior quam lecta de pinguissimis
oliva ramis arborum
aut herba lapathi prata amantis et gravi
malvae salubres corpori,
vel agna festis caesa Terminalibus
vel haedus ereptus lupo.
Has inter epulas ut iuvat pastas oves
videre properantis domum,
videre fessos vomerem inversum boves
collo trahentis languido
positosque vernas, ditis examen domus,
circum renidentis Lares."
Haec ubi locutus faenerator Alfius,
iam iam futurus rusticus,
omnem redegit Idibus pecuniam,
quaerit Kalendis ponere.


He is blessed who, away from work,
just as the ancient race of mortals,
cultivates his father's farms with his ox,
free from all debt,
and, a soldier, is not stirred up by the wild trumpet,
and, angry, does not shudder at the sea,
and avoids the forum and arrogant thresholds
of powerful citizens.
Therefore either may he marry the high poplars
with the mature offspring of the vines,
or may he gaze out at the herds of wandering (animals),
with the lowing cattle having returned to the valley,
and having cut off the useless branches with a pruning knife
may be graft on the fruitful branches,
or having pressed the honey may he put into clean pitchers,
or may he sheer the gentle sheep;
even when Autumn carried out its head with the adorned
ripe fruits of the field,
how he delights to pluck the grafted pears
and the purple grapes,
with which to honor you, Priapus, and you, father
Silvanus, protector of the country.
It is pleasing to lie now under the ancient ree,
now on the thick grass;
at the same time he slips on the high banks of water,
the birds complain in the forests,
and the streams roar with flowing water,
which invites light sleeps.
But when the winter season provides rains and
snow of thundering Jove,
or pushes the bitter boars here and here with a dog
of many opposing strokes,
or stretches the thin net with the smooth pole,
tricks for greedy thrushes,
and entices with a trap the timid rabbit and foreign
crane, pleasing prizes.
Who does not forget the cares of evil which he holds
among love?
But if a chaste woman helps the house
and sweet children in part,
like a Sabine woman or a wife of persistent
Apulus burned by the sun,
she builds a sacred altar with old wood before
the arrival of a tired man,
and closing the happy herd in the wicker structure,
she drys the full udders,
and, bringing out this year's wines from the sweet jar,
she prepares the unbought fest,
Lucrinus oysters are not pleasing to me more than
turbot or scarfish,
if winter, thundering on the Eastern waves, turned them
to this sea,
the African bird does not descend to my stomach,
nor the Ionican grouse more
pleasing than an olive picked from the fattest
branch of the tree,
or a meadow herb of loving sorrel and a beneficial
plant for a heavy body,
either a ewe slaughtered for the festival of boundaries,
or a kid rescued from a wolf.
Among these feasts how pleasing to see the freed sheep
hurrying home,
to see the tired cows dragging the upside-down plow
with tired necks
and the arranged slaves, swarm of a wealthy home,
around shining Lares."
When the money-lender Alfius had said these things,
now already about to be a farmer,
he returned all money on the Ides,
he seeks to put it on the Kalends.


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