Sunday, February 27, 2011

Horace, Ode 1.4

Solvitur acris hiems grata vice veris et Favoni,
trahuntque siccas machinae carinas,
ac neque iam stabulis gaudet pecus aut arator igni,
nec prata canis albicant pruinis.

Iam Cytherea choros ducit Venus imminente luna,
iunctaeque Nymphis Gratiae decentes
alterno terram quatiunt pede, dum gravis Cyclopum
Vulcanus ardens visit officinas.

Nunc decet aut viridi nitidum caput impedire mytro
aut flore, terrae quem ferunt solutae;
nunc et in umbrosis Fauno decet immolare lucis,
seu poscat agna sive malit haedo.

Pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas
regumque turris. O beate Sesti,
vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam.
Iam te premet nox fabulaeque Manes

et domus exilis Plutonia; quo simul mearis,
nec regna vini sortiere talis,
nec tenerum Lycidan mirabere, quo calet iuventus
nunc omnis et mox virgines tepebunt.

Bitter winter is being melted with the welcome change of spring and of Favonius,
and the machines drag the dry hulls,
and the herd no longer rejoices in their stalls or the farmer by the fire,
nor are the meadows white with white frost.

Now Cytherean Venus leads the chorus with the moon overhead,
and the linked comely Graces with the Nymphs
shake the earth with alternating foot, while burning Vulcan
visits the workshop of the mighty Cyclops.

Now it is fitting to entwine the shining head with either fresh myrtle
or blossoms, which the released lands bear;
now, too, it is fitting to sacrifice to Faunus in shady groves,
whether he asks for an ear of grain or he prefers a young goat.

Pale Death beats with an equal foot the huts of poor men and the
towers of kings. Oh, fortunate Sestius,
life's brief extent forbids us to establish long hope.
Soon night and bleak Plutonia will press you

and the home of phantom shades; as soon as you get there,
neither obtain by dice the lordship of wine,
nor marvel at Lycidan young and tender, for whom every youth
is now hot with desire and soon the maidens will grow hot.

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