Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Poets' Poem I:31

It is 28 B.C. Horace composes a poem for the dedication of the new temple to Apollo on Palatine Hill. He gives no long, flowery poem, but Gettysberg-like, he writes a few words on praying not for riches but for paratis the things he needs, for valido good health, and mente integra his mind intact.

The Temple of Apollo on Palatine Hill is gone. It looked like this, they say.

It was grand. It was imperial. It was to last forever. But its marble was carted off long ago and sleeps now in the foundations of countless Roman houses.

Apollo is gone, too. His attributes morphed, I suppose, into the stories of some early saint, his prayers hidden in the muttered words of feast days. 

Nothing ever completely dies.

But back in 28, there was no thought of anything dying. Horace descends the great marble steps and says to the rich and powerful, who have spent vast sums for this temple: I will not ask for more. Instead, grant me, O Latoüs-Apollo, my cithara—that I may continue to be a poet—and my simple fare: my olives, my endive, and my mallow."  Mallow? Yes. Its leaves are great for constipation!

This took veri testiculesde vrais petits témoins.

 My prose rendition:

Quid vates Apollinum dedicatum poscit? 
Quid [vates] liquidem novum de patera fundens orat? —non segetes feraces Sardiniae opimae, non armenta grata Calabriae aestuosae, non aurum aut ebur Indicum, non rura quae Liris, amnis taciturnus, aqua quieta mordet. 
[Ii] quibus Fortuna [res bonas] dedit, vitem falce Calena premant. Et mercator dives ‹vina merce Syra reparata› culillis aureis exsiccet. [Mercator est] dis ipsis carus, quippe impune ter et quater anno aequor Atlanticum revisens. 
Me olivae pascunt, me cichorea ‹malvaeque leves› [pascunt]. 

Et precor, [o] Latoe, ‹mihi valido paratis frui› et ‹cum mente integra degere› dones, nec senectam turpem nec [senectam] cithara carentem.
[revised March 27,2015]

opimae: fertilis
segetes feraces: campos fertiles
Calabriae: nomen paeninsulae in Italia
armenta" pecus sub iugo
Liris: nomen amnis in Latio, hodie est Garigliano
exsiccet; videt bibendo
falce: sickle
vitem: vine
culillis: poculis
quippe: sane, certo
pascunt: nutriunt
Latoe: nomen Apollonis, matrinomicon Apollonis, id est: Lato [Λητω] nomen matris Apollonis est.
degere: vivere

Quid dēdicātum poscit Apollinem
vātēs? quid ōrat, dē paterā novum
   fundēns liquōrem? nōn opīmae
        Sardiniae segetēs ferācēs,
nōn aestuōsae grāta Calābriae
armenta, nōn aurum aut ebur Indicum,
   nōn rūra, quae Līris quiētā
        mordet aquā taciturnus amnis.
premant Calēnā falce quibus dedit
Fortūna vītem, dīves et aureīs
   mercātor exsīccet culillīs
        vīna Syrā reparāta merce,
dīs cārus ipsīs, quippe ter et quater
annō revīsēns aequor Atlanticum
   impūne: mē pascunt olīvae,
        mē cichorēa levēsque mālvae.
fruī parātīs et validō mihi,
Lātōe, dōnēs, et[at, ac], precor, intěgrā
   cum mente, nec turpem senectam

        dēgere nec citharā carentem.

:: Latin books by James Rumford ::

For all 102 odes purchase Carpe Diem, Horace De-Poetizedfor $11.50 at 

For a Latin translation of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at $12, click here: 

To find out more about Carpe Diem go to the blog of March 26, 2015; 
for more about Pericla Thomae Sawyer, go to the blog of November 22, 2016.

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