Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Horace, Ode 1.37

Nunc est bibendum, nun pede libero
pulsanda tellus, nunc Saliaribus
ornare pulvinar deorum
tempus erat dapibus, sodales.

Antehac nefas depromere Caecubum
cellis avitis, dum Capitolio
regina dementis ruinas,
funus et imperio parabat

contaminato cum grege turpium
morbo virorum, quidlibet impotens
sperare fortunaque dulci
ebria. Sed minuit furorem

vix una sospes navis ab ignibus,
mentemque lymphatam Mareotico
redegit in veros timores
Caesar, ab Italia volantem

remis adurgens, accipiter velut
mollis coumbas aut leporem citus
venator in campis nivalis
Haemoniae, daret ut catenis

fatale monstrum. Quae generosius
perire quaerens nec muliebriter
expavit ensem nec latentis
classe cita reparavit oras;

ausa et iacentem visere regiam
vultu sereno, fortis et asperas
tractare serpentes, ut atrum
corpore combiberet venenum,

deliberata morte ferocior;
saevis LIburnis scilicet invidens
privata deduci superbo
non humilis mulier triumpho.

Now there must be drinking, now the earth
is about to be beat with free foot, now was
the time to furnish the couch of the gods
with feasts of the Salii, companions.

Before this, it was a sin to draw out wine
from ancestral wine cellars, while the
queen of demented people was preparing
the destruction and fall from power for the Capitoline,

with the polluted herd of men
shameful with sickness, mad enough to hope
for anything at all and drunk with sweet
fortune. But one ship

safe from the fires scarcely diminished her fury,
and Caesar drove back the mind soaked
with Mareotic wine to true fears,
pursuing with oars

the flying one from Italy, just as a hawk
pursues the soft doves or the swift hunter
pursues the rabbit in the fields of snowy
Thessaly, to throw into chains

the deadly monster. But she more nobly
seeking to die neither became frightened of
the sword in a womanly way nor prepared
the hidden shores with a quick fleet;

She dared to visit the lying city
with a calm face, strongly brought out the
bitter serpents, so that she could swallow
the black poison into her body,

more ferocious in a deliberate death;
certainly begrudging the savage Liburnians
to be led as a private citizen in an arrogant triumph,
not a humble woman.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! Horace is one of the greatest poets of all time. He makes little to no sense but when it clicks its like waking up on a Friday morning. Absolutely astonishing!