Saturday, March 19, 2011

Horace, Ode 2.15

Iam pauca aratro iugera regiae
moles relinquent, undique latius
extenta visentur Lucrino
stagna lacu, plantanusque caelebs

evincet ulmos; tum violaria et
myrtus et omnis copia narium
spargent olivetis oderem
fertilibus domino priori.

Tum spissa ramis laurea fervidos
excludet ictus. Non ita Romuli
praescriptum et intonsi Catonis
auspiciis veterumque norma.

Privatus illis census erat brevis,
commune magnum; nulla decempedis
metata privatis opacam
porticus excipiebat Arcton,

nec fortuitum spernere caespitem
leges sinebant, oppida publico
sumptu iubentes et deorum
templa novo decorare saxo.

Now the kingly piles abandon few
fields to the plow, and the stretched pools
will be visited on all sides by the wider
Lucrine Lake, and the unmarried plane-tree

will drive out the elms; then the violets and
myrtles and all the wealth of the nostrils
will scatter their odor in the olive-yards fertile
for an earlier master.

Then the laurel with thick branches will shut out the
fiery strokes. Not thus had it been ordered for
Romulus and the auspices of unshaven Cato
and by the old standard.

The private census was short for these,
the public census was great; no covered walkway
with ten feet measured was retaining the
shady North for private citizens,

nor were the laws allowing to scorn
chance earth, and the towns ordered to honor
the temples of the gods with new stone
at public expense.

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