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Servari nolit? dicam, Siculique poetae

Narrabo interitum. Deus immortalis haberi


Dum cupit Empedocles, ardentem frigidus Aetnam 465
Insiluit. Sit jus liceatque perire poetis :
Invitum qui servat, idem facit occidenti.
Nec semel hoc fecit, nec, si retractus erit, jam
Fiet homo et ponet famosae mortis amorem.
Nec satis apparet, cur versus factitet: utrum
Minxerit in patrios cineres, an triste bidental
Moverit incestus. Certe furit, ac velut ursus
Objectos caveae valuit si frangere clathros,
Indoctum doctumque fugat recitator acerbus:
Quem vero arripuit, tenet occiditque legendo,
Non missura cutem, nisi plena cruoris, hirudo.






In this introductory ode, Horace exhibits, in union, two sentiments, inseparable from his life and character-his love for his art, and his friendship for Maecenas. After illus trating the various wishes and pursuits of men, he declares, with a noble enthusiasm, that he himself aspires to the exalted honors of poetry, and that he shall reach the height of his ambition, if, by his patron and friend, he shall be numbered among lyric bards.

1. Atavis—regibus; i. e. atavis (or majoribus), qui reges erant; royal ancestors. The Cilnian gens, to which Maecenas belonged, traced its descent to one of the Lucumones, or sovereigns, of Etruria. Comp. similar expressions, in O. iii., 29, 1; Sat. i., 6, 1-4. 3. Pulverem Olympicum. The Olympic games, the greatest of the Greek national festivals, were celebrated at Olympia, in Elis. The interval of the celebrations was four years; whence the chronological era of the Olympiad. These games continued to be observed down to A. D. 394.-See Dict. Antiqq.4. Collegisse. The Latin poets, and some prose writers, use the perfect infinitive in many places, where, in translation, the English idiom requires the present. Of this usage, we have here an illustration; for others, see O. iii., 4, 52; Sat. i., 2, 28; ib. ii., 3, 187; Ars P. 168; ib. 455. See Zumpt, § 590; also Harkness, 542, 2. Reisig, in Vorlesgg., § 290, suggests that the poets resort to this use of the perfect, wher ever the present would be excluded by the metre.-Juvat. The ordinary construction requires here the subjunctive. The choice of the indicative illustrates a poetic usage, very common in Horace. See Harkness, Lat. Gram., 501, 2; also Krüger, p. 836, foot note 2.- -Meta - evitata. The two metae of the ancient Circus consisted each of three conical pillars, which stood at the two extremities of the low wall, called spina, which ran lengthways through the course. They

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