Sunday, March 27, 2011

Horace, Ode 2.14

Eheu fugaces, Postume, Postume,
labuntur anni, nec pietas moram
rugis et instanti senectae
adferet indomitaeque morti;

non, si trecenis, quotquot eunt dies,
amice, places illacrimabilem
Plutona tauris, qui ter amplum
Geryonen Tityonque tristi

compescit unda - scilicet omnibus,
quicumque terrae munere vescimur,
enaviganda, sive reges
sive inopes erimus coloni.

Frustra cruento Marte carebimus
fractisque rauci fluctibus Hadriae,
frustra per autumnos nocentem
corporibus metuemus Austrum.

Visendus ater flumine languido
Cocytos errans et Danai genus
infame damnatusque longi
Sisyphus Aeolides laboris.

LInquenda tellus et domus et placens
uxor, neque harum quas colis arborum
te praeter invisas cupressos
ulla brevem dominum sequetur.

Absumet heres Caecuba dignior
servata centum clavibus et mero
tinguet pavimentum superbo
pontificum potiore cenis.

Alas! Postumus, Postumus the swift years
slip away, nor does piety bring delay for
wrinkles and looming old age
and fierce death;

not even if, however many days go by, my friend,
you may appease pitiless Pluto with three hundred
bulls at a time, he who restrains triply large
Geryon and Tityos with the gloomy

water - which surely must be sailed by all,
whoever of us enjoys a gift of earth,
whether we will be kings
or poor farmers.

In vain, we will abstain from bloody Mars
and the broken waves of the raucous Adriatic sea,
in vain through autumn we will fear the
south wind harmful to our bodies.

The dark Cocytos river wandering with a sluggish
stream must be visited and the notorious family
of Danaus and Sisyphus Aeolides
condemned to a long labor.

Your land and your home and your pleasing
wife must be abandoned, and nor will any of
the these trees which you maintain follow you,
a short-lived master, except the hated cypresses.

Your more worthy heir will waste your Caecuban wine
guarded by a hundred keys and he will stain
the pavement with arrogant wine, better
than the dinner of the high priests.


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  2. I was hoping for Bloody Marys, not bloody Mars, and that wine is overpriced.