Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Horace, Epistle 1.2

Troiani belli scriptorem, Maxime Lolli,
dum tu declamas Romae, Praeneste relegi;
qui quid sit pulchrum, quid turpe, quid utile, quid non,
planius ac melius Chrysippo et Crantore dicit.
Cur ita crediderim, nisi quid te detinet, audi.
Fabula, qua Paridis propter narratur amorem
Graecia barbariae lento collisa duello,
stultorum regum et populorum continet aestus.
Antenor censet belli praecidere causam:
quid Paris? Ut salvus regnet vivatque beatus
cogi posse negat. Nestor componere litis
inter Peliden festinat et inter Atriden;
hunc amor, ira quidem communiter urit utrumque.
Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi.
Seditione, dolis, scelere, atque libidine et ira,
Iliacos intra muros peccatur et extra.
Rursus, quid virtus et quid sapientia possit,
utile proposuit nobis exemplar Ulixen;
qui, domitor Troiae, multorum providus urbes
et mores hominum inspexit, latumque per aequor,
dum sibi, dum sociis reditum parat, aspera multa
pertulit, adversis rerum immersabilis undis.
Sirenum voces et Circae poscula nosti;
quae si cum sociis stultus cupidusque bibisset,
sub domina meretrice fuisset turpis et excors
vixisset canis immundus vel amica luto sus.
Nos numerus sumus et fruges consumere nati,
sponsi Penelopae nebulones, Alcinoique
in cute curanda plus aequo operata iuventus,
cui pulchrum fuit in medios dormire dies et
ad strepitum citharae cessantem ducere somnum.
Ut iugulent hominem, surgunt de nocte latrones;
ut te ipsum serves, non expergisceris? Atqui
si noles sanus, curres hydropicus; et ni
posces ante diem librum cum lumine, si non
intendes animum studiis et rebus honestis,
invidia vel amore vigil torquebere. Nam cur
quae laedunt oculum festinas demere; si quid
est animum, differs curandi tempus in annum?
Dimidium facti qui coepit habet: sapere aude:
incipe. Qui recte vivendi prorogat horam,
rusticus exspectat dum defluat amnis; at ille
labitur et labetur in omne volubilis aevum.
Quaeritur argentum puerisque beata creandis
uxor et incultae pacantur vomere silvae;
quod satis est cui contingit, nihil amplius optet.
Non domus et fundus, non aeris acervus et auri
aegroto domini deduxit corpore febris,
non animo curas; valeat possessor oportet,
si comportatis rebus bene cogitat uti.
Qui cupit aut metuit, iuvat illum sic domus et res,
ut lippum pictae tabulae, fomenta podagram,
auriculas citharae colelcta sorde dolentes.
Sincerum est nisi vas, quodcumque infundis acescit.
Sperne voluptates; nocet empta dolore voluptas.
Semper avarus eget; certum voto pete finem.
Invidus alterius macrescit rebus opimis;
invidia Siculi non invenere tyranni
maius tormentum. Qui non moderabitur irae,
infectum volet esse dolor quod suaserit et mens,
dum poenas odio per vim festinat inulto.
Ira furor brevis est: animum rege, qui nisi paret,
imperat; hunc frenis, hunc tu compesce catena.
Fingit equum tenera docilem cervice magister
ire viam qua monstret eques; venaticus ex quod
tempore cervinam pellem latravit in aula,
militat in silvis catulus. Nun adbibe puro
pectore verba puer, nun te melioribus offer.
Quo semel est imbuta recens servabit odorem
testa diu. Quodsi cessas aut strenuus anteis,
nec tardum opperior nec praecedentibus insto.

While you have been declaiming in Rome, Lollius Maximus,
I have been rereading the author of the Trojan War in Praeneste;
he who says that which is noble, which is disgraceful, which is useful, which is not,
better and more clearly than Chrysippus and Crantor.
Listen, because I have thus trusted, unless something has drawn you away.
The story, which narrates the Greeks, crushed by long
war with a barbaric people, because of the love of Paris,
maintains the passions of foolish kings and peoples.
Antenor moves to cut back the cause of the war:
what about Paris? So that he may safely rule and happily live,
he refuses to be able to be compelled. Nestor hastens to put together
the quarrels among Agamemnon and among Achilles;
love burns this one, indeed anger burns generally on both sides.
Whatever kings rage (about), the Acheans are punished.
While fighting, with tricks, with crime, and desire and anger,
there is sin among the Trojan walls and beyond.
On the other hand, he is able with anything virtuous and anything wise,
to display a helpful example to us by Odysseus;
the conqueror of Troy, he who prophetically considered the
cities of many and the customs of men, and carried through the sea,
while he obtained a return for himself and for his companions, he carried
them through many rough places, unsinkable by adverse waves of affairs.
You summon the Siren and the cup of Circe to us;
which if he had drank with his companions with foolish eagerness,
he would have become disgraceful as a courtesan under a mistress and,
stupid, unclean, he would have lived as dog or a swine friendly to dirt.
We are a sum and born to consume crops,
the wasteful suitors of Penelope, and the young men of
Alcinoi, working at arranging their appearance more even,
for whom it is noble to sleep in the middle of the day and
to lead their delayed sleep by the sound of the lyre.
Robbers rise by night, in order to murder a man;
will you not awake, so that you may save yourself? But
if, healthy, you do not wish to run, you will run when you have dropsy; and if
you do not ask for the book with light before day, if you
do not stretch your mind with studies and worthy things,
(while) awake, you will be bent by envy or love. For why
do you hasten to remove that which offends your eye; why, if anything
eats your mind, do you delay the time of worrying for a year?
He who begins has half of what is made: dare to be wise:
begin. He who prolongs the hour of living rightly,
is like a farmer who waits while the river flows by; but the river
flows and will flow, winding in all time.
Silver is sought, a rich wife for creating boys is sought
and uncultivated forests are subdued by the plow;
to he who desires nothing greater is given that which is enough.
Not a house nor a farm, not a pile of money and gold
removed the fever from the sick body of the master,
nor the cares from his mind; it is right for the owner to be well,
if he considers to well use the collected things.
He who desires or fears, thus his house and things please him,
just as painted tablets help his watery eye, or a dressing helps his gout,
or lyres help his ears pained by collected filth.
Unless the vase is clean, whatever you pour in will sour.
Scorn pleasures; the pleasure that is bought with pain does harm.
The miser always lacks; reach for a sure end to desire.
An envious man wastes away by the better things of others;
Sicilian tyrants invented no greater torture than
envy. He who does not check his anger,
will wish that the anger and injury which he urged be undone,
while he hastens punishments with unpunished hate through power.
Anger is a brief madness: rule your mind, unless it obeys,
it controls; restrain this with a bridle, this with a chain.
The teacher trains the docile horse with a tender neck
to go by the road which the horseman shows; from which time the hunting
dog in the hall barks at the deer skin,
the puppy serves in the forests. Now, boy, drink in my words
with a pure heart, now present yourself to your betters.
A jar will save the odor which it was once soaked in fresh
for a long time. But if you delay or, active, precede,
I neither wait for the slow nor pursue the one preceding.

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