Sunday, February 27, 2011

Horace, Ode 1.6

Scriberis Vario fortis et hostium
victor, Maeonii carminis alite,
quam rem cumque ferox navibus aut equis
miels te duce gesserit.

Nos, Agrippa, neque haec diceere nec gravem
Palidae stomachum cedere nescii
nec cursus duplicis per mare Ulixei
nec saevam Pelopis domum

conamur, tenues grandia, dum pudor
imbellisque lyrae Musa potens vetat
laudes egregii Caesaris et tuas
culpa deterere ingeni.

Quis Martem tunica tectum adamantina
digne scripserit aut pulvere Troico
nigrum Merionen aut ope Palladis
Tydiden superis parem?

Nos convivia, nos proelia virginum
sectis in iuvenes unguibus acrium
contamus vacui, sive quid urimur,
non praeter solitum leves.

You will be written about by Varius as strong and a
conquerer of enemies, by the poet of Maeonian song,
whatever thing a bold soldier with ships or with horses
will carry with you as leader.

Agrippa, do not let us try to speak these things nor
to yield to the heavy wrath of stubborn Achilles
nor the wandering of two-faced Ulysses through the sea
nor the savage house of Pelops,

while the modest and powerful Muse of
unwarlike lyre forbids to diminish the praise of
distinguished Caesar and your fault
of talent.

Who will write appropriately of Mars covered
with an inflexible tunic or of Meriones black
with Trojan dust or Tydides equal to the gods
by the power of Athena?

We sing of symposiums, we sing of battles of bitter
maidens with untrimmed nails against young men,
whether we are empty or we burn,
we are light not beyond custom.


  1. Really really nice translation. Smooth, yet close to literal

  2. Thanks for the translation, it's really nice and very useful for someone who's studying these odes for an exam. Could you please tell something about the prosody? Is it an Aeolian metron?