Monday, February 28, 2011

Horace, Epode 5

'At o deorum quidquid in caelo regit
terras et humanum genus,
quid iste fert tumultus aut quid omnium
voltus in unum me truces?
per liberos te, si vocata partubus
Lucina veris adfuit,
per hoc inane purpurae decus precor,
per inprobaturum haec Iovem,
quid ut noverca me intueris aut uti
petita ferro belua?'
ut haec trementi questus ore constitit
insignibus raptis puer,
inpube corpus, quale posset inpia
mollire Thracum pectora:
Canidia, brevibus illigata viperis
crinis et incomptum caput,
iubet sepulcris caprificos erutas,
iubet cupressos funebris
et uncta turpis ova ranae Sanguine
plumamque nocturnae strigis
herbasque, quas Iolcos atque Hiberia
mittit venenorum ferax,
et ossa ab ore rapta ieiunae canis
flammis aduri Colchicis.
at expedita Sagana, per totam domum
spargens Avernalis aquas,
horret capillis ut marinus asperis
echinus aut Laurens aper.
abacta nulla Veia conscientia
ligonibus duris humum
exhauriebat, ingemens laboribus,
quo posset infossus puer
longo die bis terque mutatae dapis
inemori spectaculo,
cum promineret ore, quantum exstant aqua
suspensa mento corpora;
exsucta uti medulla et aridum iecur
amoris esset poculum,
interminato cum semel fixae cibo
intabuissent pupulae.
non defuisse masculae libidinis
Ariminensem Foliam
et otiosa credidit Neapolis
et omne vicinum oppidum,
quae sidera excantata voce Thessala
lunamque caelo deripit.
hic inresectum saeva dente livido
Canidia rodens pollicem
quid dixit aut quid tacuit? 'o rebus meis
non infideles arbitrae,
Nox et Diana, quae silentium regis,
arcana cum fiunt sacra,
nunc, nunc adeste, nunc in hostilis domos
iram atque numen vertite.
formidulosis cum latent silvis ferae
dulci sopore languidae,
senem, quod omnes rideant, adulterum
latrent Suburanae canes
nardo perunctum, quale non perfectius
meae laborarint manus.
quid accidit? cur dira barbarae minus
venena Medeae valent,
quibus Superbam fugit ulta paelicem,
magni Creontis filiam,
cum palla, tabo munus imbutum, novam
incendio nuptam abstulit?
atqui nec herba nec latens in asperis
radix fefellit me locis.
indormit unctis omnium cubilibus
oblivione paelicum?
a, a, solutus ambulat veneficae
scientioris carmine.
non usitatis, Vare, potionibus,
o multa fleturum caput,
ad me recurres nec vocata mens tua
Marsis redibit vocibus.
maius parabo, maius infundam tibi
fastidienti poculum
priusque caelum Sidet inferius mari
tellure porrecta super
quam non amore sic meo flagres uti
bitumen atris ignibus.'
sub haec puer iam non, ut ante, mollibus
lenire verbis inpias,
sed dubius unde rumperet silentium,
misit Thyesteas preces:
'venena maga non fas nefasque, non valent
convertere humanam vicem.
diris agam vos: dira detestatio
nulla expiatur victima.
quin, ubi perire iussus exspiravero,
nocturnus occurram Furor
petamque voltus umbra curvis unguibus,
quae vis deorum est Manium,
et inquietis adsidens praecordiis
pavore somnos auferam.
vos turba vicatim hinc et hinc saxis petens
contundet obscaenas anus;
post insepulta membra different lupi
et Esquilinae alites
neque hoc parentes, heu mihi superstites,
effugerit spectaculum.'

"But oh, whatever of gods in heaven rules
the lands and the human race,
what does that confusion mean and what do
the fierce faces of everyone mean to me alone?
Through your children, if Lucina having been called
was present for at true births,
through this empty honor of purple I beg you,
through Jove about to disapprove of these things,
why as a stepmother do you consider me or as a best
having been attacked with a sword?"
As the boy stood protesting these things with his mouth trembling
and with his signs having been seized,
youthful body, the kind that could soften soften wicked
hearts of Thracians,
Canidia, with her hair braided with vipers
and untidy head,
orders that the figs be plucked from the tomb,
orders that the cypress trees of funeral rites
and the egg anointed with the blood of a disgusting frog,
and the feather of a nocturnal screech owl
and the herbs which Iolcos and Hiberia
send fruitful of poisons,
and bones seized from the mouth of a hungry dog
to be burned in Colchian flames.
But unencumbered Sagana, Avernus waters sprinkling
through the whole house,
shudders with her hairs just as a sea urchin in
difficulties or a running boar.
Veia driven by no conscience was digging the
earth with her tough hoes,
groaning at the labors so that, buried, the boy
could pine to death,
at the spectacle of a meal changed twice or
three times in along day,
while he projects with his face, as much as a body stands out from the water
suspended from their chin;
so that his cut-out marrow and dried liver
might be a drink of love,
as soon as his pupils wasted away fixed on the
food never finished.
Both idle Neopolis and every neighboring village
believed that
Iolia Ariminen was not absent of
masculine lust,
she who pulled down the stars and moon
out of heaven with her enchanted Thessalian voice.
Here Canidia gnawing on her untrimmed thumb
with her green tooth
what did she say or what did she not say? "Oh, not
unfaithful witnesses of my affairs,
Night and Diana, who reigns over silence,
when the sacred mysteries happen,
now, now be performed, now turn your anger and
hostile power to homes.
When the wild beast tired from sweet sleep lay hidden in
the scary forest,
let the Suburan dogs bark at the old lecher,
at which all may laugh,
completely smeared with ointment, the kind which my hands
could not have labored over more perfectly.
What happened? Why are barbarous Medea's awful poisons
less strong,
with which having gotten her revenge on the proud mistress,
the daughter of great Creon, she flees,
when the robe, a gift soaked with poison, carried the new
bride in flames?
And no herb nor root hiding in rough places
escaped me.
He sleeps in smeared beds in the oblivion
of all mistresses.
Ah! Ah! He walks alone by the song of an
expert witch!
Not using potions, Varus, oh head
about to weep much,
will you return to me, nor will your devotion
be revived by Marsian voices.
I will prepare something greater, something greater I will
pour for you, disdaining,
and sooner the sky sink under the sea with
the earth stretched above,
than you will not burn with love for me just like
pitch in black fires."
At these things the boy now, not as before, with
soft words soothing the impious women,
but doubtful whence to break the silence
sends prayers worthy of Thyestes:
"Magic potions do not have the strength to overturn right and wrong,
or to overturn the human revenge.
I will drive you with curses; no sacrifice will
atone for the awful offering.
What's more, when doomed to death I expire, I’ll come

To you as a Fury by night,

A shadow whose crooked claws will tear your faces

With the Manes’ divine power,

And settling myself in your unquiet hearts,

I’ll drive sleep out with terror.

The crowd will crush you, obscene old hags, pelting you

With stones from every side:

And then the wolves and birds of the Esquiline,

Will scatter your unburied limbs,

And my parents, who will alas survive me, shall

Not miss a moment of that sight.

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