Saturday, February 26, 2011

Horace, Ode 1.8

Lydia, dic per omnis
hoc deos vere, Sybarin cur properes amando
perdere, cur apricum
oderit campum, patiens pulveris atque solis

cur neque militaris
inter aequalis equitet, Gallica nec lupatis
temperet ora frenis.
Cur timet flabum Tiberim tangere? Cur olivum

sanguine viperino
cautius vitat neque iam livida gestat armis
bracchia, saepe disco,
saepe trans finem iaculo nobilis expedito?

Quid latet, ut marinae
filium dicunt Thetidis sub lacrimosa Troiae
funera, ne virilis
cultus in caedem et Lycias proriperet catervas?

Lydia, say this truly
through all the gods, why do you hurry to ruin Sybaris
by loving him, why does
he hate the sunny field, the suffering of the dust and of the sun,

why does he not ride
horseback among equal soldiers, and does not control Gallic mouths
with jagged bits?
Why does he fear to tough the yellow Tiber? Why does he avoid

an olive more warily
than viper blood and now does not carry weapons on bruised
arms, often famed for
the disk, often for his javelin cleared across the end?

Why does he lie hidden, just as they say
the sons of marine Thetis lie hidden just before the tearful burial
of Troy, lest his
manly costume and Lycian troops hustle him forth to murder.

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