Obrazy na stronie
[blocks in formation]

AFTER a long cessation, O Venus, again are you stirring up tumults? Spare me, I beseech you, I beseech you. I am not the man I was under the dominion of good-natured' Cynara. Forbear, O cruel mother of soft desires, to bend one bordering upon fifty, now too hardened for soft commands: go, whither the soothing prayers of youths, invoke you. More seasonably may you revel in the house of Paulus Maximus, flying thither with your splendid swans, if you seek to inflame a suitable breast. For he is both noble and comely, and by no means silent in the cause of distressed defendants, and a youth of a hundred accomplishments; he shall bear the ensigns of your warfare far and wide; and whenever, more

1 Bono. Horace appears to intimate by this epithet, that the affec tion entertained for him by Cynara, was rather pure and disinterested than otherwise. The word is often used in the sense of "generous," 'unrapacious." Comp. Tibull. ii. 4, 45, "At bona, quæ nec avara fuit." ANTHON.

[ocr errors]

2 Purpureis ales oloribus. The allusion is to the chariot of Venus, drawn by swans: and hence the term ales is, by a bold and beautiful figure, applied to the goddess herself, meaning literally "winged." As regards purpureis, it must be remarked that the ancients called any strong and vivid color by the name of purpureus, because that was their richest color. Thus we have purpurea coma, purpureus capillus, lumen juventa purpureum, etc. Compare Virgil, Æn. i. 591. Albinovanus (El. ii. 62) even goes so far as to apply the term to snow. The usage of modern poetry is not dissimilar. Thus Spencer, "The Morrow next ap peared with purple hair;" and Milton, waves his purple wings." Sa also Gray, "The bloom of young desire and purple light of love." WHEELER.

[ocr errors]


prevailing than the ample presents of a rival, he shall laugh [at his expense], he shall erect thee in marble under a citron dome near the Alban lake. There you shall smell abundant frankincense, and shall be charmed with the mixed music of the lyre and Berecynthian pipe, not without the flageolet. There the youths, together with the tender maidens,* twice a day celebrating your divinity, shall, Salian-like, with white foot thrice shake the ground. As for me, neither woman, nor youth, nor the fond hopes of mutual inclination, nor to contend in wine, nor to bind my temples with fresh flowers, delight me [any longer]. But why; ah! why, Ligurinus, does the tear every now and then trickle down my cheeks? Why does my fluent tongue falter between my words with an unseemly silence? Thee in my dreams by night I clasp, caught [in my arms]; thee flying across the turf of the Campus Martius; thee I pursue, O cruel one, through the rolling waters.



WHOEVER endeavors, O Iülus, to rival Pindar, makes an effort on wings fastened with wax by art Dædalean,' about

3 The music in the temples was usually composed of a voice, one lyre, one or two flutes, and a flageolet. There was at Delos a statue of Apollo, who held in his left hand his bow and arrows, and on his right the three Graces, each with an instrument in her hand. The first held a lyre, the second, a flageolet, and the third, a flute. FRANCIS.

4 The ancients had not any children educated to sing in their temples, nor employed any theatrical performers, but chose from the best families a certain number of young people of both sexes, who sung until others were elected to succeed them. DAC.

5 Julius Antonius, to whom the present ode is addressed, was the second son of M. Antonius the triumvir, by Fulvia, born about a. u. C. 710. He was brought up by Octavia, whose daughter Marcella he married. He was honored with the prætorship, A. U. C. 741, and the consulate, 744. In 752, he was guilty of a gross outrage on the family of Augustus, by committing adultery with Julia. Julia was banished, consequently, to the island Pandateria, and Julius put himself to death by order of Augustus. "Iulius Antonius rogaverat Horatium, ut scripta Pindari Græca in laudem Cæsaris transferet." SCHOL. ANTHON.

6 Dædalus. A most ingenious artificer, so famous, that when we would

to communicate his name to the glassy sea. Like a river pouring down from a mountain, which sudden rains have increased beyond its acccustomed banks, such the deep-mouthed Pindar rages and rushes on immeasurable, sure to merit Apollo's laurel, whether he rolls down new-formed phrases through the daring dithyrambic, and is borne on in numbers exempt from rule: whether he sings the gods, and kings, the offspring of the gods, by whom the Centaurs perished with a just destruction, [by whom] was quenched the flame of the dreadful Chimæra; or celebrates those whom the palm, [in the Olympic games] at Elis, brings home exalted to the skies, wrestler or steed, and presents them with a gift preferable to a hundred statues: or deplores some youth, snatched [by death] from his mournful bride-he elevates both his strength, and courage, and golden morals to the stars, and rescues him from the murky grave. A copious gale elevates the Dircean swan, O Antonius, as often as he soars into the lofty regions of the clouds: but I, after the custom and manner of the Matinian bee, that laboriously gathers the grateful thyme, I, a diminutive creature, compose elaborate verses about the grove and the banks of the watery Tiber. You, a poet of sublimer style, shall sing of Cæsar, whenever, graceful in his wellcarned laurel, he shall drag the fierce Sygambri along the sacred hill; Cæsar, than whom nothing greater or better the fates and indulgent gods ever bestowed on the earth, nor will bestow, though the times should return to their primitive gold. You shall sing both the festal days, and the public rejoicings on account of the prayed-for return of the brave

commend a thing for the curiousness of the work, we use the proverb Dadali opera. He lived in Crete, at the court of king Minos, by whose order he made the celebrated labyrinth, into which he was put himself. because he had discovered the windings and intricacies of it to Theseus. WATSON.

7 i. e. from oblivion.

8 Sicambros. This triumph, which the poet promises, and which was designed for the return of Augustus, was never carried into execution. To avoid the honors intended for him, he entered Rome in the night, without informing the senate of his arrival. He went the next day to the Capitol, and, taking the laurels off his statues, placed them at the feet of Jupiter.

9 During the absence of Augustus vows were made to the gods for his return, which the new consuls repeated in 741 by decree of the senate, as appears by medals and inscriptions. TORR.

Augustus, and the forum free from law-suits. Then (if I can offer any thing worth hearing) a considerable portion of my voice shall join [the general acclamation], and I will sing, happy at the reception of Cæsar, “O glorious day, O worthy thou to be celebrated." And while [the procession] moves along, shouts of triumph we will repeat, shouts of triumph the whole city [will raise], and we will offer frankincense to the indulgent gods. Thee ten bulls and as many heifers shall absolve; me, a tender steerling, that, having left his dam, thrives in spacious pastures for the discharge of my vows, resembling [by the horns on] his forehead the curved light of the moon, when she appears of three days old, in which part he has a mark of a snowy aspect, being of a dun color over the rest of his body.



HIM, O Melpomene, upon whom at his birth thou hast once looked with favoring eye, the Isthmian contest shall not render eminent as a wrestler; the swift horse shall not draw him triumphant in a Grecian car; nor shall warlike achievement show0 him in the Capitol, a general adorned with the Delian laurel, on account of his having quashed the proud threats of kings but such waters as flow through the fertile Tiber, and the dense leaves of the groves, shall make him distinguished by the Eolian verse. The sons of Rome, the queen of cities, deign to rank me among the amiable band of poets; and now I am less carped at by the tooth of envy. O muse, regulating the harmony of the gilded shell! O thou, who canst immediately bestow, if thou please, the notes of the swan upon the mute fish! It is entirely by thy gift that I am marked out, as the

10 The word ostendet is borrowed from the ceremonies and solemnities which were made for pomp and ostentation. The conqueror was shown in his triumph in the capital of the empire, where he received the homage of the world. Ostentionalis miles, signifies a soldier dressed for a review; ostentionale vestimentum is the habit which he wore. TORR

stringer of the Roman lyre, by the fingers of passengers ;" that I breathe, and give pleasure (if I give pleasure), is yours.


[blocks in formation]

LIKE" as the winged minister of thunder (to whom Jupiter, the sovereign of the gods, has assigned the dominion over the fleeeting birds, having experienced his fidelity in the affair of the beauteous Ganymede), early youth and hereditary vigor have impelled from his nest unknowing of toil; and the vernal winds, the showers being now dispelled, taught him, still timorous, unwonted enterprises: in a little while a violent impulse dispatched him, as an enemy against the sheepfolds; now an appetite for food and fight has impelled him upon the reluctant serpents;—or as a she-goat, intent on rich pastures, has beheld a youg lion but just weaned from the udder of his tawny dam, ready to be devoured by his newly-grown tooth: such did the Rhæti and the Vindelici behold Drusus carrying on the war under the Alps; whence this people derived the custom, which has always prevailed among them, of arming their right hands with the Amazonian ax, I have purposely omitted to inquire: (neither is it possible to discover every thing.) But those troops, which had been for a long while and extensively victorious, being subdued by the conduct of a youth, perceived what a disposition, what a genius rightly educated under an auspicious roof, what the fatherly affection of Augustus toward the young Neros, could effect. The


11 Cf. Pers. Sat. i. 28, "At pulchrum est digito monstrari, et dicier Hic est."

12 The victory of Drusus over the Vindelici was gained in the month of August, 739; but it was not celebrated until the return of Augustus in March, 741. Horace was then 53 years of age. SAN.

13 The order of construction is as follows: "Qualem olim juventas et patrius vigor propulit nido inscium laborum alitem ministrum fulminis, cui Jupiter, rex deorum, permisit regnum in vagas aves, expertus (eum) fidelem in flavo Ganymede, venti, vernisque nimbis jam rentotis, docuere paventem insolitos nisus; mox vividus impetus, etc.-(talem) Vindelici videre Drusum gerentem bella sub Rætis Alpibus." ANTHON.

14 Tiberius Nero died in the same year in which he had yielded his

« PoprzedniaDalej »