Paul Krueger 8:30 a.m., April 21
Horace succinctly captures ideal of the carefree life with carpe diem
Translated by A.S Kline
Ode I.9: Carpe Diem
- Leuconoë , don’t ask, we never know, what fate the gods grant us,
- whether your fate or mine, don’t waste your time on Babylonian,
- futile, calculations. How much better to suffer what happens,
- whether Jupiter gives us more winters or this is the last one,
- one debilitating the Tyrrhenian Sea on opposing cliffs.
- Be wise, and mix the wine, since time is short: limit that far-reaching hope.
- The envious moment is flying now, now, while we’re speaking:
- Seize the day, place in the hours that come as little faith as you can.
Ode I.17: The Delights of the Country
- Swift Faunus, the god, will quite often exchange
- Arcady for my sweet Mount Lucretilis,
- and while he stays he protects my goats
- from the midday heat and the driving rain.
- The wandering wives of the rank he-goats search,
- with impunity, through the safe woodland groves,
- for the hidden arbutus, and thyme,
- and their kids don’t fear green poisonous snakes,
- or the wolf of Mars, my lovely Tyndaris,
- once my Mount Ustica’s long sloping valleys,
- and its smooth worn rocks, have re-echoed
- to the music of sweet divine piping.
- The gods protect me: my love and devotion,
- and my Muse, are dear to the gods. Here the rich
- wealth of the countryside’s beauties will
- flow for you, now, from the horn of plenty.
- Here you’ll escape from the heat of the dog-star,
- in secluded valleys, sing of bright Circe,
- laboring over the Teian lyre,
- and of Penelope: both loved one man.
- Here you’ll bring cups of innocent Lesbian
- wine, under the shade, nor will Semele’s son,
- that Bacchus, battle it out with Mars,
- nor shall you fear the intemperate hands
- of insolent Cyrus, jealously watching,
- to possess you, girl, unequal to evil,
- to tear off the garland that clings to
- your hair, or tear off your innocent clothes.
Ode I.30: Ode to Venus
- O Venus, the queen of Cnidos and Paphos,
- spurn your beloved Cyprus, and summoned
- by copious incense, come to the lovely shrine
- of my Glycera.
- And let that passionate boy of yours, Cupid,
- and the Graces with loosened zones, and the Nymphs,
- and Youth, less lovely without you, hasten here,
- and Mercury too.