Monday, April 4, 2011

Horace, Ode 2.16

Otium divos rogat in patenti
prensus Aegaeo, simul atra nubes
condidit lunam neque certa fulgent
sidera nautis;

otium bello furiosa Thrace,
otium Medi pharetra decori,
Grosphe, non gemmis neque purpura ve-
nale nec auro.

Non enim gazae neque consularis
summovet lictor miseros tumultus
mentis et curas laqueata circum
tecta volantis.

Vivitur parvo bene, cui paternum
splendet in mensa tenui salinum
nec levis somnos timor aut cupido
sordidus aufert.

Quid brevi fortes iaculamur aevo
multa? Quid terras alioi calentis
sole mutamus? Patriae quis exsul
se quoque fugit?

Scandit aeratas vitiosa navis
Cura nec turmas equitum relinquit,
ocior cervis et agente nimbos
ocior Euro.

Laetus in praesens animus quod ultra est
oderit curare et amara lento
temperet risu. Nihil est ab omni
parte beatum.

Abstulit clarum cita mors Achillem,
longa Tithonum minuit senectus;
et mihi forsan tibi quod negarit,
porriget hora.

Te greges centum Siculaeque circum
mugiunt vaccae, tibi tollit hinnitum
apta quadrigis equa, te bis Afro
murice tinctae

vestiunt lanae; mihi parva rura et
spiritum Graiae tenuem Camenae
Parca non mendax dedit et malignum
spernere vulgus.




The sailor caught in the open Aegean sea asks
the gods for leisure, at the same time a black cloud
has hidden the moon and the sure constellations
don't shine for sailors;

Thrace, wild from war, asks for leisure,
the Medes, decorated with a quiver, ask for leisure,
Grosphus, which is not for sale for gems or
purple or gold.

Indeed neither treasure nor an attendant of a
consul clears away the wretched riots
of the mind and the cares flying around
the paneled ceiling.

He lives well on little, on whose thin table
an ancestral salt-cellar shines,
and for whom unclean fear and desire
do not carry away light slumbers.

Why do we, brave for a short time, aim for many
things? Why do we exchange lands burning
for another sun? Which exile of the fatherland
likewise flees himself?

Vicious worry climbs bronze ships
and does not abandon the troops of horsemen,
swifter than the deer and swifter than the clouds
driven by the east wind.

May the mind happy in the present hate to worry
about that which is beyond and may it combine
bitterness with untroubled laughter. Nothing is fortunate
from every part.

Quick death took away bright Achilles,
long old age diminished Tithonus;
and, perhaps, time will extend for me that which
it has denied to you

One hundred herds and Sicilian cows low
around you, the mare suitable for a chariot
raises a neigh for you, the wool stained twice
with African shellfish

clothes you; not-deceitful Fate has given to me
a small farm and the slight breath of the Greek Muse
and has allowed me to scorn the
spiteful crowd.

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