Saturday, February 26, 2011

Horace, Ode 1.10

Mercuri, facunde nepos Atlantis,
qui feros cultus hominum recentum
voce formasti catus et decorae
more palaestrae,

te canam, magni Iovis et deorum
nuntium curvaeque lyrae parentem,
callidum quicquid placuit iocoso
condere furto.

Te, boves olim nisi redidisses
per dolum amotas, puerum minaci
voce dum terret, viduus pharetra
risit Apollo.

Quin et Atridas duce te superbos
Ilio dives Priamus relicto
Thessalosque ignis et iniqua Troiae
castra fefellit.

Tu pias laetis animas reponis
sedibus virgaque levem coerces
aurea turbam, superis deorum
gratus et imis.

Mercury, eloquent grandson of Atlas,
who shrewdly formed the savage customs
of recently-formed men with his voice and
with the custom of the beautiful wrestling-place,

I will sing of you, messenger of the gods and of great
Jove and parent of the curved lyre,
crafty to hide whatever is pleasing with a
funny trick.

Once, unless you had returned the cows
stolen through deceit, while Apollo tried to frighten
the baby with a terrifying voice, he laughed at the
widowed quiver.

Not only that, but also wealthy Priam slipped you by
the arrogant leader Atreus to abandoned Troy
and Thessalian fires and camps
unjust to Troy.

You restore pious souls to happy
homes and you confine the light crowd
with your golden staff, pleasing to the
highest and lowest of the gods.


  1. "viduus pharetra" cannot be the object of "risit", "viduus" is describing the subject (Apollo) in fact, and "te" is the real object. Therefore, the translation cannot be: "he laughed at the widowed quiver", but rather something like: "Widowed (deprived) of a quiver, he laughed at you"

  2. "pharetra" is an ablative of separation.